The Guys Your Mom Warned You About: 15 Bad Boys & Playboys

…Basically, the guys who are *almost* guaranteed to break your heart.

I’ve put together countless romance recommendation lists since starting my blog, but the one that’s been the most popular is my collection of 15 Bad Boys Who Fall Hard (found here). That’s because there’s just something so enticing about a guy you know is a little bit bad for you, who may be all kinds of risky. They’re often the toughest to win over, but also tend to fall the hardest, and there’s nothing better than watching a playboy or an antihero grapple with falling in love. Their romances can be particularly satisfying, and often have some of the steamiest scenes (you know you love a dirty talking alpha).

The guys on this list run the full range from charming playboy to mafia boss to contract killer… yeah, there’s a little something for everyone, lol. They’re not all antiheroes or alphahole jerks, but there’s definitely a good reason to stay away from each of them. I’ve included a description of the vibe, the blurb, and a link to Amazon for each of these contemporary romance novels. Happy reading!

Jeeves’ Thoughts: This hero is everything your mother warned you about – he’s got the cocky grin, the motorcycle, the tattoos, the playboy reputation, and an easy charm that will get you in trouble. Watching him fall was very satisfying. It’s a sexy, lighthearted read with an opposites attract vibe and some heartfelt moments.

Not the Marrying Kind by Kathryn Nolan

He’s the best bad decision she’ll ever make…

Type A attorney Fiona Quinn has one goal left to accomplish before turning 30: A big, fairy-tale wedding. All she needs is a groom. So what if she’s never been in love—or even lust—before? She’s confident she can solve the problem the way she always does, with spreadsheets and an action plan.

When a family emergency brings bad boy Max Devlin swaggering back into town—with his cocky grin, tattoos, and wanderlust—Fiona has to remind herself that he’s as unsuitable as it gets. Nope. Not happening. No matter how irresistible his invitation is for a night or seven between the sheets. If she can’t tie him down—metaphorically, of course—her pants must stay on.

Max can’t remember the last time a woman turned him down. He’s a guaranteed three-orgasms good time, dammit. So what if he’s not the marrying kind? Those sweaty palms he gets when Fiona agrees to help him save his dad’s punk rock club are just an allergic reaction to her methodical march toward matrimony. Before he hits the road again, he’s going to prove to Fiona that life’s more fun when you play rather than plan.

No one gets hurt when it’s all just fun and games, right? 

Author’s Note: A steamy, opposites attract standalone romance featuring a cocky bad boy (with a heart of gold) and a buttoned-up good girl (with a secret wild side). 1-click if you’re into dirty dancing, swoony first kisses and hot trysts in supply closets. This book comes with a guaranteed (and very romantic) Happily Ever After.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This antihero is seriously intense and all kinds of dirty, but so, so fascinating. He makes this a SUPER steamy, addictive, and mysterious read. If you like a dirty talking alpha, he’s your man.

Ruthless Creatures by J.T. Geissinger

Desire turns dangerous for an innocent schoolteacher in this explosive new romance from international bestseller J.T. Geissinger

Five years ago, my fiancé disappeared. He left me with a wedding dress I’d never wear. Left me with the kind of scars that can’t be healed. The man I built my future on vanished like a ghost. All that remained were my broken heart and a million unanswered questions.

Until a mysterious stranger arrives in town.

Tall, dark, and dangerous, Kage is as full of secrets as he is sex appeal. Though I know he’s hiding something, I’m drawn to him like a moth to flame. Heat crackles between us with every look, desire flares into passion, and I fall hard, helpless to resist.

But then I discover he’s been sent to collect on an unpaid debt from my missing fiancé…

And that debt is me.

Intended for mature audiences only.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: The author describes this hero as a “mountain manwhore,” and that suits him well. But when a fake relationship between friends starts feeling too real, he doesn’t know what hit him. It’s light and steamy with plenty of fun moments.

Take a Number by Amy Daws

A brand new standalone romantic comedy from Amazon Top 13 bestseller, Amy Daws!

Dean is certain that fake dating the cute owner of his new bakery investment could be messy…but messy can be fun.

Norah Donahue wants bakeries not babies, but her matchmaking mother won’t stop trying to play Cupid.

Dean Moser is a cocky stock market savant whose friends are all settling down, leaving Boulder’s infamous ladies’ man all alone.

When Norah needs a fake date for her parents’ anniversary party, her new silent investor is the perfect guy for the job. It seems like a foolproof plan…

That is until Norah decides to break her biggest rule and lock lips with Dean in the middle of the party.

