Full steam ahead: A list of the best erotica books
by Victoria Cabot
Ooh yummy! The seedy, dirty, filthy, underbelly to romance. When the lights go dark, and the Happily Ever After is still 14 chapters away, what gets you through the night? A 5,000 word short and to the point book that gets the business done. So before I go into the first of many lists on erotica, I’m going to do my normal bit and give some disclaimers, as well as some background.
There is actually two separate categories on Amazon as well as major book sellers when talking about romance and/or erotica. There is straight up erotica. And then there’s romance. Just like there are subcategories in Romance such as Sweet, Clean Christian Romance and Bad Boy Contemporary Romance, you’ll find subcategories in Erotica. These categories are vast and layered - from Fantasy, which could be anything involving a vampire, orc, elf, or fairy tale characters to Billionaire or other conventional categories. What we’re not going to discuss on today’s list - maybe we will at a later date - are some of the more esoteric niches that one finds in erotica. I’m talking about some crazy kinks that people read, and that you can find on Amazon. Kinks like hucow, gender swap, and tentacles. In general, if there is a Romance category niche for it, then its fair game for my erotica lists.
Now, the next bit that’s hard to admit, but true. Basically, my books have a lot of sex in them. Like the latest one is drenched in so much sex that I kept getting distracted. And so did my ARC readers. But where did I learn all that? Erotica. Some may even say I am an erotica writer. I prefer the term romance or if we want to quibble, romantica. You could also say smut. But when you think of an erotica short story, basically think of those steamy scenes in the romance novel. Take just the scene, make the sex the focus, and stick to 5,000 to 8,000 words and you have an erotica short. Simple. To the point. Dirty.
However, not all erotica is a short story and that’s what we’re covering today where I’m listing 10 books classified in erotica that I consider to be very good. I don't know any of the authors below as I don’t interact with them the same way I do with Isabella Starling or Willow Winters and other romance authors. You could say I’m a bit biased in favor of romance over erotica so the books below have more story and that makes the steamy scenes more interesting - but they’re still down to business really fast. They don't care about the HEA even though they provide it, and their goal is to help you reach yours - and we both know what that is, right? Elements from them have shown up in my work when I write and I actually go back and re-read them, which I never thought I’d do for a dirty book. But some of the scenes are timeless. I’m also crossing niches here, because at least for this article, I want to do a broad scope of the field for readers.
So, without further ado, ten great books to start your journey into erotica (listed in no particular order):
#1 The Virgin Duet - Alexa Riley
Alexa Riley is actually two authors that collaborate. I follow both on Twitter, and I’ve met them one at a convention. And let me tell you, these ladies have done more as Alexa Riley to bring smut into the mainstream than can be comprehended. Shielding Lily falls into the category of First Time. First time for what? Remember what the dominant theme in erotica is? That’s right. That kind of first time. And this story is hot. I never realized how hot reading about someone’s first time can be until I read this. And that’s when I started incorporating the virgin heroine into my works.
A gorgeous, obsessive, billionaire alpha. A curvy, sassy bombshell from the wrong side of the tracks. Both virgins... When Becs and Bray make an arrangement, they have no idea what it will lead to - sexual desires and lust that cannot be contained. Will Bray let chaos rule his perfect world? Will Becs let love into her cold heart? Will Kindles ignite from the sexual heat? There's only one way to find out... more
#2 His Good Little Associate - Erica Roswell
Ever wonder where some of the inspiration behind Cassandra Dee or some of the MMMMF stuff comes from? Look no further than Erica Roswell. Sure, the concept of a menage of gang bang existed before then, but the type of group activity showing up in Erica Roswell’s books is something that still does it for me when I want to read something really dirty. And trust me ladies, there are those times that we've all had where we want to see just how far the boundary goes. It may not be for everyday consumption, but it’s definitely there to satisfy an itch. And it helps inspire me for my menage scenes when I write them. And bonus thing about this book - it’s a bundle, which means bonus content! Yay!
A new young lawyer. A rich, powerful, older boss. In this first story in the Billionaire's Associate series, it's the perfect mentor/protege relationship. more
#3 What Dad Doesn't Know - Becca Lusk
We’re talking about taboo and forbidden here, and the descriptive usage of words created by Becca makes the taboo sizzling in its read. What I like also about this book has got to be the fact that she was able to take a 13 or 14 part series (the original series has since been removed) and meld it into one story that approaches a novella length. Anyone who’s ever read the Stepbrother With Benefits series by Mia Clark will be familiar with the convenience of having them all together. Only thing I wish I could change about it? The price. Standard erotica shorts price at 2.99. This one is higher - a bit on the steep side.
Come join Bobby and Jill as Bobby comes home from college to discover that his successful father has gotten re-married! To none other than Jill, a dancer with the looks to turn the heads of any man! Bobby and Jill begin an adventure that ends with twists and turns and unpredictable situations guaranteed to keep you up at night, desperately reading to see how far human beings can go in the pursuit of carnal pleasure! more
#4 Illicit Inheritance - Anya Merchant
This takes taboo and pushes it to a whole different level. And at times, it gets a little too real for me. But Anya Merchant is amazing in her ability to craft a story for what’s essentially supposed to be a dirty read. I’ve spent some time analyzing her catalog, and she has been publishing for a long time. I wish I had a chance to interact with her once - I’d ask her why she purposely stays in the erotica category. But then again, based on the quality of her stories and the rankings she gets, I think I know the answer to that.
