So you’re looking for erotica…

So you’re looking for erotica…

If you landed on this page after googling any variation of the following: erotica, Krissy Kneen or Triptych, I’ll take a wild stab and guess you saw Jennifer Byrne Presents: Erotica, aired on the ABC last Tuesday.

You’ve probably also realised that this is a blog whose main preoccupation is genre fiction. And not just any genre—one of the most maligned of them all: rrrrrromance.

But wait! Don’t leave! Romance writers and readers have been writing sexy stories for a while now. And yes, I concede that some of the prose is purple, but if a more literary style is your preference, well, we have them, too!

Shocking, I know.

Call me an opportunist, but here’s a list of romance(ish) titles and authors for readers looking for great sex, great writing or—even better—both!

Broken by Megan Hart

Broken by Megan Hart

Reasons you should read this book:

1. Megan Hart’s writing is luscious. This is as close to literary fiction as you’ll get in erotic romance.

2. The story doesn’t fall strictly in the romance genre—in fact, the romance between the two protagonists is probably the weakest part of the book. It’s everything else that will tug at your emotions.

3. The heroine is married to a quadriplegic. And yes, she loves him.

You can read my review of the book here. Here’s the blurb:

This month, my name is Mary.

My name is different every month — Brandy, Honey, Amy…sometimes Joe doesn’t even bother to ask — but he never fails to arouse me with his body, his mouth, his touch, no matter what I’m called or where he picks me up.

The sex is always amazing, always leaves me itching for more in those long weeks until I see him again.

My real name is Sadie, and once a month over lunch, Joe tells me about his latest conquest. But what Joe doesn’t know is that, in my mind, I’m the star of every X-Rated one-night stand he has revealed to me, or that I’m practically obsessed with our imaginary sex life.

I know it’s wrong. I know my husband wouldn’t understand. But I can’t stop.

Not yet.

Fishpond | Amazon US | Book Depository | Library

Ember by Bettie Sharpe

Ember by Bettie Sharpe

Reasons you should read this book:

1. The heroine of this Cinderella retelling is about as far away from a Disney princess as you can get.

2. Bettie Sharpe’s writing is lyrical but oh, so dirty.

3. It was first published in serial form at Dionne Galace’s website (formerly known as ‘It’s Not Chick Porn’). Each chapter just makes you want to read more.

Here’s the blurb:

Charm is a curse. Love is a fire. Her story is no fairy tale.

Everyone loves Prince Charming. They have to—he’s cursed. Every man must respect him. Every woman must desire him. One look, and all is lost.

Ember would rather carve out a piece of her soul than be enslaved by passions not her own. She turns to the dark arts to save her heart and becomes the one woman in the kingdom able to resist the Prince’s Charm.

Poor girl. If Ember had spent less time studying magic and more time studying human nature, she might have guessed that a man who gets everything and everyone he wants will come to want the one woman he cannot have.

Amazon US | Author’s website (free online read)

Natural Law by Joey W. Hill

Natural Law by Joey W. Hill

Reasons you should read this book:

1. The heroine is a dominatrix—extremely rare in the romance genre.

2. It’s not BDSM lite.

3. Joey W. Hill consistently makes it to readers’ favourite erotic romance authors. She also writes a vampire series (one of which is set in Australia) with some pretty hard core master/slave scenes—to the point where I had to stop reading them because they affected me so much.

Mackenzie “Mac” Nighthorse is a highly respected homicide detective and a career cop. There isn’t a dangerous situation that can back him down. However, the personal becomes uncomfortably entangled in the professional when he goes undercover in a high class BDSM club as a male submissive to find a Dominatrix who is winning the trust and then murdering her chosen partners. When his path crosses Violet Siemanski’s, he realizes he’s found a Mistress willing to be his ally in finding the murderess. But Violet is also going to shatter Mac’s shields and make him question who he is and what he wants, a challenge more disturbing than any case he’s ever worked.

Fishpond | Amazon US | Book Depository | Library

Remastering Jerna by Ann Somerville

Remastering Jerna by Ann Somerville

Reasons you should read this book:

1. The BDSM in this book is brutal and beautiful—and not always both at the same time.

2. The romance is essentially between two men, but the protagonist is not only married, he ends up working in a brothel.

3. Ann Somerville is an Australian author.

In a world not unlike our own, Jerna Setiq has a perfect life, a beloved wife and two adored children, with his past desires and needs firmly put behind him. But when he’s falsely accused of child abuse and imprisoned, he’s cast into hell, with no apparent means of redemption, or regaining all that he’s lost.

In the most unlikely of places, in the most unpromising of circumstances, fate offers Jerna his second chance and a path to freedom. With the cruelly fascinating Tolomy, a dominant in need of education and a patient submissive, Jerna dares to satisfy the long denied passions of his dual nature – but will he risk losing what has become so dear to him, all over again?

You can read my review of the book here.

Fishpond | Amazon US | Book Depository | Library

Ménage by Emma Holly

Menage by Emma Holly

Reasons you should read this book:

1. It’s more smut than literary, but it’s great smut!

2. The bondage scene is fun, sexy, slightly dangerous…and turns the tables in the most lovely way.

3. Emma Holly writes great threesomes. I never thought I’d like a threesome romance until I found this book.

When two handsome grad students move into Kate Winthrop’s Philadelphia townhouse, the once-burned divorcee thrills to having two young admirers, at least until the evening she finds them in bed with each other! Sensitive Joe is mortified. Badboy Sean challenges her to join in. Aroused by their show, she accepts. The adventure that ensues is more intense than any of them expected, and more fun. But can three lovers live happily ever after . . . together?

Fishpond | Amazon US | Book Depository | Library

And there’s more!

I also asked fellow readers for recommendations and here are some of them:

And in this vodcast, Kate Cuthbert and I talk about Australian authors of erotic romance/erotica. (Click here for the reading list.)

What are your erotic romance/erotica recommendations? Do you agree/disagree with any of the titles in this list? Let us know!


  1. Tez Miller says:

    I second Tiffany Reisz’s The Siren, and also recommend Suzanne Forster’s Tease. First ever Harlequin Spice novel), and proves that erotica should not just be graphic sex – it has fear :-)

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