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Showing 1-10 of 71,531 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 84,888 reviews
TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 15, 2012
I really don't like writing bad reviews. I admire people who have the courage to put pen to paper and expose themselves to the whole world, especially those writing erotica. Having just finished this book, however, I feel compelled to write a review.

About half way through the book, I looked up the author to see if she was a teenager. I really did because the characters are out of a 16 year old's fantasy. The main male character is a billionaire (not a millionaire but a billionaire) who speaks fluent French, is basically a concert level pianist, is a fully trained pilot, is athletic, drop dead gorgeous, tall, built perfectly with an enormous penis, and the best lover on the planet. In addition, he's not only self made but is using his money to combat world hunger. Oh yeah, and all of this at the ripe old age of 26! And on top of that, he's never working. Every second is spent having sex or texting and emailing the female character. His billions seem to have just come about by magic. It seriously feels like 2 teenage girls got together and decided to create their "dream man" and came up with Christian Grey.

Then come the sex scenes. The first one is tolerable but as she goes on, they become so unbelievable that it becomes more laughable than erotic. She orgasms at the drop of a hat. He says her name and she orgasms. He simply touches her and she orgasms. It seems that she's climaxing on every page.

Then there's the writing. If you take out the parts where the female character is blushing or chewing her lips, the book will be down to about 50 pages. Almost on every single page, there is a whole section devoted to her blushing, chewing her lips or wondering "Jeez" about something or another. Then there's the use of "shades of". He's "fifty shades of @#$%% up," "she turned 7 shades of crimson," "he's ten shades of x,y, and z." Seriously?

The writing is just not up to par, the characters are unbelievable, and the sex verges on the comical. I don't know what happens in the remaining books and I do not intend to read them to find out. But given the maturity level of the first book, I imagine that they get married, have 2 perfect children, cure world hunger, and live happily ever after while riding into the sunset, as the female character climaxes on her horse causing her to chew her bottom lip and blush fifty shades of crimson. Jeez!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 29, 2012
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.


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?"


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:

Published on cupcake's book cupboard. @VivaAmaRisata
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on January 25, 2017
I have read the FIFTY SHADES trilogy of books several times. I have read "Grey" (Christian Grey's first person narration of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY) as well and look forward to reading Christian Grey's first person narration for FIFTY SHADES DARKER. I ordered the new editiion of FIFTY SHADES DARKER because it includes a bonus excerpt from Christian's viewpoint.
I know, I need to get a life!
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on January 10, 2017
I want to know when grey part 2 comes out. I can't wait. I love love love this series. Thank you E L James.
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on June 20, 2017
I read this 2nd book in the series and watched the movie as well. Truth be told, I thought the movie was done well. The pacing was good, but the thing that struck me the most was that Anastasia had grown stronger dealing with Christian, which was a good thing. She starts out as this young virgin I had a tough time buying but her growth as a human being was great in the second book. I love erotica and while this isn't quite what I generally read, I have to admit I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the book and the movie.
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VINE VOICEon January 22, 2015
***Spoilers*** If you have read my previous reviews, you'll recall I got rather attached to Christian and Ana as a couple when I read the first book. When I got to its cliffhanger ending, with them broken up, I was eager to read the next one to make sure they got back together. As I read the second book, though, I became disenchanted with Christian's controlling behavior. I could no longer remember why I was so invested in them as a couple. I was also a bit bored by the pacing of the story. It does have some relatively interesting moments, but I felt they were too few and too far between.

Nonetheless, when I start a trilogy, I generally want to finish it, and I wanted to see what happened to Christian and Ana in the third book. I didn't love 'Fifty Shades Freed' for the same issues I had with Darker: Christian can be controlling, and he can also be annoyingly childish when he's upset about something - and he's often upset about something he has absolutely no right to be upset about; the book also appears to be at least 100 pages longer than it needs to be, with unnecessary passages describing the French honeymoon and the ski trip to Aspen. There are some exciting bits, however, so with tighter pacing, it had the potential to be a good story. I didn't dislike the plot very much.

I do wish Ana had more of a backbone to stand up to her husband. She's still so in awe of him, and she's especially willing to give him a free pass on bad behavior because of his terrible childhood. He's not cruel, which according to 'Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart [Chicks'] Guide to Romance Novels' by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan differentiates between the alpha male hero and his "alphole" counterpart. But he is a control freak, manipulative, and one of those awful types of people who get silent when they're angry instead of discussing things in an adult fashion. In a real-world partner, these traits would be a deal-breaker, but we all know this is fiction.

So I just hope that in Ana and Christian's HEA, she has broken him of some of his more unpalatable personality traits and gained her own strength and confidence at the same time. She spends a lot of time worried about his anger or potential anger, and life's just too short for that nonsense.

