40 dark romance books with twisted heroes
Feb 13th, 2020
The best dark and twisted romance books featuring cruel heroes and suffering heroines in a contemporary setting. The books explore themes of captivity and abuse, BDSM and non-consent.
#1 Owned - M. Never
"I like you collared, baby. I like you naked, I like you mine.” Ellie Stevens has lusted over Kayne Roberts since he first walked into the import/export company she works for a little over a year ago. As Expo’s most important client, Ellie has always kept a safe distance from the man with the majestic blue eyes - until temptation finally gets the better of her. Impulsively, Ellie invites Kayne to one of Expo's infamous company parties her flamboyant boss is notorious for throwing. Unbeknownst to Ellie, the god in the Armani suit isn’t just the suave entrepreneur he portrays himself to be. Underneath the professional exterior is a man with a secret life, dark desires, and nefarious contacts..... more
#2 Stolen Course - Aly Martinez
I fell in love with Manda Baker eight years ago, and I loved her to the core of her soul. We were supposed to have that elusive happily ever after and spend a lifetime together. But that was all before she was STOLEN from me. Her best friend, Sarah Erickson, killed her. It wasn’t intentional. It was far worse. Everyone claims it was just an accident, but I can see through the lies. Even if it’s with my dying breath, I will make her pay for what she did.
Fate hates me. It robbed me of my first love and left me to navigate through this world emotionless and numb. Then, one day, spiteful fate gave me a woman to fill my shattered soul and make me feel again. It gave me Emma Jane Erickson... more
#3 The Bad Guy - Celia Aaron
My name is Sebastian Lindstrom, and I’m the villain of this story. I’ve decided to lay myself bare. To tell the truth for once in my hollow life, no matter how dark it gets. And I can assure you, it will get so dark that you’ll find yourself feeling around the blackened corners of my mind, seeking a door handle that isn’t there. Don’t mistake this for a confession. I neither seek forgiveness nor would I accept it. My sins are my own. They keep me company. Instead, this is the true tale of how I found her, how I stole her, and how I lost her.
She was a damsel, one who already had her white knight. But every fairy tale has a villain, someone waiting in the wings to rip it all down. A scoundrel who will set the world on fire if that means he gets what he wants. That’s me... more
#4 Three Years - Lili St. Germain
Every day for six years, I used to pray that I would find my way back to the boy I loved. Until finally, one day, I did. But that’s the funny thing about life. Nothing good ever lasts, not for me, anyway. You think you’re the one with the power, at least I did, but then I got careless. One tiny mistake, and now I am powerless to stop what comes next.
People think money equals power, but all the money in my bank account, the dirty notes laundered clean that my father left for me, are useless.
Money does not equal power. Power is held by the one with the knife in his hand, tracing shallow cuts into your skin.
Power is held by the one who owns you.
I had power once.
Now, I have nothing..... more
#5 Broken - A.E. Murphy
Caleb is perfect in every way, almost too perfect and Gwen has never felt so happy. He is hers and she is his. Life can't get much better and their love can't get any stronger. That is until mistakes are made and their world comes crumbling down. She's left alone with no money, no home and a growing person invading her stomach. How will she survive?
Forced to leave culinary school, the job she needs and the home they made together. Gwen finds a knight in the most unlikely source. Caleb's brother Nathan... more
#6 Fear Me - B.B. Reid
I don't believe in Fairy-tales and Prince Charming. I believe in fear. He taught me how to be afraid.
We first met on a playground during a wonderful summer day. It was the first time he hurt me and it wasn't the last. For ten years he's been my tormentor and I've been his forbidden. But then he went away and yet I was still afraid. Now he's back and wants more than just my tears. You see...he thinks I sent him away so now he wants revenge...and he knows just how to get it..... more
#7 Children of Vice - J.J. McAvoy
I, Ethan Antonio Giovanni Callahan, first son of the former head of the Irish mob, Liam Alec Callahan, and former head of the Italian mafia, ex-governor, Melody Nicci Giovanni Callahan, solemnly swear to ruthlessly protect our family name, business and way of life, no matter the cost to me or anyone else. I shall show no mercy; I shall offer no forgiveness; there will be no peace for those who stand against me. I will live for my family. I will kill for my family. I will marry for my family.
I, Ivy O'Davoren, the only daughter of Shay O'Davoren, solemnly swear to ruthlessly and mercilessly exact revenge on the Callahans and all those who betrayed my father and family. I will live for revenge. I will kill for revenge. I will marry for revenge..... more
#8 Pennies - Pepper Winters
At eighteen years old, I was murdered. I wish my tale ended there. However, my killer resuscitated me and sold me to the highest bidder, sentencing me to a world worse than Hell. For the past two years, I've lived a life of torment as a man's property. I suffer in silence and wish for freedom, but I never break. I can't. I won't. But then he arrives. The first stranger since I was killed.
