Romantic suspense is a really tough genre to write in, I imagine. The balance between romance and suspense can be tricky, with far too many books (at least in my opinion) asking you to suspend disbelief enough to think that the hero and heroine would be able to relax in the middle of all their danger so they can have sex. I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense as a result, and so I was delighted to read Laura Curtis’s Mind Games. Mind Games does a great job of ratcheting up the romance as the action ratchets up, and there are no quickie interludes to make me roll my eyes. Here’s the blurb for Mind Games:
The daughter of a schizophrenic, Dr. Jane Evans prioritizes order, control, and—above all—her work in a psychiatric research lab. When an attempted kidnapping threatens to derail the project she’s on, her boss hires a bodyguard. He’s everything Jane is not, and if she can survive, she may even learn to like the difference.
Eric Sorensen owes Jane a debt he can’t possibly repay. Without her tutoring, he would not have made it through college, would not have the life he does. But none of his memories of college Jane prepare him for adult Jane. When she suddenly disappears, he follows her trail to a secret lab in a cartel-controlled Mexican jungle. Rescue seems impossible but Eric’s not the type to give up, even if it means trading his own life for hers.
This book is action-packed, with desperate escapes from dangerous compounds, explosions, and attempted kidnappings, but it is also surprisingly deep, giving excellent background without ever seeming like it’s infodumping.
For example, Dr. Jane Evans, the heroine, relaxes by knitting afghans, a hobby that isn’t one you’d normally associate with someone as science minded as Jane, but once she explains why she does it, it gives insight into her character. Eric is charmed by the seeming anomaly, and when he shows her where he lives, he says he wants her to knit an afghan for him, since he recognizes his apartment looks pretty sterile and generic. Aww!
Eric never discounts Jane for any reason, and he finds her even more attractive because of how intelligent and persevering she is. He credits her with quick thinking when she delays a kidnapping attempt long enough for him to foil the attempt, and later on, when he’s had to abandon her in a tricky situation, he believes she will figure out why, and he knows she will trust him to return for her. Another awww! moment.
It’s true that there aren’t a lot of actual sex scenes in Mind Games, but the reader can track the progress of Jane and Eric falling in love, and that is romantic enough on its own. If you want romantic suspense that won’t make you roll your eyes, pick up Laura Curtis’s Mind Games.