Five Lessons Learned from Romantic Suspense by Toni Anderson


[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to welcome author Toni Anderson to the site today. She’s sharing five lessons learned from romantic suspense novels. Take it away, Toni!]

I’ve been an avid Romantic Suspense reader since I first moved to North America in the 90s and discovered Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockmann and Tami Hoag. Romantic Suspense novels have taught me a lot. For example, if you think someone is watching you they probably are. It’s okay to be paranoid about electronic surveillance (crazy conspiracy theories aside). The danger is always closer that you think. What other lessons have I learned? 

People are attracted to Danger and Power figures

Imagine you are being questioned during a criminal investigation and the lead detective/investigating agent is hot and single, and you are hot and single (you are always hot BTW). Imagine you find him slightly arrogant and bossy, or staunchly professional and intriguing…prepare yourself for a possible romance—and a series of escalating life-threatening events. There’s no point running from this…but, if you do run, it means there’s another plot twist on the way.

Lesson 1: Romance might be looking for you, even if you are not looking for it.

Never go running in the woods alone with your headphones on, listening to music.

Anyone who has ever read a Laura Griffin (Hidden), novel should know that getting up early to go for that morning run on a quiet trail is a recipe for disaster. It’s the fastest way to either find a body or end up on a morgue slab. 

Lesson 2: Always be aware of your surroundings (or don’t jog). 

If the bad guys don’t kill you, the elements might.

When you’re running for your life sometimes you aren’t just fighting the bad guys. Sometimes extreme weather or terrain might kill you first. In Pamela Clare’s Hard Line and Adrianna Ander’s Whiteout, the protagonists are fighting to survive the deadly, unrelenting cold temperatures and the dangerously unforgiving isolation of Antarctica. In Rachel Grant’s Catalyst, the hero and heroine battle nature, famine, and floods, as well as the additional threat of dangerous factions in South Sudan.

Lesson 3: Be prepared for anything (or take your own personal survival expert along with you!)

Appearances can be deceiving.

We all know the old adage don’t judge a book by its cover? That concept is perfectly leveraged in Annika Martin’s and Joanna Chamber’s book, Enemies Like You. No one can get close to the bad guy because of his rumored, brilliant, and lethal bodyguard. The trouble is no one can figure out who the bodyguard is. Another example of this is in my upcoming release, Cold Cruel Kiss. The heroine, Lucy Aston, is a dowdy, fashion-challenged assistant’s assistant, but something about her raises the hero’s suspicions… What is Lucy hiding?

Lesson 4: Pay attention to your instincts.

Don’t hunt psychopaths alone…

This one should be obvious to most people. It’s right up there with “don’t marry a serial killer.” That is, unless you are the heroine of my first Cold Justice series book, A Cold Dark Place (free as an ebook!). Mallory Rooney is a trained FBI agent who carries a 9mm pistol, a taser, and is pretty badass. She knows exactly what she’d doing when she lures a serial killer into the woods and is willing to risk everything for the answers she is searching for. And the marriage thing? Well, I guess you’d have to read it to find out. 

Lesson 5: Only fall in love with the good guys. 

By paying attention to those five lessons I think you can survive most situations. My favorite lesson learned from Romantic Suspense novels is that, despite all the death and danger in which our heroes and heroines find themselves, love always wins the day. Just another reason  why I like my suspense to be of the fictional variety!

About the Author:

Toni Anderson writes award-winning, bestselling, FBI Romantic Thrillers. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, RITA® finalist, science nerd, professional tourist, dog lover, gardener, mom. Anderson’s books have won the Readers’ Choice Award, Aspen Gold, National Excellence in Romance Fiction, Book Buyers’ Best.  

Originally from a small town in Shropshire, England, Toni studied Marine Biology at University of Liverpool (B.Sc.) and University of St. Andrews (Ph.D.) with the intention she’d never be far from the ocean. Well, that plan backfired and she ended up in the Canadian prairies with her biology professor husband, two kids, a rescue dog, and a laid-back leopard gecko. 

Toni started writing while pregnant with her first child and never stopped. Her greatest achievements are mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving fifteen Winnipeg winters (fingers crossed). She loves to travel for research purposes and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2016. She also got to shove another (police) car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy. Basically she has way too much fun!

For more information about Toni and her books, please visit her website:

Cold Cruel Kiss by Toni Anderson, out now!

When the daughter of the US Ambassador to Argentina is kidnapped in broad daylight on Christmas Eve, the FBI sends one of its best negotiators to investigate.

Supervisory Special Agent Max Hawthorne arrives at an embassy thrown into chaos as US and local law enforcement hustle to track the young woman. Is this a simple kidnap for ransom, or part of a political agenda? Could it be something more sinister?

Lucy Aston has something to hide. Preferring to stay in the shadows, the lowly, fashion-challenged office assistant resents being assigned to help Max. But Max can’t resist a puzzle…he’s starting to suspect Lucy Aston is not what she seems.

When rumors emerge of a suspected Russian spy operating out of the embassy, Lucy’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble. As she and Max race to rescue the ambassador’s daughter, Lucy has to do whatever it takes to keep her cover from being blown—even if that means betraying the man she’s falling for.


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