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The Irresistible Allure of Forbidden Love in YA and New Adult Romance Novels

Ah, forbidden love—the classic tale of romance that defies all odds and societal norms. Whether it’s sneaking around to meet your lover or challenging the very foundations that keep you apart, this trope has readers hooked. But why do we find it so compelling? Let’s dive into the forbidden fruit of YA and New Adult romance novels and discover what makes these stories so addictive. Plus, I'll sprinkle in some top-notch book recommendations that you won’t be able to resist.

Why Do We Love Forbidden Love?

  1. The Thrill of the Chase: There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of sneaking around and keeping secrets. It’s like being a part of an exclusive club where the stakes are high, and every stolen glance or touch is electrifying.

  2. Defying the Odds: These stories often feature protagonists who must overcome significant barriers, be it disapproving families, social classes, or supernatural laws. Watching love conquer these challenges is immensely satisfying.

  3. High Stakes, High Drama: Forbidden love ramps up the emotional intensity. The characters’ love isn’t just a walk in the park; it’s a daring tightrope act over a pit of hungry alligators. (Okay, maybe not literally, but you get the idea.)

  4. Relatability: We’ve all had that one crush we thought we couldn’t have. Forbidden love speaks to our own experiences of longing and desire, making these stories deeply relatable.


8 book covers featuring Forbidden Love trope
8 YA and New Adult Romance Novels Featuring Forbidden Love

8 YA and New Adult Romance Novels Featuring Forbidden Love

Now that we’ve established why we adore this trope, let’s look at some literary gems that feature forbidden love in all its heart-pounding glory.


1. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

When a witch and a witch hunter are forced into a marriage of convenience, sparks fly in all the wrong (and right) ways. Lou and Reid’s relationship is the definition of forbidden, and their bantering is off the charts. Who knew mortal enemies could be such a perfect match?


2. The Brightest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

In this compelling sci-fi novel, Evie Dasher is drawn to Luc, a Luxen who is supposed to be off-limits. As Evie uncovers dark secrets and faces dangers from all sides, her forbidden romance with Luc intensifies, bringing passion and intrigue that will keep you turning pages late into the night.


3. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

In a dystopian future where children with supernatural abilities are imprisoned by the government, Ruby Daly meets Liam, a fellow escapee. Their love is fraught with peril and societal restrictions, making their romance a gripping example of forbidden love in a dystopian setting.


4. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Set in 1920s Shanghai, this Romeo and Juliet retelling features rival gang members Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov. Their love is as dangerous as the city they live in, filled with intrigue, betrayal, and, of course, forbidden romance.


5. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

In this lush historical fantasy set in 19th-century New Orleans, Celine Rousseau finds herself drawn to the enigmatic leader of an underground society, Sébastien Saint Germain. Forbidden love? Check. Vampire drama? Double check.


6. Powerless by Lauren Roberts

In a world where powers dictate your worth, Paedyn is an "Ordinary" (a powerless girl) hiding her identity and living on the fringes of society as a homeless thief. Kai, the powerful "Elite" son of the king, has one main job—hunt down and destroy the Ordinaries. But when Pae saves Kai (kinda, sorta by accident), she finds herself swept into Kai's world. She now must hide who she is in order to survive, but forbidden love makes that deliciously difficult.


7. Dissent by Josephine Lamont

Mara is the First Daughter of Telvia, a dystopian version of the USA ruled by her ruthless dictator father. When she's kidnapped by Dissenters, everything she thought she knew shatters, and her loyalty to her family is put to the ultimate test when her heart begins to fall for Matias—the rebel assigned to guard her. Torn between duty and desire, Mara must choose: stay true to her family and escape or follow her heart and love the enemy.


8. Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

When Emilia’s twin sister is murdered, she teams up with Wrath, a prince of Hell, to find the killer. Their partnership is fraught with danger and sizzling tension, making their forbidden connection utterly irresistible.


Why We Can't Get Enough of Forbidden Love


Forbidden love in YA and New Adult romance novels taps into our deepest desires for adventure, passion, and triumph against all odds. These stories offer an escape from the mundane and transport us to worlds where love truly conquers all. Whether it’s witches and witch hunters, gang rivals, or supernatural beings, the allure of forbidden love is timeless and endlessly captivating.


So, if you’re looking for a heart-pounding, page-turning experience, pick up one of these fantastic novels. Just be prepared to fall head over heels for the irresistible charm of forbidden romance.


Happy reading!

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