If you’re looking to get away from it all and escape into a gripping book, then you won’t go far wrong with one of these incredible mafia romance books.
If you’ve never had the chance to read a mafia romance book before, then we’re sure you’ll fall in love with them.
Filled with mysterious mafia men whose ideology consists of family and loyalty above all else, this dark yet romantic genre is filled with a whole range of tropes and themes for you to enjoy.
So, what are you waiting for? Our list is bursting with amazing mafia romance novels for you to discover, so get reading one soon!
The Mafia Romance Books You Should Be Reading
These books all fit into the genre of mafia romance, so whether you’re new to the genre, or a seasoned reader of mafia romance, you should find some incredible books for you to discover right here, so if you’ve been struggling to find some great mafia romance novels, then your search is over.
Let’s take a look at some of the best mafia romance novels out there that you should be reading right now!
“I’ll do anything to stay hidden, even if that means working at the scariest club in town. Then he shows up, mysterious and yet strangely familiar.”
When he looks at me, I forget why I can’t have him. He’s beautiful and scarred. His body fits mine, filling the places where I’m hollow, rough where I am soft.”
He’s the only man who wants to help, but he has secrets of his own. He has questions I can’t answer. I’m running from my past, but his might catch me first”.
When it comes to writing hot romances, Skye Warren never usually fails, and as part one of the “Stripped” series, this mafia romance novel is filled with all of the secrets and betrayal you could want from a mafia-based romance, so it’s definitely worth reading!
- Excellent writing full of twists and turns
- Interesting plot
- Gritty romance
- Romance takes a while to start
- Some readers felt there could have been more drama
“Mafia enforcer Aleksandr “The Siberian” Sevastyan’s loyalty to his boss is unwavering until he meets the boss’s long-lost daughter. Ordered to protect her, Aleksandr will do anything to possess her as well–on his own wicked terms.
Grad student Natalie Porter has barely recovered from her first encounter with the breathtaking Siberian when he whisks her away to Russia, thrusting her into a world of extreme wealth and wanton pleasures.
While escaping an enemy’s reach, the two lovers tempt each other’s boundaries to discover whether their darkest–and most forbidden–fantasies really can come true.”
For those who want to experience the full range of what this genre has to offer, then there’s no doubt that The Professional by Kresley Cole will have everything you could ever want and much more, with all of the suspense and drama of the usual mafia romance books, mixed in with steaming hot romance too, what’s not to love?
- Engaging and entrancing plot
- Hot romance that is enjoyable for readers
- Descriptive without being too much
- The male protagonist can seem slightly brutish, even for someone who is in the mafia
- Aspects of the romance lack chemistry
“Emma decided to skip the gym and went home early. It was the last easy decision she made because she found her roommate being assaulted by her boyfriend.
She had two choices. Call the cops and have his family’s mafia connections get her or destroy him first and hope to survive.
There was no choice for her. She took out the bastard and went to the one person who could protect her. Carter Reed.
He’s a weapon for the rivaling mafia family, but he’s also Emma’s secret. Not only was he best friends with her brother, but she’s the reason he became that weapon in the first place.”
Carter Reed is a great choice of book for anyone who is looking for plenty of romance but with a darker, edgier side to things, and as a result, makes the perfect addition to this list of mafia-romance novels.
It is worth noting that there are a number of things in the book that require trigger warnings, so proceed with caution if you plan on delving into this novel!
- The book starts well with all of the suspense and tension you could want
- Classic alpha male and damsel in distress story
- Addictive read
- Plot goes out of the window slightly toward the end
- Anticlimactic romance scenes.
“I never thought my father would ask this of me, to become the second generation at Eagle Elite University, to rule with an iron fist, and to take care of anyone who gets in our way. But ever since the incident. Ever since Him. There’s been a rift in our little clique. After all, a house divided cannot stand.
He’s the problem, not me. He used to kiss me like I was his oxygen. Now he looks at me like I’m his poison. But we both drank it, again and again, never believing there would be a day when our love would start a fight as big as this. And our friendship would shatter into a million pieces.
Then again, the worst thing you could do in the mafia is to hang on to hope that your life will be normal. The second worst thing? Fall in love with your best friend. Enemy. And heir to the Nicolasi throne.”
