8 Unconventional Romantic Reads Like Netflix’s SEXY BEASTS

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Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals ( She can be reached at

If you thought Love is Blind was an interesting dating experiment, get ready for Sexy Beasts, Netflix’s newest dating series. The show dresses up single people in elaborate costumes, including some pretty extreme prosthetic makeup, before they go out on dates with one another. Get ready to see a dolphin dating a scarecrow, a devil kissing a baboon, and many more…strange combos. All in the name of finding love and focusing on personality over looks.

Sure, the premise of Sexy Beasts is a little unconventional. But if you love a dating show that’s also a social experiment, then you’re probably just as excited about this show as I am. If you’re loving the show and you want to keep the fun going, here are some romantic books like Sexy Beasts that you can read for more strangeness and unconventional dating.

cover image of Made for Love by Alissa Nutting

Made for Love by Alissa Nutting

Let’s start with the most obvious must-read if you love Sexy Beasts, especially if you loved that dolphin costume. Alissa Nutting’s Made for Love isn’t exactly a romance novel, but it is about love of the most unconventional kind. This novel explores how far people will go for love (and what they’ll do to escape it). Hazel has fled from her husband, a tech industry CEO who monitors her every move. And Jasper, a conman, falls head over heels with a dolphin.

OISpoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Olivia Dade’s Spoiler Alert is a quirky romantic comedy novel about hidden identities and surprising love connections. April Whittier is a devoted fan and fan fiction writer who ends up going on a surprising date with her celebrity crush, Marcus Caster-Rupp, the star of the biggest show on television. However, Marcus also writes fan fiction about his TV show online, and if anyone ever found out it would mean the end of his career.

cover image of The Pisces by Melissa Broder

The Pisces by Melissa Broder

Secret identities, love stories with strange creatures, and unconventional dating? Check, check, and check. Lucy has just gone through a devastating break up and is failing to find solace in her support group and in her meaningless Tinder dates. But then one night, she meets a stunningly attractive swimmer sitting alone on the beach rocks, and everything changes for her. Then she learns the truth about his identity, and their relationship takes an unexpected turn.

cover image of A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

Here’s another unmissable romance about hidden identities. Naledi Smith is a grad student holding down multiple jobs who has no time for nonsense. Especially not the spam emails she keeps getting claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Prince Thabiso is determined to track down his missing betrothed, and when Naledi meets him and doesn’t realize he’s a prince, Thabiso jumps at the opportunity to play at being a normal person. But what will happen when his true identity is revealed?

cover image of Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

If you love the idea of costumes mixed with romance, pick up Ashely Poston’s Cinderella retelling Geekerella. Elle Wittimer is sci-fi tv show Starfield‘s biggest fan. Luckily for her, there’s a cosplay contest for the new Starfield movie, and the winner gets an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball. So of course she enters, and she’s determined to win. That is, unless her stepsisters get there first.

cover image of Torn by Brooklyn Knight

Torn by Brooklyn Knight

Romance and humans who can shape shift into beasts. What more could a Sexy Beasts fan want in a novel? Torn is the first book in Brooklyn Knight’s Alpha series — and it’s steamy. Sasha is held captive in Tuscany by Remi Moretti. And then she becomes completely entranced by him. Little does she know who he really is…or what he really is. And what he can become.

cover image of Three Blind Dates by Meghan Quinn

Three Blind Dates by Meghan Quinn

So in Sexy Beasts, each “sexy beast” will have the opportunity to date three different people and decide which they like best. If the best part of the show for you is the three blind dates, well, then you should read Three Blind Dates by Meghan Quinn. Noely Clark is a local celebrity who’s sick of the dating scene. So when a local restaurant want to help set her up on three blind dates, at first she’s hesitant. Imagine her surprise when she actually ends up connecting with each of her dates on a deep level for different reasons. So who will she choose? The suit, the rebel, or the jock?

cover image of Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

Sexy Beasts is all about disguises that hide how attractive the contestants really are. But what about a disguise that makes a person you’re dating more attractive? Sandhya Menon’s Of Princes and Promises features a magic hair gel that turns the geeky Rahul Chopra into RC, the man of Caterina’s dreams. But the more Rahul uses the gel, the more he starts to lose grasp of who he truly is. Will he give up everything to remain the cool and confident RC? Or will he find his way back to himself — and to Caterina?

Read even more books based on your favorite reality TV show here.