I was first introduced to V.C. Andrews back in 2004ish with Flowers in the Attic. A very disturbing book. I didn't realize that there were sequels to that particular book. Petals on the Wind delivered, as did If There be Thorns. I found the last book, Seeds of Yesterday, to be a HUGE disappointment.
What started out as a good series, dwindled as the books went on. Flowers was very controversial. The controversy and the shock value diminished with each book. Finally, at the end, there was nothing shocking, to my disappointment. All in all, a good series.
I would recommend people at least read Flowers.
And I know, V.C. Andrews is a smut writer...but in my humble opinion its much more embarrassing to read Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts, both authors who I refuse to read.