Have you ever come across a book you loved so much you just wanted to crawl inside it and never let go? No? Okay, well, call my metaphor crazy if you want, but I recently read Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James and nearly wept when I realized I’d reached the end. I actually finished the book a few days ago, but it took a couple days to write a review because I honestly couldn’t think of a way to describe it without using the words “OMG” “squee” and “totally” — with exclamations after every sentence too. Fifty Shades Darker is the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey (which I also loved beyond words), and as this is a trilogy, I find myself chomping at the bit for the next book yet again. Christian and Ana take spicy to a whole new level and readers are in for a surprise with the amount of suspense that’s been sprinkled throughout. This is a series that will stick with you for weeks after reading, and one that I know I’ll be rereading — probably soon! — and I almost never reread books!
SYNOPSIS: When we last left our protagonists, shy, sweet Anastasia had just stormed out on the troubled and sexy Christian Grey because his overwhelming “fifty shades of f*cked up” became just too much to bear for our naive heroine. The story picks up just weeks after their last meeting and Ana can’t help the insane magnetic attraction she still feels for Christian and vice versa. The young couple manages to work things out and get back together (hallelujah!), but don’t think that it means happily ever afters for all! Oh, no. In fact, quite the opposite. This time around, the couple must battle conflict left and right in order to stay together. From death threats to inappropriate email exchanges, Fifty Shades Darker is an emotional tug-of-war like none other. Additionally, Christian’s elusive “Mrs. Robinson” makes an appearance, as does Ana’s loveable friend, José. Strap on your seat belt and grab a fire extinguisher because you’re in for one HOT wild ride!
Yet another grand slam for Ms. James! I can’t even begin to articulate how much I loved this book, so excuse my squealing attempt at explaining why I am absolutely head-over-heels for all things Fifty. Since Christian and Ana are actually in a relationship this time around, we get a chance to delve deeper into the couples’ personality and spend more time finding out what makes them tick. Sure, Christian is still a tortured soul with some demons to battle, but we also see how romantic he can be and just how much he cares for his family. And, boy, has Ana come a long way since the first book. She’s still amiable and polite, but she’s grown a proverbial pair of balls and learned to start sticking up for herself — not only against Christian (their constant back-and-forth is tense, funny AND erotic), but also against other bad-guy characters in the story.
In terms of pacing, I would describe the story as a rollercoaster — one that begins with a slow, tortuous climb and then quickly plummets, lifting your stomach into your throat (you know the feeling to which I’m referring!). Then, just when you think it’s time for a calm, even moment, you’re thrust into plot twists and sensual loop-de-loops. By the time you finally catch your breath you’re dizzy, emotional and overwhelmed… and want to do it again.
*Click here to read my review and view my star rating on Goodreads.
**I received Fifty Shades Darker as a complimentary copy for review from the publisher.