Romance novels have many tropes and subgenres, mafia romance books being among them.
Compelling plots, entertaining banter, sexy scenes, lovable characters, off the charts chemistry are some of the things that make a good mafia romance book.
So today I’m coming up with 10 mafia romance books where the protagonists have great chemistry and you can’t help but root for them. These books have all the ingredients to get you addicted.
Given that mafia novels aren’t exactly light, I’ll leave a content warning where I think it’s necessary.
10 Mafia Romance Books Whose Characters Have Amazing Chemistry
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#1 Vengeance Unleashed by Nancy Haviland
Somehow, Gabriel Moretti managed to leave the mafia life behind and live as a free businessman. Or so he thought.
But what happens when your mentor, friend, and father figure asks you the biggest favor of his life?
Protecting his friend’s estranged daughter from the Russian mafia is certainly not what he expected. Getting to know Eva might be his biggest luck in life, but the danger is still lurking in the shadows. And it might not be just the Russians.
For Eva Jacobs, being lured into a world of secrets and threats might be what she needs. After all, you never know how strong you are until you have no other option. But she’s not alone in this. Gabriel is there to stay and to protect her.
Pour yourself a glass of wine, find the most comfortable reading place, and get started. Eva and Gabriel will accompany you on this exciting love story completed by a touch of suspense. Their unexpected connection and sexy interactions will keep you turning the pages late at night. Bonus: entertaining side characters!
#2 Black Skies Riviera by Catherine Wiltcher
This mafia romance book tells the story of Issa Dubova, daughter of a Russian mafia boss, and Aiden Knight, a British casino owner.
Aiden Knight is not a nice man. Not to his enemies, not to the people in this business, and certainly not with Issa.
He is set on getting revenge on those responsible for his father’s death. But first, he needs to find the names of the men who killed him.
For that, he needs to do two things: marry Issa and get some information out of her. Lie to her, seduce her, degrade her. Whatever it takes.
Ielena “Issa” Dubova is not as naive and helpless as she appears. Badass in her own way, she keeps secrets to protect someone she loves. Breaking her turns out to be harder than imagined.
A well-written mafia romance, this book is a perfect combination of fast-paced romance, suspense, and mafia plot. A sexy possessive, alpha-hole hero, a loyal and loveable heroine mixed with entertaining banter and sexy intimate scenes, and you’ll want this book to never end.
#3 Brutal Prince by Sophie Lark
Another epic arranged marriage mafia novel! Two families: the Griffin (Irish mob) and the Gallos (Italian mob). What could possibly prevent a war between them? A marriage of convenience, of course!
Aida is not your typical heroine. Or wife. Or mafia princess. She’s the star of this book. From starting a fire inside the enemy’s house (meaning Callum’s house), to constantly challenging Callum, to saving his life…I’d say she’s far from the typical mafia princesses. Definitely one of the most inventive and resourceful heroines I’ve come across.
Callum…well, Callum despises Aida. It’s not like he doesn’t have a reason. She’s part of a rival family, she burnt down his library, she stole his grandfather’s pocket watch and threw it in the lake, and she’s constantly pushing his buttons.
The family dynamics, both of the Gallos’ and of the Griffin’s, are funny and relatable. You certainly can’t get bored with them. I liked seeing Aida interact with her brothers. They have some seriously interesting family members, those families.
So grab your popcorn (because it feels like a movie sometimes), and get started on this romantic, adventurous, funny, and a little dark journey!
#4 Raze by Tillie Cole
Speaking of dark, this one is another level of dark! A content warning is due: violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, taboo topics, and offensive language!
Tillie Cole is the queen of dark romance! Raze is the story of a young boy who’s kidnapped and forced into underground fighting rings. He’s stripped of his name, of his memories, of his humanity. He fights for his life, and once he starts, he’s unbeatable.
A few years of that hell pass until he manages to escape. Now he finds himself in a big city where no one seems to know him, and he seems to know no one. Until the night he rescues a beautiful young woman in the street.
Kisa can’t forget the mysterious, quiet, powerfully built man who saved her. How could she when she sees him again fighting in her family’s underground rings?
A beautifully dark story of two people who lost each other when they were teenagers, only to find one another again as two broken adults who only know pain and violence.
This novel will stay with you not only for the darkness in it, but also for the unique, special connection Raze and Kisa have. You rarely find a book like this! The pure emotions they have for each other will impress you to tears! If you know you don’t have triggers, or you can read through them, give this a try! It’s worth it!
#5 The Kiss Thief by L. J. Shen
If you read the blurb, you might think it’s a love triangle. But it is NOT. The other man (Angelo Bandini) counts too little and Francesca, the heroine, doesn’t really have a romantic interest in him. Though at first, in her naivety, she may think that.
The Kiss Thief is another well-done arranged marriage, enemies to lovers, age gap novel. It’s one of my favorite mafia romance books.
Senator Wolfe Keaton is hell-bent on hating his new wife and being an a$$ to her. He disregards her the moment he sees her, thinking he knows her kind.
Francesca is a kind soul, but strong and resilient nonetheless. The men underestimate her, but she plays that to her advantage.
It’s interesting how the author stretches the boundaries of relationships. Most of the time you don’t agree with Wolfe’s treatment, but you can’t help but wait and hope for the moment he will redeem himself. Because even though they got off on the wrong foot, you can see the sparks between them. Both when they’re at their worst and at their best.
