***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.
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