There’s no doubt that the friends-to-enemies trope is arguably one of the best in the genre, which is exactly why so many people enjoyed reading Ruthless Princess.
So if you want a gripping mafia story filled with lies, betrayal, love, and more, then you should definitely give this book a try, especially since Rachel Van Dyken is no stranger to writing great mafia romance novels!
“Declan blames me for starting this battle. Consorting with his enemies. Getting his men offed. Though I’m innocent on all charges, he wants his pound of flesh and makes me his captive.
But as we’ll both soon discover, there are more powerful urges than sticking it to your enemy.”
For anyone who loves mafia romance novels, then you’ll know that Gessinger is often the writer of some fantastic novels, and this one is no exception to that.
With two interesting lead characters, their dynamic is intriguing and captivating for readers, and while there is a slight lack of mafia presence in the novel, it is heavily implied, but this shouldn’t distract you from this incredible novel!
- Great humor and banter throughout
- The romance is great
- Plenty of angst
- Engaging and interesting characters the readers can like
- The mafia aspect of the novel is lacking slightly
- Some plot holes throughout that some readers will definitely notice
“Killian Black is not what he seems. One night is all it takes to fall for the thief who stole from him. Too bad she’s the daughter of his biggest enemy.”
As you can see, we really love J.T. Gessinger’s novels, and for good reason too, as this book is definitely one of the best books in the genre as a whole, so if you’re looking for a place to start in the genre, this is certainly a good choice.
Although this book tends to focus more on the romance aspect of the genre as opposed to the mafia side of things, there is still plenty of edge and grittiness to be found throughout, so don’t expect this to be a cute or peaceful romance by any means!
- Killian is everything you could want and more from a lead male character in this genre
- The chemistry between the two romantic interests is perfect
- Full of sass and banter
- The plot is lacking slightly as the romance takes center stage
- Juliet can be slightly frustrating as a character in the first half of the book
“They say your first kiss should be earned. Mine was stolen by a man 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. I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.”
Another one of the recent greats in the genre, this mafia romance novel is so good that it was actually a GoodReads Choice Awards nominee in 2019, and features one of the best enemies-to-lovers stories in recent years.
It features plenty of the common mafia romance novel tropes too, including arranged marriage, and even a dramatic love triangle, so this is definitely a book that’s going to keep you on the edge of your seat!
- Intricate and well-written plot
- The storytelling is incredibly well done
- Great historical inspiration
- Engaging throughout
- Might feel slightly clichéd for long-time fans of the genre
- Too much is made of the age gap
“Elena Abelli is the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was. Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.
In New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A made man, a boss, a cheat. After his and Elena’s first encounter, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome.
She doesn’t like the man but that doesn’t stop her heart from racing, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine, making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should.
Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes.
Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another. Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?”
We all know how it feels to be so entranced by a book that you finish it in a matter of days, and we’re warning you now that you definitely won’t be able to let go of this book until it’s done, it’s just so gripping!
With an arranged marriage between the heroine’s younger sister and a Made Man in the New York mafia, this story is all about a gripping and edgy forbidden romance that will have you entranced right until the very end, and you’ll immediately want to read the best of the books in the series.
This is definitely one of the best books to read in the genre, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never read a mafia romance novel before, we’re sure you’ll love it.
- Excellent romantic chemistry between the two main characters
- Attention to detail is great
- A subtle build-up in tension makes for a satisfying ending
- Definitely won’t be enjoyable for those who enjoy pure or clean romance novels
- Hard to understand the heroine’s thought process sometimes
“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.
Aria is terrified of marrying a man she hardly knows. In her world a handsome exterior often hides the monster within.
The only way to escape the marriage to Luca would be to run away and leave everything she’s ever known behind but Aria can’t bear the thought of never seeing her family again.
Despite her fear, she decides to go through with the marriage; Aria has grown up among predators like Luca and knows that even most cold-hearted bastards have a heart and she has every intention of working her way into Luca’s.”
This mafia romance novel simply HAD to make the list thanks to its never-dying popularity amongst fans of the genre, which means that if you ask any veteran of the genre for a recommendation on what book to start with, don’t be surprised if this is one of the books they tell you to try out.
