Complicated and Raunchy: Must-Read Books Like Fifty Shades of Grey

Fun. Sexy. Naughty. Fifty Shades of Grey brought a newer, steamier kind of romance to the public consciousness, and once you’ve tasted it, it’s hard not to want more. Here are just a few books like Fifty Shades of Grey that will leave you breathless.

1. The Boss by Abigail Barnett

Quote from one of the books like Fifty Shades of Grey

If you enjoyed Ana’s quirky, self-aware narration in Fifty Shades, you’ll feel right at home with Sophie in The Boss. She’s a young assistant to a fashion magazine mogul, and she lives a glamorously unglamorous life in NYC as she tries to make her mark on the world of publishing. Enter Neil, her sexy billionaire boss… and former one-night stand!

Tossed into close proximity, Sophie and Neil are unable to deny the spark between them, one that resulted in a truly mind-blowing night. Complicating matters even further is their shared taste for the kinkier side of the sheets.

Will the lovebirds rekindle their romance? You probably know the answer already, but that’s okay. The joy of The Boss lies not in its plot twists but in its heart, humor, and gratifying amounts of wish fulfillment.

The Boss by Abigail Barnett

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2. Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Quote from Bared to You by Sylvia Day

You can consider Bared to You as a more mature version of Fifty Shades. Its protagonist, Eva Tramell, is another ingenue who tumbles into a romance with a sexy and mysterious billionaire, but they both have an edge this time. Gideon Cross is hiding secrets, and so is Eva. They’ve been damaged by their pasts, and their mutual darkness is part of what draws them into a passionate, almost obsessive relationship where they can only be satisfied by each other.

All that said, Bared to You isn’t a depressing novel. Its ultimate message is one of hope and healing, which is probably why it was a bestseller on Amazon. It just doesn’t shy away from exploring the ways that damage can shape one’s desires and affect one’s relationships.

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

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3. The Beautiful Series by Christina Lauren

A quote from The Beautiful Series by Christina Lauren

Workplace romance has never been hotter! From the very first novel, Beautiful Bastard, author Christiana Lauren sucks you into a world of steamy hookups that may or may not be witnessed by the office copy machine.

Chloe is a whip-smart grad student who is serving as an intern while working towards her MBA. Her boss, Bennett, is completely infuriating, but that just makes him more desirable. He’s always barking orders, making demands, and squabbling with Chloe in a way that ignites her blood just as much as it makes her clench her fists.

You know how this story goes. You might, however, be surprised at how entertaining the ride is. The Beautiful series spans 10 works and counting, and once Chloe and Bennett’s story reaches its conclusion, the roller coaster just keeps on going with other couples. You’ll be reading for a good long while if you decide that Christina Lauren is an author that belongs on your bookshelf!

The Beautiful Series by Christina Lauren

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4. Legal Briefs Series by Emma Chase

 A quote from Legal Briefs Series by Emma Chase

One of the greatest things about Fifty Shades is that it spans multiple books. When you aren’t ready to let go of Ana and Christian’s whirlwind romance, there’s more to read.

Legal Briefs is a series like Fifty Shades of Grey. With multiple books and side books, you can completely immerse yourself in its world of bed-hopping lawyers. Each novel is centered around a different couple, but they’re all smart, feisty, and very frank about their desires.

Overruled, for example, is about a female litigator who agrees to be the wedding date of a colleague hoping to win back his ex. Sustained revolves around a cold-hearted defense attorney whose walls come tumbling down after he meets a client with several orphaned nieces and nephews. Appealed is about childhood rivals turned courtroom rivals and all of the sizzling chemistry that comes with it.

Don’t object to Legal Briefs. Just act as a witness to its marvelous fun!

Legal Briefs Series by Emma Chase

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5. Wild Seasons by Christina Lauren

Quote from Wild Seasons by Christina Lauren

Fresh out of college, Mia has a one-night stand with a handsome stranger during a celebratory weekend in Vegas. In the morning, however, she doesn’t regret her decision. In fact, she decides to put off her future just a little bit longer and follow Ansel back to France.

This is the premise of Sweet Filthy Boy, the first book in the Wild Seasons collection. Another anthology series, it follows different couples through everything from roleplaying games to explorations of dominance and submission. There are seven works in all, so it’s sure to take you on a journey of epic, erotic proportions. It’ll also whet your appetite for sexy stories that you can’t read on the subway!

Wild Seasons by Christina Lauren

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6. Stark International Trilogy by J. Kenner

Quote from Stark International Trilogy by J. Kenner, a book similar to Fifty Shades of Grey

Many books like Fifty Shades of Grey explore BDSM themes. The Stark International series, however, takes a different approach. While the characters have a little fun with dominance and submission, there are no riding crops waiting on the bedside table, which results in you being bound to the book in a much different way.

