Female Con Artists In Romance Novels

I am fascinated by stories with female con artists and have written two of my own (Executive Sweet and Rock Con Roll).

Here is a list of romance novels with female con artists. I also have lists of con women in:
   Non-Romance Novels
   Movies
   On TV

I’m always on the lookout, so if you’ve seen other movies, let me know.

If Tomor­row Comes
by Sidney Shel­don
1985
Chronicles a woman’s journey from normal citizen to full con woman. She keeps running into a mysterious con man.
Pros and Cons
by Bethany Camp­bell
1987
Woman teams up with con man to recover money swindled by four old men.
Sweet Revenge
by Nora Roberts
1988
She’s an arab princess who steals jewels and cons plenty. He’s a retired con artist, now working for Interpol to find her.
Honest Illu­sions
by Nora Roberts
1992
She and her adopted brother grow up in a family of magicians and thieves. Of course, conning is an essential skill as well.
Crooked Hearts
by Patricia Gaffney
1994
Two con artist meet on a stagecoach in the 1800’s. Grace is dressed as a nun and Reuben is pretending to be blind. Our heroes tangle with San Francisco crime bosses, thugs, and of course, each other.
Captured
by Victoria Lynne
1995
Civil war story of a British con artist who gets accused of murder. She escapes many times from the soldier sent to bring her to prison, and of course, she never gets there.
Thieves at Heart
by Alina Adams
1995
Lark cons her way into a rich home to steal a priceless diamond, but finds Damian already on the job, pretending to romance the family’s daughter. A historical romance, set in the early 1800s.
Welcome to Tempta­tion and
Faking It
by Jennifer Crusie
1996, 2002
A family of con artists. In Welcome to Temptation, Sophie meets Phin, the mayor of a small town. In Faking It, Davey (Sophie’s brother) falls for Tilda, an art forger.
Stolen Hearts
by Michelle Martin
1997
Tess is primarily a thief, and a great one, too. She also runs an occasional con. Her nemesis is Luke, a young lawyer assigned to protect an estate that he thinks she’s out to rob.
Scan­dalous
by Karen Robards
2001
When Gabriella’s brother dies, she and her sisters are left penniless. So she pretends that her brother is still alive to save her family. Too bad that someone else has also decided to keep the death a secret by pretending to be her brother.
The Bridal Season
by Connie Brockway
2001
Letty is a street performer and con artist who is mistaken for a bridal planner. Elliot is the upper-class town magistrate who suspects her. A historical romance.
Untie My Heart
by Judith Ivory
2002
Emma is a shephard and former con artist. Stuart is a Viscount who accidentally kills one of her sheep. It takes the entire book, but she gets him to pay for the animal, and then some.
Finger­smith
by Saray Waters
2003
A con woman and a more inexperienced woman try to trick each other, but fall in love instead. Made into a television miniseries and also a more recent movie, The Handmaiden.
The Mis­tress
by Susan Wiggs
2003
She’s pretending to be rich and gets caught with him in the Great Chicago Fire. But he’s not rich, either. Together, these two con artists survive the disaster.
Lip Lock
by Susanna Carr
2005
Fired from her job, she pretends to be rich and sneaks into the boss’s vacation home.
Some­thing About Emma­line
by Elizabeth Boyle
2005
Alex is a baron who invents a fake wife to keep women from bothering him. Emmaline is a con artist who shows up and pretends to be that wife. Great setup, strange ending.
The Twelve Lies of Christ­mas
by Kate Johnson
2006
Samantha is a con artist and Nate is a spy. Besides being too short, the story is told first-person from Nate’s point of view, so although Samantha seems to have amazing abilities, there is too little about her.
Make Me A Match and
Sexiest Man Alive and
Hungry for More
by Diana Holquist
2006, 7, 8
Amy is a con artist and a psychic who can hear the name of a person’s true love. Too bad she can’t hear it for herself.

