10 Erotic Romance Novels You Should Read (An Opinionated Opinion)

Long Hard Ride by Lorelei JamesEveryone has an opinion about essential romance reads, books that they believe fans of the genre must have read. Ideally, these are stories that define the genre or the subgenre. They may not be the best or the most popular, but they should make readers think. And because this list is of essential erotic reads, they should be HOT, HOT, HOT! 

This is a list of 10 erotic books that stood out to me from the moment that I first read them. Each one rates very high on my sexometer as well. Several even made my jaw drop.

1. Long Hard Ride by Lorelei James — Cowboys are very sexy, and Lorelei James knows how to get the most of them. In the first book of her Rough Riders series, James gives Channing Kincaid quite the ride with Colby McKay and his two bunkmates. While the HEA is with Colby alone, Channing gets more than her fair share of sexy times with these three high octane men.

2. Forbidden by Susan Johnson — Etienne, the Duc de Vec, is a notorious rake and libertine who is brought to his knees by Daisy Black in this historical erotic romance. As you might expect, the notorious rake has a voracious sexual appetite. Sex toys play a part in his very impressive repertoire, my first exposure to them in erotic fiction.

Colters' Woman by Maya Banks3. Colters’ Woman by Maya Banks — This erotic romance was my first introduction to the concept of brothers deliberately sharing one woman in a permanent relationship. Adam, Ethan, and Ryan know they want to share a wife, and they get the opportunity when Holly shows up on their doorstep. Three men definitely equals more sex and more highly inventive sex. The subgenre has since grown in popularity, but I think of this one as the original.

4. Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh — This is the first book in Lora Leigh’s long-standing Breeds series, and therefore the first introduction to the barbed shafts of the Breeds which locks into its mate and the overpowering mating heat that causes a sexual frenzy. Callan and Merinus are virtually helpless against their desire for each other even to the exclusion of whatever might be happening around them.

Simply Sexual by Kate Pearce5. Simply Sexual by Kate Pearce — Lord Valentin Sokorvsky has an incredible need for sex from women or men, as the result of his years as a sex slave in a brothel. He doesn’t believe there is a woman that can handle his appetites until he meets Sara. Sara not only handles his desires, but gives Valentin free reign with them, even encouraging his liaisons with his closest male friend, Peter. Simply Sexual is a lusty masterpiece of historical erotic romance.

6. Gabriel’s Woman by Robin Schone — This historical romance is a darkly erotic story about a woman who auctions off her virginity. Gabriel, a brothel owner, buys Victoria’s virginity but not for the expected reason. Gabriel is an extremely tortured soul who is deeply attracted to Victoria. But his sexuality has been colored by years of abuse, and he demands everything that Victoria has to give.

Natural Law by Joey W. Hill7. Natural Law by Joey W. Hill — As far as BDSM books go, Natural Law is one of the steamiest and best femdom stories out there. Mac is a very alpha hero who is a cop on an undercover mission. This mission puts in in the path of Mistress Violet, and the two end up working together on the case. Along the way, Mac learns that submission does in fact turn him on.

8. A  Shot in the Dark by Christine d’Abo — Two words: frozen peas. Carter, the Dom hero of this one, has to convince a wary Paige to submit to him. He uses the peas in a very inventive way during sex, making this a book I will never, ever forget. d’Abo pushes the erotic envelope in this story, but people should read it themselves in order to find out what Carter does with those peas.

Willing Victim by Cara McKenna9. Willing Victim by Cara McKenna — Flynn is a boxer in an underground boxing circuit. He is an intimidating bruiser of a man who likes rough sex that borders on non-consensual. When he meets Laurel, he finds a woman with compatible sexual desires. Together, they push their sexual boundaries, with eye-popping results. This one may be a tough read because it flirts with dubious consent, but it is a seriously steamy read.

10. The Siren by Tiffany Reisz — The start of a multipart series following the exploits of Dominatrix Nora Sutherlin. While this isn’t a traditional romance as it does not have a HEA, this is one of the most romantic and erotic novels that I’ve ever read. I believe this is because Nora is a woman who owns her kinky sexuality and expresses it with a refreshing boldness. It isn’t the sex that makes this one so hot, but the attitudes, openness and sexuality of its main characters.

Which of these have you read? What books would you add or subtract to the list?

