15 Forbidden Romance Books You Must Not Miss

Forbidden Relationships

Forbidden romance is a subgenre of romance literature that explores romantic relationships that face significant obstacles or taboos. These obstacles can be societal, familial, cultural, or personal, adding tension, conflict, and drama to the narrative. The “forbidden” aspect of the romance can stem from various situations or dynamics, including but not limited to:

Age differences: Where one character is significantly older than the other.

Cultural or Religious Taboos: Cultural or religious beliefs.

Teacher-student dynamics: Relationships between students and their educators contain inherent power imbalances.

Step-sibling relationships: While not biologically related, familial relationships add a taboo element.

Boss-employee dynamics: Where workplace hierarchies and professional ethics come into play.

Relationships involving infidelity: Where one or both parties are in a relationship with someone else.

Love triangles: Where feelings or relationships with more than one person lead to complications.

Historical or social class barriers: For social hierarchies or historical contexts.

Love has no bounds, no rules, and no limits. It is one of the best uncontrollable feelings in the world, which makes our life colorful. Forbidden romance or love is one kind of taboo or unnatural matter in our society.

As human beings, we create rules to equilibrium and improve the world. Forbidden love is one rule-breaking action in our daily lives, like age-gap relationships, teacher-student love, etc. The forbidden nature of the relationships in books leads to heightened emotions, giving us a rollercoaster of feelings that can be both thrilling and moving.

15 Forbidden Romance Books

Forbidden romance allows readers to explore societal taboos and boundaries safely. It can be a way to ponder “what if” scenarios without real-life consequences. The challenges presented by forbidden relationships push characters to their limits, leading to significant character development and growth. The high stakes make us wonder if love will overcome the obstacles.

The romance genre is not complete without forbidden love. Some readers hate this trope, but many of us like it. A recent study shows that forbidden love increases daily, and people like to break that taboo. I will talk about 15 forbidden romance books for the reader’s demand. These books feature moral dilemmas and grey areas, prompting readers to question societal norms and personal beliefs. Let’s go!

Nashville Neighborhood by Nikki SloaneNeighbors-to-lovers romance set in the heart of country music.Small-town romance, celebrity romance, slow burn.
Forbidden Fling by Kat TaylorA boyfriend’s dad romance where the girl face many challenges.Smut, age-gap, cheating.
Twisted Love by Ana HuangChildhood friends grapple with deep-rooted feelings and past betrayals.Friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, slow burn, childhood friends, angst.
One Hot Italian Summer by Karina HalleAfter a tragedy, a romance author finds inspiration and healing with an Italian single father.Opposites attract, vacation romance, single father, artist & muse dynamic.
Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth HoytA masked vigilante duke and a strong-willed woman unite to unravel a mystery and find love.Masked vigilante, class differences, hidden identity, revenge plot, historical romance.
Her Night with the Duke by Diana QuincyAn unexpected passion flares between a widow and a duke, only to discover their connection is scandalously forbidden.One-night stand, class differences, historical romance, scandal.
Truth or Dare by Danielle AllenA truth or dare game make a romantic tension between two friends.Friends-to-lover, humor, arc.
Guarding Temptation by Talia HibbertDuring a protective stint, a protective older brother’s best friend succumbs to forbidden feelings for his younger sister.Brother’s best friend, age difference, protector romance, danger-induced closeness.
Irresistible by Melanie HarlowA single dad and the younger sister of his best friend struggle with undeniable attraction and the complexities of family ties.Single dad, brother’s best friend, age gap, small-town romance.
Dark Notes by Pam GodwinA powerful and strict piano instructor becomes involved in a taboo relationship with his talented but troubled student.Teacher-student romance, age gap, dark romance, power dynamics.
The Forbidden Man by Karina HalleA young woman falls for an older, off-limits soccer coach, struggling with the challenges of age, professional boundaries, and past relationships.Age gap, sports romance, coach-player relationship, emotional baggage.
Love, in English by Karina HalleA young woman and a married Spanish man grapple with their undeniable attraction during a business venture in Spain.Cultural differences, age difference, emotional turmoil.
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. ArmentroutA forbidden romance between a half-demon and a gargoyle.Supernatural beings, Love triangle, Coming-of-age, Hidden powers, Moral dilemmas.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. ArmentroutA Maiden chosen by the gods navigates a world of secrets, lies, and forbidden love.Chosen one, Supernatural elements, Hidden identity, Dark secrets, Power dynamics, Betrayal, Rebellion.
Born, Darkly by Trisha WolfeA psychologist and her patient, a convicted serial killer, engage in a dangerous dance of seduction and mind games.Dark romance, Twisted love, Mind games, Morally grey characters, Forbidden attraction, Psychological intrigue, Secrets and revelations.
Forbidden Romance Books List

1. Nashville Neighborhood (Series)

The Doctor is the first of this series, and it is a forbidden romance because it is an ex-boyfriend’s dad romance, the most common romance trope ever. So this book very much has similar vibes to Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas. It’s about a girl who breaks up with her boyfriend at the start. Also, she realizes that she is very attracted to his dad, a surgeon, and they start a romance. It is so steamy, so hot.

