The best 'Forbidden Love' romance books. Who said it would be easy?

Last updated: Jun 8th, 2021

Deadly enemies, bosses and their employees, wards and their guardians. Step-siblings, friends of the parents and cheating spouses? It's forbidden love, for sure, but that only makes it so much more exciting.

  • #1 A Different Blue - Amy Harmon

    A Different Blue - Amy Harmon

    contemporary friends to lovers mystery pregnancy forbidden love

    Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

    This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. more

  • #2 Birthday Girl - Penelope Douglas

    Birthday Girl - Penelope Douglas

    new adult contemporary friends to lovers love triangle alpha male

    He took me in when I had nowhere else to go. He doesn't use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn't treat me like I'm nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

    He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

    I have to stop this. It can't happen.

    My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he's probably unavailable.

    Only Pike Lawson isn't the unavailable one.

    I am... more

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  • #3 A Matter of Class - Mary Balogh

    A Matter of Class - Mary Balogh

    regency historical contemporary arranged/forced marriage marriage of convenience

    Reginald Mason is wealthy, refined, and, by all accounts, a gentleman. However, he is not a gentleman by title, a factor that pains him and his father within the Regency society that upholds station over all else. That is, until an opportunity for social advancement arises, namely, Lady Annabelle Ashton. Daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, a neighbor and enemy of the Mason family, Annabelle finds herself disgraced by a scandal, one that has left her branded as damaged goods. Besmirched by shame, the earl is only too happy to marry Annabelle off to anyone willing to have her. more

  • #4 Torrid - Nikki Sloane

    Torrid - Nikki Sloane

    bdsm erotic romance suspense dark romance mafia

    Vasilije Markovic is the prince of the Serbian mafia and one of the most powerful men in Chicago. His smile may be razor sharp, but he's crueler than the devil.

    I'm playing a dangerous game and betting my life I'm going to win. I pretend to be his pawn. I do as he says and move where he tells me, letting him think he's in control as I position myself for revenge.

    Every turn brings us closer. His grin doesn't seem as evil when we're alone. Behind closed doors, I welcome his unrelenting and vicious personality. He's confessed all his secrets, but I'm holding one back and it's a game changer.

    If I survive the board, this pawn turns into a queen. more

  • #5 Priest - Sierra Simone

    Priest - Sierra Simone

    erotic romance bdsm bad boys forbidden love dark romance

    There are many rules a priest can't break. 
    A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

    I've always been good at following rules. 
    Until she came. 
    My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I'm twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again. 
    I am a priest and this is my confession. more

  • #6 The Hookup Equation - Roxie Noir

    The Hookup Equation - Roxie Noir

    funny new adult multicultural contemporary age gap

    My whole life, I’ve been a good girl. I follow rules like nobody’s business. I obey guidelines like I was born to it. Show me a line, and I’ll toe it.

    I’m even a twenty-two-year-old virgin. Good is my middle name.

    And then, I break one tiny little rule. Miniscule. Inconsequential.

    Next thing I know, I’m trapped with an incredibly handsome stranger. He’s got eyes like cut emeralds, biceps that makes my head spin, and a smile that has me rethinking all my life choices.

    We escape a bar bathroom together. We go on an impromptu date. We share the hottest kiss I’ve ever had, one that leaves me panting for more. more

  • #7 Forbidden - Beverly Jenkins

    Forbidden - Beverly Jenkins

    western historical western frontier african-american multicultural

    Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he's always dreamed of—one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything . . . and the price seems worth paying.

    Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won't risk her heart for him. As soon as she's saved enough money from her cooking, she'll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. more

  • #8 Credence - Penelope Douglas

    Credence - Penelope Douglas

    new adult tortured hero virgin heroine bad boys abuse

    Tiernan de Haas doesn’t care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she’s grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents’ fame followed her everywhere.

    And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She’s always been alone, hasn’t she?

    Jake Van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. more

  • #9 The Kiss Thief - L.J. Shen

    The Kiss Thief - L.J. Shen

    sports new adult multicultural contemporary royalty

    They say your first kiss should be earned. Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky. They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

    Mine were broken before we left church.

    They say your heart only beats for one man. Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

    I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

    Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

    They say that all great love stories have a happy ending. more

  • #10 Debt Inheritance (Indebted #1) - Pepper Winters

    Debt Inheritance (Indebted #1) - Pepper Winters

    contemporary suspense bikers rape slavery

    “I own you. I have the piece of paper to prove it. It’s undeniable and unbreakable. You belong to me until you’ve paid off your debts.”

    Nila Weaver’s family is indebted. Being the first born daughter, her life is forfeit to the first born son of the Hawks to pay for sins of ancestors past. The dark ages might have come and gone, but debts never leave. She has no choice in the matter.

    She is no longer free.

