With so much reading material out there and so little time, it can be hard to decide where to start — especially with a genre as popular as romance! If you like your romance novels with a little suspense and a lot of spice, then taboo romance is the subgenre for you. The following list contains the twenty best taboo romance books out there — whether you’re new to the genre or just looking for your next favorite forbidden romance read, you won’t be disappointed.
The Best Taboo Romance Books
So That Happened by Katie Bailey
Lines are crossed and rules are broken in So That Happened, a delightful romantic comedy that’s full of workplace scandal and sizzling hot chemistry.
When an airport mix-up leads to Annie sharing a bed with a (surprisingly attractive) stranger, she doesn’t think much of it. But when she arrives at her new job on Monday morning and meets her new boss, she is hit with a startling surprise: he’s the hot stranger from the night before, Liam Donovan.
Annie might not have the HR rulebook memorized, but she’s pretty certain that things are about to get complicated.
You can buy So That Happened here, and prepare for a fast-paced read that’s perfect for a cozy night in.
The Doctor by Nikki Sloane
If you’re looking for a taboo romance that will have your heart racing, then look no further than Nikki Sloane’s enticing series debut, The Doctor.
Cassidy has it bad for Dr. Greg Lowe — sure, he’s twenty years older than her, but she doesn’t mind the experience, the maturity, and the passion. Little does she know that Dr. Lowe has eyes for her, too, and he’s been wanting to make a move for so long. The only catch? Dr. Lowe is her ex-boyfriend’s father.
You can purchase The Doctor here, and check out the next three books in the Nashville Neighborhood collection for more steamy and intoxicating romance.
The Risk by Elle Kennedy
Elle Kennedy writes can’t-miss, charming romances that are the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, and The Risk is no exception.
Meet Brenna Jensen: she’s the daughter of Briar U’s hockey coach with one rule for herself: she just can’t date anyone from a rival sports team. Jake Connelly is exactly that — a rival — but she allows herself to enter a fake relationship with him, hoping that he can help her secure an internship. What’s Brenna to do when Jake starts asking for real dates in return for their fake dates?
You can buy The Risk here, and prepare to fall for this seductive, sporty romance in no time.
Your Dad Will Do by Katee Robert
It doesn’t get more taboo than Katee Robert’s exhilarating stand-alone novel Your Dad Will Do, a trope-driven read that you won’t want to put down.
When Lily’s fiance cheats on her, she knows she wants to get revenge — but simply returning her fiance’s behavior isn’t quite enough. Lily wants to raise the stakes, and that’s exactly what she does when she decides to seduce Shane, her fiance’s father. Revenge just got hotter.
You can purchase Your Dad Will Do here, and check out the next three books in the Touch of Taboo collection for more hot and heavy romance.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue is a forbidden romance with a lot of heart: from deeply lovable characters to the storyline’s infectious warmth and wit.
The tabloids weren’t supposed to know about the altercation between Alex (the President’s son) and Henry (the literal Prince of Wales) — but not only did they know about it, they printed a photo of it, too. A truce is planned by the US/British PR teams, but as Alex and Henry hurtle into a friendship-turned-romance, there’s just one thing they’re certain of: their relationship needs to remain a secret.
You can buy Red, White & Royal Blue here, and see for yourself what the hype surrounding this whirlwind romance read is all about.
Misconduct by Penelope Douglas
Penelope Douglas writes steamy contemporary romances that are full of passion and personality, and Misconduct is her work at its absolute best.
Easton Bradbury became a teacher with the hopes of getting through to her bored students, and also (admittedly) trying to escape from her troubled past. She meets Tyler Marek at a parent-teacher meeting and finds herself inexplicably drawn to him — she might be his son’s teacher, but the heart wants what the heart wants.
If only Easton had some way of knowing the kind of man that Tyler truly was.
You can purchase Misconduct here, and prepare to be swiftly swept up by this deliciously captivating romance.
Priest by Sierra Simone
Priest by Sierra Simone is a tempting and tantalizing love story with a unique plotline and engaging character development.
Priest follows Father Bell, a twenty-nine-year-old Catholic priest who has religiously honored his longtime vow of celibacy. Everything changes when the young and beautiful Poppy shows up at his confessional booth, and there’s something about her that he just can’t resist.
