Fifty Shades Darker ~ E.L. James

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Starting Off, I have to say this, and I cannot stress it enough: If you’re considering reading this series, I you need to be opened minded if BDSM and erotic romance isn’t your typical fare (and I’ve heard book number two of Fifty Shades Of Grey is not nearly as BDSM as the first, not even close)

About Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

Series: Fifty Shades Of Grey #2

Published by Vintage

Genres:  Romance, BDSM, Adult, Erotica

Good Reads: 

Other Books in Series: 

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven, and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront her anger and envy of the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life.

Initial Thoughts

The second book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, Fifty Shades Darker delivers just that — a certain darkness not seen in the first book. Darker picks up right where the first book ends. The differences have become too great for Ana Steele and Christian Grey. But their break doesn’t last long, and once again, we’re caught up in the whirlwind romance — and mindblowing sex — that is their relationship. But Darker introduces new characters.

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Review of Fifty Shades Darker

There’s Ana’s boss, Jack, yet another man who clearly has a thing for Ana. He gets creepier and creepier as the book goes on, proving that maybe Christian Grey has a point with his absurd overprotection. There’s also Elena — or as Ana refers to her, Mrs. Robinson. Elena is the woman who corrupted Grey when he was just a teenager, the woman who Christian refuses to acknowledge molested him. She also predictably becomes Ana’s mortal enemy and a persistent force to be reckoned with. There’s also Leila, a woman from Christian’s past who has some serious psychological issues.

And though these challenges make the progression of Ana and Christian’s relationship difficult, the two overcome many of their issues as best as they can, and look toward a permanent future together.

After what seems a rather generous amount of whining from Ana, she and Christian are back together. Yay! All that screwed-up physical violence forgotten. It’s so sweet, too, their reunion. Christian asks Ana why she didn’t safeword in the midst of his assault (which occurred at the end of the first book), and she admits that she was overwhelmed and just…forgot. Call me crazy, but to me, this is understandable. You’re not used to this consensual punishment thing (not to mention the fact that you never explicitly consented in the first place) and your man is enjoying viciously turning your ass into a slab of raw beef, and you forget there’s an easy way out of it. I get that. Christian, not so much. He asks how he’s ever going to trust her again. And Ana? She apologizes.

Was I angry when I read that? Shiz, yes, but thankfully, things ended up taking a turn. Ana sort of starts to stand up for herself and Christian begins to catch on that he’s a total d-bag and maybe he should tone it down. Lines like this are pure comedic gold:

“I want you, and the thought of anyone else having you is like a knife twisting in my dark soul.”

Anyhoo Fifty Shades of Grey gets the readers engrossed with oodles of sex. Darker doesn’t disappoint either, but the new characters add a new layer coldness and some action to an otherwise romantic novel. Jack makes inappropriate advances on Ana! Leila breaks into Ana’s apartment! Mrs. Robinson still wants Christian! Though the Leila storyline is particularly outlandish, it makes the story and the relationship between the two protagonists more serious.

As the book goes on, we also learn more about Christian’s childhood and why he is the way he is. Again, we’re getting deeper and darker, which both answers a lot of questions for readers and leaves us wondering more. In Darker, author E.L. James pulls us into the story with more than just sex.

Ana gets to kick a guy in the balls, steals her crooked boss’s job, throws a drink in a woman’s face, and agrees to marry Christian after they’ve been dating for only five weeks. By this point, even E. L. James is getting bored writing dozens of sex scenes for the pair, and so she mercifully ends a few of them once the foreplay starts. I find myself skipping past the sex scenes James does manage to see through to the end, out of sheer boredom and desire to make sure that Anastasia doesn’t accidentally wander into traffic.

Elena. She’s one of the novel’s biggest villains, but she’s an interesting character and certainly keeps the reader guessing. With Ana so adamantly against her, and Christian so convinced that there are no lingering romantic feelings between the two, it’s hard to pick sides. And Elena’s insistence on becoming friends with Ana is equally as confusing to the reader as it is to Ana. There’s no greater moment of satisfaction than a particular party scene between Ana and Elena toward the end.

That’s not to say there aren’t some truly ridiculous sequences of events — like the predictable and eye-roll-worthy marriage proposal or that Ana now wants to be treated more harshly during sex. The writing also continues to be poor. But again, if you’re looking to read a book for its literary wonder, this is the wrong book. If you like dirty, scandalous, and romantic, this is the book for you.

Closing Thoughts

HUGE improvement compared to Fifty Shades of Grey! Still not AMAZING but not bad at all, I honestly enjoyed reading Fifty Shades Darker and I’m looking forward to read Fifty Shades Freed!

“This is me, Ana. All of me…and I’m all yours. What do I have to do to make you realize that? To make you see that I want you any way I can get you. That I love you.”