Then, the second book in the series, The Pool Boy. This one is also an age gap. But the heroine is older, and the hero is younger. So, the heroine recently got divorced because she caught her husband cheating on her. So she’s ready to live up to her single hot girl life. Her pool boy is her best friend’s son, who is very attractive.

One day, she is out tanning topless at the pool, and he catches her, and it turns into a very steamy, fun, good time. It also has a musician element because the heroine is a music producer, and the guy has a lot of musical talent. So, she convinces him to audition for this spot on a national tour.

Author: Nikki Sloane
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Romantic Erotica
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

2. Forbidden Fling (Secret Fantasy)

The next book is Forbidden Fling by Kat Taylor and Katy Robert. This is Katy’s new pen name, very short, even more taboo romances. This book is another boyfriend’s dad romance, except there’s cheating. Instead of the other boyfriends, the dad romances where the relationship with the son ends before she gets into a relationship with the father.

Katy is staying at a beach house with her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s dad for the weekend, and during that time, she and the dad use every opportunity they have alone to get wild and crazy.

Author: Kat Taylor
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: Erotic Literature & Fiction
Available: Paperback | Kindle

3. Twisted Love: A Brother’s Best Friend Romance

Twisted Love is the first book in this series. It is a forbidden love story because it is the brother’s best friend trope. So the main character, her brother, goes abroad for a year and asks his best friend Alex to stay in his house next door to his little sister and protect her. It also has the grumpy and sunshine trope because the guy is super stoic and cool, and the girl is like a ray of sunshine.

The second book in the series is Twisted Games. It is also forbidden because it follows a princess and her bodyguard. So obviously, because of that, they’re not supposed to be together.

Author: Ana Huang
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: Multicultural Romances
Available: Paperback | Kindle

4. One Hot Italian Summer

Our main character is a writer, and she used to write mysteries with her co-writer, her best friend. Her co-writer passed away, so our main character feels she can’t write anything without her and has lost her identity. She has a book due. So, her agent tells her that she can go to Italy and stay in her villa to get some inspiration since she is not writing a romance. So, it turns out she’s not alone in that villa. Someone else is staying there, and they have a romance, which is a forbidden relationship.

She’s not allowed to have it, so she feels guilty. He is a single dad, and it’s good. If you want a travel romance, it’s atmospheric and gorgeous in Italian, Check this out.

Author: Karina Halle
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Contemporary Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

5. Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane)

Our main character’s (Artemis) brother is in jail, and she believes he was unjustly arrested. He has been deemed insane, so he is in horrible conditions, and she wants him out. So the Duke of St Giles is this vigilante that goes around town, and she figures out who it is. He ends up helping people, but she knows it’s the Duke. She blackmails him and says, You need to help get my brother out of jail, or I’m going to tell everybody who you are.

Artemis is a companion for her cousin. She lost all her money, so she could only survive and have money by having a job. In this case, it’s to be a companion for her cousin. So she goes everywhere with her cousin, and the guy’s courting her cousin. So, obviously, he is off-limits, but they start liking each other.

Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Regency Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

6. Her Night with the Duke (Clandestine Affairs)

Leela travels a lot, writes about her travels, is coming back home, and is a widow. She lost her husband and has two stepchildren around her age because she’s much younger than the man she married. Her stepdaughter is her best friend. They get along well. They are only a couple of years apart. Her stepson hates her, so she is back in town, and before she reaches her home estate, she spends the night seeing a duke. They have a night together, and it is unforgettable.

Then she arrives at the estate and realizes the guy she spent a night with is the betrothed of her stepdaughter. So it’s a forbidden romance story. He is way off-limits. He’s supposed to be married to her stepdaughter, a best friend. So, her stepdaughter is trying to get used to the idea of this duke. She’s trying to warm up to liking him, even though he’s a stranger. They have insane chemistry and cannot ignore each other. So they try to ignore it because they know it’s wrong.

Author: Diana Quincy
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Multicultural Romance
Available: Audiobook | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

7. Truth or Dare

This one is a group of friends who always play truth or dare in college, and they are back together ten years later at one of their friend’s weddings. So they all play truth or dare again. Our main character has a spark with one guy in the friend group she never saw as anything more. But they’re older. They’ve changed, and they’re more attractive to each other. Their romance is forbidden because they’ve already agreed to a friend group. There are no hookups.

