Top Ten Tuesday: Darker Shade of Romance

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular blog meme, Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share:

February 9: Valentine’s Day is next week…let’s do a Valentine’s Day themed freebie! Top Ten Books That Would Make Great Valentine’s Day Reads (or anti-Valentine’s day reads), Top Ten OTPs, Top 10 fictional crushes, top ten great love declarations in fiction, swoony quotes from books etc. Get creative!


Now I read a lot of romance, be it paranormal, science fiction, or urban fantasy most of the books I read involve some sort of romance at the heart of the story.  So going through my read shelf over at Goodreads I kept my eye out for a theme for today.  I’ve decided to go with books from the darker side of romance.  Either there was no happily ever after or one of the leads came from a tortured past or some other reason that the story broke my heart.  After all sometimes it is good to have a nice cathartic cry and pine for what might have been or on the flip side the struggle makes the H.E.A. all that more sweet.   So lets jump to it!

Ten of my favorite dark romances


  1. The Gargoyle Starting off with the love stories the broke my freaking heart.  This one is always going to be top or near top of the list.  Such a beautiful story about love and strength.  It is a very dark story that is quite graphic at times, but oh so worth the heartache that you will be left with at the end.  Satisfying end, but still a major tear-jerker.
  2. The Time Traveler's Wife Here is another one that I ended the last third of the book in tears. It is an unusual story and PLEASE don’t judge this one by its movie that failed to live up to a beautiful sad story about love and patience.  I still get choked up when I think about the last few pages of this story, so beautiful so sad.
  3. For a Few Demons More (The Hollows, #5) This is book five in a thirteen book finished series.  I do not suggest reading it out-of-order, but if you are a paranormal urban fantasy fan I suggest giving it a go as it is a great series.  Now stop reading if you don’t want spoilers.  I mean it next sentence will ruin the book for you…. Okay, you probably guessed it anyway, but the love interest for the main character dies in this book.  Broke. My. Freaking. Heart.  MAJORLY.  I pined for him for the entire rest of the series.  Wishing she could find a way to bring him back.  Sigh.  Sometimes we need to accept the loss and realize it was needed for another character’s personal development or that sometimes, like life, things just suck and are unfair…
  4. Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4)  This is book four in a still active series.  This is a little different situation I spend the first three books trying to get into this series and when I finally fall for a main character the author bleeping kills them off!  Oh yeah, spoiler alert… Sorry.  It isn’t such a big deal because unlike the last series this character was not gone for long.  That is my little gift to you, if you end up reading this book maybe you won’t be tempted to throw the book at the wall like I was…
  5. Acheron (Dark-Hunter #14)  Now we get into the books I picked not because they had a devastating ending that left me emotionally drained and short on tissues, but this is the section of tortured heroes.  Acheron will forever be tied with his brother in the next pick for heroes that went through way too much crap before receiving their H.E.A.  I have said it before, nobody writes a tortured soul like Ms. Kenyon.  My heart almost always bleeds for them over all the trial and tribulations that they have to survive before they find some sort of happiness.  Still this is a beautiful story, and could be read with the next pick for a truly epic emotionally draining happily ever after.
  6. Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #22) Okay much of what I said for the last book could be said for this one.  One interesting note though.  At the end of Acheron I so hated Styxx.  Then I read Styxx’s story and lost a little of the respect I had for Acheron.  Ms. Kenyon does an excellent job of showing us in these two companion stories that there is always two sides to every story and until we have both perspectives we should withhold judgement.  After all we just might end up eating our words someday.
  7. Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3) This is book three in its series, but might be able to be read on its own,  I can’t remember… Anyway of all the brothers in this world Zsadist is the most tortured by far.  Not that the others were raised with puppy dogs and rose gardens, but by far he was the darkest.
  8. Bared to You (Crossfire, #1) Okay this one and the 50 Shades are great examples of dark romances.  They feature some pretty fucked up characters.  I’ve often told patrons that the appeal for these stories is the same as driving past a train wreck.  You just can’t look away.  Now I went with this author’s train wreck for the list because quite frankly it is the better written than the 50 Shades.  Still either are good picks if you want to watch two messed up people end up together.
  9. The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)  This is the third book in this trilogy and the author took us much darker than she had in the first two.  Not to say the lead characters had it easy in the first two either, but this one was much more violent as the war was waged and won.  I didn’t pick it for this list for that reason though.  As a romance there is still a fairly typical H.E.A for the two leads, but there is one supporting character, Gallowglass that simply broke my heart.  He had the misfortune of falling for the wrong person and we end with a bittersweet ache in our hearts for him in is unrequited love.  Gallowglass kind of walked off into the sunset alone and heartbroken, but I am thrilled to see that Harkness will be expanding this world with future books.  I have hopes for a H.E.A for him yet.
  10. Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13) This book I picked simply because I was so disgusted by how everything ended up.  We spend most of this series rooting for two people to come together only to have one of them get the shaft at the very end.  It wasn’t right and because of how badly it ended I will never read another one of her books, ever.  Yes, I hold grudges.


There you have my list for the week.  What darker romance stories stories do you suggest?


5 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Darker Shade of Romance

  1. Great pick! I completely agree re: Hard Bitten, Lover Awakened and Dead Ever After!!

    My favorite dark romance is Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher, so good!

    my TTT


    1. I like them for the fact that they often are simple. Life is hard enough I want something that is going to give me a happy ending, where life rarely does. But still even I have my eye-roll moments with them. Thanks for the comment and enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

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