Romance books can be enjoyable to read. However, ordinary romance novels can become boring after you have read a few.
Perhaps you should try reading dark romance books full of lies, murder, mystery, and deceit. Dark romance books can be very thrilling reads.
Of course, there are thousands of dark romance books, but they’re not all the same, and they’re not all that great. We have compiled a list of the best dark romance books for you.
We have a selection of the twelve best dark romance books, and we’ve done our best to provide some variety.
Best Dark Romance Books
Does It Hurt?
“Does it Hurt,” written by H.D. Carlton, is a dark romance novel that takes place on the stormy seas; it’s about deception, vengeance, and survival. Our heroine ran away from home with nothing more than the clothes on her back. She had to escape a horrible situation, but what would unfold later would be much worse.
It starts with searching for herself in a group of faceless men, one after the other until Enzo Vitale comes along. Our heroine quickly falls for him, a man who seems to love the sea and its predators more than any person and life itself. However, our heroine does not know that Enzo Vitale is looking for vengeance for a crime that she has committed.
She only finds this out once she’s on the high seas with him; by this point, it is too late to escape. She was lured onto his boat, just like he lured in so many fish before her, only for the ship to wreck at sea. Now, trapped on an island in an old lighthouse with Enzo and a mysterious lighthouse keeper, it is revealed that the island and the caretaker may have some sinister intentions. The question boils down to whether or not our heroine will survive the island.
Ruins of Temptation
“Ruins of Temptation,” co-authored by C Hallman and J.L. Beck, is a gripping and suspenseful dark romance, the antithesis of a lover’s romance novel. Our hero is the headmaster of Corium University, who has spent years carefully constructing walls around himself to shield himself from the harsh realities of life.
However, one day, he discovers he has a daughter he was never told about, and his life crumbles around him. This is where our hero meets Delilah, a woman he so desperately wants to hurt, humiliate, and punish.
It becomes a game of cat and mouse until he discovers that Delilah is hiding secrets that turn them from enemies to lovers throughout the novel. This is a novel worth checking out if you are looking for a book full of lies, deception, pain, and humiliation.
Verity, written by Colleen Hoover, is a New York Times, USA Today, The Globe and Mail, and Publishers Weekly bestseller. With so many bestseller rankings, you know that this dark, steamy, romantic love story has to be one of the best. This novel focuses on Lowen Ashleigh, a young and struggling writer about to go into financial ruin.
Jeremy Crawford, the husband of Verity Crawford, a bestselling author, hires Lowen Ashleigh to finish the remaining books in a series that Verity herself can no longer complete. Lowen arrives at the home of the Crawfords expecting to find notes to help her finish this series, but she finds a manuscript or autobiography written by Verity that she had never intended for anyone else to see.
This manuscript is full of shocking truths that Lowen uncovers, and now the question is whether she should tell Jeremy these horrible truths. As Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy intensify, she begins reading more of this manuscript, and things go from there.
The Director: A Dark Bratva Romance
“The Director,” written by Renee Rose, is a USA Today bestseller that will have you on the edge of your seat from the first word to the very last. This is a dark mafia romance novel, an explosive read full of steamy and intimate bedroom scenes, hate, secrets and lies, violence, and more. This read is not for the faint of heart.
This story focuses on a mafia boss who had a steamy love affair with his attorney. However, this attorney kept a secret from him—that she was pregnant with his baby. She does everything she can to prevent him from finding out, but to no avail.
In his mind, the only course of action is severe punishment, but he is not so much of a monster that he will punish her when she is still carrying his child. So, he bides his time throughout her pregnancy, but as the pregnancy progresses, he begins developing feelings for our heroine and eventually claims her as his own.
However, she wants nothing to do with him but knows she cannot escape him. This is a captivating enemies-to-lovers romance novel.
Dark Whispers From Beyond
“Dark Whispers From Beyond,” by I.T. Lucas, focuses on Kaia and her family, who are searching for a chance at immortality. This paranormal dark romance book has Kaia falling in love with perhaps the most dangerous person in the world.
This mysterious man promises her eternal life, but there appears to be a high cost. Will Kaia fall in love with this dangerous man? Will he give her eternal life, or will he tear everything down around him?
Shatter Me Series
“Shatter Me” is the first book in a series of six books, the Shatter Me Series, which include “Unravel Me,” “Ignite Me,” “Restore Me,” “Defy Me,” and “Imagine Me.” This series was written by Tahereh Mafi, and she has done a fantastic job on this dark romance series that is a USA Today and New York Times bestseller.
This dark romance novel involves science fiction, as it focuses on Juliette, a young and powerful woman with supernatural abilities that allow her to instantly kill anybody she touches. But unfortunately, the Reestablishment, an evil, and nefarious organization plans to take her hostage and use her powers to further their own goals.
Juliette never knew what it meant to fight for herself until now, and it is due to her reuniting with the only person who ever cared for her. This man allows her to find the inner strength and power she never knew existed. Juliette and her lover will take on the Reestablishment and the rest of the world together. What ensues is darkness, mayhem, violence, and heartbreak.
