Dec 6 2014 12:00pm

Too Big for One Book: Erotic Romance Trilogies by Kenner, Tan, and More!

Release Me by J. KennerThe release of E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Gray series helped popularize a trend in romance: BDSM erotic romances where one couple’s happily ever after is told over three books. This trend has both pros and cons; the pros being that a couple’s HEA can be told in more depth and readers can spend more time with the main characters, but the cons being there are often cliffhanger endings, there may be a long wait between books, and the second books often read like filler. Despite the cons, I keep reading them.

One of the most popular of these BDSM series is J. Kenner’s Stark trilogy, which follow the tumultuous relationship between Nikki Fairchild and Damien Stark in Release Me, Claim Me and Complete Me. In Release Me, Damien, a billionaire entrepreneur, offers Nikki a million dollars to pose for a nude painting. She accepts and thus gets swept up in Damien’s swank and kinky lifestyle. In the second book, the author reveals more about Damien’s past and adds more external conflict. While the couple remains together, Damien is in trouble by the end of Claim Me, setting the stage for the storyline in Complete Me. The relationship between Nikki and Damien is compelling and sexy with only light kink and some bondage. For fans of this series, there are several novellas revisiting the couple.

A slightly different trilogy is the Accidental series by Portia Da Costa with The Accidental Call Girl, The Accidental Mistress and The Accidental Bride. One evening, Lizzie takes a break from a party to find some quiet time in the hotel bar where John mistakes her for a call girl. Looking for some excitement in her life, Lizzie plays along and has one of the most erotic experiences of her life. As they two continue to meet, John introduces Lizzie to kink, especially spanking. When feelings develop, John and Lizzie continue their relationship in The Accidental Mistress. While the kinky sex continues to be fantastic, Lizzie worries about John’s level of commitment to their relationship. In The Accidental Bride, John has to prove himself to Lizzie and a marriage proposal alone does not do the trick. This trilogy is one of the strongest for those looking for strong kink. Portia Da Costa is a master or erotic romance and has a way with spanking stories.

Slow Surrender by Cecilia TanCecilia Tan’s Struck by Lightning series also has strong BDSM elements. The three books are Slow Surrender, Slow Seduction, and Slow Satisfaction and follow the romance of Karina and James. Karina is an art student in graduate school who meets James while waitressing. James is a bit of an enigma, a dominating and adventurous lover who sweeps Karina off her feet. But James is one of the most secretive heroes in romancelandia. He has several different personas and an unwillingness to admit to any of them. Slow Seduction, the second book in the trilogy, is one of the weakest second books, mostly because Karina and James are not together through any of it—and in fact, James is not a major character. Fortunately, the relationship gets back on track in Slow Satisfaction as James finally opens up about his past. Overall, the romance of Karina and James makes up for the odd second entry in the trilogy.

Next is Primula Bond’s Unbreakable trilogy which consists of The Silver Chain, The Golden Locket and The Diamond Ring,  named after gifts that Gustav gives his love Serena in each book. Serena Folkes is a photographer who meets gallery owner Gustav Levi one dark evening. Gustav is taken with her immediately. He wants to control her and uses a silver chain to keep her tethered to him. As with most of the heroes in these trilogies, Gustav has a dark past, one that will continue to haunt the couple throughout the course of their romance. In The Golden Locket, Serena and Gustav travel to New York and must contend with Gustav’s family. The family continues to haunt the couple even after Gustav proposes in The Diamond Ring. While Gustav is a dominant hero, the kink factor is light overall in this trilogy.

There are, of course, other trilogies that follow the pattern set by Fifty Shades of Gray, including Tara Sue Me’s The Submissive trilogy and the All or Nothing series by CC Gibbs. Do you have any favorite ones to add to list?


To learn more about the books mentioned in this post:

Release Me by J. Kenner  
Claim Me by J. Kenner  
Complete Me by J. Kenner  
The Accidental Call Girl by Portia Da Costa  
The Accidental Mistress by Portia Da Costa  
The Accidental Bride by Portia Da Costa  
Slow Surrender by Cecilia Tan  
Slow Seduction by Cecilia Tan  
Slow Satisfaction by Cecilia Tan  
The Silver Chain by Primula Bond  
The Golden Locket by Primula Bond  
The Diamond Ring by Primula Bond
(out 01/15)













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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1 comment
1. Bianca
I'm hoping this whole everyone-is-totally-into-BDSM craze will soon be over. I don't mind the occasional book, but since that ridiculously bad 50 Shades trilogy everyone is desperately trying to be as successful by just copying the kinky stuff. It's like they're all just writing the same thing over and over.

I enjoy sexy stories and I've enjoyed quite a few of the rather kinky ones too, but it feels like there are two options now: 1) fade to black before the sex scenes, 2) very explicit sex scenes with usually dominant males and women that have been waiting all their lives to finally be submissive to the right guy.
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