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The Best Romance Novels with None of the Cliché Storylines

stack of books with text reading spicy lit review overtop

Raise your hand if you love a spicy rom com but are so tired of the miscommunication trope? 🙋‍♀️ Nina Haines of Sapphlit Book Club rounds up her favorite ~spicy romances~ with incredible storylines, well fleshed-out characters, working through trauma, therapy — all of the things that make romance realistic, but still juicy. 


The Brown Sisters Trilogy by Talia Hibbert

Each book in The Brown Sisters trilogy highlights a sister and their unique circumstances, and how they explore chronic illness, bisexuality, and autism, respectively, through romance. 


Satisfaction Guaranteed by Karelia Stez-Waters

An unlikely pair become co-owners of a sex toy shop: Cade, who's all-work-no-play (which means absolutely no sex, either), and Selena, a wildcard who's recently taken an oath of celibacy. Together, they must overcome their business troubles AND their craaaaazy sexual tension.


Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

Milk Fed follows Rachel, a lapsed Jewish woman with a complicated relationship with food (and her mother), and Miriam, a young Orthodox Jewish woman who works at her favorite yogurt shop and is determined on feeding Rachel — in more ways than one. 



The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Math whiz Stella Lane knows more about creating algorithms than she does kissing, and it doesn't help that she finds the idea of it overall unpleasant (which may or may not be due to her Aspergers). So she tackles this problem like any other buggy algorithm: she must simply train herself in kissing. She hires Michael Phan, an escort who can't refuse her offer, and soon a strange new pattern emerges that challenges her logical way of going about life.


Seven Days in June by Tia Williams 

Seven Days in June follows two Black writers: Eva Mercy, a single mother and bestselling erotic writer, and Shane Hall, a reclusive but enigmatic award winning author and their complicated past. The two unexpectedly reunite at a literary event in New York, picking up where they left off twenty years ago. 

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.

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