As the days grow shorter and the sunlight seeps out of the world (depressing, we know), it’s a perfect time to expand your reading. And what better way to spend these long, dark nights than by dipping into some dark romance? From twisted contemporaries to spine-tingling romantic suspense to deliciously edgy paranormal tales, we’ve compiled a reading list that will satisfy your need for love stories that are wicked, complex, and packed with emotion. Dive into one of these dark romance books now.
Dance Until Dawn
The first in Stevens’ Immortals of London series, Dance Until Dawn is the story of Ellie Wakefield—a dancer turned vampire. After her life is saved by becoming immortal, Elie is taken under the protection of centuries-old London vamp William James Austen. (We can only hope he’s related to Jane Austen somehow.) Will has long loved Ellie, but the new vamp isn’t taking her transition very easy—which promises a dark, winding road to love which paranormal romance readers will guzzle up.
A Kiss in the Dark
RT Book Reviews called this ‘90s Harlequin “a sizzling dish of spicy romance.” It’s not hard to see why. Brittany has long had a crush on wealthy Ethan, but it’s not until he’s temporarily blinded and puts out an ad for someone to read to him that she gets up close and personal—real personal. Brittany, a book editor, winds up reading Ethan erotic stories, which charges the sexual tension between them. But will the passion they share last after Ethan’s sight is restored and he no longer needs his sweet storyteller?
Dark romance gets deadly in this romantic suspense by New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen. After she stumbles upon incriminating evidence, Emma takes her little girl away from their home in New Orleans and ends up in the town of Port Flannery, Washington. There, she hopes to hide out, but danger comes knocking on her door. Luckily, so does protective Sheriff Elvis Donnelly, a tall, rugged cop who was injured after a bombing and now has a hook for a hand. If you love suspense, you’ll be drawn to what RT Books Reviews calls one of Andersen’s “thrilling novels of dangerous love and dark suspense.”
Written by New York Times bestselling author Shannon McKenna, who fellow romance author JoAnn Ross calls “wicked good,” Hot Night is a romance that’s both sizzling and suspenseful. After gaining a Spanish gold exhibit at her museum, Abby discovers a serious baddie is after the treasure and will try to take it by any means necessary. Realizing she’s in danger, Abby’s locksmith, Zan, appoints himself as her bodyguard. As danger grows, so does the irresistible chemistry between the Abby and Zan. Deception, greed, murder, and white-hot passion combine to make this book an irresistable read.
A New York Times bestselling paranormal romance (and start of the series of the same name), Hush, Hush will make you believe in dark forces at work in the universe. And maybe smoking hot ones, too. Nora is a bored high school girl, studying hard and living with her widowed mother. But then a strange boy named Patch gets her attention in bio class. Patch is a fallen angel, but despite his charisma and mind powers he also comes with a lot of spiritual baggage that makes Nora’s life shift in ways she never dreamed...
Pushing the Limits
In this RITA Award-nominated young adult novel, Echo has an awful encounter one night that changes her life forever. It’s not until she befriends bad boy Noah that she starts to feel understood—and ready to open her heart again. If you like complex, heartfelt love stories, you’ll be drawn to this book, which bestselling author Gena Showalter called “an edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go.”
Unloved is another darker romance nominated for romance’s prestigious RITA Award. Cassidy Porter is falling in love with Brynn Cadogan. But it’s not such a simple love story, since Cassidy’s father brutally murdered a slew of girls in the past, and he doesn’t want to bring someone into the darkness that surrounds him. But love finds a way in this incredible story of heartbreak and triumph.
Skye Warren’s gritty Endgame trilogy begins with The Pawn. In the book, Avery’s world comes crashing down and she’s forced to sell her virginity to survive. But the man who buys her is no good guy. Gabriel is the man who destroyed her father, and he might just be using Avery to get even more revenge… Torn between love and hate, survival and need, Avery and Gabriel play a dangerous game in this wicked novel.
Crown of Lies
If you’re ready to read a book full of twists and turns, dip into Crown of Lies, the first in New York Times bestselling author Pepper Winter’s Truth and Lies Duet. Several years ago, Elle was saved by a mysterious man she can’t forget. Now she’s expected to marry Penn Everett, the powerful man who demands her hand. Yet there’s something familiar about Penn. If only he wasn’t cloaked in so many lies… This story featuring a love/hate relationship is full of desire, suspense, and steamy romance that will keep you turning the page.
If you like bad boys, then get to know Tormentor Mine’s Peter. A Russian assassin, Peter’s faced unspeakable tragedy, and now he’s out for revenge. On his list is Sara, who’s done nothing wrong but is linked to the wrong people. Peter takes her for questioning, scaring her senseless… but captivating her all the same. And even after he’s taken what he needs, Peter can’t seem to let her go. Fans of twisted romances will devour this edgy read with its sexy, shocking plotline. It’s just the first in the Tormentor series, which currently contains three books.
Another New York Times bestselling author, C.D. Reiss is well-known to fans of unputdownable contemporary romance. This first book in the Sins Duet centers on Margie, a girl in 1980s California who falls for two rockers, Strat and Indy. What follows is a story of the wild passion between them, before Margie’s life changes and she settles down to become a lawyer. But the past is not done with her yet, and when Indy walks back into her life—reminding her just what she’s been missing—things get more complicated than ever.
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