So, people in the group have dated, but hookups are off-limits. They want to hook up at this wedding and know they can’t because it’s against the friend group rules, and the girl is getting married once Kingston. The love interest is to be set up with her sister because she got divorced.

So she has this whole grand plan that her sister will fall in love this weekend of her wedding, and she wants all her friends to help that happen. A lot happens where they can’t be together, but they cannot deny their chemistry. It is like a location wedding, so it’s a beach paradise, vacation, wedding, romance.

Author: Danielle Allen
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Black & African American Erotica
Available: Paperback | Kindle

8. Guarding Temptation

This book is about a girl attracted to her brother’s best friend and close friends. At the beginning of the book, they have an entanglement. They start hooking up, then halfway through, he stops and regrets it. Moreover, it hurts her feelings. So, she ghosts him for a couple of months until she gets put into a situation where she is in danger. He is the only person she trusts, so she stays in his apartment until the danger dies.

Author: Talia Hibbert
Average Rating: 4.1/5
Category: Black & African American Romance
Available: Paperback | Kindle

9. Irresistible (Cloverleigh Farms)

This one is forbidden for multiple reasons. So, it is an age-gap romance. It is also a boss or employer-employee romance. This is about a girl who becomes the nanny to the children of a guy who works at her parent’s company. He’s a business partner with her dad, but he is also her employer since she’s helping take care of his kids.

Author: Melanie Harlow
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Romantic Comedy
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

10. Dark Notes

This one’s a dark romance. There are trigger warnings for abuse, and our main character (Ivory Westbrook) is very poor. So her dad left her money to go to this performing arts school to be a pianist, and there’s only one position that they’re all fighting for.

That’s typically performing arts storylines in books, and Ivory has a romance with her piano teacher. It is a dark, forbidden romance and more on the side of BDSM romance.

Author: Pam Godwin
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Romance Literary Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

11. The Forbidden Man

Our main character is a physical therapist for a soccer team. She is married to the coach of the soccer team she works for. But he cheats on her, so she wants to start over. She moves to Madrid to be their trainer. The hotshot young soccer player takes a liking to her. He is twenty-four years old.

So there’s an age gap, and it’s forbidden. The main reason it’s forbidden is that they work together, which is extremely off-limits. He ends up getting injured, and they spend more time together.

Author: Karina Halle
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Sports Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

12. Love, in English

It covers two characters that are in the Forbidden Man. Mateo Casalles ends up not enjoying his marriage. And he goes on a tour where you’re supposed to interact with someone to teach you English. In addition, the love interest is this younger girl, who is there to converse in English. They don’t even have to know any Spanish. So she doesn’t know Spanish. It’s a forbidden romance because he is still married, and Vera Miles is quite young.

Author: Karina Halle
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Sports Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

13. White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements)

Our main character is Layla, half-demon, but she’s been told all her life that demons are bad and gargoyles defend the Earth from demons. So she’s grown up with a gargoyle family and always had a crush on her gargoyle foster brother. But they were never seen each other as siblings. She grew up with Zayne, and she’s very intrigued by him. Zayne is telling her things about her past that she’s never known.

Also, she starts liking him. But he’s always been the enemy. They search for something together in DC, and it’s a lot of fun.

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural, Emotions & Feelings
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | MP3 CD

14. From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash)

Our main character (Poppy) is a maiden. She is completely off-limits. She has to wear a veil whenever she goes around the palace. In this society, it’s fantasy. So once you reach a certain age, you ascend. No one knows what that means. Moreover, there are also vampires in this world, which are different species. So, they know that evil will sometimes come in attacks from the beginning. So she gets a new guard, and it is her romance with her bodyguard, which is off-limits.

There’s no way Poppy should be having a romance with her guard, who is the young hotshot guard who’s gone up in the ranks quickly. He’s very skilled, and his name is Hawk. They have a forbidden romance, and you will be eager to know what happens next.

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Paranormal Vampire Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

15. Born, Darkly (Darkly, Madly Duet)

This dark romance is very much similar to the Joker Harley Quinn vibes. It is about a criminal psychologist and one of our patients who is a serial killer on death row, and they start having these psychology sessions. Through that, they have a very intimate sexual connection with each other. That is forbidden because he is a convicted serial killer and her patient.

Author: Trisha Wolfe
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Romantic Suspense
Available: Paperback | Kindle

Bonus – Priest (Priest Series)

This is a priest romance. The main character, Father Bell, is a priest; as a priest, he has taken a vow of celibacy. Then, one day, he meets Poppy. Poppy comes into the confession booth, and things escalate from there. The relationship between them is probably the most forbidden out of this list, but in the places where they choose sex.

