Fri
May 25 2012 9:02am

Author Barbara Delinsky on Fifty (50) Shades of Grey

Three top romance blogs, one big idea! Heroes and Heartbreakers, Romance@Random, and USA Today’s Happy Ever After join together to offer exclusive content and giveaways. Watch for our logo to appear monthly to begin the round robin—you’ll want to visit us all to read and win. Hugs from R@R, HEA, and H&H!

May’s Round Robin Theme: The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

The June giveaway has ended—congratulations to winners SoxChic and T Fine.

On HeroesandHeartbreakers.com, author Barbara Delinsky examines the Fifty phenomenon and asks, does Fifty Shades of Grey help us understand what women really want? Giveaway: Book #1, Fifty Shades of Grey

On USA Today’s Happy Ever After, your favorite authors (Julie James, Cynthia Eden, Allison Brennnan, Elizabeth Lowell and lots more!) recommend some HOT reads to feed your post-Fifty Shades jones. Giveaway: Book #2, Fifty Shades Darker

On RomanceatRandom.com, Janet Webb goes in depth with the third book in the series and explains why you won’t want to stop after the first two books. Giveaway: Book #3, Fifty Shades Freed

Today Heroes and Heartbreakers is thrilled to have Barbara Delinsky as a featured guest. Barbara began her career writing category romance, and some of those earliest books are being reprinted now, including The Forever Instinct, which H&H has recently covered. Barbara’s latest book is Escape, which has just been released in paperback. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, and today she’s sharing what struck her when reading E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy. Thanks for joining us, Barbara!

A Barbara Delinsky take on the Fifty Shades phenomenon …

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesI’m a writer, but I’m also a reader. How can you possibly separate the two? A writer can’t possibly understand what readers want from her, if she doesn’t read what they do—which is why I discovered E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey when it first topped the e-bestseller lists. Since then, I’ve read Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, and when I finished the last, I went back and read all three again, page by page, seeing things the second time around that I didn’t see the first. Twice through each, I found them entertaining, fast-paced, sexy, and fun.

Surely by now you’ve heard friends talk of these books, and if you haven’t yet, you will. Consider me a friend. And here’s my talk.

I love the characters. Ana may be sexually naïve at the start of the trilogy, but she has spunk and wit. She takes on Christian as no other woman has. Her questions, his responses, all that email between them—priceless!

I love the psychological depth of this book. Ana’s naivete has a reason, as does her independence. Likewise, Christian’s deepest, darkest flaws. Discovering their cause is reason enough to read on.

I love that these books are about the empowerment of women. Yeah, you heard right. Despite Christian’s need to be dominant to Ana’s submissive, she has control from the start. He points that out early on, with talk of safe words and hard limits. But her power goes well beyond. Christian falls so hard for her that she actually has the ability to change him. Isn’t this every woman’s fantasy—to take a flawed man and make him better?

I love the sex. It is kinky but consensual, erotic but intriguing, dangerous but gently so, with inherent safeguards and care. I love that it has none of the violence of, say, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I don’t do violence; it upsets me too much. And Christian’s Red Room of Pain, as Ana dubs it? Yes, it was intimidating, but Christian made it clear to her, and hence to me, that he would never hurt her.

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. JamesI love that these books are getting women reading again—and not in the YA fold, as in Twilight and The Hunger Games.

I love that these books are getting women talking about reading again. What book can you name that last had us so chatty? Maybe it’s because these books are naughty, or because they show sexual acts that we think of as forbidden. Maybe it’s because they validate acts that we love, or because Ana’s sexual pleasure gives women permission to feel the same. I know, I know. The sexual revolution came years ago. But did it? Initially, Ana feels guilt at the pleasure Christian shows her. As she grows more comfortable with it, so do we.

This book is firing up a whole new generation of female readers. My parents had Peyton Place. My generation had The Joy of Sex. My kids haven’t really had anything, what with the explicit nature of today’s movies and TV. Now, though, with e-readers being the ultimate plain brown wrapper? Fifty Shades of Grey may be theirs.

Personally, I’ve had great discussions with friends about these books. Some love them whole-heartedly, as I do. Others love everything but the bondage, others everything but the writing. Some are dismissive, vowing that these books are only for women who have lousy sex lives. Still others refuse to buy them or read them at all, claiming they have too many good books on their nightstands to bother.

