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12 sizzling hot books to read if you loved Bridgerton and Fifty Shades of Grey

Romance and erotic novels to get lost in...

raunchy books
Hollie Brotherton
Lifestyle & Commerce Senior Writer
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It's hard to believe but it's over ten years since Fifty Shades mania first swept across the world. You couldn't walk past a pool without seeing several copies staring back at you from the sun loungers, and if you were one of them, you're going to love these raunchy reads for 2023.

There's nothing quite like getting lost in a new romance book and if the likes of Bridgerton reignited your interest in erotic novels, we've found 11 with the best reviews to order now.

How we chose the best erotic romance novels

  • Reviews: We've only included novels with top ratings on Goodreads - our most-trusted book review website.
  • Content: From the subtle to the seriously hot, every book in this edit includes sex scenes.
  • Reading & listening options: All of the book are available in a range of forms, from paperback to Kindle and Audible.

The best erotic romance novels

Ugly Love by Coleen Hoover

Goodreads Choice Award: Nominee for Best Romance 

Cover blurb: "When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realise they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her."

Top Goodreads review: "Ugly Love is beautiful, sexy, and heart-wrenching. It's powerful, compelling and emotionally charged with a unique storyline that was truly unlike any other I've read. For days after I finished reading, my mind would drift back to Miles and Tate and relive moments of their story because I just couldn't let go."

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Goodreads Choice Award: Winner for Best Romance, Winner for Best Debut Novel

Cover blurb: "Alex Claremont-Diaz is handsome, charismatic, a genius – pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House ever since his mother first became President of the United States. There’s only one problem. When the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an altercation between Alex and Prince Henry, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family and state devise a plan for damage control: stage a truce. But what begins as a fake, Instagrammable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon they are hurtling into a secret romance that could derail the presidential campaign and upend two nations."

Goodreads top review: "My heart is so entirely full, it's nearly overflowing. This book was in a word; matchless. I laughed, I loved, I cried but mostly loved every beautiful little thing that led up to the last page. Now, having finished, I wish for nothing more but to go all the way back to the beginning and start again. As readers, sometimes -very rarely- you come across a book that quintessentially becomes a mantra, a new sense of hope and a burst of something you never really knew existed.I don't think I will ever forget this novel."

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Sunday Times Bestseller, Goodreads Choice Award: Nominee for Best Historical Fiction

Cover blurb: "Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the '80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways."

Goodreads top review: "Not to be dramatic, but if there ever comes a point in time where the fate of the human civilisation is coming to an end and we need to create a time capsule to immortalise our posterity, this book better be in it. There has never been a more honest and enthralling book in the history of the world, ever. I really don't even know where to begin. It's books like this which confirm my belief that fiction will always be better than nonfiction, because it would be impossible to find a biography that could paint the story of a woman's life half as well as this did. This was extraordinary, in every sense of the word. Just the depth of this book was spectacular. not to mention the diversity and representation and writing quality and complex characters. Everything was just outstanding."

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Cover blurb: "Natalie has moved to New York City to get away from a family she no longer feels a part of and an ex-boyfriend whose love for her has grown into obsession. Struggling to study, work and pay her bills, she finds that life in the city isn’t all that she’d hoped. And when she discovers that her ex may have followed her to New York, it feels like everything is falling apart. When she meets Gabe, all of her problems seem to fall away. Although more than thirty years her senior, he’s handsome and rich and can keep her safe. She can’t help but fall madly in love. But Gabe already has a family, whom he must put before anything else, and his relationship with Natalie soon devolves into a nightmare. Because she isn’t content with being number two in Gabe’s life – and she has no intention of giving him up . . ."

Top review: "I found myself absolutely fascinated and yet disturbed with this. It is so far removed from any reality that I have known, that I kept thinking what a great imagination that the author had. Except that this apparently is reality people! The author did a great deal of in depth research for this book and in my mind that made this even more intriguing. It was like a guilty pleasure to read this book. You know, you really shouldn't enjoy reading about stuff like this but my goodness I did! I couldn't put this down, it kept me up to the early hours of the morning."

Rush by Maya Banks

Cover blurb: "When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires. Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once. So what if he’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires."

Goodreads top review: "Wow!! This book was absolutely amazing!! If you are looking for a book with lots of sex in it, then here you are. Maya Banks did an amazing job creating a story that is full of passion and sex, and yet still kept a good story plot. Maya Banks opens a world of sexual fantasies that I doubt there are few who would not be turned on by this book."

