Books similar to Fifty Shades of Grey

None of these authors will be relevant a hundred years from now, none of them are epic writers (though Sylvia Day is pretty good) and if you read the e-books (as I did with all except two of the Crossfire series), they are riddled with grammar and spelling errors which are extremely annoying. Some of the errors are really basic so a good editor would have sorted most of them. I suppose editors and sub-editors are a thing of the past these days. BUT having said that, I really enjoyed almost all of them, and they did not require energy or concentration. Just the thing to sit and read outside by the lake. Escapism. Reminds me of when I used to read photo comics, comics and Mills and Boon romances under my sheets because my parents would not allow me to read ‘junk’. Just what you want when you are tired after a long day and need a happy ending to something in your life! The literary equivalent of a big juicy doughnut!

At least four of these series have one book written from the female protagonist’s point of view, and one written from the male protagonist’s point of view. Which is interesting but does involve a lot of repetition.

I run two book clubs for my students – one for the classics (current favourite with them is Middlemarch by George Eliot) and one for contemporary books. I tend to find the language in the contemporary books more relevant for people who want it to help their speaking. If they start to speak like characters from Dickens or Jane Austen it sounds too stilted and formal. And reading the classics often goes much more slowly because the vocabulary can be very archaic.

The contemporary book club tends to have two favourites genres – detective novels and erotic novels! Science fiction is not too popular and neither is fantasy. I think the audience is far narrower. I am one of the people who could never get into Lord of the Rings so I am rather pleased about that!

Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E.L. James

Not fantastically written and Christian’s behaviour was beyond the pale a few times, but I read all four and I enjoyed them. I have also read the latest book, Grey, and seen the movie (dreadful as it was).

2The Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day

The closest to the Grey Trilogy I would say. I attempted to read these last year but couldn’t get past the second book. I was about to donate the books to the local charity shop a few weeks back (whether that is a good thing for the charity shop or not, I wouldn’t know) when I spotted them waiting by the door and thought I’d give them another bash. This time I got through all four and I really enjoyed them. The hero’s implausible sexual stamina aside, they weren’t bad.  I liked the fact that the heroine had money and social standing of her own. There is a fifth book to the series which has not yet been published.

12931-MLA20068396134_032014-OAfterburn and Aftershock by Sylvia Day

I quite enjoyed these. Sylvia Day is a good writer and is very prolific. She did a nice job of creating the two different worlds the female protagonist moves between. I am keen to read one of her historical ones next.

stark-trilogy-coversThe Stark Trilogy by J Kenner

I enjoyed these ones and even read the three Stark Trilogy novellas which came after the trilogy. Not sure what set this one apart but I think it was the way Damien was portrayed in the book, as well as how brilliantly she described the scenery and the surroundings.

trilogy-this-manThis Man Trilogy by Jodi Ellen Malpas

I read all three and they are really popular but did not enjoy them. The ‘hero’ was a loon. If you think Christian Grey is bad, this dude is off the wall. The increasingly implausible plot twists also started to get ridiculous towards the end. I ploughed my way through all of them so the fact that I finished the entire trilogy means that it was not completely dire.

The-Submissive-TrilogyThe Submissive Trilogy by Tara Sue Me

Got through two of the four (the fourth one is a novella called The Chalet) and just could not go any further. The first book was from her perspective, the second book was the same story from his perspective. And after  I couldn’t finish any more. He, like Christian Grey, plays the piano. He (like all the others….) is a billionaire who makes her sign a contract….would not recommend them.

laurelin-paige-fixed-coversThe Fixed Trilogy by Laurelin Paige 

Not too bad actually though the heroine was a bit off the wall with her obsessive stalking tendencies. She got better towards the end though. I also read the fourth one which was called Hudson but I skipped half of it because, to be honest, I was not interested in his past.



The Knight Trilogy by Kitty French

These ones I quite enjoyed. The last book is mostly a different story but about 33% is the final part of the story dealt with in book 1 and 2.

d1ecde01f113a4164a769b7748026f26The Fade Series by Kate Dawes

I found these ones a bit feeble. No substance or building up a back story before the relationship started – like building a castle on air (not even sand!). If the books had not been so short I would have given up after the first book. One thing I did like was the way her parents were depicted. The dialogue between them was wonderful. Reminded me of my family.


love-unscripted-unrehearsed-tina-reber-book-cover-620x350The Love Unscripted/Unrehearsed Books by Tina Reber

Not really the same type of book as the others but they were very sweet, rather romantic and the characterisation is lovely. The dialogue in these books is fantastic and it really builds the story. This is not the kind of writing I used to teach but if I had to try and show someone good dialogue I would choose this book.


