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.
- The Boss (2013)
- The Girlfriend (2013)
- The Hook-Up (2013) (Short story)
- The Bride (2014)
- The Ex (2014)
- The Baby (2015)
- The Stranger (2016) (Short story, set before the series)
- The Sister (2017)
- 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.