By Sandy Wright
ALERT: These recommendations are erotica literature. You have been warned!
This Valentine’s Day, leave a sexy book on your lover’s bed.
If your husband is like mine, reading together hasn’t happened since the kid was small enough to snuggle between us for Harry Potter. It sounds like such a great idea, but how do you make it happen?
Before your mind goes straight to Fifty Shades of Grey, stop! There is much, much better sensual writing out there. If you would like to become an erotica connoisseur, but also insist on an actual full-wrought plot, consider sampling something from the list below. May you have an imaginative and sexy Valentine eve—or weekend.
1. The Sleeping Beauty trilogy, by A. N. Roquelaure (pseudonym for Anne Rice)
These novels deal with some highly taboo topics, but Rice is eloquent and sensual in her writing style, intertwining fantasy, fairy tale and erotica. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, the first in her trilogy, embellishes the original fairy tale in dark, forbidden ways. The story begins with the Prince rescuing Beauty and waking her with far more than a kiss before claiming her life as his own to do with as he pleases.
2. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
In the midst of all the twilight knockoffs it’s hard to find a good sexy vampire novel. Dark Lover, Ward’s first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal series, is edgy and controversial, with a strong story line and plenty of steam.
3. Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a respected professor and Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, she sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide. An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, There’s an aura of sensuality that surrounds this book. It’s sinfully arousing yet contains hardly any actual sex scenes. No problem. The author manages to write kissing scenes that will make you ache with longing.
4. House of Dark Delights, by Louisa Burton
Spend a night you’ll never forget in the House of Dark Delights. Nestled deep in the French countryside, hidden from prying eyes, an infamous castle lures guests with its whispered promise to make any erotic dream come true. Just think of the role-playing possibilities at your house.
5. NightWhere by John Everson
This is actually a horror novel, but oh, so erotic. It centers on a young married couple that gain entrance into a secret sex club. The subsequent scenes are dark, grim, and disturbing, and all of this makes it one of the best horror novels I’ve ever read. It grabs you on a very primal, very visceral level that has nothing to do with gore. Oh, there’s gore. LOTS of it. Some of the images are disturbing, paired with such overt sexual content they make the Fifty Shades books look vanilla. And the stakes are much higher– a battle between dark and light, with pain and sex as the fulcrum. Not everyone is going to choose the light. And those that choose the dark…the results may haunt you.
6. Kushiel’s Legacy series, by Jacqueline Carey
I appreciate books with a truly unique story, blended with subtle fantasy aspects. If you’re looking for something a little different, darker, and somewhat “kinkier” than your usual read, give this series a try. Set in a fantasy world that mirrors our own, Yeshua had a child, Elua, with Mother Earth, creating a new and unique race. There are layers upon layers of subplot, interesting characters, and the erotic elements are well integrated and move the story forward. The first few pages drag a little because of all the backstory and world building set up, but power through it, the story is worth the work.