HomeCultureBooksBook Reviews

Erotic fiction to snuggle up to

BY Lydia Wilkins

15th Oct 2019 Book Reviews

Erotic fiction to snuggle up to

It’s October and the weather’s starting to get much colder, but if pumpkin lattes aren’t keeping you warm enough, why not dip into a bit of erotic fiction?

We have compiled a whistle-stop tour of what we consider to be the best material… 


Riders by Jilly Cooper 

riders jilly cooper.jpg

When you think of romance novels, Jilly Cooper immediately comes to mind. Known for publishing a succession of literature based on long-form magazine stories—Octavia, anyone? —that began in 1975, Riders is perhaps her best-known work. 

Published in 1985, the book was an instant bestseller. The first in the series of the Rutshire Chronicles, it follows the lives of show-jumping stars in pursuit of fame and money. Jake Lovell, the hero of this novel, is hell-bent on revenge against Rupert Campbell-Black, perhaps even desperately so. With a rivalry rekindled, they battle it out to see who is the best with horses—and the better lover. What could possibly go wrong?


Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence

lady chatterley's lover

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is something of a notorious novel, following a trial for “obscenity” in the UK. Written by D H Lawrence, it follows the inner turmoil of Lady Chatterley’s life. Her husband, the great Sir Clifford Chatterley, has been paralysed from the waist down. The injury, coupled with a form of emotional neglect, means that Lady Chatterley is led into an affair with the game-keeper of the grounds she lives in, Oliver Mellors. 

With themes of class and the mind vs body, it has a unique angle on relationships. However, this is not a book for someone who detests swearing—as explored through its obscenity trial


Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

fifty shades of grey

Are you looking for something with more of a “kink”? 

Published in 2011 by E L James, this is the first in the series of the Fifty Shades series, and has since been adapted to film. Anastasia Steele is a 21-year-old college student who meets Christian Grey, something of a business magnate. The book follows their deepening, unusual relationship.  

Known for its explicit erotic scenes, the book has attracted a fair share of criticism, certainly making it not a choice for the faint-hearted.  


The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

the tropic of cancer

If you compare histories, The Tropic of Cancer is similar to Lady Chatterley’s Lover, in that this was a book also subjected to an “obscenity trial”, although in the US. Published in France in 1934, it took until 1964 for it to be declared “non-obscene” in the US. 

Based on the life of a starving bohemian writer in Paris, it details how he lives among prostitutes and pimps. Anais Nin was also an editor of the book. 


The Intimate Adventures of A London Call Girl by Belle de Jour 

The Intimate Adventures of A London Call Girl

Are you looking for something a little less “high-brow” than The Tropic of Cancer? Then The Intimate Adventures of A London Call Girl may just be the book for you. 

Belle is a “high-class” call girl working in London; over a decade ago, she was detailing her daily life in what we would now call a blog. (The blurb of the book calls it a “web diary”.) This is an account of what it is like to work as part of London’s sex trade—including answering the questions you most wanted to ask, but were too polite to. It’s the type of book you could take on holiday—to be read in one sitting on the beach. And there’s always the TV adaptation. 


Delta of Venus by Anais Nin 

Delta of Venus

Anais Nin is considered to be a significant figure when it comes to erotic literature; if you’re after any kind of erotica, she should be on your bucket list. 

Delta of Venus is a short story collection of 15 different tales. They began life as a private commission, later becoming the full version of the anthology. There is an adventurer who vanishes with the money of the women he seduces, a Parisian hat-maker who leaves her husband for Peru, along with other exotic tales. 


Lethal Seduction by Jackie Collins

Lethal Seduction

No list about erotic literature would be complete without Jackie Collins.

A fashion designer in New York, Jamie Nova, has decided to go to Las Vegas—to celebrate her impending divorce from her controlling ex-partner. With her are her two friends—Madison Castelli and Natalie de Barge. The trio soon encounter playboy Mark Blaine and things start heating up. However, two of the friends receive a frantic midnight telephone call to say that Blaine is in Jamie’s bed. Dead. What will happen next? 

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter

*This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.