You can buy Priest here, and make sure to check out the companion novels, Sinner and Saint, too.
Tempt Me by K. A. Tucker
K. A. Tucker’s Tempt Me is an alluring series debut, kicking off the four-book Wolf Hotel series with a bang.
Abbi Mitchell is running away from heartbreak — but did she run right into something even worse? Her new boss, Henry Wolf, is an infamous playboy and heir to a luxury hotel chain, so what could he possibly want with Abbi? And why did he insist that she become his new personal assistant?
You can purchase Tempt Me here, and check out the next three installations in the Wolf Hotel series for more of Abbi and Henry’s story.
The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori
Danielle Lori’s The Sweetest Oblivion is a well-written story of love, lust, and longing that romance readers will not want to miss.
Set in the murky New York underworld, The Sweetest Oblivion follows the romance between mafia principessa Elena and the dark and dangerous Nicolas Russo. The pair is perfect for each other, with one notable exception — Nicolas is engaged to Elena’s sister.
You can buy The Sweetest Oblivion here, and prepare to be turning pages late into the night.
Still Beating by Jennifer Hartmann
If you’re looking for a dark and deceptive romance that you won’t be able to put down, then look no further than Jennifer Hartmann’s Still Beating.
Still Beating follows Cora and her arch nemesis Dean, who are thrown together when Cora loses her wallet and has to depend on Dean for a way home. But things are about to get a lot worse when Cora wakes and finds herself tied up in someone’s basement — with none other than Dean himself imprisoned next to her.
What does their abductor have planned for Cora? And why did he kidnap Dean, too?
You can purchase Still Beating here, and brace yourself for a read that’s as shocking as it is unputdownable.
Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
Sylvain Reynard’s bestselling series debut, Gabriel’s Inferno, is a sexy, suspenseful novel that you’re sure to be thinking about long after you’ve turned the last page.
Julia Mitchell and Gabriel Emerson both come from troubled pasts and a history of heartache, yet on the outside, they present very differently. Julia is innocent and sweet, while Gabriel indulges himself in a dark and selfish inner world of pleasure.
When the two of them meet, their similarities (and differences) bring them together, but one important factor threatens to keep them apart: Gabriel is Julia’s professor.
You can buy Gabriel’s Inferno here, and make sure to check out the next three books in the critically acclaimed Gabriel’s Inferno series, too.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood is a beautifully written novel, penned with deep care and attention to its character, content, and controversy.
Set against the backdrop of a Midwestern meth lab, readers are introduced to Wavy, the daughter of an infamous drug dealer, and Kellen, an ex-con employed by her father. When tragedy rips Wavy’s family apart, her well-meaning aunt steps in and threatens to take away everything that Wavy holds dear.
You can purchase All the Ugly and Wonderful Things here, and don’t forget the box of tissues that you’re likely to need while reading
Notice by K. Webster
K. Webster is the bestselling author of more than thirty steamy romance reads, with the dark and dangerous thrill read Notice being one of her most popular and well-written novels yet.
The love story between Violet and Grayson is far from a traditional romance — most romances don’t involve obsession and stalking, but that just so happens to be Grayson’s style. With Violet’s unpredictable ex looming, and Grayson’s obsession getting to be too much, things are about to get complicated for these star-crossed lovers.
You can buy Notice here, and prepare for a deliciously written romance read like no other.
Heat Wave by Karina Halle
Karina Halle’s Heat Wave is an exhilarating escapist read, complete with laugh-out-loud dialogue and sizzling hot chemistry.
Meet Ronnie Locke: she just accepted a job running the kitchen of a small Hawaiian hotel and she should be having the time of her life on the island. The only thing stopping her is Logan Shephard: he’s the owner of the hotel she’s working at, and he is absolutely insufferable.
Or at least, that was Ronnie’s first impression of him… maybe there’s more to Logan than meets the eye. But is finding out what’s hiding behind those deep brown eyes worth the scandal?
You can purchase Heat Wave here, and get ready to feel all the emotions in this juicy, tension-filled read.
