Kathy Lockheart is an author of some of the best romantic novels. Her love stories have a dark romance element that fits into romantic suspense, domestic thriller, and domestic suspense genres.
Her latest novel, Deadly Illusion, might be one of the best romance novels of all time. Let’s look at the synopsis of this great love story that has it all—mystery, suspense, and dark romance:
Jenna wasn’t going to let the darkness of her past prevent her from building the life she’s always wanted, so she put herself through college and moved to the magnificent city of Chicago. But just when she thought all her dreams were coming true, a shocking incident shattered her fairytale life, and now, she’s hiding a terrible secret—a secret that could cost her everything.
Damian is as gorgeous as he is mysterious, keeping his own dark secrets from everyone he meets. He never thought he’d care about anything again…until he meets Jenna. He knows letting her get close to him will put her in danger, but when he suspects Jenna’s in trouble, there’s only one thing that matters: protecting her at all costs.
Thrust into a terrifying nightmare where a threat looms in every shadow, Jenna and Damian find themselves in a race for survival. Soon, everyone Jenna loves is in peril, and only the ultimate sacrifice can save them…
“I couldn’t put it down.”
In this article we’ll be going over:
A GREAT LOVE STORY
BEST ROMANCE BOOKS
BEST ROMANCE NOVELS OF ALL TIME
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE BOOKS
FORBIDDEN LOVE STORIES
DARK ROMANTICISM BOOKS
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE NOVELS
BEST MODERN ROMANCE NOVELS
STEAMY ROMANCE NOVELS
What’s the difference between romance and other genres, such as domestic suspense/thriller novels? According to the Romance Writers of America, “a romance novel must have a central focus on the development of a romantic relationship between two people. The other criteria for a romance novel are that it must have an emotional throughline and build to an optimistic conclusion.” In other words, it must always have a happily ever after.
Here is what Kathy had to say about this:
So what’s the deal with genres, and why is it so important to pick the right one? I’m not going to lie. When I first gave myself a crash course in genres and what set of rules each came with, I was convinced categorizing my marvelousness into a sandbox would stifle my creativity. I became all, “no one puts Baby in a corner!” For the super young, if you don’t know what that is, google ‘love story quotes.’ GREAT movie.
I fought against that current, taking my characters wherever I saw fit, thank you very much, but then came the epiphany: At its core, a genre conveys to the reader what they can expect the book to be about. I knew this part, of course, but read that again and really think about that. If my book sits next to a bunch of romantic comedy books, the reader will be appalled by it, and that unsatisfied reader may go on to write scathing reviews. All because the novel was sitting in the wrong section of the bookstore. So, it became critical to define my genre. It’s okay that it can fit into a couple—in fact, that can be a great thing, but it forced me to sit down and think—what genre makes the most sense?
I adore romance with a happily ever after—they make for a great romantic bedtime story—but to keep me on the edge of my seat, I find the best love stories to read are the ones where I’m not guaranteed any ending—the ones where anything can happen. When I think of love story ideas, I’m sometimes drawn to love stories in Greek mythology because of the intensity and tragedy. As the author of thehellenictimes.com says, to the Greeks, “Love was extremely important—and hurtful, deadly, and destructive. However, love was vital to the scheme of existence, and the Greeks felt they had to pay homage to it…but not necessarily revere it.”
Most important of all, I relish heart touching romantic love stories. I want to fall in love with characters going through something major, where the stakes are as high as the tension, and the pages turn themselves. I’m drawn to darker stories like those of Nora Roberts more so than to lighthearted ones, but all stories are fantastic and entertaining. Beautiful love story books offer us an escape from our everyday stressors, and allow us to transport into another world. Sometimes that world is happy, sometimes it’s sad, but it is always entertaining.
So why do I have LOVE as a key element in my stories? I think a great love story makes everything better. I believe our connection to other souls in this world is the foundation of life and great stories. Getting to know someone for that first time, feeling that spark, that connection, wondering what could happen. Facing seemingly insurmountable challenges and wondering how it’s all going to turn out, makes for great entertainment. Even if a love story is secondary, a subplot of a novel, it makes it more entertaining for me, and I like to write what I love: forbidden love with a dark, suspenseful twist.
Allow me to highlight some of the best romantic stories:
Twilight. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight started it all for me. When I finished the series, I was so upset that it wasn’t going to continue. Stephanie had transported me into a world that felt so real that I felt I’d lived it myself, and her unique twist on superpowers drew me in as well. Yes, Edward Cullen had superhuman abilities, but he considered himself a bad guy, not to be trusted. BRILLIANT, and the love story between him and Bella was something I couldn’t put down.
It was after ending it that I was rummaging bookstores for anything that could give me the same high twilight did. And since I also love movies, it was incredible to re-experience this saga when it was translated into the best romance movies ever. If you haven’t seen them you should add them to your romantic movies list
The Time Traveler’s Wife. One of the best love story books for adults, and one of the best romantic novels of all time, the story of a girl falling in love with a man who time travels involuntarily was fascinating. How would their love story work? What would happen to them in the end? Could he figure out how to stop time traveling before it’s too late?
The Silent Patient. Yes, it’s a thriller, but it also a great love story in the Greek-tragedy sense of the term. At its heart are two people, both the patient and the psychologist, entangled in their own tragic romances. While this is a phycological thriller, it still has the heartbeat of love woven throughout it. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it!
Verity. Talk about Dark Romance! What can happen when romance goes horribly wrong, and wonderfully right? Colleen Hoover keeps you on the edge of your seat this ENTIRE novel, from the opening scene to the last page, you are hooked, addicted to finding out what comes next. Colleen Hoover quickly became one of my all-time favorite authors, and I’m so grateful I stumbled across her work. If you haven’t read any of her books, I highly recommend them!
love stories movies
Let’s not forget there are a ton of great movies too! Too many to name, but I love when books like The Notebook, Twilight, etc.. get made into movies, and of course movies like Titanic get made too!
I hope you found this article helpful and maybe found some new authors and novels out there to try!
Xoxo Kathy Lockheart