Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fifty Shades, Book 1
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop
Hero: Christian Grey
Heroine: Anastasia Rose Steele
Date of Publication: May 26, 2011
Started On: January 11, 2012
Finished On: January 13, 2012
Whenever there is too much buzz about a book, it is always worth checking out. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James is a book that landed in my pile of books to read because of that reason alone, time and yet to be bumped up again until I decided to take the plunge and see what the hype was all about.
27 year old Christian Grey is the CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. and a very private person at that. 21 year old Anastasia Rose Steele (Ana) is about to sit for her last college exams and as a favor to her best friend Katherine Kavanagh (Kate), Ana agrees to go to the interview Kate has lined up with Christian for the student paper in her stead.
Ana is almost a total innocent when it comes to men, someone who would rather stand in the shadows than stand out. So it is a reluctant Ana at best that presents herself to the impressive, attractive and commanding force that is Christian Grey. Ana doesn’t know what hits her when she meets the swirling depths of grey that is Christian’s eyes, and in her perspective, the interview goes totally downhill from the moment she stumbles into Christian’s office.
When Christian turns up at the hardware store where Ana works part-time, Ana cannot believe in the fact that Christian is interested in her plain and shy self. And when Ana gets a glimpse into the darkness that swirls in the depths of Christian’s soul and the sort of relationship that he wants to indulge in with her, the naive and innocent woman deep inside of her wants to run screaming to the other end of the world. But her inner goddess that awakens at Christian’s merest touch and the fire that burns in his eyes whenever their eyes happen to meet has Ana agreeing to be part of one of the strangest forms of courting I have come across in a novel so far.
Rather than taking place through a period of time, E.L. James takes the reader across the first couple of crucial weeks that makes up the beginning of the relationship that is between the misfits that are Christian and Ana. Combining elements of BDSM with the already scorching hot sex that is part of the relationship that Christian and Ana embarks upon, E.L. James tells a mesmerizing tale that is hard to put down, that compels you to keep on reading, a story that makes you want to be a part of the journey that Christian and Ana takes towards their happily ever after.
First of all, everyone who knows me and my reading tastes know that I am not much of a fan of either BDSM or books written in the first person. But in spite of all that, the fact that this story worked for me amazingly well is the reason why I am elbow deep in the 2nd book of the series even as I write my review. There is just something about the characters, the setting, the off-the-charts kinky and scorching hot sex together with the deeper and darker emotions that makes up the story that I just cannot turn myself away from.
Christian’s character is a mesmerizing one. I loved and wanted to slap him upside down in equal amounts and that was reason enough for me to continue reading. The fact that I had to gauge his reactions towards Ana, his developing feelings towards the woman who confuses, astounds and arouses him in a way he has never been before, through Ana’s point of view alone was frustrating and exhilarating at the same time. Christian is literally a closed book when it comes to his past, his emotions and his vulnerability when it comes to Ana. But the one thing he cannot deny is his need for Ana that grows exponentially through each of their encounters to the point he is practically obsessed with her.
Christian’s approach to what he wants from Ana was one I had a hard time taking in. Maybe because BDSM is a concept that is hard for me to take in because for me a satisfying relationship between two partners is one where they are equal in the giving, receiving and sharings. But when it comes to one partner being dominant over the other to the point that the submissive can only even look at the dominant with his/her permission; needless to say my skin practically itches from the need to just shake it all away. But somehow, the elements of BDSM in the relationship between Ana and Christian didn’t reach that scale because by nature, Ana is not the submissive that Christian thinks her to be. She challenges him in the bedroom and out of it, and though she might be willing to go beyond the boundaries that is uncomfortable for her, her inner self doesn’t allow herself to just practically mould herself into what Christian wants and needs from her with no questions asked.
Ana is a woman who has landed herself with a man who has issues with a capital I. The fact that Christian never allows her to touch him as she wants to and because he has such a vast amount of experience when it comes to carnal desires and because he is richer than one man alone should ever be makes her think that she is not worthy of a man like Christian whose mesmerizing good looks alone means he could have any woman he wants. But the fact that Christian drives home through the entire story is that from all the women in the world, Ana is the woman he wants by his side because when it comes to being vulnerable in the relationship that develops between them, Ana is not the only one.
I am so glad that the final book in this trilogy would be out on the 19th of this month because I don’t think I would have the patience to wait around much after finishing up the 2nd book.
For those who think that this book might not work for you because of the BDSM elements in the story, I suggest you give this a try because a lot of people like myself have read and enjoyed this book a whole lot more than they would have ever thought. Because the way E.L. James brings Christian to life through Ana’s eyes is one that continues to bewitch me, I am going to say adios for now and continue with my reading.
Highly recommended for fans of contemporary romances, especially for those who would like to try something different, just to step outside your comfort zone in the world of romance you so much love and indulge in.
His head turns fractionally toward me, his eyes darkest slate. I bite my lip.
“Oh, fuck the paperwork,” he growls. He lunges at me, pushing me against the wall of the elevator. Before I know it, he’s got both of my hands in one of his in a vice-like grip above my head, and he’s pinning me to the wall using his hips. Holy shit. His other hand grabs my ponytail and yanks down, bringing my face up, and his lips are on mine. It’s only just not painful. I moan into his mouth, giving his tongue an opening. He takes full advantage, his tongue expertly exploring my mouth. I have never been kissed like this.
[Ana] “You’re a sadist?”
“I’m a Dominant.” His eyes are a scorching gray, intense.
“What does that mean?” I whisper.
“It means I want you to willingly surrender yourself to me, in all things.”
I frown at him as I try to assimilate this idea.
“Why would I do that?”
“To please me,” he whispers as he cocks his head to one side, and I see a ghost of a smile.
Please him! He wants me to please him! I think my mouth drops open. Please Christian Grey. And I realize, in that moment, that yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want him to be damned delighted with me. It’s a revelation.
“Why don’t you like to be touched” Ana whispered, staring up into soft grey eyes.
“Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia”
He grabs me suddenly and yanks me up against him, one hand at my back holding me to him and the other fisting in my hair.
“You’re one challenging woman,” He kisses me, forcing my lips apart with his tongue, taking no prisoners.
“It’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car, just to show you that you’re mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car,” he growls.
This is a man in need. His fear is naked and obvious, but he’s lost. . . Somewhere in his darkness.
His eyes wide and bleak and tortured. I can soothe him. Join him briefly in the darkness and bring him into the light.
He’s naked except for those soft ripped jeans, top button casually undone. Jeez, he looks so freaking hot. My subconscious is frantically fanning herself, and my inner goddess is swaying and writhing to some primal carnal rhythm.