Lesbian Books | 10 Dark Romances to Get Your Heart Thumping

Dark romance is a genre that typically contains violence, sex, and taboo subjects, and dark fantasy tales are ones that are more sinister, intense, and gripping than your average work of fiction.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush and a few scares along the way, then these darker tales may be just what you’re after.

Needless to say, many of these stories have graphic depictions of violence and dubious consent and are definitely not for the faint of heart.

We got a mixture of gripping fantastical tales, dark and complex stories, hard-hitting historicals, and a few steamy reads.

So sit back, relax, and prepare to explore some of the darkest corners of the literary world.

1. Captive in the Underworld by Lianyu Tan

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Captive in the Underworld is a dark lesbian romance set in mythological ancient Greece.

The story follows Persephone, an innocent young woman who is abducted by Queen Hades, the gender-flipped ruler of the underworld.

Persephone discovers that sometimes it is better the devil you know, as she becomes caught up in the power play and politics of the underworld.

This is a beautifully written read exploring cruelty, power-play, and politics.

The sapphic romance between Persephone and Hades is steamy and sensual, making this a must-read for fans of Dark Romance.

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Lianyu Tan is also the author of The Wicked and the Willing, featured on our list of 10 Vampire Novels To Take A Bite Out Of

2. The Sting of Victory by S D Simper

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Simper’s The Sting of Victory is the dark romance sapphic fantasy series readers have been waiting for.

Flowridia is a tender-hearted witch who has suffered a tragic past.

When she’s pulled into the world of Lady Ayla Darkleaf, she discovers a dark and seductive world of BDSM.

The story blends grimdark fantasy and erotica with darker aspects of BDSM which may make some readers uncomfortable but ultimately creates an addictively readable story.

Simper explored difficult topics like non-consent and abuse in a rich and well-developed world making The Sting of Victory a must-read for dark romance fans.

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3. Found Out by Jess Monroe

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Found Out is the first book in a series of four erotic short stories by Jess Monroe.

Following an inmate and the guard who must punish her, a forbidden romance develops between the two women in a world filled with whips, bondage, and dubious punishments.

From the very first page, readers are transported into a dark and dangerous world where taboos are broken and desires run wild.

With its tantalizing blend of sex, power, and danger, Found Out is sure to leave readers craving more.

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4. The Princess and the Evil Queen by Lola Andrews

Snow White and the Evil Queen is a dark romance for fans of sapphic love stories.

In this lesbian erotic retelling of the classic fairytale, Snow White and the Evil Queen are drawn to each other despite their differences.

As they explore their feelings, they must also contend with dark magic, fae, and faeries.

This story blends fear and lust with complex characters in a fantasy setting, creating an intoxicating and unforgettable tale.

If you’re looking for something different in your next lesbian romance, pick up Snow White and the Evil Queen today.

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If you are a fan of fairy tale retellings, then take a look at our list of 11 Gorgeous Adaptations for Lesbians and Queer Girls who Love Fairy Tales!

5. Paid to Please Her by Athina Duarte

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Money can’t buy happiness, but for Catherine, it can buy her a plaything.

Paid to Please Her is about a strict business transaction that smoulders into something more.

This is a smoking hot read, featuring BDSM, and a slow burn romance between two complex characters coming to terms with their own difficulties in life. The story follows Bettina, a young woman who agrees to be paid to be a submissive plaything for the wealthy businesswoman Catherine.

As they explore their dark desires, they slowly discover that their arrangement is anything but simple.

With its sapphic love scenes and intricate exploration of power dynamics, Paid to Please Her is sure to please fans of dark romance.

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6. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

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Last Night at the Telegraph Club is an award-winning romance that follows Lily and Kath, two girls who fall in love under the terror of Red-Scare paranoia and the constant threat of deportation and homophobia.

The setting is what makes this story a dark romance, while the story itself is both heartbreaking and joyful.

The girls must reconcile their different aspects of who they are in order to survive in a world that doesn’t accept them.

Their love is powerful and defiant in the face of a dangerous world.

If you’re looking for a sapphic love story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading, look no further than Last Night at the Telegraph Club.

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7. She’s With Me by S. Rena

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She’s With Me is a dark romance novella that follows the only sister in the Ciccone family, Kenley.

The Ciccones are dark and dangerous, and every member has to keep their secrets.

But Courtlin has her secrets too, and when her path collides with Kenley’s the pair’s chemistry is on fire.

The dark romance between Kenley and Courtlin is sure to keep you turning the pages, and the sapphic chemistry between the two women is electric.

If you’re looking for a dark and sexy read, She’s With Me is definitely for you.

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8. Malice by Heather Walter

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Vengeance, curses and wicked fairies, this retelling of Sleeping Beauty has it all.

If you’re a fan of dark romance and looking for a sapphic twist, this dark fairy tale is for you.

This is a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers story, where the cursed Princess falls for the villain and the whole world may end up paying the price.

If you enjoy Holly Black’s dark gothic stories, you’ll love this one.

While the story has a bitter-sweet end, it will leave you wanting more and rushing out to buy the sequel.

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9. Aurora’s Angel by Emily Noon

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In a world of shapeshifters and avians, a pair of natural enemies may be one another’s only hope.

Battle-weary Aurora takes pity on the winged girl, Evie, despite knowing Evie could sell her out at any moment.

Together, the women set out on a journey to outrun their enemies and end up falling for each other in this fast-paced fantasy adventure.

With intense action scenes and slow-burn romance, Aurora’s Angel is sure to keep you turning pages late into the night.

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10. Being Hers by Anna Stone

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Being Hers is the darkly romantic story of Melanie and Vanessa, two women struggling to find themselves and each other in a world of glamorous executives and exclusive clubs.

Stone weaves a tale of sexual exploration and self-discovery, as the characters grapple with their flaws and insecurities.

The story is full of BDSM and rope play, making it a steamy read for fans of dark romance.

The plot is also full of twists and turns, keeping the reader on their toes until the very end.

Whether you’re looking for a new dark romance to devour or a sapphic tale to get lost in, Being Hers is the book for you.

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If you enjoyed this list then here are a few other book lists I think you’ll love!

My Books

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Niamh Murphy is the best-selling author of 'Escape to Pirate Island' and other adventure books with lesbian main characters. Read more here.

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