SPOILER AND HOTTNESS ALERT!
All three books are written from the point of view of Anastasia Steele, a 21 year-old WSU-Vancouver student majoring in English who is more comfortable with Austen, Bronte, and Hardy than men as she is somewhat awkward and shy, but she is also stubborn, courageous, and outspoken. Sound familiar? Honestly, she is one of the main reasons I was immediately drawn into reading the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey; I find her so relate able. Her best friend and roommate, Kate, is a journalist who is supposed to be traveling to Seattle to interview a multi-gagillion dollar mogul for the school paper, but she's unfortunately sick :( So, of course her beloved and oh-so-wonderful friend Ana will go for her and record the interview. And Kate will owe her big time.
So off Ana goes to interview this guy who she already doesn't think too highly of because he's supposed to be arrogant and he's crazy rich which does not impress her and she's nervous as hell she'll screw up the interview. She's not too worried that he's supposed to be amazingly handsome because honestly she hasn't met a guy yet that has turned her head. She's too busy reading to notice. Then she literally falls into his office and meets Christian Grey. Yes, it sounds cliche, but her life is never the same.
Christian Grey is used to getting his way, and he wants Anastastia Steele. Not as a girlfriend; as a submissive. Yes, Mr. Grey is a Dominant with a room full of whips, handcuffs, toys, and all manner of playthings sure to make sex memorable. For innocent virgin Ana, this is beyond complicated. Can she sign on to be a submissive when her personality is anything but?
Here's why the BDSM angle didn't really bother me: it was so technical. There's a contract and everything. With hard limits and rules and amendments. Maybe my scientific mind approved of the way everything was drawn up to protect both parties. And he was open to negotiations to discuss the terms of the contract if she agreed. Safety was the number one concern, and nothing was forced. This was an agreement between two consenting adults for the purpose of pleasure. No big deal folks.
As far as Mr Grey himself, yes he pissed me off. A lot. He's controlling and emotionally retarded because of a really awful past. But Ana doesn't put up with the BS like so many others. She challenges him and sees into his heart. She decides not to sign on until after a trial period. As they grow closer, Ana fears that she won't be enough to slake his appetite. She also asserts that she wants more: she wants a relationship. At the close of the first book, and after lots of naughty romping that leaves you panting and fanning yourself, she makes a daring decision to push herself to the limit of what a Dom/Sub relationship might entail. She tells Christian to show her the worst punishment she could receive to see if she could handle it. In that moment, she realizes she can't enter into this kind of arrangement; she can't give him what he wants. And she fears that he can't give her what she wants: love. So, she leaves.
End book one. And another two days, two books, and over 1000 pages later, I have finished the series. Yes, they read that fast, and no you can't put them down.
Seriously, don't even bother buying just the first book because you won't rest until you read the whole series. No, they aren't up for any awards in literature, but they are sure to entertain. None of the sex made me in the least squeamish personally. Well, maybe once or twice, but I got over it.
I am not ashamed to admit it: I am a Grey fan. Just thinking about him makes me giggle a little bit and bite my lip. Which he loves FYI.
And I will be reading these books again. *fans self*
DON'T JUDGE ME!