I think it’s safe to say that erotic romance has gone mainstream. With the media explosion surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1)  readers of erotic romance no longer have to hide their books in the closet. Now we’re out, proud and looking for more. For many years there has been a plethora of erotic romance with bold characters and dramatic tension that gives us the romance we love as well as the heat we crave. So if you liked Fifty Shades of Grey and you’re looking for similar books, you’re in luck because there are a variety of books to choose from. Here are my recommendations:

The Sweet Series by Maya Banks is one of my favorites. Ms. Banks is a master at bringing to life characters you care about. Her Sweet Series is very hot, erotic, romantic and character driven.  The series is interconnected through a group of friends and coworkers and each book features a different hero and heroine as well as a different approach to sex ranging from BSDM to ménage - but the relationships are always loving and committed.  The banter and witty dialogue between the characters is a testament to the friendship and camaraderie these characters share. As with all great series, previous characters are often featured in the different books so you get to find out what’s happening and how life is treating them. Each book has a great blend of hot sex, great romance, exciting action and a sense of long lasting and endearing friendships between the characters. It’s a perfect blend in equal measures of love, sex, friendship and emotion.


The Sweet Series in order:

Sweet Surrender (Sweet Series #1)  
Sweet Persuasion (Sweet Series #2)  
Sweet Seduction (Sweet Series #3)  
Sweet Temptation (Sweet Series #4)  
Sweet Possession (Sweet Series #5)  
Sweet Addiction  *


*Sweet Addiction will be released next month and I’ve been told by the publisher that it “ends in a spoiler that not even her most veteran readers can imagine”.

Lisa Marie Rice is an author I’ve been reading for years. I started in 2004 with her book Midnight Man and I haven’t stopped. Her heroes are alpha, her heroines are smart, the action is

non-stop and the heat level is always turned on high. Rice is great at characterization and plot development; you get caught up in her books and don’t want them to end. If you like your heroes with a dash of angst and a whole lot of take charge, heroines who have the ability to match the passion of their partners, and a pulsing tension both in and out of the bedroom then I suggest you try a book by Lisa Marie Price. Actually this might be the best time to pick one up. Three of Ms. Price’s books are on e-book special (all three books are also available in paperback).

Hotter Than Wildfire (Protectors Series #2)  
Into the Crossfire (Protectors Series #1)  



The Wild Riders series by Jaci Burton is another one of my favorite series. Ms. Burton is a great story teller and her ability to combine hot and sexy with love and romance is why I read her books. The Wild Riders series is about six Harley riding bad boys who are all about living and loving hard and fast. At a young age they were rescued from some bad situations and given a second chance when they were recruited to work undercover for the Federal government and trained to use what they learned in the streets to protect the innocent. These men and the women they love have an electrifying chemistry that sizzles. The sex is wild and anything but vanilla. The romance is both spicy and sweet. But the thing that makes this series top my list are the three dimensional characters whose emotional journeys are an intricate and intimate part of who they are and how they love. The series is available in both e-book and paperback.

The Wild Riders Series in order:

Riding Wild (Wild Riders Series #1)  
Riding Temptation (Wild Riders Series #2)  
Riding on Instinct (Wild Riders Series #3)  
Riding the Edge in the Nauti and Wild anthology
Riding the Night (Wild Riders Series #4)  

You  may also want to check out Ms. Burton's Play-by-Play series.


As I’ve said, there are a plethora of erotic romance books waiting to be read so here is my extended list of recommendations:
Strange Attractions   by Emma Holly

The Principal's Office   by Jaysmne Hayes (read my review here)
Wicked Pleasure   by Lora Leigh
Guilty Pleasure  by Lora Leigh
Explosive   by Beth Kery
Coming Undone (Brown Siblings Series #2)   by Lauren Dane
Gabriel's Woman  Robin Schone
Something New  Cameron Dane
Liberating Lacey   by Anne Calhoun

I’d like to add The Taker  to my list – but I have yet to read it. There is a lot of buzz surrounding this book and the publisher says it has dominant characters and steamy bedroom scenes. They gave us a link to one such scene and you can find it by going to Melanie Murray's column at Romantic Reads - so check it out and see if this one’s for you.

If you’re looking for an erotic romance with heart and heat try any of the books on my list. Enjoy!

Do you have any suggestions to add to my reading list?

