Fifty Shades Freed
Fifty Shades Trilogy #3
By: E. L. James
Published by: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
Release Date: January 19, 2012
Format: ePub (Nook)
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Genre: Erotic Fiction
Audience: Mature Audiences (18+)
Explicit Sex & themes of BDSM
**Don't miss the Author Interview and eBook Giveaway at the end of this review!**
Oh. My. Fifty Shades. Just when you thought you couldn’t love Christian Grey anymore, a whole new shade of Grey wraps itself around your heart. When we last saw Christian and Ana, they were set to spend the rest of their lives discovering the depths of their love. Ana was sure that they would face his past, and their future, together. What neither of them are ready for is the way his past and their future become mingled together in one messy event after another.
It is so hard to review this book without spoilers. I'm typically very long-winded when it comes to Christian Grey and the Fifty Shades trilogy. This review is going to be unusually short for me because I don't want to spoil anyone. This is definitely a book that you want to experience first hand. What I will tell you is this - everything you've come to love from E. L. James' writing is here. It's a page turner from the very beginning. The writing is simple and direct, and falling into the story is effortless. There is a perfect combination of romance, passion, humor, and drama. Christian will in turns melt your heart and frustrate you to no ends, as will Ana. Their love is volatile. No emotion is felt half-way. There are surprises at every turn. Christian is still learning to deal with his past as well as Ana's inner strength and independence (which she asserts in some really frustrating ways), and Ana is still finding a balance between being true to her inner goddess, accepting Christian's past and helping him move forward, and becoming the woman she was destined to be. While I didn't find Fifty Shades Freed to be quiet as emotional as Fifty Shades Darker was, it still packed a punch. I loved every second not only of this book, but of the entire trilogy. My only question now...Is there life after Fifty?
Summary from Goodreads:
When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian’s singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed.
Now, together, they have more – love, passion, intimacy, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control, and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present.
Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, misfortune, malice and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true. Alone and desperate, she must face down the poisoned legacy of Christian’s past.
Seductive, shocking, sad and funny, Fifty Shades Freed is the compelling final volume in the Fifty Shades trilogy.
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Interview with author, E. L. James:
Tevya: When and why did you begin writing?
ELJ: I remembered quite recently that I used to write all the time when I was in primary school, and that my stories would be read out to the class. When I was older and working in the center of London, in order to endure the horrific commute by Tube I used to read hundreds of romance stories – bodice-rippers my husband used to call them. I always had a hankering to write one... And I tried, on and off, but didn't get very far. Then during my Twilight obsession I saw an interview with Stephenie Meyer, who said you don't have to start at the beginning of a story when you write. This was a revelation. I sat down and started writing, and ended up - eighty thousand words later - with a novel. I enjoyed the process so much that I continued, and wrote another... Then I discovered fan fiction. I wrote my first fan-fic in three weeks and the rest, as they say…
Tevya: Is there life after Christian Grey?
ELJ: I’ve yet to find out! I do hope so.
Tevya: Where do you see Ana and Christian 10 years from now?
ELJ: Happily married – but still bickering. I could talk further about this but I don’t want to spoil Fifty Shades Freed – what I will say is that I think there are aspects of life that Christian would find particularly difficult to deal with – given his control issues and unfortunate upbringing.
Tevya: Would Christian let his daughter date a man like him?
ELJ: If he had one – no he most certainly wouldn’t.
Tevya: Do you have a specific writing style?
ELJ: I'm not sure. I don't think I'm a great writer by any means. My prose is simple and direct, I hope. However, I think I can put a reader in a room with two people and make them feel what's going on between those two characters, make them feel what they feel. I believe I’m more of a storyteller than a writer. In Fifty Shades of Grey I let the characters go their own way, and they didn't take me where I expected at all.
Tevya: What inspired you to write the Fifty Shades Trilogy?
ELJ: I'd read some BDSM fiction, which mentioned paperwork but never detailed it. I wanted to see the paperwork and I wanted to know what would happen if you met someone who was into the lifestyle… and you weren’t – what would happen. It kind of went from there.
Tevya: Did you have to do a lot of research for your writing?