Author: Sierra Simone
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

5 Forbidden Dark Romance Books

Dark romances cover complex, intense, and sometimes morally ambiguous themes, which can be further accentuated when the romance is “forbidden.” Here are five dark romance novels that center around taboo relationships:

Corrupt by Penelope Douglas: Erika, a girl from a privileged background, finds herself drawn into a twisted game with a group of former classmates who harbor a grudge. Their leader, Michael, has a particularly dark and complex relationship with Erika, mixing hate with undeniable attraction.

Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts: Kidnapped by a trafficker as vengeance against her father’s misdeeds, Olivia becomes a captive. Her captor, Caleb, intends to train and sell her, but their dynamic takes unexpected turns, leading to a deeply problematic bond.

Darker Than Love by Anna Zaires and Charmaine Pauls: Yulia infiltrates the Bratva on a mission to avenge her brother. Her target, Yan, a dominant and dangerous Bratva boss, becomes obsessed with her, even as secrets threaten to tear them apart.

Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters: Tess, a young woman with hidden desires, is kidnapped and sold. Her new owner, Q, is a man with his demons and desires. Power dynamics, dark passions, and a fight for dominance mark their relationship.

Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas: Emily, a successful woman, is kidnapped and subjected to psychological conditioning by her captor. The story describes Stockholm Syndrome and the blurred lines between captor and captive.

These books explore the darker corners of human nature and relationships, dealing with themes of dominance, control, obsession, and moral dilemmas.

5 Forbidden Fantasy Romance Books

Forbidden romances set in fantasy worlds combine the allure of magical settings with the tension of taboo relationships. Here are five fantasy romance novels where forbidden love plays a central role:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Feyre, a mortal huntress, is taken to the faerie lands as punishment for killing a fae wolf. She struggles with this new world and becomes deeply involved with High Fae lord Tamlin. The enmity between humans and the fae and political intrigue forbids their relationship.

The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon: In a land where magic is forbidden, Lark is a mute girl with the power to command things with her thoughts. She becomes involved with Tiras, the king, who needs her powers but sees magic as a threat. Their growing connection defies the kingdom’s rules and norms.

The Queen of All that Dies by Laura Thalassa: In a war-torn world ruled by a ruthless king, Serenity is a soldier who has always fought against him. However, when the king is interested in her, their relationship becomes the center of a dark, twisted romance that’s forbidden and dangerous.

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller: Alessandra has a plan: woo the Shadow King, marry him, and then kill him to take his kingdom for herself. But as she gets closer to him, she finds herself drawn to the mysterious and powerful king, even though their love could doom them both.

Radiance by Grace Draven: An arranged marriage between two different species – Ildiko, a human, and Brishen, a Kai prince with a ghastly appearance to human eyes. What begins as a political alliance and a relationship based on mutual repulsion evolves into a genuine bond, challenging the prejudices of both their societies.

5 Age Gap Forbidden Romance Books

Age-gap romances can already be taboo due to societal views on age disparities in relationships. When you add a layer of “forbidden” to the mix, the tension and stakes in the story can heighten. Here are five age-gap romance novels with forbidden elements:

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas: Jordan is irresistibly drawn to her boyfriend’s father, Pike. This unexpected attraction between them is forbidden because of their familial ties and the significant age difference.

The Forbidden Man by Karina Halle: Alejandra, recovering from a divorce, meets and falls for an older man who is her ex-husband’s soccer coach. Their age difference and the connection to her ex make their affair particularly taboo.

The Education of Sebastian & The Education of Caroline by Jane Harvey-Berrick: Spanning a decade, this two-part series chronicles the love story between a young boy, Sebastian, and an older woman, Caroline, who happens to be his best friend’s mother. The age gap and their close family ties make their relationship scandalous.

Scandalous by L.J. Shen: Trent Rexroth is an older, powerful businessman ensnared by his teenage daughter’s best friend, Edie. Their relationship is doubly taboo due to the age gap and the connection to his daughter.

Misbehaved by Charleigh Rose: Remington Stringer is a student who starts a forbidden relationship with her teacher, Mr. James. The professional boundary and the age gap add tension to their relationship.

5 Angsty Forbidden Romance Books

Angsty forbidden romance novels have a way of gripping readers with their intense emotional drama and the constant tension between the protagonists. Here are five books that beautifully capture this:

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma: A deeply controversial and emotionally charged story about siblings Lochan and Maya who, in the absence of their parents, start to see each other in a romantic light. The book follows their emotional turmoil and the societal taboos they face.

