Book Review: E.L. James’ Fifty Shades Darker

Posted September 10, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: E.L. James’ Fifty Shades DarkerFifty Shades Darker is a paperback edition on September 16, 2011 and has 532 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.


Second in the Fifty Shades erotic romance trilogy revolving around Christian Grey and Ana Steele.

My Take

What a load of crap. James didn’t write the first Fifty Shades well, but at least she gave it some heart and drama. In this one, the writing is simply horrible. Its only saving grace is Ana “saving” Christine Grey from himself. Otherwise, it’s a lot of whine, whine, whine. I try to remind myself that she’s young and hasn’t had much experience, but, ohhhh, the whining…and the juvenile romancing. Yuck. Somebody, please, find me a bucket!

I do enjoy the emails they bat back and forth; I don’t understand why Ana is such an idiot about refusing to use her BlackBerry for those inflammatory emails she does send him. I can’t figure out if she’s simply stupid or if it was an easy way for James to ensure Hyde got his hands on material.

Not unexpectedly, Grey is overly protective of Ana. And terrified of her touching him.

Okay, um, why does James make such a big deal out of José using Ana’s image on his portraits? The way she goes on about the attention Ana gets at the opening, I was expecting to discover they were all salacious nudes. Instead, they’re simply great pictures of her. I rather like Grey’s reaction to them *she says with a grin*. It certainly is a good wake-up call for him.

Ana does make a good point about the difficulties of communication with Christian. After all, that contract back in Fifty Shades of Grey was pretty explicit. It’s too bad that she doesn’t communicate herself. Nor does she hold to her word. Any bump in the road and she forgets her promises and heads out the door on the run. At one point, Ana whines about not liking being scolded like a child. Well, if she doesn’t like it, stop acting like a child. Then she whines about wanting “a calm, normal morning” and I can’t help but wonder if it’s even possible with her around.

I dunno, she’s such a twit. Yet I try to remember, again, her youth, her inexperience. I do enjoy the teasing and the reactions of her inner goddess make me laugh. I like that Grey is trying so hard. He asks her to have faith in him, to have patience. And she finally considers that maybe she could do the same with him. Have some patience for the poor guy. He is doing so much to try and be what she wants. But she refuses to do the same for him. To have any thought for the work this is for him. She’s not the only virgin here in this respect. Idiot.

She keeps pushing to go back into his playroom and Christian wants nothing to do with it because she left him the last time they were in there. After she said she’d never leave. She whines on about “How can he possibly want me? I can’t give him what he needs?” Has he complained? Has he insisted on going back to the playroom you keep trying to push him into??? She pushes and pushes and pushes at him. They’re back together, what, two or three days, and she has to know everythingthisminute. Then of course Ana will whine when it doesn’t go well. Explain how someone as intelligent as him can love a doofus like her? James does not do this at all well. She gives us the words, but definitely does not make me believe it.

Anna claims she barely knows the man??

I do agree with Ana that Christian does have some double standards. If he expects Ana to accept his taking care of Leila, then he should be able to handle her having a drink with José. Trust is required in all aspects of a relationship.

Why does Ana have to keep bringing Mrs. Robinson up? She always manages to destroy the moments between her and Christian by…whining on about the past. Give it a rest! Ana does learn a bit about Christian’s childhood from Mia that cause some pieces to fall into place.

I’m curious too. Why does Christian act so cold with his mother when he loves her?

Oooh, Ana is setting Ethan up with Mia. Another, ooohh, I love the gift Ana gives him for his birthday. The perfect gift for a man who has everything.

On the whole, borrow this from the library if you absolutely must read it. There are only a few bits in here that are worth reading. It’s certainly not worth gagging through the ninety-percent of juvenile whinging that this installment consists of.

The Story

The story picks up where the first left off. With Ana starting her new job…and whining about how much she misses Christian. It’s José’s art show opening that gives Christian the opportunity to see Ana again and just being with him is enough to make her want to give him another chance.

Yet Christian doesn’t understand boundaries. He wants to protect her from anything and everything. Her new boss, her new stalker. And the best way to protect is to install her in his own apartment.

It’s an opportunity for them to get to know each other better, to test their hard limits. For Ana to talk with Dr. Flynn about her own concerns. Concerns that suddenly don’t seem so important when the news comes about Christian’s chopper going down.

The Characters

Anastasia Steele, a.k.a., Miss Snap Judgment, is now the assistant to an editor at SIP. A job she got on her own with a company that Christian doesn’t own. She thinks. Ray Steele is the stepfather she considers her real father. José Rodriguez is a friend of Ana’s who’d like to be more. His first photography show focuses on Ana as his muse.

Christian Grey is a billionaire interested in a wide variety of technologies although many seem to revolve around food. He’s fallen in love with Ana and it takes awhile for him to realize it. He’s incredibly controlling, although he does back down when he realizes it could lose him the woman he wants. Jason Taylor is his personal security; he has a seven-year-old daughter who lives with her mother. Gail Jones is his housekeeper. Dr. Grace Trevelyan-Grey and Carrick Grey are his parents; his siblings, all adopted like him, are Elliot who is involved with her roommate Kate and Mia.

Jack Hyde is an editor with SIP and Ana’s boss. Seems he’s interested in more than just her work abilities. He’s an ambitious man who has worked his way up from nothing. There’s also Elizabeth who seems to be Jack’s boss, Courtney is another editor, and Claire works in reception.

Kate is still in Barbados with Elliot Grey and doesn’t get back until almost the end of this installment and her brother Ethan.

Leila is an ex-submissive of Christian’s. Seems she’s desperate to get back with him. To the point of suicide. Lily is one of Mia’s friends and has a hard-on for Christian who can’t stand her. Dr. John Flynn is Christian’s psychiatrist; Rhian is his wife. Elena “Mrs. Robinson” Lincoln is an old family friend of the Greys. Until Grace finds out. Liam McConnell is the captain for The Grace, Christian’s state-of-the-art catamaran. Andrea is one of his assistants. Ros is his number two; Gwen is her partner.

The Cover and Title

The cover is rather appropriate with its Italianate mask, hiding Grey from looking at himself or allowing others a peek at him under the gleam of satin and glitter of his wealth.

The title is not appropriate. I should have thought lighter more accurate than Fifty Shades Darker.


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