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2,468 of 2,587 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's awful, but oh so addicting, April 29, 2012
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This review is from: Fifty Shades Darker (Paperback)
After surviving 50 Shades of Grey, and after taking a break for a few days from Ana and Christian's tortured romance, I girded my loins and cracked open the second book of the trilogy, 50 Shades Darker.

For those of you intrigued by the words "butt plug" or "fisting," half of you will enjoy your lucky day, because one of those is kinda sorta featured in this book. As it is, the only fisting we ever see - ever come close to seeing - is that of Ana's or Christian's hands in the others' hair. And that happens a lot. Not as often as Ana or Christian gasping, or Christian setting his lips in a hard line, or Ana biting her lip, or Ana coming undone, or Christian frowning. In fact, Christian's frowning is such a "thing" that, when Ana frowns, another character observes that she's turning into Christian.

It's just ... WHERE THE HELL WAS THE EDITOR?

But I digress.

To dig too deeply into the spectacle that is 50 Shades of Grey is to approach Sisyphean frustration. Trust me, because I know of what I speak. I spent an inordinate amount of time wondering how it was that Christian Grey was 27 and a billionaire as I read the first book. I don't think we are meant to really ponder this stuff. I think we're supposed to strap on our dildos and have at it, as it were.

Okay, so. When we last left Christian and Ana, she had walked out on him, horrified at the depravity entailed in his life of BDSM. (Go ahead and Google THAT, people. I had to, so you might as well.) As with its muse, Twilight, we see our heroine descend into despair, but unlike Bella's months on end, Ana really only suffers for five days. Christian gets in touch with her, and it's game on, kids. Christian is prepared to let go of his need for dominance in his playroom, because all he really wants - all he really needs - is Ana. She has admitted that she loves him, but it takes Christian a little longer.

Now, before you start thinking that this is the end of the Red Room of Pain, let me tell you that it is not. Don't worry - Christian keeps the room, and Ana remains inexplicably drawn to it. So those butt plugs come in handy (no pun intended), although - SPOILER - Christian does point out that for the anally virgin, a finger is a better start. So Ana has something to look forward to, so to speak.

Back to the plot, such as it is. It turns out that one of Christian's former subs remains fixated on him, so she enters the story to muck up Christian and Ana's relationship. Also causing trouble is Ana's boss at the publishing house. He wants her, which pisses off Christian, who reacts as only Christian can. Meanwhile, Christian and Ana's romance progresses in fits and starts. She loves him, he really cares about her, can he say the "L" word, can they get past his need for control, why does he love her, why does she love him, can he overcome his tortured childhood, blah blah blah.

What you really want to know about are the sex scenes, right? RIGHT? I'm pretty sure you butt plug searching people aren't concerned about the dialogue.

In this book, they rock the headboard in an elevator, on a boat, in Christian's childhood room, in the shower (again - evidently they enjoy that spot), Ana's apartment bedroom, Christian's apartment bedroom, and - YESS! - the Red Room of Pain. Oh, and on top of a piano and a pool table. There may be more. Did the desk happen in this book, or the previous one? I think they wind up on Christian's desk in this one, too.

During one of the many times Ana challenges Christian, they are in the library, competing in a billiards game.

"You know, Anastasia, I could stand here and watch you leaning and stretching across this billiard table all day," he says appreciatively.

I flush. [SHE FLUSHES A LOT. That's another thing that is repetitive, and so again, I ask, WHERE THE HELL IS THE EDITOR? Oh - those are "shouty caps," according to Ana. Back to the program.] Thank heavens I am wearing my jeans. He smirks. [HE SMIRKS A LOT. So does she. Sometimes they smirk, bite lips and eye roll, all at the same time.] He's trying to put me off my game, the bastard. He pulls his cream sweater over his head, tosses it onto the back of a chair, and grins at me, as he saunters over to take his first shot.

He bends low over the table. My mouth goes dry. Oh, I see what he means. Christian in tight jeans and white T-shirt, bending, like that ... is something to behold. I quite lose my train of thought. He sinks four solids rapidly, then fouls by sinking the white.

Foreplay, Christian styles.

And now, for the butt plug seekers:

"What's this?" I hold up the silver bullet thing.

"Always hungry for information, Miss Steele. That's a butt plug," he says gently.

"Oh ..."

"Bought for you."

What? For me?

He nods slowly, his face now serious and wary.

I frown. [AGAIN - she always frowns. Or he frowns. They frown a LOT.] "You buy new, er ... toys ... for each submissive?"

"Some things. Yes."

"Butt plugs?"

"Yes."

So there you go. They come up again, so buy a copy and knock yourself out.

Is 50 Shades Darker good? Hell to the no, it is not good. But is it entertaining? Yes. Is it hot? Yes. Is it worth reading? Yes. If you can get past all of the awful writing, it's very enjoyable. I admit that I read it cover to cover, and I look forward to 50 Shades Freed. Do not, however, mistake an enjoyable read for something well written, because this is NOT well written. It's like literary crack. You know it's bad for you, and you feel dirty and low for enjoying it, but you can't stop.

I gave this 4 stars. Don't judge me.