    Jethro Hawk receives Nila as an inheritance present on his twenty-ninth birthday. Her life is his until she’s paid off a debt that’s centuries old. He can do what he likes with her—nothing is out of bounds—she has to obey. more

  • #11 Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3) - Tarryn Fisher

    Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3) - Tarryn Fisher

    contemporary forbidden love bad boys suspense second chances

    Caleb Drake never got over his first love. Not when he got married. Not when she got married. When life suddenly comes full circle Caleb must decide how how far he is willing to go to get the aloof and alluring Olivia Kaspen back. But for every action in life there is a consequence, and soon Caleb finds out that sometimes love comes at an unbearably high price. more

  • #12 Breach (Breach #1) - K.I. Lynn

    Breach (Breach #1) - K.I. Lynn

    erotic romance tortured hero enemies to lovers forbidden love bad boys

    Delilah Palmer has always maintained control of her life and outward personality, blocking the truth that’s just below the surface. Using a façade meant to be normal and hide the scars of her childhood, she's made a good life for herself. Becoming a successful lawyer, she is finally free from the tortured past that haunts her daily. Until he comes along and breaks open the cracks.

    Nathan Thorne has a haunted past of his own. On the surface, he is personable, extroverted, and loved by everyone; everything Delilah isn't. However, hidden beneath his charming smile is a dark and tormented man that only Delilah has the power to unveil. more

  • #13 Seduce Me at Sunrise - Lisa Kleypas

    Seduce Me at Sunrise - Lisa Kleypas

    historical victorian forbidden love pregnancy alpha male

    Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation…and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.

    Then, Win returns to England…only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. more

  • #14 Cottonwood - R. Lee Smith

    Cottonwood - R. Lee Smith

    science fiction erotic romance strong heroine rape dystopian

    They never meant to come to Earth. They were never allowed to leave...

    Welcome to Cottonwood.

    Insectoid aliens crash-landed on Earth. They were civilians, doctors, military members, and engineers, going to settle an unpopulated planet. They got to Earth by mistake and humans decide they must be put in camps where they are housed and fed and work in a recycling program.

    Sarah is a young woman who gets what she thinks is going to be an awesome job as a caseworker for the aliens to help work toward integration... when the aliens can be moved slowly into society. more

  • #15 When He Was Wicked - Julia Quinn

    When He Was Wicked - Julia Quinn

    historical contemporary victorian tortured hero love triangle

    In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one's life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London's most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

    After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. more

  • #16 Loving Mr. Daniels - Brittainy C. Cherry

    Loving Mr. Daniels - Brittainy C. Cherry

    contemporary young adult forbidden love tortured heroine possessive hero

    To Whom it May Concern, It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates. When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn’t plan to find him. I didn't plan to stumble into Joe's bar and have Daniel's music stir up my emotions. I had no clue that his voice would make my hurts forget their own sorrow. I had no idea that my happiness would remember its own bliss. When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn’t prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons. Our love story wasn’t only about the physical connection. It was about family. It was about loss. more

  • #17 Intuition: The Premonition Series - Amy A. Bartol

    Intuition: The Premonition Series - Amy A. Bartol

    contemporary paranormal suspense strong heroine forbidden love

    I don’t open my eyes so I can’t see him, but I can smell him. He thickens the air I breathe, choking me with his scent…his aroma. I shiver. I have to resist. If I’m not strong, then I will be relegated to the same fate as this predator whose sickness infects me even now. But now, I crave him and he knows that; he has been counting on my need to end the gnawing pain. How he would savor my surrender. more

  • #18 Hothouse Flower - Krista Ritchie,Becca Ritchie

    Hothouse Flower - Krista Ritchie,Becca Ritchie

    contemporary strong heroine bad boys friends to lovers forbidden love

    Ryke Meadows, meet Daisy Calloway ... she's all grown up.

    Twenty-five-year-old Ryke Meadows knows he's hard to love. With a billion-dollar inheritance, a track-star resume, and an alpha-male personality--he redefines the term likable asshole. But he's not living to make friends. Or enemies. He just wants to free climb three of the toughest mountains in Yosemite without drama or interruption.

    And then he receives a distressed call from a girl in Paris--a girl that he has never been allowed to have.

    Daisy Calloway is eighteen. Finally. With her newfound independence, she can say goodbye to her overbearing mother and continue her modeling career. Next stop, Paris. more

  • #19 Waking Up With the Duke - Lorraine Heath

    Waking Up With the Duke - Lorraine Heath

    regency historical cheating love triangle enemies to lovers

    Renowned for his bedchamber prowess, Ransom Seymour, the Duke of Ainsley, owes a debt to a friend. But the payment expected is most shocking, even to an unrepentant rake—for he's being asked to provide his friend's exquisite wife with what she most dearly covets: a child.

    Lady Jayne Seymour, Marchioness of Walfort, is furious that such a scandalous agreement would be made. If she acquiesces, there must be rules: no kissing . . . and, certainly, no pleasure.

    But unexpected things occur with the surprisingly tender duke—especially once Lady Jayne discovers the rogue can make her dream again . . . and Ransom realizes he's found the one woman he truly cannot live without... more

  • #20 This Girl (Slammed, #3) - Colleen Hoover

    This Girl (Slammed, #3) - Colleen Hoover

    contemporary virgin heroine forbidden love possessive hero sweet/gentle hero

    There are two sides to every love story. Now hear Will’s.

    Colleen Hoover’s New York Times bestselling Slammed series has brought countless readers to their knees with a whirlwind of love, passion, and heartache. Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances, and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. more


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