If there is any hybrid genre that can keep you on your toes, then it definitely has to be erotic mysteries. Erotic mysteries, or romance suspense, is a subgenre that focuses on a mystery and a love story at the same time. A sexy relationship blooms in the middle of a mystery, or suspense takes place because of a love story. There is danger and pleasure, and both work in close tandem to propel the plot forward.
In whichever way the story proceeds, both genres contribute equally, making it one of the most challenging genres to write. But the following books took that challenge and made it seem easy. Here are some of the most erotic and mysterious titles of the genre released in 2023!
Chance – Helen Hardt
Published on: March 28, 2023.
The Steel family is one of the most famous families in town, if not the most popular. But Ava Steel, the protagonist in Helen Hardt’s Chance, doesn’t act like she belongs to such an affluent family. She’s a bakery owner, dabbles in tarot, and has bright pink hair; she’s living her life without getting financial help from her parents. All is well until this safe life is haunted by creepy messages from a haunting stranger. She thinks she’s all alone in these threats, but the bar owner and her crush, Brendan Murphy, admit the same.
As the quest to find this stranger brings them together, the two discover that their crush is reciprocated. Do you know what follows? A steamy romance lined with mutual trust, care and friendship. But the mystery looming over them takes them back to their familial past, making them unearth dangerous secrets!
Chance happens to be the 25th book in the Steel Brothers Saga, which is always about power, obsession, and craving. But even after writing about the same things for the last twenty-five books, Hardt still manages to maintain freshness in her story. The suspense blooms steadily, effortlessly keeping the readers on the edge of their seats. And when punctured by the heated passages of the characters? An absolute treat!
Until I get you – Claire Contreras
Published on: April 6, 2023.
Claire Contreras interprets erotic mystery in a whole different way in Until I Get You! Readers meet Lachlan, one of the best hockey players in his University as well as his country. He is passionate about the game, about to be drafted into the NHL when he meets Lyla at a college party. She’s unimpressed by him, making him chase her. But his blooming love for her crashes into an angry grudge when she disappears off the face of the earth. And so, three obsessed years later, he becomes her stalker, planning to track her down and make her talk. What she reveals is a well-kept secret, and now he’s embroiled in the mystery as much as her.
The novel is classified as a hockey romance, but it has the twists and turns of a dark thriller story. The love between Lachlan and Lyla is that of an instalust, accentuated by explosive chemistry and hot and heavy scenes. Contreras adds a touch of darkness by making Lachlan transform from a seemingly sweet hero to a possessive stalker anti-hero.
Running parallel to the plot is Lyla’s tragic past, which unfolds gradually enough to keep you interested. The hero’s possessive streak will alleviate the story for you, while the reveal at the end will have you gasping in surprise!
Excalibur – Anna Hackett
Published on: April 26, 2023.
Adaline Harris has one dream – to shift to New York and become a ballet dancer. But her plan is squashed by Bram Excalibur O’Donovan, the grumpy military man. What did he do? He got her pregnant and ghosted her. You’d think this Bram guy is the worst – until he walks into the bar she works at, finds her heavily pregnant and is thoroughly confused. Turns out he thinks she ghosted him and is surprised to see her carrying a child. Oh wait, there’s also an obsessed stalker who sends Adaline creepy notes.
Thankfully, this is not a real-life story but the plot of Anna Hackett’s Excalibur. It is the fifth book in the Sentinel Security series, portraying the classic grumpy/sunshine trope with a thriller twist. The roughness of Bram compliments really well to Adaline’s daintiness, making the romance aspect of the novel more than passionate.
Interwoven in their tumultuous relationship is the plot of the stalker, which brings the whole Sentinel team together. They focus all their energy on finding this unhinged creep – which means readers get their rightful suspense arc! In fact, it has the right amount of mystery and action to create that nerve-wracking atmosphere while reading.
Beyond the Thistles – Samantha Young
Published on: May 2, 2023.
