Forbidden love has always had a captivating allure, drawing readers into the tangled webs of passion and longing that thrive in the face of societal boundaries. There’s something undeniably intriguing about love that defies conventions, challenges norms, and risks everything for the sake of a forbidden connection. In this article, we delve into the realm of forbidden romance literature, where authors expertly navigate the complexities of forbidden love affairs, bringing forth stories that push the boundaries of desire, loyalty, and sacrifice. Join us as we unveil a curated selection of 36 exceptional forbidden romance books that will sweep you away into a world where love knows no bounds.
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Forbidden Romance Books
From the classic tales that have stood the test of time to contemporary narratives that explore the intricacies of modern-day taboos, these stories will ignite your imagination, evoke intense emotions, and leave you yearning for more. Prepare to embark on a journey through forbidden passion as we showcase a collection of novels that unapologetically challenge societal restrictions and celebrate the indomitable power of love.
Crossed Lines – Lana Sky
Psychopath. Borderline. Crazy. Seventeen-year-old Maryanne Mayweather wears each term like a badge of pride. Expelled from her twelfth boarding school, she lands on the doorstep of her flighty aunt Elaine and Elaine’s husband James, one more screw-up away from being made a ward of the state.
Once a successful author, the last thing James Thorne wants is to care for his wife’s bratty teenage niece, especially with his marriage falling apart. When Maryanne crafts an elaborate plan to defame and destroy him, they both discover that words are more powerful than either of them could imagine. And as their relationship goes down a path neither envisioned, the consequences are swift and far-reaching.
Scandalous – L.J Shen
They call him The Mute for a reason.
Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.
When he does, it’s with disdain.
When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.
And when he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.
He is thirty-three.
I am eighteen.
Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.
And yet, I can’t stay away.
A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.
And oh, what beautiful chaos it will be.
Kulti – Mariana Zapata
“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”
When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.
Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.
Or the murderous urges he brought out in her.
This was going to be the longest season of her life.
Rival – Penelope Douglas
From the BookTok sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Bully and Falls Boys comes the third novel in the Fall Away series.
Two estranged teenagers play games that push the boundaries between love and war….
For the two years she was away at boarding school, Madoc had no word from Fallon. Back when they lived in the same house, she used to cut him down during the day and then leave her door open for him at night. Now he’s ready to beat her at her own game….
Fallon can tell that Madoc still wants her, even if he acts like he’s better than her. But she won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. She’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants right?
As long as she keeps her guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects her….
Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma
Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As de facto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right
Those Three Little Words – Meghan Quinn
This is my one shot to win my teammate back. Pacey is the only family I’ve got, so hooking up with his sister isn’t a mistake I can make twice . . . despite the fact that she’s pregnant with my child.
But with every mood swing, every pair of pants that doesn’t fit right, and every late night run to find the perfect donut, I’m finding it harder and harder not to fall for my best friend’s little sister.
Especially when she kisses me…
Slammed – Colleen Hoover
Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she’s losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her.
Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston
The sensational stand-out of LGBTQ+ Royal Romance Books
When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.
Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all?
Fallen Too Far: A Rosemary Beach Novel – Abbi Glines
The wealthy son of a rocker. A tough farm girl from Alabama. Two step-siblings from different worlds. One summer in Rosemary Beach.
On the Island: An Age Gap Romance Novel – Tracey Garvis Graves
Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahans’ summer home, but as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens: their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.
At first, their only thought is survival. But as the days turn to weeks, and then months, and as birthdays pass, the castaways must brave violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the worst threat of all—the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. With only each other for love and support, these two lost souls must come to terms with their situation and find compaionship in one another in the moments they need it most.
The Unrequited – Saffron A. Kent
Layla Robinson is not crazy. She is suffering from unrequited love. But it’s time to move on. No more stalking, no more obsessive calling. What she needs is a distraction.
The blue-eyed guy she keeps seeing around campus could be a great one. The married poetry professor.
Thomas Abrams is a stereotypical artist–rude, arrogant, and broody–but his glares and taunts don’t scare Layla. She might be bad at poetry, but she is good at reading between the lines. Beneath his prickly façade, Thomas is lonely, and Layla wants to know why. Obsessively.
