Fall is in full swing, and it’s time to shamelessly break out the paperbacks with dirty covers. As you crack open a pumpkin spice love story, remember that romance, as a genre, is a women-driven industry when it comes to writing and purchasing. It generates over $1.44 billion and is the highest-earning fiction genre, with a readership that is 80% female. It’s long past time to stop belittling romance literature and just enjoy it!

IMPORTANT: Please note that no Colleen Hoover books are on this list. Read into that.

10. “Happily Haunted Afters” by Brittany Kelley 🌶️🌶️
This book is a sweet friends-to-enemies-to-lovers brought back together by a haunted house and the dreams of a girl who feels constantly belittled by those around her. The pair has a lot of miscommunication to work through and a history that isn’t staying in the past. This is a soul-pinching second chance romance that can be knocked out in an afternoon.

9. “Done and Dusted” by Lyla Sage 🌶️🌶️
Save a horse because this cowboy romance is a brother’s best friend story with a touch of secrecy and a man who is entirely down-bad for his girl. As Clementine “Emmy” Ryder deals with the trauma of a riding-related injury and a return to the home she left behind, Luke Brooks is proving himself to be just the man to help.

8. “Her Favorite Jack-o-Lantern” by Rebecca Rennick 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️
This book is, by far, the spiciest on this list. With a quirky heroine obsessed with all things Halloween and a boy who just returned to his hometown, the two make an unexpected duo. This book is a light, quick read that will get you out of a reading slump with a quick and hot burn!

7. “Running into You” by K.M. Gillis 🌶️🌶️
The kismet of her best friend’s brother, whom she’s been in love with since her awkward teenage years, is far-fetched enough to make readers swoon. As he helps her train for a marathon, the tension is perfectly delicious! This one is a sweet and gut-wrenching read for anyone who has had the misfortune of bad timing.

6. “Love Her or Lose Her” by Tessa Bailey 🌶️🌶️
If you’re looking for really obvious fall elements, cruise on by this one. Tessa Bailey weaves a powerful story of high school sweethearts Dominic and Rosie as their marriage is on the rocks. The third-act break-up and super hot resolution are absolutely worth it in this standalone.

5. “My Roommate is a Vampire” by Jenna Levine 🌶️
This rom-com novel will have you giggling like a schoolgirl watching the centuries-old vampire Frederick J. Fitzwilliam’s attempts to navigate the crazy world of Instagram bikini shots, the relevancy of Taylor Swift and hipster coffee shops. Luckily for artist Cassie Greenberg, only a completely out-of-touch vampire would list a spacious apartment with a view for only $200. This story is told through Cassie’s point of view, supplemented with cute notes, text messages and letters to make for a hilarious romance.

4. “Funny Feelings” by Tarah Dewitt 🌶️🌶️🌶️
“Funny Feelings” is a classic fake-dating romance with an age gap and a single father. Dewitt manages to squeeze the best of romance tropes in this one for a comedic story going back and forth between past and present with dual points of view. The mutual pining in this story is absolutely a chef’s kiss.

3. “The Fall of Bradley Reed” by Morgan Elizabeth 🌶️🌶️🌶️
After Olivia Anderson gets left at the altar by a man that can only be defined as the scum of the earth, eye candy FBI agent Andre Valenti is handling surveillance on her after discovering that her ex-fiance is framing her for a white-collar crime. This grumpy-sunshine romance is so satisfying, with a level of justice not seen in reality.

2. “The Ex Hex” by Erin Sterling 🌶️🌶️🌶️
In this witchy second chance romance, Rhys Penhallow has returned to the site of his fleeting romance with the one who got away. After completely ruining it by being an oblivious man, he finds she has cursed him! As the two fight off angry ghosts and unhappy professors, old feelings can’t seem to help but resurface. This book is full of Halloween vibes and just the right amount of spice to keep you going.

1. “Love and Other Words” by Christina Lauren 🌶️🌶️
With then and now perspectives, “Love and Other Words” dives into the youthful and resurfacing romance of Eliot and Macy after a series of events that drove them apart. This story breaks your heart, puts it back together and makes you wish for your very own Elliot Petropoulos. This is the story of two people absolutely meant to be together and who deserve to be together. Warning: you will cry.