In Beyond the Thistles, Samantha Young brings together the unlikeliest of couples – a grumpy bodyguard and a single mom running away from her old life! The bodyguard in question is Walker Ironside, who has returned to his homeland to work at Ardnoch Estate, a members-only club. While he works as a bodyguard, single-mom Sloane Harrow works hard as the housekeeper and crushes even harder on Walker.
He appears disinterested, but when Sloane’s life is threatened, he shows his true feelings by vowing to protect her and her daughter without thinking of consequences. What blooms from this decision is a no strings attached relationship where both secretly wish for more. Both the characters have tragic pasts, which sets the danger in motion, with the threats to the characters coming closer than anticipated. In fact, the tension – sexual and threatening – increases together, keeping the readers emotionally engaged.
If you are a fan of the Adair Family series, you have already got a taste of the chemistry between Walker and Sloane in the previous books. This novel – the first instalment of The Highlands series – explores that chemistry in full force, giving the readers a riveting romantic thriller!
Wicked as Secrets – Shayla Black
Published on: May 16, 2023.
Wicked as Secrets burns with a mysterious sizzle that only Shayla Black can bring. In this book, readers meet Madison Archer, who witnessed her politically connected, manipulative husband kill someone without a second thought. Fearing for her life, she runs into the arms of the only man she knows can protect her perfectly – Matt Montgomery. Security specialist Matt has not forgiven Madison for ghosting him for three years. But he is willing to look past that and ensure her safety as long as she submits her body to him whenever he wants.
While their situationship escalates to something deep and real, danger closes in faster than they can imagine. Adding even more fuel to the fire is the end, concluding with the most exciting cliffhanger. But don’t worry about the drastic ending, as this is the first instalment of the duology – their story will continue!
The narrative is filled with twists, mystery, and an angsty yet impossibly steamy romance. The pair takes their time to repair their frazzled bond, which makes their relationship appear more believable and real. And as is the case with each novel in the Wicked Lovers world, this erotic thriller will keep you hooked.
Bad Summer People – Emma Rosenblum
Published on: May 23, 2023.
Emma Rosenblum brings the drama of a soap opera in the form of a book, Bad Summer People! Lauren and Jen have been vacationing every summer in Fire Island with their husbands, two couples, and two single friends. A getaway full of tennis, sex, and lies is all it is about – until this summer, they find a dead body on the boardwalk. The entire story contains the events that lead up to it. In the process, readers find out why these summer people are bad – and who murdered that person.
All the characters – and there are a lot – are stereotypical snobbish people who have a trunk full of dead skeletons. They smile at each other but talk shit behind their backs, all the while guarding their own secrets. The mystery builds steadily, with a few twists and turns, revealing the culprit right at the end. But don’t be fooled by the blurb – there are many spicy scenes sprinkled in the narrative, especially illicit sex!
The novel follows many narrators, which is easy to keep up with. Here is no over-the-top mystery, just a good old domestic thriller with characters having illicit sex and being viler than mafia bosses!
Obsession – Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published on: May 31, 2023.
Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Obsession explores erotic thriller in one of the most exciting ways. The Arum hero, Hunter, is a professional killer who actually enjoys killing bad guys. But his life is thrown in confusion when he has to protect a seemingly innocent girl from his sworn enemy. He doesn’t care about her life at the start – only deciding to undertake the assignment to purposely piss off the Luxen. But Serena is no meek human – she is spunky, sassy, confident, and wants to bring justice to her dead friend. In no time, they are bantering… and lusting after each other like crazy.
This novel dabbles in the already established world of aliens on Earth – Luxen and Arum. While the Lux series portrayed the Luxens as good guys and Arums as bad ones, this book throws the view right out of the window. The sudden change in the alien dynamics and the danger following Serena add a mysterious edge to the novel. Bring in Hunter’s dark side involuntarily trying to kill the heroine, and you have got yourself a delicious little treat.
But underlying this danger-filled plot is the sexual tension between the characters. Their snarky comebacks and playful banter eventually lead to burning hot scenes and a blooming love that is executed beautifully. Readers can’t help but feel their chemistry through the pages, made even more enthralling with the threat looming over them. This novel is definitely worth your time!
