Last Updated on June 23, 2023 by Louisa
We’ve all seen enough good boys in superhero novels and sometimes, you can’t deny, a boy who doesn’t play by the rules is just such a turn on.
The bad boys who feature in my favorite bad boy romance books come from troubled backgrounds, from biker clubs to mafia families.
They’re broken, tormented souls looking for a nice girl to teach them a better way.
Or maybe they don’t. Maybe a bad boy cannot be tamed.
Whatever type of bad boy sizzles in your fantasies, you can be sure to find romance books with bad boys that have a sultry and steamy MC that meets your inner desires.
Especially since I’ve created the ultimate list to choose from.
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Quick Answer: Top 3 picks!
Need a book but don’t have all day? Don’t worry, these are our top three favourites!
#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
- A college student meets a bad boy and her new beginning is threatened
- Wallstreet bestselling author
- The follow up novel, Walking Disaster, made #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists
#2 Best in Biker Romance
Welcome to The Dark Side by Giana Darling
- An age gap romance between an ex con and the town’s mayor’s daughter
- Top 40 Amazon Bestseller
- Wall Street Journal bestselling author
What To Expect From Bad Boy Romance Books?
Bad boy romance books contain stories that often revolve around the whirlwind of emotions after our main protagonist falls for someone who is, as the genre name suggests, bad.
From the excitement and adrenaline rush of living dangerously to the turmoil of emotions from all the pain that comes with such an intense connection, these bad boys will make you feel it all.
The intensity of these stories is what makes them so gripping; everything intensifies quickly and before you know it you’ll be sucked into a world you won’t be able to easily escape.
You can expect sexy scenes in conjunction with heartfelt and raw moments that will have readers feeling all kinds of emotions.
If you’re looking for a story to bring out a range of heart-stopping feelings, then pick up one of these bad-boy romance novels and let yourself get lost!
Best Bad Boy Romance Books
Whether it’s a bad boy biker or the leader of an underground mafia ring, these bad boy romance novels will have you hooked!
1. Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
First on my list of bad boy romance novels is Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.
Intense, yet, dare I say, authentic, this typical romance book of bad boy good girl tells the story of Travis and Abby, and how they both end up falling for each other despite resistance.
Almost immediately, we learn how Abby was set in her ways of putting the gravitation she had towards ‘bad boys’ from her own past behind her, until Travis, the universities bare-knuckle fighting charmer, comes into the fray.
Sticking to her guns refuting Travis’ advances, she catches him by surprise, which then leads to an intriguing bet the two of them make.
With an ending to make the Coen brothers proud, Beautiful Disaster is compulsively addictive and leaves you wanting more.
Luckily for us, McGuire followed up with the equally as brilliant Walking Disaster. If you love college romance books, you’ll love this!
Related Reading: Books like Beautiful Disaster
2. Vicious – LJ Shen
Just like the saying goes, “opposites attract”. Vicious by LJ Shen, that very much rings true.
Vicious is a novel about the complicated relationship (or even somewhat abusive marriage) between two people from opposite worlds, Vicious and Emilia.
One is an attorney that uses his power to bully, and the other is the daughter of his cleaner.
She’s an innocent, yet submissive woman who angles for his attention throughout. The perfect definition of a toxic relationship.
If you like your romance books with bad boys to take you on a wild ride, Vicious might be the one you have to read next.
L.J. Shen is a USA Today bestselling author and was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance in 2019.
3. Bully – Penelope Douglas
Penelope Douglas is just simply a fantastic writer, capable of hitting every single pesky emotion when you sit down with a novel.
This is no different when it comes to the fiercely passionate Bully. Tate and Jared were childhood best friends and next-door neighbors.
That was, until, Jared came back from his summer holidays and like the flick of a light switch, began bullying Tate.
Fleeing to France to escape the trauma, upon her return, she finds solace and doesn’t let Jared ruin any more of her younger years.
An emotional novel that’s hard to read at times due to your connection with the characters, Bully is addictive, capturing the very essence of your first love and the broken heart that can follow.
Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author.
4. Welcome To The Dark Side – Giana Darling
Welcome To The Dark Side is perhaps one of the ‘darker’ books on the list.
Part of a series of interconnected age gap romance novels, we follow the taboo relationship of a divorced father, Zeus, who is the leader of an illegal motorcycle gang, and Lou, the innocent daughter of the town’s mayor that is almost two decades younger.
To give you an idea of how mismatched these two are, we find out she went to school with his children. Yeah, we told you this one was dark!
Captivating from the first page to the last, Giana Darling does an exceptional job of crafting a compelling biker romance story amongst the raunchy and erotic language featured.
5. The Sweetest Oblivion – Danielle Lori
If tension is what keeps you from putting a book down, The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori could be just what you’re after.
