I went through these books so quickly, that I didn’t leave time to do individual reviews of each book, instead I am doing a review of all three read together. I first heard about his trilogy on Good Morning America, and thought it would be on my future reading list. Then a friend said she had them and loved them and loaned the trilogy to me. My friend stated that they were along the lines of Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy, but I find that to be a gross misstatement. The Fifty Shades Trilogy does have intense sex scenes with Dominant/Submissive tones, but unlike the Sleeping Beauty trilogy there is an actual story and character growth. The characters of Christen Grey and Ana Steele are very likable and wanting to get to know them better kept me turning the pages.
Fifty Shades of Grey is where were are first introduced to Christen and Ana. Christine is a vastly wealthy businessman, self made and controlling of all aspects of his life. Ana is incredibly naïve and yes virginal. Christen has a very specific type of relationship with women, and Ana must discover if she can provide that, especially since she has never been in a sexual relationship before it tests all her boundaries. This book is mostly about Ana discovering who she is and what she will and won’t do in a relationship. Christen is an enigma to both Ana and the reader, and leaves us both hungering for more information and insight into his character.
Fifty Shades Darker is the next step in Christen and Ana’s relationship. Christen is willing to test his relationship boundaries to give Ana what she wants and needs from him. This book is mostly about Christen pushing and expanding his emotional limits. There is also the excitement of an ex-lover coming for Christen and/or Ana and the suspense of how the unstable woman will attack them next. I could not put this book down, I think I finished it less than 24 hours. To me this was the best book of the three, EL James combined suspense, romance, and humor masterfully and the story just unfolded effortlessly and I found myself devouring it.
Fifty Shades Freed we continue with Christen and Ana’s story after they are married and there is yet another unstable person attacking them. Jack Hyde is after revenge, but revenge for what? This was the most boring of the three books, the suspense element wasn’t as good as in book two and the sex scenes felt a bit repetitive. Also, the happy newlyweds did not really inspire me. They were settling into boring married life, rather than exploring either’s emotional or sexual boundaries as in the first two books. Still a great read though.
Overall the Darker Shades Trilogy is a great story of relationship boundaries, with some really hot sex scenes thrown in for fun. The characters are memorable and make you love them within the first few chapters. Christen and Ana are such extreme opposites and such extreme character types that you can’t help but cheer for their happiness. Now I understand what all the hype was and agree is a hot summer read.