The esteemed Count van Ludling of Blackthorn Isle has passed away, and he has named John Ludling, a normal 18 year old living a normal life, as his heir. Along with the sexy woman who raised him, John travels to the secluded island only to find himself greeted as though he was royalty, with a mansion, a gorgeous maid, and dozens of eager women waiting for him, all of them more than willing to fulfill his every need. more
#5 The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty - A.N. Roquelaure, Anne Rice
How can I have an erotica listing an not include Anne Rice? That’s like going to a hotel for the weekend to have an intimate moment with your significant other and forgetting to bring them along! We should all know what Anne Rice writes about - vampires! And she does it in a timeless way, that still resonates to this day. Before Fifty Shades of Grey, and before the large number of vampire works that proliferated in the marketplace, there was Anne. I’ve never met her, but I would love to. Because her books are just so delightfully erotic in their telling of the story - I can’t put them down. If Amazon ever told me I had to choose one erotica book to hold onto forever, I’d keep this. I know it for sure. And apparently Anne does too - this book is priced steeply and you’ll either hate it or love it. But because its a novel that evokes deep sentiments, I think its worth it.
In the traditional folktale of 'Sleeping Beauty,' the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind's unconscious. Now Anne Rice's retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince reawakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. more
#6 Roommate - Jenika Snow
This is a new release that came out in October and it's pretty scorching. I'd say that you can find two types of erotica. Those with explicit scenes that go into great detail and those without as much emphasis on the explicit scenes that end up being far more sexier to ladies who like the buildup. I'll tell you that I love the buildup personally, because it gets the reader really hot. And there's no one I know that writes about sex that does a better buildup than Jennika Snow. The way she weaves a story with Brendan and Meghan will get any reader hot and fog up their Kindle before anyone even gets close to sexy times.
Brendan: 'I’ve done pretty damn well in hiding my feelings for her over the years, but having Meghan under the same roof as me, and only feet from my bed makes it hard to control myself. The truth is when it comes to Meghan I don’t want to practice self-control. I love her.' more
#7 Best Women's Erotica 2015 - Violet Blue
If you want a collection of short stories, then you can't go wrong with this one. While it was nice and the stories are very well written and are perfect, I think it's important for me to acknowledge just how well Violet has her hand on the sexual pulse of the modern woman (in Western liberal democracies) today. The best part about this is that you're not buying into a massive novel, but a collection of low-commitment short stories. Perfect way to get your toe in the water. A lot of women agree, this book falls solidly in the Amazon Top 100.
Women and desire are the focus of this lust-filled literary exploration. Violet Blue has her finger on the pulse of sex and culture today and is an in-demand sexpert sought after by the likes of Dan Savage, Forbes Magazine , Oprah Winfrey and everyone in between. more
#8 Elicit - M Never
I know this author because we spend time in the same communities. She also lives in New York City and currently is ranked the Number 2 author in Erotica on Amazon. Her following on Facebook is tremendous and she always has great interaction with her readers. She's got a twisted mind that comes up with the most entertaining and darkest erotica pieces that I've ever read. Once you dip your toe in with Anya Merchant, Erica Roswell, and Becca Lusk, you graduate to the M. Never variety - an author who writes erotica in a complete celebration of the act.
Jett Fox has been surrounded by women his entire life. He knows what makes them tick, how to make them feel beautiful, and how to work their feminine wiles to his advantage. Jett is accustomed to women eating out of the palm of his hand, but when a tall, mysterious, redheaded goddess strolls into Mansion --his domain-- the eccentric Dom finds himself enamored. more
#9 The Carter Boys - Desiree M. Granger
Desiree M. Granger is pretty popular on Amazon as an author. Wondering why? Because she doesn't follow the standard romance and erotica beat. And if you're tired of the same old erotica in your Kindle bookshelf, then boy, have I got an author for you. This isn't your regular cougar in her suburban Lexus finding love with the pool cleaner erotica. Nor is this your standard virgin finding lust in the arms of a Billionaire BDSM junkie. Nope. The Carter Boys is all about the hood. Specifically in ATL. Some call it urban, others call it ethnic, but regardless of how you slice it and dice it, what you're left with is an unique look into a whole different demographic of the erotica market. I found it really eye-opening and entertaining when I read through it, and I even read it again. Definitely a must have.
Drama...Sex...Love...Drugs..and Music are just a few of the Carter Boys daily dealings, when being the largest most dangerous organization the city of Atlanta has ever seen isn’t on their to-do list. The women who want to be with them and the men who want to be just like them can easily get lost in the shuffle when the target is constantly moving to a new Carter’s back. more
#10 Temptation - Selena Kitt
And no list would be complete without the Queen of Erotica herself. Selena Kitt has done more to popularize erotica and bring it mainstream than any author I know. I've never had a chance to work with her in the past, but I've interacted with her and she's one of the nicest people ever. This lady is also a publishing machine. She wrote 500,000 words before she ever published a single book and for a while she was #1 on Amazon's list of highest grossing authors. She's since moved on to start her own publishing company as well as a platform for the various genres that Amazon won't sell - but at heart she's the most down to earth famous author I've ever met. And I've met a several. Temptation is all about something every girl has probably thought of at least once - how hot is my best friend's dad. If you haven't thought of that, consider yourself lucky. Because there is so very little we as women growing up can do about it. Enter this fabulously delicious and dirty story of Leah, who has to choose between her best friend, and her best friend's dad. Sizzling from start to finish and highly recommended.
Leah and Erica have been best friends and have gone to the same Catholic school since just about forever. Leah spends so much time with the Nolan's―just Erica and her handsome father, now, since Erica's mother died―that she's practically part of the family. When the girls find something naughty under Mr. Nolan's bed, their strict, repressive upbringing makes it all the more exciting as they begin their sexual experimentation.
So there you have it, ladies. This by no means is an exhaustive list. But it’s enough to get us started. As we progress through our journey, we’ll no doubt come back into erotica. And trust me, just like that time you went to that underground dungeon on a dare, if you’re careful, it’s a whole lot of fun! more