HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY MY FRIENDS! I’m currently sending you all loads of hearts, flowers, and hugs
(because you’re my real valentines)!
I hope you’ve had a great day today, even if you don’t celebrate. I’m currently stuffed from the insane amount of treats and candy I had.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I decided to participate in my first Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Since I’ve never done one of these before, you’ll have to hang with me as I figure stuff out.
The prompt for this week was just anything romance related, so I decided to feature some of my favorite “steamy” romances (which I’ve kind of been thinking a lot about lately, for some random reason). Romance is different for everyone, but here’s what I think of when a romance is “steamy”:
- Eyes meeting across the room, one or more characters sucking in a sharp breath
- Charged, heated dialogue with helplessly devoted promises and overly descriptive confessions of beauty/love/infatuation/etc. (usually while the characters are creeping ever closer to each other across the room)
- Super Serious Conversations about the future that eventually lead to confessions which eventually ends up in kissing
- Lots of sexual tension – LOTS
- Instant attraction, feelings of a “gravitational pull” towards the other person
- Destiny, Soulmates, Fate, and other existential reasoning
- An abundance of touching
Alright, so hopefully you get the idea! If you don’t quite yet, then maybe some of my favorite examples will help! While I have quite a few other romances that I adore more than some of these (read: all the ships from Six of Crows), these are the ones that I thought were most steamy (plus, you all are probably tired of hearing about Six of Crows at this point). They’re in no particular order.
1. Caraval: Scarlett & Julian
I think this particular pairing might be the reason why steamy romances have been on my brain lately. Suffice it to say, this one was FILLED with tension from the very start. Julian is hopelessly flirtatious, and he knows it too. Scarlett, of course, pretends to immune to his charms but is rather highly infected by them.
Don’t worry Scarlett, I would be too. There’s so many fleeting glances and brushing-of-the-arms in this book, it absolutely captured my heart. Plus, Julian is a POC, so yay for diverse romance!
2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Karou & Akiva (light spoilers)
Truthfully, I read this book ages ago
so don’t hate me if I get something wrong, but I immediately thought of it when creating my list of steamy romances. Karou and Akiva’s love is truly beautiful, not just because of Laini’s luscious descriptions, but also because their story spans centuries of time and worlds of distance. They share that gravitational
attraction that I mentioned earlier, as well as a soulmate connection. They fell in love in one life, only to find each other and fall in love again in Karou’s next life. If that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is.
3. Legend: June & Day
This is yet another book that I read a long time ago, but from what I recall, Day and June have quite the complex relationship. Despite the fact that Day is a wanted criminal and June is a military prodigy (so, opposites that should inherently despise each other), it’s not long before they’re pretty much, well, all over each other. This definitely had the forbidden romance factor to it, and while I don’t typically love that, it was executed beautifully in this book! There was also a lot of eye-catching stares leading up to their inevitable first kiss, if you know what I mean!
4. Passenger: Etta & Nicholas
I’m currently reading Wayfarer, so this romance I’m very familiar with at the moment! Nicholas and Etta are definitely that Serious couple, everything is about heart-wrenching promises of eternal love and commitment. They of course have their lighter interactions, but this romance definitely captured my attention just from how sincere it is for both characters. It also starts with Nicholas saving Etta from drowning, if you’re not yet convinced of how dashing Nicholas is! At times it can feel very much like insta-love, but the chemistry is still undeniable.
5. The Alchemists of Loom: Arianna & Cvareh (SPOILERS)
Honestly, I was very hesitant to include this on the list, since it’s not (yet) a full-blown romance that’s only hinted at in the book. But Arianna and Cvareh have two or three steam-filled interactions that cannot be ignored as I make this list. This is going to sound weird if you haven’t read the book, but at least twice Arianna and Cvareh share blood, a magical exchange that helps revive someone if their magic is depleted or they’re injured. In the process, the person receiving blood gets a “taste” of the person giving blood, both in a physical sense and in a spiritual way. Long story short, Arianna and Cvareh basically engage in these intensely intimate exchanges that are just steamy – there is no other word for it.
6. Under the Never Sky: Aria & Perry
Okay, I had to look up one of the names of the characters for this book, so I already know that I’m forgetting at least 95% of what actually happened with this romance. That being the case, I’ll just say that I got quite a steamy impression from this pair. Set in a dystopian world, Aria and Perry come from two completely different societies of people, and in a death-defying adventure that spans three books they learn to love and trust each other completely. They transition from a hate-to-love relationship, a trope that never fails to make me utterly obsessed. It’s not the most original romance, but one that I remember really adoring.
7. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Lara Jean & Peter K. (SPOILERS)
Out of everything on my list, this relationship probably seems the least “steamy” to me (it’s much more of a slow-developing, then all-at-once kind of romance). But honestly, that hot tub scene at the end made me put it on this list. That was undeniably steamy
and not just because a hot tub gives off water vapor.
8. The Dreamer: Molly & Dev
The entire Dreamland series is practically founded on the steaminess of Molly and Dev’s relationship. At first it seems sort of insta-lovey, but eventually the tension just builds and builds until everything just snaps in one of the most breathless, heart-racing scenes I’ve ever read.
9. The Winner’s Curse: Kestrel & Arin
The Winner’s Curse in general was sort of disappointing for me, but I definitely loved the romance (with the exception of the initial problematic slave/master dynamic). Kestrel and Arin definitely have that kind of chemistry and attraction that had me wishing each scene would finally be when that they got together. They face dozens of struggles and challenges (both internal and external) throughout the book, so I really appreciated the romantic moments they had together.
10. Shadow and Bone: Alina & the Darkling (light spoilers)
Alright, I saved the best for last (you didn’t think you could get away without listening to me talk about at least one Grisha book, did you?) Alina and the Darkling are hands down the steamiest romance to ever exist, and you cannot convince me otherwise. Everything about their relationship is made of raw power and attraction, each time they stood in the same room I began fanning myself like an old woman sitting on her front porch in the depths of a Mississippi summer. While I firmly believe they were never cut out for actual love (the Darkling is a mass-murderer, after all), it’s insanely fun just to witness their dark, seduction-filled interactions.
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading about a few of my favorite steamy romances on this lovely Valentine’s Day! If you haven’t yet read any of these books, I highly recommend all of them!