It's almost ten years since Fifty Shades mania swept across the world, and you couldn't walk past a pool without seeing several copies staring back at you from across the loungers. If you were one of them, you're going to love these raunchy reads for summer 2021.
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There's nothing quite like getting lost in a new book, so here are 14 erotic novels with the best reviews to order now…
The best erotic romance novels
The Duke & I by Julia Quinn
The Duke & I, from £4.50, Amazon
Cover blurb: "By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister, the lovely - and almost-on-the-shelf - Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth - it's all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable."
Top review: "I’ve just finished reading this book and have to say, I found it an amazing storyline. I loved the characters, as I really felt that you got to know each one. I especially liked Simon's character, as he wasn’t portrayed as this perfect male lead - but rather the opposite. That’s rare to see."
Bared To You by Sylvia Day
Bared To You, from £6.99, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness - beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…"
Top review: "Not the first time I've read this series but I keep coming back because nothing I read ever gives me the feels like this one! I just love Gideon and Eva, not to give too much away because I already know what happens but they make the best couple!"
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
The Unhoneymooners, from £5.77, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Olive is always unlucky; her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. While she's about to marry her dream man, Olive is forced to play nice with her nemesis: the best man, Ethan. Yet Olive's luck may be on the turn... When the entire wedding - except for Olive and Ethan - gets food poisoning, there's an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs. Putting their mutual hatred aside, Olive and Ethan head for paradise. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him spirals out of control. Forced to play loving newlyweds, she and Ethan find themselves in closer proximity than they ever expected. Soon, Olive finds that maybe she doesn't mind pretending. In fact, she's beginning to feel kind of... lucky."
Top review: "This book has been on my radar for a while. I love enemies to lovers romance plot lines and I’ve heard so many good things about Christina Lauren books. Anyway, I devoured this in a DAY. Page to page. I could not tear myself away from Olive and Ethan. To start with I was a bit put off. I thought these two hate each other SO bad how can this ever be turned to love in a believable way but my god did they manage it. I felt every emotion, every inside joke. It had me laughing, crying, giddy with joy. It was such an uplifting positive book. I loved everything about it."
Credence by Penelope Douglas
Credence, from £9.13, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Tiernan de Haas doesn't care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she's grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents' fame followed her everywhere. And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She's always been alone, hasn't she? Jake Van der Berg, her father's stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore. As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them. And as a part of them. She also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching. One of them has her. The other one wants her. But he...He's going to keep her."
Top review: "Wow, just wow. This book has just consumed me for 2 days, every time I had to put it down I really didn't want to. Everything about this book was perfect, addictive, erotic, the tension and anticipation was like thick fog laying all around me, trying to breathe because I'm holding my breath waiting for the next scene to play out; yes Penelope Douglas has hit this one out of the ballpark once again."
Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair
Touch of Darkness, from £10.60, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shrivelled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist. Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favourite bets are rumoured to be impossible. After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever. The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden."
Top review: "I managed to completely devour this book in a measly several hours. I was hooked from the first page and found the development of characters fast-paced and detailed. I truly believe this is one of the most amazing retellings of Persephone & Hades that I’ve ever read. I absolutely adore the world-building and the mixture of modern and ancient. It’s a beautiful contrast and one I have thoroughly enjoyed. The author really goes into depth with the surroundings in a way which makes it easy to imagine in your own head. Finally, the romantic tension throughout the book is otherworldly (quite like the two it involves). It’s a beautiful creation of forbidden love, lust, destiny, betrayal and ultimately growth. I loved every second of the journey and the sharp quips from some of the characters made me chuckle fiercely."
Stanton Adore by T L Swan
Stanton Adore, from £12.97, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Holiday romances are supposed to be fun… and quick... not burned into your damn brain. My skin is branded with her name, my heart is branded with her betrayal and now seven years later I have been forced to return to find that she is just as perfect as ever, the ultimate temptation. I don't want her and I definitely can’t have her. I just need to get my libido to keep up with my brain."
Top review: "This story has so much, everything and more. Couldn't stop reading it and can't wait to get started on the next, the characters are amazing."
The Professional by Kresley Cole
The Professional, from £6.99, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Mafiya enforcer Aleksandr "The Siberian" Sevastyan's loyalty to his boss is unwavering, until he meets the boss's long-lost daughter, a curvy, tantalizing redhead who haunts his mind and heats his blood like no other. Ordered to protect her, Aleksandr will do anything to possess her as well - on his own wicked terms."
