I Still Think About the Steamy Sex Scenes in These 9 Romance Books

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As a contemporary romance enthusiast, I come for the sweet love story in these books — but sometimes, I stay for the spice. It’s safe to say I love a sex scene, and while there are plenty of novels without sex that I love, and plenty of others with it that I don’t, a well-placed moment of intimacy can really make a story more enjoyable. I’ve read a LOT of books in this genre and over the years have developed my own rubric of sorts for what I consider a good sex scene:

  • It can’t come too early in the plot. Typically, I think anything earlier than 100 pages into the story is too soon. I want to feel like the characters have developed a believable emotional connection before they get intimate; otherwise, it can feel like it’s just physical. I would say around the 180-230 page mark is ideal for the first sex scene.
  • It’s longer than 10 pages. I don’t want an explicit play-by-play of the action or dialogue; I want insight into the character’s head to be deliciously drawn out for me — what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling as the action unfolds.
  • It reveals something new about a character, emotionally. Whether it’s a thought or feeling that’s finally voiced or a different, unexpected side of a character that’s shown, I like the scene to be a revelation, a turning point in the story. I want to come away from the scene with a new level of understanding unlocked.
  • It’s emotionally intense, in addition to being just physically intense. I really do come for the love story in these books, so for me, the best sex scenes are the ones that bring the feels — otherwise, I would just read erotica.

All that said, there are several books in particular that include sex scenes that have stayed with me. They’re moments I think about long after the story is over, and I’ll shamelessly admit I’ll sometimes go back to reread just those parts. If you too love a bit of spice in your romance, here are the books I’d recommend.

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