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12 Best Books Where the Villain Gets the Girl That You Can’t Put Down

In this post, we’ll explore the exciting world of YA and NA books where the villain gets the girl. The villain gets the girl is a trope where the villain is the love interest instead of the hero and gets the girl in the end. It is one of the most popular books tropes out there and is a popular query for recommendations.

Books Where the Villain Gets the Girl:

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab


A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

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In this book, Addie LaRue makes a Faustian bargain with a dark entity (Henry) that grants her immortality but comes with the curse of being forgotten by everyone she meets. Henry is very enigmatic and perfectly embodies the appeal of a villain’s love interest by being captivating while maintaining his morally gray tendencies. Because of this, their relationship is filled with tension and the sense of danger and mysteriousness contributes to their excellent chemistry.

Rejected by Jaymin Eve


My father made a terrible mistake. One I’m left paying for.

As a wolf shifter growing up in a strong pack, I should be living my best life. But after my father tried to kill the alpha, I’m labeled an outcast, traitor, less than dirt.

When I can’t take pack life any longer, I run, but apparently they don’t like losing their punching bag. Torin, the alpha’s son, drags me back before my first shift… a shift that will reveal my true mate.

I never could have predicted who mine would be, but the moment my wolf looks upon him, I’m filled with hope for a brighter future.

After all, no one ever rejects their true mate, right?
Wrong. Very wrong.

When the wolves attack, my soul screams for vengeance, and somehow I touch the shadow world. Somehow I bring him to our lands.

The Shadow Beast. Our shifter god. The devil himself.

Turns out being rejected by my mate was only the beginning.

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Jaymin Eve’s “Rejected” has a compelling villain love interest named Lucius, and the story’s lead character Davina finds herself drawn to him. Davina can’t help but fall for his charm and charisma despite his brooding and enigmatic personality. As they negotiate the hazy boundaries between good and evil, their relationship is characterized by tension, passion, and conflicting emotions.

Davina’s ideals are put to the test, and she is compelled to face her desires and concerns as a result of Lucius’ addition of danger and mystery to their relationship. Readers are captivated as they learn the mysteries and shocks that await Davina and Lucius in “Rejected” because of the addition of a villain’s love interest, which gives the narrative an intriguing twist.

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout


A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…
Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.

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The main character, Poppy, is lured to Hawke, a seductive villain love interest. Hawke epitomizes danger and desires with his sinister allure and obscure past. Even though she struggles with her responsibility and their illicit relationship, Poppy’s attraction to him is undeniable. As they traverse a world full of secrets, betrayals, and covert goals, their connection is strained.

Their chemistry is complicated by Hawke’s morally dubious nature, which makes their interactions stressful and unpredictable. Readers are engrossed in Poppy and Hawke’s mesmerizing dance as the plot develops and anticipate the revelations and outcomes that lie in store for them. And if you are into smut then this book is definitely for you too (some really famous examples include honey *cough*).

Also appears on:

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, Michelle Rowen


In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

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Princess Cleo, who is motivated by ambition and a desire to defend her nation, finds herself drawn to a prince from a rival kingdom with a troubled background named Magnus. As their allegiances are put to the test and their worlds clash, their relationship is characterized by conflict and tension.

Readers get engrossed in a story of magic, fate, and power conflicts as the book progresses, with Cleo and Magnus at the centre of a complicated web of alliances and betrayals. We are kept on the edge of our seats as Cleo and Magnus negotiate the perilous path of love on a planet on the verge of war thanks to the electricity between them.

Also appears on:

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Layla just wants to fit in at school and go on a date with Zayne, whom she’s crushed on since forever. Trouble is, Zayne treats Layla like a sister–and Layla is a half demon, half gargoyle with abilities no one else possesses. And even though Zayne is a Warden, part of the race of gargoyles tasked with keeping humanity safe, Layla’s kiss will kill anything with a soul–including him.

Then she meets Roth–a demon who claims to know her secrets. Though Layla knows she should stay away, it’s tough when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue. Trusting Roth could ruin her chances with Zayne, but as Layla discovers she’s the reason for a violent demon uprising, kissing the enemy suddenly pales in comparison to the looming end of the world.

Also appears on:

Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa

Top 12 YA Books Where The Villain Gets The Girl post


Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want… at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

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Callypso Lillis gets caught up in a seductive villain love triangle with Desmond Flynn. Desmond, also known as the Lord of the Underworld, has a menacing air and an enticing allure. Desmond may be a villain, but there is unmistakable chemistry between him and Callypso that makes them want to be together. Their relationship is tense because Callypso must walk a tightrope between danger and affection.