And then there’s the media response, most of which has been condescending and largely focused on sex. But these books are about far more than sex. Yes, sex makes headlines, but what makes these books cohesive reads is the fullness of the relationships between the characters. Yes, I cringe when I see women lined up to meet the author wearing that special necktie and those eye masks. And yes, if these books were being edited by my editor, they would have far less internal narrative, far less repetitive thought, far fewer ’Holy crap’s. But if so many intelligent women are taking such pleasure in reading and discussing these books, there has to be something positive in them. Do the “experts” not see that?

As a writer, I should hate these books. They’re taking precious top slots on the bestseller lists at a time when a trade issue of my own is vying for one of those spots. But how to hate books that have ignited women’s interest in reading about women’s issues? Sex is certainly a one of those issues, but so is parenting, friendship, and love, all of which are part of Fifty Shades. Its success is a validation to me of the relevancy of my own books.

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. JamesOkay. I’m talking my own, very earliest books. They were romances, and my publisher is on the verge of releasing sixteen of them that have long been out of print. I recently reread each, and they do involve the same issues of parenting, friendship, and love as my current books. But then, there’s sex.

Oh boy, do I know sex. The first time I typed the word nipple, I half-feared my typewriter would combust. And nipple was just the start. Those early books contain lengthy (and I mean lengthy) love scenes, the likes of which I wouldn’t have wanted my sons to read. Actually, I take that back. I might not have wanted them to picture their mother knowing such sexual detail. But the love and respect and pleasure in each of those scenes? Every man should read these, if he wants to learn what women want.

An argument can be made that the same is true for Fifty Shades. Men are mighty quick to say that they haven’t read it. Maybe they should.

 

Leave a comment to enter for a chance to win one of two two-packs of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and A Dark Garden by Eden Bradley.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out an entry at http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2012/05/author-barbara-delinsky-on-fifty-50-shades-of-grey beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) May 25, 2012. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 1, 2012 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/page/official-rules-the-barbara-delinsky-comment-sweepstakes. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

 


Barbara Delinsky is a New York Times bestselling author with more than thirty million copies of her books in print. She has been published in twenty-five languages worldwide. A lifelong New Englander, Barbara earned a B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology at Boston College. Barbara enjoys knitting, photography, and cats. She also loves to interact with her readers through her website at www.barbaradelinsky.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bdelinsky, and on Twitter as @BarbaraDelinsky.

 

Dying for a little more? Sample these excerpts:

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

The Dark Garden by Eden Bradley

Can’t get enough? Spend some time with Christian and Ana in our Fifty Shades of Grey blog post collection.

