35 Best Dark Romance Novels to Read (Not for the Faint of Heart)

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Looking for the best dark romance novels to read? You’re going to love these top picks.

best dark romance novels

But be WARNED. They deal with subject matter that isn’t for the faint of heart. Reader discretion is definitely advised.

Tragic Beauty

Tragic Beauty: A Dark Romance (Beauty & The Darkness Book 1)

Author Iris Ann Hunter

After Ava’s father’s death, she becomes indebted to a man named Shayne, who is both her savior and her torturer. Shayne is determined to have all of her, both body and soul, but before she agrees to that she steals a night for herself. When it goes awry, she comes across an angry young man with gorgeous green eyes that changes her entire future. This is a very dark, intense romance that is both beautiful and disturbing, and it is one story you will never forget.

Deceived

Deceived: A Black Raven Novel

Author Stella Barcelona

Taylor lives in New Orleans and has staunch career goals. In her final days in the D.A.’s office, a murder case is assigned to her that turns her life upside down. Brandon has a thriving legal practice and is a single father to an infant. He teams up with Taylor to hunt down a killer, and even though the couple couldn’t be more different, they find out their families intersect in some pretty peculiar ways. But, they both set out to find the truth, with an ending neither is sure of.

The Box

The Box: A Dark Romance

Author Lucy Wild

When a man who lives alone discovers a beautiful woman has just moved in with a staunch enemy of his, he launches a plan to steal her away from him. The first thing he’s planning to do is rip her clothes off and give her a healthy spanking. But, when he gets her to his hideaway, he discovers that he isn’t the only one with secrets. Her secrets come in a small wooden box, and suddenly he has a decision to make – either open the box or let this sexy woman go.

Broken

Broken: A Dark Romance

Author Winters

This is the story of Kade and Olivia. Olivia is kidnapped and is put through things no one should ever have to go through, and Kade is a ruthless person who is determined to pluck away at Olivia until there is nothing left. He loves control and wants Olivia to do as he asks. Theirs is a tumultuous, shocking, and very dark relationship, but Olivia gets the biggest surprise of all when she learns to depend on that relationship more than she’ll ever admit.

Silent Daughter

Silent Daughter: A Dark Billionaire Romance

Author Linnea May

Leonard and Liz have a dominant-submissive relationship that includes Liz being collared and chained to Leonard’s bed. Leonard is used to getting what he wants, and Liz is who he wants at the moment. She needed to be broken in his opinion, and he is convinced that he is the one to do it. But, this is a relationship that benefits both parties, and they are not likely to end it any time soon.

Ensnared

Ensnared (The Accidental Billionaires Book 1)

Author J.S. Scott

Jade teaches a survival class that Eli enrolls in. He is rich, so he buys up all the spots in the class so he can have Jade all to himself. His main goal? To bring her into the wilderness so he can have his way with her. But, Jade is just as resistant as she is attractive, and she is bound and determined not to let Eli have his way with her. Of course, some things are easier said than done.

Dark Side of the Sun

Dark Side of the Sun: (A Regency Dark Romance)

Author Addison Cain

Arabella is the Baroness of Iliffe who is on the run. She is determined to get away and has been trekking across England trying to avoid her captors, until suddenly she meets a gorgeous, but sinister man who is cruel and greedy, but offers to do anything for her. Gregory is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants right now is Arabella. Unfortunately, making a pact with the devil is sometimes the only way to escape with your life.

Whispers in the Dark

Whispers in the Dark (Dark Romance)

Author LeTeisha Newton

Alana survived Purgatory and near death in an abandoned farm house, and her story is not going to be understood by everyone. She is brilliant and filled with angst and pain, and she ends up fueling the fire of her captor. When she escapes, he promises to get her back, but the next time he sees her she is a different woman. A gritty story that is perfect for those who like to see the bad guy win sometimes.