It isn't the most graceful writing in the world; it's a little awkward. At other places in the book, James writes dialogue and narration that sound so utterly British, I can't imagine any American who wasn't a transplant from the U.K. uttering them. (Then I start reading silently but imagining I'm reading in an English accent, and then I start laughing.) This trilogy will never win a literary award, but as I mentioned in the first review, my investment is in the characters' relationships, not in the literary style.

Ana simply wants to feel graceful, sexy, and loved. Can anyone really blame her? In real life, overprotectiveness and control are relationship red flags, and very young women especially have to be careful about not letting their fledgling feelings of love overwhelm their reason - and safety. This is Ana's fantasy, however - not reality - and I can't help but be a little happy for her when, at the end, she has her sexy billionaire husband, her dream house, and her son and daughter to make her happy.

I purchased this book via with my own funds and was not obligated to review it in any way. This review represents my own honest opinion.
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on February 27, 2015
I continue to enjoy this series. I loved the first book for all the funny banter between Ana and Christian, and the draw of the second book is learning more about Christian's background. I have a thing for wounded heroes, and he's one of the best. Fifty Shades Darker is also interesting due to the deeper exploration of their relationship, with its peaks and valleys, negotiation, and character development.

One thing I love about this romance is how much both characters influence each other in a positive direction. Ana stands strong many times, and she's appropriately appalled when Christian buys the publishing company where she works. (I know others think this is stalkerish but for some reason this made me laugh. Boys and their toys!) We do learn Christian has some legitimate concerns about her boss.

Here Ana won't back down when Christian doesn't want her to go to work due to one of his crazy ex-subs threatening their safety:

His mouth presses into a grim line, as I place my hands on my hips. I am not budging on this. Who does he think he is?
"I don't want you going to work."
"It's not up to you, Christian. This is not your decision to make."

I was pleased when they find a compromise. That's what couples need to do when there's disagreement.

And when Christian fights his fear to let Ana touch him? Those scenes made me well up in tears. Ana is the perfect person to help Christian overcome his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Much better than the quack Dr. Flynn, who doesn't even name the correct diagnosis for Christian:

"Of course, there are obstacles--Christian's haphephobia, for one."
His what? I gasp.
"I'm sorry. I mean his fear of being touched...He has a morbid self-abhorrence. I'm sure that comes as no surprise to you. And of course there's the -- night terrors, sorry, to the layperson."

Uh, Dr. Flynn, Christian fears being touched because it triggers a re-experiencing of the trauma from his childhood, and he wants to avoid any reminders of the trauma. Nightmares are another symptom of re-experiencing. A clear case of PTSD.

It's no wonder Dr. Flynn admits "Ana, in the very limited time that you've known him, you've made more progress with my patient than I have in the last two years."

Doy! It would help to start with a proper diagnosis, Dr. Flynn!

The ending is a great way to keep the reader interested. But the "inner goddess" stuff was starting to get on my nerves so I think I'll take a little break before book three--there are a lot of awesome novels by fellow authors I can't wait to get to first.
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on March 4, 2014
I'm reposting my original reviews from my first reading.

Fifty Shades: I read this story on a fiction website under a different title (same author). When the author announced she was going to be published, I had to have the book. It's a good story about a tortured soul and how he's brought out of his self-imposed solitude by an innocent young girl. He teaches her about sex and sensuality and she teaches him about how everybody deserves to be loved. Their journey is rocky at times but you root for them to succeed.

Fifty Shades Darker: REVISED: I made a new acquaintance this month and we had a discussion about Fifty Shades. She said she got through Book 1 just fine but was only able to get about half way through Darker. She felt like Ana was constantly whining so she never finished it. I kept that thought in a little pocket of my mind as I was rereading Darker for the second time.

I have to say that I disagree with her. Ana was an innocent young woman whose virtue was taken by the first man she was truly attracted to--Christian. Once she realized she was falling in love with Christian she wanted to know what made him tick, why was he so attracted to her. I think maybe Ana came across as whining because the story is being told from her point of view. It was obvious that she frustrated Christian with her "interest" in his past. Through a series of events these two realize just how much in love they are with each other. Ana learns to accept some of Christian's "dark side" and Christian learns to accept that "vanilla" isn't necessarily a bad thing.

As an aside, I think I can see now how all three books can be made into one movie and it would work.

ORIGINAL: As promised Christian and Anastasia resume their relationship after a brief interruption. The emotions between the two become more and more intense. I became so wrapped up in these characters that I felt I was that fly on the wall you always hope you could be. I watched them laugh & cry and I laughed and cried with them. I watched them be angry with one another & forgive one another and I would get angry at both of them for being so ridiculous at times. E L James took me someplace emotionally I only imagined ever existed. Her descriptions of how Christian and Ana feel for one another pulls you into the story.

It was hard for me to put this book down and I can't wait to get my hands on Book 3.

