Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Boss

Go To

Abigail Barnette's reimagining of the 50 Shades of Grey series. It features Sophie, a 24-year-old journalist who discovers that her new boss is the man she had a one night stand with six years ago. Neil, a 48-year-old rich businessman, is a kinder take on Christian Grey. As a feminist revision, the series portrays their relationship in a healthy way, developing the BDSM aspect as something normal instead of the outcome of a difficult childhood and/or Mommy Issues

There are five books in the series, with one more in the way and a short-story between the second and the third.


  1. The Boss (2013)
  2. The Girlfriend (2013)
  3. The Hook-Up (2013) (Short story)
  4. The Bride (2014)
  5. The Ex (2014)
  6. The Baby (2015)
  7. The Stranger (2016) (Short story, set before the series)
  8. The Sister (2017)
  9. The Boyfriend (2018)

The Boss series contains examples of:

  • Above the Influence: Played with. Soon after meeting again, Neil comes to Sophie's flat. He is high from anti-anxiety medication and wants to have sex, but he decides not to, because he wants to be sober when it happens.
  • Amicable Exes: Neil and Valerie are good friends and business partners. They raised Emma together, but separated.
  • Beta Couple: Holli and Deja.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Neil is well endowed. Very well endowed. Interestingly, some characters find that more scary than exciting, declining penetrative sex after seeing... the thing.
  • Cool Car: Neil, being a car collector, has a certain amount of them. He races with them from time to time.
  • Disappeared Dad: Sophie was raised by a single mother. She lost contact with her dad, something she hasn't forgiven yet.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: Holli. For God's sake, she was in love with a bridge!
  • Guy on Guy Is Hot: This is what Sophie says when she learns that Neil is bisexual and was in an all-male threesome once. Also, The Hook-Up can be consider an example of this.
  • Idealized Sex: Come on! Yes, it was trying to be a realistic and healthy approach to 50 Shades but it's erotica! Every single time it's awesome and perfect.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: After chemo, Neil needs viagra. It's not played for laughs or for drama. It just is.
  • Mile-High Club: Neil owns a private plane and has sex with someone while flying in it.
  • Porn Stash: Neil has a huge collection of different styles of porn. He prefers amateur and realistic looking, though.
  • Safe Word: Neil and Sophie use traffic lights. It is used more than once to stop the scene so intensity is kept in a safe amount. Also, Neil is very worried about her being able to say the safe word. Once, he forgot how to safeword while in bondage, what lead to him suffering a panic attack as the inexperienced dom didn't stop. The neglecting dom was Stephen, Valerie's brother. To this day, he refuses to acknowledge that he raped Neil.
  • Safe, Sane, and Consensual: Where 50 Shades failed, The Boss delivers.
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: Averted. Both Neil and Sophie go to therapy when their relationship strains. Also, Neil starts seeing a therapist to deal his alcoholism and his rape.