Tormentor Mine

Tormentor Mine: A Dark Romance

Author Anna Zaires

Peter is a Russian man whose family was killed, and he is out for vengeance. Sara is the one who gets caught in the crossfire, and Peter will stop at nothing to make her pay. He is a tortured soul and a terrorizing captor, and he turns Sara’s life into a living nightmare. This is an animalistic and passionate story that is not for the faint of heart, and it is one the reader will not soon forget.

Shamefully Broken

Shamefully Broken: A Dark Romance

Author Loki Renard

Ellis despises Mason, in part because he spanked her like a little girl many years ago on her eighteenth birthday. She does her best to avoid him, but with her brother in debt to the wrong people and her own life in danger, he is the only one she knows that can help her. Mason agrees to help, but at a high price – she has to submit her body to him however and whenever he wants, even though she isn’t thrilled about it.

Buying Beth

Buying Beth: A Dark Romance (Disciples Book 3)

Author Izzy Sweet

When a woman from a wealthy family who thinks she is untouchable gets kidnapped and put up for sale on the black market, she ends up being trapped and violated. When Jonathan is sent to buy her, she thinks her troubles will soon be over, but she has no such luck. Instead, he claims her and keeps her for himself, starting her nightmare all over again. Will it ever end for her?

Dark Control

Dark Control (Dark Dominance Book 1)

Author Annabel Joseph

BDSM is nothing new at The Gallery, and when Fort and Juliet enter into a dominant-submissive relationship, she finds herself in his dungeon and at his mercy. This is supposed to be an affair with rules, but soon there are unexpected results. Juliet’s free-spirit personality and Fort’s rigid sexual lifestyle soon clash, even though both sides are experiencing emotions that are hard to explain. Take a peek into the darker side of romance, and enjoy the ride.

Let Me Watch

Let Me Watch: A Dark Romance

Author Sansa Rayne

Sibel is an artist of a different type – she is deviant and even perverse. And her performances always go viral. However, they also attract the wrong type of people. When she meets Pierce, she knows he is different. Handsome and kind, he still satisfies her very dark cravings, and the time they spend together is always intense. But, Pierce has a secret that could ruin Sibel, and he wants the truth hidden from her. Can he keep up this relationship without spilling the beans and letting Sibel in on this secret?

Possessive Daddy

Possessive Daddy: A Dark Romance (Big Daddy Book 2)

Author B.B. Hamel

When a man agrees to marry a woman because it is a business arrangement, he only agrees after eyeing his voluptuous stepdaughter. Soon, stepfather and stepdaughter want one another, but they know the relationship is wrong, even if the marriage is a sham. He is determined to make her call him Daddy, and eventually their relationship takes on an entirely new meaning. With steamy sex scenes and lots of dirty talk, this novel will get you aroused in more ways than one.

Captive Vow

Captive Vow: A Dark Romance

Author Alta Hensley

This is a dark romantic thriller that involves a woman who is forced to marry someone she doesn’t love, but who starts training her to be a dutiful and obedient wife from the very beginning. From now on, she will be his captive. She will be his. And she is trapped in a relationship that is twisted and obsessive, and one she will find impossible to leave. This is her life, but is she ready for it? And what will she do if she gets the chance to escape?

Blind

Bind: A Dark Bad Boy Romance

Author B.B. Hamel

When a cold-hard killer eliminates an innocent woman’s abusive father right in front of her, he has to do something he’s never done before – leave a witness alive. Instead, he takes Amelia captive, and it isn’t long before his dark sexual desires become obvious to her. He won’t stop until he can have her in the way he wants to. After all, she owes him her life, and this is the least she could do for him.

Dark Promises

Dark Promises (Montgomery Brothers Book 2)

Author Winter Renshaw

When an ambitious man with eyes on the White House is advised to settle down and get married, he finds Rowan to be the perfect choice. She’s a nice girl, prim and proper, and good for his image. What the heck, he is planning to get rid of her as soon as he gets his Senate seat anyway. But, along the way something happens to make him change his mind, and very soon he’ll stop at nothing to make sure she sticks around permanently.