Fifty Shades Freed: And so E.L. James brings to a close the story of an innocent young woman and her troubled young man. She did not disappoint. We learn how Anastasia and Christian grow as a couple and like with any couple there are ups and downs but in the end they both learn how deeply their love for one another goes. You'll laugh; you'll cry; you'll get frustrated with both of them. As the story winds down you can't help but be happy for them in spite of Anastasia's bullheadedness and Christian's Fifty Shades.
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on September 17, 2017
I was reluctant to purchase this book. Twice before when I went to order it I would read reviews discouraging it. But the ladies at work urged me to get it...."you are going to love it". Against my better judgement, I bought it. It was torture finishing it but I'm a little OCD and have to finish what I start but I could only take a chapter at a time because it turned my stomach. This guy is NOT my fantasy guy. I don't care how good looking or rich he is, he doesn't have anything I desire. And now my friends are saying "he gets better in the next books". NO THANK YOU......not gonna waste my time. And one more thing, the writer ........well, lets just say she doesn't write on an adult level.
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on August 31, 2012
Yesterday I finished reading the "50 Shades of Grey" trilogy. I am dumbfounded as to why this "Twilight" for adults is worshiped by women worldwide. The parallels between the two popular series are quite apparent early on in "Shades", and in my opinion "Twilight" was not exactly well-written but the stories are entertaining (and I am just old enough to appreciate "Twilight" more for the vampiric lore interpretation, not so much heart pitter-patters over Edward, whom I actually do not like - I am more of a Mr. Rochester and Rhett Butler kind of gal).

Spoiler alert! We have a meek and clumsy heroine, who meets an unbelievably handsome and wealthy male. They are inexplicably compelled to one another, and despite his warning he is not good for her and dangerous, she stupidly insists she can handle herself and keeps coming back for more. They fall in love, marry within months, and become pregnant shortly thereafter. The pregnancy is a shock, but despite the young age of the mother is almost instantly embraced and nicknamed by her; the father being a combination of revolted and terrified, and closing himself off emotionally from his new bride. Somewhere in between, a danger is randomly introduced a good chunk into the stories, and is cleanly and conveniently finished off before the happily-ever-after conclusions.

The biggest difference in the series is the "mature" content, namely sex, although both series do parallel here again briefly during the honeymoon phases when the respective bride awakes with bruises and the groom is ashamed of himself.

"Shades" however deals with much more intense and mature content. We're not just referring to some sexy sex scenes, but a man that was horrifically abused as a small child and carried with him into adulthood violence, desires to punish, and a will to dominate in and out of the bedroom. And of course, copious sex scenes that I admittedly grew quite bored reading after the first few and found myself skimming those paragraphs thereafter. These scenes appear every few pages but honestly I don't think I missed much.

In "Shades". we find our heroine, a young woman with no previous relationship or sexual history, incredibly reluctant and afraid to participate in this man's well-disclosed lifestyle, but finds herself willing to do almost anything anyway to get and/or keep the man. Obviously, I have a huge problem with this. Her parents should have raised her better. I am hardly a prude, but reading the first sex scenes that involved whippings and other tortures were enough to make even me cringe and wished I could drag the heroine out of that room and talk some sense into her.

During the weeks of their "courtship" for lack of a better word, the man's childhood traumas are shared with the heroine, who does in my opinion react appropriately and provide encouragement and loving support. However "Shades" expects the reader to believe a man with such a past that is in his late twenties is recovering from his twisted, violent ways because of our heroine in a matter of months, and is "all better" because of her (although he can never let go of his over-protectiveness).

I care not what two consenting adults do for pleasure in the privacy of their own rooms, but the reader was invited into this bedroom (and bathrooms, cars, planes, sexual torture chamber, etc.) so I will pass judgement. The heroine's rightful hesitancy and putting her better instincts aside for the chance to obtain a man are just outrageous to me. Man or woman, most of us have dated that "fixer-upper" and it probably did not work out, for a reason. Although in most cases I find no reason why an emotionally ill person cannot eventually develop a stable and loving relationship, the ability to do so should come from oneself (and therapy or whatever), not based on the other partner being a sexual panacea.

Domestic violence and unsolicited sexual acts have always been a hot point for me. Sure, it's just fiction but quite frankly I am concerned that this unrealistic story may encourage that abused partner to stick it out for a little longer and try to cure the relationship, or someone to attempt a new relationship they are uncomfortable with because hey... in "Shades" it all ended happily. Any man or woman that insists you "have to" or "cannot do" something because of their own issues is just not worth having around.

Unoriginal storyline, mediocre writing and excessive repetitive sex scenes? Not recommended. A lot of people are going on about how the book is not about kinky sex, but about the "journey" of recovery. Through sex. In a few weeks. Years of trauma healed. I don't think so.
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