If there’s anything we’ve learned from the Bad Sex in Fiction awards, it’s that…it can get really really bad out there. Everything from weird descriptions of body parts to impossible mechanics can really kill the mood, you know? Sorry, we were promised some heat, and we want the payoff.
And just like bad sex in real life, we’re left wanting.
But there are some really great, saucy, delicious books out there too, with everything we desire—great world-building, characters to fall in love with, solid plot, and great steamy scenes on top of that. We here at Book Riot are looking for the full package here, if you catch my drift, and we want it done well. So we’ve compiled a list of the books that get us hot—after all, it is still cuffing season.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The sexy bits of The Kiss Quotient take their time with ramping up because the heroine, Stella, is trying to make herself be intimate with an escort she hires, Michael. She has Asperger’s, and that really affects her ability to be intimate. But the first time they have sex, Hoang does something genius with the writing. Michael suggests that he get behind her. And like, 1) Michael is so thoughtful in suggesting something that feels totally dirty but is also just completely safe and right for Stella, 2) Stella totally digs it and is pleasantly surprised that she can let go and enjoy, and 3) the fact that for Stella, this was an ideal sexual position, was completely genius writing. If there’s one thing that, ooh baby, impresses me, it’s sex that is both good for the characters and also helps develop them more in the story. This isn’t even the steamiest scene in the book (bathroom sex, hey-o!), but it’s the sex scene that stuck with me as being totally hot and totally amazing writing.
The Boss by Abigail Barnette (aka Jenny Trout)
BDSM shown in a positive, empowering, loving, and deliciously filthy way.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
*swoon* who knew sex scenes between a god of darkness and a mortal could be so hot? Even though she could die, Yeine is like, “it’s worth it for that d***”. I agree, Yeine. Nahadoth could get it anytime.
Lost Boi by Sassafras Lowrey
If you look at my reading tracker for 2018, it looks like September was a slow month for me, because I only read one new book. What was actually happening was that I was starting that one book, Lost Boi, back over at the beginning again every time I finished it. I ended up reading Lost Boi in full three times, and I’m still returning frequently to, um, a few choice scenes. It’s a super queer, super magical, suuuuuuuuper kinky retelling of Peter Pan in which Pan’s Lost Bois and Hook’s pirates are two rival leather families. Havoc ensues when Pan decides he wants a Mommy, Wendi. Nearly every character with a speaking part in this book is trans/gender-nonconforming, and there. Is. Lots. Of. Sex. If this is your thing, you’re probably already on your way to an online bookstore, which is exactly where you should be.
—Aly Eleanor Ross
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
If you care at all about plot and spoilers, you’ll have to start with A Court of Thorns and Roses, but there’s a reason when you start typing “A Court of Mist and Fury” into Google that it autocompletes with “chapter 55.” It’s hard to say much without spoiling a major point of the whole series, but suffice to say that it’s worth reading the 46 chapters of A Court of Thorns and Roses and then the 54 chapters leading up to the infamous chapter 55 in A Court of Mist and Fury for the bow-chicka-wow-wow. And it doesn’t stop there. Later, there’s a scene involving paint. Paint. Anything I have to say here won’t do it justice, so I suggest you just get reading.
Taking the Lead by Cecilia Tan
Sexy is relative, so this could change in my mind day by day, but Taking The Lead is definitely high in my list of sexy sexy writing. Cecilia Tan is a total master of erotic storytelling, and the combination of fire and feels makes every scene better than the last. In this particular book, the sex and the romance are completely intertwined, and there’s a lot about that kind of relationship that make the sexy parts even hotter.
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
I’m not ashamed to admit that I picked this up because I heard it was steamy, but the truth is, it’s so much more than that. Captive Prince and its sequels features an incredibly well done plot with characters you grow to care so deeply for as they blossom through trauma and strife. It’s touching and tender, adventurous, with plenty of witty zingers from Laurent. Oh, yeah—and it gets slutty. No complaints here.