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Raunchiest Books

The spicy must-read romances that are raising heart rates up to 80%

Spicy books are having a major ‘it-girl’ moment right now, with readers across the globe heading to TikTok to search for the raunchiest books on shelves. So far, the ‘spicy book’ hashtag has over three billion views across the app, with some of the most erotic titles ranging from ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ to ‘It Ends With Us’.

So, what are the raunchiest reads? From fun and flirty to straight up steamy, we collected eight of the spiciest reads from across the past few years that have even got some of the raunchiest readers on booktok well and truly flustered.

Sorting them into a top-five must-read list, the spice scores are based on book reviews, TikTok posts and their views, as well as the average heart rate increase from a focus group of participants who wore heart rate monitors while reading the steamiest scenes from each book (in public!).

PLEASE NOTE: It is key to note that ALL the books in this list have multiple trigger warnings - we highly recommend reviewing these before reading any of these titles to ensure you are comfortable with their content.

The top-five raunchiest books revealed

raunchy book ranking infographic

#1 A Court of Thorn and Roses

Coming in hot, giving our readers an average heart rate increase of 79% is fantasy romance novel, A Court of Thorn and Roses, written by Sarah J Maas.

The synopsis reads: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not truly a beast, but one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled her world.

At least, he’s not a beast all the time…

Her feelings for the faerie, Tamlin, transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae.

If you’re wondering how mythical creatures turn passion into pleasure, readers recommend chapters 27 and 42 for maximum spice.

If you’re wondering how a high fae gets it on, we recommend chapters 27 and 42 for maximum spice.

#2 Fifty Shades of Grey

Of course, a raunchy reading list wouldn’t be complete without Fifty Shades of Grey. If you’re someone that’s ignored the hype over this Twilight fan-fiction inspired romance, now might just be the time to add this to your reading list.

When college student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly Ana realises she wants this man, and Grey admits he wants her, too - but on his own terms. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian's secrets and explores her own desires.

E.L.James’ lustful read gave participants an average heart rate increase of 75%, with chapter 18 recorded as the steamiest scene.

#3 Does It Hurt?

Does it Hurt? by H.D Carlton lands in third place, causing an average heart rate increase of 70%. Carlton describes the main characters Enzo and Sawyer as thunder and lightning, bringing together the perfect mix of brightness, anger and destructiveness for an intense romance.

The synopsis reads: Could I be a girl who is searching for the meaning of life in faceless men? They were all so forgettable. Until he came along. He took me under a waterfall and made me forget my name, and in return, I took his instead…

Now, I'm a girl who's seeking refuge in a decrepit lighthouse with a man who loathes me almost as much as he craves me. He wants to hurt me, but the old caretaker of the abandoned Island may have intentions far more sinister.

For the spiciest pages, see chapter 21.

#4 The Love Hypothesis

Causing hearts to race 67% higher than usual, Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis sits in fourth place. This book is just shy of 5 stars on Goodreads and was a nominee for the best romance novel of 2021!

The synopsis reads: Olive Smith doesn't believe in lasting romantic relationships,-but her best friend does… Convincing Olive to date and be well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford's reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive's career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding... six-pack abs. Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion.

#5 Call Me By Your Name

We’ve all heard of ‘the peach scene’, but have you ever actually read it? Andre Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name has ranked in fifth place, raising heart rates by 62%.

Set in the stunning surroundings of a balmy Italian summer, the book synopsis reads: The story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera.

Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them…For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

Catch Elio and Oliver in their most romantic scene starting from page 131.

So whatever your style of raunchy book, we hope we have cleared any uncertainty around which book truly IS the spiciest of them all and encouraged you to add these to your collection!