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

Longlisted for the Women's Prize For Fiction, Goodreads Choice Award: Nominee for Best Historical Fiction

Cover Blurb: "1957, the suburbs of South East London. Jean Swinney is a journalist on a local paper, trapped in a life of duty and disappointment from which there is no likelihood of escape. When a young woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. As the investigation turns her quiet life inside out, Jean is suddenly given an unexpected chance at friendship, love and - possibly - happiness.But there will, inevitably, be a price to pay."

Goodreads top review: "I was absolutely entranced by Small Pleasures, from the intriguing prologue, right through to that ending that is so emotional that it felt like I'd been punched in the gut. The writing is seamless, the story is beautifully woven. Not one word is wasted and the characters are so beautifully created that they felt so real, as though they were part of my world, living and breathing beside me."

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Goodreads Choice Award: Nominee for Best Romance

Cover blurb: "Olive is always unlucky; her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. While she's about to marry her dream man, Olive is forced to play nice with her nemesis: the best man, Ethan. Yet Olive's luck may be on the turn... When the entire wedding - except for Olive and Ethan - gets food poisoning, there's an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs. Putting their mutual hatred aside, Olive and Ethan head for paradise. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him spirals out of control. Forced to play loving newlyweds, she and Ethan find themselves in closer proximity than they ever expected. Soon, Olive finds that maybe she doesn't mind pretending. In fact, she's beginning to feel kind of... lucky."

Goodreads top review: "The thing about Christina Lauren's books (other than terrific characters you root for, great emotions, humor, and hot sex) is that even though you probably can predict most of what will happen, you get so hooked on the story, and you're so charmed by it, that it doesn't really matter. Their books get me every time—like I said earlier, I get a little giddy, a little emotional, and I just want more. If you're a fan of rom-coms, or just want a lighter book to divert you from brooding thrillers, Christina Lauren's books are just the ticket."

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Goodreads Choice Award: Nominee for Best Romance

Cover blurb: "Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone's surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas but the eyebrows of New York's Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. They may be pretending that everything is fine now, but they can't deny their chemistry - or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since..."

Goodreads top review: "Love love love. A beautiful, messy, heartbreaking love story with two endearing main characters and a whole world of topics explored including masculinity, race, addiction, chronic illness, motherhood, and writing. This is joy and love coexisting with the grief and darkness of life and I loved every minute of it."

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

New York Times Bestseller

Cover blurb: "Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them."

Goodreads top review: "I've finished this book almost a week ago but I'm not able to stop thinking about it. A generator of emotions. Thought provoking. Beautiful writing style. And at the same time, raw and real. The ending left me with my heart shattered into million pieces. It is not only about a love story, it is about the choices we make in our lives and the result of those choices. The results that affect a lot of people at once."

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn

Sunday Times Bestseller

Cover blurb: "By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister, the lovely - and almost-on-the-shelf - Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth - it's all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable."

Goodreads top review: "I’ve just finished reading this book and have to say, I found it an amazing storyline. I loved the characters, as I really felt that you got to know each one. I especially liked Simon's character, as he wasn’t portrayed as this perfect male lead - but rather the opposite. That’s rare to see."

Knight by Kristen Ashley

Cover blurb: "Anya Gage has learned that to get anything good in life, you have to work for it. She has no expectations, no dreams. Then she finds herself at a party where she doesn’t want to be and she meets Knight. Knight Sebring knows who he is, what he wants and what he likes. And he gets it. But he never expected something as sweet as Anya Gage to wander into his bedroom during a party he did not expect to be having to borrow his phone."

Goodreads top review: "Wow, what a story, what characters, what a ride. I absolutely loved this book with a passion, so much so that it took me longer to read than any other book because I kept going back to read my favourite bits."

London's Perfect Scoundrel by Suzanne Enoch

Cover blurb: "The ton gossips call him "Saint" - but the Marquisof St. Aubyn has well earned his reputation as London's perfect scoundrel. Evelyn Ruddick knows she should avoid him at all costs -- but the strikingly beautiful lady wants to aid the children of the Heart of Hope Orphanage, and he heads the board of trustees. Evie is determined to teach the charming, arrogant man a lesson in compassion, but it won't be so easy - especially since his touch is setting her desire aflame, making Evie yearn to submit to his passionate instruction ..."

Goodreads top review: "WOW! I loved this, especially devilishly charismatic rake, the Marquis of St. Aubyn. St. Aubyn reminded me a lot of Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent from Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (one of the sexiest, yummiest romantic heroes, ever!), and both heroines have the same informal name, Evie, strong countenances, and kindhearted natures. If you enjoy romances with unrepentant rake heroes who just love to be bad, and spirited heroines who give as good as they get, then don’t miss this wonderful, engaging read. It’s a keeper! Big 5 stars!"