Book Review: Fifty Shades Darker by E.L James

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. Erotic, sparkling and suspenseful, Fifty Shades Darker is the irresistibly addictive second part of the Fifty Shades trilogy

The story of the two main characters getting to know each other and the revelation of Christian’s past is absorbing. I enjoyed the banter between Ana and Christian, especially in their emails. Very clever. I also enjoyed the humor and found their interactions and their struggles to learn their boundaries in a new relationship to be very real.

However, the explicit sex ending in Ana’s multiple orgasms every few pages gets old quickly. I realize they are a new couple but the entire book is fight, make-up sex, bonding time, more sex, Ana over-thinking the relationship, another fight, make-up sex…etc. I wasn’t sure whether this was meant to be a romance or porn made for women. I ended up skimming through the sex scenes and that quite literally cut the book in half.

Someone previously mentioned the book’s similarities to Twilight, and I noticed it too. You have a protagonist who is drop-dead gorgeous yet oblivious to the fact even though every man she ever meets wants her. She’s never had any feelings for anyone except this man she meets in a chance encounter and he’s never felt this way about anyone either. Added to this, she doesn’t find herself worthy to be loved by this man and holds back on committing herself to the relationship because she can’t be enough while at the same time opening herself completely on an emotional and physical level.

Ironically, a recurrent theme of the book is how damaged Christian is because of his self-loathing and his inability to believe that he can be loved by anyone, yet Ana has those same doubts about herself and is supposedly his model for “normal” and is the one “bringing him into the light.”

I was interested enough in the characters to want to know what happens to them, but far too often, I found myself pulling away from the story, thinking, “and then they had sex…blah blah blah”

My Gemstone Rating:



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