Here’s our list of the top 20 Best Dark Romances currently available. Got your own opinion? Vote in our poll at the bottom of the list.
1. Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts (The Dark Duet #1)
Captive in the Dark is the kind of twisted story that turns you inside out, the powerful kind of disturbing that you just can’t stop thinking about. You will hate it, and you will love it, and you won’t be able to get enough.
Caleb is just about as dark as a guy can get while still being considered the hero. He is complicated, screwed up, driven by revenge. His actions seem unjustifiable, yet through the dual POV, we are able to enter his mind and understand the path he has found himself on. By the end of the rollercoaster ride it’s clear that while Caleb is no hero, he’s certainly not evil.
Livvie at first appears to be just another sheltered and shy girl, but when faced with the darkest of fates she remains a resilient fighter to the very end. Still, she maintains that innocence and purity. Her struggle to understand her attraction to Caleb and the light she sees within his darkness is deeply compelling, and absolutely relatable as a reader.
Roberts’s strong, beautiful writing is the backbone of this masterpiece. From the darkest of subject matter she weaves a riveting love story that will keep you thinking about it long after you read the final page.
2. Twist Me by Anna Zaires (Twist Me #1)
Twist Me is an unbelievably addictive read. Once you open this book, you won’t be able to put it down until you’ve read the last page. And even then, you’ll find yourself coming back for a re-read over, and over, and over again.
Julian is a mysterious, unapologetically obsessive, deliciously dark angel. He takes what he wants, and he wants Nora. As we slowly discover more about his past, he becomes both more enticing and even more dangerous. Cruel and violent, yet tender and gentle, Julian is an enigma you will fall for fast and hard.
Nora, a shy, small town girl, never expected a charged encounter with a stranger to irrevocably change her life. While determined to escape, she can’t deny the white-hot chemistry she has with her captor. Nora is a fighter from beginning to end, and though she knows how twisted her desires are, she comes to crave Julian’s darkness as much as you will.
Twist Me is not your traditional love story, not by a long shot. Scorching hot, action-packed, and psychologically thrilling, this is a must-read for any dark romance lover.
3. Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters (Monsters in the Dark #1)
Tears of Tess brings romance even in the most gritty, brutal situations. An unconventional but undeniable love story, Winters makes it easy to root for the twisted lovers.
Q will become your new favorite letter. Q’s dark desires knocks your panties off, and his soft side melts your heart. That sexy French accent only magnifies his allure. He is wealthy and controlling, but damaged and vulnerable, and it’s these complexities that make him such an intriguing, well-rounded hero.
Tess is a girl who knows exactly what she wants, even if she cannot always voice her dark desires. She is well aware of the wrongness of her situation, and starts out hating the monster that holds her captive, yet can’t stop herself from pushing all his buttons, wanting to bring out the darkness that she can’t get enough of.
The chemistry between Q and Tess is what drives this sizzling read. Their subtle power struggle makes for many kinky, steamy scenes that you’ll want to read and reread.
4. King by T.M. Frazier (King #1)
King is a raw and gritty read, packed with shocking twists and turns right until the very end. Frazier tosses predictability out the window. This is a nonstop rollercoaster ride, with intense action, romance, and chemistry that is off the charts.
King is badass, merciless, and totally wild, a powerful alpha straight out of prison. He is the kind of dangerous that you just can’t get enough of. King keeps you guessing throughout the novel, a constant contradiction of tenderness and cruelty, but at the end, you can’t help but love him.
Doe enters the story completely vulnerable, literally lost in the world. Despite this, she is headstrong from the start, determined to do whatever it takes to survive. She brings out a softer side of King, while he brings out courage and strength of character.
You will fall in love not only with King and Doe, but with the heartwarming cast of side characters as well. Every relationship in this novel is incredibly written, memorable and realistic, not only the core romance but the many friendships.
5. Raw by Belle Aurora (RAW Family #1)
Raw is a haunting, addictive “non-love story” that will flood you with every emotion in the book. Well written characters and a romance that could move mountains will have you reading through the night, because once you start Raw you won’t be able to put it down.
Twitch is not a good guy. He’s a true bad boy, a villain through and through, and you’ll love it. He is dirty, raw, and absolutely addictive. You will find yourself looking over your shoulder and hoping to find him watching you, too.