How It Hap­pened in Peach Hill
by Marthe Jocelyn
2007
Her mother pretends to be a psychic, and she assists. But not for long.
Death Angel
by Linda Howard
2009
Drea is a con artist, pretending to be a mob boss’s dumb girlfriend, while actually plotting his takedown. Simon is a hit man, working for the mob boss. He and Drea hit it off early, but he still scares her.
Skin Game
by Ava Gray
2009
Kyra has the ability to steal a person’s best capabilities merely by touching them. Reyes has been sent to kill her, but once she touches him, she fights back using all of his best moves. A fun story, and it has three sequels.
Royal’s Bride
by Kat Martin
2009
Lily is a former street urchin, schooled in cons and thievery. Royal is a duke, expected to marry Lily’s cousin. Neither can resist the other, but many roadblocks stand in their way.
Blue Remem­bered Heels
by Nell Dixon
2010
Abbey was a con artist until she was struck by lightning. Now she can no longer tell a lie. Mike is a policeman, unaware that Abbey and her sister have just conned the criminal he’s investigating.
Fall Girl
by Toni Jordan
2010
Della is a con artist and Daniel is a millionaire. She and her family pull a long, involved con on Daniel, but who’s conning whom? A great story (perhaps my favorite) with a twist ending.
Heist Society and
Uncom­mon Crimi­nals and
Perfect Scoun­drels
by Ally Carter
2010, 11, 13
Katarina and her teenage con artist relatives do art swindles with Hale, a young billionaire. A young-adult series.

Give Me Some­thing
by Elizabeth Lee
2013
Lila is a con artist, swindling from older men without ever sleeping with them. Her partner is Nick who seems more like a pimp. Tucker is Nick’s college roommate and, well, you can guess the rest.
Execu­tive Sweet
by Sage Ardman
2013
My own book, about a bizarre game of erotic high-finance business deals. She isn’t a con artist at the beginning, but quickly learns to be one.
Sins & Needles and
On Every Street
by Karina Halle
2013
Ellie is a con artist, and Camden is a tattoo artist. They’re on the run from Javier and his mob. On Every Street is the prequel. Be warned: Sins & Needles is the first of a trilogy and has no HEA.
Give Me Some­thing
by Elizabeth Lee
2013
Lila is a con artist, swindling from older men without ever sleeping with them. Her partner is Nick who seems more like a pimp. Tucker is Nick’s college roommate and, well, you can guess the rest.
Sweet Revenge and
Winter’s Heat and
Danger­ous Seduc­tion and
Wicked Tempta­tion
by Zoë Archer
2013, 14
Nemesis Unlimited is an organization of con men and women fighting to right the wrongs with the world. Each book shows a different con woman working with, and falling for, a con man. Historical romances.

How to Lead a Life of Crime
by Kirsten Miller
2013
The Mandel Academy finds street kids and teaches them to excel, to become captains of industry, to rule the world. Flick and Joi find their way in, and somehow back out again. A wonderful new-adult novel.
Scarlet and
Lady Thief and
Lion Heart
by A.C. Gaughen
2013, 14, 15
A clever retelling of the Robin Hood epic, with Will Scarlet actually being a con woman (Lady Marian, in disguise).

The Tell-Tale Con
by Aimee Gilchrist
2013
Mom pretends to be a psychic while her daughter assists. But the boy across the street needs help solving death threats, so she gets to use her conning skills. A young-adult novel.
Mischief in Miami and
Scandal in Seattle and
Trouble in Tampa and
Sin in San Fran and
Crisis in Cali
by Nicole Williams
2013, 14
She works for a group of women who seduce philanderers so their prenup-challenged wives can fight back.

Confi­dence Tricks
by Tamara Morgan
2014
Her revenge scheme against the man who robbed her grandmother runs into his art con scheme.
Cork­screwed
by M.J. O’Shea
2014
The story of two gay con-men who independently try to swindle a rich old woman. Multiple con women appear throughout the story.
Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomor­row and Sidney Sheldon’s Reck­less
by Tilly Bagshawe
2014,16
The continuing story of two con artists in love with each other and with con games, these books continue Sidney Sheldon’s If Tomorrow Comes, years after the author’s death.
Pretend­ing to Be Erica
by Michelle Painchaud
2015
She’s been raised by a con-artist father to impersonate a kidnapped rich girl and steal the parent’s priceless artwork. But living the good life is more than she ever expected.
Razor Girl
by Carl Hiaasen
2016
She’s a con artist who tricks men by crashing into their cars while shaving her crotch. A bizarre collection of characters.
Rock Con Roll
by Sage Ardman
2017
My own book, about a former con woman who tries to cheat a famous rocker. The story twists a few times, keeping the characters and the reader guessing.

Con Women in Non-Romance Novels     Con Women in Movies     Con Women on TV