Desmond’s nuanced personality gives the narrative complexity as he toes the line between being an ally and an adversary. The complicated dance of power, desire, and atonement between Callypso and Desmond captivates readers as the plot develops, keeping them turning the pages in anticipation of learning the secrets that tie them together.

Also appears on: Books With The “I Hate Everyone But You Trope”

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer


Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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The cursed prince of Emberfall named Rhen is Harper’s villainous love interest. Rhen is initially portrayed as a menacing and mysterious character who is burdened by a curse that turns him into a hideous beast. Rhen intrigues Harper despite his outer appearance because of his intricacy and fragility. As their paths cross, a slow-burning romance that combines passion, conflict, and understanding grows between them.

The addition of Rhen as a villain-turned-love interest creates an intriguing dynamic for Harper as she struggles to break the curse and save Emberfall. Readers are intrigued by Harper and Rhen’s journey of love and atonement in a world that is teetering on the brink of ruin because of the tension, development, and unexpected twists that characterize their developing connection.

Also appears on: Prince Falls for Commoner Books PART II + Enemies to Lovers

A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair


Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows – and it’s forbidden.

Contains mature themes.

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It is a Hades and Persephone retelling with a modern and captivating twist. The daughter of Demeter, Persephone, is enticed into the mysterious and ominous Underworld where she meets Hades, the menacing and strong god of the Dead. A fascinating and mysterious character, Hades is shown to be torn between his responsibilities as the king of the Underworld and his developing love for Persephone. As their paths cross, a clandestine romance emerges that defies the norms and expectations of their respective worlds.

Electricity, tension, yearning, and a sense of peril are all present in the relationship between Persephone and Hades. As the characters struggle to overcome the obstacles in their environment and explore the depths of their connection, “A Touch of Darkness” examines the rich descriptions and fascinating storytelling. Readers will be fascinated by this story of love, devotion, and self-discovery and long for more.

Also appears on: 12 Characters Like Rhysand From A Court of Thorns and Roses

Splintered by A.G. Howard


Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the s*xy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

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The book immerses readers in a twisted and imaginative retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The narrative centres on Alyssa Gardner, an Alice Liddell ancestor who is torn between the real world and Wonderland. As Alyssa explores the mystical world more deeply, she meets Morpheus, an intriguing and enigmatic figure who is both dangerous and alluring. Morpheus, with his intriguing demeanour, sinister secrets, and function as a dream manipulator, personifies the appeal of a villain’s love interest.

Alyssa is divided between her growing love for Morpheus and her connection to her childhood buddy, Jeb, which causes stress in their relationship and constant pushing and pulling. Alyssa must negotiate the perilous terrain of love, treachery, and self-discovery as she learns the truth about the family curse and the mysteries of Wonderland.

“Splintered” takes readers on an exciting voyage through a gorgeously dark and haunted Wonderland, complete with vivid descriptions, perverse puzzles, and a dash of lunacy.

The Shadow Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

YA and NA Books With the Who Did This To You Trope


Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

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Alessandra is a shrewd and ambitious young woman who is driven to succeed. Alessandra is determined to use all means necessary to maintain her position as queen in a society where powerful and cunning men are in charge. Enter Kallias, the mysterious and melancholy Shadow King with a reputation for being dangerous.

As a result of their paths crossing, a perilous game of deception, intrigue, and attraction develops. The conflict between Alessandra’s desire for power and her developing feelings for Kallias is exciting. Secrets are exposed, alliances are put to the test, and the distinction between an ally and an enemy is fuzzier as the story progresses.

It is a story of political intrigue, unrequited love, and the seductive attraction of a villainous love interest. This novel will have readers on the edge of their seats as they eagerly turn the pages to find out the true nature of the shadows that lie between them thanks to its strong-willed protagonist, a compelling anti-hero, and a plot overflowing with twists and turns.

Also appears on:

Renegades by Marissa Meyer


Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

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We meet Nova, a young genius with remarkable skills who seek retaliation against the Renegades, the squad of heroes who failed to save her family, in this suspenseful narrative set in a universe of superheroes and supervillains. Adrian, a Renegade with his own secrets, comes into contact with Nova when she infiltrates their ranks. Their paths cross, blurring the distinction between good and evil as they manoeuvre through a maze of politics, ethics, and forbidden attraction. “Renegades” is an action-packed adventure that will have readers eagerly anticipating the next installment thanks to its rich world-building, endearing characters, and engaging enemies-to-lovers storyline.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

One touch is all it takes. One touch, and Juliette Ferrars can leave a fully grown man gasping for air. One touch, and she can kill.