Elder Prest, a thief with a heart as black as his soul, arrives as a guest in our twisted home. He has business with my owner, but his interest lies in me. He pretends not to notice my bruises and hides his knowledge of what I am, but the way he watches me makes me feel more human than possession..... more
#9 Beneath the Burn - Pam Godwin
They meet by chance. The timing is wrong.
Three years later, she finds him again, but their separation was poisoned with narcotics and bloodied by enslavement. Her freedom gambled away, Charlee Grosky escapes the international businessman who held her captive. But his power reaches beyond her protective barriers and threatens everyone she has come to love.
Jay Mayard wears his tortured secrets under his rock god facade. Drugs are his release, even as he seeks to be the man forged of the steel only she can see. In a celebrity world filled with paparazzi, groupies, and drugs, Jay and Charlee must face their worst fears. When the battle is over, what will be left..... more
#10 Tight - Alessandra Torre
I was happy in my small town. In my life as a single, thirty-two year old woman. I had a good job, wonderful friends, my independence. I also hadn't got laid in three years. Hadn't been on a date in two. Had stopped counting calories and wearing makeup... a while ago. Then Brett Jacobs waltzed in. Caressed my thigh, dug rough fingers into my hair, lowered his soft mouth to my skin, took sexual control of my mind and stirred it all around with what he packed in his pants. He flipped my quiet life upside down and crawled into a place in my heart I thought was dead.
The issue is his secret. The issue is her. The issue is that I don't even know she exists, and he thinks she's dead. The issue is that shit is about to hit the fan and I can't hold on to him tight enough..... more
#11 Killing Sarai - J.A. Redmerski
Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.
Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another..... more
#12 Perfect Ruin - Nashoda Rose
There is nothing I care about.
Outwardly, I’m a perfect gentleman.
Until my target sees my knife.
I fear nothing, not even death.
In my world, death is considered a privilege.
But my life comes with unbreakable cruel strings and when I met her, I should’ve walked away.
I was too selfish.
And that sealed her fate.
Because one week with me led her into the hands of ruin..... more
#13 Destroyed - Pepper Winters
She has a secret. I’m complicated. Not broken or ruined or running from a past I can’t face. Just complicated. I thought my life couldn’t get any more tangled in deceit and confusion. But I hadn’t met him. I hadn't realized how far I could fall or what I'd do to get free.
He has a secret. I’ve never pretended to be good or deserving. I chase who I want, do what I want, act how I want. I didn’t have time to lust after a woman I had no right to lust after. I told myself to shut up and stay hidden. But then she tried to run. I’d tasted what she could offer me and damned if I would let her go..... more
#14 Consequences - Aleatha Romig
Waking in an unfamiliar bedroom in a luxurious mansion, Claire Nichols is terrified to discover that a chance encounter led her into the cruel hands of her abductor, Anthony Rawlings. Claire has no understanding of why she's there, but it's been made abundantly clear--she is now his acquisition and every action has consequences.
Facing incomprehensible circumstances, Claire must learn to survive her new reality--every aspect of her livelihood depends upon the tall, dark-eyed tycoon who is a true master of deception. Driven by unknown demons, he has no tolerance for imperfection, in any aspect of his life, including his recent acquisition... more
#15 Going Under - S. Walden
Brooke Wright has only two goals her senior year at Charity Run High School: stay out of trouble and learn to forgive herself for the past. Forgiveness proves elusive, and trouble finds her anyway when she discovers a secret club at school connected to the death of her best friend. She learns that swim team members participate in a “Fantasy Slut League,” scoring points for their sexual acts with unsuspecting girls.
Brooke, wracked with guilt over her friend’s death, decides to infiltrate the league by becoming one of the “unsuspecting girls,” and exact revenge on the boys who stole away her best friend... more
#16 Push - Claire Wallis
Emma Searfoss has spent a lifetime trying to escape her abusive stepfather. It's why she moved far away from home. It's why she's kept no ties with her remaining family. And it's why she's got a major rage problem. When her neighbor shows up to fix the kitchen in her new apartment, his enigmatic charm calms the fire in her. David is cool and collected, and he makes Emma feel safe for the first time ever. But David has his own chilling past—his six previous girlfriends have all disappeared without a trace. Emma's walking a dangerous line, but David's pull is intoxicating... more
#17 Blaire - Anita Gray
Bought. Conditioned. Sold to the enemy.
My name is Blaire. I'm head of security to a man who controls the Russian underworld in Europe. His name is Maksim and he's my master. He bought me ten years ago and conditioned me with brutality to worship and protect him. And I have protected him. I've slain everyone who has tried to do him harm. Everyone but a man he loans me to; a man who threatens to break me and everything I believe in.