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover: A poignant story about love and resilience, this novel features Lily’s relationship with a charming neurosurgeon, Ryle. Past traumas and dark secrets surface as their relationship unfolds, leading to a heart-wrenching series of events.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover: Tate falls for Miles, a pilot with a tragic past. Their arrangement is simple: no strings attached. However, as Tate learns more about the reason behind Miles’s guarded heart, their relationship becomes more complicated and angsty.

Loving Mr. Daniels by Brittainy C. Cherry: Ashlyn and Daniel’s passionate connection is riddled with tragedy, grief, and the undeniable complication of Daniel being Ashlyn’s teacher. Their relationship is not only professionally forbidden but also emotionally tumultuous.

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas: Misha and Ryen have been pen pals for years, sharing their deepest secrets and dreams. The tension and angst are palpable when they accidentally meet in real life under hostile circumstances without knowing each other’s true identities. The truth of their connection threatens to change everything.

5 Enemies To Lovers Forbidden Romance Books

The “enemies-to-lovers” trope combined with the forbidden element can make for a tantalizing and tension-filled romance. Here are five books:

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: Lucy and Joshua share an office and an intense mutual dislike. Their daily battles escalate when a promotion is up for grabs, but another kind of tension brews beneath the surface. Their professional rivalry makes any romance strictly off-limits.

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata: Jasmine and Ivan are figure skaters who can’t stand each other. However, when they’re paired for a doubles competition, their fiery animosity becomes even more complicated as sparks fly off the ice.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: After Feyre kills a faerie wolf, she’s taken captive by a fae High Lord named Tamlin. Initially enemies due to deep-seated prejudices and her imprisonment, their relationship evolves unexpectedly, even more forbidden by the enmity between humans and fae.

Bully by Penelope Douglas: Tate and Jared were once friends, but when Jared returns from a summer away, he becomes Tate’s tormentor. Amidst the bullying, a complicated and forbidden romance develops.

The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen: Francesca is set to marry a man she loves, but everything changes when Wolfe, a powerful senator, steals her first kiss and forces her into marriage to achieve his ends. Their relationship starts with betrayal and animosity, setting the stage for a fiery enemies-to-lovers romance.

Each novel offers the delicious tension of two protagonists clashing in animosity, only to discover a deeper, forbidden attraction they struggle to resist.

5 Forbidden Cousin Romance Books

Romance novels featuring relationships between cousins can be quite controversial due to many cultures’ taboos associated with such relationships. However, the forbidden nature of these relationships can appeal to some readers in a fictional context. Here are five romance novels that feature cousin relationships:

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews: This gothic novel follows the Dollanganger children, locked away in an attic by their mother. Over time, a deep and forbidden bond forms between the eldest siblings, Cathy and Chris.

The Italian’s Suitable Wife by Lucy Monroe: Enrico DiRinaldi wants a wife and child and wants them now. He proposes a marriage of convenience to Gianna, his distant cousin. The arrangement is business-like, but the underlying attraction is undeniable.

Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer: Set in the Regency era, Kate is invited to stay with her aunt’s family after facing hardship. As she settles in, she develops feelings for her cousin, Torquil.

The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard: This series spans several books and covers the lives of the Cazalet family before, during, and after World War II. Amidst the intricate family drama, there’s an underlying romance between cousins Polly and Clary.

Atonement by Ian McEwan: While not the story’s central focus, there is an underlying tension and attraction between cousins Lola and Paul. Their relationship is crucial in the unfolding tragedy of the main characters’ lives.

5 Forbidden Contemporary Romance Books

Forbidden contemporary romance novels cover relationships that challenge societal norms, personal boundaries, or both. These romances pack a punch in terms of emotional intensity and conflict. Here are five contemporary forbidden romance novels:

Slammed by Colleen Hoover: After her father’s death, 18-year-old Layken moves with her family to Michigan. She immediately connects with her neighbor, Will. However, their budding romance comes to a screeching halt when they discover he’s her new teacher.

Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward: Greta and Elec have a complicated relationship, thanks to Elec being her stepbrother. The tension between them is palpable from their first meeting, leading to a whirlwind of emotions.

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young: Joss moves to Scotland to start a new life, and there she meets Braden, her roommate’s brother. Their attraction is immediate, but Joss has significant emotional baggage, and Braden proposes an arrangement meant to be free of emotional ties.

Roomies by Christina Lauren: Holland Bakker and Calvin McLoughlin have an unconventional beginning. After rescuing him from a subway attack, she offers him a unique proposition: marry her to get a green card. It’s a business arrangement, but the lines blur as they live as a married couple.

Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young: Olivia is a shy librarian with little romantic experience. To boost her confidence, she asks her playboy friend Nate to teach her the art of seduction, no strings attached. However, their lessons take a turn neither anticipated.

