Is it wrong that every time I hear how great 50 SHADES is, I end up grinding my teeth in annoyance and frustration? James did not invent erotica and she didn’t even come up with an original idea/story, but based it off someone elses work. She may have brought erotica into the limelight more, but why can’t people understand that there is better out there?
There are so many authors who have been working their asses off, going to conferences, getting rejection after rejection, doing anything and everything to simply get their own original works any kind of recognition. And you can’t forget about the authors who have been writing (and getting published) in this genre for years, who came up with their own original stories, and barely anyone knows about them. These authors are taking it upon themselves to do their own marketing, designing their own covers, finding professional editing services (which someone didn’t do initially), creating new fantasies for us to escape into and they do it all while working one or two jobs.
It seriously drives me stark raving mad. And don’t even get me started on the whole “mommy porn”. That’s just plain insulting.
So over the weekend, I asked Twitter and Facebook:
People want to know what is better than 50 SHADES, let’s give them some titles. What erotica/smexy romance should people be reading instead of 50?
I was just going to do a sampling of all the responses I received, but if we’re going to come up with a list, why not go big, right? People need to know there is better out there, and you know what, I said we could come up with 50 better alternatives to 50 Shades. So that’s the challenge I put to Twitter & Facebook. The responses were numerous. Some were simply “you have to try this author”; however, some went so far as to say “start with this title, you won’t regret it”. In the end, the readers have spoken and we have come up with 50+ authors who are better reads than 50 Shades:
- Alison Kent – Undeniable
- Alison Tyler
- Allyson James
- Angela Knight
- Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure – Sleeping Beauty Trilogy
- Annmarie McKenna
- Anya Bast
- Beth Kery – Wicked Burn
- Brenda Joyce – Masters of Time series (Dark Seduction)
- Brigit Zahara – Bar None
- Candace Blevins – Safeword: Rainbow
- Cara McKenna
- Cat Johnson
- Charlene Teglia
- Charlie Sinn – Mistress Shade’s School of Skin
- Charlotte Stein
- Cherise Sinclair – Masters of the Shadowlands series, The Dom’s Dungeon
- Cheyenne McCray – the Magic series (Forbidden Magic)
- Christine Feehan
- Del Dryden
- Elizabeth Amber – Lords of Satyr series (Nicholas)
- Emma Holly – Velvet Glove, Strange Attractions
- Erin McCarthy
- Ethan Day
- Eve Langlais
- Jaci Burton – Play-by-Play series (The Perfect Play)
- Jacqueline Carey – Kushiel trilogy (Kushiel’s Dart)
- Joey W. Hill – Vampire Queen series (The Vampire Queen’s Servant), A Mermaid’s Kiss
- Joely Sue Burkhart – Lady Doctor Wyre
- JR Ward – Black Dagger Brotherhood (Dark Lover)
- Kallypso Masters
- Kate Douglas
- Kate Pearce – House of Pleasure series (Simply Shameless)
- Kitty Thomas – Comfort Food and Tender Mercies
- Kresley Cole – Immortals After Dark (A Hunger Like No Other)
- Lara Adrian – Midnight series (Kiss of Midnight)
- Laurann Dohner – New Species series (Fury), Cyborg Seduction series (Burning Up Flint), Zorn Warrior series (Ral’s Woman)
- Laurel K. Hamilton – Merry Gentry (A Kiss of Shadows)
- Lauren Dane – Brown Siblings series (Laid Bare), Federation Chronicles (Undercover)
- Leah Brooke
- Lexi Blake – Masters and Mercenaries series (The Dom Who Loved Me)
- Lexxie Couper
- Liliana Hart
- Lisa Renee Jones – If I Were You
- Lissa Matthews
- Lora Leigh
- Lorelei James – Rough Riders series (Long Hard Ride)
- Maya Banks – the Sweet series (Sweet Surrender)
- Megan Hart – Broken, Dirty
- Olivia Cunning – Sinners on Tour series (Backstage Pass)
- Portia DaCosta
- Rebecca Zanetti – the Dark Protector series (Fated)
- Shayla Black – Wicked Lovers series (Wicked Ties), Their Virgin series (Their Virgin Captive)
- Shelly Laurenston – The Pack series (Pack Challenge), The Pride series (The Mane Event)
- Shiloh Walker – Chains
- Shoshanna Evers
- Sophie Oak
- Sylvia Day – Bared to You
- Tiffany Reisz – The Siren, The Angel
- Tymber Dalton – The Reluctant Dom
- Willa Okati
- Zena Wynn – True Mates series (True Mates)
Have you read any of these authors before? Is there a specific book by one of the listed authors we should start with? Do you agree or disagree with our list? Is there someone missing? What are YOUR thoughts on the whole 50 Shades hype?