Barbara Delinsky: ‹ previous | index | next ›
E.L. James's Fifty Shades Trilogy: ‹ previous | index | next ›
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80 comments
Jackie Ingram
1. Jackie Ingram
Sounds interesting. I haven't read yet it and would love to see what all the hype is about. thanks for having this giveaway!
Jackie Ingram
2. Tammy V
I've been dying to try these. I'm on the waiting list at the library but may have to use my birthday gc to get them. Each review I read makes me more curious. I love books that jolt people to respond and talk.
Jackie Ingram
3. Lauren McDaniel
This series sounds so awesome and I want to read it so badly. Thanks for having this giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!
Jackie Ingram
4. Maria Malaveci
Would love to win!
Jackie Ingram
5. Elizabeth H.
I never thought about being a submissive as empowerment but I can see how that would work. I have not read the book yet, I am on a lengthy library wait list. I am looking forward to reading this book that has so many people talking about it.
Jackie Ingram
6. Casey B.
Would love to win this! Thanks for the chance!!!
Jackie Ingram
7. KM24
Loved this trilogy. I'm an avid reader of various genre of books and devoured this series in 2 days. ~As far as the author Barbara Delinsky's take on these books... Well said...my sentiments exactly! Thank You!!
Jackie Ingram
8. Valarie
...And that is why Barbara Delinsky is one of my favorite authors!!! Your insight tapped into some of the best parts of this series for me...the growth of each character, the interchange between the lovers, and the opportunity to see after the wedding day. Sure the sex was great, but like most really good stories, I fell in love with the characters and the world created around them.
Jackie Ingram
9. merriedth
I loved this interview. I think it was great. Every review that I have read lately seem to be putting these books down. And I personally Loved them. thanks for the positive review..
Jackie Ingram
10. Bethany DeRenzis
Eh, why not! Count me in! Would love to see what all the buzz is about.
Jennifer Walter
11. jlc341
Thanks for the interview. It made me more interested in reading this trilogy.
Jackie Ingram
12. TracyS
I haven't read these yet, but this review makes me want to.
Jackie Ingram
13. Kristina Watson
I, too, agree that it is great to see women reading and talking about it. As a writer, I think anything that gets people to buy books leads to them buying more books and that's something that is good for all of us!
Jackie Ingram
14. Nancy S.
I would really like to win these books since I can't get them from the library!
Jackie Ingram
15. Kristin S.
You nailed it!!! Thanks for making me not feel like I am crazy for loving these books! Would love to read your books.
Samantha Hodges
16. sammie
I would love to win the books. I have heard so much about them. Thank you for the give away!
Jackie Ingram
17. Conniqua
I have not had a chance to read this yet, but from what I hear, it is a total must! I'm crossing my fingers and toes in hopes of being a winner!
Laurie
18. lfacchini
I really need to start reading these! I've been wanting to read Eden as well so thanks for the chance!
Jackie Ingram
19. Lynne C
I'd like to thank Barbara for her article which I thought summed up what I thought about the trilogy too. The characters are brilliant in all three and E.L. James is doing a great service and getting women reading again.
Donna Bailey
20. donnarb60
I can't tell you how happy I am to see this post from one of my all-time favorite authors! Brabara Delinsky is a CLASS-ACT!, and it gives me a great sense of validation towards reading the 50 Shades trilogy!
Luv u Barbara!
L L
21. lasvegasnv
I enjoyed the review. Sounds like an interesting series.
Jackie Ingram
22. Brandi0717
Thanks for the giveaway.
Jessica O'Brien
23. JLOBrien
It was nice to hear from a writer's perspective. I would have liked to hear more about what she thought about the writing itself...I have read them and the quality of the actual writing bugged me a bit.

