I’ve been having so much fun writing these erotica posts that I decided to go for another round! I’ve got some great books for you to check out, some old and some new. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice (1983)
The original naughty trilogy! These infamous books were published back in the 80s, but the popularity of you-know-what has led the publisher to reprint them. Now almost thirty years after their first run, they’re being enjoyed by a new generation of readers…and Anne Rice is getting lots more royalty checks.
Claiming is the first installment in Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Written under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure, the books put an erotic spin on the classic story of Sleeping Beauty. Read: forget Disney. At the beginning of the first book, the Prince awakens Beauty from her hundred-year sleep by taking her virginity. He then tells her that she belongs to him, that she is to address him as “my Prince,” and that he intends to bring her back to his castle as his sex slave.
Beauty is then brought in bondage to the Prince’s kingdom, where she is routinely beaten, displayed nude, and otherwise abused for the pleasure of the Prince and his mother the Queen. Upon arrival, Beauty discovers that she is only one of dozens of princes and princesses who were sent as tributes to the kingdom to be trained as sex slaves for a period of five years. Though as first Beauty is repulsed and shamed by the way she is treated, she grows to love her captors and becomes desperate to please them.
This book is very heavy in BDSM (think more hardcore than Fifty Shades) and features both male and female dominance. Some acts might be too disturbing for certain readers, so be warned. Still, I enjoyed this book for its beautiful language and lush setting. Plus fairy tales traditionally contain some pretty heavy themes, especially the Sleeping Beauty story, which has been shown to contain several erotic elements. So, it was interesting to read a purely adult take on a story that is nowadays considered to be for children.
Overall, the story is a little slow, but not boring. Not all of the sex acts were to my taste, and the sex was over the top at times, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book. It’s hot, it’s well written, and it’ll definitely change the way you look at fairy tales.
The Angel (The Original Sinners) by Tiffany Reisz (September 2012)
Nora Sutherlin is back in this follow-up to The Siren, which was released this past July. And while I liked the first book, I enjoyed this sequel so much more! This book throws a lot more twists and turns into the story, and fleshes out the main characters.
About a year after the events of the first book, erotica author Nora is still with longtime lover Søren. While their D/s relationship is stronger than ever, Søren is now facing a turning point in his career which has prompted an investigation into his past. Not wanting to risk exposing his secret life as a sexual dominant, he sends Nora away to stay with a friend for the summer. Enter Suzanne Kanter, the tough journalist who is investigating Søren. If she uncovers the truth, will she be able to deal with it?
As I said, The Siren is good but I loved The Angel. Søren has a bigger part in this book, and a lot of time is put into explaining his backstory. The more I learn about him, the more intrigued I am by him. There is also more about Nora’s past in this story, which made me like and understand her more than I did in the first book. I wasn’t sure I quite got her when I read The Siren, but there’s more to her than I originally thought. Michael, who was briefly introduced in the first book, is now a main character, and I hope to see more of him in the next book. Zach and Wesley, who were protagonists in the first book, are not featured as much. Being as I wasn’t too crazy about them to begin with, that was ok with me. But who knows, maybe I will be surprised by them the way I was surprised by Nora and Michael.
I’m really enjoying Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series, and I enjoy them more than the Fifty Shades trilogy. The sex is definitely harder, and the story is better. Reisz has actual first-hand knowledge of the BDSM lifestyle, and these books definitely have more realism and much better writing than Fifty Shades. It’s the most realistic and dynamic set of characters I’ve even encountered in a romance/erotica book. Plus Søren is just wicked hot, and after reading The Angel he just became hotter than Christian Grey in my opinion. Definitely going to read the next installment in the series, The Prince!
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones (August 2012)
It calls itself a mix of Fifty Shades and Basic Instinct, but for me it’s Fifty Shades-lite. The first in a new trilogy (I’m starting to see a pattern here), this romantic thriller is about a woman trying to find out what happened to a girl who disappeared.
Sara is a teacher, living a simple life with her roommate in San Francisco. When her roommate purchases some items at a storage auction, Sara discovers a series of journals belonging to a woman named Rebecca. Sara reads the journals, and quickly becomes enthralled in Rebecca’s life, including her dangerous, highly sexual relationship with a mysterious man. But what happened to Rebecca, and why would she just leave her journals in a storage locker and then abandon it?
Sara begins uncovering clues about Rebecca’s life, and even lands a summer job at the prestigious art gallery where Rebecca worked before her disappearance. She works hard to prove herself to the fastidious but seductive gallery owner Mark, while at the same time she finds herself attracted to the quirky but wealthy artist Chris Merit.
The story is decent but familiar, and the characters are okay but nothing special. At least not yet; there are still two other books in the trilogy. The sex is fun, but there isn’t much of it until the second half of the book. I’d recommend this one for people looking for more story than sex. Of course Mark is the most interesting character because we know the least about him. I might check out the sequel and see what happens with him!
Lip Service by M.J. Rose (2000)
Here’s one that’s also light on the sex but with a great story! It’s thirteen years old but is enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to the recent erotica explosion (pun intended).
Julia Sterling is fortunate enough to live a life of privilege; she lives in Manhattan with her psychiatrist husband and adoring stepson. But for Julia, her enviable life comes with a price: her seemingly perfect marriage is devoid of passion. Her husband treats her like a child instead of a wife, and denies her need for intimacy while trying to coax her into taking antidepressants she doesn’t think she needs. She smiles at parties and makes nice with the right people, but inside she is lonely.
Then a friend asks her to write a book about his work; he runs a clinic specializing in sexual disorders. Julia quickly becomes fascinated with the clinic’s most unorthodox method of treatment: phone sex. To research the book, and to fulfill her own hidden desires, Julia becomes a phone sex operator at the clinic.
For Julia, working at the clinic is scary, thrilling, and therapeutic at the same time. It gives her the insight to see her marriage for what it really is, and the confidence to see herself as a capable and independent person. But as with many things, there’s more to Julia’s secret profession than she thought, and more secrets at the clinic than her friend lets on.
This is a great story with a touch of eroticism and well drawn-out characters. If you’re looking for a book that’s a little daring but not too sexually explicit (well, compared to these other books at least), I would recommend Lip Service.