The book-loving users on TikTok have gained a lot of sway in a short time: They’ve minted new influencers,
won book deals for their favorite indie authors, and caused sales of their best-loved novels to spike. A lot of readers are tuned into BookTok, but unless you spend a lot of time on the clock app, you may find it difficult to keep up with the platform’s most viral hits. Not to worry, though: If you’re in the mood for a high-heat romance, or even just straight-up erotica, we’ve compiled a list of spicy novels TikTok recommends for your reading pleasure. Whether you like your romances on the darker side of the spectrum, or are just looking for a sweet-and-spicy HEA, you’ll find something to love here.
Fear not, there truly are romance novels out there for every kind of reader imaginable. In fact, that’s the whole point of the genre. As
Forever associate publisher Leah Hultenschmidt told Bustle way back in 2019: “It’s our job in the industry to make sure that there’s something to appeal to every kind of reader.... [W]e don’t want to shame people for any part of it that they enjoy.”
Below, 20 erotic novels TikTok recommends.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Carnage
Set in a modern-day alternate universe,
Carnage is the first novel in a dark-romance quartet about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The story follows finance moguls Prescott, West, Francis, and Drake, who used to be a quintet, before someone stole Scarlett away from them. Now, she’s back in town, and someone’s going to pay for making her forget all about them — but first, they’ve got a reverse harem to establish. You know the smut is fire when BookTokers don’t know how to talk about the book without getting banned from TikTok. 2 Claimed by the Orc Prince
Omegaverse fans, this
orc romance is for you! This trilogy-starter centers on Zorvut and Taegan, an orc and an elf whose arranged marriage promises to bring peace to their clans. After meeting for the first time on their wedding day, Zorvut and Taegan quickly find themselves falling for one another. But can their love survive when so many don’t believe they should be together? 3 Count Your Lucky Stars
BookTok loves all of Alexandria Bellefleur’s novels, but the third book in her Written in the Stars series,
Count Your Lucky Stars, is really something special. It has all the best romance-novel tropes wrapped up in one compelling story: This is a second-chance, friends-to-lovers, sapphic romance with a grumpy/sunshine pairing... and they were roommates. If you’re looking for a cute, high-heat romance that BookTok loves, this is the one to try. 4 D’Vaughn & Kris Plan a Wedding
If reality TV contestants
Kris and D’Vaughn can convince the people closest to them that they’re in love and getting married in six weeks, this dynamic duo will win a six-figure cash purse. Kris needs the publicity to launch her influencer career, and D’Vaughn’s just looking for the right way to tell her mom she’s queer. Falling for one another wasn’t part of the plan, but can they start a strong relationship in a world where everything is faked for the cameras? 5 Den of Vipers
It all starts when Roxxane, a hardscrabble bar owner, finds herself sold to a four-man mafia brotherhood — the eponymous Vipers — to pay off her father’s debts. There’s a lot of dubious consent and
dangerous, taboo sex in this reverse-harem novel, so consider yourself warned. 6 A Dowry of Blood
With a buzzy blurb from
For the Wolf author Hannah Whitten, A Dowry of Blood deserves a spot on any romance fan’s to-read list. Here, S.T. Gibson retells the story of one of Dracula’s brides, Constanta, who begins to realize that her dark romance with the charismatic count is more of a nightmare than a dream. A steamy, Gothic romance backed up with absolutely beautiful prose, this spicy BookTok pick is not to be missed. 7 Get a Life, Chloe Brown
The first book in
Talia Hibbert’s bestselling romance trilogy, Get a Life, Chloe Brown follows its eponymous heroine as she plots out her transformation from geeky wannabe to social butterfly, after a near-death experience makes her realize that she’s spent her whole life playing it safe. Chloe makes a seven-item bucket list and asks her bad-boy neighbor to help her complete it. 8 Hate
Almost a year ago, three boys framed Madison Kate for inciting a violent riot. After spending 11 months at a Cambodian boot camp for incorrigibles, she’s back to exact her revenge. The three guys who did her wrong are now living in Madison Kate’s old house, and her parents are on vacation. Cue the
dark, reverse-harem romance hijinks! 9 Ice Planet Barbarians
You know this one had to be on the list.
