40 dark romance books with twisted heroes

Last updated: Jun 8th, 2021 · written by Victoria Cabot

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

    Owned - M. Never

    erotic romance bdsm alpha male abuse dark romance

    "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

    Stolen Course - Aly Martinez

    suspense contemporary insta-love second chances men in uniform

    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.. more

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  • #3 The Bad Guy - Celia Aaron

    The Bad Guy - Celia Aaron

    suspense contemporary alpha male dark romance love triangle

    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.. more

  • #4 Three Years - Lili St. Germain

    Three Years - Lili St. Germain

    contemporary abduction mystery bad boys alpha male

    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.. more

  • #5 Broken - A.E. Murphy

    Broken - A.E. Murphy

    young adult suspense contemporary insta-love tortured heroine

    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

    Fear Me - B.B. Reid

    suspense erotic romance mafia new adult virgin heroine

    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

    Children of Vice - J.J. McAvoy

    contemporary dark romance mafia mystery alpha male

    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.. more

  • #8 Pennies - Pepper Winters

    Pennies - Pepper Winters

    suspense multicultural contemporary abuse rape

    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

    Beneath the Burn - Pam Godwin

    contemporary abduction cheating insta-love strong heroine

    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

    Tight - Alessandra Torre

    suspense dark romance tortured heroine slow burn mystery

    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.. more

  • #11 Killing Sarai - J.A. Redmerski

    Killing Sarai - J.A. Redmerski

    contemporary suspense cruel hero / bully mafia new adult

    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

    Perfect Ruin - Nashoda Rose

    erotic romance dark romance possessive hero military suspense

    Kai:
    There is nothing I care about.
    No attachments.
    No connections.
    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 didn’t.
    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

    Destroyed - Pepper Winters

    contemporary mystery strong heroine tortured hero alpha male

    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

    Consequences - Aleatha Romig

    suspense slavery age gap enemies to lovers vengeance

    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

    Going Under - S. Walden

    contemporary strong heroine mystery suspense rape

    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

    Push - Claire Wallis

    suspense contemporary bad boys mystery abuse

    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

    Blaire - Anita Gray

    contemporary dark romance abuse suspense abduction

    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

    Nine Minutes - Beth Flynn

    pregnancy virgin heroine rape abduction forbidden love

    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.. more

  • #19 Deliver - Pam Godwin

    Deliver - Pam Godwin

    suspense erotic romance alpha male menage virgin hero

    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

    Escape from Paradise - Gwendolyn Field

    contemporary suspense bad boys alpha male slavery

    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


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