As one of a growing crowd of Indie authors, I’ve learned that our crowd has to work hard to market our books, often doing beta-reading and reviewing the work of other Indie authors whose work deserves attention. For example, since I live in Southwestern Ontario in Canada, I’ve met a group of other Indie authors from the area, and we’ve worked together to try to promote each other. In the process, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and have read a number of excellent examples of Romance literature that are every bit as good as Fifty Shades of Grey. So if you are a Fifty Shades fan, and you’re looking for the Next Big Thing in Romance, here are some ideas for you.
The first author I would suggest is Ontario author Christa Simpson, who has written a number of books in the Romance genre over the past three years, including her excellent Twisted Trilogy. Christa describes her work as “sexy, sassy, sarcastic romance”. Having read the entire trilogy, and a fourth book in the series, I can attest to the fact that her books are just that. They are intelligent, fast-paced, enjoyable romances with endings that leave you guessing to the very end.
Another Ontario author whose work I’ve reviewed, is Amanda S. Jones (no relation to me!), who has written a series of brilliant, intelligent, and well-written Travel Romances, the AQUA Romance Series. Amanda combines her knowledge of travel, wine, food, and of course, romance, into a brand of romance that tempts readers by engaging all five of their senses. And finally, another Ontario author whose pre-release work I’ve had the privilege of reading, is the up and coming Jennifer Ammoscato, who will soon be releasing a trilogy of light, humorous, “Chik-Lit” which I enjoyed immensely! Watch for the release of Jennifer’s trilogy in the spring of 2015!
Moving outside Canada, here’s a few other notable Romance novels that I’ve read and reviewed over the past year. Two of the most notable are Lesley James’ Blueprint Lizzie and Blueprint Edward. Although the author describes these two books as Erotica, they definitely don’t push the boundaries as much as Fifty Shades, but are just as enjoyable. What makes these books unique, is that they describe the same love story, but each is told in first person from the perspective of the two main characters, Lizzie and Edward.
Perhaps the most enjoyable book I’ve read in the Romance genre over the past year, just happens to be by an author who shares my name - Alex Jones. The difference is that, while I’m a male author from Ontario, Canada, the other Alex Jones is female and is from Oregon. Her book is called The Good Woman. Like my own novel, The Good Woman is characterized by strong, psychologically complex characters. The main character, Mar, is struggling with her sexual identity and enters an exotic treatment program where she meets the love of her life, an enigmatic psychologist named Gabriel. Like Anastasia in Fifty Shades of Grey, Mar gradually sheds her inhibitions with Gabriel’s help, to the point where he introduces her to BDSM. Of course, Mar never planned on falling in love with the good doctor, creating a conflict that she struggles to resolve. The story of The Good Woman has many similarities to my novel Walls, which fans of Fifty Shades can read about in my May 2014 blog, Tales By Two Alex Joneses.
However, the book that I think fans of Fifty Shades of Grey would like most, is the novel I’ve been referring to throughout this blog - Walls. Like Fifty Shades, Walls is also a provocative erotic romance thriller, where BDSM is the vehicle that moves the romance and the conflict along. The four main characters, Dan and Michelle Whitney, Francesca Capellini, and Philippe Morel are psychologically complex. Definitely edgier than Fifty Shades, Walls explores the BDSM lifestyle from both sides - the potential for sexual awakening and building trust between partners, as well as the potential dangers. Fifty Shades of Grey fans can read the recent review of Walls on BestThrillers.com for an idea of what they can expect from this cutting edge Romantic Thriller.
So, now that I’ve covered some great choices of Romance books for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey, what can I suggest in the way of erotic romances on film? Since this topic is big enough to fill another complete blog, I’m going to devote my next blog to a review of Erotic Suspense and Erotic Thriller films, which should help to keep Fifty Shades fans happy until the next instalment of their beloved Fifty Shades trilogy hits the big screen. Be sure to watch for it.
Ultimately, however, my biggest thrill for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey would be to bring my novel Walls to the big screen. And as luck would have it, I now have a finished screenplay of Walls, adapted from the novel, that is looking for a good home. All it needs now is a good producer and director to bring it to life on the big screen! Judging from the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, it seems that the time is right for more great provocative romances like Fifty Shades of Grey in films. Hopefully, the screen version of Walls can help fill that demand!
Hollywood Stays True to Fifty Shades.