Home Feature news 9 horny and romantic books that will completely consume you

9 horny and romantic books that will completely consume you

Sometimes it’s impossible to read a single page without your mind wandering elsewhere.

But despair not, it might not be reading in general that’s the problem, but rather the books we’re choosing.

Frustrated with my inability to read, I called my bookwormiest friend to whinge. On her advice I switched from non-fiction to fiction, and picked Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan as my first read. I guzzled it and quickly realised my friend was spot on. What I needed was compelling, readable fiction with intoxicating central relationships. I had missed the feeling of having a book completely consume your life, of reading characters that felt like friends of mine.

If you want a good book to curl up with, why not try the following highly enjoyable books.


Credit: Bloomsbury

1. The Pisces by Melissa Broder

Arguably the horniest book about mermaids you’ll ever read. The story goes like this: Lucy is going through a breakup and decides to move to Venice Beach, Los Angeles, to work on her thesis about Greek poet Sappho. There, she meets a mythical sea creature, a merman, who she starts shagging. Highly readable, this book is a thoroughly enjoyable merman erotica-fest.

Penny Bridge is single and ready to mingle. But when a dream man shows up, followed by another man, and ANOTHER man, she ends up in something of a romantic quandary. Now it’s not exactly the nightmare many of us are used to having, but Penny has three dreamy men who want to date her. Which one is The One? 

The cover of Red White & Royal Blue

Credit: Macmillan

Who doesn’t love a good enemies-turned-lovers trope? Behold, this flirty dalliance between English prince Henry and Alex, the son of America’s president. Now that’s what I call…a special relationship (sorry, I had to).

A woman with braids styled in an up-do. The cover of Queenie.

Credit: Orion

4. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie is a young black millennial living in south London navigating the world of dating and casual sex. Queenie’s personal life is…complicated. There’s accidental infidelities, sex on bathroom floors, and a whole lot of sexually charged flirting. In this captivating story, Carty-Williams explores mental health, racism, and the fetishisation and hyper-sexualisation of black women. 

Two women's faces. The cover of Conversations With Friends.

Credit: Faber

By now, you’ve likely read, watched, or — at the very least — heard of Normal People, Rooney’s second novel. But, have you read her equally horny debut novel? Chances are, if you didn’t quite gel with Normal People, you might prefer this one. Basically, two couples’ lives become entangled in what you could describe as a love square. This is a novel about infidelity and the complications that arise from sex and intimacy. 

Illustration of a bed with a colourful quilt on it. The cover of 'Early Morning Riser'

Credit: Fourth Estate

When Jane moves to Boyne City, she gets locked out of her house in her PJs and gets help from local heartthrob Duncan. Here begins a love story — one that doesn’t exactly run smooth. Everyone knows everybody’s business in Boyne City, so Jane bumps into her boyfriend’s exes wherever she goes — such is the extent of his romantic history. In between the quiet passion shared by Duncan and Jane, something happens which changes their lives forever.

The blue and yellow cover for Beautiful World Where Are You

Credit: Faber

Love it or hate it, Rooney’s third novel is undeniably horny. Much like her first novel Conversations With Friends, BWWAY centers on four people’s relationships with each other. Alice, a novelist, moves to a town in rural Ireland and meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, on Tinder. Can two very different people make it work? Meanwhile, her best friend Eileen, currently in the throes of a breakup, rekindles a flirtation with Simon, a friend she’s known since childhood. Could this friendship turn into something more?

Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer lean against each other. The cover of 'Call Me By Your Name'

Credit: Atlantic Books

“Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.”

Anyone who’s ever had (or dreamed of) a hot summer romance will be suitably enthralled by this beautiful and romantic coming-of-age story. Set in Lombardy, Italy, this is the story of 17-year-old Elio and Oliver, the handsome doctoral student who comes to stay for the summer. Elio and Oliver end up spending quite a bit of time together, if you catch my drift. 

Two toothbrushes in a cup, with a third toothbrush lying sideways. The cover for 'Exciting Times'

Credit: Orion Publishing

Irish author Naoise Dolan’s debut novel is a smart, witty, and gripping read. When Dubliner Ava moves to Hong Kong to teach English, she finds herself embroiled in a love triangle. First, she meets a posh English banker named Julian, who she starts having sex with, before moving into his spare room. But when Julian leaves the country for several months, Ava meets Edith, a Hong Kong–born lawyer, and starts sleeping with her. Who will Ava choose? Good luck putting this book down. 

This story was originally published in 2020 and updated in 2022.

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