What’s memorable about this book is the protagonists’ dynamic. It feels somehow that they’re comfortable with each other even when they’re hating on one another.
Read More Mafia Romance Books Where The Protagonists Have Amazing Chemistry
#6 The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori
First, the novels in this series have the absolute best covers for mafia romance books.
Now back to our topic. Nico Russo, Italian mafia boss, is set to marry Elena Abelli’s sister. Of course, things don’t go as planned.
Danielle Lori does a fantastic job of writing a hero (although sometimes a villain as well) who falls in love with the other sister. It’s not the cliché it could have easily been.
When Nico and Elena first meet, you can feel the sexual tension between them. This is something Danielle excels at: creating chemistry between the characters and building sexual tension.
This is a story of love, loss, a violence-filled world, and two different people who you find want the same thing. Nico definitely stands up to his reputation. On the other hand, there’s more to Elena than the sweet exterior everyone sees. Together, they create some moments you sure won’t regret reading.
The forbidden romance element adds to the chemistry and tension. This is a well-written mafia book, with appealing side characters, an over-the-top sexy hero, and a sweet, unexpectedly good heroine. Add to that a little humor and the banter we all love, and you’ve found yourself the perfect book to keep you up at night.
#7 The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori
Two people who are not what they seem to be, and a story more emotional than you’d expect.
Christian Allister isn’t exactly the epitome of morality. He may be an FBI special agent, but that’s just for the facade. He’s a killer. Cold, arrogant, with obsessive tendencies. Possessive. His favorite game is to insult Gianna’s intelligence and looks.
Gianna Marino isn’t exactly the epitome of responsibility or class. She wears tight dresses, laughs too loudly, and doesn’t care much about etiquette. But that’s just a facade. Beneath that unpolished and sparkly disguise lies the most vulnerable of people. You might not see her heart for her chaos at first, but she’ll surprise you.
You’ll fall in love with Christian even if he’s not real (or maybe because he’s not real). He’s not a good man, yet you start believing his imperfections make him perfect.
And Gianna? You want to be her, like her, protect her. Admire her for how she stands up to Christian and for making him love her. You can only love her as well. She’s unforgettable.
A beautifully written hate-to-love mafia romance book that will leave you thinking about it long after finishing it. The humor, the push/pull between the protagonists, the side characters, the plot, all add to the already powerful entities that are Gianna and Christian.
#8 Crow by A. Zavarelli
Want to read about a badass heroine trying to infiltrate the Irish mob? Hint: this!
Mackenzie Wilder is looking for her missing friend. The police aren’t doing anything, so she’s gonna. The plan is to find a job at Slainte’, a bar owned by the Irish, and gather information about Talia’s whereabouts.
The problem is Lachlan Crow, next in line to become underboss, doesn’t buy her story. She quickly becomes a distraction he doesn’t need. What happens when he learns Mack’s secrets, though?
Lach is the show it, don’t tell it kind of hero/villain. So you know just how dangerous he is by witnessing his deeds. The author doesn’t hold back when it comes to making a character true to his nature. His possessiveness towards Mack is perfectly done to make him attractive and an alpha hero.
Mackenzie is impressive as well. A layered character with a sad life story, who managed to surpass her condition. She’s not perfect. She’s flawed and relatable. Loyal and funny. She risks her life to find and save her best friend.
#9 Joker’s Wild by Renee Rose
Desiree starts as Junior Tacone’s mother’s home nurse, but soon finds herself in a more dangerous situation. Turns out, Junior’s brother has been shot. As the temporary head of the family, Junior can’t just have anyone care for his sibling. So he kind of kidnaps the heroine.
He is already a little attracted to Desiree, seeing as she is the only nurse his mother likes and gets along with. The attraction is mutual, but obviously, the heroine isn’t planning on going forward with it. He’s just the protagonist of her fantasies.
She may be furious at first for being kidnapped and forced to tend to an injured man, but the attraction and sexual tension are there. How long will the no strings attached sexual relationship last?
They both keep their hearts guarded and have secrets of their own.
Amid managing the family business and dealing with a conflict with the Russians, Junior finds himself in love with the nurse he kidnapped.
#10 Belles & Mobsters: Cassio by Eva Winners
Cassio and Aine have a history. No, they haven’t dated. He’s 15 years older than her. When she was 14 years old, he and his brother rescued her from where she was being held captive. Their human trafficker of a brother is the one who kidnapped her.
Aine makes an impression on him because of the strength she shows at such a young age.
Eight years later, they meet again. The heroine can’t remember him from that dark moment years ago, but she feels a connection and is curious about him.
Talk about a dedicated hero! Cassio spends the next two years making amends so that her father finds him worthy of her.
The heroine in this mafia romance book is truly a heroine. She survived hell, became even stronger, can kick a$$, and rescues trafficked victims as well.
The hero is possessive in a sexy way, protective and supportive of Aine. The fact that he’s known her since she was 14 and has seen her through her worst and through her best strengthens their connection and adds something special to it.
Content warning: includes descriptive topics such as sexual assault, human trafficking, torture!
Do you know other mafia novels where the protagonists have amazing, out-of-this-world chemistry? You can answer in the comments.