8 Books That Could Never Be Adapted Into a Hallmark Movie

There are a few ways to get your book axed from Hallmark royalty. Here are eight reasons: if the story has an interesting premise, spicy scenes, terror…

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Hallmark movies alongside books that couldn't be hallmark movies

Hallmark movies are filled with cheesy clichés and gushy love stories. They all end with the same outcome. So let’s find the antithesis of this easily digestible romantic genre with something a little spicier. Here are eight books that could not make the cut in a Hallmark movie.

1. Dystopian Society– Shatter Me Series

shatter me series-- Books that Could Never be Adapted into a Hallmark Movie

Hallmark has a very strict formula. Small Town girl/Big City girl goes to fill in the blank and meets a Small Town/Big City man, and they fall for each other, but something is pulling them apart until the very end… and they share maybe one or two smooches. Sounds exciting, right? 

Meanwhile, sometimes romance stories can be plain if the genre is alone. How about overlapping genres such as Dystopian futures like the Shatter Me Series

Juliette Ferrars is forbidden to touch anyone because of a fatal gift– or curse that causes people to die. She can kill with One touch. One touch is all it takes. Set in a dystopian society, the Reestablishment sees it as an opportunity to make Juliette a weapon. Stuck in an asylum to keep her locked up, she becomes acquainted with Adam, who might be someone from her past.… is he a fighter or a potential lover?

2. Spicy Scenes– A Very Berry Romance

A VERY BERRY ROMANCE BOOK COVER of a guy holding a book behind his back with a girl decorating a tree from the distance.

We are lucky enough to get maybe one or two kissing scenes in Hallmark movies, and that’s it! Nothing else, guys! This is a family show, am I right?

I’m sorry, I’m a lover of anything spicy. And the Bromance Book Club series is an excellent balance of spice and sweetness. In the latest novel, A Very Merry Romance, Colton Wheeler is the perfect golden boy country singer. After a one-night stand with Gretchen Winthrop, she can’t seem to get out of his mind. A year later, Colton’s in a bit of a pickle trying to get his music back on track. 

Gretchen, on the other hand, isn’t much of a Christmas gal, but when her estranged rich family offers her some money that could help serve her community, she is willing to risk it all. The problem, you ask? She has to get back in touch with Colton so he can be the new face of her family’s whiskey business. He agrees only if Gretchen goes on three dates before Christmas. With the help of the Bromance Book Club (a group of alpha male guys who sit around and read books), Colton is ready to show his love to Gretchen. But will ghosts of Christmas past break them apart?

3. Paranormal Romance– The Twilight Before Christmas

The Twilight Before Christmas book cover-- dark mansion-- moon-- medium size Christmas tree in the corner

Hallmark likes to keep it simple, so don’t expect to see evil ghosts or ghouls lurking in the corners. In The Twilight Before Christmas, a witch, Kate Drake, moves into a relatively old run-down house during the Christmas season. After an earthquake occurs, she uncovers a secret crypt within the walls. Kate’s bewildered by the sight but decides the house is due for some renovations. With the help of a handsome carpenter, they begin the process. However, something dark crawls from these walls. 

It’s up to her and her sisters to summon all of their magical witchy powers to dispel the evil forces that begin to engulf her hometown.

4. Vampire Royalty– Court of the Vampire Queen

Court of the Vampire Queen-- book cover

We’re continuing this trend of paranormal reads but narrowing down strictly into vampire territory. Vampire royalty, to be more precise. Hallmark would enjoy the royalty portion of the story, but vampires hold a lot of darkness and sexiness that they couldn’t handle.

Court of the Vampire Queen is all the things Hallmark would not be able to handle. Half human, half vampire, Mina has been split between the two different worlds all her life, yet she’s never fully experienced either. This is until her father uses her as a pawn in his political tryst. She is gifted to the ever so hot, dangerous, seductive vampire Malachi Zion.

From a glance, Malachi is filled with anger and dominance, but the longer Mina is with him, she soon realizes that there is more to him than meets the eye. Fear blends into lust, to trust, and eventually another L word Mina would not like to admit. On her new journey, she becomes more awakened in the vampiric world and meets Malachi’s two closest friends and companions. These three men protect and give much comfort to Mina in this new world. She may be the lucky one because she’s sick of being ruled by her father’s hand. She could do almost anything with the three hot vampire men– including ruling the world. 

5. Dark Romance– Corrupt (Devil’s Night Series)

Corrupt book cover three skulls

Like we said earlier, Hallmark likes to keep it squeaky clean when it comes to physical touch. The Devil’s Night series is anything but clean. Dark Romance is a taboo genre that is becoming more and more accepting, so expect tears, angst, and nightmares.

In the first installment, Corrupt, we are met with Erika, who has a big nasty secret. She has it all; one would might say, except him… Michael Crist– her obsession– her everything. And it doesn’t help that she’s dating his younger brother, but Michael isn’t him. He’s handsome, athletic, yet terrifying in all the same breath. 

On the other hand, Michael has known all along of Erika’s infatuations. He yearns for it, really but not for the right reasons. He does not share her affections. In fact, he’s looking for revenge. He believes she’s wrongfully put his friends in prison, and now the time has come when they have been released from jail. So now that Erika lives in the same college hometown as he and her boyfriend is off to the military, it’ll be easy for him to have her suffer.

6. A Mystery– My Killer Vacation

My killer vacation book cover of a woman and a man with tattoos hugging

Save the mystery trope for Lifetime. Hallmark dabbles in cutesy mystery but nothing killer. Meeting around a dead body is cute, right? Right?! 

A brother-sister duo is off on a relaxing adventure when they come across a corpse in their rental house. A rude, bad-boy type man named Myles arrives and announces he’s going to catch the killer, and he doesn’t want any help from anyone. Taylor, the sister, is stubborn as ever and thinks her podcast listening skills and being a teacher will help Myles on the case. Sounds like an opposites-attract trope in the making? This novel is filled to the brim with spicy scenes, so beware, you might want to read this alone in your room!

7. Taboo Spicy Scenes– The Beast: A Monster Romance (Monsters and Beauties)

The Beast book cover

Hallmark loves retellings of princess stories… but The Beast is far from a sweet love story. 

In the original Beauty and the Beast, he turns back into a prince. What if the Beast didn’t? Instead, Belle is his obsession. What would happen? A dark, passionate, and terrifying love story in the making. He’s three times larger than any man, covered head to toe with fur, sharp fangs, and red glowy eyes. Not to mention he has paw-like hands with horns attached to his skull. After Belle is sold off by her father to the Beast, she must stick by him. This romance story is filled with taboo spicy scenes.

8. Thriller– Silent Night

Silent Night book cover of a woman holding a red lantern--

Thriller Horror in Hallmark? Nope. 

Silent Night is apart from a thriller trilogy. This installment has ASL interpreter Paige Northwood help out the police to transcribe what happened on an overnight school trip. One of the students didn’t go missing in the night, and a teacher winds up dead in the forest. Paige can’t help but get caught up in the mystery, so she does what anyone would do. She tries to solve the case before it’s too late for the student, Leon. One thing is for sure, the killer is among them… and they aren’t holding back. 

I like Hallmark movies as much as the next gal, but sometimes we need a break from the mush, so sink your teeth into something raw and passionate– and even a little spooky. Want more book recommendations related to Christmas? Click here!