I’m an avid reader with fairly eclectic tastes, so I was immediately intrigued when I started hearing everyone talking about the Fifty Shades trilogy. Even though I don’t read a ton of erotic fiction, I was fascinated by the idea that a self published book by a first time author was getting mentioned in coffee shops, restaurants, mommy chat rooms, and major newspapers like The New York Times.
I started the first book with low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised by how addictive this series is. Thanks to my trusty Kindle and Amazon’s one-click buying option, I managed to read all three books in three days.
Fifty Shades details the relationship between a naive young woman named Anastasia Steele and a slightly older man named Christian Grey. Christian happens to be gorgeous, super rich, and into some kinky bedroom tricks. It’s not the most original plot, but it works because even the most adamant feminist has had days where she’s contemplated how nice it would be to have someone come along and sweep her off her feet.
In the first book of the trilogy, there’s a bunch of descriptions of the lusty attraction between Christian and Ana, punctuated with sex scene after sex scene. This is where most of the controversial S&M stuff comes into play, although Ana isn’t being forced into anything and there’s plenty of plain “vanilla” sex too.
In the second book, Fifty Shades Darker, we learn some of Christian Grey’s backstory as to how he became involved in the S&M lifestyle. Ana also learns to be more expressive of her own needs in this volume, instead of spending all her time trying to figure out what makes Christian happy. By the third book, Fifty Shades Freed, Christian and Ana are a committed couple. So, while there’s still plenty of sex, there is much more happening outside the bedroom. (Funny how life gets in the way of bedroom fun even when you’re reading erotic fiction!)
I will warn you that the Fifty Shades trilogy isn’t award winning literature. It started off as Twilight fan fiction, which should give you a clear indication of the writing quality to expect.
But, if you’re looking for some inspiration for how to spice things up in the bedroom or just find yourself wondering what all the other moms are talking about in the carpool lane, it’s definitely worth a read after the kids have gone to bed.
Photo credit: Amazon