90+ Thriller & Dark Romance Book Recs to Get You Out of a Reading Slump <3

90+ Thriller & Dark Romance Book Recs to Get You Out of a Reading Slump <3

Gothikana made me re enter my dark romance x thriller era. I’ve read only thrillers and dark romance this fall. Here is my Goodreads for reading updates + let’s be friends <3 Also Checkout my fall guide taylor’s version if you want some book recs and more.

Honestly as a romance book lover, the dark romance genre has changed a lot in my reading journey. I used to read only sci fi and thriller books in my pre teen years and after falling in love with the romance genre and discovering the dark romance books I just couldn’t go back and I absolutely love to read thrillers and dark romance back and forth.
For me dark romance is a lot similar to thriller books if there are great plot twists with a mix of suspense.

So here are some of my favorite thriller and dark romance books with a quick list. (Some of the books are on my tbr list)
The first few are dark romance with a mix of thriller and suspense and the next are thrillers with no romance or just as the sub plot.

Hope you enjoy it but make sure to search up for content and trigger warnings before reading.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder Series by Holly Jackson

Genres – Mystery, Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Fiction, Crime, Contemporary, Murder Mystery, Romance

A good girl’s guide to murder series is one of my favorite books and series of all time!! It’s a ya murder mystery and thriller which has a total of 4 books (including book 0, which is the prequel of the first book) but all of them can be read as standalone but might contain spoilers so I recommend reading in order. I also made a reading order + Author guide here.

The first one, A good girl’s guide to murder follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi, who has started investigating a closed case for her school project that involves a girl named Andie Bell who was murdered by Sal Signh, at least that’s what the town, little Kilton and their people believe. But she’s determined to solve the mystery herself because “The dead can’t defend themselves, but I can.”
It is currently adapted into a tv series. The first season is set to release in July 2024. Find more details here.

Holly Jackson is popular for writing ya mystery and thrillers and if you’re a beginner i’d suggest to start with her books. Also If you want to read any standalones before the good girl’s guide series you can try these two. The first one “Five Survive” is spring themed and perfect to enjoy in this weather and the 2nd one will be out this week on 2nd April, 2024!!

Five Survive by Holly Jackson

Five Survive by Holly Jackson

Eight hours…Six friends…One sniper . . .but will they all survive?

Five Survive follows a group of teenagers Red and her friends, who head on a road trip journey in an RV to the beach for Spring Break. But they get lost on the way when RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere. With no mobile connection and people around for help they realize their tire was not punctured but shot one by one and there is a sniper in the dark who’s keeping a close watch. But what does he actually want? Maybe someone from the group is hiding something…

Trapped in the RV, The full novel takes place in the span of 8 hours with the group discovering buried secrets and playing along to survive.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The guest list is a dramatic thriller about a group of people who have known each other for years and we get multiple povs. The couple, Jules is a smart and ambitious magazine publisher and Will is a handsome and charming, rising television star who are set to marry on an island off the coast of Ireland In the middle of nowhere.

But everything is perfectly planned as the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey is all set for the wedding because it is also being set for the magazine. As everything starts according to plan, the celebration begins but takes different turns as everyone has their own problems and secrets.

If you liked the Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery I think you’ll love this book.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Verity was one of my first book from booktok popular books in the thriller genre. It’s about a struggling writer, Lowen Ashleigh who’s dealing a lot with her mothers sudden demise and career. She was about to be homeless when she gets an offer to complete the remaining books in a successful series by the bestselling author Verity Crawford who is unable to do so due to her injuries and being sick.

So she moves into her house where she meets verity’s son crew and husband Jeremy Crawford who hired her in the first place, But as soon she starts digging into verity’s work she finds something that might be an answer to verity’s past and what actually happened to the twins the day they died and questioning whos the real villain or victim.

The House across the Lake by Riley Sager

The House across the Lake by Riley Sager

This is my new and recent favorite or maybe I love the dedication way too much which is
“I think he did it but I just can’t prove it”- No Body, No crime. (It was also enough to convince me to read this book). It’s about an actress, Casey Fletcher who recently became a widow and escaped to her family lake house in Vermont to cope up with her loss. In order to pass her time and loneliness she drowns herself in booze and starts spying on her neighbors, Tom and Katherine Royce who live in the house across the lake.

Everything in their life seems perfect from afar until Casey and Katherine become good friends after Casey saves Katherine from drowning and starts knowing about each other. But suddenly one day Katherine goes missing and Casey decides to investigate on her own which leads her to discover dark and ugly truth and rethink everything she witnessed.

The Housemaid Series by Freida McFadden

It has a total of 3 books.

All of them are complete standalone but it continues after the previous books so it would be better to read in order even though it doesn’t spoil the other books. And the 3rd one is not out yet as it’s expected to release on June 11th 2024.

The first one, The housemaid follows a woman called Millie and the Winchester Family as Millie has to live and work full time as a nanny, cook and a cleaner for the family. But as soon as she begins working she experiences strange and weird things from the family members, how Nina makes a mess for her and lies, how Andrew looks broken and in pain everyday. But soon she discovers how different their perfect life actually is and how her door locks from the outside.