With the romance motivated and entangled in the mafia plot line, this is the perfect balance between the two aspects of the genre that will keep you turning the pages right until the end.
It’s also the first book in a series, which means there are more stories for you to read even once you’re done with this one!
- Includes great family aspect of mafia romance that many novels miss out
- Luca wins the reader over in the end
- Filled with the tropes that make the genre great
- Morally gray characters are well written
- Lacks morals and is slightly problematic in the content, which might not suit some readers
- Singular POV disappoints
“The most notorious man in the city offers me a job. Act as his deceased wife. Adrian Volkov isn’t the type of person who takes no for an answer. He commands with an iron fist and all his orders are met.
When he approaches me with the offer, I have two options. Go to prison or put myself under his wrath. I choose to have a roof over my head. What’s so hard about acting, right? Wrong.
The moment I step into his wife’s shoes, everything spirals out of control. My only way of survival is through Adrian. Or is it?”
Of all of the tropes in the mafia romance genre, the fake relationship trope is often one of the favorites, and if you’re a sucker for this trope, then Vows Of Deception is definitely going to be one of those books that you need to pick up sometime soon.
Of course, we all know how this trope ends up, but since this is just one part of a trilogy, there is so much of the relationship to be explored!
- Incredible plot and storytelling that keeps readers guessing
- Excellent supporting/side characters
- Likable main characters
- Great character development
- Full of potential triggers that you’ll need to check before you read
- The Cliffhanger ending is annoying for some
“Jilted by my fiancé. A disappointment to my family. Haunted by my childhood traumas. I felt so much all my life that I resolved to feeling nothing at all. Until I met my match.
As the most infamous mafioso of the 21st century, Dante Salvatore was madly passionate, unequivocally bad, and entirely too dangerous to know. He was everything I abhorred, yet I found myself representing him in the biggest criminal trial of the decade.
I was so focused on winning and achieving the success I deserved that I didn’t notice the gorgeous black-eyed man’s effect on me until it was too late.
My icy heart had been held too close to his flame and now I wouldn’t let Dante go down without fighting with everything I had in me.
Even if the cost of a new life with him meant the loss of my old life and everything I thought I held dear.”
It’s always when books in the genre provide interesting new takes, and the idea of a lawyer falling in love with her mafioso client is an intriguing and fresh new plot on the traditional forbidden romances that are so often found in mafia romance novels.
- Icy, hardened, and strong female MC
- Great tension and chemistry
- The characters are flawed yet interesting
- Inner monologues slow down the pacing of the story
- The lawyer aspect is full of jargon that some readers will find hard to understand
“Liam, next in line to lead the Irish, believes he’s getting a simple-minded wife, one he can control, one who bends to his every need . . . the complete opposite of Melody.
Bred to be a Boss, a world-class marksman, master of disguise, with no mercy and no fear. Twenty-four years later, she has achieved more than any man could even dream of.
She knows exactly what type of man Liam is, and she would rather perish than give up the power she has spent her whole life building.
The mafia of the past is evolving, and with rival bosses angling for them, Melody and Liam will have to figure out how to work as one to take down those who stand in their way, all while keeping up appearances.”
There’s nothing like the love between warring factions, and this novel epitomizes everything that is great about this genre.
As the power struggle between each side of the arranged marriage continues, we’re rewarded with the flourishing chemistry between the two main characters.
If you like your mafia romance novels violent, then you’ll definitely love Ruthless People, which is filled with dark, gritty, and edgy action that you want from the genre!
- The chemistry between husband and wife is off the charts
- Doesn’t involve lies or cheating like some other novels
- No sugarcoating the actions of the mafias
- Pacing is quite fast and hard to keep up with
- Can feel slightly over the top at times.
“Maddox – Mad Dog – White hates everything the name Vitiello stands for, after he witnessed his father and his men getting butchered by the Capo of the Italian mob in their territory.
Raised by his uncle, the president of the Tartarus MC, Maddox is destined to follow in his footsteps.
Now their chapter is on the rise again, but for their ultimate triumph, they need to destroy the Vitiello empire. And what better way to do it than to steal the spoilt Vitiello princess and break her piece by piece until her father begs for mercy.”
