Tag Archives: erotica

Review: Sunsets of Tulum

sunsets-of-tulumRecap: A near-death experience at work encourages Reed Haflinger to live his life to the fullest, and that includes repairing his relationship with his wife. They head to Mexico for a spontaneous vacation, but after a few days of fighting, Reed’s wife flies back to their home in Boston, leaving Reed to enjoy the rest of his romantic getaway. The romance winds up sparking between Reed and someone else.

Clione is half Reed’s age, but observant and wise beyond her years. The two connect on a level deeper than Reed ever reached with his life. Not to mention their sexual chemistry is off the charts. Reed extends his trip, and the two of them spend their time away from the resort in Cancun where Reed had been staying with his wife and instead explore Tulum, Mexico together. Reed realizes this is the great love he’s always been searching for and decides to end his marriage. But when he receives devastating news from home, he must truly decide if he’s ready to make the change he’s been considering.

AnalysisSunsets of Tulum is a romantic travel novel that explores living your life to the fullest and finding yourself, even if it happens a little later than planned. At the age of 38, Reed seems to experience what most men experience during a mid-life crisis, but he has bravery to actually take the plunge and make changes that many other men aren’t necessarily willing to make. I found it to be a bit unrealistic. It’s hard for me to imagine that someone would actually opt to end a ten-year marriage for a 21-year-old girl who he met a week ago. But I respect the character’s ballsiness in doing it anyway, despite how it looks to other people.

The book uses heavy-handed metaphors to tell the story. For example, Reed is afraid of water, and it’s his new girlfriend who gets him in the water and forces him to face his fears. With water symbolizing change and his obsessive fear of water established early on, there’s a good amount of foreshadowing happening in the water scenes, making it a bit overstated and predictable.

That said, Tulum is extremely sexy in detail I hadn’t expected but certainly can’t complain about, and I think the sex scenes helped to show the feeling of desire, excitement and ecstasy that so many people crave on vacations.

MVP: Reed. He was the most complicated character in the story, who had a very clear arc in growth and development. Though I initially found him unlikable for cheating on his wife, I understood why he did what he did. He later redeems himself, and comes away from it seeking and starting a new life most of us could only dream of.

Get Sunset of Tulum in paperback for $14.99. 

Or get it on your Kindle for $4.99.

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Latest ‘Fifty Shades’ Novel, ‘Grey,’ Released, Already a Bestseller

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.49.53 AMHappy birthday, Christian Grey! And happy day to fans of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, who already got their hands on the latest novel in the series, GreyThe novel was released today, in honor of the main character Christian Grey’s birthday.

But before the clock struck midnight, Grey was already a bestseller. According to Entertainment Weekly, preorders helped it shoot to the top of the Barnes and Noble and Amazon bestseller lists.

But just because it’s a bestseller doesn’t necessarily mean the book is that great — as we all know. While the prose of E L James has been criticized in the past, it seems her writing hasn’t gotten much better this time around, according to the tweets copied on US Weekly.

So will you be reading it?

Get Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian in paperback for $9.89.

Or on your Kindle for $7.99.

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EL James to Release New ‘Fifty Shades’ Book

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.49.53 AMYou thought it was a trilogy too, right? Well, we were wrong.

According to her Instagram account, bestselling erotica author EL James has more in store for her millions of readers with yet another Fifty Shades novel due to be released in — get this! — just a few weeks! She’s pulling a literary Beyonce, dropping the new novel with virtually no notice!

The novel will tell the story of Christian Grey and Ana from Christian’s point of view. According to USA Today, this idea of a trilogy companion novel written from a different character’s perspective is becoming common practice these days, as Veronica Roth also wrote one for the Divergent series and Stephanie Meyer wrote one for the Twilight series.

The release is set for June 18, Christian Grey’s birthday. Happy birthday, Christian Grey, and happy June to the rest of the literary world!