But it is very cool that as a writer she gave such a good review.
Jackie Ingram
24. Mary Ann Erickson
2260 current requests
at the library
Jackie Ingram
25. Sue Sattler
I was one of those that was resistant to reading the books. Finally curiosity got the better of me and I bought the first one. I bought the other two and read them in one night. I really enjoyed them and I will read them again.
Jackie Ingram
26. Math Lady
I never considered that it's positive that these books are getting women to read something not YA. And they are talking about it! And maybe they can convince their husbands to read at least some of it. Maybe this will help to put other "dirty" authors on the tops of sales lists. Jen B. jepebATverizonDOTnet
Jackie Ingram
27. MaryC
Enjoyed the post. I've been hearing a lot about the trilogy - always interesting to hear another author's thoughts about the books.
Jessie Llewellyn
28. jessiel62
I have read the books & loved them! Finished them in little over a week. I just couldn't put them down. Christian & Ana's story just grabbed me. I felt so many emotions thoughtout the books. Hated to see it end. Barbara's review was "right on". Thank you for letting others, who haven't read them yet, see that there truly is more to these books.
Jackie Ingram
29. CheriM
I read the bpols because I was told not to and that they were dirty. So not true. While the sex was explicit, I am an adult and have had sex. What touched my heart was the love story and the idea that all deserve love and redemption. Ana's courage is amazing for her to stick with Christian's fifty shades of "F***edupness.". In the end, this is a love story I enjoyed reading.
Jackie Ingram
30. Mdd43
What's the best thing about the 50 Shades series? It's become acceptable for women to admit that they like reading erotica, and they aren't ashamed about it!
Thanks for the chance to win a free copy.
Jackie Ingram
31. Merida
I love how such a simple thing as a book has gotten my friends into reading. Always a bookworm, they've teased me for years for my habit until I introduced them to this. Now they constantly ask what I'm reading and what can I recommend. The trilogy is fantastic, with thought-provoking ideas, sensuous love scenes and a beautiful story. We need more authors like E.L. James who are willing to push the so-called boundaries and ignite such passionate stories and interest in them.
Jackie Ingram
32. SoxChic
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Fifty Shades Trilogy! What a wonderful love story too! I am re-reading the trilogy now as well!
Jackie Ingram
33. joyofbean
Thank you for such a thoughtful commentary on these books. There has been so much hype in the media about the sex that the content of the stories has gotten lost. They are great books even if they aren't wonderfully written - an editor would have helped so much!! I agree with others who have said anything that gets people reading and talking about what their reading is a good thing.
Jackie Ingram
34. Lynn Pauley
I must say that I am very disappointed in the media coverage for 50 Shades of Grey -- would they be going on and on about it being "mommy porn" if it was written by a man? or was being mostly read by men? I am cynical enough to think not. Thank you Ms. Delinsky for a wonderful article.
I would love to win this and give it to my library so that the reserve list can be whittled down some!
Jackie Ingram
35. Janeuro
Lovely review. Thankyou so much for validating comments. Upsetting that our opinion leaders routinely condescend, dismiss - imply something terribly wrong with me- and anyone that likes it. Even own husband suggests it's sales are a damning reflection of state of society . I agree it's discouraging, yet I don't cringe when I see women lined up to meet the author wearing that special necktie and those eye masks". It has given them huge pleasure. And why particularly so- I hope perhaps because they may sense but don't articulate that this story has some extra depth that has made it special for them.
Not a writer- so I don't understand these niceties but the repetitiveness of Ana's speech doesn't bother me- how I speak to myself- why would I expect it to be different. Most stories not written in that 1st person, but it's that & her frustrating innocence -that fires the psychological mystery.
The sex-obviously does widely provides gratuitous pleasure- inspires sales & also sexual relationships positively and occasionally not positiviely. But even if we weren't still so coy about it -is it the context only that can keep it interesting? Reviewers suggest wholely 'cynical marketing ploy' but still as you say-brave to put it in- and somehow or other I think -it's pivotal. The deeper issues described ; abuse, love, relationship, intimacy, peripherally BDSM behaviour- somehow resonate because tied to these raw descriptions? not sure. Feminism-so much discussed by the opinion leaders? I wonder if it even goes there- all more about valuing the individual ?
Romance I think- synonymous with puerile garbage for academics- an artificial sweetener- a cop out -not ever under any circumstances to be considered a serious topic to write about? The world isn't considered to be like that now and serious lit. wants only hard hitting dysfunction. If Christian, the relationship had fallen apart- would the story have been viewed a little differently? The chief value for me was that this story has a hopeful view of mankind.
Jackie Ingram
36. Patoct
What a awesome giveaway.

