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Feeling a little Grey…Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey EL James

by on June 13, 2012

While visiting a blog written by fellow erotic romance writer Steph Sweeney:  http://stepherotica.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/a-million-little-shades-of-grey/  I stumbled onto her review of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. It’s an interesting take on the books so jump over and take a look…after you finish reading my review that is. 🙂 She made me want to include my own response to the Shades of Grey books on my blog. Unlike many of the reviews I have found of these books this one is positive. I really enjoyed the books, but it took me a bit to get into the romance of the story. I had a blah reaction to the first book, and I think that my reservations had more to do with Christian Grey’s control issues than the actual BDSM part of the book. I personally believe that everyone should enjoy a good erotica book every now and then just to keep their fire burning.

Having recently delved into writing erotic romance I hate to be critical of a fellow author’s work. I know how deeply entertwined authors tend to become with their characters, and I also know how frustrating it can be to hear people trash a book they don’t understand. So instead of being critical I will hi-light what I loved about the trilogy.

For those that haven’t read them you can google “Fifty Shades of Grey Excerpt” to get a teaser. Otherwise the general plot line is about a young woman-Anastasia Steele, fresh out of college who finds herself attracted to and pursued by an older man who just happens to be a billionaire. Christian Grey is a broken soul that has become a master of the D/s lifestyle (That’s Dominant/submissive if you don’t already know), and seeks to have Anastasia sign a contract to be his submissive. The only unbelieveable moment in the whole story centered around her being a virgin who has NO sexual experience whatsoever, but once they got that pesky hymen out of the way the sparks were flying. She manages to point out to him that he was preyed on by a sexual predator, and he begins to deal with his issues while falling in love with her.

Now here is my take:

Anastasia was a focused intelligent woman that found herself physically attracted to a man that had baggage. This isn’t Narnia people, this is the real world, and real people have real baggage. Christian was angry, and hurt by his past experiences, and he used them to build protective walls around him in various ways. The most obvious being his use of Domination to keep his heart safe. She was able to find cracks in his defenses by showing him affection, attention, and genuine heartfelt love; while at the same time standing her ground and being herself. She was willing to walk away from someone who wasn’t ready to be what she needed, and in the end she helped banish many of the ghosts that haunted him from his past. Theirs was an honest love story. One that held the pitfalls that real people deal with.

I don’t know anyone that hasn’t had a conversation with their spouse/significant other about their past that didn’t hurt a little, or cause a feeling of jealousy. It’s because we hate to think that someone we love might be imperfect. In this case Anastasia had to face the imperfections that her “prince charming” had right from the get go, and we got to follow her journey and her internal struggles with it.

The sex became better as their relationship grew stronger, and their feelings for each other grew deeper. What some people might have seen as dependancy, I saw as supporting each other. There are moments where my spouse has to be the rock that I cling to, and I find myself being his rock at other times. It’s mutual, and it’s honest which is what I got from Christian and Anastasia.

Perhaps it wasn’t the best writing in comparison to some of the classics, but I certainly wouldn’t call it trivial when it has sold over 10 million copies. I hope that Ms. James’ success with erotic romance brings new readers to the genre as well as opening peoples minds to variations on what is deemed socially acceptable when it comes to sexuality. This book was a love story, a genuine romance; with a heavy handed bit of raunchy hot sex. That doesn’t make it “Mommy Porn” it makes it a fun read.

Give yourself a mental break and enjoy the fun of the story. As always don’t forget to Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance.

Always~Lori

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