Monthly Archives: August 2012

Review: Fifty Shades Freed

***Spoilers are included in this post, since I’ve previously reviewed both Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker.

Recap: What’s left to do when you’ve already shared a dominant-submissive relationship with someone and then fallen in love? Get married, of course! So begins the final book in the Fifty Shades trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed. Ana and Christian are on their honeymoon, traveling around the world on boats, planes, and by foot. The honeymoon is romantic and sexy, as one should be, but Ana questions whether or not she’s really ready to be married.

Upon their return home, Ana and Christian find there’s still a fair amount they don’t know about each other. Christian continues having trouble understanding what Ana sees in him. Ana still has trouble dealing with Christian’s overprotective behavior. But it’s clear they’re both making strides. Christian surprises Ana with a trip that includes all of their friends. Meanwhile, Ana is more willing to experiment in the bedroom with Christian.

But there’s more than just marital problems that Ana and Christian must deal with. Danger lurks around each corner, as Christian discovers Ana’s former boss, Jack, is keeping an eye on them. Christian keeps the news about Jack from Ana and instead tightens security for her and his family. But Ana has a secret of her own, and she fears it might be the one thing that will make Christian want to leave her for good.

Analysis: In typical E.L. James fashion, Freed is not the best written novel. The plot points are horrifically predictable, the verbiage ridiculous, and the characters annoying. That being said, she ends it the way the series should have been ended — with Ana and Christian getting their happily ever after and still having crazy sex.

What it comes down to is that this series was meant to be focused on the sex, and James fulfills that expectation. While the second book in the series expands the series beyond sex, the third brings the sex and uncertainty of the relationship back into the story, including an appearance from Christian’s former lover.

It was good that James tied up loose ends, but I almost found it hard to believe that Ana and Christian would still be so unsure of their relationship when it seemed they had gotten past all that in the previous book. Plus, there was one storyline that was never completely clarified — the relationship between Kate’s brother Ethan and Christian’s sister Mia remains unresolved.

MVP: Christian. He finally becomes somewhat likable in the third and final book of the series. While he continues to be overprotective, he also is more romantic and opens up about his past while preparing for the future.

Get Fifty Shades Freed in paperback now for just $9.57.

Or get it on your Kindle for $9.99.

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Encouraged by ‘Fifty Shades,’ Another Sexy Trilogy Re-released

There’s nothing new about erotic fiction. But the popularity of it, thanks to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, is new. That’s why one not-so-popular sexy trilogy from the 80’s was recently re-released.

According to The New York Times, Anne Rice’s erotic Sleeping Beauty trilogy was re-released last month with new covers. Rice wrote the books in the 1980’s under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure. At the time, the books — entitled The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Release and Beauty’s Punishment — were an underground hit. But with the help of E. L. James’ Fifty Shades books, publisher Plume decided now was the right time to re-release the series and hop on the erotic bandwagon, as Julie Bosman explains.

Publishers have raced in recent months to acquire, release and market more erotica to take advantage of the attention paid to the ”Fifty Shades” books, which are the best-selling novels in the country.

A spokeswoman for Plume said the publisher had recorded a sharp rise in sales of the Ms. Rice’s trilogy in recent months. Sales in the first six months of 2012 were twice those throughout all of 2011. Plume said it would print 350,000 copies of the newly designed books, titled ”The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty,” ”Beauty’s Release” and ”Beauty’s Punishment.”

So will you be picking up a copy?

Get the first book in the trilogy for just $10.88

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New Malcolm Gladwell Book Coming Soon

Bestselling nonfiction and analytical author Malcolm Gladwell has yet another book on the way. Gladwell, who has previously written The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, is currently penning David and Goliath. No, he’s not suddenly getting all religious on us.

According to Entertainment Weekly, David and Goliath is partially based on an article entitled “How David Beat Goliath,” which Gladwell wrote for The New Yorker in 2009. It’s set for release in 2013. The book analyzes what it means to be an underdog, as Little, Brown explains in its press release.

David and Goliath is an exploration of what happens when underdogs confront the powerful. Why are we so often surprised when underdogs win? Do Goliaths make mistakes in spite of their strength—or because of it? David and Goliath looks at revolutionaries and dictators, the privileged and the poor, and misfits and straight arrows in an effort to figure out who really has the advantage in any kind of contest — and why.

I’ve only ever read one of Gladwell’s books — The Tipping Point. But his work is unbelievable and really makes you think. Will you be reading his new one?

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