The Golden Line

The Golden Line

Author Addison Cain

Morgaine is an Omega living peacefully in her settlement, and every season the Alpha soldiers come and take crops – and women if they so desire. When Simin comes on board and sees how beautiful Morgaine is, he decides he wants her and in fact, he threatens to start a war if he is denied her. So, Morgaine is handed over to Simin, and at first she is scared. But, soon Simin is putting his best foot forward and gaining her trust one step at a time, until finally she succumbs to him completely.

Stalker

Stalker (A Dark Romance Novel)

Author Derek Masters

The likeable characters, Nick and Alex, are the center of this story, which tells of a man obsessed with a woman and who will do anything to make her his – anything. At first, Alex could not be any less interested, but this doesn’t stop Nick from pursuing her. When his secrets come out, she is even more determined to stay away from him, but he is determined to do whatever it takes to have her completely, both body and soul.

Shiver

SHIVER, BOOK ONE (A DARK ROMANCE)

Author Laura Avery

Pierce is determined to get revenge on Morgan, the woman he believes is responsible for tearing his family apart. He wants her to be his, and he will stop at nothing to make that happen. And this time, she will be his forever, or so he thinks. Morgan, on the other hand, is just as independent and assertive as Pierce is, and she intends to take as much from him as he wants from her. But, this time, she promises herself she will not fall in love, even though that may be easier than she thinks.

Master Over You

Master Over You: A Dark Romance Novel (Extended Version, Author's Preferred Text)

Author Cerys du Lys

Noah can prove to anyone that there are monsters in every closet, because he is in yours. He is a man whose business involves taking someone, breaking them, and selling them to the highest bidder. He is not a nice person, and he has no intentions of changing his ways. This book is not for sensitive readers, as it depicts graphic violence and scenes that may make many readers uncomfortable, but it is an intriguing and intense story that will have you hooked from the very beginning.

Flower in the Dark

Flower in the Dark

Author Ally Vance

Violet is lonely, and has been for most of her life. She is waiting for someone to come and save her, until HE comes along. She hasn’t met him yet, but she just knows he’s out there waiting to save her just like she is ready to be saved. Eventually, he does come along, and he wants to drag her into his own world and make her scream in ecstasy. In fact, he is determined to do just that, regardless of how long it takes.

Punished

Punished: A Dark Romance (Melbrooke Menace Book 1)

Author Dahlia Kent

Jenna is a woman who wants to make something of her life, but her life is nothing exciting because all she has is her job at the diner. Until she is arrested for a crime she didn’t commit. When Cole comes into her life and offers to help her, she notices how beautiful, but dangerous his eyes are, and he starts by telling her she did something bad. But, then he offers to make her a good girl again, as long as she allows him to punish her.

Wrenched

Wrenched: A Dark Romance

Author Emma James

A strong female and a fearless male make up the storyline, and it is a dark, unpredictable, and very intense novel filled with twists and turns you won’t be prepared for. A woman escapes one Hell’s bastard only to be enticed by another. It is a love story most of all, but first it is filled with danger, violence, and some very graphic scenes that are intended only for those over the age of 18.

Captive

Captive: Beautiful Monsters Vol. 1

Author Jex Lane

Matthew is a vampire who stays mostly to himself because of his “condition.” He is prepared to spend the rest of his life alone, until one day when he is taken prisoner by a seductive incubus named Tarrick. He then participates in a war between the incubi and the vampires, and he wants to go back to his own kind. However, he is unable to deny his desire for Tarrick, and the fact that she feeds off of sexual energy doesn’t make it any easier for him.

Matteo

Matteo: A Dark Mafia Hate Story

Author Ginger Talbot

Bailey AKA Natasha found out that she was kidnapped as a baby to save her from an arranged marriage, but now her true family has come back so she can marry Matteo. But, Matteo is a sadist who is intent on bruising both her body and her soul. Her life is now a living hell, but the longer she’s with Matteo, the more determined she becomes to escape. She’ll submit for now so that she can survive, but her intention is to get away from him eventually – if she can resist the charm that he is obviously hiding under his rough exterior.

