BookTok or Bookstagram is having a moment, now that we’re all burrowed in the cool environs of our homes, trying to escape the heat and possibly lose ourselves in the fantastical world of fiction. The internet is hyping up new authors and books, causing book shelves to run empty and bookshops run full. A win in everyone’s books. The spicy romance genre is where it is at, with people hooked and drawn to the steamy tales of the lead characters. The hashtag #SpicyBooks has more than 400k posts on Instagram, a testimony to the popularity of this genre. Tap on the hashtag and you will find yourself in a world filled with fan-favourite tropes like enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, fake dating, and much more. Every book will make you crave a fictional boyfriend in your life because our ideal type only exists in ink. Talking about fictional crushes, this year’s explore page on BookTok went from Farmer George of Queen Charlotte series to the latest obsession over Nick of My Fault movie.
So, if you want to add more books to your tbr and increase the count of fictional crushes to swoon over…
Here are five spicy romance books:
1. King Of Pride by Ana Huang
Bookstagram favourite author Ana Huang delivers another best-selling story with this one. The second book of the Kings of Sin series, this book features a reserved, controlled businessman named Kai Young who has no time for chaos, while Isabella, who dons purple hair and tells inappropriate jokes at serious events, is chaos personified. They are definitely not each other’s type, be it their different personalities or financial status, but they have a sparkling chemistry that they aren’t able to deny anymore. But to be with each other, the couple needs to pass different tests. A classic tale of opposites attracting that will keep you hooked till the end.
2. Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
No one does the academic rivals-to-lovers trope better than Ali Hazelwood. This is the third book in her STEM series. The story revolves around physicist Elsie Hannaway, who is an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. Other days, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people-pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs. But things start falling apart when Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and arrogant older brother of her favourite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And he’s the same Jack Smith who rules over the physics department at MIT, standing right between Elsie and her dream job.
3. The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
Written by Wattpad phenom Alex Light, this book is a perfect read for everyone who enjoys a fun fake dating trope. The female lead, Becca, is tired of not being in a relationship, and the constant teasing by her best friend leads to a fake love story with the football team’s caption, Brett Wells. However, it’s difficult to act like the ideal pair when you don’t really know the other person. But as Brett struggles to keep his world together and Becca continues to pick up the pieces from her past, the unlikely chemistry starts to show and they start to see more similarities than they could have imagined.
4. Unfortunately Yours by Tessa Bailey
Tessa Bailey is back with her fan favourite trope of enemies to lovers with this book. After losing her fiancé and her career, the lead character Natalie Vos moves back in with her family. She is prepared to return to the world after licking her wounds and sipping cabernet for a few months. She believes that her trust fund would help her new business venture get off the ground, but she learns that she must first be married to inherit the money. Not so simple, given that she was just dumped. She makes August Cates, a guy who drives her insane, the object of her desperate proposal. Despite their repeated insults, he is enchanted by Natalie.
5. Final Offer by Lauren Asher
The final book of the Dreamland Billionaire Series shares the story of the most beloved brother of the trio, Callahan Kane, who is the subject of many rumours. Only Lana Castillo, his childhood friend, is aware of who he truly is but has already broken her heart and promised never to go back to their hometown of Lake Wisteria. However, Callahan must spend the summer in the lake home when his grandpa passes away in order to obtain his fortune and sell the property. But little does he know that Lana is already living there.