There are times when someone writes a book and it literally takes the world by storm. It doesn't happen as often as it used to, largely because the way people consume both information and entertainment has changed a lot over the last 10 to 15 years. That being said, there are still some books that will absolutely go down in history as being so influential that almost everyone chooses to read them. Even those who don’t read them are still familiar with the titles. Think “A Tale of Two Cities” or “Little Women.” In more modern times, you have the erotic story written by E L James, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Here, you can understand a little more about this particular book and even learn more about ten other books that are similar to it.
About “50 Shades of Grey”
The one thing you have to remember here is that this is not just some erotic novel about two people who fall for one another. It actually has some much darker themes that run throughout the entire novel. Granted, you have the two main characters here, Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. They definitely have an attraction to one another, one that is intense and immediate. However, the book doesn't only focus on their need to be in a physical relationship with each other. While that is definitely part of the book and undoubtedly the hook that eventually got so many people to decide to read it, it's actually a fascinating meditation on why people behave the way they do.
More specifically, this particular book talks about why certain people have such a controlling nature, even when they seemingly have everything in the world at their fingertips. The book points out the fact that it's often those individuals who seem to have everything that they could ever want who are actually the most insecure. As a result, they often have a need to control everything and everyone around them.
At the same time, the author of the book was careful to weave in stories that prove that no real individual is one-dimensional. Everyone has the capacity for both good and bad inside of them. Put simply, the story is determined to point out the fact that real life individuals have more than one side to their personality. As such, good people sometimes do bad things. By the same token, bad people also have the capacity to do good things.
If you read the book and you loved it, you'll probably want to know about other books out there that are similar so that you can read them as well. Here are 10 books that are quite similar to “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Maybe you have a favorite on the list that you've already read. On the other hand, this might provide you with enough reading material for the next few months.
10. “Bared to You” (Sylvia Day)
Part of the Crossfire Series, this book follows the story of billionaire Gideon Cross and his recent love interest, Ava. It parallels “Fifty Shades of Grey” in many areas, especially with regard to the fact that Cross is a billionaire with a need to control everyone that comes into his path. In addition, his new love interest also has dark secrets in her past. As you might imagine, the attraction between the two of them is almost instantaneous and equally intense. However, it's also a recipe for disaster. You simply can't put two people that have dark secrets in the closet as well as horrible things that have happened to them in the past together and expect everything to go smoothly.
The fact that things don't go smoothly is actually where this book really shines. It's an erotic thriller in a way, and it's one that will definitely get your attention. For those who really like these types of books, this is a must-read. Even if you don't traditionally read books of this type, this is really one that you should check out because the story is top-notch. It's also told in such a way that it's constantly engaging. Even from the first page, you'll never find yourself bored or noticing that your mind wanders as you read. It's completely engaging from start to finish.
9. “This Man” (Jodi Ellen Malpas)
This book is similar to the others on this list but it really does take things to the next level, even to the point of being somewhat over-the-top. That might sound like a turn-off, but it's actually intentionally written that way so that the characters are made to seem extreme in many of their behaviors. For example, you have the two main characters, Jessie Ward and his love interest, again named Ava. Neither one of them really knows what they're getting into when they fall for one another. It's obvious from the beginning that neither one of them is prepared to have a mature relationship.
It all starts when Ward hires Ava to decorate his Manor. From the very first time they lay eyes on one another, they can't keep their hands off each other. They have one of those romances that burns white-hot. As you probably already know, anything that burns that hot is also going to burn out fairly quickly. He's extremely possessive and far too controlling. Ava doesn't appreciate either one of those behaviors, yet she can't find a way to say no to him. This is a book where you should absolutely despise both of the characters, yet you find yourself empathizing with them every time you turn the page.
8. “Fixed on You” (Laurelin Paige)
This one tells the story of bar owner Hudson Pierce and his new hire, Alayna. Both of these individuals have loads of problems that they're doing their best to deal with. They also have a tendency to try their very best to keep the darker sides of themselves hidden from the rest of the world, especially from each other. Both have done things in the past that are truly horrific, things that they're trying their best to put behind them so they can move forward.
It doesn't exactly make it easy to move forward when they begin to fall for one another, something that happens almost immediately. As you can imagine, they both begin trying to hide that dark part of their personality from one another that they don't want anyone else to see. The more intense the relationship becomes, the more they try to hide those character traits. Eventually, it all bubbles over and, as it typically does, everything comes to the surface.
