Monday, September 5, 2011

E L James - Fifty Shades #2

Fifty Shades Darker
This copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
ARC, publish date September 15th, 2011
The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
After experiencing first hand just how bad it can get, Ana left enigmatic billionaire Christian Grey. His BDSM tastes were too dark for her to handle.
Why is she reconsidering now? Fifty proposes a tempting arrangement. He is prepared to try and give her what she desires most. More.
It isn’t an easy road for them, though. Ana must learn about herself; the strength she carries within, while Fifty needs to face his demons. Forces from his past and present are conspiring against the two. Can they make their relationship work? Is ‘more’ enough for tortured Fifty Shades? A story of how love can conquer all.
The cliffhanger-ending of Fifty Shades of Grey had me in an uproar. It was such a relief to download the ARC of the second book in the Fifty Shades series to my Kindle. A feeling of peace flowed through me – until I read the prologue. Holy mother of god! Prepare yourselves my lovelies. Tough stuff that made me very emotional and I even shed a few tears.
On a brighter note: I was so happy to see Ana and Fifty back together, despite the hardships I knew they’d have to overcome.

Throughout the first book I was wondering about Fifty’s past. What could’ve possibly happened that made him want to control every aspect of his, and Ana’s life. I was given a lot more insight reading Fifty Shades Darker. The title should give you a big hint. There were several moments that tore at my heartstrings. So much in fact, that I had to stop reading and take a deep breath. The glimpses into Fifty’s past combined with the information he offered Ana (a huge step) helped me understand him better. No one should have to live through what he had to endure. I can only say it again and again. Fifty is such a fascinating character. All his faults and issues drew me in... maybe even more so than before. There’s one specific moment when I almost couldn’t take it. No worries, though. Has something good happened to you before - something that made you cry happy tears? That’s what they were. HAPPY tears!

A very important aspect of the plot: progress. I was expecting it, but also wanted my same old Fifty back. The one I came to love! The author delivered on both accounts. Losing Ana led to a major shift in his outlook. Fifty realized how much this “maddening, maddening woman” meant to him. The decision to get her back went hand in hand with change. Change of his priorities, change of his wants, and change of his way of thinking. What intrigued me was that Fifty wasn’t capable of taking credit for his accomplishments. Even in the end, I wasn’t sure if he knew how far he had come. As for Ana, I wasn’t surprised that she doubted herself. From the very beginning she couldn’t say why such a man would be attracted to her. This feeling in the back of her mind was still there...nagging away. It took a toll on her. Ana feared that a normal relationship would never be enough for him. I suffered with and for the two of them. When Fifty finally put a name to his ‘more’ for Ana... that’s what I’d call perfection. He deserves another pat on the shoulder for trying to look at a past relationship...err...arrangement from Ana’s perspective. A certain psychologist will shed some light on things by the way. Great idea to have him as part of the book (not just by mention, but in person).

What made all the difference? Well, okay, not ALL the difference, but the difference between 4.5 and 5 stars. I got a few chuckles out of Fifty Shades of Grey. Fifty Shades Darker, however, was even funnier. What? Funny? Yep. In spite of all the drama (believe me there was lots) James made sure to give the reader some breathing room for giggles. I’m still not over the greatness that’s Ana’s and Fifty’s email exchange. Also, Fifty overshot the mark from time to time, but Ana didn’t put up with it any longer. She thought carefully about which battles to fight. It was a challenge for him to accept this. Then again, sometimes she let him have his way. I understood. I, too, was turned on by his demanding nature. Nothing wrong with that!
Did someone just say ‘turned on’? Oh, that was me *wiggleseyebrows*! Thankfully neither period sex nor the use of his toothbrush (by a certain someone else) was involved. That just now was a reference to Fifty Shades #1 by the way. The sex? Scorching, hot, satisfying, thrilling. Plenty of it, but not too much. The read had depths AND kink. An awesome combination.

Another thing that set this read apart from its predecessor was the element of suspense. Just enough to give the reader an uneasy feeling. It was slowly building up and ended in a bit of a showdown. Fifty didn’t just face his past; his past was given a face – two faces that is. They represented the two sides of a coin. His BDSM lifestyle being the coin. From the submissive to the dominant to just Fifty. That was vague enough to not be a spoiler, right?!
With Ana gaining independence while working for a Publishing House, the door was opened to danger from an external source. The storyline for the third book in the series had to be set up. Good job I say! 
Enjoyed the read very much and can’t wait for the next one. Due in? Oh NO, I have no idea?!?!?! Soon, I hope. 5 stars to Fifty Shades Darker by E L James. 
Beware of Spoilers! 
A few of my favorite quotes for those of you who are interested: 
° “I miss him. I really miss him… I love him. Simple.”
° “I feel like the sun has set and not risen for five days, Ana. I’m in perpetual night here.”
° “Do you want a regular vanilla relationship with no kinky fuckery at all?”
° “…you’re my boss now… - Technically, I’m your boss’s boss’s boss. – And technically, it’s gross moral turpitude; the fact that I’m fucking my boss’s boss’s boss.”
° “I’m not going to let you dazzle me with your sexpertise.”
° “You cannot begin to understand the depths of my depravity, Anastasia. And it’s not something I want to share…”
° “He takes me to these dark places, places I didn’t know existed, and together we fill them with blinding light.”


  1. Thanks!! Now I really want to read these!! :o)

    Mickey @ imabookshark

  2. Ahhh. Yet ANOTHER review from you that makes me think "I need this book NOW." :D

  3. I love it when book grabs your heartstrings and you can connect well to the characters.

    Great review!

  4. Must have both books, read Fifty Shades in original form and loved it more then anything!!!!!

  5. this is the kind of book you can not stop reading and you have as one of your all-times favorite guilty plessure. i'm dying to get my hands in 50 shades darker, is so well written and intense read it before but i'm happy E.L James published them as book, everyone should get the change to read them :)

  6. OMG!!! I must read these books. They sound incredible.


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