Tempting Little Thief – Meagan Brandy
Published on: June 1, 2023.
Meagan Brandy is finally here with the story of Bastian ‘Bass’ Bishop! Tempting Little Thief narrates the tale of Rocklin Revenaw, the sassy, kickass, and stealthy queen of the underground. She meets Bass in a crazy encounter, making the hottest sparks fly, and they are addicted. But knowing they come from different backgrounds acts as a thorn in their relationship, eventually thrown into chaos when danger comes knocking at their door.
Rocklin and Bass fit together like two sides of the same coin. While he is rash, witty, and loyal, she is cold, savage, and calculating. The result is the filthiest sex where the usually in-control Rocklin hands in the reigns to the usually reckless Bass. They are a balanced pair, and with the rich girl/poor bad boy trope, they bring in a breath of fresh air. But don’t be side-tracked by their sexual tension because the couple is amidst a suspense plot riddled with scheming adults, violence, and generational revenge.
This novel is the first instalment in Girls of Greyson. While it can be read as a standalone, you are much better off reading Brayshaw High. Why? Because this novel runs parallel to the first book of Brayshaw High – and you will get some delicious snippets, taking you back to that fantastic series!
Royally in Trouble – Meghan Quinn
Published on: June 6, 2023.
To enjoy Meghan Quinn’s Royally in Trouble, you will have to read the first book, Royally Not Ready, which introduces the readers to the world of Keller and Lilly. While the first novel ends with their engagement, this one picks up right after. Princess Lilly and her former secretary, Keller, are planning a royal wedding. But the path to their marriage is treacherous as unforeseen threats loom over them. The danger doesn’t stop even on their wedding day when Keller is kidnapped!
Keller and Lily’s relationship had the space to grow in the first novel – in this one, they bring out their secrets and past to the table. They share a wild physical life, which becomes a comical point when the readers learn they have to abstain from sex during the wedding preparations. But when they do get together, readers get a front-seat show to one of the spiciest relationships!
This erotic yet fluffy romance runs parallel to the suspense plot, which is as mysterious and politically charged as it can get. The book makes you jump from one thrilling event to another jump scare. And yet all your assumptions won’t even give you an inkling of the real villain! Quinn has added a little (a lot of) angst, which makes the sweet HEA (happily ever after) even sweeter to read.
Crimson River – Devney Perry
Published on: June 15, 2023.
Devney Perry, in Crimson River, weaves an erotic romance with the kind of mystery that would keep you turning the pages in anticipation! Readers finally meet Lyla Eden, a coffee shop owner in Quincy who has always led a sheltered life in her family. It all changes when she encounters something strange on her favourite hiking trail – a man washing his bloody hands by the stream. She looks at his scarred face and realizes she is dead meat. Until the man decides to let her go and disappears. Shaken to the core, she reports the incident to the police before trying to move past it.
But when the sexy police officer from out of state, Vance Sutter, saunters into the town, she’s pulled back in. Turns out that this handsome hunk has spent several years searching for the exact man Lyla encountered. Vance teams up with Lyla to find the killer who has made the river crimson, but the spark that flew between the two gets harder to ignore by the minute.
While Lyla and Vance start somewhat as friends with benefits, their romance develops organically. Complimenting their erotically charged arc is the overarching suspense, riddled with secrets, thrilling scenes, and delicious twists. And since it’s the fifth book in The Edens, you will meet characters from previous books, making it a complete package.
As long as the execution is different, it doesn’t matter if the stories have similar themes. And erotic mysteries prove this with their seemingly similar yet starkly different novels. May it be a sports romance or an instalment of Sentinel Security, these books promise to provide you with a mysterious love story full of suspense and spice!Bad Summer People, Beyond the Thistles, Chance, Crimson River, Excalibur, Obsession, Royally in Trouble, Tempting Little Thief, Until I get you, Wicked as Secrets