ELJ: Yes. Google and Streetview are my friends. I've had to learn about gliding, sailing, flying a helicopter and the layout of Seattle and WSU.
Tevya: Where did you get your ideas for the BDSM scenes? Did you know anything about the BDSM scene before beginning this story? How did you know what to write to make the scenes so realistic and *fans self* so hot?
ELJ: Um… the BDSM scenes came mostly from my imagination. I knew little about BDSM but I did a ton of research into it. And I discovered it varies hugely, in the way people in these relationships conduct them – it takes in everything from a bit of slap and tickle to a total power exchange. I decided to take what I wanted for my characters. For Christian it’s all he’s really known… and he’s good at it. He’s in his comfort zone, in control. I think successful dominants really know what to do – if you get my drift - so I wanted to create that impression. Christian is an expert on physical pleasure - his own and that of his sexual partner - but his expertise ends there. He’s really an emotional virgin, whereas Ana is much more in tune with how she feels – though she’s totally derailed by Christian. I don’t know quite how to answer the last part of your question. Let’s just say that one writes for oneself first and foremost, and if it turns me on… I’m hopeful it will turn others on.
Tevya: If you were Ana, would you have been able to handle Christian’s stalking and control issues?
ELJ: I might have, for the fantasy sex.
Tevya: Do you have a favorite character?
ELJ: It depends on certain chapters. I like Ana’s inner strength and she’s smart and brave. Christian drives me nuts in some chapters… but I love him too.
Tevya: Which of your characters are you most like?
ELJ: I’m like Ana in some ways and Fifty in others (scary but true!) But I don’t really want to talk about that.
Tevya: Is there an underlying message in your story?
ELJ: I didn't set out to give any underlying message. People can take what they want from the story. There are enough people out there throwing out their unwelcome opinions on the who, the why, and the how we should live our lives. And I deplore that. I just wanted to tell a ripping yarn.
Tevya: When talking about emotional scenes, and pivotal moments, the one that comes to my mind first is always the lipstick scene in the bathroom (in Fifty Shades Darker). Which scene comes to your mind first?
ELJ: That one definitely – when Ana draws on him. In Fifty Shades Freed – there’s a scene when Ana is at the bank – I found that emotional to write – and also when she’s with Ray.
Tevya: What was the hardest scene to write?
ELJ: In Fifty Shades Freed there’s a scene where Ana is particularly mad at Christian. I had to write that a couple of times because Christian kept apologizing and I didn’t want that!
Tevya: Some of my favorite moments in the trilogy, the moments that brought big smiles to my face and in some cases made me laugh out loud, involved either Ana’s inner goddess and subconscious or the texts and emails between Ana and Christian. Do you have a favorite funny moment from the trilogy?
ELJ: I think I enjoyed doing the emails. Some of them had me chuckling. I loved doing those.
Tevya: Who decides on the titles of the books?
ELJ: I do.
Tevya: How is the cover art picked? (And might I add… the cover of Fifty Shades Freed is quite…swoon worthy…especially once the scene is tied in to the cover.)
ELJ: I originally wanted a very simple cover featuring a tie. I love the simplicity and understated elegance of that. TWCS found that one, and that’s the theme we came up with - all the book covers depict items that can be worn.
Tevya: When you are looking for something to read, which author(s) do you turn to first?
ELJ: That’s a tricky question as I have not read anything for a while. I recently enjoyed A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and I am looking forward to her next book.
Tevya: Outside of family members, where do you find your biggest source of support?
ELJ: The friends I have made online – they know who they are.
Tevya: Can you share a little bit about your next project with us?
ELJ: This is what I am having most trouble with at the moment. I have eight ideas for further stories, and I just don’t know which to go with next. I want to finish my second novel, which will be in two parts. It’s a ghost story – but I also have a romance and an erotic tale hassling me at the moment. So I have to pick and choose. We’ll see.
Tevya: Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers about yourself or your books, or a message you would like to send to your fans?
ELJ: The only thing I would like to say is, thank you, for all the kind words and for your on-going support.
Thank you so much for the interview… and for Christian Grey!