A list of the best erotica books: Full steam ahead

Written by Silke, updated 08 Jun 2021

Ooh yummy! The seedy, dirty, filthy, underbelly to romance. When the lights go dark, and the Happily Ever After is still 14 chapters away, what gets you through the night? A 5,000 word short and to the point book that gets the business done. So before I go into the first of many lists on erotica, I’m going to do my normal bit and give some disclaimers, as well as some background.

There is actually two separate categories on Amazon as well as major book sellers when talking about romance and/or erotica. There is straight up erotica. And then there’s romance. Just like there are subcategories in Romance such as Sweet, Clean Christian Romance and Bad Boy Contemporary Romance, you’ll find subcategories in Erotica. These categories are vast and layered - from Fantasy, which could be anything involving a vampire, orc, elf, or fairy tale characters to Billionaire or other conventional categories. What we’re not going to discuss on today’s list - maybe we will at a later date - are some of the more esoteric niches that one finds in erotica. I’m talking about some crazy kinks that people read, and that you can find on Amazon. Kinks like hucow, gender swap, and tentacles. In general, if there is a Romance category niche for it, then its fair game for my erotica lists.

Now, the next bit that’s hard to admit, but true. Basically, my books have a lot of sex in them. Like the latest one is drenched in so much sex that I kept getting distracted. And so did my ARC readers. But where did I learn all that? Erotica. Some may even say I am an erotica writer. I prefer the term romance or if we want to quibble, romantica. You could also say smut. But when you think of an erotica short story, basically think of those steamy scenes in the romance novel. Take just the scene, make the sex the focus, and stick to 5,000 to 8,000 words and you have an erotica short. Simple. To the point. Dirty.

However, not all erotica is a short story and that’s what we’re covering today where I’m listing 10 books classified in erotica that I consider to be very good. I don't know any of the authors below as I don’t interact with them the same way I do with Isabella Starling or Willow Winters and other romance authors. You could say I’m a bit biased in favor of romance over erotica so the books below have more story and that makes the steamy scenes more interesting - but they’re still down to business really fast. They don't care about the HEA even though they provide it, and their goal is to help you reach yours - and we both know what that is, right? Elements from them have shown up in my work when I write and I actually go back and re-read them, which I never thought I’d do for a dirty book. But some of the scenes are timeless. I’m also crossing niches here, because at least for this article, I want to do a broad scope of the field for readers.

So, without further ado, ten great books to start your journey into erotica (listed in no particular order):

  • #1 The Virgin Duet - Alexa Riley

    The Virgin Duet - Alexa Riley

    contemporary erotic romance virgin hero virgin heroine possessive hero

    Alexa Riley is actually two authors that collaborate. I follow both on Twitter, and I’ve met them one at a convention. And let me tell you, these ladies have done more as Alexa Riley to bring smut into the mainstream than can be comprehended. Shielding Lily falls into the category of First Time. First time for what? Remember what the dominant theme in erotica is? That’s right. That kind of first time. And this story is hot. I never realized how hot reading about someone’s first time can be until I read this. And that’s when I started incorporating the virgin heroine into my works. more

  • #2 His Good Little Associate - Erica Roswell

    His Good Little Associate - Erica Roswell

    suspense erotic romance bdsm

    Ever wonder where some of the inspiration behind Cassandra Dee or some of the MMMMF stuff comes from? Look no further than Erica Roswell. Sure, the concept of a menage of gang bang existed before then, but the type of group activity showing up in Erica Roswell’s books is something that still does it for me when I want to read something really dirty. And trust me ladies, there are those times that we've all had where we want to see just how far the boundary goes. It may not be for everyday consumption, but it’s definitely there to satisfy an itch. And it helps inspire me for my menage scenes when I write them... more

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  • #3 What Dad Doesn't Know - Becca Lusk

    What Dad Doesn't Know - Becca Lusk

    erotic romance

    We’re talking about taboo and forbidden here, and the descriptive usage of words created by Becca makes the taboo sizzling in its read. What I like also about this book has got to be the fact that she was able to take a 13 or 14 part series (the original series has since been removed) and meld it into one story that approaches a novella length. Anyone who’s ever read the Stepbrother With Benefits series by Mia Clark will be familiar with the convenience of having them all together. Only thing I wish I could change about it? The price. Standard erotica shorts price at 2.99. This one is higher - a bit on the steep side... more

