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12 All-Time Most Sizzling Hot Romance Reads for Summer

If summer's heat makes you yearn for a bit of sexy escapism, roll out that beach towel and pull one of these steamy reads from your tote.

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Escape to a world of time-travel-inspired sex and passion in Diana Gabaldon’s thick and juicy novel about an intriguing woman who steps through a portal stone—and into the arms of a hunky Scotsman. She also goes from 1945 to 1743. Gabaldon’s romance novel overflows with mesmerizing historical detail and vivid adventures in intimacy. You might not be able to put it down. Here are our other picks for the best literary love stories of all time.

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50 Shades of Grey

Women across the country fell in love with the cheeky delights of billionaire Christian Grey and English major Anastasia Steele. Author E.L. James started the story based on the Twilight book series fan fiction—there’s another bewitching romance if you like vampire love! The novel 50 Shades sold over 100 million copies right quick and spawned movies and more books. Get ready for kink, bondage, and other beguiling surprises.

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The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

If you like your kink with a dollop of tasteful, you’ll love Lauren Willig’s bestseller about an intrepid heroine who’s researching dashing spies during the Napoleonic era. Get ready for drama and romance in the past and the present in this page-turner that will leave you lusting for more. Good thing it’s the first book in a popular series!

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Lady Chatterley’s Lover

This book was too hot for 1928 society and was banned so often that dog-eared copies were passed around in secret. D.H. Lawrence’s classic novel tells the story of an aristocratic lady and her hunky gamekeeper. After her husband returns from the war with a passion-killing injury, he gives her permission to seek satisfaction elsewhere. She goes for it in this romance about blossoming sexuality and breaking social conventions. Here are some more classic books you really should have read by now.

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Lord of Scoundrels

Loretta Chase’s classic bodice-ripper offers a luscious rendition of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. The “Lord of Scoundrels,” also known as Dain, is a sexy brute who finally meets his match when the intrepid Jessica arrives in 1928 Paris to rescue her brother. Spicy romance ensues when she can’t quite resist the cocksure nobleman. If you love a good fierce literary heroine, these great reads have some of our all-time favorites.

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The Notebook

Nicholas Sparks is famous for Southern romance novels that make you swoon, blush, and shed a few tears (or even a few buckets). Fans adore this sweet and saucy romance about irrepressible passion that survives across the years. If you like a good tearjerker, here are some more books you need on your reading list.

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A Knight in Shining Armor

You might be too entranced by the buff and gallant beefcake on the cover to open up Jude Deveraux’s romance classic. But when you do, you’ll be happy to read this stirring and racy fantasy about a 16th century hero who shows up in contemporary times to whisk away the quintessential damsel in distress. Time for some titillating adventures! Here’s some more lovestruck prose straight from our list of the most romantic quotes from books.

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Gentle Rogue

Fans drool over Johanna Lindsey’s fun and flirty historical romance novels. This one features the ol’ girl-disguised-as-pirate-cabin-boy plotline. But she can’t quite keep her breasts bound tightly enough and the handsome and roguish sea captain takes notice. So will you! Time for some lusty adventures on the high seas!

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How Stella Got Her Groove Back

Terry McMillan’s bestseller is all about robbing the cradle with salacious, succulent scandal! Stella, a 42-year-old divorcee with a high-powered career but no love life, takes a spur-of-the-moment jaunt to Jamaica. Soon she’s rollicking on the beach (and elsewhere) with a 20-year-old boy toy. Vividly explicit details and sand and sun await!

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Toxic Bachelors

No summer romance reading list is complete without a page-turner from megastar writer Danielle Steel. This one takes you into the world of three eligible bachelors determined to avoid falling in love. Each is a handsome womanizer who embarks on a yacht cruise to the Mediterranean. Enter the women. The women who steal their hearts. Sultry, swoon-worthy fun. Check out some more of the most binge-worthy authors of all time.

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Bared to You

If you’re in the mood for some erotic adult romance, slink over to Sylvia Day’s bestseller about an irresistible billionaire named Gideon who has a troubled past. So does the sensual Eva who comes into his midst for some romantic healing. This first book in the Crossfire series features flames of passion and steamy intrigue. Let yourself get carried away by the arousing intensity of Eva and Gideon’s desire.

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Fear of Flying

Erica Jong’s fearless and spicy novel hit the scene in the early 1970s, ushering in a new wave of liberation around women’s sexuality. The heroine Isadora decides that it’s time to unzip. She embarks on the search for a truly zipperless hook-up, one without any emotional baggage, focused only on pleasure. This erogenous novel is all about unleashing your inner fantasies without any guilt. Fly away! Next, check out the best romantic reads to enjoy as a couple.

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