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on July 13, 2012
The first book was okay, with some interesting aspects (including good sex scenes) that made up for the juvenile writing and even more juvenile characters. I made the mistake of buying the other two books right after finishing the first. The series is essentially based on the old fallacy that messed up guys can be "fixed" by the right woman. It's also chock full of romance cliches: virginal heroine, hot billionaire with dangerous secrets in his past, ridiculous threat to virginal heroine's life, etc. It's also full of Twilight-esque vomit-worthy writing: obsessive hero who violates boundaries and engages in controlling behaviour but it's okay because he does it out of love; constant misunderstandings based on each main characters' belief that they're not good enough for the other; everyone in love with the quiet, nerdy heroine. By the second book, any original aspects have disappeared, and by the third book the writing is so idiotic you'll lose respect for yourself for continuing to read them.

Do yourself a favour and read the Outlander series or a Song of Ice and Fire or anything but this garbage.
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on July 8, 2012
I wasn't sure whether to buy this trilogy. I love twilight and was on the fence about reading Fifty Shades because I wasn't sure about the S&M aspect.
However....people recommended it to me on a few occasions so I gave the books a chance.
The first book is poorly written and takes a few chapters to get into but then I was hooked. The first book was the best of the three, book 2 (Darker) went downhill.
I started finding that Ana was kind of a pansy and weakling by book 2. She doesn't ever stand up for herself and Christian uses sex to control her and silence her often times. I was getting frustrated that she wouldn't speak up for herself.
She also tends to have very repetitive dialogue and is not a very interesting or dynamic character.
Honestly - the most interesting character in the book was Ana's sub-conscience. She made me smile a few times. The second most interesting is Kate Kavanagh (her best friend/roommate).

Ana was sort of hard to root for and identify with. How many times can she say "Please" to Christian during sex? And how can she always reach the grand finale just when he tells her to? It was a little overdone.

It is a fun, summer read. By book 3 it seems like the author is just tying up loose ends and trying too hard to make everything a happy ending and it drags on at times.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 16, 2014
Okay now I get what all the fuss has been about. I'm so glad I decided to continue on with this series after the confusion and bizarreness of "Grey". That book was just all over the place for me, very juvenile, and well, weird. I think I actually called it YA erotica. Thankfully the characters and writing has matured here and because of this "Darker" turned out to be just a fantastic read. Granted I am a sucker when it comes to the tortured, messed up heroes and with Christian I couldn't ask for any more shades of f'd up. Especially with his past slowly being reveled throughout, yup, I fell hard.

His lifestyle choices and need for absolute control finally made sense to me so that he didn't just come across as overbearing and stalkerish. His actions actually made me sad. That scene where he falls to his knees and begs Ana not to leave him and submits to her... Jeez so unexpected and heartbreaking. I actually fell a bit in love with him myself there. Up until that point his over protective, stalker tendencies had kept me wary. Even Ana grew on me here, finally having grown a pair she at last became a worthy companion for Christian and ultimately the one in control of the relationship. Who woulda guessed?

I liked that this story involved a bit of suspense, and I enjoyed a return to the emails which as well as being fun and playful were a way for our characters to show their true selves while hiding behind the mean machine and Blackberry. Ana's triple axel, back flipping, pouting, cheering inner goddess again kept me in stiches.

On a personal note I would have kept Ana and Christian broken up a bit longer. I mean what was it, like 5 days? Hardly worthy of all the angst and weight loss, plus a longer separation would have made their getting back together that much more meaningful and explained how they were able to grow and be willing to change for each other to not have to face that pain again. I guess I'm also just a bit twisted because I wanted to see them heartbroken, making bad decisions and missing each other longer.

My only real issue with "Darker" would be the very last scene which felt tagged on solely for the purpose of introducing a third book, it was unnecessary. We the readers were already going there. Cheers
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on May 20, 2012
Don't know whether these 'grey' books are abusive or just plain silly. Frightens me that young women reading this tripe think that this type of voluntary degradation is desirable. Surely we have come further than that. They are not even well-written. Hero is a modern Marquis de Sade and heroine (if one can call a slave a heroine) a contemporary Tess. Most disappointing thst these are best-sellers. Only good news is thst I bought them on sale.
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on June 8, 2012
this series is being marketed as erotic and thrilling, but it's boring and repetitive -- and extremely poorly written... how did these books ever become a hit?
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on June 13, 2015
**Spoiler Alert** Anastasia and Christian are broken up, but not for long. I can't believe how she took him back so quickly. The guy is so controlling, and he has her wrapped around his finger. She does whatever he wants like she is a slave to him, and don't let me get started about their jealousy. Anastasia is so stupid to put it mildly. Even though Christian may be arrogant, at one point he was correct when he warned her to delete their messages from the computer--it's being monitored. He even told her to use the Blackberry, but she wouldn't listen. It's her fault her boss went after her and was suspicious. What angered me how Christian forbid her to go to work and she took that from him. I don't notice her with friends much, mostly him. Seriously, did she have a life other than him? I guess not. It isn't love between these two characters, only lust and satisfy their need. I found it strange how Christian disliked to be touched from beginning of the story. From what I understand Anastasia's innocence and she somehow turned his life around. Christian even indicated in the beginning of their so called relationship, he wasn't into flowers and hearts. She went after him, and he soon started having feelings for her and allowed her to touch him. I was stunned by this whole book. I have read books in similar genre, but you feel more drawn to the story. For this book, I kind of like it and hate it at the same time. There are some parts I liked, but it seemed to me more of a abuse relationship. This guy may be a millionaire, but he isn't that amazing that Anastasia can't focus when around him. In this whole book it seemed in some ways sad because Christian had a hard life and didn't know any other way to behave. At the same time, Anastasia stayed with him even though he wanted things his way and got frustrated with him. I don't see this story going much of anywhere; it's all has being in control, maybe some action, and jealousy. Plus he wanted to spank her and she eventually let him. Then there was the part with her tampon, and I thought it was gross. This is the first book I talk so negatively about. No offence to the author, but she could have had a better story.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 12, 2015


Romantic, liberating and totally addictive, the Fifty Shades trilogy will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you for ever ...

