*Insert hot pepper emoji right here* I started reading steamy romance novels very early in my life, as I’m sure many others did. But let’s start from the beginning. In the romance genre, you can find literally any type of book. There are different sub-genres, tropes, characters, heat level, slow burn or insta-lust — if you search for it, you can find that perfect book you are looking for. And steamy romance novels are a slice of an already delicious cake.
While I’ve read all kinds of romance books, steamy romance novels are definitely the ones that I’m more into because, well, the smut, the steam, the spice. You know what I mean! Every romance, either low or high heat, needs to have a romantic central plot line. They are focused on the romantic growth and development of certain pairings, and everything surrounding them has to cater to that romantic relationship. Steamy romance novels have the same format, but more descriptive sex scenes set them apart from the rest. So, be it the slow burn of soft kisses and small touches or the high heat level of sexual interactions and intense passion, they all have one goal and that is to develop the romance story.
Don’t Call Them Porn or Trashy, Please
Steamy romance novels are still judged by a large group of people. Maybe not as badly as years before — in the past, as soon as you said you enjoyed reading romance, people would say, “Oh, so you love reading porn?” *rolls eyes* (also there’s nothing bad about reading porn either! But that’s another topic entirely) — but it’s still very present in our society. If it has open-door sex scenes, people catalog them as trashy instantly. Or guilty pleasures! Don’t feel badly about reading steamy romance novels, it’s okay to enjoy sex-positive characters in fiction. No one should make you feel badly about reading romance books.
Recently with the hype of TikTok, readers are sharing their love for romance, especially steamy romance novels. You can find a whole section on TikTok called #SpicyBookTok where you can encounter all the spicy recommendations people are reading. You are coming out of that tag with a whole list of books for your TBR! *whispers* It definitely happened to me. It’s clear readers are searching for spicier recs — I mean, the tag has 201.7 million views (!!!) already. You can also check out the tags #SpicyBooks and #SmutTok for more.
So if you are a fan of steamy romance novels — of spice in your cake— this list will rock your world upside down. These 20 steamy romance novels are going to be the highlight of your everyday life.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
This Schitt’s Creek–inspired romcom will take you on a ride all the way to a small fishing town where one It Girl and one crab fisherman meet for the very first time.
After partying too hard, Piper’s stepdad decides that enough is enough and he sends her to learn some responsibility at her late father’s dive bar in Washington. She butts heads with grumpy sea captain Brendan immediately, but their simmering attraction is clear to every single person in the town.
Promises and Pomegranates by Sav R. Miller
Kal and Elena’s love story starts with a murder. For his plan to work, Kal must marry Elena, but unfortunately for him, Elena is about to get married to another man. This does not slow Kal down and he poisons Elena’s fiancé quickly, marrying her minutes after. Their tale is dark, alluring, and intense, and you won’t be able to stop reading since the very first page.
Content warning for blood play, knife play, kidnapping, grooming, and attempted sexual assault.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Hibbert closes the Brown Sisters trilogy with the youngest of the family, Eve Brown. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but so happy how the whole series ends and excited to see what Talia Hibbert has for us in the future.
Eve is a mess. When her personal brand of chaos ruins a very expensive wedding, her parents draw the line. Because of this, she decides to take a drive and ends up finding a cute Bed and Breakfast that is looking to fill up the chef position. But the owner Jacob and Eve don’t hit it off too well! This is before she accidentally hits him with her car…*oops*
Birthday Shot by Rilzy Adams
When I think about steamy romance books, I think about Birthday Shot. One cannot talk about steam in romance without mentioning Rilzy Adams, and this one is one of her hottest!
Shae’s birthday is getting close and her older brother’s best friend, Kofi, is back in Antigua for her brother’s engagement party. Will this be the start of something new?
Private Eye by Katrina Jackson
Have you seen the “FBI agent who is assigned to watch me through my webcam is laughing at my Google searches” meme? This is Private Eye, but instead, we have a sexy spy who is assigned to watch this beautiful camgirl, but suddenly falls for her.
Every Thursday night Kenny logs into Maya’s camroom. And Maya, excitedly, waits for the notification to come up. Their online relationship is definitely complicated, but it complicates further when they finally meet face-to-face, realizing that they have more secrets than they previously thought.
Keep Me Close by RM Virtues
If you still haven’t read Drag Me Up, the first book in the series, go and do it. It’s also quite steamy. But today let’s talk about Aphrodite and Hephaestus in this book!
When Aphrodite’s life is in danger, she is assigned a bodyguard. Unfortunately for her, her new bodyguard is her ex’s older brother, Hephaestus, who she hates with so much fervor.
Seducing My Guardian by Katee Robert
If you want spicy books, you definitely need to have Katee Robert on your list!
