Spicy romance book covers and a pink flame background

Recommended Reads, Trends

Heat index alert: 9 spicy romance novels that’ll have you sizzling

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Is it hot in here or is it just these books? Okay, if you’re located in the Northern Hemisphere like me, the answer is going to be both! That being said, I still can’t resist a good spicy book any time of year. Even if they’re going to make me sweat, I still want more and more of them... I can cool off later! As I’m writing this from my basement, my air conditioner has totally given up on life, so you better believe these titles are worth the steaminess.

I’ve always said that spicy romance novels are like potato chips, you can’t read (or in the case of the chips, eat) just one, so I’m returning with more books that will turn up the heat a degree or ten when you read them! Even if it’s not a heat wave outside, these books are going to up your temperature, so turn on a fan, pour yourself a cool bevvy, download the Libby app, and dive into these steamy reads.

To help you judge the spice of your next read, check out our heat index rating scale with low spice reads at 1 hot pepper 🌶️ and burning hot books at 5 peppers 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️.

If you also enjoy true crime podcasts...

Butcher & BlackbirdButcher and Blackbird by Brynne Weaver
🎧 Audiobook
🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

This book is super hot right now on all the book circles of the internet. Plus, it’s the first book in a trilogy, the most recent of which, Leather and Lark, has also been dominating social media and bestsellers lists. While this book is very, very racy, it’s not for you if you have strong negative feelings about eyeballs and maggots in your romance novels.

They say that shared interests are a must in any relationship, and for Sloane and Rowan, that happens to be serial killing (with a heart of gold). These two vigilantes both like to mete out justice to the worst of the worst, in the most final way possible. A chance meeting leads them to discover how much they admire each other’s work. What starts as an annual game to hunt down the most dangerous people in the world blossoms into something more in this dark, twisty, risqué romance. It’s not for the squeamish or faint of heart!


If you can’t wait for the (Winter) Olympics...

Game ChangerGame Changer by Rachel Reid
🎧 Audiobook
🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

This series. THIS WHOLE SERIES. I can barely even describe how much I love these books. When I finished them, I immediately wanted to start over again just to experience all the joy and love and romance and passion between all of these men. And, I guess, the hockey stuff was good too...

We open our series with Scott Hunter, NHL darling and captain of the New York Admirals, who happens to be in a bit of a slump. A visit to a local smoothie shop seems to have helped him get his goals back, so he recreates the experience before each game, including a trip back to the shop to get that magical smoothie from the equally magical guy who made it, Kip. When things start to heat up, can Scott handle being the only openly gay player in hockey or can Kip handle being someone’s secret? Read on to find out, but be ready for lots of passion along the way!


If you’re looking for a hole-in-one...

Fangirl DownFangirl Down by Tessa Bailey
🎧 Audiobook
🌶️🌶️🌶️

Golf isn’t really known for being the steamiest of sports. The clothes are pretty “dad fashion” (which certainly has its place nowadays) and the game is slow and methodical. But, the fun thing about Tessa Bailey is she could make a tax audit seem steamy, so anytime you see her name on the jacket, pick it up!

Wells was golf’s rising star, the guy everyone admired who was going to be another Tiger Woods, but somewhere along the way, he lost his swing (what is it with me today and sports romances about people who are underperforming?). He’s down to one fan, Josephine, and boy, is she enough fan for a whole army, waving signs and screaming every time he tees up. She’s also the only person who thinks he can get back to what he once was. When she offers to be his caddy, how can he say no? And when it seems like instruction in more than just golf is on the table, will their chemistry be up to par? Get ready for lots of spice and golf puns galore!


If you like to howl at the moon...

The Fake MateThe Fake Mate by Lana Ferguson
🎧 Audiobook
🌶️🌶️🌶️

I know I recommended Lana Ferguson in my last blog post too, but I love her books so much! Plus, werewolves?!? Yes, please and thank you! I love that she takes such big swings in each of her stories. Her next book, The Game Changer, is a hockey romance, so you really can’t put this author in a (penalty) box when it comes to her genres!

Mackenzie loves everything about being an ER doc in her Denver hospital, and she’s super fulfilled with her life, even if her grandmother refuses to believe that this Omega shifter can be happy by herself. Trying to convince her grandmother that she’s dating and happy, she blurts out the name of the first guy she can think of, who happens to be the grumpy cardiologist, Noah. Noah’s also a werewolf — brilliant and generally difficult to be around — and he has secrets of his own including the tempting offer to fake date his coworker. Both of their secrets might be exactly what the moon ordered. Be ready for this one to steam up your ereader!


If you want it all...