5 Forbidden Historical Romance Books

Forbidden relationships set against the backdrop of historical settings can provide rich and dramatic storytelling. Here are five historical romance novels where forbidden love takes center stage:

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (Bridgerton Series): Set in Regency-era London, Daphne Bridgerton enters a fake courtship with Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, to raise her marriage prospects. But their ruse becomes complicated as genuine feelings emerge amidst societal expectations and personal vows.

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley (Mackenzies & McBrides Series): Lord Ian Mackenzie, considered mad by London society due to his autism-like characteristics, becomes infatuated with his widow, Beth Ackerley. Their romance is fraught with societal expectations, dark family secrets, and challenges from Ian’s condition.

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt: Widowed Anna Wren takes up a job as a secretary for the Earl of Swartingham, Edward de Raaf. Their employer-employee relationship takes a forbidden turn as they struggle with their undeniable attraction amidst societal norms.

For My Lady’s Heart by Laura Kinsale: Set in medieval England, Lady Melanthe, a sought-after heiress, and Ruck, a mysterious knight, enter into a secret pact. Amidst the dangerous politics of the time, their clandestine relationship and unyielding love are tested.

Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale: Christian Langland, Duke of Jervaulx, is a libertine known for his rakish ways. After suffering a stroke, he’s considered mad by society. With her strict moral code, Quaker Maddy Timms draws herself to him, leading to a romance that defies societal norms and personal beliefs.

5 Forbidden Interracial Romance Books

Interracial romance novels explore the challenges and beauties of love across cultural or racial divides, highlighting societal prejudices or family expectations. Here are five noteworthy forbidden interracial romance novels:

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: This collection of short stories delves into the lives of Nigerians and Nigerian Americans, with several stories touching on the complexities of interracial relationships and the external and internal pressures they face.

The Forbidden Man by Elle Wright: Cade, a retired soccer player, falls for his agent’s daughter, Sydney. Not only is their age difference an issue, but Sydney is also coming out of a tragic relationship. Their bond defies family, public opinion, and their fears.

Grip by Kennedy Ryan: Grip and Bristol’s friendship took a romantic turn one fateful night, but Bristol’s fears pushed them back into the friend zone. Years later, their passion reignites, and they must face societal prejudices and family expectations head-on.

Swirl by M.L. Spann: Heiress Kimberly is African-American, and her love interest, Alex, is Japanese-American. Together, they face racial biases, generational family rifts, and societal expectations as they try to build a life together.

The Russian’s Convenient Bride by Christine Scott: A marriage of convenience between African-American Sabrina and Russian Dimitri turns passionate. They discover that love isn’t always convenient as they face cultural differences, family expectations, and past relationships.

5 Forbidden Lesbian Romance Books

Forbidden lesbian romances focus on relationships challenging societal norms, familial expectations, and internal struggles. These novels typically offer more than romance, providing insights into the challenges LGBTQ+ people may face. Here are five lesbian romance novels that focus on “forbidden” love:

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: Set in Victorian England, this novel tells the tale of Sue, a thief from the slums, and Maud, a woman trapped in a mansion by her uncle. The two women become intertwined in a tale of deceit, but an unexpected romance blossoms amid the treachery.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters: Post-WWI London sets the scene for a passionate, clandestine affair between Frances, a spinster, and Lilian, her boarder. Their secret love affair brings unforeseen consequences.

Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes: Sabine is a doctor and an officer and falls for her subordinate Rebecca. However, their relationship is forbidden due to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the U.S. military. The novel follows their secret romance and the challenges they face.

Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller: Based on a true story, this novel set in the 19th century explores the relationship between two women, Patience and Sarah. Their determination to be together despite societal norms is heartwrenching and beautiful.

When Women Were Warriors by Catherine M. Wilson: In a land where women are trained to be warriors, Tamras, a young apprentice, and Maara, a veteran warrior, develop a close bond. Their growing relationship faces many challenges in a society with its rules and expectations.

5 Forbidden Mafia Romance Books

Mafia romances blend forbidden love’s allure with the criminal underworld’s danger and intrigue. Here are five novels where love stories unfold against the backdrop of mafia rivalries and operations:

Bound by Honor by Cora Reilly (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles): Aria, the daughter of the Chicago Outfit’s boss, is forced into an arranged marriage with Luca, a feared mobster from the New York Camorra. As she struggles with her new life, Aria discovers secrets and passions she never anticipated.

Ruthless People by J.J. McAvoy: Melody Nicci Giovanni, the queen of the Italian mafia, is forced to marry Irish mob leader Liam Callahan. Their marriage is a merger of two powerful families, but an unexpected love story evolves amidst the power struggles and bloodshed.

