My mother-in-law recently asked me if I read 50 Shades of Grey (nope, I sure didn't add a link to the book there and yup, it was on purpose). I could probably do a whole post jsust on inappropriate things my MIL has asked me over the years.
Instead, let me explain why I refuse to read them.
First: 50 Shades is fan fiction based on Twilight. I did read all four Twilight novels after much urging by certain friends (whom I've since forgiven but will never ever trust to recommend books again), and I'll NEVER GET THAT WEEK BACK. Nor have I been able to scrub them from my brain. I don't need that again.
Second: I like good writing. I tried to read the first few pages while idling at Barnes & Noble one day and was immediately turned off by bad sentence structure, word choices, and imagery. As a reader, I count on being completely immersed in that story's world. If I'm thrown out of the story by crappy writing there's no point in trying to finish.
Third: If you're going to write something that's marketed as "erotica" it goddamn well better be hot. EVERYONE I've asked said they'd read hotter sex scenes in standard romance novels. That means the majority of readers are just titilated by the idea of the domination/submission aspect, and that bores the hell out of me.
I'm not offended by the fetish or up in arms in a feminist stance against the idea: in fact I'm a pretty firm believer that whatever two consenting adults want to experiment in is cool. But the older man/young innocent (ugh) woman domination thing is SO UTTERLY CLICHE it's just downright boring. It's as tired as the old bodice ripper versions of romance novels: it's been done...adding a ball gag doesn't make it new.
I unapolegetically adore romance novels. A group of friends has had a Dirty Book Club going on for quite a few years, which is where I discovered fabulous authors like Gena Showalter, P.C. Cast, and Kresley Cole. I HIGHLY recommend any of their novels for fantastic storylines, excellent worlds and hot hot hot sex scenes.
I'd buy any of their works, anytime...because when there's a long list of books to be read out there and a short amount of time it's worth reading the good stuff.
UPDATE: Yes, I'm aware the actual title is Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm lazy. Deal.