Turns out that Dean and Norah’s chemistry is sizzling hot, but mixing business with pleasure could turn out to be a recipe for disaster.

Or maybe they can have their cake and eat it too. 

Take A Number is a 92,000 word full-length rom com best enjoyed with lots of pastries.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This sports star is a total player, but having a temporary roommate who is sexy and innocent changes that very quickly. It’s a slow burn that took a little bit to grow on me, but it more than makes up for it with a heartfelt back half.

Not My Match by Isla Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy romance about a professional football hottie and the girl he’s sworn to never touch.

Homeless and heartbreakingly innocent, Giselle Riley walks into my penthouse and chaos follows.

I shouldn’t have invited the girl genius to live with me, but it’s clear she needs my help—not only for a place to lay her pretty blonde head but in finding real love, which she’s not going to get with the crazy men she picks up online.

Too bad she’s a twenty-four-year-old virgin and I’m a bad boy wide receiver. She’s off limits for a hardcore player like me—and we’re just friends.

Instead, I’m her matchmaking service, no matter how jealous it makes me when I tag along on her dates.

I can keep my self-control. Right? No way will I give in to everything inside me that dreams of a girl like her in my world.

I may be the best wide receiver in the country, but how could I hold on to a girl like her?


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This cocky playboy has never been interested in settling down, but that all changes when the family business is on the line. So when a temporary marriage of convenience starts feeling entirely too real, it throws him off his game in a big way. I loved his downfall. It’s steamy and chemistry-filled with so much depth.

Call Me Crazy by Melanie Harlow

It was the perfect plan.
I needed a wife–temporarily–in order to inherit the family business.
And she needed a favor–the kind that takes nine months to deliver.

We had it all worked out, from the no-touching policy on our wedding night (her rule) to the no-falling-in-love decree (mine). She’d marry me, I’d give her the means to have the baby she’d always wanted, and one year later we’d amicably part ways with no hassle, no demands, and certainly no regrets.

After all, Bianca DeRossi and I are experts at infuriating one another–we’ve been doing it since we were kids. Trouble is, she grew up gorgeous and feisty, and she still knows exactly how to get under my skin.

And that wedding night? Well, it doesn’t exactly go down hands-free.

Then she moves in with me, and I really start to lose my mind. From her sexy little pout to her wicked sense of humor to those meatball sandwiches she makes just because she knows they’re my favorite . . . I find myself wanting to break every rule we put in place. 

Our story was never supposed to end with happily ever after.
But call me crazy, I just might be in love with my wife.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This hero may be a tattooed bad boy who doesn’t know his worth, but he knows a good thing when he sees it. I loved the chemistry between these two and the unexpected depth in this otherwise light and banter-filled read.

Faked by Karla Sorensen

Every action has a consequence, and Claire Ward knows it. And yet, even knowing that her decision to swap places with her identical twin sister, Lia, for a night could be disastrous, she still does it. 


Because it will give her an evening with the man she’s been crushing on for years, Lia’s best friend, Finn. 

Miss Straight A Student has thought through all the angles, and knows the risk is worth it. And everything would have been fine, if Finn had been the one to show up at her door. 

But it wasn’t. 

Bauer Davis— Finn’s half brother and his exact opposite in just about every definable category is the one waiting for her instead. A professional snowboarder, Bauer is covered in ink, full of attitude, and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Mt. Olympus. The kind of bad boy that Claire has never been attracted to before.  

Now the good girl is with the wrong brother for a night, and when the consequence is that they have to pretend to be together for an event, it’s nothing she could have predicted. But maybe, just maybe, what makes Bauer so bad, is exactly what Claire needs.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: I’ll warn you right now, this book is LONG. But it is so, so worth it. A slow burn, enemies to lovers romance with a complicated backstory, this held my attention from start to finish and easily made my Top 19 of 2019 list.

Devious Lies by Parker S. Huntington

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Parker S. Huntington comes an enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn romance full of revenge and a dash of fate.

“She could enjoy her pretty, perfect world a little longer. Soon enough, everything she owned would be mine.”

I had a plan to escape the friend zone.
Step one: sneak into Reed’s room.
Step two: sleep with him.

But when the lights turned on, it wasn’t familiar blue eyes I saw.
These were dark, angry, and full of demons.
And they belonged to Reed’s much older brother.

