Ah, the brooding, Alpha heroes of romance are a dime a dozen. Men with chiseled jaws, washboard abs, and dangerous pasts! They are men with an edge! But the heroes in the romances below put the “bad boy” trope to shame. They don’t just growl and snarl when things don’t go their way or live the life of a loner because of some defining moment in their life. No, these heroes break the law several times over. They’re criminals, thieves, and killers. They don’t just walk on the wild side; they own it.
Stealing His Thunder by Sparrow Beckett
For lovers of movies like Gone in 60 Seconds and The Fast and the Furious, Stealing His Thunder has plenty of high octane car thievery to match any action movie. The heroine, Addison, is a whip smart adrenaline junkie, getting her kicks by taking nice cars for a joy ride. Meanwhile, Fox, the hero, runs his own car theft ring, taking requests from rather high profile clients. When Addison and Fox go after the same car, Addison won’t give up until Fox lets her become part of her team. Fun, sexy, and fast-paced, this is it.
Verdict: Buy – it’s a quick read and perfect for readers who like their romance a tad on the erotic side as well.
Ivan by Roxie Rivera
Ivan is the start to Rivera’s Russian Protector series, which has a lot of characters tied into the Russian mob. If mafia romances aren’t your thing, this probably won’t be for you. Ivan Markovic has gone straight, leaving his life of crime to run a reputable franchise of mixed martial arts gyms. But when innocent Erin shows up looking for him, desperately in need of his help, Ivan finds himself thrust back into the seedy criminal underbelly he thought he’d left for good. With Erin hoping to track down her sister in Houston’s underground, Ivan is the only one who can guide her and protect her.
Verdict: Bypass – there’s a huge case of insta-love between Ivan and Erin, that it’s hard to believe there’s a genuine connection to their relationship.
Nico by Sarah Castille
A Romeo and Juliet-esque story between two members of a rival Italian mob families! Nico Toscani is still mourning the loss of his father, gunned down by a ruthless man from the Cordano crime family. But when Mia, the Cordano mafia princess, shows up in Nico’s casino, he’s torn between sheltering her from her abusive father or seeking revenge. Meanwhile, Mia wants nothing more to do with the mob lifestyle. As a bright security expert, specializing in technology, she hopes to strike out on her own. The last thing she wants is to be drawn back into a feud because of her father. Nico is sizzling hot and extremely intense, so tread lightly!
Verdict: Borrow – While I enjoyed it, I know this book won’t be for everyone given how dark and violent it can be, so borrow it for a low risk. If you like it, great! If you don’t, there’s no reading guilt on not finishing it.