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4 Forbidden Romances for Everyone Still Lusting after Fleabag’s Hot Priest

by  | October 22

Fleabag is magnificent. Sensational. Brilliant for all the reasons critics have outlined, and probably a few that they haven’t come up with yet. You don’t even have to take their word for it, because the series now has several shiny Emmy awards to prove it’s top-notch. But if you’re looking for a think piece that fully captures the cultural significance of Fleabag—a British dramedy that follows a thirty-something woman struggling to process the loss of her mom and best friend while also trying (and often failing) to balance the needs of her family, love life, and small business-—this isn’t it. Because as much as I appreciated Fleabag’s journey from self-destructive to self-acceptance in Season 1, it’s her taboo romance with a certain Hot Priest in Season 2 that sticks with me the most. He’s handsome and charming and perceptive to the show’s audience.

What I’m trying to say here is that this list is for my fellow Hot Priest disciples. If Fleabag Season 2 left you yearning for more angst and romance, you will devour these four forbidden love stories:

The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds

by Colleen McCullough

The OG of priest romances, The Thorn Birds has been scandalizing (and titillating) readers since it was first published in 1977 and then adapted as a TV miniseries in 1983. Colleen McCullough’s classic Australian family saga chronicles the lives and loves of three generations of Clearys. Among them is Meggie Cleary, who grows up idolizing an ambitious young priest named Ralph de Bricassart. Over time, as Meggie reaches adulthood, the two fall in love, but can never quite find a way to be together. When you’re in the mood for soapy drama, you can’t go wrong with The Thorn Birds.

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Fallen Too Far

Fallen Too Far

by Abbi Glines

Sure, crushing on a Catholic priest is ill-advised, considering his vow of celibacy, but that’s nothing compared to falling for your stepbrother. When Blaire’s mother passes away, she reluctantly moves into her dad’s home in Florida, where she has to spend too much time in the company of her new stepbrother, Rush. He’s as arrogant as you might expect the son of a rock star to be, and pushes Blaire’s buttons like no one else. Of course, he also understands her better than anyone ever has, and there’s no denying the passion that flares between them…. Once you pick up Abbi Glines’s Fallen Too Far, you won’t put it back down until you’ve turned the last page.

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Slammed

Slammed

by Colleen Hoover

Imagine moving to a new town after your father’s death and your mother’s cancer diagnosis. Then imagine learning that your cute neighbor, the one person you could see helping you through all of this, turns out to be your new teacher. For 18-year-old Layken, the heroine of Colleen Hoover’s New Adult romance Slammed, it’s a torturous reality. Will may only be three years older than her, but his position at Layken’s high school means any relationship between them would be highly inappropriate. The angst is strong in this one, but you’ll love every minute of their story, which continues in the books Point of Retreat and This Girl.

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Thoughtless

Thoughtless

by S.C. Stephens

Timing is everything, and as Fleabag and her priest could attest, sometimes you meet the right person at exactly the wrong time. In S. C. Stephens’s Thoughtless, the first book in a gripping series, Kiera is convinced that her sweet, devoted boyfriend of two years is The One...until she’s not. The true test of their relationship comes when they’re forced to go long-distance, and Kiera befriends a local rock star, Kellan, who inspires in her all sorts of inconvenient feelings. Before long, Kiera finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a messy love triangle between two good men she can’t stand to hurt. If you felt for the impossible situation Fleabag found herself in, you’ll relate to Kiera’s just as much.

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Photo Credit // Steve Schofield/Amazon Studios

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Heather Waters is the senior manager of content verticals at Simon & Schuster, where she runs the Tips on Life & Love blog. She enjoys reading everything from romance to true crime to political memoirs, and in her free time you can often find her binge-watching Netflix, refreshing Twitter every 10 seconds, and listening to the latest episode of the podcast My Favorite Murder.