** Disclaimer: Those of us at LE who do read erotica haven’t read all of these authors. This list is based upon recommendations from readers on Twitter and Facebook, but if you do want to see what we have read, then I would check out the erotica tag. Plus, RT Magazine also created a fabulous 50 Red Hot Reads list in their July 2012 edition that features 50 shades of the steamiest offerings from BDSM-themed erotica and erotic romance.
This is a great list. Although, some I would still consider more paranormal romance or urban fantasy than erotica.
I was surprised to see LKH’s Merry Gentry series, but not Anita Blake. There is WAY more sex in Anita later in the series than Merry.
I read a lot of these books, but there are a lot to add to my TBR list.
Thanks for compiling this list.
I think the reason Merry made the list before Anita is because it started out being all about sex whereas Anita didn’t. Those looking for the smex shouldn’t read GUILTY PLEASURES for that nor would I agree that they should start with INCUBUS DREAMS as they would miss a lot of back story and world building.
And yes, I would agree that some straddle the line of PNR/UF with Erotica, but that doesn’t necessarily make them any less erotic. *grin*
So this was going more based on erotica rather than BDSM (though some of these fall on both of those lines)? My list for BDSM would be slightly different, as there are some (like Joey W. Hill…her Boardroom series) that have other series that are more BDSM erotica rather than contemp/UF/PNR erotica.
Though, I may just have to check a few of these out (and duh, you know I’ve read quite a few of these already *wink*).
When I put the question out there initially, I didn’t differentiate between BDSM or any other erotica subtype. I just asked what was smexier than 50 Shades. Everyone keeps saying there’s better than 50, so I was asking people to put their money where their mouth was. *grin*
My favourite: Joey Hill, Nature of Desire Series, a lot of FemDom :)
I recognise some of the authors you listed (of course!) but there are many others who deserve a mention, K D Grace and Kristal Baird to name just two. It has taken me years to have an erotic novel ‘charting’ but I wouldn’t change things. I’ve learnt a lot about writing and had lots of fun at conferences etc. Very enjoyable post – pleased I dropped by.
first i want to say that I love the erotica subtype. I understand its limits but after i read a lot of writers on the list there is something that bothers everytime I read a new book. and that is how the author treats the woman in the book. in most book the woman eliminats themself for the man they love. they give up the control over their bodies not just in the bedroom but in all aspect of their life. concept like women rights on their body and the right to say no,dont exist. the author tells about the safe word but I never see it being used even if the guy ask her to do somthing realy insane. sometimes they dont even give that option ,saying its the law or the guy had a hard life and this is who he is. some author like in lora leigh breeds series the concept which the book is base on borderline rape.
this is why i loved 50′ and the books that it inspire (bare to you for exmple) the woman in those books may give the control in the bedroom but keep their Independence in other area. they dont mind to say no when they hit their limit even if they love the guy and want to make him happy. they are not afraid to Experience new things but stil keep true to themself. having a hard life isnt an excuse for bad behavior. I hope that because of 50 success i will see more books like 50 will be published
I’d read Lauren Dane’s and Olivia Cunning. Also some of Joey W Hill and Alyson James as well. Of course I’d read Fifty and same with you, its annoy me a lot when new erotica come out and said “if you like Fifty you will love this”. Ugh, I don’t like Fifty, the theme is same old same old, not to mention the bad writing and characters I can’t stand. How its become popular, I have no idea. There are much erotica author that need a better attention rather than Fifty.
As for billionarie that seduce an innocent girl, like there’s no idea anymore :P
I couldn’t have said it better myself! I constantly tell people who rant and rave about 50 Shades that there are so much better out there and always have a list of authors they should check out. Great post!