Daunted by the singular 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 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 the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.
At the beginning of this book it's been five days since Ana and Christian broke up and they're both miserable. Knowing that they can't live without each other leads them down a new path where Christian puts aside the lifestyle he's always engaged in with women before because he can't see his life without Ana. From there we have a bunch of sexual interludes amongst moments where they actually talk to each other and we get a bigger glimpse into Christian's psyche. Throw in a few individuals from their pasts who are out to do the new couple harm and you have a story that kept my attention but still leaves me confused as to its immense popularity.
The strongest part of this story is Christian who's multi-faceted with a darkness that you can't help but want to cure. Intermixed with that darkness is a charming boyishness that's sexy, along with moments of being overbearing. You can't help but like him and he truly gives everything to make Ana happy. Unfortunately, Ana isn't as multi-faceted. She still seems to be a bit childish with a tendency to pout and doesn't seem as willing to sacrifice as Christian to make their relationship work. The sexual encounters between these two are numerous and occupy a huge chunk of the story. It's basically the best way for Christian to communicate his real feelings and these moments do show a change to their relationship. There's a stronger sense of connection within these interludes.
There's a slew of secondary characters that we really don't get to know much about beyond the superficial. One especially appears to be a problem for the happy couple and he's already left an impact that's just beginning in this story. As a villain he feels a bit over the top, but then everything about this story is over the top.
I found this an entertaining read even though I have a love/hate relationship with this series. I can appreciate how excited readers are about this series even if I find it a bit too melodramatic at times. I still find myself drawn to Christian against my will and look forward to his finding peace and happiness. I just wish he'd find someone stronger-willed/mature than Ana.
My rating is a B-
*I borrowed this from the public library.