Dec 10, 2012

Posted by in Question | 16 Comments

Question – What Would You Recommend Post Fifty Shades?

I know I know…you are probably all rolling your eyes at me right about now.  You’re also probably thinking “Holy hell why is she asking about Fifty Shades?  Haven’t we seen enough of it?  Isn’t it just everywhere now?  For goodness’ sake they even have Fifty Shades books about chicken thighs and plumbing now!”  (Creepy isn’t it, how I can totally read your thoughts sometimes ;))

The reason I’m bringing this up now is that last week, Goodreads announced the winners of its 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards and many of my friends on twitter ‘oh no-ed’ and ‘really-ed?!’ when they saw who won the award for Best Romance.  That’s right folks, Fifty Shades Freed won.  Actually, it didn’t just win…it squashed the runner up, beating it by 14, 670 votes!

Amy and Sierra were wondering why it won because there are just so many other books that are so much more out there.  Stronger plot, richer characters and more polished writing available for the masses to read but many seem to be missing them lately!  I suggested that maybe it was for most new-to-romance readers like Twilight was for me.  I adored Twilight when I’d first read it!  But I had not read anything else really in years.  In fact, the only books I read for pleasure before Twilight were the Harry Potter books – and you can’t compare those at all because there is no real romance in them.  Eventually, I found better romance based books out there – books that made Twilight look like…well, like a child’s book.  There was so much more out there, it was awesome!  I’m glad that I was able to find the ‘better’ stuff out there but I feel as though some Fifty Shades fans and some who were just introduced to the genre have yet to find the ‘better’. Sierra and Amy came up with an idea of passing out little cards to romance readers at B&N, filled with helpful suggestions on ‘how to find the better romance’, but I opted for this post instead. ;)

Finally I asked what they would recommend to those who just haven’t found their way to the best of the best yet.  Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress books came up and I would agree with that.  It would be a great introduction to the paranormal romance genre AND chapter 32 people!  Still one of the hottest scenes ever!

I would personally recommend Wicked by Sasha White and Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning.  Both hot books, and I mean hot, but also filled with amazing characters and smooth writing.  No cheesy stuff there folks – just nice smut that reads really well.

So I am now passing the question on to you…What would you recommend post Fifty Shades?

  1. Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series. That series is so sexy, well written and guts you. Puts 50 Shades to shame.

  2. Definitely anything by Cara McKenna, specifically Willing Victim and Ruin Me. She writes very honest, real characters a reader can connect with, and the sex is smoking hot.

    Another go-to is Megan Hart for the same reasons as Cara, but Megan’s characters are more fractured, definitely tough reads sometimes. I started with Switch and loved it. I’ve heard Broken is amazing, but shattering to read.

    If someone is into more romancey stuff, as opposed to straight up erotica, Ruthie Knox is my top recommendation. About Last Night is one of my top picks for 2012 and I can’t recommend her stuff enough.

  3. Northwoman says:

    I like the Iris Johansen romantic suspense books or the military based romances of Tara Janzen or Susanne Brockman or OMG the Jill Shalvis books. That is how you do romance – JILL SHALVIS or Julie James.

    I also like the UF or paranormal romance types of Ilona Andrews, Devon Monk, Patricia Briggs and Sherrilyn Kenyon (in addition to the beloved Jeaniene Frost). There is not as much romance, per se, more action but they are excellent. Add Thea Harrison to that list.

  4. For a more conservative romance, I’d recommend Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard.

    For the steamier romances, I’d recommend anything written by Kristen Ashley. She’s one of my greatest discoveries this year, and I devoured all her books. The Golden Dynasty is my favorite of them all.

    For those who want more bdsm erotica, Comfort Object by Annabel Joseph, or Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks.

  5. I think J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books have some seriously sexy scenes. And Larissa Ione’s books, too. Pretty hot!

