13 Spicy Books That Are the Only Valentine’s Day Date You Need

put that phone on silent, you're booked tonight

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Picture this: it’s a chilly Valentine’s Day evening, the couch looks delightful, and staying in with a riveting novel sounds like the perfect way to spend the night. Sure, a night out with your gals or other half is a great way to spend the holiday, but whether you’re in your single era or simply crave a night to yourself, there’s no reason romance can’t be on the table for you tonight. That’s why a spicy book is just what the doctor ordered. And if you’re looking for a vetted rec, you’ve come to the right place. I’m a huge fan of spicy books. There, I said it. Whether I’m on my couch, my bed, or even at my local coffee shop, I love a few sweat-inducing scenes—or even chapters full of devious things sure to keep my heart rate up.

Though BookTok is great for finding recommendations on everything from cute rom-coms to the dirtiest smut, everyone has different opinions on what defines “spicy.” One sex scene? A whole anatomically correct description of the act? A hot makeout scene? Well, I’ve gone through some of the most memorable spicy books I’ve had the pleasure of reading and compared each of them to see which were the spiciest and what’s basically a cute story with just a couple of pages of bliss.

To determine what exactly a spicy book is, I ranked each choice according to how many steamy scenes each book has and how intense they are. For example, most of the level one books may only have one or two sex scenes while a level three book will have more spicy scenes in more graphic detail. As for the level five books, those are the books I’d turn to if I was pretty much only looking for spice. So, the next time you’ve got a night to yourself or with a special battery-operated friend, you’re certain to find the material you’re looking for below.

Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation

Spice Level: 🌶️

Starting off with a seemingly innocent rom com (and what I consider an Emily Henry classic), this book follows former best friends Poppy and Alex as they reunite for one of their legendary trips. As travel buddies in their youth, the two opposites clearly attracted each other while exploring new countries and cities until one fateful vacation ruined it all. But when Poppy reaches out to Alex begging for one last vacation he surprisingly says yes —and the two set off on what might be their most awkward trip ever. While Alex is reserved and quite handsome, Poppy is witty, outgoing, and downright lying to him about her job paying for their trip. Though I wouldn’t classify it as a particularly spicy novel, others may say otherwise. Let’s just say, when my mom borrowed this book after me, she described it as “a steamy romance novel” in our informal book club.

Casey McQuiston

One Last Stop

Spice Level: 🌶️

A cute rom-com meets sci-fi in this WLW story of a time-traveling train passenger and a 23-year-old searching for a purpose. When April moves to New York City, she soon falls into the hustle and bustle lifestyle, taking the subway to her job at a pancake house and trudging back home exhausted from a hard day and a college course load. Never one to believe in remarkable movie-level romances, she’s caught off guard when she meets Jane, a mysterious and rather attractive passenger on the Q train. The only problem? Jane has been stuck on the Q train since the 1970s in some sort of otherworldly time loop. Teaming up with her roommates and even a few drag queens, April makes it her mission to get Jane off that train and free from the loop… but not without having a little fun first. I never would’ve considered the subway to be very sexy but, well, let’s just say I chuckled on the Q train when I visited New York this past summer.

Colleen Hoover


Spice Level: 🌶️

If you’re looking for a little bit of spice but not necessarily a rom-com, well, the search is over my friends. As one of the best thrillers I’ve read last year, this book contains quite a few moments that’ll leave just about anyone questioning if they locked all their doors. When struggling writer Lowen Ashley accepts a job offer to take over bestselling writer Verity Crawford’s work from none other than the esteemed wordsmith’s husband, Jeremy, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. But after she arrives at the Crawford’s massive estate, she soon begins to feel uneasy. Did Verity get up and close the curtains? Run across the hallway? Lowen isn’t one to run from a bone-chilling situation and soon Jeremy taking a liking to her.

Jodie Slaughter

Bet on It

Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️

We all love a cute guy with a good relationship with his mother but a guy building back a relationship with his grandmother? I think I have butterflies. When Walker goes to South Carolina to take care of his sick grandmother and drink plenty of that Southern charm, he meets Aja, his grandma’s bingo buddy. Little does he know, he’s the man of Aja’s dreams and she really, really wants to get in his pants (but in a cute way, because you know, she might be in love with him). Ultimately, the two end up making a bingo-based sex pact and the result is nothing short of steamy. With plenty of heart, this book focuses on an actual plot as well as hilarious dialogue and lovable characters.

Alexis Daria

A Lot Like Adiós

Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️

Michelle and Gabriel have a bit of a tension-filled relationship. As high school friends, the two shared plenty of fun memories and weren’t afraid to tell each other anything — in bed or out of it. But when Gabriel leaves the Bronx due to mounting pressure from his family and the desire to start a new life, they fall out of touch and leave it that way. 13 years later, Gabriel, now the co-owner of an LA-based celebrity gym, and Michelle, a well-known marketing genius, meet once again. It’s awkward, to say the least. Not knowing where to go next, the two must decide whether they can maintain a friendship or even just a professional relationship. Soon enough though, their feelings from their adolescent romance begin to resurface. But this time, hooking up with each other is way easier than when they were teenagers. Uncertain about their future, it’s up to Grabriel to figure out if he can commit—if Michelle will agree to it, that is.

Scarlett St Clair

A Touch of Darkness

Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️

A fantasy all about a forbidden love? Count me in. When Persephone, the Goddess of Spring, can’t actually live up to her powers, she moves to New Athens and disguises herself as a mortal. But when she encounters Hades, God of the Dead, she becomes bound in a contract with him. In order for her to break free, she must learn to create life in the Underworld. As she struggles to figure out a way out of the contract, she soon starts developing feelings for him. Though they shouldn’t pursue a romance, one thing leads to another and the two are forced to decide whether their romance or their roles as gods are more important. Especially if you like enemies to lovers, be sure to pick this book up.

