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5 Authors like Nora Roberts: Realistic & Steamy Suspense

Helen Maloney itcherWhatever you’re looking for in your romance, these authors like Nora Roberts can give it to you. Whether it’s the emotional journeys between characters – JoAnn Ross – the thrills and spills of danger – Suzanne Brockman – or captivating characters – Julie Garwood – you’re sure to find what you need here. ~ Helen Maloney

A Book for Every Occasion

As one of the world’s bestselling romantic authors of all times, Nora Roberts has many amazing titles on the shelves. It’s also easy to see why she’s so popular and one of my personal favourites. Her writing is engaging, emotionally powerful and full of characters you can empathise with. One of the things I enjoy most about her work, whether it’s her Silhouette novels, her trilogies or standalones, is that her heroines don’t look for a man to fix things for them; they’re more than capable of doing that for themselves.

As she covers the more typical forms of contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense novels and romance with magical or paranormal elements, she really does write something for everyone to enjoy – as long as you appreciate a good romance!


Authors Similar to Nora Roberts…

JoAnn Ross

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Like Nora Roberts, JoAnn Ross has around 100 books under her belt and she is beloved by many. Whether you’re reading one of her Harlequin romances, her standalone novels or one from a series, you’re in for a treat.

At the heart of her books are the people, often flawed but given the opportunity to grow due to the circumstances they find themselves facing. Ross does her best to capture real people between the pages, putting them in relatable situations and credible conversations whenever she can.

Recommended Novel: ‘Homecoming’ (2010)

In ‘Homecoming’, Sax – an ex-Navy SEAL – has returned home as a celebrated hero and he very quickly finds himself trying to help the local Sherriff solve a mystery, while showing her that he’s the right kind of trouble for her. This is the start of her most recent and longest series, set in the same area Ross’ husband proposed to her.

Similarity Match: 85%
Both these authors like making the communities the stories are set in important but Ross writes fewer books with fantastical elements.

Elizabeth Lowell

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Unlike Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell writes a mix of historical and contemporary romance novels, but like Nora she aims to give you that depth and intensity that keeps you coming back for more and often unable to put the book down.

Also like Nora, Elizabeth has a theme that she enjoys repeating, though in different contexts and with new characters and stories – for Nora it’s Ireland and magic but for Elizabeth it’s gems and their history.

Recommended Novel: ‘Jade Island’ (1998)

Although this is the second book in the series, it reminded me of Roberts’ work the most – the sparks are there immediately but there are more pressing concerns: past hurts and secrets to sort through as they try to find the thieves who are blaming their crimes on our lovely heroine. Naturally, their attraction can’t be put on hold, despite the dangerous task they have undertaken.

Similarity Match: 75%
Character development is an important element for both of these writers but Lowell weaves more factual and historical information through her stories.

Suzanne Brockman

Image Source: Goodreads

Brockman loves a man in uniform! The majority of her characters, especially those in her ‘Troubleshooter’ and ‘Tall, Dark and Dangerous’ series, are involved in law enforcement or the military in some way. As long as you share a similar interest, then you’ll definitely get a kick out of these novels.

Recommended Novel: ‘Prince Joe’ (1996)

Why should you read this one and give Brockman a try? Simply put, it’s a bit like ‘Miss Congeniality’ in reverse with a rough and ready SEAL needing to impersonate a European prince and stop some evil terrorists. The sparks fly between him and his media consultant and you can’t help but want to keep reading.

The best thing about this book for me was that the issues the two characters were experiencing and struggling with were real, and you could understand and believe where the miscommunications and fears came from. This element of realism reminded me a lot of Roberts’ work.

Similarity Match: 70%
While Brockman’s novels are firmly in the romantic suspense camp, both writers like showing us the hidden depths in their characters.


If You Like Nora Roberts, You Will Like…

There’s no denying Roberts can tell a good story and if that’s your aim in looking for writers like Nora Roberts, then you’ll enjoy the next two authors because that’s certainly a talent of theirs!

Julie Garwood

Image Source: RBL Romantica

Like Nora, Julie Garwood has a love of the Celtic regions of England, but in her case it is the Scottish Highlands, especially in the medieval period. She also enjoys writing about the Regency period in England and on the Frontier, as well as contemporary novels with a hint of suspense.

Recommended Novel: ‘For the Roses’ (1996)

The Claybourne brothers were living rough on the streets of New York until they find themselves guardians of a baby girl. Their lives are changed forever as they set off into the frontier armed only with their wits. They live as a true family until Mary Rose’s past comes back to haunt her, in the form of a handsome and captivating stranger, and a battle to remain true to herself and her roots begins.

Both authors write captivating characters and stories, though Roberts’ heroines tend to be a little stronger.

For me, the main similarity between these two authors is the way I tell myself I’m only going to read for a few minutes and then don’t move until the book is finished…

Nalini Singh

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One wouldn’t normally associate this author with Nora Roberts as she writes more paranormal and urban fantasy fiction. However, the romance and emotional journeys between her characters are still the focal point of her stories, her characters are flawed and realistic, and the community is still really important, which, in my opinion, does make her an author like Nora Roberts.

Recommended Novel: ‘Rock Hard’ (2015)

As soon as Gabriel meets Charlotte when he takes over the company she works for, he is intrigued. Soon his plans for her place in the company involve her place in his life as well,  yet Charlotte is timid and cautious for a reason and Gabriel must take things slow and steady until she is ready to see herself as more than just a mouse to his T-Rex.

Even though the majority of her books are set in a futuristic or alternative time, her books are as intense and addictive and Roberts’.


To Read or Not to Read

When it comes to these authors, the question is not whether you should give them a go but whether you have enough time to read them in one go! I warn you that I struggled to put the recommended books down without finishing them in one go and they generally left me wanting more.

There are so many amazing romance authors out there so I understand if you have others you think should be on this list.

Please share your thoughts; I’m always looking for new books and authors to try.

Hi, I′m Helen, I teach English in the UK and am a book addict (I′m serious - if I go too long without reading I get withdrawal symptoms!). I also love music, films, crafting, corresponding and video games. It is impossible for me to sit still unless I′m eating, holding a book or making something.
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