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Movie vs. Book: Fifty Shades of Grey

Contributed by: Christine Anderson

“More” is a word that echoes so much through the book Fifty Shades of Grey and its film adaptation. Fifty Shades follows the journey of a young, naïve college student named Anastasia Steele, who’s on the verge of graduation and starting a new life. Instead of typical post-grad problems, Ana stumbles into a man and a relationship that prove more daunting than finding a job. Christian Grey beguiles Ana. He is immensely attractive, and for the first time in her life, she wants to be kissed. In fact, she wants “more” with him. But falling in love isn’t always “hearts and flowers,” and Christian isn’t your typical boyfriend. He’s a well-known, billionaire CEO whose lifestyle is bizarre, scary and confusing.

The story isn’t just “mommy eroticism” as some have speculated. If the story were solely about a dominant/submissive relationship, it would not have the worldwide acclaim and support it has today. The story shows that love isn’t always simple. It isn’t always about making easy choices. You have to ask yourself what you are willing to change, give up, perhaps even open yourself up to for the person you love.

With a phenomena like Fifty Shades of Grey and the controversy and awe that goes with it, the next step — naturally — is a film adaption. But this isn’t your typical screenplay transformation. This project had the possibility to be a lose-lose scenario when you consider the disappointment dedicated fans could potentially face if the movie was not handled properly, as well as the countless moral, religious, judgmental groups that would be chomping at the bit to condone its very existence. As an educated Fifty Shades fan, I consider the film a tremendous success.

While significantly trimmed down from the book, the movie says so much more than the dialogue on screen, speaking volumes about the story and the relationship between Christian and Ana by not speaking at all. Jamie Dornan proves a master of the closed-off, guarded Christian Grey, conveying pages of dialogue with a series of looks. Christian Grey, at his center, is an often unreadable persona. Reactions of a “lack of chemistry” between the stars demonstrate the lack of understanding that comes from knowing the character of Christian Grey. This is a man who doesn’t understand love. He’s damaged and broken. Key components and quotes from the book were not left out, and fans should feel very satisfied.

As both a fan of the series and someone who understands the moviemakers’ desire for a large profit, the ending was perfection. You are not meant to feel at peace after this movie because that’s not how their story is. It’s wrapped in ups and downs and a lot of layers and this movie needed to set the stage for everything that comes down the line, and it did that perfectly. The movie is witty, and Dakota Johnson (Ana/Anastasia Steele) was perfect for the role. She brought comedic timing to an often dark story and lightened the mood many times. Jamie Dornan brings Christian to life. He is the perfect combination of steely and endearing. Fifty Shades of Grey was made for the fans, and that shows. If you know the story you can’t help but love this movie. People will judge what they do not understand. I never imagined I’d be a part of something so doused in controversy, but I am extremely hopeful that reviews like this take the stigma and the shame out of this story that shows love isn’t always black and white; sometimes it’s grey and on even rarer occasions it’s “fifty shades” of grey.

Get Fifty Shades of Grey in paperback for $8.97.

Or on your Kindle for $2.99.

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The 3 Major Problems With the ‘Fifty Shades’ Trailer

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Finally, yesterday The Today Show debuted the trailer for the new screen adaptation of the bestselling novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

While most of the online reactions consisted of women sweating it out, me…not so much. Let’s discuss.

First of all, as I recall, Ana Steele is not supposed to be frumpy. In the trailer, we see her wearing a flower-printed top that in one respect could be considered hipster-y, in another respect, it looks like something my grandmother would wear. Combined with her sweater, unflattering skirt and ragged ponytail, I’m going with the “grandmother look” on this one. No, she’s not supposed to be a hot little sex kitten in the beginning, but again, she’s not supposed to be frumpy either.

Secondly, the music in this trailer. The music sounds like something that would be used in a trailer for a thriller — not a sex movie. With each cut, I kept waiting for Christian Grey to whip out a knife to stab her — and not in a sexy way. The music selection was simply odd. To be fair, I know it was a clip of the exclusive Beyoncé track, and I’m all for that, but it does sound scary, not sexy.

And speaking of the sex, we only get a glimpse at the very end of the trailer into how sexy this movie might actually be. Most of the trailer makes the movie look romantic. Even when we do see some of the steamier clips, they’re simply not that steamy. It doesn’t look like there’s much chemistry between the actors.