Four years later, Nash Prescott is no longer the help’s angry son.
I’m no longer the town’s prized princess.

At twenty-two, I’m broke, in need of a job.
At thirty-two, he’s a billionaire, in need of revenge.

Who cares if my family ruined his?
Who cares if he looks at me with pure loathing?
Who cares if every task he assigns me is designed to torture?

I need the money.
Simple as that.

I’ll suffer his cruelty in silence, knowing there’s one thing he wants more than revenge…


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This broody mechanic is intense and all kinds of intriguing. The storyline is steamy and engaging, with plenty of tension – which leads to the best kind of conflict. And while the hero will frustrate you, he’ll also steal the show by being a good guy to the heroine’s daughter.

Loner by Harloe Rae

USA Today & Amazon Top Ten best-selling author Harloe Rae delivers an emotional enemies-to-lovers romance where a sassy single mom and a reclusive mechanic battle it out with their hearts on the line. This swoony standalone novel is sure to give you all the feels!

“Everyone deserves a chance to be rescued.”

That’s the mantra I’m repeating when a well-equipped biker pulls over to save me. One glance at the scowl Crawford Doxe is wearing proves he isn’t impressed with the task. My efforts to change his mind deflate faster than the shredded tire at our feet. But disgruntled or not, my so-called hero still agrees to fix my flat.

I don’t expect to see Crawford again, but he’s suddenly very visible in our small town. Avoiding him would be my preference. That’s not how this story goes. For whatever reason, my daughter finds an ally in the broody mechanic. Denying her is something I do my best to avoid. I can only hope Crawford’s shine wears off before he tarnishes what little trust still exists. 

As if the odds are ever on my side.

Commitments are a foreign concept to him. He doesn’t make any promises to try. That should’ve been enough for me to steer clear. It most certainly isn’t. 

What follows can only be described as a disastrous clash of epic proportions. 

But one indisputable fact remains. That lone soul has no plans of opening his heart.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This British bad boy is sexy with a capital S. Leading with the steam, this sports romance slowly transitions into an emotional, intimate read, and I loved the journey. It’s got hidden depth and an engaging storyline.

Hard to Hold by K. Bromberg

New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, is back with a heartfelt, standalone romance and a new hero to steal your heart . . . 

The contract with Major League Soccer was supposed to help repair my damaged reputation.

Then I discovered that I’d made a deal with the devil: the player I’m supposed to recruit is none other than the bad boy, star Premier League footballer, Rush McKenzie. 

British. Tattooed. Sexy. A man currently at the center of a huge scandal.

The goal? To convince him to stay in the States.

But what’s wrong with a little fun in the meantime? No strings. No sweet nothings. Just a way to pass the time while we’re both struggling to prove our true selves to the world. 

If someone found out our relationship was anything more than professional, it would only serve to prove all our critics right. 

I never should have agreed to take the fall. 

But I did and I’m a man of my word. 

Even if it means risking everything I’ve worked for.

The only bright side is Lennox Kincade. 

Gorgeous. Defiant. Rumor-tainted. Totally off-limits.

Sharing a house with the gorgeous sports agent should have been a fun distraction from the turmoil. Someone to help pass the time while the tensions back home die down. 

But what started as nothing, ends up as something I never saw coming.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: I was not sold on this spoiled, overgrown rich kid at first – but he certainly made me love him by the end. Lawson knows how to write an opposites attract romance with a little of every emotion, and this one showcases that talent perfectly.

Bad Love by Piper Lawson

A bad boy, a single mom, and a bet that makes their chemistry impossible to ignore…

I risked my family’s legacy on a wild bet: that I could please 10,000 women with…a certain product.
Now Kendall Sullivan, marketing queen, is my only hope of saving what I love.
She doesn’t have time for my jokes, my reputation, or anything I want to do to her distractingly sensual body.
But I can’t get her sweet taste or fiery toughness out of my head.
I’m starting to think the only woman I want to please is her.

Pastor’s kid. Single mom at eighteen.
I’ve taken responsibility for every choice and learned from my mistakes.
Until Logan Hunter makes me a sinful proposition.
He’s gorgeous and entitled, but his touch makes me feel things I swore I’d buried forever.
Saying yes would threaten my career, my family, and everything I’ve worked to build…
Can something that feels this good be so bad?

