Sometimes the best heroes aren’t always so…well…heroic. Whether they’re hit men, porn stars, or pirates, the heroes topping the bestseller charts in new adult romance are all sexy as sin and alpha to the core—no betas allowed. And of course, they’re bound to have a heart of gold—at least, they will after their souls are redeemed by the virtuous women who see past their rough exterior and love them anyway.
Last Hit by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick is about a scary, tattooed Russian hit man named Nikolai, or “Nick.” His next target for assassination lives near the heroine Daisy, but instead of keeping dibs on his assignment, he ends up peering into her window through the scope of his gun and falling in love with her. He’s lonely, stalkerish, and a little twisted. She’s equally lonely, but also very naïve and untouched. After her mother’s violent death, her anxious father kept her sequestered from the world until she finally broke away when she was twenty-one. Daisy and Nick are two damaged souls who fall in love—and lust—with each other.
In Marked. Part 1: The Missing Link by J.M. Sevilla, the hero Jay Lincoln is also a killer, motivated by his traumatic past and a desire for revenge. His neighbor, Lily Evans, is a somewhat naïve, passive woman who recently emerged from an abusive two-year relationship. Lily’s mother urges her to invite their scary, scarred neighbor to Christmas dinner. He declines, but fate allows their paths to cross again and she ends up being drawn into his dark world where she finds an inner strength she didn’t know she possessed.
In Misled by Kathryn Kelly, the eighteen-year-old heroine Megan Foy is on the run from her abusive stepfather, who rapes both her and her mother. She tries to track down her biological father, who was the president of the Death Dwellers Motorcycle Club, but she discovers that he’s dead and she’s fallen in serious lust with a very bad man—Christopher “Outlaw” Caldwell, the new president of the motorcycle club and her father’s killer. Some readers found the story to be a little too intense, while others praised its unapologetic, raw grittiness. It’s definitely not a story for the faint of heart.
In Stinger by Mia Sheridan, the hero Carson Stinger is a porn star. Because of his work, he has some issues about feeling used by women for his body and good looks and then abandoned. The heroine Grace Hamilton is a good girl studying to be a lawyer. She encounters Carson on a trip to Vegas when they get trapped in an elevator together. Their forced proximity leads them to see beneath each other’s masks, and they end up spending the weekend together. But with such disparate lives, readers wonder how their newfound love will ever last.
In Enslaved by the Ocean by Bella Jewel, the heroine Indigo hires a yacht with her best friend Eric to sail from the U.S. to the U.K. where she plans to start a new life away from her abusive boyfriend. The yacht catches on fire and sinks, and she ends up getting rescued by gun-toting pirates. Hendrix, who’s the leader of the ragtag group, plans to sell Indigo to a fellow pirate to cancel a debt, but he ends up falling for her instead. Their relationship is intense and passionate, and Indigo begins to question whether or not she really wants to escape.
In Trouble by Samantha Towle, the heroine Mia, who was abused by both her father and boyfriend, leaves med school in Boston to travel to Colorado and track down the mother she recently discovered is still alive. She ends up meeting Jordan, a sexy, tattooed bad boy whose family owns the hotel she’s staying at. He has some gambling issues and is an unashamed man whore, but she finds herself falling for him, despite his flaws.
Finally, David, the hero of Lick by Kylie Scott, isn’t exactly a sociopath, but he is a rock star with all the corresponding rock star qualities, such as a history of womanizing, secrets from his past, and a sweet, slightly tortured soul. Evelyn’s a good girl who goes to Vegas for her twenty-first birthday and wakes up married to David. She can’t remember what happened, but he can—and those hours together meant something to him. When David’s fans find out about his marriage, the pressure is on Evelyn not to hurt the beloved star. She’ll have to decide if she wants the marriage quickly dissolved or if she wants to give their love a chance to blossom.
What sexy antihero is steaming you up this December?
Brittany is a freelance writer, aspiring novelist and small business owner who hopes that heaven will be like a bookstore with an endless supply of free books, free coffee and super comfy chairs.