Each of the A Touch of Taboo books is hot as hell. This one is her latest one and probably my favorite of the bunch (but I cannot choose, don’t make me choose!). When her parents pass away, Hazel gets a guardian. Soon after, he ships her off to a boarding school and only sees her one day of the year — on her birthday. But now Hazel is turning 25 and that means getting full control of her trust fund. That also means that Devan’s work as her guardian is coming to a close.
Her Soul to Take by Harley Laroux
Probably my very first erotic horror romance book, but it won’t be my last! Harley Laroux created the most enticing, dangerous story with a love story that will live through the ages.
Rae moves back home to finish her college degree. Unbeknown to her, there’s a bigger plot in the works and it happens to involve her. After summoning a sexy demon, her life rapidly gets more dangerous. Will Leon be able to help her out before she ends up being sacrificed to a god?
The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle
Set against the sultry backdrop of New Orleans, The King of Bourbon Street will rapidly enchant you with Sol and Rain’s love story.
When Rain’s family arranges a marriage to cement a business merger, she runs away. To Sol’s hotel in New Orleans. Their lives will be forever changed after their first meeting.
Harbor by Rebekah Weatherspoon
When Brooklyn meets Vaughn and Shaw, it’s under very complicated circumstances. Because the thing is that both of their partners cheated on them with each other. And then, they were murdered, together in bed.
After the tragedy, the three realize that they are not alone in it, so they lean into each other. Though the grief of the events is still very present in their lives. But it’s clear they feel attraction and want to see if this has a happy ending. (It totally does!).
Content warning for the death of a romantic partner before the start of the story, discussions of death, a sexually fluid adult with unsupportive parents, and conversations with the police.
Just One More by Jodie Slaughter
This Valentine’s Day, they’re about to find each other.
Tattoo artist Whitney loves Valentine’s Day. But this long weekend, she has no plans at all. On her way to get some adorable, pink cupcakes, she meets Vic on her Uber drive. They hit it off and decide to see where this goes.
Daddy Crush by Adriana Anders
This neighbors to lovers romance is *chef’s kiss*
Jerusha is about to have her very first kiss, but with a shitty date, so she is not really looking forward to it. Luckily, her next-door neighbor saves her from that happening. Then, she asks Karl, the neighbor, for a kiss. Their story quickly develops from that point into a majestic, beautiful romance.
Priceless by Miranda Silver
Christina needs to pay the bills and she has no way how. Patrick, the icy king of her college, makes her a deal: we have sex, I give you money for every encounter. So they agree this is only sex and nothing more. Until, of course, they catch feelings!
Maybe This Time by Christina C. Jones
Best friends Trace and Des suddenly wake up married in Vegas! Des has never really thought about Trace in a romantic way, but little did she know, Trace has. And for many, many years.
Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl
Brinkley is a professional Heartbreaker who gets hired to get revenge on men who have wronged women. But her latest assignment is not what she imagined. She truly thinks that they will never see each other again after that night, but then Brinkley’s boss announces that she is going to incorporate a new male Heartbreakers branch. And who walks through the door? Her target, Mark.
Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid
I know there are sports romance fans in here, so you bet I’m not forgetting you! This hockey steamy romance book will not disappoint.
Pro hockey star Shane and Boston Bears captain Ilya have made a career on their legendary rivalry, but when the skates come off, it’s another story entirely! The heat between them is undeniable, and as their relationship intensifies, they struggle to maintain it out of the public eye.
If She Says Yes by Tasha L. Harrison
Tomás has had a crush on his best friend’s mother, Darcy, for ages. He’s finally decided to take that next step during his best friend’s wedding events. It’s clear as water that they both feel something for each other, so a few days of wild sex is the perfect solution!
Feed by Aveda Vice
For the monster romance fans, Feed is the perfect book to pick up immediately. Don’t even doubt it, just go and get it!
A succubus and a death’s head hawkmoth fairy take you on an epic ride of smutty goodness. Avirin is arranging for someone to come and…let her feed on them. But the last person she thought would appear on her door is Pye, the coworker she hates the most.
Being Hospitable by Meka James
Opening her door to her best friend’s younger sister is probably not the greatest idea Kiki had. One, because she’s giving up on some solitude. And two, because her new roommate is a temptation she didn’t see coming at all.
f*ck around and find out by Nicole Falls
Ebonée gets a call from her little brother, asking her to meet up with his best friend and give him a little tour. Show him around while he’s not there. When they meet after years of not seeing each other, Ebonée never really expected this huge attraction. But Floyd is ready to give Ebonée everything she deserves.
Be 100% certain that if you end up picking up any of these books to read, you’ll find all the steam. You’ll need to cool down between chapters! But what these authors do is spectacular and they will grab your attention so quickly you won’t notice you’re nearing the end of their book until it’s over. If you’re into epic love declarations as well, this article of the best love scenes in books will capture your heart!