Here’s a little known fact: the real world I inhabit is almost totally free of erotica readers. That painful truth was made abundantly clear after the explosion of interest in Fifty Shades of Grey when I struggled to find someone, anyone who had read the damn book, and all I got was raised eyebrows or pitying shakes of the head.
Indeed, most of my friends and family got their first taste of erotica with my book. (The Heartwood Box currently on sale at Amazon for 2.99!!!!)
Moment of tearful pride.
Unsurprisingly, after reading my masterpiece, several of the more venturesome realized what was missing from their empty, smut-free existences and naturally turned to me for wise recommendations on how to get some sum-sum.
Obviously it’s in my interest to corrupt as many people as I can and bring them over to the Dark Side of reading in the erotic and paranormal genres--both for altruistic reasons to help my fellow authors and for self-interest, because the more smut being read in the universe, the more likely someone is to stumble on my book.
So here goes.
First off, I do not recommend Fifty Shades of Grey. There I said it. It’s too long, and the mentality is too teen. Besides, if you wanted to get into this genre, you’ve already devoured it or failed to finish it.
For first-timers, I also don’t recommend my Best of 2012 list. Bottom line: they are too hard-core. They are all M/M and five include highly non-consensual rape and/or slave scenarios. (Only possible exception: Shattered Glass, which is technically a “contemporary,” i.e. no paranormal elements of any kind, but still includes rent-boys and plenty of hot M/M lovin’.)
So here’s what I do recommend: Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark (IAD) series.
As far as paranormal goes, she is IT--the best by miles.
By light years.
Wonderfully plotted, witty, funny, with great heroines and ridiculously hot heroes, and full of the kind clever intra-series references that give a thrill to compulsive re-readers. Needless to say, the sex is scorching. Of the eleven books published so far, I’ve only not-totally-loved two. (Ask me for the titles and I’ll 'fess up.)
I advise people to start with A Hunger Like No Other, since the novella The Warlord Wants Forever that begins the series is not that good and isn’t necessary to immersing yourself in her world.
At present I have totally corrupted at least one person, a tenured professor no less, who sped through IAD and promptly began reading in, drum roll please, HISTORICAL ROMANCE! (Lisa Kleypas’ superb Wallflowers series).
And seriously, for an academic, you can go no lower.
Victory is mine! (muhahaha)