Learn more about or order a copy of the books mentioned in this post:

Long Hard Ride by Lorelei James
Forbidden by Susan Johnson
Colters’ Woman by Maya Banks 
Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh
Simply Sexual by Kate Pearce
Gabriel’s Woman by Robin Schone
Natural Law by Joey W. Hill
A  Shot in the Dark by Christine d’Abo
Willing Victim by Cara McKenna
The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

+Check out more reading recommendation lists:

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Jennifer Porter, a mild-mannered librarian by day, runs the review site Romance Novel News and is a compulsive romance reader. She has a tendency to live tweet her craziest reads as @JenniferRNN

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Jackie U
1. Jackie U
I'd definitely add Possess Me by RG Alexander. Holy Jeebus but the public orgy scene...wowza.
Jackie U
2. Jenn C
I love Lorelei James' Rough Rider series. I remember reading Long Hard Ride and just being blown away by her ability to incorporate such steam and heat with such heart. The same is true for Maya Banks. At first, I didn't think I was going to like the Colters...three brothers sharing a woman was odd to me, but boy am I glad I kept reading...

Thanks for the other suggestions...All have now been added to my TBR pile. :)
Megan Frampton
3. MFrampton
My list would include:

1. Willing Victim by Cara McKenna
2. Sheltered by Charlotte Stein
3. The Lady's Tutor by Robin Schone
4. Bone Deep by Bonnie Dee
5. Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun
6. Beyond Pain by Kit Rocha
7. Passion by Lisa Valdez
8. Curio by Cara McKenna
9. Liberating Lacey by Anne Calhoun
10. Run to You by Charlotte Stein

Which shows how much more erotica I read now than I ever did, since there are only two releases older than the past couple of years, I think.
Jackie U
4. Cate
You cannot miss Robin Schone's, The Lady's Tutor, Awaken My Love and
The Lover off any list of utterly classy erotic literature
Jackie U
5. Nix
I'd have to add Officer Off Limit by Tessa Bailey and Control by Charlotte Stein....

Fab list
Nicole Leapheart
6. BoxyFrown
Some of these have been in my TBR pile and it's a reminder to read them! But I love Lorelei James' and Lora's Leigh's series, and Willing Victim was awesome-any fans of Katy Evans should definitely check that one out.

I'd have to add on Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha-nothing like some girl power and free love in the dystopian future.
Jackie U
7. Melanie S.
I highly recommend:
Beyond series by Kit Rocha
Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz
Beauty series by Anne Rice
Vampire Queen series (if you like a little vamp with your erotica) by Joey W. Hill

If you are into dark stuff try:
Kitty Thomas and Skye Warren
8. JenniferPorter
Robin Schone's books are all excellent. I had a hard time choosing one, but Gabriel owns a bit of my heart! I do think Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha deserves a place on the list. It was so hard for me to choose 10!

While I enjoyed Liberating Lacey by Anne Calhoun, it isn't my favorite of her books. I contemplated adding Breath on Embers to the list.

@Megan, I love that Passion is on your list!!! It is a favorite of mine as well.
Jackie U
9. Kate Pearce
I've actually read them all! We must have similar reading tastes. :)
Jackie U
10. Sabrina Jeffries
I'd add Velvet Glove and Menage by Emma Holly. For me, she strikes the perfect blend of romance and erotica.

I also like Molly Weatherfield's Carrie's Story, but that's not remotely a romance. Strictly erotica.

And I know these are older, but I still love Anne Rice's Exit to Eden and her Beauty trilogy.

I will HAVE to try some of the ones on your list!
Jackie U
11. Megaera
Cherise Sinclair. The Club Shadowlands series, and The Dom's Dungeon, among others.
12. JenniferPorter
@Megaera Ooh. I am a big fan of Cherise Sinclair. I'm looking forward to starting If Only which came out today.

@Sabrina Jeffries I bought an Emma Holly title today after some discussion of this topic on twitter. I've had a hard time connecting with Holly's work, but am giving it another go. And Carrie's Story is excellent, but I did try to stay away from titles that fit better in the erotic category.
Jackie U
13. Kimba121
Anything by Kate Pearce or Robin Schone is going to be wonderful. I also recommend Nicholas, the first book in Elizabeth Amber's Lords of Satyr series; and Louisa Burton's excellent House of Dark Delights series. Thanks to everyone for your other recommendations!
Lucretia Eaton
14. eatonl
I recently stumbled upon Kallypso Masters. She has a series called Rescue Me. I recommend reading this series. The books are very well written and they have a lot of meaning. At first I couldn't tell if I liked the books or if I just needed to find out what happened next, because the books were so intense.