Daunted by the dark secrets of the tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Ana Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a US publishing house.

But desire for Grey still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, she cannot resist. Soon she is learning more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades than she ever thought possible.

But while Grey wrestles with his inner demons, Ana must make the most important decision of her life. And it's a decision she can only make on her own ...

Well, I'll try and find something positive to say about this unfortunate read. It's only 532 pages long and despite not being what I would call a typical page-turner you can eat the pages up quite quickly! And I suppose anything that creates a media buzz and makes people who usually wouldn't read, pick up a book can't be a bad thing.

So why did I read it? Well, in the Keane household, I have a habit of reading what my wife has read previously, just so we can compare afterwards. Typically she reads the likes of Linwood Barclay, Harlan Coben, Tess Gerritsen etc, so whilst these aren't on my A-list of people I would typically read through choice I have enjoyed some of these authors, some more than others. Anyway the girls at her work were reading these and chatting about them in the summer; ergo it's my time a couple of months down the line.

I have to say James can write better than I can, though whether she is a good writer is doubtful in my opinion. For the record; I don't write and I don't have any aspirations to write but a big part of me has admiration for those who do and those who strive to, irrespective of whether or not they have any great talent.) But hey, she's sold a zillion books and has probably made a sizeable chunk of change doing so, so good luck to her.

So back to the book............mildly interesting at the points where Ana interacts with others, sex parts - dull, tedious and repetitive. Worst parts - Ana's continual naval-gazing where she ponders her Christian, and the situation and anticipates seeing her hunk of Steele, but not before getting in touch with her inner-goddess first. The only mildly interesting person in the book is Christian's gopher, Taylor but that's probably because he sits on the edge of things most of the time. I did find myself pondering my naval and trying to get in touch with my inner god, to see if perhaps Taylor knocked out Christian with a tyre iron, having finally decided he was fed-up being a paid slave, and whether could he be the right man for Ana....... but hey, life like a lot of books you read, doesn't always turn out as you hope.

I do wonder whether, Ana's Christian, that abusive, controlling gazillionaire hunk of a man who, perfect in every way will finally start expelling fragrant diamond-encrusted stools in an effort to finally put the seal on their troubled relationship.

Anyway Ana and Christian, Christian and Ana......roll on book 3....crikes, I can hardly wait!

2 OUT OF 5
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on February 15, 2013
Never read romance genres before and never read erotica before but finally decided it had become so pervasive in so many ways from the explosion in erotic romance to a myriad of marketing campaigns that resistance was futile and decided to read it. I thought I would hate it but was completely sucked in. I think everyone needs to lighten up and stop being so judgmental. Much has been made of how controlling and perverse Christian is, but other than the playroom incident which prompts Ana to leave Christian and serves as a wake up call to him, she challenges Christian and makes her own demands from the start. She never becomes a submissive and doesn't sign his contract and they continue to experiment because she wants to and as they experiment he keeps reminding her to say stop at any time, which he instantly does because she is his lover and not under contract to do his sexual bidding. As she grows more confident she asserts herself and he, grudgingly and a bit frustrated at first, respects her and then loves her for standing up to him. Sure there is still the unrealistic fantasy of the wounded, but gorgeous rich man who is saved by the love of a good woman who is then assured of great sex and a life of luxury, but other than the scale of the money involved and the endless sex, many marriages are patterned after the same model. I know many woman, including myself, who married smart, successful men because they loved them, and because they would have the financial freedom to work or stay home with the children.
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on September 4, 2013
I would not recommend this trilogy to anyone. It is ebook over priced as well. I don't like writing bad reviews but this book is a waste of time. Not because it is sexually graphic (which it really isn't as bad as I expected) but because there is no substance to it, it is just simply about a wealthy man who is cruel and sadistic in other words mentally and emotionally damaged and gorgeous ( but now after hearing who is going to play him in the movie I guess he is not so drop dead gorgeous as Ana describes, a better choice of sophisticated good looking would be EJ on Days of our Lives) This book is so much of the same thing page after page that it is boring. Ana is such an unbelievable character, there is no one like her I am sure, she has so little self worth that I get angry thinking that our young adolescents will read this trash and think that it is okay to be treated with such indignity and allow such garbage as stalking and isolation etc. Don't waste your money!
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on August 26, 2013
I purchased the last two books of the Fifty Shades Trilogy. My order did come earlier than expected, which is nice. Freed was in perfect condition. Sadly, though, Darker came in a less than optimal condition. Now, maybe I am just picky, but there is a large bump on the spine from manufacturing/printing. Somehow, the spine was just not adhered correctly. My other issue is that I can see the stress and depressions due to shipping. Probably had some rough handling, ironically. Now, I understand that bangzo_ca is not at fault for the poor handling at shipping, but I feel I should not have been sold a NEW book with damage done to the spine from the start.

I will be biting the bullet and keeping the copy nontheless, as I do not have anymore patience to wait for shipping. I would recommend this seller to others, but just remind them that ordering things online can be a hit or miss experience, as like my situation.
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