Lexi is a good girl, having overcome the odds of her troubled past. Lexi makes for a great heroine, and it’s easy to root for her, even when she goes down a dark path. She knows that Twitch is trouble, but she wants him anyway, just as addicted to his badness as he is to her goodness.
I recommend a box of tissues along with this book, but you must read it. Raw will tear you apart and put you back together again, over and over.
6. It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole (Hades Hangman #1)
It Ain’t Me, Babe is unlike any MC romance you’ve read. Dark, edgy, complex, and compelling, Cole weaves a captivating tale of two broken people who know they should not be together, but cannot stay apart. This is a gripping story of perseverance against the odds, and of a twisted love strong enough to grow from the darkness.
River “Styx” Nash is a brutal, deadly alpha, all sharp edges and violent silence. The young President of his MC, Styx speaks to no one but his VP. His only weakness, hidden deep, is the young wolf-eyed girl he saw only once as a child. Styx will do anything to protect her…
Salome “Mae” is a pure innocent, remaining kind-hearted and hopeful despite the most tragic of pasts. Despite her fragility, Mae is a strong, unbreakable heroine. She knows that Styx isn’t the man for her, but she also knows she can’t live without him. She is his weakness, and he is her strength.
It Ain’t Me, Babe is a stellarly written romance. Cole has created an intricate and intelligent world and characters that you’ll be thinking about for weeks.
7. Monster in his Eyes by J.M. Darhower (Monster in His Eyes #1)
This is a steaming hot read! Monster in His Eyes boasts complex characters and a suspense-packed plot, but the cornerstone of this novel is the scorching hot chemistry and passionate, kinky bedroom scenes.
Naz is a complete enigma. Driven by his desire to claim what he wants, this man is all sex and mystery. We discover him at the same speed Karissa does, a slow burn. He is the kind of dangerously seductive man that you’re afraid to get to know too well, because once you do, you know you’re his forever.
Karissa is young and impressionable, a college freshman, who can’t imagine that a man like Naz is interested in her. Despite her naivety, Karissa is smart enough to be suspicious of her new lover. But even as she discovers his twisted truths, she finds that she has come to love her monster completely.
Monster in His Eyes captivates you and takes you for an all-consuming ride. Passionate and provoking, this novel is a perfect blend of romance and suspense.
8. Raze by Tillie Cole (Scarred Souls #1)
Raze is a mesmerizing story that will live within you. It is a brutal read at times, but the excellence of writing and the strength of the characters will keep your eyes glued to the page. Cole creates a desperate but beautiful love story, unlike anything you’ve read before.
Raze is a one man army driven by revenge. A rough exterior hides a broken and vulnerable soul. A trained killer, a tortured slave, a man with a broken heart, Raze embodies strength and vulnerability seamlessly.
Kisa is a perfect mafia princess. She’s been groomed her whole life for this role, and she executes it flawlessly, bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders. She is caged and protected by dangerous men, but Raze, the most dangerous one yet, is the only one who can free her from herself.
With unforgettable characters and a hauntingly beautiful romance, Raze is the definition of an unputdownable read.
9. Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski (In the Company of Killers #1)
This is a dark, desperate story that will have you on the edge of your seat to the very last page. A fast-paced, scorching hot ride that will keep you guessing. Surprising, unpredictable, and totally unputdownable.
Victor is a mysterious, complex man, with the cold and dangerous nature of the killer he is. A street-smart, order-following enigma, he originally agrees to help Sarai with a selfish agenda, but he soon warms up to the beautifully broken girl.
Sarai is damaged and vulnerable, but tough and dangerous. This girl is totally kick ass, brave even in the face of absolute brutality. Sarai will do anything to survive, but still puts the need of others before her own when necessary. This is the kind of girl who doesn’t need to be rescued, she can save herself.
This twisted tale is beautifully written, with dangerously complex characters and an action-packed plot. You will devour this addictive story as fast as you can.
10. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Fifty Shades Book 1)
If you love dark romance, you’ve probably already read Fifty Shades, inarguably the most popularized novel of this genre. A perfect balance of genuine romance and steamy erotica, there’s a reason this book is so big.
Christian is wealthy, mysterious, and swoon-worthy–the perfect dark hero. Tormented by a dark past, he has become deeply controlling, in and out of the bedroom. When Anastasia enters his life, that control begins to unravel for the first time.