0 Kudos
by mjdolce on ‎03-23-2012 02:39 PM

The Wicked Lovers Series by Shayla Black! Definitely one of my favorite authors...

by Blogger Marisa-ONeill on ‎03-23-2012 04:23 PM

Hey mjdolce - I've yet to read The Wicked Lovers Series - thanks for the recommendation.

by 1lovealways on ‎03-24-2012 04:03 AM

You didn't specify if it should be Contemporary Erotic or Historical Erotic.  Two authors I like are Lacey Alexander (Voyeur) and Sharon Page (The Club).  BTW I love, love, love anything Lisa Marie Rice writes.  I've also read Maya Banks and Jaci Burton and have just discovered Beth Kery.


Thanks for the other recommendations!  :smileyhappy:

by Shmuupy on ‎03-26-2012 12:25 PM

I love the Wicked Lovers Series by Shayla Black also.  Also, if you like BDSM and are just starting to explore erotica, try the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice (written under pen name A.N. Roquelaure).

by TashaClanton on ‎03-26-2012 02:53 PM

I would recommend Lori Foster, Lora Leigh, and Lorelei James

by Nooklover35 on ‎03-27-2012 08:51 PM

Fans of this series have got to watch the movie Secretary! The boss's name is even Grey! 

by noef on ‎04-06-2012 02:28 AM

I highly recommend Jennifer Crusie for some fun, hot reading.  I'm ready for more from her.  I don't care for her collaborations with Bob Mayer, however.

by andeesings on ‎04-15-2012 07:04 PM

I'm reading The Taker...  I'm enjoying it because the writing is good and the characters are rich, but it isn't erotic in the slightest.  It's barely even romantic, so don't read it expecting anything remotely spicy.

by Becca365 on ‎04-27-2012 03:26 PM

Her Own Serenity



"A peek inside the door"

Nice title, somewhat naughty.. intriguing.
The exposition is simply marv. I like the settings you have described. Your details. So heart felt. One sentence put tears in my eyes. I loved your use of words and lines that are descriptive.."my heart began to beat a bit faster" - "windowsill" - "key slid in like butter".

I think you are VERY skilled in you narratives, very, very skilled. I haven't come across narration so velvet like in my whole academic life. You are a master. "I knew that one day someone would be sitting here and in this very spot reading what she had written so long ago". " i opened the hard cover and began to read it". This line made me yell "OH SHIT" out loud. That's how sexy your introduction was. Keep up this good work.
-Vincent A.



by EdenB on ‎05-04-2012 02:08 PM

I have to second Shayla Black's and Lauren Dane's books-and Anne Rice's books are some of my favorites. Exit to Eden is a very real look at the psychology involved-the first person point of view dives right into her character's heads. And her Sleeping Beauty series, while fantastical, is absolutely delicious!


Also not to miss: Cherise Sinclair, Jennifer Leeland, Jayne Rylon...there are so many wonderful BDSM books out there by authors who really know their stuff.


And as one of Gillian Archer's writing mentors, I am thrilled and proud to see her on this list! Her writing is beautiful, and she really 'gets' the power dynamic involved in BDSM practice.


Eden Bradley aka Eve Berlin :smileyhappy:

by Adriana_Elizabeth on ‎05-12-2012 10:30 AM
Also try Bared to you by Sylvia day
by thrillerfan18 on ‎05-22-2012 02:41 PM

There's a very funny parody of Fifty Shades of Grey called Fifty Shades of Black and Blue .  It's about  Annabelle Stilletto from Jersey City, New Jersey. Annabelle is a graduate of Beauty School but doesn't have a job and lives with her roommate in a dumpy apartment. Her life changes overnight when she goes for a job interview with the rich and handsome Vinnie Griso, the heir to the famous Vinnie's Auto Parts fortune. With this sky blue eyes, jet black hair, tight pants and pointy shoes, Vinnie is Annabelle's dream come true. When she falls for his seductive charms, she discovers that Vinnie has a deep, dark secret and a strict set of "rules" that she must obey. At first she resists, but she soon discovers the secret pleasures of domination as she becomes "black and blue."

by Moderator Melissa_W on ‎05-23-2012 12:59 PM

Opal Carew is another popular author in the erotic romance genre.


I second the mention of the movie Secretary starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader - excellent acting and characterization.

by MikaTH on ‎06-02-2012 04:58 PM

If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey Series.....then you have to try out -  Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel. the scenes literally makes my belly quiver and crossing of my legs occurrs quite often, Loved loved it. check it out. very intense and so, so so, good. Some say its even better than Fifty Shades.

by SadieHazzard on ‎06-06-2012 01:54 AM

I love those covers, especially Maya Banks. And I second Secretary.


