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. 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.”
So not every love interest on this list is a bad boy — but if you’re the kind of person who still loves the bodice-rippers that made the romance genre famous, you’re in for a particular treat. Mafia romances have become massively popular on BookTok — particularly among indie romance authors — as have adjacent subgenres dealing with motorcycle clubs, murderers-for-hire, and other criminal masterminds.
Below, 30 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 The Architect
When an architect gets pulled into an extended work trip, he arranges for his friend Travis to fulfill his girlfriend’s sexual needs while he’s away. After her temporary relationship with Travis proves exciting, however, Ivy begins to question whether she wants to go back to her old life when her boyfriend returns.
2 Captive of Wolves
For the last eight years, fae have held Talia captive, using her blood to create a cure for their lycanthropy. Now, four ostracized fae men have sprung Talia from her prison, intent on using her to get them back in their old leaders’ good graces. Her new captors are kinder than those who kept her in a cage, but they’re still her
captors… and yet, the longer Talia spends with these fae, the more she finds herself enjoying their company. 3 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. 4 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? 5 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. 6 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? 7 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. 8 Does It Hurt?
When Sawyer fled her ex-lover, Enzo, she took his identity, too — leading him to track her down… and, eventually, wind up shipwrecked with her on a nearly deserted island. Desperate, Sawyer seeks protection in the island’s lighthouse. But when the lighthouse keeper proves to be more dangerous than Enzo himself, Sawyer finds herself in a fight for her life.
9 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. 10 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. 11 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! 12 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.) 13 Inked in Lies
Lila has always loved her brother’s best friend, Nova. They grew up next door to one another, and when Lila’s parents were murdered, Nova’s family stepped in to raise her and her brother. She and Nova did get together for awhile, and she would have followed him anywhere — including into the ranks of his biker group — but he broke her heart. Now, years later, Lila’s well on her way to marrying someone else… and her ex is just starting to realize what he missed out on. But can he win her back from her fiancé?
14 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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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. 18 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. 19 A Not So Meet Cute
Lottie and Huxley’s love story isn’t the kind that inspires Hallmark cards. Billionaire Hux lied about having a pregnant fiancée, and needed someone to pose as his leading lady. Lottie was recently fired — by her best friend, no less — and with her high-school reunion right around the corner, she really needed a win. Their arrangement was supposed to be strictly business, but love might just get in their way.
20 Passion & Venom
Tragedy strikes on Gianna’s wedding day, turning her nuptials into something out of a Quentin Tarantino movie. The blushing bride is kidnapped by the brutal head of a rival crime family, and her captor, Draco — the man who murdered her husband — will do anything to break her. But the more depraved Draco’s tactics become, the more Gianna feels drawn to him.
21 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 22 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? 23 Requiem of the Soul
After surviving a deadly explosion, Santiago has hand-chosen Ivy to be his bride. Santiago suspects Ivy’s father — his old mentor — ordered the hit that killed his dad and brother and left him with extensive scars. Through Ivy, he intends to make Eli’s family pay. But the more he tortures her, the more Santiago begins to wonder if she’s actually the person he needed all along.
24 Restore Me
Sloane vowed she’d never fall for another man after her husband died, and Dominic — her late husband’s best friend, who’s spent the past 12 years treating her like trash — should be the last guy she’d want to break her promise for. But Dominic’s just started being kind and respectful towards her, and Sloane would be lying if she said she hadn’t begun to enjoy his company.
When Zenny starts second-guessing her decision to become a nun, the college student turns to a much-older man — Sean, the irreverent brother of a local priest — to test the waters of sexual gratification. Zenny always had a thing for Sean, but he never saw her as anything more than a little girl — until she asked him to show her exactly what she’ll be missing if she joins the church. Sean has his work cut out for him, to say the least.
26 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. 27 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. 28 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? 29 Twisted Love
Alex gets roped into watching over his best friend’s younger sister, Ava, while his buddy studies abroad for a year. Alex is a stoic guy who doesn’t really seem to feel anything at all — and when Ava’s friends see this, they convince her to help her minder change his ways. But when Ava starts her campaign to get Alex to tap into his feelings, the two begin to realize they have more in common than they once thought.
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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This article was originally published on
April 12, 2022