Lessons from Alexa Riley’s “Finding Snow (Fairytale Shifter Book 4)”

As an indie erotica author, I acknowledge that there is always something I can learn to improve my stories, my marketing, and the way I interact with my readers. The “Lessons” series will focus on authors who (currently) are a part of the Top 10 erotica authors on Amazon. I’m going to read one of their bestselling titles, and then analyze why I think it is selling so well.

Alexa Riley is an Amazon tornado of erotica sales and happy readers. The singular “authoress” is really two combined authors, both of whom describe themselves like this in their Amazon bio:

“They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!” Source on Amazon

Their book covers look a gourmet cupcake shop, a store that primarily sells charm bracelets, and a 12-year-old’s bedroom collided into a happy ultra-fem universe. I’m so interested in this Alexa Riley phenomenon, not only as an erotica author, but as an very curious reader. What does the word “SAFE” mean in their bio? Do their readers love having stories that don’t take forever to read?

I purchased and read Finding Snow (Fairytale Shifter Book 4) because the cover looked awesome, I love Snow White spinoffs, and I’ve never read an official “shifter” erotica. I also totally ignored the fact that it was the 4th book in the series, but you don’t really need to read the other since this stands alone.

Without reviewing the work, let me dive into what really impressed me with Alexa Riley, and what I feel I learned after reading it.

The shifter genre is the MOST bitchin.

Alexa Riley didn’t need to spend a lot of time building context for a premise. It’s simple: dudes and ladies are turning into animals because of supernatural reasons. A lot of setup has to be done in non-supernatural erotica because we’re dealing with realistic characters in the normal world. But I loved how the shifter genre (and probably most supernatural genres) eliminates that need, and still makes sense. Koda and Snow, the main characters, bone like crazy because of the mating moon. If only real sex was that easy. I would go to a bar to get eaten out every time the moon even was a tiny bit full.

The insta-love worked for me.

As per their own description of the genre, Koda and Snow fall in love right away. But again, the shifter thing makes it work. Of course this hot muscular man wants to love, protect, and put a baby in you! He’s part bear duh! Alexa Riley do an excellent job whipping up a fine batch of corn, and it is delicious.

A happy ending in record time.

The characters bone, there is slight family drama, more boning, and we’ve got a happy ending at a bake sale. Alexa Riley write erotica shorts like a happy pop song; it’s short and you feel great afterwards. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and it shows through the writing. It’s all candy and no toothache. A well done happy ending should not be underestimated or forgotten, even when the length is short.

Finding Snow was the height of pleasure to read. I feel like I’ve both discovered a new genre to consume and a pair of authors that I want to read more of. Again, this piece was all candy and reward with little friction. In my own writing, I would love to create more flossy cotton candy for my readers, as well as working on more romantic aspects of the genre.


– Create more romance, less friction in my own erotica.

-Try out the shifter genre for myself.

-Make a damn happy ending sometime! Mintie, jeez, you big downer!