Series-COllage1The Rosemary Beach Series by Abbi Glines

I only read the three dealing with Rush and Blaire but I imagine the others are not too bad. Very quick and easy reads and, like Sylvia Day, Abbie Glines has many books out so if you are a fan you will never be short of something to read. I liked the way the supporting characters were individuals with different characters. This allowed them to have books of their own in the rest of the series.


blogger-image--1054111740The Forever Trilogy by Sandi Lynn

I bought all three as Kindle books and could not get further than the first one. Why? I am not sure where to begin. I read the ‘newly edited’ version but even after being re-edited, it was full of the most dreadful errors. The author seems to know nothing about verb tenses, apostrophes, sentence structure or the English language, although from the way she expresses herself, I am sure she is a native English speaker. She thinks Michigan is a city and that Chicago is a state. She has a character in the book with autism but does not seem to know what autism is.  An example of a sentence would be the hero professing his love by saying ‘there is no limit to what I wouldn’t do for you.’ She seems to have cut and pasted from all the other popular Grey-alike series. Her ‘Christian Grey’ is called ‘Connor Black’ which should tell you how dire this train wreck is. I would have edited this mess for free just to save other people from the agony I went through trying to read it.

SurrenderYourLove-TrilogySurrender Your Love Trilogy by J.C. Reed

I have just finished these three (the Surrender Your Love Trilogy) and there are four more (the No Exceptions series) about the same characters. I have not read them and I probably won’t because my work picks up again from now on and I am suffering book fatigue at the moment. I did enjoy this series though. I liked the characters and I also liked the fact that there was a major mystery/crime element to the story as well. I was surprised to be on the edge of my seat towards the end of the trilogy because of the suspense.


gabriels-infernoThe Gabriel Trilogy by Sylvain Reynard

These ones I enjoyed because, despite their faults, they were more academic, cerebral and layered than the others. It took me quite a while to get into the story and it needed more concentration so took a longer time for me to read them. Also written as Twilight fan fiction, though you cannot really see the similarity in the same way as you can with as Fifty Shades. I studied Dante at university but not at any great depth so this made me interested in researching Dante and Beatrice more deeply. This book reminded me of a tapestry.

s751322792507363900_p2_i4_w1943Beautiful Disaster, Walking Disaster, Beautiful Wedding, Beautiful Oblivion, Beautiful Redemption, Beautiful Sacrifice by Jamie McGuire

These books follow the same central story (Travis and Abby) from different viewpoints, while simultaneously exploring the love stories of each of the Maddox brothers. They were all really enjoyable. I liked the dialogue and the way the friendship between the characters developed into love, as well as the strong storyline. The total opposite of Max and Olivia in the Fade series. The writing in this series is good and the English is excellent. I have not found more than ten grammar errors so far (almost all of them irregular verbs, which appear to be problematic through most of these books plus a few typos), and editing and proofreading is my job so it is pretty good. One caveat though is that these are not erotic books, so if that is what you are after, something like Crossfire would probably be your best bet. She keeps true to the character of the endearing Maddox boys throughout.  And for me the best part is that these are ordinary working class people, struggling to make a living. Not a billionaire CEO in sight!

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 18.43.18Quantum Series by MS Force

This one was nicely written, with a steadfast hero and strong heroine. It was also well written though the timeframe was a bit too fast to be believable.

UnknownIn Flight Series by RK Lilley

I read the three in the series as well as the fourth one, Mr Beautiful, plus several of the spin offs. I enjoyed these all very much, particularly the strong, reserved heroine and her wonderful best friend Stephan. I loved the way the strong relationship between the two friends was portrayed, as well as how independent Bianca was. This is one I would read again if I had the time.

mightystormseries-geybiesbookblogThe Mighty Storm series by Samantha Towle

This is probably my favourite of all of them. Childhood best friends, parted when they were young, meet again when he is a rockstar and she a music journalist. I am not sure what made these so good but I loved them. I also read the third in the series, Taming the Storm, but did not enjoy it that much because it was about other peripheral characters from the first books.


After that I moved into another rock band series:

Stage.dive-series-1024x370The Stage Dive Series by Kylie Scott

I enjoyed all of these, but my favourite one was the first one – Lick – which was about the guitarist in the band, Stage Dive. Each of the other books was about another character but all of them featured all the characters which is nice because you inhabit their world so to speak. The heroines in these books were all pretty ordinary and that is quite unusual.

you-and-I-trioYou and I Series by Melissa Toppen

I enjoyed this one so much I actually reread the first one again, with my book club. I loved the story of Anna and Bentley. Melissa Toppen is a great writer. The books are full of errors, both grammatical and otherwise, but the writing was so strong I could overlook them and enjoy the books anyway. Her other series, the Two Hearts books, were the same. Such strong writing that the errors just did not matter (well, not too much), and for me that is saying a lot.


Others I have read recently:

  • Black Falcon series by Michelle A Valentine: I only read the first two and did not enjoy them as much as The Mighty Storm or the Stage Dive series
  • Indulge by Georgia Cates: a standalone which I rather enjoyed
  • Wallbanger by Alice Clayton: hysterically funny
  • Beautiful Broken Rules by Kimberley Lauren: rather enjoyable and reminded me of the Maddox brothers series
  • Cassie Cross – Billionaire’s Desire and Meeting Mr Wright


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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