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5 Forbidden Romance Books That Will Shake Your Sense of Morality

The romance genre has been a timeless favorite for readers all over the world. The genre is remarkably deep with several sub-genres and hence, it allows a wide variety of readers something unique to enjoy. Today we are looking at five uniquely special forbidden romance books. Forbidden romance includes any and all romantic relationship that is considered taboo or unnatural. In some ways, even Romeo & Juliet should be considered a forbidden romance story.

In this post, however, I am going to explore books that explore slightly more complicated relationships; stories that appear taboo to society but in reality, is an individual choice of freedom. We will judge these books by the complexity of struggles of its characters to come to terms with their relationship and their own internal conflicts.

Tabitha Suzuma (2010)

Forbidden is about a relationship between a brother and a sister. Forced to grow up prematurely due to a drunken mother, their plight and problems are highlighted beautifully in this book. Although the subject is not for everyone, Forbidden presents it poignantly and will leave you emotionally drained.

The book's subject is highly controversial and will not find an interested audience in everyone. However, the book is beautifully and boldly written.

Ugly Score: 93%

Penelope Douglas (2015)

Born in Iowa, United States, Penelope Douglas is a new-age writer who loves writing on taboo subjects and adult themes. She has written sixteen books so far! She holds a degree in public administration and education, but today she is just a full-time author.

Misconduct explores a romance between a single father and the young teacher of his son. The story manages to convey the struggle for both as they enter into a taboo romantic relationship. A teacher scared for her job, a father scared for his reputation, and a desire to be together. Misconduct manages to capture and beautifully narrate their relationship as they overcome their own limitations and vulnerabilities.

Try to overlook some of the sex scenes if they start to feel a little repetitive and, instead, focus on the brilliant portrayal of emotions.

Ugly Score: 87%

Colleen Hoover (2016)

Colleen self-published Slammed in 2012 and immediately won the hearts of her readers. The book explores vulnerability in relationships, especially between a student and a teacher. I almost added it to our romantic suspense thriller books reading list as well, until my better senses prevailed.

Hoover's explorations in grief, internal struggles, and difficult choices make this book lovable and relatable. Slammed is a very fast-paced book with falling in love and complexities arising at breakneck speed.

Ugly Score: 90%

Pepper Winters (2014)

Pepper Winters has written more than twenty books and is famous for her work in dark romance. Having been both self-published and traditionally publishing, she is a unique success story.

Exploring the treacherous subject of slavery, Debt Inheritance is a fast-paced book. The unique aspect of the book is its portrayal of the male lead as a villain. This book makes no attempt at trying to find light in the darkness and that was a refreshing perspective. The character arcs are beautifully sketched out and make this book an unputdownable page-turner.

The only issue with the book is a set of inconsistencies, which sometimes adversely affects character development. That aside, the side characters are not very engaging either. This book had much more potential.

Ugly Score: 72%

Trisha Wolfe (2017)

Trisha Wolfe is never afraid of exploring taboo subjects and relationships and doesn't let you easily forget her compelling yet controversial stories.

Born Darkly attempts to explore and explain a relationship between a psychologist and a criminal. A forbidden relationship as per her profession, the book explores the dark and murky mind of a really flawed character.

The book is extremely dark and not for the fainthearted. Know what you are getting into before adding this to your reading list.

Ugly Score: 78%

Special Mentions

Penelope Douglas, 2018

Birthday Girl is another brilliant forbidden love story from the New York Times Bestselling author Penelope Douglas.

The story follows Jordan and her relationship with her boyfriend's dad. The incestuous concept may fill you with disgust, but the book is a rather tender love story at its heart. Jordan is a lonely girl without family or friends, and she's just looking for a person with whom she can share her life and be happy. Pike happened to be just the right man for her.

The book can be an intense read about the internal battles of two individuals. This singular focus allows this story to become a masterpiece among its peers.

The characters are relatable and humane. Jordan is sweet but clever, firm but not a badass, and she has real dreams like most of us.

And excellent plot that tantalizes you with taboos on every level, this book definitely deserves a place in your TBR list.

Leah Reader, 2014

Leah Reader’s Unteachable is an edgy, sexy USA TODAY bestseller. Reader's lyrical, paretic, and vivid writing style grabs the readers' attention from the very first line. And you will have no shotage of goosebumps reading the rest of the story either.

Maise is a young girl who aspires to be an actress. One night at a carnival, she meets Evan. They came close immediately. But their chemistry was short-lived. After a couple of months, when she goes into acting school, she found Evan as her teacher.

Unteachable is a smart, sexy, and provocative story that goes off-script some times. If you are one for taboo sexual fantasies, this book is sure to deliver.

Penelope Ward, 2014

Penelope Wards’ New York Bestseller book Stepbrother Dearest is an intense love story between Greta and her stepbrother Erik. When Erik came to live with Greta, she didn't realize how evil her brother truly is. However, as they slowly moved past their differences, they came closer. And one day Erik left as quickly as he had come into her life. After a long seven years, a family tragedy brought them back together, and neither were prepared to deal with how life had changed.

This is the kind of book that if you start reading, you will want to keep going. The author beautifully balances the stories of both our main characters to the point where you will feel empathy for both.

The book isn't perfect, but if you want a sexy, unique, and unconventional book, you should definitely give Stepbrother Dearest a try.

Sara B. Larson, 2014

Defy is a lush, gorgeously written, action-packed, and heart-pounding debut romance novel by Sara B. Larson.

The story revolves around Alex, who is a female fighter forced to serve in the king's army, disguised as a man. One day a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace and abducts her and soon after, Alex finds herself confronted with two men who crave her. Of course, you have to read the book to find out what, eventually happens of Alex.

The book is a slow burner at the beginning and can sometimes feel a little too predictable. But read this to enjoy the wonderful word-wizardry of Sara B. Larson’s, if for no other reason.

Whether we admit it or not, we all love tantalizing and sensual forbidden love stories. Tell us in the comments if you have read any of these books or if we have missed some of your favorites.


  • The images used in this post are either used under fair use principles or licensed to be used and distributed by our team.

  • This listicle has been edited by the Ugly Tales admins.


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