A mix between 50 Shades of Grey and The Godfather, it revolves around Elena Abelli, who’s part of a power-hungry family that is a core member of New York’s infamous Cosa Nostra.
Her sister is set to marry a member of her own power-hungry family, Nico, however, this is put into jeopardy after Elena and Nico strike up a match.
Well-written, with the chemistry only Romeo and Juliet can say they’ve experienced, The Sweetest Oblivion is a must-read for any angst romance book fan.
6. Rule – Jay Crownover
Want something to get your heart racing? Enter, Rule. A complicated, hot-tempered, and rebellious ‘bad-boy’ that unfortunately lost his brother in a car accident a few years prior.
He’s a typical guy with a bad boy reputation, with outlandish hair colors and styles, covered in tattoos and piercings, and regularly sleeps around.
Enter, Rule’s love interest, Shaw. Opposite of Rule, she’s wealthy, loyal, and a hardworking soul.
Certainly, one of the more light-hearted romance books of the bad boy good girl sub-genre, Rule is a fun, intriguing, and easy-to-read book that’ll leave you feeling satisfied.
If you love cocky bad boy romance, then Rule might be the one.
7. Rock Me – Cherrie Lynn
Following on with the tattooed, bad-boy theme is the racy forbidden romance novel Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn.
After walking into her local tattoo shop owned by her cousin’s ex-boyfriend Brian, Candace leaves with her new tattoo plus some old feelings that came flooding back.
Unfortunately, the majority of those who know Candace dislike Brian to the point where she has to make a life-changing decision.
A great writing style keeps you entertained whilst the characters have depth, leaving you feeling like you’re in this forbidden love story with them. You can’t ask for more than that!
8. Reaper’s Property – Joanna Wylde
With an interesting plot full of twists and turns, Reaper’s Property is a dual POV romance book that’s more than your regular bad boy romance.
The story follows a woman named Marie who has just left her long-term partner after he cheated on her.
Whilst staying at her biker brothers’ trailer, the appropriately named, huge hunk of a man they call Horse, turns up demanding to see Marie.
He wants Marie to himself; however, she declines his advances leading to plenty of trouble later down the line with Horse’s gang. But this chiseled biker’s desire won’t stop until it’s satisfied.
Told from dual POVs giving it a distinctive edge over other similar books, author Joanna Wylde has crafted a meticulous narrative that’s packed with suspense and romance.
9. Thoughtless – S. C. Stephens
Bad boys romance books don’t come much better than the next. From NY Times best-selling author S.C. Stephens, Thoughtless is a powerful and dramatic romance that catches you by surprise.
Kiera and Denny are simply put, like two peas in a pod. After moving cities to begin their new life together, they’re forced apart uncontrollably which seems them drift apart.
Kiera finds herself a shoulder to cry on, a local musician, Kellan. As their chemistry grows, you can’t help but feel for Denny as we ogle into the developing relationship Keira and Kellan have.
With critics describing Thoughtless as “impossible to put down”, each page leaves you wanting more and more until, within a few days, you’ve reached the last page. Gutting.
10. Prince of Hearts – L.A. Cotton
Written by the insanely talented L. A Cotton, Prince of Hearts is a book that documents families at war with each other, and rather, unfortunately, caught up in the middle are lovers Arianne and Niccolo.
Hailing from separate, rival families, the book draws similarities from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
After meeting through university, the pair fall hopelessly in love with each other, but their loyalties are tested as they find out they’re technically arch enemies.
The first installment of a captivating doubleheader, make sure Prince of Hearts is at the top of your to-read list.
11. Fake It ‘Til You Break It – Meagan Brandy
Romance books with bad boys are quite unique as a genre and author Meagan Brandy pens an interesting novel about two older, more ‘mature’ students in high school.
The cocky and lustful Nico and sweet and sassy Demi. One-time close childhood friends, they don’t get along as well as they used to.
What could make their situation more complicated? Yeah, a fake relationship. Only the fake relationship ends up being something a lot more serious.
With numerous twists and turns along the way, Brandy does an excellent job of character building which allows you to understand the characters so much better.
This best friend to lovers romance book sucks you right in, making it SO hard to put the book down.
12. Beautifully Cruel – J.T. Geissinger
There aren’t many romance books with a bad boy that are as complete as Beautifully Cruel.
An insanely intriguing storyline that captivates you from the first page, J.T Geissinger has created a hearty, fiery world that is a bit different from your usual dark and deceitful ‘Mafia’ based bad boy romance novels.
Saving Tru from an attack on the dark streets, immediately Liam is the knight in shining armor.
From this encounter, their relationship blossoms into a wild, dangerous rollercoaster ride that’s a blast to read from the get-go.
Featuring an obscene amount of passion, the chemistry the two characters have is special and is what is unique about Beautifully Cruel.