Diana Gabaldon


Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

If you’re looking for some spicy historical fiction, consider your search over. Reunited after World War II, Claire and Frank go on a second honeymoon. While staying in Inverness, Claire becomes a victim of the supernatural and travels back in time. Thrust into 1743, she finds herself in a Scotland torn apart by war and populated by clans she’s never heard of. Soon, she meets Jamie, a young Scottish warrior, and she’s basically swept off her feet. If you’re a big fan of slow-building tension and a will they or won’t they type of plot, this will be right up your alley. And if you’re looking for the perfect man, let me tell you right now, no one holds a candle to good ‘ol James Fraser.

Nisha Sharma

Dating Dr. DIL

Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

If you’re a fan of a fake relationship love story a la To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, you might as well click “add to cart now.” When anti-dating app car enthusiast Kareena’s father tells her he plans to sell her mother’s house she strikes a deal with the devil. If she gets engaged in four months’ time, she gets the house. The only problem? She doesn’t really have any prospects at the moment. But, after an argument with Dr. Prem Verma, a host of a notable medical show known as Dating Dr. Dil goes viral, her aunties hatch a plan. Prem’s trying to fund a community medical center but he needs donors. Kareena needs a fiance. According to the aunties, if Prem can make Kareena believe he’s her soulmate, they’ll solve his money woes. Catching onto their plan, Prem and Kareena enter a fictitious relationship but soon realize they’re far too attracted to each other for there not to be feelings. And with these two, there are plenty of feelings no matter what time of day or place. All I've got to say is this: if you want a book that’ll make you sweat but also won’t be embarrassing in public, this is the one.

C.M Stunich

Devil’s Day Party

Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

Up for something a little dark and maybe a little, just a little, toxic? I never thought I’d be one to swoon over a bully romance but here we are and let me tell you, it is H-O-T. When Karma crashes her car into Calix’s Ashton Martin, she feels no remorse. To her, Calix had it coming. But unfortunately, Calix and his friends Barron and Raz are out for revenge and will stop at nothing to humiliate Karma and make her life harder. But when Devil’s Day comes up, a day dedicated to tricks and partying, Karma and the boys have a moment in which they realize the other might not be so bad after all. In fact, if the boys can make up for their hateful attitudes, Karma might even reward them. Though I might not agree with everything our main character does in this book, her bullies work to make up for their wrongdoings and win her over. And even better, she has to choose who she’ll end up with at the end of the novel. With a mildly unpredictable ending, you’re sure to be on the edge of your seat for more than just one reason.

Caroline Peckham

Zodiac Academy: The Awakening

Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

In a world where your schooling is determined by your Zodiac sign (can you imagine?) Darcy and Tory, twins born under Gemini, are selected to join the Zodiac Academy. Upon arriving, they discover the school is full of supernatural bullies and realize that the only way to survive is to watch each others’ backs. Fighting for their lives and their status, Darcy and Tory defend themselves from the dragon shifters, werewolves, and vampires they now encounter on a daily basis. But what they don't account for is the selection of eye candy now sitting in their very classes. Sure, their lives may be at stake, but that just makes flings feel all the more dangerous and exciting. With plenty of scenes and dialogue to hold your attention, this series is full of fantastical fun.

Sierra Simone


Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Fleabag once said, “I want to *ahem* a priest,” and after seeing all the hype about this book, I can understand why. When Tyler breaks his vow of celibacy— on the altar of his own church—he embarks on a very, very spicy journey that comes with lots of oil. Even just 100 pages in, you’re sure to be satisfied with the spicy scenes Sierra Simone has blessed us with. While the book does have a plot, you can easily skip a few pages here and there and get what you came for in the first place. We all know why we’ve gathered here, and it’s to hear all about Father Bell’s sins.

Penelope Douglas


Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

This book had been swimming around on my TikTok for you page for AGES before I finally checked it out on Kindle and boy, do I regret not reading it sooner. Tiernan de Haas has felt a little bit lonely. As the daughter of a wealthy producer and movie star mother, she’s shipped to boarding schools and finds it impossible to make a name, let alone an identity, for herself. When her parents suddenly pass away, she realizes she’s always been alone and isn’t particularly excited when she’s sent away to live with Jake, her father’s stepbrother. Just two months away from turning 18, she soon begins to open up to him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the remote, misty mountains of Colorado. Is it just me or does the setting even sound sexy? As she grows to trust them, she realizes each of her new housemates wants her—but she’ll end up choosing only one man. Be warned: this book does contain some moments of violence and dominant/submissive play but if you’re reading to be entertained … I’m sure this will do the job and then some.

B.B. Reid


Spice Level: 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Honestly, I wish I could’ve told you what this book was about without having to read a synopsis. To be transparent, the plot has been the last thing on my mind each time I’ve opened this book—and to be frank, there really isn’t much of one outside of the sex. In this reverse harem tale, Braxton Fawn, self-proclaimed “luckiest girl alive,” becomes the lead guitarist in a hot new band full of hot young guys. When bandmates Houston, Loren, and Jericho let her know they’ve been watching her and liking what they see (professionally and in, ahem, other ways), the musicians take their rock star lives to the next level, whether in their van or even in the woods. Or outside the van. Or in hotel rooms. The point is, if having a great time with hunky guys who will fight over you—or work together to please you—has been your fantasy, settle in for a long night of reading.


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