Shy and inexperience, Ana immediately catches Christian’s obsessive attention. Despite her naiveté, she continuously manages to challenge Christian and hold her own in the dark new world she finds herself in.
With off-the-charts chemistry that jumps off the pages, and characters you can easily fall in love with, this book is a must-read for lovers of twisted romance.
11. Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan (Undeniable #1)
This book will have you in alpha male heaven. Intense, delicious, and brutally real, Sheehan will have you believing in fate with this no-holds-barred MC romance.
Deuce is a major asshole, and you will become putty in his hands after just a few pages. Despite a laundry list of issues, Deuce is possessive and protective of the woman he loves. Sexy as sin and as masculine as they come.
Eva is smart, fearless, and strong enough to be a dominant presence even in relationships with major alphas. She’s an MC princess and she plays the part well. Even when she makes questionable decisions, she does so out of the unconditional love she has for the people in her life.
This is a truly “undeniable” love story, spanning decades of raw, gritty passion.
12. Consequences by Aleatha Romig (Consequences #1)
This is not your typical sexy dark romance. This book is twisted, sinister, and absolutely genius. This book will own you, shocking you again and again even when you think you’ve put the final pieces together.
Anthony is an irresistible predator. Domineering and violent, but with an undeniable charisma that will immediately hook you. Even when you hate him, you will desperately want to understand the man under the vicious surface.
Claire is determined and courageous, every day of her new life is a fight for survival. With a remarkable strength of character, Claire will constantly surprise you.
Dynamic, compelling, and totally intoxicating, Consequences will mess with your mind in the best ways.
13. Corrupt by Penelope Douglas (Devil’s Night #1)
A roller-coaster plot plus mouth-watering chemistry equals this wickedly unputdownable read. Douglas delivers a delectable mystery that will have you hooked from the very first page. The unique narration of the story adds an extra layer of appeal to this addictive read.
Michael seems apathetic at best, feeding off the chaos he creates in the world. His loyalty for his friends remains the biggest drive in his life, even when it causes him to make decisions that will have you throwing the book across the room.
Rika is brave and clever, with enough backbone to play with the boys. Despite the privilege she was raised with, she is just twisted enough to thrive off the dark circumstances she now finds herself in.
This is a compelling piece of writing packed with ruthless, complex characters that will corrupt the reader as easily as they corrupt each other.
14. Crow by A. Zavarelli (Boston Underworld #1)
Gritty, bold, and uncompromising, Crow is the ultimate mob romance. With a non-stop plot, compelling characters, and white-hot chemistry, every page of this book will captivate your full attention.
Lachlan is a real asshole alpha, possessive as hell and professionally violent. His hot Irish accent and swoon-worthy tattoos will have you melting immediately. Loyal and protective to those he loves, Lachlan is a sexy mobster you won’t soon forget.
Mack is one strong lady, not just as a character but also physically. A street fighter hellbent on finding her missing friend and wreaking revenge on those who took her, Mack is easy to root for. Sassy and tough, she will easily become one of your all-time favorite heroines.
Zavarelli’s flawless writing will suck you in and won’t let you go, every twist and turn pulling you in deeper. The gripping characters are the backbone of this intense page turner.
15. Debt Inheritance by Pepper Winters (Indebted #1)
Secrets, suspense, and smoking-hot sex… Winters immediately captures the reader and will hold you prisoner until the very last page. Buckle up for a totally unpredictable ride, with a cast of wonderful, terrible, and completely unforgettable characters.
Jethro is terrifying and alluring, more villain than hero. He is cold, brutal, ruthless, even to his beautiful captive. You will want to hate Jethro, but no matter how hard you try to resist, he’ll pull you deep into his twisted game.
Nila’s strength and fortitude is admirable. Shy at first, the sheltered girl comes out of her shell in a hurry when circumstance completely out of her control force her into a terrible situation. Through this novel she develops real confidence and backbone.
Winters is a master of dark romance, weaving a tale so twisted you won’t easily escape it. Debt Inheritance will leave you questioning everything, and hungry for much more of Jethro and Nila.