If you want to know my thoughts on Fifty Shades Freed, check it: http://www.amazon.com/review/R16U7WCSXSQRJR/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Published on cupcake's book cupboard. @VivaAmaRisata
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Comments

Tracked by 24 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 209 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 30, 2012 10:55:30 AM PDT
Ali says:
I am with you 1000% on this review!! It's quite possibly some of the WORST writing I've ever read, but I can't stop! I can't put it down. Your sentence "If you can get past all of the awful writing, it's very enjoyable" is EXACTLY what I said to a friend when I leant her Shades of Gray. I find myself hoping that at some point Ana's character is going to have some depth, but then again, maybe she doesn't because that would take away from Christian's. Come to think of it, best not to look too deeply in it. Enjoy the book for what it is: hot, dirty and entertaining.

Posted on May 2, 2012 7:44:35 AM PDT
L. Magee says:
Count me in too!!
I must have reread many sentences, just to shake my head and wonder how did this book not get proof read?
O.K. enough said, I am just starting book 2, and "WHAT", I am actually liking Christian a little better.
I've read much better erotica for women, by women, but there is something about these books. I'm just happy that I thought ahead and downloaded them on my Kindle. I can enjoy my brain candy in private!

Posted on May 2, 2012 7:41:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 2, 2012 7:43:35 PM PDT
L'tl Scout says:
Loved your review, I really laughed out loud, you should get a prize!!! lol! Yes, it is like crack, I just couldn't stop reading it, and I can't explain why, I just loved it, for all the wrong reasons!

"Sometimes they smirk, bite lips and eye roll, all at the same time" priceless!!!

Posted on May 7, 2012 8:47:05 AM PDT
broncosfan says:
Love your review!!!! Havent read the 2nd book cause i was so disappointed in the first but you really summed it up well - I was expecting too much - I may read the second book when "life" needs a little spicing up

Posted on May 8, 2012 3:45:16 PM PDT
I thoroughly enjoyed your review, thanks.

Everyone's saying how horrible the writings is and sure it is. In all honestly, the horrible writing makes it an easy read and I totally agree with you. It was very entertaining.

I've read Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty and honestly the writing was "too good," I got lost and uninterested. To deep and way too complicated.

EL James admittedly said she was a "not a good writer," but she put down on paper her fantasies and OMG! How courageous of her to be able to do that and for so many other women to relate to her words and feelings?!?! Amazing. I can only wish I had her courage. LOL! Have you ever tried writing erotica?? It's not an easy thing to do!

Posted on May 15, 2012 10:35:38 AM PDT
jenp says:
I loved your review. I love the "don't judge me" at the end. Anyhow, the first book was like crack to me. I'm waiting for book two in the mail as we speak. I agree the writing is horrible and wondered where the heck the editor was too.
This is such a guilty pleasure for me. At first I felt ashamed but when I told people I read it they wanted to know about it and to much of my surprise many had read the books.
So glad to know I'm not alone in my thoughts with this story. I'm obsessed with Christian. Lord help me. I'm afraid I'm going to spiral into a deep depression when I'm done with the trilogy!

Posted on May 25, 2012 5:27:09 AM PDT
Rano says:
Well Written review! LOVED IT! Made me giggle like a school girl :) I "blushed Crimson", rolled my eyes and smirked at you...All at the same time! ;)

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2012 11:46:24 AM PDT
Mel says:
I was going to post a comment but really I couldn't say it any differently or better than you did.

Posted on May 28, 2012 7:32:49 PM PDT
S. Delgado says:
Loved what you wrote! It is exactly what I thought about all three books. Yes, I admit it, I read all three. It is like a guilty pleasure. Like you said ... literary crack. You don't want to keep going, yet somehow you find yourself turning pages and reading chapter after chapter.

For me, what really annoyed me, besides the awful writing and plot. -- Most of the time it felt like a crazy soap opera filled with sex scenes every five minutes. --- was the fact that Ana was such a submissive character ( excuse my pun.) It is like I told one of my friends, Ana is the girl you don't want to be. Sure, she has the mysterious billionaire hottie all over her. But, he constantly stalks her, controls her and makes her feel like she is always at fault. And Ana finds all this to be completely a-okay and in some weird odd way, she even finds it to be kind of erotic and arousing. I mean, seriously?! Really?! ... We need books that give women some kind of voice and stance, not books where the female character finds her lovers obsession with control to be endearing.

Posted on May 28, 2012 7:55:09 PM PDT
S. Delgado says:
Loved what you wrote! It is exactly what I thought about all three books. Yes, I admit it, I read all three. It is like a guilty pleasure. Like you said ... literary crack. You don't want to keep going, yet somehow you find yourself turning pages and reading chapter after chapter.

For me, what really annoyed me, besides the awful writing and plot. -- Most of the time it felt like a crazy soap opera filled with sex scenes every five minutes. --- was the fact that Ana was such a submissive character ( excuse my pun.) It is like I told one of my friends, Ana is the girl you don't want to be. Sure, she has the mysterious billionaire hottie all over her. But, he constantly stalks her, controls her and makes her feel like she is always at fault. And Ana finds all this to be completely a-okay and in some weird odd way, she even finds it to be kind of erotic and arousing. I mean, seriously?! Really?! ... We need books that give women some kind of voice and stance, not books where the female character finds her lovers obsession with control to be endearing.
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