A returning visit to the Vitiello family is why this book by Cora Reilly is one of the most popular in the genre.
Many people obsess over this family, and this installment blends in the mafia romance with MC romance, helping to provide a completely unique twist on your usual mafia romance novels.
- Dark and gritty as a mafia romance novel should be
- Twists and turns grip the reader’s emotions
- The unique main male character
- The story is split into two books
- An action-packed plot means there’s very rarely a lull
“My name is Nicolai Valsetti, people call me Black Heart. My father has been slain making me the next king of New Jersey. I was taught to live by three mottos…pride, power, and protection.
With my father gone, and my brother taken, all I feel is pain, all I want is possession. I will get my revenge.
The daughter of my rival and my biggest enemy has literally fallen into my lap. She was never meant to be part of the plan, but Sophia Kastrati turns out to be the perfect pawn in a very dangerous game of vengeance.
The only problem is, she is as beautiful as she is brave, and has captured my full attention.”
For those who loved the Jersey setting of The Sopranos, then this novel will be for you, and with the classic enemies-to-lovers trope muddled amongst the seeking of revenge, it has all of the makings of a mafia romance classic!
- Filled with action from start to finish
- The romance is passionate
- Well done despite the classic trope
- Darker and more realistic than some mafia novels
- Character’s internal monologues can sometimes feel repetitive and slow the story down slightly
“Lachlan Crow is the last man on earth I’d ever want to be with. I won’t lose my head just because he’s hot, Irish, and has a wicked accent to boot. He’s one of the only leads in my best friend’s disappearance, and I don’t trust him.
I need to remember some key rules when it comes to dealing with Lachlan Crow, yet no rules apply when it comes to the Irish mafia.
It was only supposed to be temporary, but now Lachlan thinks he owns me. He says he’s not letting me go.”
The interesting twist on the enemies-to-lover trope involves our main character Mackenzie looking to infiltrate the Irish mafia in order to find out more about the disappearance of her friend, but everything changes when she meets the heir to the mafia Lachlan Crow, who sees right through her disguise.
Filled with suspense, romance, and dark, gritty action, this mafia novel is a gripping read for sure!
- Amazing chemistry between Mackenzie and Lachlan
- Mackenzie manages to remain a strong female character
- Character development is well done
- There are some plot holes
- The story feels slightly over the top
“Callum Griffin is the heir to the Irish Mafia. He’s ruthless, arrogant, and he wants nothing to do with me. But after I accidentally start a teeny, tiny fire, now our families believe a marriage pact is the only thing that will prevent all-out chaos.
I won’t go down without a fight, even if he is good-looking. I’ve got a lockbox around my heart. And even if I’m forced to marry him, I could never love a brutal prince.”
Whether you decide to read this as a standalone or as part of the Brutal Birthright series is entirely up to you, however, what must be said is that this novel certainly does the mafia romance genre right!
Although it’s slightly lighter on the mafia aspect than other novels are, there’s still plenty of grit in this novel, the romance is well done, and there’s plenty of humor to enjoy too.
- Great humor and romance
- Makes good use of classic tropes
- The chemistry between the main characters is clear
- Many people find it hard to like Callum due to his brattish behavior.
- The plot sometimes feels slightly rushed
“Dante Marcello’s life has been a carefully planned event as an heir to a Cosa Nostra throne. With his father ready to step down, it’s Dante’s turn to step up. But without a wife at his side, his seat as the boss is on shaky ground. Until she shows up with an offer he wants to refuse, but can’t.
Catrina Danzi has worked as a successful Queen Pin dealing with a repertoire of clientele who can’t afford a scandal.
Marrying Dante Marcello means giving up the business and status she loves in order to gain protection she can’t provide on her own, but she no longer has a choice.
The rules for their arrangement are simple: no intimacy, no emotions. Dante isn’t looking for love and Catrina doesn’t need attachments.
In the end, life has a way of breaking down walls when you least expect it to, and once love gets in, there’s no bleeding it out.”
Sometimes it can be disappointing when the female lead character is made out to be slightly weaker or more submissive than the male lead.
Don’t worry though, as this definitely isn’t the case in Dante, as our female lead, Catrina, is more than capable of handling herself in this fake marriage trope.
