Updated: May 10
So often I see people posting in bookish groups: "Can someone recommend me a great book/series to read? I loved ACOTAR and want something like that." Or people complain about the worst book hangover after ACOTAR and want something else to get lost in.
I thought it might be helpful to compile these recommendations into one blog post! That way, the next time you see one of your fellow bookworms begging for ACOTAR-like recs, you can easily just send them the link to this post, and they'll be all set!
People love ACOTAR for different reasons. Some love it because of the enemies to lovers vibes, others love it because of the spice, and still others love it because of the fae world. With this in mind, I've divided this comprehensive list of recommendations by the following categories:
Keep in mind, some books will overlap certain categories!
Without further ado, let's dive in!
Want something comparable to ACOTAR but with some extra spice?
Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood) - vampires, falling for the villain, extra spicy
Neon Gods - Hades and Persephone, extra spicy, modern setting
Rhapsodic - fae, sirens, falling for the villain, extra spicy
ACOTAR is famous for its classic reimagining of Beauty and the Beast in Book 1. If that's the vibe you're going for, here is a wide selection for you to choose from!
A Ruin of Roses - beauty and the beast, dragon shifters, falling for the villain, extra spicy
Beauty in Darkness - fae, beauty and the beast with spice, arranged marriage, spicy
Curse of the Wolf King - beauty and the beast, fae, some spice
Curse of Shadows and Thorns - fae, Vikings meets Beauty and the Beast - some spice, gets spicier with sequels - forbidden romance, falling for the villain
Perhaps you're one of those readers who loves the Hades & Persephone vibes of A Court of Mist and Fury, the idea of the villain bringing the heroine into his dark domain and romancing her until she becomes undeniably his. If that's the case, check out these Hades & Persephone retellings!
A Touch of Darkness - Hades and Persephone, spicy, modern setting
A Deal with the Elf King - elves/fae, Hades and Persephone, arranged marriage, low spice
Stolen by the Shadow King - elves, Hades and Persephone, falling for the villain, arranged marriage, low spice
Ivy & Bone - Hades and Persephone, arranged marriage, falling for the villain, spicy
Similar to the Hades and Persephone concept, these stories emulate a very similar "falling for the villain" vibe.
Kingdom of the Wicked - falling for the villain, gets spicier with sequels, dark prince of the Underworld
The Raven and the Rush - forbidden love, falling for the villain, some spice
Lured by the Dusk - Pied Piper meets Dracula, falling for the villain, arranged marriage, some spice
The Cursed Witch - vampires, falling for the villain, gets spicier with sequels
Crown of Blood and Wings - vampires, fated mates, touch her and you die, gets spicier with sequels
Tethered - vampires, broody morally grey hero with fangs and wings
Curse of the Dragon Heir - dragon shifters, falling for the villain, angsty enemies to lovers banter
One thing Sarah J. Maas excels at is writing the heroine's journey from a place of trauma and abuse to a place of power and confidence. If that's the kind of story you crave, try these (please be sure to check trigger warnings first):
Zodiac Academy - fae, bully romance, enemies to lovers, overcoming abuse and trauma, gets spicier with sequels
Gild - overcoming abuse and trauma, Midas retelling, spicy, gets spicier with sequels
What Lies Beyond the Veil - fae, forced to trust your enemy, very spicy, overcoming abuse and trauma
From Blood and Ash - vampires, falling for the villain, lots of spice
And now, for the most extensive category: Elves & Fae. If you love the idea of these fantasy creatures, here's a very wide selection of recommendations for you!
A Cursed Kiss - fae, falling for the villain, spicy
Darkfever - fae, darker, falling for the villain, slow burn, spice later on
Blood and Promise - fae, forbidden love, some spice
A Thorn Among Fae - fae, falling for the villain, survivor heroine, low spice
A Dance of Blood and Destiny - Aziza Fae, which is a type of fairy from African mythology, competition/trials, arranged marriage
Courting Fae Thieves and Crowns - fae, falling for the villain, low spice
Savage Lands - fae, dystopian, falling for the villain, spicy, prison setting, fights/competition
Kingdom of Villains - fae, falling for the villain, super spicy, arranged marriage
A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows - fae, forbidden romance, falling for the villain, spicy
Frost - fae, arranged marriage, tournament, Hunger Games meets the Bachelor
Bow Before the Elf Queen - elves/fae, arranged marriage, falling for the villain, gets spicier with sequels
The Quarter Mage - fae, falling for the villain, some spice
These Hollow Vows - fae, love triangle, falling for the villain
The High Mountain Court - fae, falling for the enemy, spicy
Scarlet Princess - fae, enemies to lovers, minor Stockholm syndrome, a romantic twist
Trial of Thorns - fae, trial/competition, enemies to lovers, fated mates, gets spicier with sequels
A Legacy of Storms and Starlight - fae, one bed, forced proximity, spicy
Have you read any of these before? Which do you recommend?
This article was written by R.L. Perez.
R.L. Perez is a fantasy romance author, perfectionist, anxious Type A worrier, and proud Hufflepuff. She's published three series: the Timecaster Chronicles, the Nightcaster Chronicles, and the Bloodcaster Chronicles - three separate series set in the same world, featuring witches, romance, and time travel. She's currently working on her Ivy & Bone series, a steamy Hades and Persephone retelling with dark, paranormal, and witchy vibes.
When she's not working on her books, she's either napping, diving into a good book, obsessively watching Netflix, or playing with her two kids. She loves chocolate, loud laughter, and alternative rock music.