By Any Other Name by J.M. Darhower: Genevieve “Genna” Galante, the daughter of a notorious crime lord, falls for a man who is actually an undercover agent sent to infiltrate her family. Love, loyalty, and betrayal intertwine in this gripping tale.

Sweet Temptation by Cora Reilly (The Camorra Chronicles): Serafina, a woman escaping a traumatic past, becomes involved with Fabiano, a member of the Camorra, the notorious Neapolitan mafia. Their relationship is filled with danger, secrets, and an undeniable passion.

Nero by Sarah Brianne: A high school senior, Nero is also a ruthless mafia enforcer. When he’s tasked to watch Elle, the school’s outcast, their worlds collide unexpectedly. Amidst high school drama and mafia dangers, a forbidden love blossoms.

These novels combine the allure of forbidden romance with the suspense and danger inherent to the mafia world.

5 Forbidden Military Romance Books

Here are five military romances that focus on “forbidden” love:

Making Faces by Amy Harmon: Ambrose Young is beautiful and strong but enlists in the army and goes to war in the Middle East. When he returns home with scars, inside and out, his relationship with the shy and overlooked Fern Taylor challenges their preconceptions and the town’s.

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata: Ruby Santos starts as a pen pal for Aaron Hall while he’s deployed overseas. Their relationship grows from friendly letters to deeper feelings, yet the nature of their communication and Aaron’s commitment to the military complicates matters.

Beyond the Shadows by Jess Granger: As a member of a shadowy military group, Commander Yara must train a captured enemy prince, Arian, turning him from a pampered prince into a skilled fighter. Close quarters and shared danger lead to a forbidden attraction.

Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros (Flight & Glory Series): Ember Howard’s world collapses when her father, an army doctor, is killed in Afghanistan. Josh Walker, a hockey star with military aspirations, offers her support, but as they grow closer, secrets and the specter of future deployments test their bond.

The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters Series): Navy SEAL Tom Paoletti glimpses an international terrorist in his New England hometown. While trying to prevent a looming terrorist attack, he’s also distracted by Dr. Kelly Ashton, his high school girlfriend’s younger sister, who’s now all grown up. The pressures of his mission and the taboos of their age difference and past connections make their romance challenging.

5 Forbidden Royalty Romance Books

Here are five novels where love stories unfold against the backdrop of royal intrigue:

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan: Inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, this story follows an American exchange student, Bex, who falls in love with the heir to the British throne, Prince Nicholas. Their romance faces myriad challenges, from media scrutiny to familial expectations.

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince Trilogy): Damen, a prince betrayed by his half-brother and sold into slavery, finds himself serving Laurent, the prince of an enemy nation. Amidst political intrigue and a backdrop of war, an unexpected romance blossoms between the two princes.

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (Reluctant Royals Series): Naledi Smith, a grad student, keeps receiving emails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. When Prince Thabiso tracks her down in New York, he doesn’t reveal his identity immediately, leading to a romance filled with secrets.

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh: In this retelling of “One Thousand and One Nights,” Shahrzad volunteers to marry the Caliph of Khorasan, known for taking a new bride each night and executing her at dawn. Her plan is revenge for the death of her best friend, but as she weaves stories to stay alive, she discovers the mysteries and passions behind the monarch’s actions.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston: When Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States, and Prince Henry of Wales are forced to pretend to be best friends to smooth over a public relations debacle, a genuine romantic relationship develops between them, challenging both personal boundaries and international relations.

5 Forbidden Sports Romance Books

Sports romances revolve around the intense world of professional athletes, where passion for the game can sometimes intertwine with romantic passion. When the romance is “forbidden,” the stakes become even higher. Here are five sports romance novels that focus on “forbidden” love:

The Deal by Elle Kennedy (Off-Campus Series): College hockey player Garrett Graham needs a tutor, and Hannah Wells needs a fake boyfriend to make her crush jealous. The arrangement becomes complicated as their pretend relationship starts to feel all too real.

Moonshot by Alessandra Torre: Ty Rollins grew up in major league baseball. She falls for the team’s new star player, Chase Stern, but their love is forbidden due to her father’s role on the team and Chase’s tumultuous reputation.

Kulti by Mariana Zapata: Soccer player Sal Casillas has idolized the legendary Reiner Kulti since childhood. When he becomes her coach, their working relationship is anything but smooth, especially as deeper feelings start to emerge.

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey: Kinsley Bryant, an up-and-coming soccer star, has a chance at the Olympics. However, her path becomes complicated when she falls for her off-limits coach, Liam Wilder.