Birthday Girl – Penelope Douglas
He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.
He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. And he doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.
He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.
I have to stop this. It can’t happen.
My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.
Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.
Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo – A Made Man, a boss, a cheat even measured against mafia standards. After Elena’s first encounter with him, she realises he’s just as rude as he is handsome. She doesn’t like him or anything he stands for, but her heart has other ideas and can’t stop pounding when he’s near. And he’s always near, telling her what to do and making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should.
Torn: A Forbidden Romance Book (All Torn Up Book #1) – Carian Cole
When I was five years old, I told Toren Grace I was going to marry him when I grew up. When I turned eighteen, I made it clear I still felt the same. The problem? He’s fifteen years older than me, and he’s my father’s best friend.
Toren Grace. My pseudo-uncle. He’s always been my rock—the one I should never, ever want. But I do want him, and I love him. I always have.
Walking Olivia (The Langstrom Brothers #1) – Elizabeth O’Roark
A track star with nothing to lose. A college coach who may lose everything to save her.
Will Langstrom has too many responsibilities, and the last thing he needs is Olivia Finnegan, a beautiful but troubled new transfer student.
Olivia is her own worst enemy, with a smart mouth and a past she can’t seem to escape, and the last person she wants help from is a cocky track coach she can never seem to please. Refusing to be pushed away, Will is determined to save her…and determined to resist an attraction that could destroy them both.
Dark Notes – Pam Godwin
They call me a slut.
Maybe I am.
Sometimes I do things I despise.
Sometimes men take without asking.
Emeric Marceaux doesn’t just take.
He seizes my will power and bangs it like a dark note.
I kneel for his punishments, tremble for his touch, and risk it all for our stolen moments.
He’s my obsession, my master, my music.
And my teacher.
Lessons In Corruption: Forbidden Romance Books – Giana Darling
He was eighteen.
The heir to a notorious, criminal MC.
And my student.
There was no way I could get involved.
No way I could stay involved.
Then, no way I could get out alive.
Gabriel’s Inferno – Sylvain Reynard
Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well-respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption.
When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.
From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentout
The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
Jeanette is a bright and rebellious orphan who is adopted into an evangelical household in the dour, industrial North of England and finds herself embroidering grim religious mottoes and shaking her little tambourine for Jesus. But as this budding missionary comes of age, and comes to terms with her unorthodox sexuality, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household dissolves. Jeanette’s insistence on listening to truths of her own heart and mind—and on reporting them with wit and passion—makes for an unforgettable chronicle of an eccentric, moving passage into adulthood.
To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.
The Boy and His Ribbon – Pepper Winters
I was young when I fell in love with him, when he switched from my world to my everything.
My parents bought him for cheap labour, just like they had with many other kids, and he had the scars to prove it.
At the start, he hated me, and I could understand why.
For years he was my worst enemy, fiercest protector, and dearest friend.
But by the end… he loved me.
The only problem was, he loved me in an entirely different way to the way I loved him.
And slowly, my secret drove us apart.
Loving Mister Daniels – Brittainy Cherry
To Whom it May Concern,
It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates.
When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn’t plan to find him. I didn’t plan to stumble into Joe’s bar and have Daniel’s music stir up my emotions. I had no clue that his voice would make my hurts forget their own sorrow.
When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn’t prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons.
Our love story wasn’t only about the physical connection.
I would never apologize for loving Mr. Daniels.
Priest: A Forbidden Love Story – Sierra Simone
There are many rules a priest can’t break. A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. And a priest cannot forsake his God.
I’ve always been good at following rules.
Until she came. Then I learned new rules.
My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I’m twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.
I am a priest and this is my confession.
Beautiful Bastard – Christina Lauren
Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative–completely infuriating–creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules–or outright smash them–if it means he can have her. All over the office.
As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.
Break the Rules: A Brother’s Best Friend Romance – Roxie Noir
She’s my best friend’s kid sister.
Now she’s not a kid anymore.