I can say with utmost certainty, that this is one that fits in the bad boys romance book genre.
13. Diary of a Bad Boy – Meghan Quinn
If you like romance books with a bad boy, just reading the title is enough to pique your interest.
It’s little surprise then that Diary of a Bad Boy features some of the raunchiest languages on my list.
Told, unsurprisingly, from the perspective of an Irish lad, Roark ends up falling in love with the wrong type of girl. One of his client’s daughters.
After mistakenly ending up with her phone, one innocent exchange sets off a multitude of alcohol-induced bad decisions, both parties would be guilty of.
Attraction is one hell of an influence, and it also makes for some quite excellent reading as proven by this highly-recommended novel from Meghan Quinn.
14. Undeniable – Madeline Sheehan
Undeniable is the emotional love story of Eva and Deuce. Their love for each other is undeniable.
However, they aren’t the most contemporary of couples. With an age gap that raises eyebrows, this book certainly pushes boundaries. But in a good way.
Uniquely for the genre, Sheehan chooses to span the book over a lengthy timespan – two decades.
This enables readers to build a connection to the characters over a longer period, seeing what sort of people Eva and Deuce turn out to be.
A raw, graphic love story with an excellent plot firmly cements this on our list of bad-boy romance novels you can’t put down.
15. Trouble – Samantha Towle
If you want a book about a female protagonist who is just as damaged as the man, then Trouble by Samantha Towle may just be the book you need.
Mia has had one of the most brutal lives possible. Abandoned as a child, and if that wasn’t traumatic enough, her father abuses her.
Extreme, to say the least, Samantha Towle’s Trouble isn’t for the younger readers among us.
That being said, this follows the classic bad-boy genre of the woman wanting the man she definitely doesn’t need.
Jordan is covered in tattoos, cocky and, let’s just say, partial to a one-night stand. Jordan’s trouble.
Mia is troubled. It’s a match made in bad-boy heaven, right? An emotional, punch-you-in-the-feels kind of book, it has a fantastic ending and is a relatively short read.
16. Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles
Nothing says cliché like a romance book with a bad boy titled Perfect Chemistry.
And what’s even more cliche, is the high-school couple featured in this book meet during, you guessed it, chemistry class.
However, this certainly doesn’t take away from the fact this is an extremely well-thought-out and written novel that has incredible substance on every page.
The two main characters, Alex and Brittany, both have an innocence to them but with Alex being the typical macho, boisterous jack-the-lad and Brittany being the popular, pretty one, it combines to make one of the best high-school bad boys romance books available.
17. My Familiar Stranger – Victoria Danann
Rounding off our list of hard-to-put-down romance books with bad boys is the paranormal romance book, My Familiar Stranger.
Very different in the fact it features a vampire, but fear not, this isn’t your typical vampire romance Twilight reboot.
It’s a completely fresh take on the bad boy’s romance books genre. Elora Laiken’s story is told through a compelling new dimension, crossing and merging seamlessly with other genres.
Edge-of-your-seat stuff at times with funny dialogue and romantic elements make this worthy of the last spot on the list.
If this sounds like an interesting book to you, then you might also like these fae romance books.
18. Dirty Little Lies – Lora Leigh
Dirty Little Lies is the second novel in the scandalous M’Malley Family Saga. It follows Zack Richards and Grace Maddox, the rival family pair who never should have fallen in love.
Grace is a marked woman, who is hunted like an animal because of her family’s sins. Protecting her is the most dangerous job, but Zack offers his protection anyway.
This is a sultry novel full of angst and hot scenes. It has a similar storyline to West Side Story, with a star crossed lover and a tortured hero who won’t call it quits.
19. Firelight – Sophie Jordan
Firelight is Sophie Jordan’s erotic tale of fantasy and doomed romance. It follows Jacinda, a draki, a descendant of dragons, who have always been watched – never free to make her own choices or think for herself.
One day she breaks the most sacred tenet of her kind, and it nearly kills her, until a stranger saves her life. That stranger was sent to hunt those like her.
Hiding in the mortal world, living under one false identity, the only light in her life is Will – the gorgeous and elusive saviour.
But Will and his family are hunters, and she must avoid him at all costs. He’s also tall, dark and a total badass. But if she gives in, she may lose her draki and be human forever. What will she do?
Sophie Jordan is a bestselling author who also won the All About Romance Reader Award for Best New Adult in 2013.
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Final Word on Bad Boy Romance Books
So there you have it, those are my top bad boy romance novels from the angsty and enticing, to the sultry contemporary romances to the fantasy and paranormal.
No matter what kind of bad boy you fancy, from bikers to billionaires, you’ll find a book that grabs you on this list.
If you think I’ve missed anything, let me know in the comments!