Straight or Not?

Do you think romance novels need to include mystery, suspense, or other elements to be successful in today's LDS market or can a straight romance sell?

I personally prefer loads of a little mystery or suspense mixed in with my romance. But there are plenty of straight romance stories out there, with little or no mystery or suspense in them, and they seem to be doing fine.

Readers—what are your preferences? Do you want the straight stuff or a little sumthin' sumthin'. Give us some specific titles of straight romance and/or romance hybrids that you really like. (Identify which category you'd put them in.)

P.S. This would be a really great time to leave a comment.


Don said...

I'm hardly an expert on romance novels, but in general I think every good story could use a little mystery or suspense.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I will read both kinds, but I prefer my romance to have lots of mystery or suspense in it. I love reading Phyllis A. Whitney and Victoria Holt for that reason. (I know, old authors, but I couldn't think of any new ones of the top of my head...not enough sleep last night.)

Melanie Goldmund said...

I guess I'm in the minority. I think pure sugar is too sweet, but I love it mixed into chocolate chip cookies. So in other words, I don't read straight romance, but I don't mind if my mystery, thriller, or sci fi tale has a few romantic elements in it. It just has to be a subplot and can't completely overwhelm the real story, even if it comes close.

Books in the LDS market that I really like include the Sam Shade series by Kerry Blair, or the two books that make up the trials and tribulations of Eric and Rebekah by Robison Wells, or the Rhea Jensen books by Sheralyn Pratt.

Rachelle Christensen said...

I discovered Mary Stewart last year and loved "Nine Coaches Waiting." I really enjoy a great mystery with some good romance, maybe even a few toe-curling kisses. I usually choose a romantic suspense over straight romance. Clair Poulsen's novels are great with just a tiny dusting of romance, mostly mystery.
Mary Higgins Clark uses mystery and romance since it seems to me at least, that all of her books have the heroine falling for two different guys, one of which in the end tries to kill her.
I still think about "Rebecca" by Daphne De Maurier, which was a mixture of beautiful descriptive detail, mystery, and different levels of romance.

Anonymous said...

I read science fiction and fantasy, and I like some romance in them. I won't read a straight romance book, but if it is a romance with sf/f elements (like Lynn Kurland's time-travel romances [yes, that's very little sf/f]) I can enjoy it. Humor is also something that can be thrown into any genre and will improve the book.

Sariah Wilson said...

I can't stand mysteries or suspense mixed in with my romance. I'm beginning to think that I'm in the minority though.