Book Reviews

50 Shades Darker * EL James

The 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy continues with 50 Shades Darker. The ‘Cinderella story on steroids’ continues with a happy ending/beginning. If you read the first book you know that Ana refers to Christian Grey as 50 Shades hence the book title. Christian has many moods and ‘personalities’ that lead Ana to this name for him.

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Daunted by the dark secrets of the tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Ana Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a US publishing house.

But desire for Grey still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, she cannot resist. Soon she is learning more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades than she ever thought possible.

The story becomes more of a romance though the happenings still have their edge. The Red Playroom is not abandoned and neither are Christian’s ‘toys’.

“The carnal anticipation is unfurling between us. He’s so good at this. Making me wait. Setting the scene…”

“I think you’ve seen enough now,’ he murmurs. He slides the mask over my head, covering my eyes. My breathing spikes. Wow. Why is not being able to see so erotic? I am here, trussed up and kneeling on a table, waiting –sweet anticipation hot and heavy deep in my belly. I can still hear, though, and the melodic steady beat of the track continues. It resonates through my body. I hadn’t noticed before.”

Christian12The romance between Christian and Ana is almost palpable. You really begin to fall in love with Christian in this book. In addition to his good looks, money, charisma, position, etc. he begins to show himself as a very tender and caring lover. (I still can’t wait to see who they pick to play him in the movie of the first book! Names like Ian Somerhalder, Michael Fassbender, are two being considered.)

He’s a romantic at heart and the abused child begins to disappear as the caring man comes out.

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This entire story is really about unconditional love, how far you’d bend, compromise, or try to understand the one you love, and to what lengths you’d travel to commit to that person. It’s about faith, trust, patience, and selflessness.

*Spoiler Alert*

She could play Elena Lincoln / Mrs. Robinson in the next movie
She could play Elena Lincoln / Mrs. Robinson in the next movie

Just FYI: When Christian’s mom confronted Elena at his birthday party with the colossal bitchslap, I swear I flew up from the couch like a madwoman with a fist in the air and a victory shout. It. Was. Awesome. But I digress…

Fifty is back in book two, bossy as ever (never far), but he is an entirely different character in this book, and from the moment he reunites with Ana, he’s a changed man. The prologue and what you learn about him as the story progresses is heartbreaking. The pictures and talk of his abuse are palpable and at times very hard to read.

His transformation is amazing. I especially loved Ana in this installment. She had to be the strong one, fight for what was hers, show Christian that she believed in him and in their relationship, and she just really grew up.

The sexy banter between the two is back, as are the witty, laugh-out-loud e-mail exchanges. Still, this installment was more serious and had plenty of swoon-worthy moments. The ending blew me away and was not at all what I expected. As for the cliff hanger for book 3, well…things are about to get much more interesting.

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