There’s no doubt I will see this movie. I read the book, and the move is bound to be a phenomenon (especially since it comes out on Valentine’s Day, 2015 and will also mean the release of an exclusive Beyoncé track), but after seeing the trailer, I’m not so sure I’m excited about it. Get back to me when we find out whether or not it will be rated NC-17.

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New Details on New Book from ’50 Shades’ Author

Oh, Fifty Shades of Grey. Your sexy plot sold more books, encouraged more sex, and brought in more money than any other erotic book series in history. But now, its author E L James says she has some “other” stories to tell — and unfortunately, they won’t be nearly as sexy.

According to Huffington Post, James is working on a few other projects right now, including a book outside the scope of the Fifty Shades trilogy. She told the New York Post it will be less raunchy and that she’ll likely write it under a different name. That’s not to say that there will never be a return to the Fifty Shades story and its characters, but James says it certainly won’t be in the immediate future. She’s told other media outlets, however, that these stories will still have to do with love.

Here’s my issue: as many of us know, E L James is not known for her prose. She’s known for her content, not quality of writing. If she publishes this new book under a different name and doesn’t use the “author of Fifty Shades of Grey” title to help her sell copies, I have to wonder how well the book will do — unless of course, she surprises us with a vast improvement with her literary skills.

I’d love to ask my readers here if they’d read E L James’ new book, but by publishing under a different name, will we even know the book was written by her?

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‘Hunger Games’ Outsells ‘Harry Potter’ on Amazon

Sorry, Potter fans. Hunger Games fans are better than you …in terms of Amazon sales anyway.

According to Deadline, The Hunger Games trilogy is now Amazon’s top-selling book series of all time, outselling Harry Potter. Sales numbers include both physical books and e-books. Exact sale numbers are not being released, according to The New York Times.

Despite The Hunger Games’ obvious popularity with young adults, it’s still surprising, considering there are seven Harry Potter books that were released over 10+ years, compared to only three books in The Hunger Games trilogy, released over four years.

Another close call on the list? No surprise here: E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which is still number one on The New York Times bestseller lists for print, e-book, and paperback trade fiction.

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‘Fifty Shades’ Classical Album Available for Download This Week

For those who have read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, you know the role classical music plays in the story. Christian often puts on classical music while he and Ana have their “alone time.” But it’s much more than that.

For Christian, classical music is a coping mechanism. He often plays pieces on the piano when he wakes up from nightmares. He also puts it on in his car while he drives Ana around town.

Now according to Entertainment Weekly, bestselling author E.L. James is a releasing an album of classical music that inspired her while she wrote the trilogy. James selected the pieces, which were mentioned throughout the books as well. The album is available for download Tuesday. The CD will be released in September.

The 15-track album includes music by Bach, Chopin, and Verdi. EW‘s Ray Rahman reveals the track list:

1. Lakmé (Act I): Flower Duet (Mady Mesplé, Danielle Millet)

2. Bach: Adagio from Concerto #3 BWV 974 (Alexandre Tharaud)

3. Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasilerias #5 — Cantilena (Barbara Hendricks)

4. Verdi: La Traviata Prelude (Riccardo Muti / Philharmonia Orchestra)

5. Pachelbel: Canon in D (Sir Neville Marriner/ Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields)

6. Tallis: Spem in Alium (The Tallis Scholars)

7. Chopin: Prelude #4 in E minor, Largo (Samson François)

8. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #2 — Adagio Sostenuto(Cecile Ousset, Sir Simon Rattle / CBSO)

9. Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (Sir Adrian Boult / LPO)

10. Canteloube: Chants d’auvergne, Bailero (Arleen Auger)

11. Chopin: Nocturne #1 in B-flat minor (Samson François)

12. Faure: Requiem — In Paradisum (Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Stephen Cleobury)

13. Bach: Goldberg Variation — Aria (Maria Tipo)

14. Debussy: La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin (Moura Lympany)

15. Bach: Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Alexis Weissenberg)

 

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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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