Okay, so you don’t have to hide under the cover of night to read a little smut, but if you’re wanting to pick up a spicy romance and don’t know where to start, we have you covered.
We can never pick just one romance trope, so in this edit you’ll find a little bit of everything: billionaires, arranged-marriages, monsters, mafia bosses, age gaps and more. If it’s your first time don’t worry, we also have some great books with charming leads that will ease you into the genre.
Check out our must-read book recommendations below.
Our favourite contemporary romances
If this is your first time entering the world of smutty romance or if you’re looking for a break from darker spice, these books feature cute one-liners, grumpy men, swoon-worthy romances, and sweet but sexy spice you can relate to. They’re the perfect books for anyone looking to read a lighthearted romance that will have you in your feels.
The Dreamland Billionaires series by Lauren Asher
- Series rating: ★★★★☆
- Spice rating: 3/5
Where is my cocky billionaire with a heart of gold?
TikTok readers are loving the Dreamland Billionaires series and I can see why: dreamy men, feisty women, toe-curling sex, and tropes that make your heart race.
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What’s the series about?
The three Kane brothers are sexy as hell and out to inherit a fortune. After their grandfather dies, he leaves each of them a task they must complete before they can take over their share of the family business. Of course, each task leads them directly to the fiery women they eventually fall in love with.
The pages are full of great bants, hot AF spice, romantic dates, cheesy one-liners, and swoon-worthy moments that will have you in your feels. I flew through all three of these books and would happily let any of the Kane brothers wife me up. If you’re looking for a light and easy read with relationships to make you swoon and smut that’ll make you blush, you need to read the Dreamland Billionaires series.
Kings of Sin series by Ana Huang
The bestselling author of the Twisted series is back with a new set of books sure to steal your heart. The first book in the series, King of Wrath, is a fast-paced romp that will have you begging for more … just like Dante.
- King of Wrath rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 stars)
- Spice rating: 3/5
Listen, I’m a basic girl who likes an arranged marriage, a don’t f*k with my wife moment, and a little begging so of course, I enjoyed this. To top it all off, our male MC has some great development (when he isn’t on his knees), and there are some really cute dates that’ll make you smile. It’s a damn treat.
King of Wrath is dirty, dramatic, entertaining, romantic, and features a man who just made it near the top of the list. Dante has a wicked tongue, a stoic attitude, and a heart of gold, and Viv is smart, charming and a little feisty. My only gripe with the book is that I didn’t feel Huang built up enough tension between Dante and Viv, and the final conflict wasn’t as strong as I would’ve liked – just my personal preference. I did however enjoy the book as a whole and will continue with the series because Kai is up next, and I can’t wait! I see you, Kai.
If you’re looking for a romance book with scorching sex scenes and a guy who falls first, King of Wrath is one to add to your TBR.
The next book in the series, King of Pride, releases on 30th May 2023. Pre-order your copy now!
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Ruthless. Meticulous. Arrogant. Dante Russo thrives on control, both personally and professionally. The billionaire CEO never planned to marry – until the threat of blackmail forces him into an engagement with a woman he barely knows: Vivian Lau, jewellery heiress and daughter of his newest enemy. It doesn’t matter how beautiful or charming she is. He’ll do everything in his power to destroy the evidence and their betrothal. There’s only one problem: now that he has her … he can’t bring himself to let her go.
Elegant. Ambitious. Well-mannered. Vivian Lau is the perfect daughter and her family’s ticket into the highest echelons of high society. Marrying a blue-blooded Russo means opening doors that would otherwise remain closed to her new-money family. While the rude, elusive Dante isn’t her idea of a dream partner, she agrees to their arranged marriage out of duty. Craving his touch was never part of the plan. Neither was the worst thing she could possibly do: fall in love with her future husband.
Looking for something with a little more edge?
Here are seven great books that feature some taboo tropes, varying degrees of plot, and a whole lot of spice – great for some one-handed reading. Some of these books have been recommended by our wider bookish community here on Her World.
The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert (monster romance): “If you’re so determined to think me a monster, then I’ll play monster for you.” – cue kinky shit. Short, sweet, and downright dirty, this is a great entry to monster romances. Don’t question how it works, just trust the magic, and pray for these girls.
Brutal Prince by Sophie Lark (light BDSM): a mafia romance with enemies-to-lovers, an arranged marriage, and a wheel of sex, politics, and fighting. (Recommended by one of our bookish babes).
Tangled in Tinsel by Trilina Pucci (multiple partners): a reverse harem/why choose romance where a girl and her four bosses are snowed into a cabin. Little plot, and lots of spice.
Wretched by Emily McIntire (enemies with benefits): a fractured retelling of The Wizard of Oz, this is a mafia romance with a badass woman at the helm and wall-to-wall smut that will set you on fire. Some of the hottest dark romance scenes I’ve read in a while and there’s a decent plot to support the story.
Den of Vipers by K.A. Knight (DARK romance): this is a reverse harem/why choose romance that has some of the DARKEST spice I’ve read. I’m talking 🔫 and 🔪 play. This one is for the seasoned dark romance girlies looking for some wild scenes and a lot of toxicity. Check all the trigger warnings before you dive in.
Highest Bidder by Sara Cate (age-gap): if you love a sex club, daddy kink, and don’t mind a little instalove, this is a book for you. The writing is great, the spice is hot, and Ronan is the definition of a daddy. (Recommended by one of our bookish babes).
Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas (age-gap): a forbidden romance between a girl and her ex’s dad. This features all kinds of tension, taboo hook-ups, and growth for all our characters. Great for romance readers that like near-misses that build to secretive, explosive sex. (Recommended by one of our bookish babes).
Note: All books mentioned in this article are three or higher on a spicy scale (contain at least two explicit sex scenes) and are definitely NSFW. Recommended for 18+ readers.
If you have other spicy romance reads you recommend, leave them in the comments.
Happy reading x
This article includes sponsored mentions from Hachette New Zealand.
Written by Monique Renee
Usually barefoot and deep in wanderlust mode, Mon loves binging Netflix, cuddling babies and stalking through IG looking for boho decor inspo and new books to read. You’ll usually find her on holiday, planning a holiday or thinking about holidays.
Favourite Instagram to follow: @the_female_lead