Lovely Bad Things
“Lovely Bad Things,” written by Trisha Wolfe, is one of the best dark and steamy romance books. Trisha Wolfe is a New York Times bestselling author, and this is the first in a three-book series, the “Hollow’s Row” series.
This is a dark enemies-to-lovers romance novel full of violence and murder, mayhem, lies and deception, steamy bedroom scenes, and more. This book is not for the faint of heart, and we wouldn’t recommend it for children.
This first book focuses on Halen, a detective, who is deathly terrified of Kallum, a completely dark, insane, and mysterious man whom she locked away in an insane asylum years ago. Halen is called to a crime scene where truly horrifying violence had been committed, closely related to the occult.
Since Kallum is an expert on the occult, Halen has no choice but to turn to him for assistance. Unfortunately, Kallum has a dark secret—he likes the taste of human flesh and would like nothing more than to sink his teeth into Halen and taste her pain. However, he also begins to develop strong feelings for Halen, where things start to get interesting.
The Dark One
“The Dark One,” written by Nikki St. Crowe, is the first of the two-book “Vicious Lost Boys” series. This book is a bestseller in the Kindle store and ranked No. 9 on Amazon charts.
This reimagines Peter and Wendy, or “Peter Pan.” Wendy meets Pan and the lost boys, who take her to Neverland. Wendy finally starts to feel alive, but things are not as they seem.
Captain Hook and the Fae Queen are fighting for power and control of the island and all its inhabitants. Will the Never King be able to reclaim his shadow and, therefore, the throne?
Interestingly, there are no clear heroes, with everyone having sinister intentions. Of course, there is a dark and steamy love interest between Peter and Wendy, where things start to take off. This first book is a cliffhanger, so you will want to read the second one right after.
A Throne of Ruin
“A Throne of Ruin,” written by K.F. Breene, a USA Today bestselling author, is full of darkness, romance, and demons. This dark romance novel contains elements of science fiction and fantasy. The golden dragon prince, Nyfain, tries to set free an innocent young woman.
There is no such thing as freedom in this kingdom because the demon king is always in the background. He wants nothing more than to bring the kingdom to its knees and burn it to the ground. Nyfain wants her to make a deal with the demon king to escape the kingdom, but she refuses to do so.
Instead, she plans to give herself to the demon king to stop him from torturing the people she loves. However, this demon king is not all he appears to be; although he is ruthless and cruel, our heroine and the demon king start falling for each other. They may have started as enemies, but things don’t stay that way for long.
“Shadow Kissed” is a very dark romance novel that incorporates fantasy elements in the form of vampires. Rebecca Garcia wrote this as the first book in the “Marked By Blood” trilogy, with the next installment coming soon.
This story focuses on Olivia, a mortal girl who has just suffered a massive tragedy, the murder of her beloved boyfriend. The city’s main guild that protects the inhabitants is on high alert; sure enough, the vampires come to attack. Her mother and best friend are taken, and she is whisked away to safety, or so she thinks.
However, a vampire named Sebastian captures her before she can reach safety. He claims to be protecting her by taking her to the City of Nightmares, the most dangerous place she could possibly be—the most dangerous place in the vampire kingdom.
Olivia quickly determines she has been taken prisoner but must work with Sebastian to ensure her safety and, hopefully, one day her escape. But, first, she needs to save her loved ones; to do this, she must maneuver through the world of vampires and get past those who want her dead.
You can rest assured that Olivia and Sebastian will fall in love, as this is a romance novel, but it starts with them being enemies and goes from there.
Club Mafia, written by Stella Andrews, is a dark, steamy mafia romance book. Our hero, Ivan, is known as The Savage because he is one of the most vicious mafia bosses.
Ivan’s friend’s sister was kidnapped by a madman, and to set her free, Ivan will do anything he can. In this case, this means kidnapping Charlotte Richmond, the daughter of this crazed madman, from her school in England. Ivan plans to use Charlotte as a bargaining chip to get his friend’s sister back.
Ivan has no morals, emotions, or heart and will do whatever he can to achieve his goal. However, as the case tends to be, Ivan slowly develops feelings for Charlotte, and soon, he can no longer use her as a bargaining chip but instead becomes her lover. This novel features suspense, romance, sexually charged scenes, depravity, darkness, and more.
Sin & Chocolate
Sin & Chocolate, written by K.F. Breene, is a dark fantasy romance book about the Greek gods. Our heroine has the so-called “touch of hades,” a rare and powerful form of magic, one of the world’s most powerful types of magic.
One day, in magical San Francisco, the demigod of Poseidon, the ruler’s son, nearly runs her over with his sports car. However, he learns about the touch of hades and quickly entices our heroine to use her powers to help him get revenge.
However, this demigod wants more than just revenge—he also wants our heroine. She slowly begins to fall for the demigod but is conflicted. Will she use her powers to help him claim revenge because she loves him? She must risk losing herself in the darkness. This dark, steamy, and passionate romance book will have you on the edge of your seat.
Out of the twelve dark romance books listed above, there should be at least one that will entice you, so take a look and get to reading!