Here is a list of more thrillers you might like :

  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • Hidden Pictures by by Jason Rekulak
  • The Perfect Marriage by by Jeneva Rose
  • You Shouldn’t Have Come Here by Jeneva Rose
  • Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
  • The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  • The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager
  • Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica
  • We Were Liars Series by E. Lockhart –
  • Family of Liars
  • The September House by Carissa Orlando
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  • The Last Word by Taylor Adams

Dark Romance Books :

Most of the books I’ve read are part of a series which are also interconnected standalones. Which means you don’t really have to read all the books. Some of them needs to be read in order for specific timelines and avoiding spoilers. And I always recommend reading in order for the best reading experience.

But make sure to check out content + trigger warnings before reading.

Dark Verse Series by Runyx

Six books, four couples, one saga…

Starting off with my forever favorite and roman empire. Especially whenever someone asks me to recommend my favorite book or a dark romance I’d convince them to read this series.
Dark verse series has a total of 6 books which follows 4 couples. It’s written in dual pov and from 3rd person. (Except the first two). All the books are set in the same universe but in different places. And all the characters in this series are interconnected as we meet them throughout the series and we’ll get them together again in the final book as the dark verse series wraps in The Syndicator.

The books are really hard to explain but totally worth it even if you dive in without knowing anything about them. But make sure to read them in order (here’s the guide I made) and the authors note and tw as each book keeps getting darker.

Darling Venom by Parker S. Huntington

Darling Venom by Parker S. Huntington

Darling venom was divided in 3 parts which are set in two different timelines with multiple povs.

Charlotte Richard’s life is crumbling and she no longer wants to survive this cruel world and decides to end everything on her birthday only to find the loner emo boy from her class ,Kellen Marchetti for the same reason on the rooftop. But they spend a few hours together and decide they are gonna fight their demons and check on each other every year on the same day, in the same place.

As they meet every year they discover more about themselves, grow attached but stick to their plan. As Charlie heals Kellen suffers in silence. Four years later Kellen breaks his promise and leaves Charlie in this cruel world all alone but she decides to live and get better alone. Few years later she accidentally meets Kellen’s brother Tate and they both discover more about Kellen through his letters and work together to make his dream come true. As they work together they bond with their grief and find peace in each other. (Search up for trigger warning)*

Never After Series by Emily McIntire

Fractured fairy tales where the villain gets their happily ever after? The Never After series has a total of 5 books, all are complete standalones that explore different Disney fairytales but with a twist where the main characters are the villains. Like the first book, hooked is inspired by Peter Pan where Captain Hook is the main character and Peter Pan is the villain. The second is a Lion King retelling, the 3rd one is The Wizard of Oz. , the fourth one is Aladdin, and the 5th and final one (for now) The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. There is a 6th book in the work.
For an update, checkout the authors social or booktokupdates.

The Mindfu-k Series by S.T. Abby

The Mindfuck Series by S.T. Abby

The cover might give you twilight vibes but trust me it’s so different but I definitely imagined some of the aesthetic of this book as twilight. The Mindfuck Series (check the reading order/guide here) is a mini and super short series that is also available in one book. It follows an FBI Agent Logan Bennet who’s searching for a  6 ‘4 male serial killer but actually it’s Lana Myers in disguise because she is on her way to take revenge from people who ruined her life and made her into the Scarlett slayer she has become.

Brutal Birthright Series by Sophie Lark

I think as a beginner the brutal birthright series is perfect following the 2nd generation books – The Kingmakers series. The brutal birthright series has 6 books all of them are interconnected standalones. Each book follows a different couple but they appear in all the books. It has a mafia theme with dark elements and contains booktoks popular dark romance tropes such as – arranged marriage, enemies to lovers

2nd Generation Series –Kingmakers (5 books)

Deception Trilogy by Rina Kent

Last but not the least, the book trilogy that made me fall in love with the genre and made me read the entire blacklist of the author. Read my journey here. (not really beginner friendly)

After connecting so many taylor swift’s songs as books it still surprises me how sometimes I find books that match the whole lyrics of the song. Especially my favorite books. Like the deception trilogy.
When homeless, Winter Cavanaugh is forced to pretend to be the wife of Russian mafia Adrian Volkov with the threat of going to jail for murder and even worse losing her life.

She agrees and as time passes sees the real Adrian despite his ruthless behavior and all the rumors that he had always denied and realizes he’s good at what he does and even comes for her like a savior. It’s a book trilogy as the story progresses in the next two books she puts herself through hell and discovers the ugly truths.

The Deception trilogy is really hard to explain without spoiling but totally worth the read. So whenever I try to convince anyone to read this trilogy I tell them to just dive in after reading the content and trigger warnings.

The Ruinous Love Trilogy by Brynne Weaver

Also adding a last interconnected standalone series I’ve not read any yet. But it’s my most anticipated read of the year because it has all of my favorite tropes and I’m hoping to finally read it right before the release of the 2nd book.

Also I’m planning to read this one by the same author if I end up liking the butcher. My friend already recommended this one last year and I’ve read really good reviews about this book and I’m really excited to give it a try. You can add me on Goodreads and Instagram so we can buddy read or have the same reactions + reading updates.

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