Beautiful Things🎧 Beautiful Things by Emily Rath
🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Dearest, gentle reader... LOL, no. This book would make even Lady Whistledown blush and would certainly get the tongues of the Ton wagging. “Why choose” romances are gaining in popularity and this one certainly shows that three doesn’t need to be a crowd and leaves room for four.

Rosalie finds herself at a crossroads — either get married soon or become a governess before she’s out on the streets. It seems like perfect timing when she’s invited to Alcott Hall, along with many other marriageable-aged members of society, but she finds more than just a future husband. Torn between three different men who all spark something new and different in her, Rosalie looks for a future that could have them all together in a society that would accept their love. While the romance takes a bit to heat up, once it comes to a boil, you’ll certainly need to handle this book with potholders!


If you’re dreaming of (being) an influencer...

Everyone I Kissed Since You Got FamousEveryone I Kissed Since You Got Famous by Mae Marvel
🎧 Audiobook
🌶️🌶️🌶️

Social media has made becoming a celebrity into something that just takes your phone and an interesting angle to capture enough users scrolling TikTok or YouTube. But, traditional fame still lives on, so what happens when two differing views of what it means to be famous bump into each other back in their hometown? Movie magic and so much more!

Katie is a movie star. Everyone knows her name, and this small-town Wisconsin girl turned mega-star still can’t believe where she is now. Wil’s life is coming apart at the seams, but her internet stardom is growing, where her series of videos kissing strangers is making her a household name. She’s still stuck in the same Wisconsin town that she grew up in with Katie as her best friend. When Katie comes home for the holidays, the women reconnect and find that their former friendship might be something more than it ever was before. This book is affirming and charming and just the right level of spicy to make you want to keep turning those pages for more.


If you want what happens on vacation to not stay on vacation...

Out of OfficeOut of Office by A. H. Cunningham
🎧 Audiobook
🌶️🌶️🌶️

Some people are married to their job. They work hard all the time, never taking a break. These nonstop, hardworking folks go just as hard on vacation as they would in the boardroom when they do take a moment for themselves. Such is the case in this steam-filled vacation romance!

Genevive’s in need of a break. After opening a new hotel chain in Panama, she’s finally feeling like she needs a vacation — the exact thing she’s spent her life giving to other people. While on this break, she also gets to know her driver, Adrián, learning of his devotion to his family and work-life balance. While they connect physically, they also get to know each other more deeply, leading Genevive to wonder if two weeks will be enough and if her goals will get her to where she wants to go.


If you always look for the second star to the right...

Hooked🎧 Hooked by Emily McIntire
🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

I’d like to start by saying that there’s pretty much every kind of content warning you can think of for this book. It’s dark. I don’t know if I can describe the MMC as even morally gray. If you find the leads of Butcher and Blackbird to be a bit too moralistic, this book might be just the pixie dust you need.

The start of the Never After series, inspired loosely by fairy tales, gives us the story of James (aka Hook, if he’s nasty), and Wendy, the daughter of James’s sworn enemy, Peter. James has been looking for a way to get revenge against Peter, and when he sees Wendy walk into his club one night, he finally has a chance to use what Peter loves against him. However, once he spends more time with Wendy, he realizes he can seek retribution, while also seeking pleasure. This book is scary-spicy and you'll never think about a ticking clock the same way again.


If you’ve ever wondered about the brother of that one friend...

ScandalizedScandalized by Ivy Owens
🎧 Audiobook
🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

A favorite trope for romance readers has always been the brother’s best friend. Or, in this case, the best friend’s brother. There’s something slightly forbidden about them that makes perfect stakes for a romance novel. Add in a whole bunch of sugar and spice and everything nice, and you have yourself an amazing, scorching story!

Investigative journalist Georgia is at the end of her rope when she finds her hero at the airport is none other than Alec, the older brother of her best friend. Sparks fly between the two, and a one-night stand threatens to turn into more, but Alec has secrets of his own which threaten to tear them apart before they can truly see where things might go. Did I mention that this book is SPICY? Try this one and thank me later.


*Title availability may vary by library and region.

These books are off the Scoville chart, and my glasses are fully steamed up just writing about them. Check them out from your library and borrow on the Libby app today!

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RELATED READ: 7 hot & spicy romance books to warm you up this winter

Published Jun 26, 2024

Meghan_Volchko.png

About the Author

Meghan Volchko is a writer for Libby Life and a collection development librarian. Her English degree set her up perfectly for grad school, where she received her MLIS and has been immersed in the world of books ever since. You can find her reading with her cat, traveling with her friends and family, or chasing after her toddler. HEAs are life.

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