  • #4 Illicit Inheritance - Anya Merchant

    Illicit Inheritance - Anya Merchant

    erotic romance fantasy

    This takes taboo and pushes it to a whole different level. And at times, it gets a little too real for me. But Anya Merchant is amazing in her ability to craft a story for what’s essentially supposed to be a dirty read. I’ve spent some time analyzing her catalog, and she has been publishing for a long time. I wish I had a chance to interact with her once - I’d ask her why she purposely stays in the erotica category. But then again, based on the quality of her stories and the rankings she gets, I think I know the answer to that. more

  • #5 The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty - A.N. Roquelaure,Anne Rice

    The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty - A.N. Roquelaure,Anne Rice

    contemporary erotic romance fantasy menage rape

    How can I have an erotica listing an not include Anne Rice? That’s like going to a hotel for the weekend to have an intimate moment with your significant other and forgetting to bring them along! We should all know what Anne Rice writes about - vampires! And she does it in a timeless way, that still resonates to this day. Before Fifty Shades of Grey, and before the large number of vampire works that proliferated in the marketplace, there was Anne. I’ve never met her, but I would love to. Because her books are just so delightfully erotic in their telling of the story - I can’t put them down. If Amazon ever told me I had to choose one erotica book to hold onto forever, I’d keep this... more

  • #6 Roommate - Jenika Snow

    Roommate - Jenika Snow

    new adult contemporary virgin heroine virgin hero erotic romance

    This is a new release that came out in October and it's pretty scorching. I'd say that you can find two types of erotica. Those with explicit scenes that go into great detail and those without as much emphasis on the explicit scenes that end up being far more sexier to ladies who like the buildup. I'll tell you that I love the buildup personally, because it gets the reader really hot. And there's no one I know that writes about sex that does a better buildup than Jennika Snow. The way she weaves a story with Brendan and Meghan will get any reader hot and fog up their Kindle before anyone even gets close to sexy times... more

  • #7 Best Women's Erotica 2015 - Violet Blue

    Best Women's Erotica 2015 - Violet Blue

    erotic romance f-f (lesbian)

    If you want a collection of short stories, then you can't go wrong with this one. While it was nice and the stories are very well written and are perfect, I think it's important for me to acknowledge just how well Violet has her hand on the sexual pulse of the modern woman (in Western liberal democracies) today. The best part about this is that you're not buying into a massive novel, but a collection of low-commitment short stories. Perfect way to get your toe in the water. A lot of women agree, this book falls solidly in the Amazon Top 100. more

  • #8 Elicit - M Never

    Elicit - M Never

    erotic romance dark romance alpha male bdsm menage

    I know this author because we spend time in the same communities. She also lives in New York City and currently is ranked the Number 2 author in Erotica on Amazon. Her following on Facebook is tremendous and she always has great interaction with her readers. She's got a twisted mind that comes up with the most entertaining and darkest erotica pieces that I've ever read. Once you dip your toe in with Anya Merchant, Erica Roswell, and Becca Lusk, you graduate to the M. Never variety - an author who writes erotica in a complete celebration of the act. more

  • #9 The Carter Boys - Desiree M. Granger

    The Carter Boys - Desiree M. Granger

    Desiree M. Granger is pretty popular on Amazon as an author. Wondering why? Because she doesn't follow the standard romance and erotica beat. And if you're tired of the same old erotica in your Kindle bookshelf, then boy, have I got an author for you. This isn't your regular cougar in her suburban Lexus finding love with the pool cleaner erotica. Nor is this your standard virgin finding lust in the arms of a Billionaire BDSM junkie. Nope. The Carter Boys is all about the hood. Specifically in ATL. Some call it urban, others call it ethnic, but regardless of how you slice it and dice it, what you're left with is an unique look into a whole different demographic of the erotica market... more

  • #10 Temptation - Selena Kitt

    Temptation - Selena Kitt

    erotic romance friends to lovers forbidden love dark romance bdsm

    And no list would be complete without the Queen of Erotica herself. Selena Kitt has done more to popularize erotica and bring it mainstream than any author I know. I've never had a chance to work with her in the past, but I've interacted with her and she's one of the nicest people ever. This lady is also a publishing machine. She wrote 500,000 words before she ever published a single book and for a while she was #1 on Amazon's list of highest grossing authors. She's since moved on to start her own publishing company as well as a platform for the various genres that Amazon won't sell - but at heart she's the most down to earth famous author I've ever met. And I've met a several... more

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