I have read most of the top 10 here, but did find a couple that I haven't read. I look forward to reading them.
Jackie U
15. Judy19
Hard to pick individual books, but 10 eortic authors worth checking out:
1. Kate Pearce
2. Cherise Sinclair
3. Joey W. Hill
4. Robin Schone (wrote probably the best erotic short story I've ever read!)
5. Emma Holly,
6. Lora Leigh
7. Maya Banks
8. early Shelly Laurenston (her more recent stuff is tame, but read Here Kitty Kitty among others and you get erotic romance that is also LOL! Not all super hot erotic romance has to also be dark and intense)
9. Lorelei James
10. Shannon McKenna
11. Tymber Dalton (ok, so I cheated - 11, not 10!)

I am sure I'm missing lots, but these are some great authors to start w/!
Jackie U
17. Lighann
Can't pick just one book per author.. but MY top erotic romance go-to's are (in no specific order)

Shayla Black
Nicole Edwards
Lora Leigh

It's hard to find that line with certain authors about whether they take that step into the erotic direction.. What exactly do you consider erotic?

For me, it's BDSM and menages (mostly). I def do not consider 50 Shades an erotic novel.. Just not into it at all.
Alexandra W
18. parasolprotectorate
LOVE Tiffany Reisz's Original Sinners series! And basically everything else she writes.

Agree with @MFrampton who mentioned Lisa Valdez's Passion, though I have serious hang-ups about the second book, Patience
Jackie U
19. phillytaz
my list includes Jaid Black,L K Hamilton, Kate Douglas, and Kit Rocha
Carmen Pinzon
20. bungluna
I like Olivia Cunning's Sinners and Sole Regret books. Love bad-boy rock stars!
Jackie U
22. faiq
have to read all of these romantic novels real soon
Jackie U
23. Lori Covington
A short-short romantic-erotic, ebook, written like a love letter to the reader (in this case, lucky me!)

Sweet and hot. It's called Love Letter: Passion among the Tombs, by Marcus Sloane-Whyte.

Loved it, it was gorgeous, and I can't wait to read his next.
Jackie U
25. AngelinaJ
I didn't think 50 Shades of Grey was as much erotic as a very good love story. The Crossfire series by Sylvia Day, I find to be really erotic.
I like Serena Grey's sex scenes, they're really hot and intense.
I havent read much BDSM or Menage yet, apart fron Viola Rivard's werewolf books, but I might try some of the books on this page.
Jackie U
26. erte
Erotic Amateurs Bests of Internet Watch Big Collection of Free Porn Videos.
Dolly Sickles
29. Dolly_Sickles
I think Emma Holly has a nice balance of romance and erotic, and my favorite title of hers is Strange Attractions.
Jackie U
30. Jeff & Daisy
Hi all. My wife and I are going on a cruise in a few weeks and looking for some really good romance erotic books. We are not big readers as we both have busy hectic lives so we have not read any of books on any of these lists. I was thinking of 50 shades of grey just because of all the hype but there are many bad reviews and not sure if the whole BDSM thing is for us. We want it to have an amazing story line too. What would you recommend as a few of the best all around books?? Thank in advance for the advice.
Jackie U
33. Aymen Arif
I would add The midnight breed series by Lara adrian....it is really good if you are a vampire fan...a sweet blend of romance.....erotica...and feelings....
Jackie U
34. Katydid
An author I just stumbled across is Charisma Knight. I recommend her paranormal erotic romance stories and have read three out of the four books below. She writes of witches, vampires, and shifters most often.

Bittersweet Fantasies


The Black Dragon

The Raven's Falls Series
Jackie U
36. Mellisa
I pretty surely believe that 50 shades of grey is THE BEST BOOK I've ever read I'm my life!!!!!! It's is such a romantic erotica that I just go mad reading it..! And now look at these people who think it's not a good book! Then all I would say them is to just fuck off!!!!!
Jackie U
37. Deborah Gust
I love the "Loving on the Edge" novels by Roni Loren. I have read Maya Banks, Sylvia Day and K.A. Tucker which were all good.
Jackie U
40. HelenP
Drawn to You by Serena Grey is my absolute favorite. I love Sylvia Day, especially the Crossfire series. Gideon is just perfection.
Jackie U
41. Emily Ashford
Great list! These are some of the best of the best out there right now. The Rough Rider series is one of my inspirations.

I'm just trying to break into the market right now and would love some feedback.

Free stories on my blog,

and several books at my amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01HUU2J0Q
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