The Kiss Thief by L. J. Shen
Flirtatious, fresh, and packed with deeply seductive romance: L. J. Shen’s The Kiss Thief has everything you’d expect from a taboo romance and more.
Francesca Rossi’s life isn’t her own — she was sought out by Senator Wolfe Keaton and promised to him in marriage. But Wolfe has other plans: plans to bring down Francesca’s father. He just didn’t expect to fall for Francesca along the way.
You can buy The Kiss Thief here, and you’ll be sure to fall for this suspenseful arranged marriage romance in no time.
Misbehaved by Charleigh Rose
Bestselling novelist Charleigh Rose delights readers again with Misbehaved, a taboo romance that’s brimming with powerful secrets and moving family drama.
Remington Stringer is teetering on the brink of adulthood, with a troubled family life and no one to hold onto except herself. She’s granted the opportunity to attend a prestigious private school for her senior year of high school, which is where she meets Mr. James Ornery. He might be her teacher, but that won’t stop Remi from chasing after what she wants.
You can purchase Misbehaved here, and prepare to be gripped by this emotional, trope-driven romance.
Color Me Pretty by B. Celeste
B. Celeste is known for writing unbelievably raw characters and romances, and Color Me Pretty is no exception.
Color Me Pretty’s heroine, Della, is a lovable character struggling with self-image and self-worth. She turns to the only man who has ever really helped her feel loved, Theodore West. He has been there for her ever since she was a child and he will be here for her now, in new and exciting ways — so what if he’s her father’s best friend.
You can buy Color Me Pretty here, and you’re bound to be swept up by the captivating forbidden romance between Della and Theo.
King of Wrath by Ana Huang
Ana Huang’s King of Wrath is the first installation in her highly anticipated Kings of Sin series, a taboo collection of steamy love stories that you won’t want to miss.
Dante Russo is a billionaire CEO and Vivian Lau is the beautiful woman he promised to marry — only to avoid the looming threats of blackmail from her father. Neither of them can stand the other, and neither of them is prepared for what will happen when they realize that they do want each other, badly, after all.
You can purchase King of Wrath here, and you’ll be eagerly awaiting the release of the next installation in the series with the rest of Huang’s dedicated fanbase.
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Wildly popular romance novelist Colleen Hoover debuted her writing skills with Slammed, a forbidden romance read that’s unforgettable and deeply moving.
Layken is just eighteen years old and she’s already grieving the loss of her father. She has little happiness in her life beyond her neighbor Will, who takes her to poetry slams and gives her a genuine hope that she never thought she’d experience.
Everything comes crumbling down around Layken when she walks into her senior year of high school and sees none other than Will: but Will isn’t there as a student after all. He’s her teacher.
You can buy Slammed here, and check out the follow-up novels Point of Retreat and This Girl for more of Will and Layken’s story.
Mr. President by Katy Evans
If you’re looking for a darkly sensual and politically charged romance, then Mr. President by Katy Evans is the right book for you.
Set during the bustle of a present-day presidential campaign, Mr. President follows the romance between Matt and Charlotte. Charlotte has harbored a crush on Matt for years, and she leaps at a chance to work on his presidential campaign with him.
When their lingering gazes threaten to become more than just a distant attraction, they know they have to stop — they can’t risk a scandal right in the middle of Matt’s campaign. But how can Charlotte hold herself back from the love she’s been waiting for?
You can purchase Mr. President here, and make sure to check out the sequel, Commander in Chief, for another deliciously forbidden romance.
What is considered a taboo romance?
Taboo romance is a romance that is forbidden or disapproved of by society. Some common examples of this include student-teacher relationships or employee-boss relationships.
What is the forbidden love trope in books?
The forbidden love trope is when a romantic pairing is considered wrong or forbidden, whether by parents, friends, or society. Forbidden love can be considered taboo, but it isn’t exactly the same thing, either.
What are some books about taboo love?
The above twenty books all include taboo love or romance in some shape or form.
What tropes are in dark romance?
Some common tropes in dark romance include outside danger or threats, power play, and a troubled or damaged heroine.
Why are forbidden love stories so popular?
Forbidden love stories are popular because they involve dramatic, tension-filled stories that are entertaining to read about. They also give readers a chance to experience something second-hand that they might not be able to in real life.