Spicy 🌶 #BookTok on TikTok is here to stay... and it's blowing up the romance book world.

Whether the pandemic drew you into falling down infinite rabbit holes on TikTok or not, you're likely to have seen the up-to-3-minute #BookTok videos with 37.8 billion views and counting. Typically set in front of a wall of books dimly lit by fairy lights backlighting the paperback that's front and center on the screen, the videos are making romance authors into best-sellers seemingly overnight. The video might be a video listing the makers' favorite *insert any theme here* or it's the videographer "showing off her new lipstick" in front of a book page. (Really, she's showing off a highlighted teaser of hotter than hot seggs* scene.) The video's themes vary widely, but they're all doing one thing: making enthusiasm for romance books unavoidable.

These spicy 🌶 book videos on TikTok are literally making romance book authors into New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon, etc. best-sellers. The books don't necessarily have to be brand new releases getting the views; most of them are backlisted, released as many as 8 years prior. Spicy book readers are digging deep into authors' catalogs to read the best of the hottest, and it's catching on.

We're collecting a growing list of hot 🌶 romance books that are going viral on #BookTok on TikTok. Some of them we've read (our recommendations and ratings are listed with the books), and the rest are on our TBRs. From books by best-selling authors like Colleen Hoover – the reigning queen of #BookTok – to Penelope Douglas, it's all about out-spicing the rest to make it to their next readers' FYP.

*TikTok algorithm language; IYKYK

Spicy BookTok Featured

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

53,810 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

358.7M total views

from the publisher:

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter. 

Shameless Recommends

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout

32,231 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

148.7M total views

from the publisher:

Captivating and action-packed, From Blood and Ash is a sexy, addictive, and unexpected fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Laura Thalassa.

A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

24,773 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

101.9M total views

from the publisher:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with a new heart-wrenching love story.

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 realize 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.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Shameless Recommends

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

16,520 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

117.4M total views

from the publisher:

The Instant New York Times Bestseller and TikTok Sensation!

As seen on THE VIEW!

A BuzzFeed Best Summer Read of 2021

When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman's carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn't believe in lasting romantic relationships--but her best friend does, and that's what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and 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--and well-known ass. 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. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter. 

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

14,673 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

173.5M total views

from the publisher:

From New York Times Bestselling Author, Penelope Douglas, comes the latest New Adult romance...
 
"We were perfect together. Until we met." 
 
Misha
 
I can't help but smile at the lyrics in her letter. She misses me.
 
In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.
 
It didn't take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever...
 
And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.
 
Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there's one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She's the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am. 
 
We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?
 
Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name's Ryen, loves Gallo's pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?
 
F*ck it. I need to meet her.
 
I just don't expect to hate what I find.
 
Ryen
 
He hasn't written in three months. Something's wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.
 
Without him around, I'm going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It's my own fault. I should've gotten his phone number or picture or something.
 
He could be gone forever.
 
Or right under my nose, and I wouldn't even know it.
 
*Punk 57 is a stand alone New Adult romance. It is suitable for ages 18+.

The Stopover by TL Swan

13,744 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

1.2M total views

from the publisher:

A memorable night of passion refuses to stay just a memory in this sizzling and scandalous romance from bestselling author T L Swan.

I was upgraded to first class on a flight from London to New York.

The food, champagne, and service were impeccable.

The blue-eyed man sitting next to me, even better.

He was suave and intelligent.

We talked and laughed, and something clicked.

Fate took over and the plane was grounded, and we had an unexpected stopover for the night.

With no plans, we made our own.

We danced and laughed our way around Boston and had a night of crazy passion that no woman would ever forget.

That was twelve months ago, and I haven’t heard from him—until today.

I started a new job and met the CEO. You can imagine my surprise to see those naughty blue eyes dance with delight when he saw me across the mahogany desk.

But I’m not that carefree girl anymore. My life has changed, I have responsibilities.

I just got an email.

He wants to see me in his office for a private meeting at 8:00 a.m.

Naughty blue eyes have no place in the workplace.

What kind of private meeting does he have in mind?

Den of Vipers by KA Knight

11,764 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

47.2M total views

from the publisher:

Ryder, Garrett, Kenzo, and Diesel—The Vipers.

They run this town and everyone in it. Their deals are as sordid as their business, and their reputation is enough to bring a grown man to his knees, forcing him to beg for mercy. They are not people you mess with, yet my dad did. The old man ran up a debt with them and then sold me to cover his losses.

Yes, sold me.

They own me now.

I’m theirs in every sense of the word. But I’ve never been meek and compliant. These men, they look at me with longing. Their scarred, blood-stained hands holding me tight. They want everything I am, everything I have to give, and won’t stop until they get just that. They can own my body, but they will never have my heart.

The Vipers? I’m going to make them regret the day they took me.

This girl? She bites too.

*18+ Reverse Harem Romance. Warning this book contains scenes and references of abuse/assault that some readers may find triggering. Along with graphic sex scenes and violence. This is a dark book*

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

11,788 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

58.9M total views

from the publisher:

A TikTok sensation, this rom-com about a young woman who agrees to fake date a colleague and bring him to her sister’s wedding has “everything you could want in a romance” (Helen Hoang, New York Times bestselling author).

Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone she knows—including her ex and his fiancée—will be there and eager to meet him.

She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. New York to Spain is no short flight and her raucous family won’t be easy to fool.

Enter Aaron Blackford—her tall, handsome, condescending colleague—who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man.

But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.

The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori

11,777 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

44.2M total views

from the publisher:

NOW A TOP 50 AMAZON BESTSELLER

She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .

Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was. Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.

They say first impressions are everything . . .

In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A made man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties.

After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome. She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.

And he’s always near.

Telling her what to do.

Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should.

Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes.

Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another. Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?

This is a standalone forbidden romance (with plenty of steam and angst.)

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

10,945 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

234.7M total views
*author

from the publisher:

From New York Times Bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a new forbidden love story...

JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn't use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn't treat me like I'm nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can't happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he's probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn't the unavailable one.

I am.

PIKE

I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She'd cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it's becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can't touch her, and I shouldn't want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she's becoming a part of me.

But we're not free to give into this. She's nineteen, and I'm thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend's father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

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Credence by Penelope Douglas

9,717 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

36.1M total views

from the publisher:

From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Douglas, comes a new standalone!

Three of them, one of her, and a remote cabin in the woods. Let the hot, winter nights ensue...

Tiernan de Haas doesn't care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she's grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents' fame followed her everywhere. 

And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She's always been alone, hasn't she?

Jake Van der Berg, her father's stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore. 

As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them. And as a part of them. She also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching. 

One of them has her. 

The other one wants her. 

But he...He's going to keep her.

*Credence is a full length, stand-alone romance suitable for readers 18+.

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Zodiac Academy by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti

8,886 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

33.2M total views

from the publisher:

From Book 1: I’m a Gemini. Impulsive. Curious. Headstrong. A twin. Heir to a throne I know nothing about. And it turns out, I’m Fae.

But of course there’s a catch - all I have to do to claim my birth right is prove that I’m the most powerful supernatural in the whole of Solaria. And sure, technically that’s true as I’m the daughter of the Savage King. But the bit they didn’t put in the brochure was that every single Fae in this Kingdom would claim my throne if they could.

The school they’ve sent me to is both dangerous as sh*t and one helluva party. Vampires bite weaker students in the corridors, the Werewolf pack has orgies in the Wailing Wood at every full moon and don’t even get me started on the dark and twisted ways the Sirens use their powers on people’s emotions, or how my sinfully tempting Cardinal Magic teacher hosts detentions that leave people needing therapy.

Classes are totally interesting if you manage to live through them. And that Gemini star sign I mentioned? It now determines my elemental magic and affects my destiny, so learning astrology is essential if I’m going to beat down my classmates – which is actively encouraged by the way.

My biggest problem is the drool worthy Dragon shifter who has his eyes on my throne. He and his three psycho friends are determined to make my time here hell.

All I’ve got to do is survive. But fate might have other ideas.

Dammit, why couldn’t I have gotten a letter to Hogwarts?

***This is a dark, bully romance – don’t go expecting a sweet school for magic with friends around every corner. Fae fight for everything they own and Zodiac Academy is a cutthroat school for students aged 18+ where only the strongest prevail. There’s no Dumbledore here to save anyone’s ass and Lionel Acrux will give Voldemort a run for his money in the evil dictator category. So hold onto your stardust (broomsticks not required) and get ready for a bumpy ride***

Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

8,421 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

234.7M total views
*author

from the publisher:

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a new dark romance...

Erika
I was told that dreams were our heart's desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.
His name is Michael Crist. My boyfriend's older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He's handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college's basketball team and now gone pro, he's more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.
But I noticed him.
I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid...
For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away. Now, I've graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven't stopped watching Michael.
He's bad, and the dirt I've seen isn't content to stay in my head anymore.
Because he's finally noticed me.

Michael
Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.
My brother's girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven't had her body, I know that I have her mind. That's all I really want anyway.
Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college. In my city. Unprotected.
The opportunity is too good to be true, as well as the timing.
Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they're out.
We've waited. We've been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.

*Corrupt is a STANDALONE dark romance with no cliffhanger. It is suitable for ages 18+.

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Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

19,973 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

17.1M total views

from the publisher:

A troubled young mother yearns for a shot at redemption in this heartbreaking yet hopeful story from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover.

After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.

The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.

The two form a connection despite the pressure surrounding them, but as their romance grows, so does the risk. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past in order to build a future out of hope and healing.

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

6,809 Amazon ratings

Viral on TikTok

16.5M total views

from the publisher:

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who’s cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town... where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong. 

As seen on E!Online, PopSugar, CNN, EliteDaily, Vulture, Buzzfeed, Bustle, the Nerd Daily, PARADE, LA Magazine, Country Living, USA Today, and more!

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar... in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

Spicy Books Gone Viral on TikTok

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