Fifty Shades Freed – E. L. James

image(3)Book Description (Amazon): When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees.

Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.

Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

My Review (Spoilers!):

Executive Summary: eye roll

This book is more like the end of the 2nd book (which I disliked), and it was a struggle for me to get through it. James begins the book with a flashback scene to Christian being taken by the police officers after his mother died. Not exactly the best way to begin an erotic novel in my mind. And then chapter 1, they’re on their honeymoon. Wait, what? We missed the wedding? Not exactly. The book cuts back and forth between the wedding which has already happened at Christian’s parents’ house and the ongoing honeymoon on his boat off the coast of Monaco. It’s not terribly exciting in any way. Ana is still trying to upset Christian, and he’s still trying to control her. And then they argue. Sounds romantic. Basically the only point of interest is that while they are away on honeymoon,  a fire is set in the server room of Christian’s headquarters.

After a welcome home luncheon at Christian’s family, Christian allows Ana to drive home in the R8. As they are driving, they realize they are being followed. Luckily Ana manages to do some impressive stunt driving to get them into a hiding spot–an empty parking garage where they proceed to have some adrenaline-fueled sex.

During the “debrief” after the incident, they go over some photos from the server-room fire and realize that it was set by Jack Hyde (Ana’s former boss from book 2).

They go check out the design of their new house, and Ana hates their designer Gia because Gia is pretty and spends a lot of time flirting with Christian. (Get over it.) Eventually Ana confronts her about it and explains that Christian is not in charge of the design, so Gia better start respecting her.

And then Ana cuts Christian’s hair. What an asinine thing. She used to cut her stepdad’s hair so it’s OK. Um, your stepdad’s appearance never mattered. He wasn’t the CEO of the universe who was worried about paparazzi and  how he looked on magazine covers.

They get in a lot of petty arguments. Like why she hasn’t changed her name at work (because she didn’t want to and they didn’t talk about it before they got married but he bullies her into it anyway.) Like how she goes out and has drinks with Kate (and security) when Jack Hyde might be out there looking for her. Right.

Turns out that while she was out having drinks with Kate, Jack managed to break into their condo under the guise of a delivery man. It turns out that he had intended to kidnap her as he had a mattress and horse tranquilizers in his van. He also had a lot of information about Christian and his family on the computer that they confiscated from him when they fired him. He was also responsible for the accident involving Charlie Tango in the previous book.  Christian thinks that the connection is Detroit as that is where both he and Jack were both born. (Of course the child of a crack whore is born in Detroit. They could never be born somewhere as nice as Seattle…) Jack had a similar upbringing to Christian. He had drunk parents who both died from it in various ways. He was in and out of foster care, but turned things around and went to Princeton.

And then just like that, Christian decides that they should go to Aspen since Ana won a trip there in that charity auction. When they arrive at the airport, all the friend-relatives are there (Kate, Elliott, Mia, and Ethan). Kate and Elliott are having issues, and Ana sees Elliott with Gia, the designer she told off, out in town but keeps it to herself. Later that night, Elliott proposes to Kate and she says yes. (The whole Gia thing was just coincidence.)

They return to Seattle, and Ana returns to work. For no point in the actual story, Leila and another ex-sub, Suzi show up at Ana’s work to see how she’s doing. And then Christian shows up and fires the security guard, gets mad at everyone involved and generally acts like an ass. But he’s so dreamy and everyone loves him!!!

Then Ray gets in a car accident, and Ana rushes off to Portland. When she arrives, he’s in operation, but he eventually awakes in stable but critical condition. She celebrates her 22nd birthday while Ray is in the hospital. Christian buys her her own Audi R8 and celebrates her with all her friend-relatives (and actual relatives too). Eventually Ray recovers and we finally return to the “main” story.

The detective investigating the Jack Hyde case questions Ana because Jack Hyde said that Ana sexually harassed him.

As they are leaving the hospital, Dr. Greene, the gynecologist sees Ana and wants to know why she has cancelled her last 4 appointments, and just happens to be able to see her that very moment. So Ana takes a pregnancy test and it is POSITIVE. Are. You. Kidding. Me?

She tells Christian and he flips out, understandably, because he’s a control freak, and they’ve been married for 5 minutes. For once, I side with him. But he decides to run out on his pregnant wife and go get wasted with Elena. That I do not side with. What an idiotic moron. Because she’s a mature grown up, Ana sends Christian an email about the text from Elena and then hides in the play room to give the illusion that she’s left. Yes, these people should be having children.

Ana and Christian stay icy for a few days. Ana returns to work, and takes a call from Mia. However, it’s Jack, and he has kidnapped Mia. He wants Christian’s money or he will kill Mia. And Ana is not allowed to tell anyone. Luckily Christian is in Portland. Ana goes home, gets all the money she has, goes to the bank and withdraws all the money she can. Christian calls the bank and believes that Ana is leaving him. She lets him go along with the story to protect Mia. Jack calls her and has a getaway car for her. Elizabeth from her office is driving it. Luckily Ana is remotely clever and borrows a phone from the guy from the bank, which Elizabeth throws away. Her own phone is kept, leading Christian to find them. For once, his controlling behavior is of use.

Elizabeth was blackmailed by Jack (along with the other assistants from the office so they wouldn’t turn on him). Jack was in the same foster home as Christian while the paperwork for Christian’s adoption was going through, and Jack was always jealous that Christian was “chosen” and he wasn’t.

Ana recovers. She and Christian make up and have a couple babies. Happily ever after.

And then at the end of the book, James decides to throw in two extra chapters that were no use–one of Christian’s early days at the Greys and another of Christian’s take on the first meeting with Ana.

Verdict: 2 stars

Sometimes, it’s OK to just write one book. There is no law saying that you have to write 3 books when you have an inkling of a story idea. Married after a few months, still fighting about everything, and a lame sub-plot. Blah. And maybe it’s just me, but if you’re writing books that lots of college age women will be reading, perhaps you should consider that girls should not get married to an insane control freak after knowing them for 3 months and then forget to take their birth control and have children. In this book, it’s happily ever after, but let’s be real. Chances are more likely that you marry that control freak and he abuses you and your child, and you have isolated yourself from all of your friends because you’re never allowed to go out with them, so you have no one to help you when you need to escape. And yes, I realize that this book is erotica. But it wasn’t. Yes they had sex, but I didn’t care. The sex hasn’t been interesting since book one. In the end I’m glad I read these, but I am happy to move onto something better!

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2 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Review

2 responses to “Fifty Shades Freed – E. L. James

  1. I thought I was the only one thinking that! I completely agree with you, book 3 was, in my opinion, unnecesary. Now, I can’t wait for the movies to come out !!

    • This series was the second one that I’ve read this year where I thought the first book had a clever idea, and by book 3, I was just totally over it. (Divergent was the other.)

      I actually watched the preview for the movie yesterday, and I must say I am pretty excited to see it too. Christian doesn’t exactly look like I had pictured, but I am sure he will be convincing!

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