Con Women in Romance Fiction

I am fascinated by stories with female con artists and have gathered quite a collection. Here is my list of romance novels. I also have lists of con women in:
   Non-Romance Novels
I'm always on the lookout, so if you've read other romances, let me know.

Enter The Saint
by Leslie Charteris

"Saint" stories rarely deal with female con artists, and almost never involve love. But this collection has both in the third story, "The Lawless Lady."

If Tomor­row Comes
by Sidney Shel­don

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

Woman teams up with con man to recover money swindled by four old men.

Sweet Revenge
by Nora Roberts

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

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

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.

by Victoria Lynne

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

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

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.

King Con
by Stephen J. Cannell

Beano is indeed a king among con artists, but Victoria (a lawyer) learns quickly as they take down a common enemy.

The Bridal Season
by Connie Brockway

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.

The Ivy Tree
by Mary Stewart

She pretends to be someone else who is impersonating herself.

by Karen Robards

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.

by Saray Waters

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.

Three Fates
by Nora Roberts

Spanning multiple generations, the story weaves many people together as they search for famed silver statues. At least three female con artists appear, and romances abound.

Untie My Heart
by Judith Ivory

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.

The Mis­tress
by Susan Wiggs

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

Fired from her job, she pretends to be rich and sneaks into the boss's vacation home.

Some­thing About Emma­line
by Elizabeth Boyle

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.

Billionaires Prefer Blondes and
A Touch of Minx
by Suzanne Enoch
2006, 7

Samantha Jellicoe is mostly a thief, but in book 3 of the series (Billionaires Prefer Blondes) she cons fellow thieves, and in book 5 (A Touch of Minx) she cons her way to a theft.

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.

The Twelve Lies of Christ­mas
by Kate Johnson

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.

How It Hap­pened in Peach Hill
by Marthe Jocelyn

Her mother pretends to be a psychic, and she assists. But not for long.

If You Deceive
by Kresley Cole

She's mostly a thief, but her trickery is clever, too. An historical novel set in old England and France.

Death Angel
by Linda Howard

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.

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood
by Eileen Cook

A young-adult story of deceit and revenge. Helen tricks her way through the high-school scene as she takes down the girl who ruined her life three years earlier.

Royal's Bride
by Kat Martin

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.

Skin Game
by Ava Gray

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.

Blue Remem­bered Heels
by Nell Dixon

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

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.

White Cat and
Red Glove and
Black Heart
by Holly Black
2010, 11, 12

In this young-adult series about "curse workers" who can change you with a touch, the hero and his mother are con artists.

The Almost Truth
by Eileen Cook

Sadie is a teenage con artist who grew up poor. She wants a better life, but keeps on swindling so she can afford college.

Beauty and the Bounty Hunter
by Lori Austin

She's a bounty hunter and con artist. Along with her mentor, they trick their way to solving her husband's murder.

Scarlet and
Lady Thief and
Lion Heart
by A.C. Gaughen
2012, 14, 15

A clever retelling of the Robin Hood epic, with Will Scarlet actually being a con woman (Lady Marian, in disguise).

Seductive Intent
by Angela Claire

She's a con artist sent to steal from a rich playboy, and of course, they fall in love. Too bad she doesn't do any conning in the book.

Execu­tive Sweet
by Sage Ardman

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.

Give Me Some­thing
by Elizabeth Lee

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.

How to Lead a Life of Crime
by Kirsten Miller

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.

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.

Sins & Needles and
On Every Street
by Karina Halle

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.

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.

The Tell-Tale Con
by Aimee Gilchrist

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.

Confi­dence Tricks
by Tamara Morgan

Her revenge scheme against the man who robbed her grandmother runs into his art con scheme.

by M.J. O'Shea

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

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.

A Talent for Trickery
by Alissa Johnson

The daughter of a con artist with her own con skills falls for a "thief taker" who chased her father for years. Historical.

Pretend­ing to Be Erica
by Michelle Painchaud

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.

Riskier Business
by Tessa Bailey

A short prequel to a 4-book series about undercover police, this story features a female pool hustler.

Stealing Hearts
by Sydney Logan

A team of two female con artists works with a team of two male con artists, and of course they fall in love. Too bad there are no actual cons going on in this book.

The Prince & The Player and
A Player for a Princess and
Dirty Thief
by Tia Louise
2016, 16, 17

Two sister con-artist/thieves are offered a chance to con the future king of a small country. Heavy on action and love, light on trickery.

Razor Girl
by Carl Hiaasen

She's a con artist who tricks men by crashing into their cars while shaving her crotch. A bizarre collection of characters.

City of Lies and
City of Secrets and
City of Scoundrels
by Victoria Thompson
2017, 18, 19

She cons in old New York City and falls for a super-honest lawyer. The books also provide an interesting view of the suffragist movement.

From Duke Till Dawn
by Eva Leigh

She conned him years ago and they fell in love. Now he finds her again.

Rock Con Roll
by Sage Ardman

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.

Stealing Mr. Right and
Saving Mr. Perfect and
Seeking Mr. Wrong
by Tamara Morgan
2017, 17, 18

She a thief and con artist who marries an FBI agent in order to trick him. Then, of course, they fall in love and work together.

by Bethany-Kris

She's a thief who ingratiates herself into her mark's life before stealing.

The Deceivers
by Kristen Simmons

She's invited to enroll in an exclusive high-school for con artists, but the trickery runs deeper than she thinks.

Four Dead Queens
by Astrid Scholte

She tricks and steals in a fantasy world where four queens share the power of a nation.

Full disclosure: I have written two romance novels that feature female con artists: Executive Sweet and Rock Con Roll.

See also: Con Women in Non-Romance Novels, Con Women in Movies, Con Women on TV.