Each page is filled with sass and chemistry between the pair, and the wider dynamic between the family is perfect too, which definitely makes this one of the better mafia romance novels out there.
- The romance is perfect
- Character development is good
- The plot is actually interesting
- Opens up the storyline for the future
- The mafia plot aspect is sometimes slightly too far fetched
- Other aspects of the mob politics side are also somewhat poorly executed
“Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco grew up under vastly different circumstances. Haven, a second-generation slave, was isolated in the middle of the desert.
Carmine, born into a wealthy Mafia family, lived a life of privilege and excess. Now, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide.
Entangled in a web of secrets and lies, they learn that while different on the surface, they have more in common than anyone would think.
In a world full of chaos, where money and power rule, Haven and Carmine yearn to break free, but a string of events that began before either of them were born threatens to destroy them instead.”
As some mafia romance novels do, this novel is filled with some rather heavy topics, which means it might not be suitable for everyone.
However, for those who are willing to continue on despite this, you’ll be rewarded with an epic story all about love, sacrifice, and what it means to make the right choices.
This book is one that will certainly tug at your heartstrings, and is definitely something of an emotional rollercoaster – but that only makes it worth reading even more!
- Dark and gritty plot
- The writing is incredibly well done
- Ending means it is open for more development in the future
- Plenty of mafia action
- The story is incredibly long, and could maybe be shortened
- Slightly predictable ending
“Troy Brennan. Every Southie in Boston knows that name. “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. Took me. And destroyed every chance I had to run away from the place where we grew up. Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings.
I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he’ll ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.”
If you’ve enjoyed some of the other novels written by Shen, then you absolutely can’t ignore their most popular mafia romance novel of them all: Sparrow!
This novel is definitely going to appeal to those who like strong heroines in their mafia romance stories, especially those that provide a great challenge for the alpha male. Filled with suspense, secrets, and of course, romance, what’s not to love?
- Strong female character
- Great suspense and buildup
- The romance was introduced well
- The middle of the book is too slow compared to the beginning and the end
“For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three-year-old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents.
When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up.
She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage.
While Luisa wants out, another man has set his sights on her to get what he wants. That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her. Unless she ruins him first.”
Involving a Mexican cartel as opposed to a mafia, it still fits into this list, and with all of the forbidden love and romance found in this book, there’s certainly not much to complain about.
This novel is filled with violence and some quite dark themes, so you might want to avoid it if you think it’s going to be too upsetting for you!
- Gritty, dark, and even slightly gruesome, this isn’t for the faint of heart
- Character development was well written
- Romance is passionate and built up at a good pace
- Javier is frustratingly indecisive at times
- He also loses some of the humor he was known for in previous novels
There we have it, our list of some of the best mafia romance books that you need to buy.
So, if you are one of those who have been looking to broaden their horizons in the mafia romance genre, then this list will certainly serve you well, we just hope you enjoy some of the novels we picked out for you!
How To Choose The Right Book For You
Knowing which novel is right for you can be difficult, so here’s a small guide on how to pick out a novel!
Read The Blurb
It’s easy to judge a book by its cover, but judging a book by its blurb is a much smarter decision, as you’ll be able to get a solid premise for the story without spoiling it, allowing you to decide whether or not the story is enticing enough for you to read.
Focus On Tropes
Mafia romance novels are filled with a whole range of different tropes, so try to find out which ones you like the most, and then search for the books that use those tropes first!
If you’re ever unsure of where you should start in a genre, then don’t be afraid to seek advice from your fellow book lovers.
There are plenty of places where you can discover reviews of books you’re thinking about reading, all without spoiling the plot.
This means that not only will you be able to tell whether or not the book you’re considering is what you like, but also whether or not it’s worth reading!
Find An Author You Like
If you like one novel by an author, then it’s a good idea to try out some of their other works in the same genre, especially if they’re part of a series of books.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Mafia Romance Novels?
Mafia romance novels are novels that focus on a combination of romance, but with mafia storyline elements added in too, creating a much edgier read.
What Are Some Common Themes In Mafia Romance Novels?
Some of the most common themes you’ll see recurring in these novels include things such as alpha males, family, loyalty, lies, betrayal, secrets, arranged or false marriages, revenge, and violence.
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