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5 Anti-Hero Romance Novels That Will Squash the Bad Boy Itch

Becky is an online writer and avid reader of romance novels.

Do you like to read romance novels?

Do you like to read romance novels?

We All Like Bad Boys Sometimes

Now and then, some women (including me!) contract a bad case of the "bad boy itch." There is no shame in it. Even Taylor Swift falls victim to the "itch" sometimes and she sings about it: "I knew you were trouble."

Heartbreak, depression, insecurity, broken relationships, and in some cases, jail time, are some of the dire consequences that one may experience because of relenting to those "urges" and acting on them.

However, fear not ladies for I have come up with a healthy alternative that will instantly or somewhat quell those inconvenient "urges"... that is reading anti-hero romance novels. Yes, reading anti-hero romance is a harmless way to indulge your bad boy fixation in the comfort of your favorite chair while sipping some wine or hot chocolate.

In addition, reading anti-hero romance is a delightful means to pass time and escape the harsh realities of life. The genre also instills some hope in those who have had bitter experiences in their quest for true love.

I have narrowed down a list of some of my favorite anti-hero romance novels.

5. Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley

This is definitely a steamy read! Gwendolyn Kidd meets a mysterious stranger while drinking Cosmopolitans and goes on to have a one-night stand with him. Regardless of the fact that she has no clue about his identity or name, she continues to have an affair with the mysterious stranger for eighteen months. The story kicks off when she visits a biker store and suddenly the stranger, Cabe Delgado comes out of the shadows and claims her as his woman while protecting her from the precarious danger she put herself in. However, hot Cabe's protective instincts and the unrepentant ultimate macho bad-ass image are appealing in spite of his control issues.

4. Black Ice by Anne Stuart

The hero Sebastian aka Bastien Toussaint comes across as a ruthless jerk who works for a secret organization as an assassin. The plot mostly takes place in Paris - often described as the haven of romance and seduction. However, this tale brings out the dark and gory side of the city - this gave me the chills. Nevertheless, the adventure begins when the heroine (Chloe) a clueless translator unknowingly takes up a job working for a terrorist group and Sebastian's icy demeanor slowly thaws as he takes up the role of Chloe's protector.

3. Death Angel by Linda Howard

Warning: this book is not for the faint-hearted so tread carefully because it appeals mostly to hardcore bad boy fans. The read does have a dark feel to it but in the end love triumphs over all. Not much is known about the hero who is a stone-cold assassin. To add to his mysterious persona, the author keeps it interesting by disclosing the "nameless" hero's name towards the end of the plot... no, I will not divulge his name either just read the book. The heroine Drea is likable and strong and the plot takes off when she betrays her Mafioso boyfriend who sics the assassin on her for revenge. In a twist of fate, the assassin's unfailing pursuit of Drea alters to unwavering loyalty.

2. Dmitry's Closet by Latrivia S. Nelson

This is my favorite interracial romance read to date. It is a modern "Cinderella-esque" tale about Dmitry, a tall Russian blonde giant who sweeps poor Royal off her feet. However, he is the ruthless leader of the Russian mafia in Memphis. In spite of Dmitry's cruelty, his humility and charm draw out his irresistible side. I highly recommend this book if reading about organized crime is your "thing."

1. Cry No More by Linda Howard

This is definitely one of those books that one can't help re-reading from time to time. It is a heart-wrenching tale of betrayal (so make sure that you have lots of tissue nearby). The plot centers on Milla's relentless pursuit of her kidnapped baby (barely a month old) and her marriage breaks down eventually. Diaz a complex hardened assassin, is the only person willing to help her track her missing baby. Despite their differences, these two share an intense and sizzling chemistry that is off the charts. I had a hard time letting go when the emotionally gripping plot came to an end.

The consequences of giving in to the "itch"

The consequences of giving in to the "itch"

In reality, dating a bad boy isn't all it's cracked up to be (believe me). I dated one and the trouble I got into was not worth the relationship. So the next time you get those "urges" just purchase some anti-hero romance novels to save yourself from needless heartache.

  • The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys
  • Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie
  • Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice
  • Dangerous Passion by Lisa Marie Rice
  • Cold as Ice by Anne Stuart
  • Fire and Ice by Anne Stuart
  • Ritual Sins by Anne Stuart
  • Risk the Night by Anne Stuart
  • Nightfall by Anne Stuart
  • Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley


Readerpumpkineater on January 02, 2018:

Why isn't Ricardo' DeLuca from the blame it on the Shame series on here? The author did something crazy. The hero starts off nice in the first book and ends up becoming this ruthless jerk mob boss over the series. And the third book is nuts!!! The heroine is crazy strong too, even a bitch at times. And even though it's mob. It's so much more than that. So much angst and sexy times in the series. Ricardo's transformation is one I've never read before. First book starts a little slow but halfway through takes off and continues full speed ahead for the next two books.

You could read the pain book but it's another characters story and he was not ahole enough for me. But Ricardo from Shame is everything.

Becky Kirembu (author) on April 25, 2013:

I concur Robbz. Thank you.

Becky Kirembu (author) on April 25, 2013:

Thank you Cuttler :) I hope they do.

Cuttler from HubPages on April 23, 2013:

Interesting sure ladies will learn lots from it

Robbz on April 23, 2013:

I like this article, it describes a day to day crushes that a modern lady faces.

So read and quench that thirst. There are good men out there.