16. Torn from You by Nashoda Rose (Tear Asunder #1)
Complicated and intense, Torn from You is a twisted knot of contradictory emotions. Equal parts dark and disturbing mixed with love and forgiveness, with a sprinkling of sweet, steamy, and funny, makes for a complex story that you’ll be thinking about long after the final page.
Sculpt/Logan is a damaged anti-hero, a nasty dirty talker, and a domineering alpha male. Basically the total package. He will do anything to protect his Emily, even when she doesn’t want him. No matter how dark he goes, you’ll find yourself rooting for him.
Emily is a fighter and a survivor. Her quiet and careful life is disrupted by pure evil, with a twist that shatters her world. Even after being put through hell, this girl refuses to back down or give up. Despite herself, she is drawn to Logan time and time again.
An artful balance of light and dark, Torn from You is an unpredictable rollercoaster ride. The real strengths of this novel are the complex, well-written characters, who lift not only themselves but the whole story easily off the page.
17. Sparrow by L.J. Shen
Sparrow is an edge-of-your-seat read, with non-stop action and suspense. The relationship between Troy and Sparrow is well-developed and realistic. Their explosive, dirty, and intense chemistry will keep you up all night.
Troy is hard to like at first. The son of a mob boss, he is an unapologetic asshole, a ruthless alpha, and cocky as hell. You won’t be sure whether you want to kiss him or kill him. But as you slowly uncover what lies under the surface, you’ll soon find yourself head-over-heels.
Sparrow is resilient, strong-willed, and basically a badass. After being forced into marriage to a man she despises, she bravely stands up and talks back to her dangerous new husband. A little spitfire, she refuses to be changed by the new life that’s been thrust upon her.
With chemistry that is off-the-charts from the start, Sparrow is a gripping, well-written rollercoaster ride.
18. Deviant by Callie Hart (Blood & Roses #1)
This read is hot enough to melt your eReader… and your panties. Deviant is an addictive, kinky treat. A delicious mix of fast-paced plot and mind-blowing chemistry, this is the kind of book you just have to read in one sitting.
Zeth is commanding and dangerous, pure alpha hotness. His powerful physique and razor sharp instinct helps him survive in his dangerous world. While his moral compass isn’t strong, he does show compassion to the people he cares about. Shrouded in mystery and a leather jacket, Zeth is one sexy bad boy.
Sloane is feisty, smart, and fearless, ready and willing to do whatever it takes to find her missing sister. She is a perfect match for Zeth, and understands him like no one has before. Her intense chemistry with Zeth is undeniable and addictive.
Mystery, suspense, and non-stop steaminess make Deviant a five star read. Hart serves brutality and shock on a most intoxicating platter.
19. Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas
Comfort Food is a well-written, compelling, darker-than-night psychological masterpiece. No matter how dark and disturbing this read gets, you won’t be able to put it down for a second. And then, you will find yourself reading and re-reading this book again, and again, and again.
Master is a total enigma, both to Emily and to the reader. His anonymity only makes him more intriguing, and you’ll find yourself hungering for any scrap of information about this mysterious stranger.
Emily is a very intelligent woman, an expert in the psychology that is suddenly being used against her. She studies her captor as much as he studies her, but she can’t escape the deep connection she has with him. He brings out dark desires she never knew she possessed, and Emily is irrevocably changed by her time with him.
This book is intelligently written, daring, and thought provoking. Unapologetically dark and twisted, Comfort Food is a delightful treat for lovers of dark erotica.
20. Wanderlust by Skye Warren
Tragic, compelling, and intense, Wanderlust will have you mesmerized from beginning to end. Warren plays with the reader’s mind and emotions, and leaves you craving so much more. Her gripping, poetic writing makes this a story you won’t soon forget.
Hunter is man you know you should abhor, but you’ll still find yourself falling for him. He knows what he wants and he takes it, even when what he wants is a young woman. He is her captor and tormentor, but he also becomes her hero.
Evie is a wild spirit, who craves adventure and freedom after a very limiting childhood. She finds herself captured by a dangerous man, who can’t get enough of her. Still Evie continues fighting for her freedom, even as she finds herself falling for her captor.
A delicate balance of steamy erotica and deeply emotional romance, Wanderlust is an unconventional story of self discovery.
Disagree with us? Vote for your favourite below! And if you’ve a title that we’ve left off the list, you can add it to the votable list on Ranker.