No one knows why Juliette has such incredible power. It feels like a curse, a burden that one person alone could never bear. But The Reestablishment sees it as a gift, sees her as an opportunity. An opportunity for a deadly weapon.

Juliette has never fought for herself before. But when she’s reunited with the one person who ever cared about her, she finds a strength she never knew she had.

Warner is more different than Rhysand. Rhysand is raised well (thanks to mainly his mother), and he only puts on a facade not because he truly is raised as a villain, but because he is just showing the world what they want and expect to see. On the contrary, Warner is actually a man (or boy) with psychological problems, and a villain with the potential to be good, but on is who he is today because of how he was raised and treated as a child. But of course, he is not abusive and does have boundaries. Which makes it possible to like him.


Oath Taker by Audrey Grey


Light magic is forbidden.
Dark magic spells death.
Haven has both.

After the Prince of Penryth saved her from captivity, seventeen-year-old Haven Ashwood spends her days protecting the kind prince and her nights secretly fighting the monsters outside the castle walls.

When one of those monsters kidnaps Prince Bell, Haven must ally with Archeron Halfbane and his band of immortals to rescue her friend.

Her quest takes her deep into the domain of a warped and vicious queen where the rules are simple: break her curse or die.

Lost in a land of twisted magic and fabled creatures, Haven finds herself unprepared, not just for the feelings she develops for Archeron, but for the warring powers raging inside her.

Her rare and forbidden type of magic may be their only hope . . . but mixing light and dark comes with a steep price.

Haven’s soul.

Faced with impossible love, heartbreaking betrayals, and a queen intent on destroying the realm, only one thing remains certain.

Haven must shatter the curse or it will devour everything she loves.

Welcome to the Kingdom of Runes where immortals and humans clash, light and dark magic reign, and mythical creatures lurk in the shadows. If you like fierce heroines, enemies-to-lovers romance, wild plot twists, and endearing characters that stay with you long after you reach the end, you need to discover the book readers are calling dark fantasy at its best. Just make sure to clear out some space on your calendar first!

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Takes place in a fantastical setting where politics and magic clash. Zara, a young woman with a strong gift that comes at a high cost, is the protagonist of the novel. Zara is entwined with Eryx, a moody and mysterious prince, as she negotiates a perilous court and unearths deadly secrets. The distinction between responsibility and passion is muddled in their turbulent relationship, which is full of stress and forbidden impulses. The story of “Oath Taker” will have readers on the edge of their seats thanks to its intriguing enemies-to-lovers dynamic, sophisticated world-building, and exciting plot.

A Court of Thorns and Roses By Sarah J. Maas


Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Rhysand is a classic example of this amazing character who lives up to his ‘villain roles’ because the world expected him to be a villain. And of course, that is not the case. So if you are looking for a hero who always wears another face to the public because he’s supposed to be, not because he actually is, you’ll love this. And of course, if you love sassy hot AMAZING love interest characters.

The Wrath and The Dawn By Reneé Ahdieh


One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Khalid in The Wrath and the Dawn is a perfect “ani-villain-love-interest” for this list. Everyone thinks he’s the monster (and of course he was misunderstood), so his love for Shahrzad is constantly being used against him by his many enemies.

Paper Princess by Erin Watt


From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself. These Royals will ruin you…Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her.

Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from. Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right. Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

Unlike the rest of the books on this list, this book has a contemporary setting and ‘human’ characters. However, Reed fits on this list perfectly, just like all the other heroes I’ve mentioned. Although he’s just a popular boy, his reputation is cold ‘and the leader’, made his public PDA toward Ella absolutely shocking. I love scenes like that.

Air Awakens By Elise Kova


A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

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Aldrik is like if Warner and Rhysand slept together and had a baby-

I’m sorry, I just had to. But that analogy is absolutely perfect, for anyone had read Shatter Me, ACOTAR, and Air Awakens.

Aldrik is the absolute perfection for a character with both Warner’s and Rhysand’s characters combined.

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Steven Spilly

Wednesday 7th of June 2023

Existing without the answers to the difficulties you’ve sorted out through this guide is a critical case, as well as the kind which could have badly affected my entire career if I had not discovered your website.

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