Sweet Captivity

Sweet Captivity

Author Julia Sykes

When an FBI agent is kidnapped by a Colombian drug lord named Andres, his job is to break her and make her submit. But, she is a loner and not used to such an aggressive lifestyle. Still, the longer she is trapped the more she believes that she is not his only captive. Andres has scars that match the lines in his face, but is he really that tough? Does she even want to be saved from this man, or is he the one who needs saving?

Roman

Roman: A Bad Boy Mafia Dark Romance (Triple Threat)

Author Josephine Jade

When Sarah comes to Roman begging for him to forgive her brother’s debt, he immediately realizes she is unable to pay off that debt with her meager teacher’s salary, so he comes up with an arrangement. For one month, she will be his plaything, his toy. He wants her, and he wants her bad. And most importantly, he believes that she wants him just as bad. After all, both teachers and bad-boys deserve a happy ending sometimes.

Inception

Inception: A Dark Paranormal Romance (The Marked Saga Book 1)

Author Bianca Scardoni

Dominic and Jemma have a strange relationship, and their story is filled with vampires and paranormal occurrences, as well as other twists and turns you won’t be able to predict. With an ending that you won’t see coming, it is a dark story, but with characters you’ll be rooting for to the very last page. A great story centered on teen angst, shifters, angels, demons, and the supernatural.

Destruction

Destruction (A Dark Romance) (Fragile Ties Series Book 1)

Author Jennifer Bene

Lianna comes from a wealthy family and is being groomed to be her father’s successor in his business, but one thing can stand in her way. His name is David, and he wants revenge like his father wanted years earlier on this family. David has information that could tear apart her world, but when he kidnaps her and tortures her, he starts to have feelings about her that make him think he has been wrong about her since the very beginning.

Elicit

Elicit: Dark Romance (Decadence After Dark Book 5)

Author  B. Never

Jett is a dominant who is used to seducing women and giving them pleasure they never knew existed. Heck, this is what he’s good at, and he never lets the women forget it. That is, until a tall, beautiful redhead enters his life. Suddenly, he is the one who wants to submit, and in his secretive, dark world he has to think up a way to make her his. But, she has secrets, too, and those secrets could possibly tear both of their livelihoods apart and change their lives forever.

Claimed

Claimed: Dark Romance (Decadence After Dark Book 2)

Author B. Never

Ellie once belonged to a Dominant, but is now free from him. She is living in Hawaii and trying to pick up the pieces of her life. She also decided no man will ever keep her down again, and she is becoming stronger every day. Kayne has been unable to forget about Ellie since he let her go, and he still considers her his. In fact, he is so sure of this that he has every intention of getting her back one day, regardless of what it takes to accomplish this.

Blaire

BLAIRE: Blaire Part 1 (The Dark Romance Series)

Author Anita Gray

Blaire was bought and conditioned 10 years ago by a master named Maksim. She is now completely trained and does everything he wants her to do, including kill. She worships and protects Maksim, and her story is no fairy tale. Still, it is a complex tale that delves into dark areas that most people know nothing about, and it is one story you are certain to never forget.

Betrayed

Betrayed: A Dark Romance

Author Mia Ford

When a dedicated cop goes after a tough criminal, she doesn’t expect to have mixed feelings about the job she’s doing. He’s a crook, but he is also the hottest criminal this cop has ever seen, and all she wants to do is handcuff him to her bed and keep him with her as long as possible. Even though getting him into bed was part of the plan, that doesn’t mean she cannot fall in love with him. Or does it?

192

192: A Dark Mafia Romance

Author Nikki Belaire

A mafia princess who has been held captive since she was 12 years old needs more than just to be rescued. When the man hired to rescue her hears her call his name, however, he melts, and he realizes this job is no ordinary one. Can he do like he usually does – get in, get out, and get gone – or is this woman going to take more from him than he’s used to giving to his rescued victims?

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