Everyone loves a hero but what about those heroes disguised as villains?
Have you ever read a romance novel where the hero of the story was clearly a villain?
I have and I admit, that type of “hero” is my favorite.
Give me a man who is imperfect, real, rough around the edges but soft in the center of his soul and I’m a fan for life.
I don’t know what it is about a romance story that uses a villain as the hero but It just sinks deep into my soul.
For some reason dark characters have more depth and depth is what I crave.
If you are fan of dark characters, heroes disguised as villains or just looking for a different kind of romance story check out the following:
***Warning: Some of these books are very graphic. There could be rough sex, uncomfortable situations and topics that make you cringe. Read with caution***
- Angelfall by Susan Ee (YA)
- Brood of Bones by A.E. Marling
- Crimson Kiss by Trisha Baker
- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (YA)
- Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
- Darkyn’s Mate by Lizzy Ford (Book #3 of the Rhyn Eternal Series)
- Death Angel: A Novel by Linda Howard
- Deviant by Jaimie Roberts
- Halfway To The Grave by Jeaniene Frost
- If You Deceive by Kresley Cole (Book #3 from the MacCarrick Brothers Series)
- Lothaire by Kresley Cole (From the Immortals After Dark Series)
- Outlaw by Nicole James
- Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey
- Reapers Property by Joanna Wylde
- The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
- The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (Book #3 of the Wallflowers Series)
- The Goblin King by Heather Killough-Walden
- The Taker by Alma Katsu
- The Tale of the Vampire Bride by Rhiannon Frater
- Touch of Power (Healer) by Maria V. Snyder (YA)
My absolute favorite dark “hero” is Jericho Barrons aka Barrons from the Fever series written by Karen Marie Moning.
Jericho is a mystery wrapped up in a chiseled “take shit from no one” body, that oozes darkness and desire. He’s masculine, sexual, dark, secretive and intense.
Barrons is not a hero by any stretch of the imagination, he’s not even human. He is selfish, rude and takes what he wants when he wants it without regard to anyone else. Or so he would like you to think.
Deep down he is a very complex man, who values loyalty and “family” above all else and will go to the ends of the earth and beyond to be there for those he cares about.
Plain and simple… he melts my heart and haunts my dreams.
I once found myself rereading all the books in the series just so i could highlight every page where he talked or thought something. Why? Because I was just that obsessed.
It’s been said that KMM’s inspiration for Barrons was the character Ian Nottingham in Witchblade played by Eric Etebari and I couldn’t be happier.
This is the man I see when I read the fever series.
This is the dark hero who has stolen my heart.
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- Do you have a dark hero that haunts your dreams? If so, who is it?
- What do you think about heroes who are more like villains?
- Would you read a series where the hero was actually the villain and not just a dark hero?
3 thoughts on “20 Romance Heroes Disguised as Villains”
I’m torn with this one. Because I do agree with you that a complex, dark character who hides his soft side is the most charismatic of heroes. BUT, some authors have pushed the boat too far with the Alpha male who takes no crap from anyone, by turning him from rough and imperfect to manipulative, violent and disrespectful. Some “heroes” are clearly abusive, yet a lot of female readers swoon for them!?
However, it is clear in your post that you restrict your infatuation to the right kind of man lol. I love the multi-faceted hero, the one hiding under many layers. I’m not into arrogant brats who are successful at everything they do (including the pursuing of their chosen lady! They have to work at it, darn it!).
It’s the soft centre you’re talking about that makes me melt. And if the man gets a little awkward/embarrassed when that side is revealed, it’s even better 🙂
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Yes! Lol so many yesses 😉 I think that so many romance readers swoon for the overly alpha males because they are tired of guys who are “wishy-washy” in what they think and believe and they haven’t personally experienced a real overly alpha male to see first hand how stifling and overbearing he can be. Personally, I’m all for alpha males who know who they are, what they want and what their morals and beliefs are. However, he has to be respectful and have a deep passion that is only shared with the one he loves. You know…. The perfect guy 😉
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