Top review: "This book is hot, hot, hot! I loved the dynamic between the two main characters. Two people couldn’t be more opposite in their lives yet they recognise the same yearning in each other. The sexual connection between them is off the chain and so animalistic."
The Arrangement by Robyn Harding
The Arrangement, from £4.26, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Natalie has moved to New York City to get away from a family she no longer feels a part of and an ex-boyfriend whose love for her has grown into obsession. Struggling to study, work and pay her bills, she finds that life in the city isn’t all that she’d hoped. And when she discovers that her ex may have followed her to New York, it feels like everything is falling apart. When she meets Gabe, all of her problems seem to fall away. Although more than thirty years her senior, he’s handsome and rich and can keep her safe. She can’t help but fall madly in love."
Top review: "Really enjoyed this, kept me guessing up until the end and I was completely hooked on the storyline right from the beginning. I recommended it to everyone in my office, when I had got to about 80% of the way through I honestly couldn’t wait to leave work just to finish it off."
Knight by Kristen Ashley
Knight, from £9.01, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Anya Gage has learned that to get anything good in life, you have to work for it. She has no expectations, no dreams. Then she finds herself at a party where she doesn’t want to be and she meets Knight. Knight Sebring knows who he is, what he wants and what he likes. And he gets it. But he never expected something as sweet as Anya Gage to wander into his bedroom during a party he did not expect to be having to borrow his phone."
Top review: "Wow, what a story, what characters, what a ride. I absolutely loved this book with a passion, so much so that it took me longer to read than any other book because I kept going back to read my favourite bits."
Rush by Maya Banks
Rush, from £11.31, Amazon
Cover blurb: "When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires. Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once. So what if he’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires."
Top review: "I was looking for something to fill the void after Fifty Shades of Grey and OMG l found it. Got to say this was more sexy with better use of words for certain aspects of the story. Love the characters."
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
Call Me By Your Name, from £4.60, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them."
Top review: "This is a beautifully written book charting a long 6 week vacation at a family’s Italian villa: along comes Oliver a lecturer at an American university who is mid-thesis and is working alongside the family father. Unexpectedly the American and the 17 year old son strike up a bond which rapidly develops into a love affair and meanders through a hot Italian and very beautiful landscape as a backdrop to both men learning what such feelings mean and how to express them."
With This Collar by Sierra Cartwright
With His Collar, from £10.99, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Julia Lyle is invited to her best friend's wedding and is stunned when Lana kneels to accept her husband's collar. When Julia starts to object, firm, relentless hands land on her shoulders. The man behind her threatens to turn her over his knee if she interrupts. She's outraged, but there's no doubt he's serious. After the ceremony, he offers her a glimpse into her friend's lifestyle, if she's brave enough to accept. Master Marcus Cavendish is everything she doesn't want in a man—dominant, self-assured and arrogant. So why can't she resist him?"
Top review: "It was hot. Wow. Despite being almost clinical at times, the information being shared actually increased my anticipation for the good stuff, which is exactly how it felt for the heroine. As she was getting tense and restless, so was I. The chemistry was insane, and yet I felt like I was learning at the same time. I have to applaud the author for managing to strike that balance!"
Hate to Want You: Forbidden Hearts by Alisha Ray
Hate To Want You, from £6.01, Amazon
Cover blurb: "One night. No one will know. That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts—and the last names that made them enemies. Until the night she didn’t show up."
Top review: "Holy cow this book was good! You have family secrets, a whole of lot rumours and past secrets. Livvy and Nicholas’s history is so linked that they couldn’t get free if they tried! Their chemistry was off the charts and the forbidden element made it even sexier. This was a story with very complex characters. It dealt with mental health issues, grief and greed. I loved this story and couldn’t put it down."
Bad Behaviour by Mary Gaitskill
Bad Behavior: Stories, from £8.58, Amazon
Cover blurb: "Powerful stories about dislocation, longing, and desire which depict a disenchanted and rebellious urban fringe generation that is searching for human connection. Now a classic, Bad Behavior made critical waves when it was first published."
Top review: "If you are familiar with Mary Gaitskill’s vision of the world, you will find all the usual - sometimes terrifying - ingredients: lovelessness, violence in relationships, flawed protagonists, the agony and banality of adult life. You will also find hope, humour, compassion and truth. This is the world as it is; not as we would hope it to be."
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