The Rec League: Romantic Suspense without Military or Law Enforcement

The Rec League - heart shaped chocolate resting on the edge of a very old bookThis Rec League comes from Cyndy. Thanks, Cyndy!

I love suspense/thriller romances but have gotten pretty disillusioned with the military and police for all the reasons you’d might expect. I’ve gotten by with some books about ex military groups or non government entities and I can apparently suspend my disbelief enough in those circumstances to have a good time (think Adriana Anders’s Survival Instincts series, which I LOVE).

I’d appreciate if there are recs along this line, or perhaps other books that might scratch the same itch (teams working together against a common enemy, tension from being pursued by a “bad guy,” high level of competence from both leads).

Sarah: Ok so hear me out: a lot of mid 2000s paranormal will be this exact thing: romantic suspense, likely with shifters, but no cops or government bureaucracy.

But that isn’t exactly what this request is seeking.

Pamela Clare’s I-Team series would qualify. Journalists and activists, surely but not police unless my memory is faulty (and it often is)

Some Nora Roberts suspense novels do not feature cops – especially the earlier ones like Honest Illusions. ( A | K | G | AB )

Amanda: I thought I-Team has government and politics.

Sarah: And Katie Ruggle’s Search and Rescue series would definitely work.

It has some government but not law enforcement to my recollection.

Elyse: Bodyguard romance maybe? But I’m drawing a blank.

Sneezy: If it’s okay for police to be Background man 1 and 2, the webtoon My Second Husband might fit the bill. Although one of the leads was/becomes a judge, that’s not part of the story because it’s a time regression story and all the action takes place during the leads’ uni days.

Only Hope is similar, and also has time regression elements.

My Second Husband is complete, while Only Hope’s translation of the second season is just coming out. I wouldn’t wait for Only Hope to finish though, because Line Webtoon puts completed stories behind Daily Pass, where you only get one free chapter per day if you don’t want to buy them and sometimes makes the final chapters of a series pay only. It really adds up for longer series, and Only Hope is already over 50 chapters! Even if you don’t mind the cost, you might be like me and find starting a webtoon with 100+ chapters intimidating.

I think Only Hope does a better job with the romance parts of the story, but both are stressful in the way of suspense stories and has competent leads

Shana: I haven’t read it, but what about Iron and Velvet by Alexis Hall? It’s about a queer private investigator.

Also, Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer ( A | BN | K )

Sarah: Was it Katherine Center who wrote the female bodyguard romance? It’s pink and peach on the cover…along with 6,823,725 other covers I know

Amanda: The Bodyguard lol ( A | BN | K | AB )

That one wasn’t too suspenseful if I remember correctly.

Which books would you recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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