Also, if Fifty Shades is your thing but you kind of wish it were a bit smarter, you might want to check out Julian Darius' Nira/Sussa, a novel that addresses BDSM and actually got a Ph.D. for it.

by Auntie_Mo on ‎06-19-2012 09:39 PM

I also agree with the recommendations of Bared to You by Sylvia Day. Fifty Shades of Grey was the first book series I ever read in the genre and I loved it so much I had to have more and one of my friends suggested the Bared to You book. I loved it! I can't wait for the second one to come out!

by tjitze on ‎06-23-2012 02:57 AM

Published last December:

LOVE OR LUST I (according to Charlotte)

LOVE OR LUST II (according to Fergus)

LOVE OR LUST III (according to Rhanna)


Trilogy where each novel is written in the first person from the perspective of the chracter named in the title. This gives the reader three fascinating angled from which to approach the same subject. The common denominator is intimacy and sexuality, from Charlotte's perspective (mid-fifties after 30 years of stifling marriage), from Fergus' (mid-twenties farmer's son), from Rhanna's (mid-twenties singer composer harpist).

Set in The Highlands of Scotland.

The first chapter of 'Charlotte' is rough, is therapeutic, where the main character releases her ties with her husband and her previous lifestyle to liberate herself in order to start romance.

Being a Dutch published author, I am used to frankness of writing after reading authors like Wolkers and Cremer already in the 1960s. Therefore the reader can expect explicitness and with a remarkable story line.

More information: www.tjitzedejong.com/the author


Check it out, you shall not be disappointed.


Also published last year: 'Cancer, a healer's perspective'

by hOkU95 on ‎07-07-2012 10:54 PM
Does anyone know of a continuing series like 50 shades of grey? I want something like that and it's about the same characters..
by CaraFaithDonovan on ‎08-30-2012 09:01 AM

We just published 10 Nights and would love some feedback! 


10 Nights of mind blowing fantasies that were destined to change her ideas about
sexuality for the rest of her life.

From Virgin to Courtesan in just ten nights? Was Leah even willing to consider his
outrageous offer? Give me ten nights ... "You will surrender your body to me, and I will
show you pleasure like you've never known before."

10 Nights take the ten most popular sex fantasies that women have and adds a
dominant alpha male making up the rules. Rhett Hammond is the type of man you love
to hate or hate to love and he takes Leah on the sensual journey of her life. Pushing
her beyond all her limits, he demands nothing less than her complete surrender.

Is there ever too much? Can you take a complete innocent and share a world of sexual
deviance and not overwhelm her? How far can you push someone before they break?
10 Nights takes Leah to the edge and then Rhett demands even more. It's a wild ride
and one you won't soon forget.


http://amzn.to/QCZbdx  (waiting on B&N to confirm but should be available there by tomorrow)

by HollyReviews on ‎09-13-2012 12:47 PM

I've been reading BDSM long before it skyrocketed into popularity and would recommend Cherise Sinclair, Reese Gabrial, Aline Hunter and Lexi Blake. They all write erotic BDSM romance with HEA (Happily Ever After) endings. Most write series and my fav would probably be Master's of the Mountain by Sinclair.  

by CaraFaithDonovan on ‎09-17-2012 10:12 AM

10 Nights is a book I would like to suggest.  I will warn that it goes a little deeper into the BDSM aspect than Fifty Shades did.  10 Nights  I think the first book I ever read on this topic was the Sleeping Beauty Series, by Rice.  Now this series may be much more graphic than you are ready for.  I also don't see that book as romance, because of the ending, but it's still a great read.

by kmkitty81 on ‎11-13-2012 03:42 PM

I am looking for a series that has mystey, erotica, murder, everything in it.  A book that I don't want to put down like the fifty shades series.  Any suggestions??

by Darlene_Hesley on ‎01-08-2013 11:45 AM

I’ve written an erotic romance that many people have told me is way better…and hotter…than 50 Shades of Grey. It’s about real people, having real (hot) sex, in real relationships. It is called The Fifty List, by Darlene Hesley, and it is available right here at Barnes and Noble as a paperback and Nook e-book and Smashwords.com in all other e-book formats.
Check out the links:
Barnes and Noble:

Smashwords (deactivate adult filter):

by taltosPT on ‎02-15-2013 09:53 AM

There was a book published in France in 1954 called The Story of O by Pauline Reage (pen name). I read it for a graduate course in Literature and found it fascinating although this type of erotic fiction is not in my general line of interest. One caution, unless you read French, make sure that you are getting an English translation.

by LadyTara8 on ‎08-28-2013 09:07 PM

Maya Banks new Breathless Trilogy is terrific.  I read each of the books entirely the day I got them. 



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