Cuffed and Cuddled: Taking a Chance on Police Romance

Are you ready to be arrested by the sultry charm of Police Romance? Let’s take a look into the genre and a few recommendations that’ll have you dialing 911.

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Law Man cover by Kristen Ashley, Bullets and Bonfires cover by Autumn Jones Lake, and Dirty Sexy Cuffed cover by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde on a purple background with handcuffs.

As the old saying goes, “There’s nothing like a man in uniform.” Whether on the field or in the field, women love to see a man in well-fitted professional attire. In this week’s Crazy Book Genre, we’re not talking about the business suit or the football gear; we’re discussing the men and women in blue protecting and serving. Let’s take a look at the niche genre that is Police romance. From the street beat to the detective desk, we’ve got some history of the genre and great recommendations for you.

History of the Police Romance

The first romance novel, Pamela or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson, moved into Austen-style romance, such as Emma, and transitioned into many subgenres throughout the 20th century. The first police romance is unknown, but the genre evolved out of detective thriller novels that included a romance subplot and then spiraled from there. The 1950s saw an explosion of detective noir with damsel-in-distress tropes, smooth-talking detectives, and private investigators. With the rise of Harlequin romance in the 1950s happening simultaneously, the genre was bound to take root.

Couple kissing in a darkened room

Today’s police romance novels are far more female-centric, with less emphasis on the stereotypes of decades before. That’s not to say the damsel-in-distress isn’t a trope still often employed, but perhaps that looks a bit different with the distressed dude as the one needing rescuing.

Common Identifiers of the Genre

Police romance tends to run the typical gamut of romantic literary tropes, but the most often used include forced proximity, one bed, enemies to lovers, emotional scars, and grumpy/sunshine. While there have been instances where both love interests or the FMC were the cop, generally, the novels’ police characters are male.


Protecting What’s Theirs by Tessa Bailey

Nashville native turned Chicago resident Ginger spends her days and nights wrapped around the protective and insanely hot Derek, a detective. There’s nowhere either of them would rather be than with each other, but risks come with Derek’s job, and Ginger could be in danger. Forced to shut her out for her own safety, Derek’s life might be on the line. But Ginger’s no longer the only one he needs to think about, not that he knows it.

Protecting What's Theirs by Tessa Bailey, pink cover back ground with a policeman in casual dress holding up a woman in a romantic embrace.

Law Man by Kristen Ashley

In a sweet romance where neighbors are attracted to one another but neither has the ability to reach out, Ashley showcases the insecurities that keep people apart. Mara grew up in the bad part of town, but as an adult, she’s doing all she can to leave the past behind her. Her neighbor, police detective Lawson, is a fine-looking man she believes she’s unworthy of. He’s been pining for the beautiful girl next door and jumps at any opportunity to help her out. What began as a friendly help-thy-neighbor situation quickly turns into lust-filled sessions of pleasure. That is until Mara is pulled back into her past. Can she escape it, or will their passion perish in the flames of what could have been?

Law Man by Kristen Ashley, book cover of a mans profile

Things We Hide From the Light by Lucy Score

Book 2 of the Knockemout small-town romance series by Lucy Score picks up a few months after Knox and Naomi’s book ends. Nash, Knockemout’s Sheriff, is recovering from the GSW he took in Book 1. He’s not the same man; he’s tired from lack of sleep, plagued by anxiety and nightmares. When Lina comes to town, living in the same apartment building, there’s an innate attraction neither can deny. The problem is he’s fallen for the mysterious woman, and she’s not one to settle. What happens when her reason for being in town is connected to the very reason he was shot?

Things We Hide From the Light by Lucy Score pink book cover with while flowers

Bullets and Bonfires by Autumn Jones Lake

Brother’s best friend, forced proximity, and insane attraction are the main incentives to read this steamy police romance. Bree’s been in love with Liam for years. His rejection and her attraction resurface when her Sheriff brother assigns Deputy Sheriff Liam to babysit his recently returned sister. A sister who has been abused by her ex. An ex now in jail over his violence towards her. Liam chose his best friend over the attraction he’d always felt for Bree years ago. It was the hardest decision he’s ever had to make. Being forced to be near her is slowly crumbling his walls, and he might just risk his friendship in order to love and protect Bree forever.

Bullets and Bonfires by Autumn Jones Lake, book cover of a police officer with an open front uniform shirt.

Dirty, Sexy, Cuffed by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

Dirty, Sexy, Cuffed is the spicy police romance you’re looking for. A control-freak police officer in the streets and in the sheets doesn’t know what hit him when Sarah Robbins waltzes into his life. He’s used to no strings attached, but she’s not about to let that happen.

Dirty Sexy Cuffed by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde, book cover of a man embracing a woman from behind kissing her neck.

Be sure to pick up these Police romance recommendations if you haven’t read them before. Let us know which daddy detectives you’ve read!

Want to read about the Crazy Book Genre Demons and Lucifer Romance? Click here.

Browse our Contemporary Romance bookshelf on Bookshop for more recommendations.