I like to finish a series or in this case, trilogy, and so it was clear that I would read this book too. Usually, I don´t like to read novels that have a setting in the Erotica genre. Mostly they are kitschy, describe things in a very flowery way and are far from being a good reading experience. But somehow the author managed to write this second book without diving too deep into the cliché box and gave her characters a surprising profoundness.

Fifty Shades Darker*
by E. L. James 
Fifty Shades Trilogy #2
Publisher Vintage on April 17, 2012
Genre Erotica
Pages 532
Format Paperback

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. But the desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven, and demanding Fifty Shades. While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront her anger and envy of the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life.
Ana tries to build a life without Christina again – with moderate success. The pain and shock of their last encounter are still too fresh, and Ana is still struggling with horror. Unfortunately, her best friend Kate is on vacation and the new boss isn´t exactly a harmless creature either. But Ana is determined not to let her grief flow into her work, even if Christian is always noticeable. Sometimes he sends flowers, sometimes he sends an e-mail, yes and then there is also the exhibition of José´s pictures, and Ana had promised to appear – with Christian. What was meant to be a harmless companion of Ana quickly turns out to be a delicate matter, and Ana is completely surprised by Christian´s offer. The only question is: Will she accept it?

The words flow easily, peppily and in places very ironically in front of the reader´s eye; and pull it through the first-person perspective of protagonist Ana into a magical world of eroticism, passion and power – the power Christian has over Ana and she over him. While the first part was almost exclusively shaped by Christian´s dark, magical side and Ana´s curiosity about his world, the author in the second volume of the Fifty Shades Trilogy opens up a practically completely different world to the reader. 

The two main figures try to live the normal everyday life of a normal relationship with flower sex and everything that goes with it (apart from the fact that Ana doesn´t have to take care of anything in the apartment, the service spirits are always available). An undertaking, which is not easy. Christian´s views on Ana´s security is still extremely strict and radical, and his dominance remains unbroken. But the author also brilliantly understood how to give her two main characters enough space for themselves and the others and to capture their opposites on paper in an exciting way. For me, it was a feast for the eye to witness the further development of Ana and Christian and their relationship. E. L. James put it in words!

Full of heart, charm, and assertiveness has E. L. James created her characters. You believe every word; you can understand their actions very well and you experience a profundity that touched me in many places. Christian´s inner changes alone are a real pleasure. Ana´s stunned and horrified exit from his “playroom” (at the end of Fifty Shades of Grey) triggered a kind of emotional about-face in him. Suddenly he begins to understand how much he needs this woman, what she gives him and that he needs exactly that to live. Christian Grey is a lot, but he never will be a pure house-man – thank God!

Ana knows very well that she cannot give Christian what he needs – in terms of his inclination of “his lifestyle”, as he likes to call it – and yet she is ready to enter this world every now and then. This is not always easy and every day with gray is exhausting and means a kind of degree hike for Ana. Christian´s mood can change from one second to the next, which is not always an advantage for Ana. But she knows how to assert herself and how she can make her priorities and views clear to him and represent her without having to give up too much of herself.

Full of tension and eroticism. Again, this second book will polarize too. You either love what you read or you don´t. For me, it was a gripping and captivating novel that is filled with incredible highly erotic and tingling scenes and that has entertained me very well. E. L. James has managed to bring eroticism at the highest level stylishly and with a wonderful elegance to paper – and without making any compromises. Highly recommended! But judge for yourself. 

Happy reading

*I read the German edition released by Goldmann on September 5, 2012

E. L. James
E. L. James ©Nino Muñoz

The British author E.L. James was an employee of a TV station in London. Her “Fifty Shades” trilogy, which has sold more than 150 million copies globally and has been translated into 52 languages, was initially published by a small Australian publisher and became the most sensational international book success of recent times through word of mouth. The first volume, “Fifty Shades of Grey” was on the Spiegel bestseller list for 147 weeks. And the film versions of the three volumes broke all records. E. L. James lives in West London with her husband, writer and screenwriter Niall Leonard, and their two sons.  



  1. I don't read a lot of erotica, but I loved this series. Like you I think the characters had depth, and yes I was totally charmed by them too. Stay safe Vi x

    1. You are a fan, too, Trish? That makes me happy *smile*


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