Daunted by the singular 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 the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.
After constant hounding from my coworker, I buried her copy of the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey in my laptop bag and hurriedly made my way to the parking lot at work. Though the book was safely hidden from the people milling about me, I felt as if their very souls knew the nature of what was stowed away, inconspicuously, with my laptop. Once home away from prying eyes, I finished the first book in a relatively timely manner, and was surprised at the ease of the read, by the content, and by how much my degree of blushing lessened by the end of the book. Following the conclusion of Fifty Shades of Grey, I was intrigued to delve into Fifty Shades Darker. On the whole, the first book did not do much for me in regards to storyline, and frankly, I was baffled how it received so much media attention with all the other novels of its kind in circulation, but having already sipped the Kool-Aid, decidedly, it was time for seconds. (Does not help that once I start something – in this case the Fifty Shades Trilogy – I have to finish it).
In James’ second installment in the series the intensity of the random sexual encounters dwindles, with the reader being entreated to the psychological impact of Christian’s past, which is something that baffles even Grey’s high priced shrink, Dr. Flynn, who we get to meet in this piece. There are the steamy scenes that make us all wish for a little Christian in our lives, but they transformed from carnal to sensual based on the developments in the relationship between Ana and Christian. The overall readability of this book mirrors the first, yet James offers a deeper profile behind the characters of Ana Steele and Christian Grey, their relationship, and the dynamic of the interactions with friends and family. I have to confess that though the content of the characters is expanded upon, I still found myself turning the pages, just waiting to stumble upon the stereotypical “purple headed warrior” euphemism. I am happy to report that James continues to do an outstanding job of detailing the intimate scenes sans raunchiness and cliché metaphors.
On a whole, I would have to give Fifty Shades Darker 3 out of 5 stars. The one saving grace in the story that keeps me drinking the Kool-Aid is the psychological aspect of how Christian’s personality has been formed. The reader is offered up pieces of Christian’s past from his own viewport and that of his adopted family. Beyond just Christian’s dynamic, I also found myself intrigued to see the change in Ana’s current state of mind, complete with how she can rationalize the most irrational, and at times traumatic, occurrences that befall she and Christian. Where the first book uses the taboo subject of sex to entice readers, Fifty Shades Darker brings in a more solid storyline, offering back story, and introducing skeletons from Christian’s closest, both in corporeal form and mental. I will definitely keep my thirst quenched with the final book, Fifty Shades Free, and am interested to discover more of Christian’s traumatic past, and how it will shape his potential future with Ana Steele.
For now, Laters Babes.