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Hot Stuff

5 Steamy reads you won't be able to put down

E.L. James has made readers less shy about making their tastes known in terms of erotica—so, look up the following titles to dip into titillating and engrossing titles that are officially NSFW.

Guilty Pleasures

Start here with Laurel K. Hamilton’s series writings, in which Anita Blake, a neuromantic vampire hunter, kicks ass, takes some paranormal names and, well…enjoys the varied pleasures of bloodsucking company, as it were. Hamilton has written a LOT of stuff, and everyone has his/her favorites, so if you are a newb, then if you like, say, True Blood, her titles will offer the perfect cocktail of empowerment and enjoyment.

Girls: A Paean

By turns brutal, brutally honest and pretty damn hot, Nic Kelman’s smart, erudite and compulsively readable novel about the sex lives of elite corporate males will not only make you think, blink, and roll your eyes behind your head, but keep you reading voraciously until you’re done. And you’ll be thinking about it long after you finished. Note: GQ rated this as one of the most erotic novels of the past decade, justifiably so.

Best Women’s Erotica 2013

Edited by Violet Blue, the tales herein don’t beat around the bush, and with good reason, as the title promises precisely what the series delivers. Year after year, these compilations bring it (the past few series have been edited by the prolific Blue, who writes about MANY funky things, btw). Don’t worry: If you’re afraid the covers are too racy for public consumption, you can always get the Kindle or e-reader editions and enjoy steamy prose on a screen, instead of between the pages of a book. But if you hate it, try the recent S.E.C.R.E.T. or Quiver, and we’ll call it even.

The Sexual Life of Catherine M.

When this memoir was released in France, a decade or so ago, detailing the frankly kaleidoscopic sexscapades of respected art writer Catherine Millet, la merde hit la ventilateur. Sheesh—what isn’t in here?! Well…if you’d like to know, try the follow-up, Jealousy: The Other Life of Catherine M. To my mind, these books are more finely tuned, delving into ruggedly taboo territory less clumsily than other, splashy autobiographical curios (such as The Surrender).

Beauty From Pain, Vol. 1

The “Beauty” series I recommend simply for the Fifty Shades… crowd, and I hope it does the trick. In some ways, the motto with this could be, “Aussie Rules Are Made To Be Broken,” at least, here and there. The novels may have some mechanical problems, but give them a try, as they work, on many levels.

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