Happy Memorial Day to all. Thank you to all the veterans serving, who served and especially to those who made the ultimate price for our freedom.
Ginny Doremus
37. FaeRhi
I loved the trilogy. I just read the excerpt/description of "The Dark Garden" and I'm very interested.
I was at Barnes & Noble yesterday to pick up the first four books of the Sookie Stackhoise series for a friend (I feed her my addictions - she's finished Laurell K Hamilton and is in the last book of the BDB series by J.R. Ward)... and saw a woman look back, thoughtfully, at rhe end cap display of the Fifty Shades Trilogu and tokd her to definitely give it a try. She smiled a lite warily at me but when I was checking out, she had all three in her basket.
They should really hire me to just troll the romance, fiction and sci-fi fantasy sections and talk people into buying boo ks. This isn't the first or even fifth time I've done this.
Jackie Ingram
38. Roxanne R.
I've heard so much about the series. I'll admit I dismissed it at first (as I have the entire Twilight phenomenon) but recently I've become intrigued and thought I should at least give 50 Shades a fair shot.
Jackie Ingram
39. YvonneJ
Hey, since I'm going to read the series anyway it would be nice to win a copy that I can share instead of waiting to check them out from the library....(the waiting list for the Ebook at our library is at 74).
Jackie Ingram
40. bisalo
I really liked your review. I read a lot of reviews for these books and a lot of them were pretty negative. But after reading the first one, still on the library waiting list for the next two, i was surprised at all the comments that were negative. I think some people were just worried or focused on the sex that they missed the whole relationship aspects. I hope they reread the books in a different mind frame.
Jackie Ingram
41. sandy h
my husband wanted to know whem i was getting these to read... haven't decided yet . do love your books!
Susan Stokes
42. Camo
Having read 90% of Barbara Delinskys Books..I totally appreciate her take on The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy,,She understands what readers want(She does) and writers are very sensitive to understanding what they need to write to fulfill their needs as a writer as well..This is the first comprehensive review,so to speak that" wants me" to read the books. Thanks Barbara.Susan VT..
Jackie Ingram
44. June M.
I have not read any of the 50 Shades books yet , but have read some of Eden Bradley's books (Not this one). I do hope that the success of the 50 Shades books makes more women enjoy reading, and makes the erotic romance genre even more popular. There are some really great books in this genre.
Jackie Ingram
45. Catie C.
Couldn't get enough of the 50 shades books. Read all three in a week. The love story completely consumed me drawing me into the book making me wish I had a love like that in my life! Winning the books or not this is my all time favorite series so far and I'm crossing my fonfers that there is more to come!!!
Barbara Delinsky
46. BarbaraDelinsky
Wow. Thanks to you all for your comments. They validate so much of what I've felt reading these books. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to talk with you. That's what it's about - reading and talking - right? Good luck on the drawing!
Jackie Ingram
47. Heather McKenna
I really liked this series. It makes me sad that so many are dogging it. I hate that when things become popular all some can do is talk negative about them. It is nice to see that good stuff!!
Jackie Ingram
49. TraceyP
I have finished the trilogy and like some others are in my second read. I really would love to have these books written from Christian's point if view. I am usually not a reader but I couldn't put these books down. My English would be so amazed that I read all three in three days.
Jackie Ingram
50. CG
Spot on analysis of this trilogy. I'm sick of hearing it's only erotica; it's so much more.
Jackie Ingram
51. Shirleyjo
I thoroughly enjoyed this review! I have just recently finished this trilogy and I loved it! I love Christian & Ana and regret that it's not an ongoing series as I would love to hear more of their story. My curiosity from all the hype is what got me to read the first one but I was immediately taken with the characters. I laughed and cried and barreled through all three of them. A couple of my writer friends feel the writing is terrible, but I failed to see it. It far exceeded my expectations and I will definitely read them again!
Jackie Ingram
52. Julie L Hayes
I'm almost done with the first book and find it very well written and very hot! I don't understand why the detractors make fun of it. EL James has done a fabulous job and I applaud her for creating such a wonderful heroine, and such a hot, albeit flawed, hero.
Mark Montgomery
53. aahzmandius
I'm intrigued by the attention this series is getting, and wouldn't mind a chance to give it a read.
Jackie Ingram
54. Suzannie
Ok, Ok . I give in—I'd read them with a bit of your pressure!
Jackie Ingram
55. Abbie13
Very interesting read. Can't say that I was comfortable with all of it, but would read again.
Jackie Ingram
56. tjpgreen
Totally agree with Barbara. Although when I started the first book, I wasn't sure about the quality of the writing. As I read further, I felt like it improved and have actually read the trilogy twice.
Marleen Kennedy
57. Marleen
I own the books, I read them, enjoyed them and am very sorry I had to say goodbye to Ana and Christian by the end of book three. I also blogged about the books. A review for each of the books and a post about my reading/reviewing experience. I had to admit that I was initially very uncomfortable admitting how much I was enjoying Fifty Shades of Grey, but by the time I started book three that feeling was gone and replaced by the pure joy of reading a story I was enjoying about characters who were starting to feel like friends. I'm delighted I picked up these books and know I will read them again in the not too distant future, despite all the issues I may have had with the actual quality of the writing/editing.