You're going to need a strong stomach and a strong heart to follow my story, because take my word for it, it's no fairy tale..... more
#18 Nine Minutes - Beth Flynn
On May 15, 1975, fifteen-year-old Ginny Lemon is abducted from a convenience store in Fort Lauderdale by a member of one of the most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs in South Florida. From that moment on, her life is forever changed. She gets a new name, a new identity and a new life in the midst of the gang’s base on the edge of the Florida Everglades—a frightening, rough and violent world much like the swamps themselves, where everyone has an alias and loyalty is tantamount to survival.
And at the center of it all is the gang’s leader, Grizz: massive, ruggedly handsome, terrifying and somehow, when it comes to Ginny, tender. She becomes his obsession and the one true love of his life..... more
#19 Deliver - Pam Godwin
His name was Joshua Carter. Now it's whatever she wants it to be. She is a Deliverer. She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price.
As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold.
Delivering is all she knows. The one thing she can't deliver is a captive from slavery. Until him..... more
#20 Escape from Paradise - Gwendolyn Field
When college sophomore Angela Birch sneaks from Texas to Mexico for Spring Break, she believes the worst that can happen is her parents finding out. Wrong.
The worst is falling for the ruse of handsome, alluring Fernando. One spontaneous choice whisks Angela across the world to the pseudo paradise of Spain’s Mediterranean Riviera where she has another choice to make: live cooperatively as one of billionaire Marco Ruiz’s slaves, or die..... more
#21 Captive in the Dark - C.J. Roberts
Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.
Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master... more
#22 Buttons and Lace - Penelope Sky
I owe him a debt. A big one. The payment can't be settled with money or favors. He only wants one thing. Me.
Every action gets a reward. A button. Once I fill his jar with three hundred and sixty-five buttons, he'll let me go. He'll let me walk away. But I have to earn every single one. By submitting to the darkest, cruelest, and most beautiful man I've ever known..... more
#23 Tormentor Mine - Anna Zaires
He came to me in the night, a cruel, darkly handsome stranger from the most dangerous corners of Russia. He tormented me and destroyed me, ripping apart my world in his quest for vengeance. Now he's back, but he’s no longer after my secrets. The man who stars in my nightmares wants me... more
#24 Boomtown - Lani Lynn Vale
I wanted to have a pity party of one when I went for that beer. I never imagined I would meet a dark and dangerous man. That man took me on the wildest ride of my life. Literally and Figuratively. He quickly became my entire world.
I didn't know I was looking for her. I saw her warming that bar stool and knew she would be mine. A man like me doesn't deserve the likes of her. But damned if I didn't take it..... more
#25 The Paper Swan - Leylah Attar
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. They lie. For 21 days she held on. But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death. Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.
A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense..... more
#26 Debt - Nina G. Jones
I don’t know what I was thinking when I hired someone to attack me. Maybe I was bored, or lonely, or there was a void so deep inside of me that I needed something explosive to fill it. It was supposed to be safe. A thrill. A way to break through the monotony of everyday life. It was an illusion of danger that I could walk away from as soon as it was over.
Except that it wasn’t. Because I had been in danger long before I ever invited it into my life.
My mission is almost complete. The bubbling boil of vengeance that heats my blood might finally simmer. She is the last piece of the puzzle. Once I destroy her, everyone who ever hurt me will have paid their debt..... more
#27 Twist Me - Anna Zaires
Kidnapped. Taken to a private island. I never thought this could happen to me. I never imagined one chance meeting on the eve of my eighteenth birthday could change my life so completely. Now I belong to him. To Julian. To a man who is as ruthless as he is beautiful - a man whose touch makes me burn. A man whose tenderness I find more devastating than his cruelty.
My captor is an enigma. I don't know who he is or why he took me. There is a darkness inside him - a darkness that scares me even as it draws me in..... more
#28 Monster in His Eyes - J.M. Darhower
Ignazio Vitale is not a good man. I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I'm thinking before I even do. It's alarming and alluring. It's dark and deadly. It's everything I've ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession. It doesn't take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it's too late. He has secrets, secrets I can't fathom, secrets that make it so I can't walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that's both terrifying and thrilling... more
#29 Sparrow - L.J. Shen
Troy Brennan. Every southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart throb with steel blue eyes. "The Fixer" who can make or break you in this city.
Oh, and my new husband.
Sparrow Raynes. That's me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life. But then he caged me. Kidnapped me. And killed every chance I had to runaway from the place where we grew up..... more
#30 Lucca - Sarah Brianne
Lucca was made the underboss, being what nightmares are made of.
Chloe was scarred by her past, learning too young that nightmares are real.
