Spicy Level Rating System

One thing I’ve come to learn is everyone rates spice different!Β Here is my spice rating system. One being minimal spice that is open door but not overly descriptive, and five being the kinkiest erotica with little plot.

The key to my rating system is the higher you go, the level of detail and number of intimate scenes go up, and the amount of plot goes down.

In making this system I’ve noticed that to me, a clean romance (tension, kissing, or nothing at all) doesn’t get any peppers! A pepper to me means spice, and a romance without intimate scenes is not spicy. Any book that is fade to black with sexual tension will be considered steamy.


There is a heavy romance theme, and there may be kissing, but anything past that is completely fade to black. These books are full of longing glances and sexual tension. A lot of YA romance falls in this category for me!

SPice Level 1

Love scenes are not detailed, and more of a summary – but not closed door. These books have sexual tension and 1 intimate sex scene, usually towards the end of the book as the climax of the relationship… yeah, had to say it lol.

SPice Level 2

These books have ~2 descriptive intimate scenes, but mostly milder language. I feel like many romance books follow the pattern of oral in the first 50%, and traditional sex towards the end of the book. Throw in more detail, and you have a spice level 2.


Welp, you’ve reached explicit intimate scenes, 2 – 3 to be exact. Spice level 3 would include more forking throughout the book and lots of detail – naughty words and all. But the key here is level 3 is still heavy on plot!


There is a balance of plot and romance. Spice level 4 books have multiple explicit and very detailed intimate scenes, that most likely don’t add to the plot. Also explicit descriptive language.


5 Pepper books are erotica. There’s not really a plot, but there is a lot of forking, and it’s detailed, explicit, pages long, and probably kinky.

Star Rating System

Here’s my Star Rating System to go along with your spice!


1 Star

I rarely give out 1 star ratings, so this book has issues. It may be grammatical errors, pacing or plot issues, or problematic content. I wouldn’t recommend this book. If I was feeling a 1 star coming, I’d probably DNF and not leave a rating.


2 Star

This book made feel dissatisfied overall. It may have had decent qualities, but something very big was missing. I did not enjoy my time reading. I wouldn’t recommend this book.


3 StAr

A 3 star read is solid. Not a bad book, but not necessarily for me. Mostly enjoyable, maybe a few issues, but still something missing. I might recommend this book to the right person.


4 Star

I really liked this book! Reading it was a good use of my time. I was entertained and enjoyed myself, but it wasn’t necessarily life-changing. I would still recommend this book to everyone.


5 Star

I loved this book and would read it again. I’ve bought a hardcover to put on my shelf. My life has been changed because of this book. It made me FEEL something. I want everyone to read it and I can’t shut up about it! *cough* The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy *cough*