Note: please don't enter me in the draw. I have all three books and would love somebody who is new to these books to win.
Jackie Ingram
58. michelle27
I finished the first book and ordered the second in a heartbeat from my library. I need to know how it progresses and if she does free herself or if Mr Grey does "change his ways". Whether he does or not I feel it is something that has been going on for years behind closed doors and it just comes to light sometimes. There are alot of different minded people in this world and what works for one, might not work for another. I like the idea of the safe word and think for anyone dealing with any of the activities in these books that that is very important.Definitely a trilogy to read with an open mind.
Pamela V. Mason
59. PamelaVMason
I'm still in the third book, and I've had to go back and eat my review words.
Well, I really didn't like the first Fifty Shades, but now, all together - I see how they work and I love the story and the characters.
And yes, the sex too.
Mickey McCall
60. m-square
Very interesting article; I loved it! I've read the trilogy, several times actually, and like Ms. Delinsky managed to see something new each time. No it is not "great" literature, but it is entertaining reading, which is sometimes a little better (and having a B.A. in Eng. Lit. from the Univ of VA I can recognize both.)
I think I've convinced my mother to read the books too, so if I win that copy is going to her, LOL - mine are electronic.
Jackie Ingram
61. Cassey
I have read all of the books and I LOVED them regardless of what my friends frowned upon (who by the way are now reading them as well)and it has been nice to have an author so eloquently bring out the positives of the books. The precise reason I kept reading was to find the beginning of all the "stuff." I told my friends that the sex wasn't "bad" and not so much "dirty" but they came from a dark place at times and I wanted to know WHY! It was a great trilogy! Everyone should read it!
Nikki Hilton
62. nikkiphilton
I had FSoG sitting on the coffee table for nearly 3 weeks, and started it the day before it was due at the library. I finished it in time to return it with no late fee, and immediately ordered the next 2 for my kindle. I know I'll probably end up buying the 1st one for my kindle as well, for those occasions when I need to reread. Definitely an intriguing trilogy.
Jackie Ingram
63. jeannie vitale
i would love to win this triology, im in
Jackie Ingram
64. terrymike
I whole-heartedly agree. I just love the relationships that these two had. It was such a let down to read any other book after finishing this trilogy. I even got a few of my co-workers to read them too! They loved it just as much as I did.
Jackie Ingram
65. Annette Guel
I started reading these books to see what the big deal was. Why were they being called "soft porn/mommy porn"? I love to read and read just about any genre. I love this series, it's not just about the sex, its a love story. You can't help but fall in love with Ana and Christian as they work through there relationship. They e-mails are priceless and funny. How Ana grows into her self is nice to watch. These are well written books and I know I will reread them again, just like I do when I have a favorite book I like. So to the people who have not read them and continue to make negative comments, what are you afraid of? Pick up the books and read them. Then comment!!!
Sandy
66. SandyInspired
I am very intrigued by these books. My husband came home from work and asked me if I'd read them, which totally surprised me, as my husband has absolutely zero interest in books. Apparently, his female coworkers had been raving about the Fifty Shades series. So during a Costco visit, I picked one up to read the back cover. An elderly man walked past me and hissed, "Trash!" I didn't realize there were book censors in the Costco book section! I love how these books have stirred up such controversy (among other things). I think I need to try reading one, just to see what all the hype is about--especially after this review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Barbara! I really trust what writers have to say about books.
Lee Suiter
67. leesuiter
I have read the trilogy 5 times through - i "re-started" book 1 for the 6th time - it's embarrassing but who cares - I loved the storyline - and Love Love Love Christian - I read them on my e-reader but would love to own the "real" books.
Judy
68. Miller
I listened to Fifty Shades of Grey on cd as borrowed from the local public library. Holy crap ! Hot ! The difference between reading a book and having it read to you is so amazing - highly recommend both the visual and aural experiences.
Pam Howell
69. phowell13
I think they definitely could have been edited better (the fanfic origins are abundantly clear), but there is definitely something compelling with them. I read through them as fast as I could and then went back a second time to get comfortable with my thoughts. I am glad that it has gotten more dialogue among women, but I totally hate the main stream media saying successful working women want someone to dominate them after a hard day's work. That is totally stereotyping.
Jackie Ingram
70. QuenKne
I have heard SO much about this series of books that I can't wait to read all 3 of them!! I do agree with Barbara Delinsky - it is nice to see women who are non-readers pick up this (or any) book and read. I'm also a fan of Barbara's. Thanks for the contest
Jackie Ingram
71. Lexigirl