Ice Planet Barbarians took off on TikTok in a big way, and even though the premise — a group of alien-abducted women arriving on an ice planet full of big, sexy, blue alien guys — may seem a little silly, it’s well worth diving into. Case in point: the first novel in Ruby Dixon’s 22-book (!) interspecies erotica series is a No. 1 Amazon Bestseller at the time of this writing. (And if you’re worried about what you might have heard, rest assured that scenes involving sexual assault have been removed from the Berkeley Romance version.) 10 It Happened One Summer
Looking for something more lighthearted? Check out Tessa Bailey’s
It Happened One Summer, a rom-com with a grumpy-sunshine pairing and a surprisingly high spice level. Here, a wealthy socialite’s stepfather ships her off from L.A. to the Pacific Northwest after she parties just a tad too hard, and tasks her with taking over her late father’s dive bar. Running a small business isn’t exactly in Piper’s wheelhouse, but when a local sea captain lets her know exactly what he thinks of her, she becomes determined to prove him wrong. 11 A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor
A No. 1 Bestseller on Amazon at the time of this writing,
A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor follows Esther, a young woman who leaves her job in service to take a new position at the infamous, eponymous house. Once there, Esther joins a reverse harem of monsters — including a sphinx, a gargoyle, and a vampire — who want only to pamper and please her. Sexy, spooky, and a little bit weird, this is the perfect book for newcomers to monster romance. 12 The Love Hypothesis
Everyone knows that some of the sexiest books start out as fanfiction, and
Ali Hazelwood’s novel is no exception. Originally an AU Reylo fanfic called “Head Over Feet,” The Love Hypothesis centers on Olive, a cynical Ph.D. student who ends up kissing Adam, Stanford’s grumpiest science professor, in an attempt to convince her best friend that she has a boyfriend. Adam surprises Olive by agreeing to go along with her dating ruse, and he turns out to be exactly who she needs to keep her career afloat. 13 Morning Glory Milking Farm
Faced with the prospect of moving back home, Violet seizes her last chance at independence when she’s offered a gig working for a pharmaceutical company in a nearby city — one known for its high monster-to-human population ratio. It’s her job
to procure the ingredient necessary to make a male libido pill... by extracting it from some very buff male minotaurs. She’s not supposed to befriend the minotaurs she sees at work, but one wealthy, quiet client captures her heart. 14 Neon Gods
Romance readers have really latched on to the power couple that is
Hades and Persephone lately, and Katee Robert’s Neon Gods is among the best novels centering on the duo. In Robert’s reimagining, Persephone wants no part in Olympus’ political intrigue, but her plans to start a new life elsewhere stall out when she’s betrothed to Zeus. To escape her upcoming nuptials, Persephone turns to the one man who can help her: Hades himself. 15 Punk 57
Spicy BookTok loves Penelope Douglas’ romances, and
. The story follows Misha and Ryen — a pair of penpals who’ve been writing one another since 5th grade (thanks to a mixup caused by their gender-neutral names) but have never met, until now. Misha’s just tracked down Ryen online, and he wants to meet her in person. But what happens when the girl of his dreams turns out to be a waking nightmare? Punk 57 in particular comes very highly recommended 16 Red, White & Royal Blue Alex and Henry — the U.S. President’s son and the Prince of Wales — can’t stand one another. With Alex’s mom up for re-election and Henry’s family trying desperately to keep up appearances, these two enemies are duty-bound to play along with some major damage control when their latest fight ruins a high-profile wedding. The PR campaign paints them as best friends, but they still hate each other’s guts... right? 17 The Spanish Love Deception
If you like slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers romance novels with
plenty of spice, you’re going to want to grab yourself a copy of this one. Here, a Spanish American woman convinces her insufferably proud coworker to accompany her to her sister’s wedding across the Atlantic as her fake date. But the more time Catalina spends with Aaron, the more she begins to realize that he might not be all bad. 18 There Are No Saints
Alastor and Cole are business rivals in more ways than one. Not only do they go head-to-head in the art world, but they’re also both serial killers stalking the same hunting grounds. When Alastor leaves a half-dead girl as a present for Cole, however, Cole does the unthinkable: He rescues her to keep her safe from Alastor.
There Are No Saints comes with all the content warnings you’d expect from a serial killer romance, but fans of the highest spice levels will love what they find here. 19 A Touch of Darkness
Hades and Persephone retelling, Scarlett St. Clair’s A Touch of Darkness follows the Goddess of Spring — whose powers don’t work like they should — as she struggles to start over in New Athens. Disguised as a mortal, Persephone crosses paths with the God of the Dead at one of his infamous nightclubs and winds up in a binding contract with Hades as a result. But how is this black-thumbed goddess supposed to make anything grow in the Underworld? 20 Xeni
From the bestselling author of
If the Boot Fits and Better Off Red comes Xeni, a deliciously devilish romance in which one woman sets up a romance for the ages... from beyond the grave. Xeni and Mason don’t know each other, but when Sable — Xeni’s aunt and Mason’s mentor — passes away, she hinges their respective inheritances on their marital status. Getting hitched means having enough money to pay off their debts and live comfortably, which means it’s worth the awkwardness. But what happens when a marriage of convenience turns into true love?
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