As a forest ranger, I believe in the simple life. I prefer cabins to apartments, trails over freeways, and trees to people. My life is orderly, predictable, and quiet.
Until it’s hit by a woman I never saw coming — Hurricane June.
She’s fierce. She has a laugh like the first day of spring, and so pretty that I can’t breathe when I look at her. June will only be in town for a few months—just while job-hunting. She won’t last until winter, but how can I resist?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship and a great forbidden love.
Stepbrother Dearest – Penelope Ward
When my stepbrother, Elec, came to live with us my senior year, I wasn’t prepared for how much of a jerk he’d be.
I hated that he took it out on me because he didn’t want to be here.
I hated that he brought girls from our high school back to his room.
But what I hated the most was the unwanted way my body reacted to him.
At first, I thought all he had going for him were his rock-hard tattooed abs and chiseled face. But things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night.
Scoring Wilder – R.S Grey
What started out as a joke— seduce Coach Wilder—soon became a goal she had to score.
With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper.
Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”
Hot Under His Collar – Andie J. Christopher
Father Patrick Dooley joined the clergy to fulfill his mother’s dying wish. While it once gave him purpose, he not so sure it’s his calling anymore. But it’s all he’s ever known and he’s not sure what he wants to do with his life if he decides to leave the priesthood. How can he reconcile his faith with his growing desire to live a different life?
Credence – Penelope Douglas
Three of them, one of her, and a remote cabin in the woods. Let the hot, winter nights ensue…
One of them has her. The other one wants her. But he…
He’s going to keep her
City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare
The classic in Forbidden Romance Books.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime and along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers. Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical, and opera venues.
Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
One touch is all it takes. One touch, and she can kill.
No one knows why Juliette has such incredible power. It feels like a curse, a burden that one person alone could never bear. But The Reestablishment sees it as a gift, sees her as an opportunity. An opportunity for a deadly weapon.
Juliette has never fought for herself before. But when she’s reunited with the one person who ever cared about her, she finds a strength she never knew she had.
This Woven Kingdom – Tahereh Mafi
To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.
The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom—and the world.
Welcome to the Dark Side: A Forbidden Romance Book – Giana Darling
I was a good girl.
I ate my vegetables, volunteered at the local autism centre and sat in the front pew of church every Sunday.
Then, I got cancer.
So, when I finally ran into the man I’d been writing to since he saved my life as a little girl and he offered to show me the dark side of life before I left it for good, I said yes.
Only, I didn’t know that Zeus Garro was the President of The Fallen MC and when you made a deal with a man who is worse than the devil, there was no going back…
Other Genres You May Enjoy if You Enjoy Forbidden Romance Books
Age-Gap romance books are what they say on the tin. Featuring a significant enough age-gap to raise eyebrows, these novels deal with power imbalances, societal pushback, and secret lovers.
From orcs to vampires to sultry demons, these novels feature realtionships between humans and all sorts of paranormal monsters.
- An Inheritance of Monsters by Cate Corvin
- Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
- That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming
It’s a tough life on the seven seas. With themes of dubious consent and the difference in societal norms in history, these novels offer a plethora of forbidden romances.
- A Pirate’s Pleasure by Heather Graham
- Married to a Pirate by Athena Rose
- The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Frequently Asked Questions about Forbidden Romance Books
What defines a forbidden romance book?
A forbidden romance book typically revolves around a love affair that encounters significant obstacles due to societal, cultural, or personal restrictions. It involves people who are not allowed to be together due to factors such as age differences, social classes, familial ties, professional boundaries, or cultural traditions.
What are some common themes in forbidden romance books?
Common themes in forbidden romance ebooks include love across social classes, teacher-student relationships, age differences, workplace romances, secret affairs, love triangles and cultural or religious barriers.
Why are forbidden romance books so popular?
Forbidden romance books are popular because they offer readers a tantalizing escape from societal norms and allow them to explore intense emotions and desires within the confines of a fictional world. The forbidden nature of the love story adds an element of excitement, tension, and risk, making it all the more enticing for readers.
Why do you love forbidden romance books?
Looking for more sultry, taboo relationships? Why not try some Royal Romance Books?