  6. I really enjoyed the Sweet series by Maya Banks

  7. Without a doubt…Bared to You by Sylvia Day

  8. As a very seasoned romance reader I absolutely loved FSOG despite the editing/repetition/ridiculousness of it all because of the way it engaged my emotions. So, for me a follow up of FSOG should be an emotionally engaging read moreso than an erotic one (’cause I’ve read far more erotic books than that and I didn’t find it to be all that kinky or shocking).
    So, on that note I would have to second Katrina T.’s recommendation of Kristen Ashley books since she is fantastic at getting me emotionally vested in her characters. “Golden Dynasty” is one of my faves (although it’s a fantasy story — think “Game of Thrones” fanfic almost) as are “Motorcycle Man”, “Knight”, “Sweet Dreams” and “Breathe” which are contemporary stories.
    I would also recommend “In Flight” and “Mile High” by R.K. Lilley.
    Other readers really loved “On Dublin Street” although I was a little underwhelmed by it, but the general consensus is that it’s a great book.
    And of course Sylvia Day’s “Bared to You” gets a lot of recommendations too. I really enjoyed it, but with BOTH characters being damage and messed-up it was a little crazy-pants!

  9. Readsalot81 says:

    I would have to recommend Kit Rocha’s Beyond Shame if you want a taste of erotica done very, very well. Steamy, great relationships AND friendships with both men and women.. and fun worldbuilding as well.

  10. KT – I hear that is a great series…but very emotional lol.

    Sierra – I read Willing Victim. It was good. I agree with you about Ruthie – she’s awesome!

    Northwoman – Love Jill Shalvis and Julie James!!!

    Katrina – I have heard some pretty good things about Gabriel’s Inferno :)

    Liz – BDB and Demonica are hot. Absolutely agree with you there!

    Mamamoon – Yes! The Sweet series! Love (most) of those books!

    Michele – It actually won second place in the GR survey. :)

    pamelia – I think I have to check out Kristen Ashley lol

    Readsalot – Great recommendation!

  11. Iswari Sharma says:

    I definitely would recommend Bared To You/Reflected In You as well, but Sylvia Day has other steamy ones out there that are just as good (i.e. Seven Years To Sin/The Stranger I Married). However, before the whole Fifty Shades phenomena happened, there were already authors out there writing good erotica with great plots. Joey W. Hill writes an excellent Vapire series and Angela Knight with her Megaverse/Knights of the Roundtable for example. Oh, and Lora Leigh with her Bound Hearts/Breed/Elite Ops series – HOT!!(though some are a hit or miss when it comes to them).

  12. Ugg – I can’t believe Fifty Shades of Freed won everything. I wasn’t a huge fan of this series to begin with, but I could see the appeal in the first two books. The last book was terrible. The characters all regressed – demonstrating issues they’d moved past earlier in the series. That whole “Inner Goddess” storytelling tactic drove me absolutely batty through the whole series, but I hit critical mass with my annoyance in Freed.

    But back on topic – : ) Let’s review the elements that seem to appeal most to people that enjoyed the Fifty Shades series:

    1. Christian – the excessively alpha male, dominate in both the bedroom and life. Extremely rich. A bit of a jerk, but his meanness seems to make sense when you realize how damaged he is.

    2. BDSM – ah the forbidden fruit of BDSM, which imo sounds so much better on paper than in RL.

    3. Lots of VERY graphic, and hot sex scenes.

    Based on these qualities, I think Bared to You by Sylvia Day is a great post Fifty Shades option. It has all of the three elements above in spades. Heck, it has almost all the same story elements of Fifty Shades, but better characters and writing. For just the alpha male quality, and the hot yet unhealthy co-dependent relationship dynamics one might also consider Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. This is a mature YA book, and there’s BDSM, just a hot, semi-jerk alpha male and an innocent girl finding their way through the labyrinth of their own issues.

  13. Err correction – there is NOT BDSM in Beautiful Disaster. Somehow I removed the not when I was making some edits to my post.

  14. tiffany reisz for sure. so emotional and well written and just plain hot.

  15. For BDSM must read Cherise Sinclair’s Mountain Masters and the Club Shadowlands books. Hot alpha men, lots of BDSM sex.
    Just finished Naked and All in, strong Alpha male and lots of sex. All of Kristen Ashley’s books are great.
    If you like paranormal romances, you can’t go wrong with the Night Huntress books and the
    Black Dagger Brotherhood

  16. Iswari – Yes to Joey W Hill! She is amazing and she writes it right! Great suggestion :)

    Jessica – I heard the last book was meh. Even my husband didn’t enjoy it! And I love how you broke it down and suggested according to that. You are such a clever cookie.

    fishgirl – Just plain hot works for me! ;)

    Sue – I have heard quite a bit about Cherise Sinclair but have yet to try her stuff! I must remedy that soon!

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