When I wrote my post on tropes in romance novels, I promises you I was working on a list of alternatives to 50 Shades of Grey. Well dear readers, that day has come.
I’ve read bad novel after bad novel, treadging through to find only the books I felt warranted being listed on Pure Geekery. Since I’m proposing these as an alternative to 50 Shades, I’m only suggesting series. And those series must have some sort of BDSM theme to them.
And use common sense, don’t click-through to the books if you’re at work. They’re kinda NSFW.
I never thought I’d say this, but I wish I were Schmitt and/or Winston right now. Photo from Fox.
1) Songs of Submission by CD Reiss – I’ve just started this series and I’m hooked. A story of an aspiring musician and the rich guy she meets waitressing. Yes, its a bit of a played out plot, but it works.
It works because the characters are real and likeable. It does have the Sexy CEO trope, but not in the typical way. Johnathan. Has to go to work. He has to stop playing to take business calls. And I’m sorry CD but no matter how many times you describe Jonathan as a ginger, I can’t stop picturing him as Russel from the first season of New Girl (which doesn’t hurt).
What also makes this work is its not a “I’m a Dominant and you’re a submissive and this is how it’ll work,” type of book. Its more organic than that. They are working towards that point, instead of having the first date end in the “playroom.”
I like this series enough you’re probably going to get a full review when im done. Blogging is hard work.
You can download the first book, Beg, free for Kindle.
2) Bound and Freed by Nikki Sex – Are we done giggling at the author’s pen name? (I have to think there are derby girls around the internet are now kicking themselves for not thinking of it.) Alright we can move on then. This series takes the typical “big strong Dom awakens girl’s hidden sexuality” and turns it on its head. We have instead the girl helping the Dom through his issues. He’s the one that needs saving in this series. It is a refreshing take on the tropes that we see played over and over, and is worth it for that reason alone.
The first book, Bound, is free for Kindle. The entire series can be had for $3.99.
3) Beyond by Kit Rocha – A post-apocalyptic dystopian romance novel featuring a whiskey brewing gang that respects women. Someone’s been reading my dream journal.
Seriously though, these books are amazing. Each book focuses on another couple, although they’re all present throughout the series. It focuses on their dynamic and what they go through. The second book even made me cry (damn you Lex and Dallas).
While this is all going on, you have this mad max like world that had to be managed as well. It creates an amazing atmosphere. This is another series that down the line will be getting its own review.
The books are $3.99 each, pop over to Amazon and get the first in the series, Beyond Shame.
You nickname the main guy “Thor” and you add a dark haired guy? You know my mind went here. Photo from CNET.
4) Carmen’s New York Romance by Nikki Sex – Its probably cheating to have two series by the same author. But my blog, my rules. This one is very soap opera like. Mistaken identities! A shady past! Crazy ex-lovers! I don’t care, its fun. Plus, I love the emphasis on the theme “where there is no will, theres no submission.” Something that is missing from 50 shades. Something that makes this the perfect alternative.
Plus Carmen calls Kurt “Thor,” so of course I’m picturing Chris Hemsworth the whole time. And when the dark haired guy shows up, well….
Much like Bound and Freed, the first book is free. The series is $3.99.
5) Masters of the Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair – I’m only on book two of this series. But so far it breaks out all the tropes (except for “the virgin,” but the series is young). In the first book we have a shy girl wreck her car, the closest building is a BDSM club, where she meets the sexy rich Dom who helps her find herself. Should be lame right? Its actually good. The stories aren’t as engrossing as some of the others, they’re still entertaining.
Club Shadowlands, the first in the series, is free for Kindle.
BONUS: Mr. Smiths Whip by Brynn Paulin – Couldn’t include it because its a standalone instead of a series. But its about a librarian and a sexy British Dom. I have a feeling this would be of interest to all of you.
The book is $3.99 for Kindle.
Not this Mr. Smith, unless you want it to be I guess…
As I read through all of these, I realized what my big problem with 50 Shades of Grey is (other than the horrific writing). Its that Christian never earns the respect he demands from Anastasia. He preys on her submissive nature instead of appreciating it. Its scummy. I don’t like scummy guys in my romance novels, unless they’re getting justice. What about you? What do you look for in a romance novel?