Author: EL James
Warning: Very Adult Content in parts….read at your own risk
My review of Book 1, Fifty Shades of Grey, can be found here but a quick recap:
Christian Grey is a super successful businessman and a sexual Dominant who meets uber virginal Ana Steele who is a college student and just uber virginal. They fall in love and he introduces her into the world of BDSM. Nice tame BDSM but he does tie her up a few times and spank her. And she introduces him to the world of spending the night together, cuddling and ‘vanilla’ sex. Unable to cope with Christian’s lifestyle, Ana leaves him.
Our lovers part, lives are ripped asunder and misery abounds. And so ends Book 1.
Fifty Shades Darker finds Christian and Ana still apart and absolutely miserable without each other. Ana has started her new job and just a few pages in, Christian has sent her flowers and an email. Yep…..it’s all going to be back on.
This novel concentrates on the burgeoning relationship between our protagonists. We get to watch as they really get to know each other, as they move through the lust stage and have to really deal with each other. Now that’s not to say they aren’t still lusting but it’s moving into relationship territory. We’ve all been through it and it can be tough.
James also delves a lot deeper into Christian’s ‘issues’. As Ana spends more time with him, including nights, he can no longer hide behind his whips and chains and has to confront who he is and who he wants to be. We meet his family & some friends…..and of course, Ana is still blindly and irrationally jealous of Mrs Robinson.
Ahhhhh Mrs Robinson. I think every female knows a Mrs Robinson. The woman in your man’s life you are insanely jealous of either with good reason or just because she exists. Nothing like a good dose of jealousy to amuse and delight those among us who enjoy witnessing a hissing mini breakdown…..hopefully in public!
Christian finds himself in unexpected territory when it comes to Ana’s friends & family as well. He meets and is very surprised by his reactions to her parents & close friends. The common ground he finds made me smile. Another layer of the mysterious Mr Grey peeled away.
And again there is the sex. Still lots and lots of it. And in Darker, it is a little more creative, a little more giving, a little more meaningful. But…..
But…. it’s still oh so dull!
Ana has managed to shame the already damaged Christian into almost exclusive vanilla sex. He is allowed to spank her once. As a treat.
Now I have mentioned that we delve deeper into Christian’s issues and I am in no way negating the impact an abusive childhood can have on people but this all happens before Ana knows the truth.
Ana becomes just another person to use Christian. Sure it’s all wrapped up in so called love and sweetness and her wanting to help him and blah blah blah. What rubbish.
Just like it’s oh so obvious big sister aka The Twilight novels, this is an ode to dysfunctional relationships. The women who read…..nay inhale….these novels are being told it’s okay to stalk and be stalked as long as it’s ‘love’. It’s okay to be controlled and controlling as long as it’s ‘love’. It’s okay to want to change another person and berate and shame them into doing this….you guessed it. As long as it’s ‘love’.
I would have preferred to leave the psychoanalysis to the professionals. To offer it up as erotica is a little bit nasty. I am sure there are lots of screwed up BDSM aficionados out there but to demonise them again is just rude. I am sure there are a lot of screwed up vanilla sex devotees out there too but I guess that’s not so titillating.
And that’s the rub. Another Fifty Shades novel marketed as some kinky sex romp is nothing of the sort. It’s simply more validation for the modern woman’s belief that bad boys just need the love of a good woman to sort them out. The irony is that once a bad boy has been tamed by the love of a good woman, he becomes dull, uninteresting and pathetic.
What changes within Ana? Nothing. To Christian, she is perfect just as she is. He tells her constantly. He adores her. Yep….more validation for the self absorbed narcissistic modern woman. If a man truly loves you, he will change into whatever you want.
Sure Christian is a good ummm an excellent lover and we love that in a man. As a close friend pointed out, the reason women are swooning over Christian Grey is because he is good in bed. He knows what to do, how to do it, how long to do it and when to do it. Ana doesn’t have to tell or guide him (not that she could anyway). He knows how to give a woman endless orgasms and he does it gladly, with great instinct and he genuinely loves giving her pleasure. Come to me Christian…you can bring the whip baby!!!
Let’s not tame all our bad boys. I like my boys bad. And so does the vast majority of women judging by the men we find hot, sexy and gorgeous. Why is Mad Men’s Don Draper so attractive. Because under that smart suit beats the heart of a bad boy. Why is True Blood’s Eric the Vampire so damn sexy. Because he doesn’t ask, he takes…..and you will love every second of it!
And don’t even get me started on the eternal bad boy, the image on whom all bad boys base themselves James Dean and even his modern namesake, porn superstar and women’s lust object James Deen. What? You don’t believe me about the porn guy? Google him. A pop culture phenomenon. But more on him at a later date 😉
All these words for a book I found boring. Oh my….
Will I be reviewing book 3, Fifty Shades Freed? You betcha!!! I won’t stop reading now but I am taking a break from Fifty Shades and reading some Sookie Stackhouse.
I did say I liked my bad boys bad……
PS. A quick look around my local stores shows they are sold out of Fifty Shades of Grey but have piles and piles of the other two books. Make out of that what you will.
PPS. Alexander Skarsgard….please do not do these movies. Please.