Welcome back to another Crazy Book Genre article! This week we’re discussing the dark, seductive subgenre of Cult Romance. This is a wild ride, so hold on while exploring it! Let’s jump right in with a breakdown of what these books are and give you some steamy recommendations.
Trigger Warning: The mention of the act(s) of (rape/sexual assault/domestic violence/suicide/bullying) may be triggering for some readers. Please exercise personal care when reading.
What is Cult Romance?
Cult Romance is typically a thriller/suspense love story where the hero or heroine has a connection to or lives within a cult. Tropes often accompanying this genre are enemies-to-lovers, savior, forced proximity, sexual awakening, and secret identity.
These novels are a subgenre of dark romance, as themes of abuse, violence, sexual assault, and murder are prevalent. Make sure to check out the CW/TW available for each book before purchasing.
Cult Romance Recommendations
Saving Her From The Cult
The Cult by Penelope Sky is a savior trope where the heroine is wrangled into a cult compound and becomes attached to a little girl awaiting her daddy to save her. When this actually happens, the little girl begs her father to save the woman she’s come to love too. Begrudgingly, he negotiates for her freedom alongside his daughters. But she may be trading one cold and terrifying situation for another.
This is book one of a duology, and is an extremely slow-burn read heavy on the thriller aspect of the genre.
Religious Commune Reverse Harem
An idyllic utopian community sounds great, right? That is, as long as you’re ok having zero control of your body and choices are stripped away and handed to the leader to with as he pleases. The Order: The Cult of Serendee by Angel Lawson is exactly that. Our heroine is forced into a marriage to the leader’s rebellious son, who is then trained on how to behave socially and sexually by his three best friends.
Make sure to check those TWs/CWs, folks; this one is dark and dangerous. It’s spicy, too; no slow burn in sight for this tale!
A Cult and Motorcycle Club
They were never supposed to meet the first time, but especially not the second. She’s part of a religious cult, and he’s destined for the MC life. After escaping her forced wedding, Salome finds herself on Styx’s land, broken and bleeding, hoping for salvation from being the Prophet’s seventh wife. Styx searched for Salome for years after their coincidental meeting as children. Now that she’s in his arms, he’s determined to save and protect her, even if he doesn’t believe she should be a part of his dangerous world.
It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole has all the feels. A chance meeting as children for two abused children who yearn for the other over the years only to find each other when they need it most? Where do I sign up!? This is a medium spice book, but it is intense in its darkness, so check those TWs and CWs.
A Billionaire Secret Society
It’s no secret that billionaires and the filthy rich just lead different lives. I’m sure we’ve all thought about what secret societies they partake in. The Ritual by Shantel Tessier dives into the cult world that encapsulates the Lords of Barrington University. Ryat knew what he was getting into, after all, he’s paid the price to be a Lord, and it was time that his sacrifice paid off. Blakely is his reward, but she has no idea what she’s agreed to. What she thought was going to be a romantic whirlwind might just be a fight for her life.
This is probably the darkest recommendation on our list. So take care when reading. Our hero is possessive, over the top, and jealous. Triggering sexual encounters take place, so be warned! Five chili peppers go out to this one; it’s one spicy read.
Classic Daddy Issues
Okay, so maybe not so classic, but the daddy issues are there. At least, they are for Kiev, who hates his father, the leader of a religious commune with multiple wives. When his father chooses another wife, meant to reinforce his status as a prophet, Kiev sees red and is determined to take him down. Audrey just wants out, she doesn’t believe the Prophet, and when he claims her as his newest bride, she knows it’s time to go. Her only salvation is through the madman’s son, and he doesn’t trust easily.
Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster, readers! One of Many by Marata Eros and Emily Goodwin is a dual-POV fast-burn book with many triggering sexual encounters, so hit those TWs and CWs!
Cult and Circus, They’re the Same Thing
In Peace Lies Havoc by Amo Jones, we get to watch in dark fascination as our badass heroine Dove, is forced to take on The Brothers of Kiznitch, a circus act. This circus is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Midnight Madness is depraved and sinister. Kingston is the grumpy possessive circus king who knows he can’t have Dove but wants her anyway. The tensions rise and rise as the plot gets darker and darker.
It’s darkly seductive and wildly fast-paced. The dynamics and interplay between not only the love interests but the group as a whole are enthralling. This is the first of a four-book series, and each brother gets his own book. So let the cult romance continue! As with the others, check those TWs and CWs; we want you to read but read with caution and your mental health in mind.
Taboo, spicy, dark, and filled with sexual tension, it sounds like I need to add more books to my KU library!