If you love bad boys who treat their families like gold, single moms with wild fantasies, workplace romance, fun antics, dirty talk, real characters, steamy scenes, cute kids, and smart banter…you’ll love Bad Love! A full-length standalone romance with an HEA from USA Today bestselling author Piper Lawson.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This hero is the quintessential bad boy, complete with tattoos, scheduled hookups, and a temper. But there’s one girl who has always melted his heart – his best friend. The tension that develops when they (platonically) move in together is combustible, and the slow burn is delicious. It’s still got Quinn’s signature humor, but there are plenty of heavy moments as well.

The Change Up by Meghan Quinn

BREAKING NEWS: The Bad Boy of Baseball, Maddox Paige, is totally and utterly whipped. 

Okay, that might not be the headlines in the newspaper this morning, but it’s the reality of my current situation. 

It all started a month ago when I received a call from my best friend, Kinsley. She got a new job in Chicago and needed a place to stay. I’ve known the girl since I was five, what harm would it be to have her stay at my place for a while?

Ha! Total disaster. 

Now instead of going out every night with my teammates, I’m couch surfing and sketching endless photos of my best friend . . . but that’s the least of my concerns. 

The disaster, you ask? I’m rapidly falling head over cleats in love with my best friend, my roommate, and my number one fan.

And she has no idea . . .


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This rock star is a hot mess. It’s a meet cute like none other, and he’s got a ways to go before anyone would claim him as their man. Callihan is such a talented writer that you’ll love him anyways, and the journey is a great one.

Idol by Kristen Callihan


I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.

He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away? 


As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles. 

Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse —and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name.  

The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: With a touch of taboo, this steamy marriage of convenience romance ramps up the heat. It’s twisty and a little soapy, but plenty of steamy fun. And the hero? Not only is he keeping secrets, but he’s a dirty-talking alpha who wants nothing to do with the attraction he feels for the heroine.

Blame It on the Champagne by Fiona Cole

There’s only one thing to do when you wake up, married to your brand new boss, whom you hate but can’t resist: You blame the champagne. 

I blame the bubbles for my wild night with a masked stranger. 

Who cares if it’s nothing this good girl would normally do–with a man that turns out to be my horrible boss? 

Who cares that I’m promised to someone else? 

I blame the alcohol for agreeing to marry him. 

As long as my new husband keeps his mouth shut, I can survive five years of our little arrangement. It’s too late for anything else.

But our impromptu wedding leads to so much more than I bargained for. His dirty promises warm me. His kisses make me lightheaded. His respect slips past my best defenses. The hate turns to friendship, and makes me dream of more. He’s like the most dangerous kind of champagne. 

That’s why I blame him for making me fall in love with him. 

But when I find out our marriage was nothing more than revenge, what’s to blame for my broken heart?


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This antihero is not a good guy. Period. But he finds his perfect complement in a woman with a past, and the two make for one combustible couple. It’s got suspense, heat, and a growth in intimacy that I loved.

Darkest Sin by J. Saman

USA Today bestselling author J. Saman delivers a gritty, dark romantic suspense standalone about a woman running from her deadly ex and the sexy assassin sworn to protect her.

Everyone has an ex who haunts them.
Mine shot me in the arm and told me to run or he’d kill everyone I ever loved. And then he’d kill me.
Years later, he’s made good on that promise. I’m the only one left.
He’s got his sights set on finding me, and my options on places to hide are quickly running out.
Until I meet a gorgeous assassin with an agenda of his own…putting not only my life, but my heart in danger.
With piercing green eyes and irresistible confidence, Gavin tells me not to be afraid. Promises he’s on my side. Swears he’s here to protect me instead of doing what he does best…kill.
The desire to trust him is tempting. The passion between us, even more so.
But when everything I thought I knew is suddenly flipped upside down, and all that’s dangerous and forbidden comes to light, I have to make a choice.
Continue to run and hide…
Or risk it all, including the man who somehow captured my heart.


Jeeves’ Thoughts: This hero does not give the best first impression, but he’ll grow on you over time. A serious playboy in need of a change, this hero meets his match in a teacher. It’s light, funny, and sexier than you’d expect.

Man Fast by Krista Sandor

Nothing is off-limits to the former pro skier and current playboy Brennen Bergen…except schoolteacher Abby Quinn.

Here’s the thing…

She’s done with men and has put herself on a man fast.

But her resolve is about to be tested when Brennen crashes into her life as a classroom volunteer.

What’s a girl to do? Stick to the fast or fall for the bad boy?


Want more antiheroes? Check out my list of 15 Bad Boys Who Fall Hard here.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases


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