Infraction by Rachel Van Dyken (Players Game Series): Pro football player Miller Quinton is off-limits for his best friend’s sister, Kinsey Romonov. Their romance is forbidden due to loyalty and friendship, but the lines blur when they’re asked to pretend to be together.

5 Forbidden Teacher Student Romance Books

Here are five books that deal with forbidden teacher-student romances:

Losing It by Cora Carmack: A new adult novel about a college student trying to lose her virginity and the surprising relationship that develops with her theater professor.

Slammed by Colleen Hoover: This novel follows a young woman named Layken who moves across the country after her father’s death. She feels intensely connected with her neighbor, discovering he’s her new English teacher.

Unteachable by Leah Raeder: This novel is about a high school senior named Maise who has an affair with her film studies teacher. The story explores their passionate but forbidden relationship and the consequences it brings.

A Different Blue by Amy Harmon: Blue Echohawk is a troubled high school senior with a mysterious past. When her history teacher becomes interested in her backstory, a relationship forms that breaks all the boundaries.

Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard: This is the story of Julianne, a graduate student, and Professor Gabriel Emerson. Their relationship focuses on themes of redemption, love, and salvation.

5 Spicy Forbidden Romance Books

Forbidden romances captivate readers by touching on boundaries, societal norms, and the tension between desire and taboo. Here are five spicy forbidden romance books:

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas: Jordan, a young woman, is attracted to her boyfriend’s father. Their undeniable chemistry leads to a relationship fraught with secrets and taboo feelings.

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas: Misha and Ryen have been pen pals for years but have never met. When Misha discovers Ryen’s true personality is far from what she portrays in her letters, he keeps his real identity a secret, leading to a complicated relationship when they finally meet.

The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen: Francesca Rossi, the daughter of a mafia kingpin, is promised to another man but is drawn to the mysterious and powerful Senator Wolfe Keaton, who has his reasons for wanting her.

Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward: Elec is Greta’s older stepbrother, and when he moves in with her family for the summer, their relationship takes a passionate and unexpected turn, complicated by their family ties.

It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole: Styx is the Hades Hangmen Motorcycle Club’s leader, and Mae is a woman who escaped a cult. Their worlds shouldn’t intersect, but their love story is fiery and intense when they do.

5 Slow Burn Forbidden Romance Books

Slow-burn romances allow the tension to build gradually, with the characters facing obstacles that make their relationship forbidden or challenging. Here are five slow-burn forbidden romance books:

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: Lucy and Joshua are coworkers who share an intense mutual dislike, but underneath their daily battles lies a growing attraction. Their office rivalry makes their growing feelings all the more forbidden.

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata: Jasmine and Ivan are figure skaters and rivals. The animosity is real When paired with a new routine, but so is the chemistry. Their journey from enemies to lovers is long and filled with challenges.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata: Vanessa and Aiden are an assistant and her professional footballer boss. Their professional relationship becomes complicated when Aiden asks Vanessa for a personal favor, leading to a slow-burning romance.

Kulti by Mariana Zapata: Sal is a soccer player who idolizes the legendary player Kulti. But when he becomes her coach, her feelings shift from hero worship to something deeper, making their relationship professionally inappropriate.

Beard Science by Penny Reid: Jennifer and Cletus have known each other for years in their small town. Cletus is cunning, and Jennifer seems mousy, but she blackmails him into helping her attract his brother’s attention. Their relationship develops slowly amidst secrets, schemes, and pies.

5 Kindle Unlimited Forbidden Romance Books

Here are five forbidden romance books that have been available on Kindle Unlimited:

Ruckus by L.J. Shen: Part of the “Sinners of Saint” series, this book focuses on Dean Cole and Rosie. Rosie’s older sister previously dated Dean, making their attraction all the more forbidden.

The Boy & His Ribbon by Pepper Winters: Ren and Della’s relationship begins when he kidnaps her as a baby. Their bond deepens as they grow up together and face numerous hardships, leading to a complex forbidden love story.

Teach Me Dirty by Jade West: Mark, a teacher, and Helen, his student, share an intense and taboo connection. Their story goes deep into the forbidden teacher-student dynamic.

Torn by Carian Cole: This novel tells the story of Toren and Kenzi, who first met when she was just a child. Toren is her father’s best friend, and their bond grows over the years, eventually turning romantic when she’s older, leading to a relationship filled with challenges.

Fear Me by B.B. Reid: Keiran is a bully who torments Lake, but a deep and complicated attraction lies underneath their hostile relationship. This dark romance series focuses on their past traumas and the forbidden nature of their relationship.

These novels tackle issues of race, class, religion, and sexuality, giving you a chance to see from diverse perspectives and potentially fostering empathy.

Read More Similar Books: 15 Age Gap Romance Books

Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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