He has waited long enough to claim her soul, but he must take it from the devil first.
Her soul might have been better off claimed by the devil.
The only way to save her from her past is to delve into his.
The world as she knows it will come crashing down..... more
#31 Ruthless King - Meghan March
New Orleans belongs to me. You don’t know my name, but I control everything you see—and all the things you don’t. My reach knows no bounds, and my demands are always met. I didn’t need to loan money to a failing family distillery, but it amuses me to have them in my debt. To have her in my debt.
She doesn’t know she caught my attention. She should’ve been more careful. I’m going to own her. Consume her. Maybe even keep her..... more
#32 Broken - J.L. Drake
My name is Savannah Miller. My father is the mayor of New York. One day after my twenty-seventh birthday I was grabbed from behind. A cloth sack was quickly pulled over my head, and I was taken from everything I’d ever known. I was beaten, starved, treated like an animal, and forced to live in a room with no windows. With no sense of time and no dignity left I finally gave up hope and made a promise to myself to end it all. Unfortunately, it was going to be a slow process.
Then one night an elite group of US Army soldiers came to my rescue. I was brought to a safe house and given two options: One—Stay under their protection and follow their rules or... Two—Leave and be guaranteed to be returned to the savages within a week. I chose option one..... more
#33 Fear You - B.B. Reid
Lake Monroe has given in to her childhood tormentor too many times. She knows it, he knows it, and even their enemies know it. When he returned after being found guilty of a crime he didn't commit—a crime he thought she set him up for, he returned darker than ever, demanding her body and her submission. To survive him, she knew she had to give in to fear once more or suffer the deadly consequences...
But Lake experienced what it was like to submit to the dark and demanding boy who invaded her dreams. Now she’ll experience what it’s like to fight him..... more
#34 Pretty Stolen Dolls - Ker Dukey, K. Webster
Benny loves his pretty little dolls. As long as they do exactly as they're told. He keeps them perfect by brushing their hair and gives them pretty dresses to wear. He likes to toy with them late at night. One so timid but the other likes to fight. When his favorite doll runs away...
despite the other doll promising to stay, his heart becomes broken and he can't help but cry. He wants her back home or his pretty little doll must die..... more
#35 GHOST - A. Zavarelli
I have always been a bird. Caged by one prison or another when the only thing I ever wanted was to fly away. Sold. Beaten. Starved. Drugged. Nothing scares me anymore.
He makes the numbness go away. He is hazardous to me. It has nothing to do with his mafia lifestyle, and everything to do with what he offers. A gilded prison. A retreat from everything that I once knew. The reality I have no desire to return to. He thinks he’s caged me, but soon… I’m going to fly..... more
#36 Tears of Tess - Pepper Winters
Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility. For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.
But lusty paradise is shattered. Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror. Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold..... more
#37 Vicious - L.J. Shen
They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true. The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.
Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him..... more
#38 Tyrant - T.M. Frazier
I. Remember. Everything. Only now I wish I didn't. When the fog is sucked away from my mind like smoke through a vacuum, the truth that has been beyond my reach for months finally reveals itself. But the relief I thought I would feel never comes, and I'm more afraid now than I was the morning I woke up handcuffed in King's bed.
Because with the truth comes dark secrets I was never meant to know. I will put the lives of those I love most at risk if I let on that my memory has returned, or if I seek help from the heavily tattooed felon who owns me body and soul..... more
#39 Unbeautifully - Madeline Sheehan
Danielle “Danny” West is the daughter of Deuce West, President of the Hell’s Horsemen Motorcycle Club. A sweet and beautiful girl, she loses her way, searching for things that are always out of her reach. Erik “Ripper” Jacobs is the Sergeant of Arms in the Hell’s Horsemen. Once a man who always had a smile on his face, his life takes a turn for the worst when a tragedy befalls him, leaving him scarred and broken. During a midsummer night, Danny and Ripper’s paths cross, forever changing their lives. Hastily, their lust turns to love until another tragedy forces them apart. On a journey that is marred with ugliness and chaos, Danny and Ripper must discover if their unforeseen connection can find the beauty in their world..... more
#40 Bound By Honor - Cora Reilly
Born into one of the leading Mob families in Chicago, Aria Scuderi struggles to find her own path in a world where no choices are given. Aria was only fifteen when her parents betrothed her to Luca – The Vice – Vitiello, the oldest son of the head of the New York Cosa Nostra to ensure peace between the two families. Now at eighteen, the day Aria has been dreading for years is looming dangerously: her wedding to Luca.
Aria is terrified of marrying a man she hardly knows, especially someone like Luca who got his nickname ‘the Vice’ for crushing a man’s throat with his bare hands... more
Choose from over 100 tropes and themes
Romance novel favorites. Choose from over 100 tropes and themes