The twist here is that instead of allowing that to destroy the relationship or make them become worse examples of who they've been in the past, they actually use their pain (and their past struggles) to become stronger, leaning on each other when they need to most. It may be classified as an adult contemporary novel, but it also tells a genuinely heartfelt story that can even seem sweet at times.
7. “Release Me” (J. Kenner)
The two main characters in this story are Damien Stark and Nikki Fairchild. Like most of the books on this list, Damien is a billionaire with loads of skeletons in his closet that he would like very much to keep there. That being said, Nikki isn't exactly innocent herself. As a matter of fact, she has more than her fair share of secrets and dark personality traits that she's not exactly keen on sharing, either.
If you had to pick a theme associated with this book, it would be one about control. There is no doubt about the fact that Damien wants control over every aspect of his life, and that includes Nikki. The surprising thing is that she seems more than willing to simply allow him to make all of her decisions for him. As a matter of fact, the book seems to highlight the idea that she is totally turned on by being around someone who is so possessive.
It's definitely a twist that you don't see in a lot of novels and it's not something that will resonate with everyone. However, it made the list because it is similar to “Fifty Shades of Grey” in many ways. As such, a lot of individuals who truly love that book have also read this one and found it to be an enjoyable experience, even if there are a few rough patches here and there.
6. “A Million Dirty Secrets” (C.L. Parker)
Oddly enough, this book actually got its start as fanfiction associated with the “Twilight” novels. The book features a sacrifice made by one Delaine Talbot, an act that she does in an attempt to save her family from financial ruin. She ends up auctioning herself off to Noah Crawford, a billionaire. Apparently, he's interested in purchasing her so he can have sex with her. However, that purchase will essentially get her family out of their financial woes. For that reason and that reason alone, she is more than willing to do it.
5. “Overruled” (Ema Chase)
This is definitely one of the more interesting books on this list. As you can probably guess from the title, it tells the story of a lawyer named Stanton Shaw. He is estranged from his wife, the mother of his child. He desperately wants to get back with her, but she's moved on and found love elsewhere. In a desperate, last-ditch attempt to get her back, he enlists the help of one of his friends, another lawyer named Sofia. As you can probably already imagine, things don't exactly go as planned. In fact, more things start to go wrong from there.
The book has been described as something that happens when two professional lawyers end up in a one-horse town like something straight out of the film “Steel Magnolias.” Add to that a character that seems very much like the grandmother from “Young Sheldon” and you have a hodgepodge of characters that all have strong personalities and very specific ideas of how things should go. Just reading the description of the story is enough to make most people want to go pick it up, so they can see what it's like for themselves if nothing else.
4. “The Siren” (Tiffany Reisz)
Here's an interesting story about someone who writes erotic novels for a living. In the book, that author is Named Nora Sutherlin and she eventually ends up spending a lot of time with her editor, Zachary Easton. It starts out innocently enough, with him offering to give her sessions designed to improve her writing. However, it doesn't take very long for things to heat up, a lot. You can probably guess the rest from there.
3. “Affliction” (Laurell K. Hamilton)
This book tells the story of vampire hunter Anita Blake. She doesn't just hunt vampires, either. She also sleeps with them and by all accounts, she enjoys it immensely. Throughout much of the book, she also sleeps with more than her fair share of werewolves and zombies. This book is crazy from start to finish and is definitely one of the most erotic books on the list. If you're really into something that's quite hardcore (and you want a little nod to the paranormal), you're not going to find anything more eye-popping than this one.
2. “Beauty’s Kingdom” (Anne Rice)
Popular author Anne Rice decided to write this book under a pseudonym, largely because the first ones in the series were published in the early 1980s. The story involves things like orgies and experimentation, all set in medieval times. It's quite intense and rather interesting, especially when you consider the time that it was written. After all, she published under a pseudonym because she didn't want it to take away from the work that she had already contributed as an established author. Of course, she now has her own name on the cover and has even written several other books in the series.
1. “Edge of Midnight” (Shannon McKenna)
This book tells the story of Liv and Sean. However, it doesn't dive too much into their personal stories. The only thing you really know about Sean is that he is the hero of the story and very much an alpha male. Liv tends to be quite the angry individual and she's not at all up for letting down the walls she's put up around her. In the bedroom, all of that need to control someone mixes with her anger and the two of them really get after it. What makes this book special? The intimate scenes are described in such minute detail that you might find yourself blushing while just reading about them.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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