The best steamy romances with bad guys who make it look good

Who am I?

K is an INTJ, 5w4, and a cat person. She loves a pulse-thudding plot and a heat level hotter than a gun barrel on a battlefield. She enjoys accurate action sequences, scary villains, and smokeshow heroes with redemption arcs. T is an ENTJ, an 8w7, and a dog mom. She writes villains who square up, heroes who step up, and heroines who level up. She prefers her romance with a side of high-stakes geopolitical brinkmanship, because the only thing better than saving the world is celebrating the win afterward. K and T are long-time readers of high heat dark romances and look forward to sharing their writing with other spice aficionados.


I wrote...

No Time for Caution

By K.T. Samois,

Book cover of No Time for Caution

What is my book about?

Riona Araby is a barista with a "connected" family, a dirty book tucked under her pillow, and a secret desire to meet Master Right. When a chance meeting with a handsome stranger in the airport sparks the affair of a lifetime, Riona realizes her attraction to this dangerous man may cost everything she’s willing to give… and more.

Captain James Hardin – once of the US Naval Special Warfare Development Group and now of no fixed address – has blood on his hands, and a price on his head. On the run from the world’s most dangerous criminal, the Captain has few allies, many enemies, and no options. As Hardin’s past and Riona’s future collide they quickly realize that with stakes this high, there’s no time for caution.

The books I picked & why

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The Story of O

By Pauline Reage,

Book cover of The Story of O

Why this book?

She’s a beautiful young fashion photographer. He’s a gentleman of means and very specific tastes. When her lover introduces her to a world of refined tortures and illicit pleasure, the only question is how far she’ll go for love. I love it because who doesn’t love a good banned book? This is one of the most infamous, the French phenomena that inspired the modern kink movement. The Triskelion features prominently here, and can still be found on collars across the world. The novel itself follows a young woman’s self-inflicted enslavement to a mysterious secret society, and is probably the only X-rated book you’ll feel more intelligent after reading. It’s also French, so you feel fancy while hiding the cover on the subway.


Ruthless Creatures

By J.T. Geissinger,

Book cover of Ruthless Creatures

Why this book?

He’s calling in a debt. She’s on the bill of goods. She’d kill her feckless ex for getting her into this, but it seems the guy darkening her doorstep’s already saved her the trouble. I love this book because it’s just the right amount of grittiness. J.T. Geissinger knows how to write chemistry. You feel for the female lead, who’s pulling a bit of a low-key Miss Havisham after her fiancée leaves her at the altar. Enter: scarily intimidating, tough-as-nails new neighbour. It’s a bit instalove, but Geissinger knows how to sell it, and the action* scenes are done well once you get to them. And the smut is pretty steamy, too, if that’s your thing.


White Rabbit: The Fall

By London Miller,

Book cover of White Rabbit: The Fall

Why this book?

He’s heir to a violent legacy. She’s on the hunt for a story that’ll launch her career from Page Six to the six o’clock hour. When their paths cross, she knows she’ll follow this lead anywhere. I love it because Miller’s really good at writing dark romance. It’s a tricky genre to get right because of the subject matter, but if you can nail it you get a sort of grim satisfaction from the underworld justice. But then one has to ask: what happens when someone comes around asking questions? What happens when emotions get in the way of objectivity or professionalism? And what do you do when someone you’re falling for is revealed to be a monster amongst monsters?


There Are No Saints

By Sophie Lark,

Book cover of There Are No Saints

Why this book?

Fans of NBC’s Hannibal will love this creep-cute between a debonair serial killer who dabbles in fine art and the talented ingenue who’s caught his eye. Problem: she’s also caught his professional rival’s interest, and he’s got a score to settle. Why I love it: because I’m a sucker for the “dapper bad dude” trope. I’ll refer to the OG here—Hannibal Lecter has charisma, and class, when he isn’t giggly on Chianti. A serial killer with standards is fun to read about, and if you can throw in a rival—and maybe even a romance—more the better. (I also love a good villain and this one’s a proper weirdo.)


Filthy

By Serena Akeroyd,

Book cover of Filthy

Why this book?

The mob’s come calling for Aoife. Of course, when the guy making the call is 6 feet of scrumptious in a sinfully good suit… it makes sense to pick up the phone. I love this book because there’s a huge ensemble cast—and they all feel like their own characters. Aoife, specifically; is bitingly funny, and Finn’s got a great conflict between the life he’s in, and the one he wants. It isn’t a redemption story, but it feels like one by the end. Akeroyd’s also got an extensive universe built up around this suite of characters, and it’s fun to follow the characters throughout the different series. It’s also a fresh mix of thriller plot and romance tropes; for instance, she lays the groundwork for a conspiracy that blends politics, the mob, and a secret society bent on controlling both in between blisteringly hot smut scenes.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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