I figured if I’m going to suffer through an obsession, I might as well use my obsessive tendencies for a tax write-off.
And when I say “suffer,” I really mean “everything outside of the obsession suffers.” Past obsessions of mine include Downton Abbey, Dexter, and powdered donuts. Thankfully, the current obsession is kind of brain cell-enhancing (or not) and can be used as something for a tax write-off for me.
I’ve had a mental wrestling match deciding if I should actually share the current obsession because, believe it or not, I’m kind of shy. I know. You don’t believe me. But I’m shy about talking about The Sex.
Unfortunately for Patrick but fortunately for my easily-UTI’d lady bits, this obsession isn’t the actual The Sex.
My current obsession: reading romance books on my Kindle.
Let’s just go with the term “romance” as a general description because most of the “romance” I’m reading is more like “erotica” but I’m too embarrassed to say it out loud.
And P.S. – I thank Baby Jeesus and Oprah for the Kindle so my girls don’t see the ridiculous covers of the books and ask why people are naked.
I’ve read 10 books in the last 3-1/2 weeks. Basically, I’ve read more books in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last 5 years, and I’m not even slightly exaggerating.
Say what you will about the 6th grade writing style, the implausibility of a college student not having an email address, and the ridiculousness of a 20-something dude being a self-made billionaire, I liked Fifty Shades of Grey. And Fifty Shades Darker. And Fifty Shades Freed. I read the 50 Shades trilogy in a week, getting next to nothing else done.
I’ve watched every episode of the Real Housewives of Everywhere, so the bar is set pretty low in terms of my taste.
Much like my appetite for baked goods, when I finished all three 50 Shades books, I needed more. I needed books like 50 Shades of Grey to satiate my hunger for asshole sex-monster rich guys being inexplicably and forever changed by the innocence of a woman who bites her bottom lip.
You know, just exactly like Bella and Edward, but not in a sparkly vampire way and in more of a blow-by-blow job description of The Sex kind of way.
The basic plot line of all of these modern-day romance stories are all taken from one outline: asshole rich guy with a superhuman body and a superhuman ability to get it up more than twice a day struggles with falling in love with a poor younger, face-of-an-angel women with self-esteem issues and live happily ever after.
To properly rate these books on my personal shallow scale of readability, I’ve rated these books on these criteria: Sex Language, Page Turn-ability, Asshole Factor, and Lip-Biting on a scale of 1-5.
(Special thanks to my friend Kristie for helping me with the criteria and for sexting me a picture of your naked boobies. For realsies. They totally got me in the mood for writing about sexytime books.)
Sex Language: How much into detail do the descriptions of The Sex go?
Page Turn-ability: Can you put this down or do you need to stay up until 3am reading?
Asshole Factor: They all turn around at some point, but how much of an asshole is the dude before he turns? (The lower the score, the more likable he is.)
Lip-Biting: Overall, how much do I like the girl and want her happy? (The lower the score, the more of a whiney bitch I think she is.)
Series Hopeful: If this is the first book in a series, how badly do I want to read the follow-up books? If it’s a singular book with no promise of a series, it gets an automatic 0 because I love a series.
I’ve done the research to find books that are like Fifty Shades of Grey. For a baseline to understand from where I’m starting with the batteries given, here’s how I rank the 50 Shades books on the whole as a trilogy:
Fifty Shades of Grey Series Overall: 4.5/5
Sex Language: 5/5 | Page Turn-ability: 4/5 | Asshole Factor: 5/5 | Lip-Biting: 4/5 | Series Hopeful: 5/5
Beautiful Disaster Overall: 4/5
Sex Language: 4/5 | Page Turn-ability: 3/5 | Asshole Factor: 4/5 | Lip-Biting: 4/5 | Series Hopeful: 0/5
Gabriel’s Inferno Overall: 3.5/5
Sex Language: 4/5 | Page Turn-ability: 3/5 | Asshole Factor: 5/5 | Lip-Biting: 3/5 | Series Hopeful: 5/5 (coming May 2012)
Love Unscripted Overall: 4/5
Sex Language: 3/5 | Page Turn-ability: 5/5 | Asshole Factor: 3/5 | Lip-Biting: 5/5 | Series Hopeful: 5/5 (coming 2012)
Bared To You
Sex Language: 5/5 | Page Turn-ability: 5/5 | Asshole Factor: 5/5 | Lip-Biting: 5/5 | Series Hopeful: 5/5 (coming October 2012)
Knight (The Unfinished Hero Series) Overall: 4/5
Sex Language: 4/5 | Page Turn-ability: 5/5 | Asshole Factor: 5/5 | Lip-Biting: 4/5 | Series Hopeful: 5/5 (unknown release)
On the Island Overall: 3/5
Sex Language: 2/5 | Page Turn-ability: 4/5 | Asshole Factor: 1/5 | Lip-Biting: 3/5 | Series Hopeful: 0/5
The Marriage Pact Overall: 2/5
Sex Language: 2/5 | Page Turn-ability: 2/5 | Asshole Factor: 4/5 & 3/5 | Lip-Biting: 3/5 | Series Hopeful: 0/5
The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire) Overall: 4/5
Sex Language: 4/5 | Page Turn-ability: 4/5 | Asshole Factor: 4/5 | Lip-Biting: 3/5 | Series Hopeful: 4/5 (unknown release)
Clearly, my favorite of all the books I’ve read in the last few weeks is Bared to You. It’s pretty much a straight off inspiration of 50 Shades, but with more believability and less BDSM. When I finished it, I was scrambling to find out when the next in the Crossfire series would be released, and luckily for me, the author (Sylvia Day) is active on social media and I found out right away I had to wait until this fall for the follow-up.
Now that my current obsession is out in the open, I need suggestions on more books to read that are similar to Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You. Tell me what to read next.
Feed my need, fill my wanton passion, tempt me with more more MORE books to read.
Totally related, Patrick wants to write a personal “Thank You” note to the authors of these books.