by Maureen Smith

If you’ve ever picked up a novel by best-selling authors Tami Hoag or Sandra Brown, you already have a pretty good idea of what a romantic suspense novel is. What you may not know are the ingredients necessary for writing a best-selling romantic suspense. As with any other genre, there are assigned rules and formulas.

In most cases, the relationship between the hero and heroine is the most important aspect of the story. Ask any romance editor, and they’ll probably tell you that the romance between your two protagonists must be fully developed in order to meet their requirements. By fully developed, I mean that there must be a complete progression of your protagonists’ relationship, from beginning to end. There’s a reason the genre is called romantic suspense, not suspenseful romance. The romance must come first. Achieving the perfect balance between the two can be tricky. Unlike other fiction genres, you’re straddling the fence between two readerships.