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Author’s sexy books have discreet colour-coded covers to secretly show the spice level

Bonus: they look great on the shelf (Picture: @willowwintersbb)

Want to read sexy books on the Tube without your fellow passengers knowing what you’re up to?

Romance author Willow Winters has come up with a solution.

Her collection of romance novels and novellas, called The Discreet Series, is published with covers that are free from the sensual illustrations you might be used to seeing on the front of your favorite reads.

Instead, each book has a plain colour-coded cover, with a different shade for each spice level.

The color-code is for trope and darkness – the darker the shade the darker the romance.

Each book has just the names of the story’s couple on the cover, then the actual name of the novel on the inside.

Some cover colors are also linked to potential triggers, so you can easily steer clear of novels that you may find distressing.

Willow also has the books available with their original cover art but, for those who wish to read them without the stranger opposite them on the bus knowing, the Discreet Series is the perfect option.

This is Willow Winters' entire Discreet Series - the top shelf displays the collection by publishing order and the bottom shelf displays the collection by darkness

This is Willow Winters’ entire Discreet Series – the top shelf displays the collection by publishing order and the bottom shelf displays the collection by darkness (Credit: Willow Winters Twitter)

The Discreet and non-discreet version of Willow's book A Little Bit Dirty side-by-side

The Discreet and non-discreet version of Willow’s book A Little Bit Dirty side-by-side (Credit: Willow Winters Twitter)

But the special editions aren’t just for those who are a little shy.

With book sales hitting an eight-year high during the pandemic, many readers are also looking to display their books in their home – and they want them to look good.

The Discreet Series provides a very aesthetic addition to any bookshelf, with the colors complimenting each other and fading gradually from one shade to the next if bought in order.

Plus it keeps any nosy guests from judging the books you keep on your shelves… unless of course they take a peep inside.

The color coded and numbered key for the Discreet Collection which is available to buy or access of Willow's website

The color coded and numbered key for the Discreet Collection which is available to buy or access of Willow’s website (Credit: Willow Winters Twitter)

Author Willow tells Metro.co.uk: ‘One of the massive positives of BookTok is that it allows reader’s voices to be amplified. It is unique to our industry and a first.

‘Many conversations centered around discreet covers, out of need or simple desire. Others focused on aesthetic and others discussed tropes and how romance readers devour so many different subgenres.


The color code key

  • Dark red – books 1-5: Mafia romance
  • Dark pink – books 6-7: Abduction/kidnap romance
  • Lighter pink – books 8-11: BDSM/auction romance
  • Different pink – books 12-14: Forbidden men
  • Mauve – books 15-17: Second chance romance
  • Lightest pink – books 18-21: Small town romance
  • Sage green – books 22-26: New York city corruption romance
  • Blue – books 27-28: Dark psychological romance
  • Dark green – books 29-30: Unrequired love
  • Black – books 31-34: Beauty and the Beast retelling
  • Dark blue – books 35-37: Enemies to lovers with fire play
  • Blue – books 38-41: Second chance but darker
  • Gray – books 42-44: Serial killer love triangle
  • Dark Gray – books 45-47: Bodyguard with BDSM
  • Dark green – books 48-50: Forbidden crime family
  • Dark purple – books 51-52: Motorcycle club romance
  • Aqua blue – Unnumbered paranormal romance

‘I blended all three conversations to provide for these readers. My desire in marketing is to remove as many barriers as possible for as many readers as possible, while staying on brand.

‘I think the Discreet Series is so successful because it is so useful for many different readers for many different reasons.’

The Discreet and non-discreet version of Willow's book Burned Promises side-by-side

The Discreet and non-discreet version of Willow’s book Burned Promises side-by-side (Credit: Willow Winters Twitter)

Bestselling Author Willow Winters pictured in front of her Discreet Series

Bestselling Author Willow Winters pictured in front of her Discreet Series (Credit: Willow Winters Twitter)

Willow’s Tiktoks have received hundreds of thousands of likes and millions of views since she’s managed to meet a demand no other author has.

One Tiktok user commented: ‘Finally an author who makes book covers for people who display their books… Am I crying? Maybe!’

Another said ‘it is a great idea. No the best idea ever’ while another dubbed her a marketing goddess.

The entire Discreet Series is available with a signed first copy for £522.77 on her website or you can buy the books individually on Amazon for around £9.

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