Well said. I read these books in 2 days and then reread them again as well picking up different images. It is a fabulous series that explores a complex relationship. Sure there is sex like most novels but there was always love & respect regardless of the scene being played out. Is it controversial - YES - is it fun - YES - I highly recommend you read this series keeping an open mind. At the end of the series you walk away knowing how deeply the main characters love eachother and we get to go along for the ride - FABULOUS !!!!
T Fine
72. Tlfine62
I have heard all the hype but have not yet read the books as I have some hesitation reading a story that involves the BDSM Lifestyle written by someone who has no true experience where as I have an first hand knowledge of BDSM and all that it entails.....should prove interesting
Elizabeth Williams
73. celticdreaming
This series was excellent! The writing was a little off (due more I think to the inexperience of the writer), but the story itself is wonderful. I was one of those who postponed reading the series because I had so many other books already in line to be read...but then I caved in and I am so glad I did. As a bookseller, I should absolutely be aware of what the public is interested in and is talking about at the current time, so the series jumped to the front of the line. :) Christian and Ana's story should not be missed. It's a wonderful story of love, growing, adapting, exploring and change. Ana is totally naive at the beginning due to her own 'misfit' hangups and her dedication to her education. Christian is very much more mature than other guys his age due to the things that have happened to him in his life. They really aren't that far apart in age...just in their attitudes and outlooks on life. Thier beginning is rocky, but as they move forward, compromises are given on both sides. They adapt to each others needs. It's not easy and there are misunderstandings, but they do love each other so they find ways to work it out. The emails between the two are just hilarious. While some readers didn't like her 'inner goddess' or the subconscious debates, I found them funny and kinda familiar. ;) Having raised two daughters of my own, the multiple 'crap' comments didn't bother me. Young women have a tendency to be repetitive with words like 'crap, awesome, cool, hot'...etc.. In fact, people of most ages have a favorite word or two that they use a lot when stressed or excited. ;) What I liked about this series, beside yes..the very HOT sex...was the growth I saw in Ana in her attitudes towards 'acceptable' sex, her desire to understand Christian and what drives him and the fact that she realizes that he is worth...everything. Christians realization that HIS attitudes toward sex may need some tweaking if he wants to keep Ana, the knowledge that the tweaking doesn't take away from what he needs, it expands them, and that he realizes that Ana is worth...everything. His growth in regards to relationships to both friends and family is painful to watch and wonderful to see happen.
I highly reccommend this series. Read it with an open mind and an open heart.
Jackie Ingram
74. DevynnLF
Okay, I must say, this series is amazing.
Now, I know pretty much everyone's saying this, probably. (If they're not raging against it.) I enjoyed, yes the sex, but also the relationship that grows between Christian and Ana. When I started the first book, I thought, hm.. I don't know if I'll like this series. But then, when I got halfway through the first book, I was in love with it.
I will definitely read these books again! I love the growing relationship in here. And I love the end of the third book. I love the witty and silly emails they send each other. I almost cried several times during my reading of the 50 Shades series. But all in all? Oh. My. Gawd.
Those three words don't even come close to how I feel about the series. It's now one of my favorites.
Yes, the two paperback's of Book I and Book II, those are my Mom's. I'm hogging them though. ;)
I love them too much.
Third one is on the Kindle, which I find a bit impersonal. I find that I love the Kindle for traveling, but I love reading actual, physical books. :D
Anyhow, enough of my rambling about Kindles.
I fully intend to read this series again.
Despite what my father thinks of this series. ;)
Oh, question, by the way. Has anyone read the Anita Blake series? By Laurell K. Hamilton? Gosh, that's an amazing story too.
I can only hope that E. L. James comes out with another book of 50 Shades. I would love it.
And on that note, I must go read some more of my fan-smexy-tastic books.
I'm a hopeless romance book reader. Paranormal or not, I love 'em all. ;)
Munchkin
75. Munchkin
I enjoyed your review ! So many "experts" have blasted or taken a very condescending attitude towards this series. Happy to see someone enjoying them for what they are ;)
Jackie Ingram
76. eyvonner
This is the best review I've seen of these books. The writing involved too much smirking and similar repetition, but the emotions were there and Barabara Delinsky recognized that. And thanks to the E L James for getting women and the media to talk about romance books!
Jackie Ingram
77. JayGray
Can't wait to finally read these books! I've heard so many great reviews!
Marian DeVol
78. ladyengineer
Thank you for a review from a writer's perspective. I enjoyed your take on the E. L. James series. I had not been aware of The Dark Garden. It has now been added to my TBR list.
Marian DeVol
79. ladyengineer
I would have loved to leave a comment at the USA site, but I don't do Facebook. I know, I must be the only one... ;-p
Jackie Ingram
80. Eden Bradley
I just saw this post today. Thank you so much for mentioning my book The Dark Garden, and doing the giveaway! I always appreciate the opportunity to reach new readers. I hope your winners enjoy my book. :)
Eden Bradley aka Eve Berlin
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