The central couple of Stark International is Sylvia Brooks and Jackson Steele. Once upon a time, they had a scorching weekend together, but Sylvia couldn’t handle the heat and fled. When she finds herself needing Jackson’s help several years later, she has to risk falling back into the flames of their passion or seeing the rest of her life go up in smoke.

Exciting, complicated, and all the right kinds of raunchy, Stark International is a series that’ll leave you wanting more. The good news is that you can have it: It’s a spinoff of the Stark trilogy, meaning that you can dive right back into J. Kenner’s world with another couple!

Stark International Trilogy by J. Kenner

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7. Hardwired by Meredith Wild

Quote from Hardwired by Meredith Wild

Hardwired has a similar premise to many other books like Fifty Shades of Grey: A young woman, Erica, finds herself drawn into the orbit of a wealthy, attractive businessman who wants to take her to places both figuratively and literally.

From there, however, Hardwired starts to diverge from what you’ve known before. For starters, Erica is a smart, ambitious entrepreneur who approaches Blake because he’s a potential investor for her start-up. She’s also the one with a secret. Something in her past makes her hesitant to trust, which becomes a problem when Blake wants all of the control.

Hardwired gets its name from the fact that Blake is a hacker, but it could just as easily apply to the emotions and experiences that get encoded into our hearts from a young age. You’ll be rooting for Erica just as much as you were cheering on Ana to get her man and get her ring!

Hardwired by Meredith Wild

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8. The Dom Who Loved Me by Lexi Blake

A quote from The Dom Who Loved Me book

If you enjoy fun, steamy romance novels but get tired of the endless parades of 20-year-old billionaires, this is the novel for you!

Grace is 40 years old, widowed, and the mother of two children. She works as an executive assistant for an unremarkable company… or so she thought.

Sean, a 32-year-old government agent, is trying to track down a terrorist. He thinks that Grace’s place of employment might have some answers. Rather than risk the truth, he decides to seduce her, reeling her into nights of pain, pleasure, and the fulfillment of dark and secret fantasies.

Of the many books similar to Fifty Shades of Grey, The Dom Who Loved Me has some of the most striking differences, including the ages of the characters and the overarching plot of politics and intrigue. For lovers of the risque, however, it could be a way to recapture a bit of the thrill that made Fifty Shades so deliciously sinful.

The Dom Who Loved Me by Lexi Blake

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9. Knight by Kristen Ashley

A memorable quote from Knight

When Anya stumbles into a penthouse party, she never expects to run into Knight, a charming rogue who runs a string of nightclubs and manages prostitutes on the side. He’s the complete antithesis of your usual hero. When he falls for Anya, he finds himself uncovering long-buried instincts to protect and provide, and they’re at odds with his all-consuming desire to posses her.

On her end, Anya has never been so completely enthralled with someone before, and she’s a quick convert to his kinkier desires. But what happens when he gets it in his head that she deserves someone “cleaner” and “purer” than him?

Knight is one of those romance novels that doesn’t ignore the psychological component to bedroom games. If you enjoyed Ana and Christian’s emotional journey just as much as their physical adventures in the Red Room, this could be the novel for you.

Knight by Kristen Ashley

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10. The Breathless Trilogy by Maya Banks

Quote from Maya Bank's The Breathless Trilogy

Authored by bestseller Maya Banks, Breathless trilogy will definitely live up to its name by leaving you light-headed. If you’re looking for naughty material that can stand up to Christian’s greatest hits, wait until you read some of these bedroom scenes!

The Breathless series revolves around three friends: Gabe, Jace, and Ash. They’re all wealthy and powerful, and one by one, they find themselves consumed with love and desire for different women. Their stories intertwine even as their characters go on distinct paths that transform them.

If you’re looking for books like Fifty Shades of Grey that don’t fade to black when it’s time for the good stuff, you’ve just come across your new favorite series.

The Breathless Trilogy by Maya Banks

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11. The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

Quote from The Siren, a book like Fifty Shades of Grey

Have you ever read Fifty Shades and wished that Ana was the dom rather than Christian? If so, you might enjoy the dark, carnal adventures of The Siren and its sequel novels.

Nora is a dominatrix, one who capitalizes on her craft by writing erotic fiction. She has multiple love interests and doesn’t apologize for it. She’s also brutally honest about her interest in BDSM, exploring it as not only a physical sensation but a psychological phenomenon.

If you want to see women in positions of power, read this book. If you want to understand BDSM on a deeper level, read this book. The Siren is a fascinating exploration of desire, taboo, and self-discovery as seen through one woman and her bed.

The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

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Other Books Worth Reading

Building Your Own Literary Red Room

You’ve read all of the books. You’ve seen all of the movies. Don’t cry into the flogging bench when you run out of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey’s story! Just shift your attention to other great books like Fifty Shades of Grey.

Want to explore other book genres? Make sure to check our Best Books of All Time review.


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