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Book Reviews

Sylvia Day * Entwined with You (Crossfire, Book 3)

The worldwide phenomenon continues as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts, and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires…

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Romance Books

Anne Rice – The Claiming of The Sleeping Beauty

Cover_ClaimingBeautyLrgBefore E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and Sylvia Day’s Bared to You, there was Anne Rice’s New York Times best seller The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

In the traditional folktale of “Sleeping Beauty,” the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince.

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Book Reviews

Kid Rocha – Beyond Shame Book Review

beyondshame-400I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but the words “Bestselling author” made me buy the book from an author I have never read before.
Unfortunately, I made a horrible, horrible mistake that I have learned to regret since a month ago, when I first started reading the book.

I had really thought I was going to put the book in the abandoned bin but, heroically, I read on, hoping to see something better at the end, to at least find a plot…

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Book Reviews

Bad writing examples in 50 Shades of Grey

I have read the series and I’m ready to pronounce the sins. E.L. James needs a spanking. BuzzFeed had a top 13 list and now it’s time for us to do our own. There are only actually 12 shades of grey that are readily acknowledged but the British Art Council (13 if you know the secret handshake). I wondered where the other 37 came from, some sort of secret colour palette??

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Book Reviews

Fifty Shades Freed * EL James

When we last left our romantic icons, Ana Steele and Christian Grey, they were newly engaged and facing (a) Ana’s ex-boss, Jack Hyde, whom Christian fired in a fit of jealous pique when Jack made a pass at Ana and (b) Christian’s “Mrs. Robinson,” the woman who initiated him into his life of BDSM. Can these two crazy love birds find happiness and contentment? Thank goodness E. L. James doesn’t keep us hanging and gives us the GIFT that is Fifty Shades Freed.

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Book Reviews

50 Shades Darker * EL James

The 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy continues with 50 Shades Darker. The ‘Cinderella story on steroids’ continues with a happy ending/beginning. If you read the first book you know that Ana refers to Christian Grey as 50 Shades hence the book title. Christian has many moods and ‘personalities’ that lead Ana to this name for him.

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Book Reviews

The Piano Teacher * Elfriede Jelinek

When you think your parents were controlling, think again. When you think your life as a single middle-aged woman is bad, think again. If you think that you did not live your life to the fullest, think again.
Meet Erika Kohut, an Austrian Piano Teacher at the Vienna Conservatory, a Bach and Shubert enthusiast, multi-talented and with a secret face that she unravels in this beautifully written book.

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Book Reviews

50 Shades of Gray * E.L. James

I promised myself I would not read these books when they came out. They sparked a lot of media attention and with the exception of Johanna and a few Sydney Sheldon books, I have had no experience with written porn. (As I assumed they would be).

The characters are likable and easily identifiable with – a shy and mousy literature student and a rich and narcissistic billionaire. I’m kidding – just the student is likable. Anastasia Steele. Even from the name I keep thinking “porn”!

The surprise came when the book turned out to be more of a romance story with an overjealous kinky boyfriend than a BDSM book as it was advertised.

9aebf3013cacc86d2b23e958c70106ce The romance between Anastasia and Christian Grey is sweet, dazzling by her innocence and incandescent with desire / need.
She falls in love with him and he falls in lust with her. He needs to dominate her (as he puts it) but all I could see was just a guy showering his girlfriend with gifts while showing her how to please and be pleased in the bedroom. I would say that without the aspect of love from his side, this relationship was more of a luxury escort seeing her rich client.

Why? She did accept a car as a gift from him and even she knows that these gifts come with strings attached to them.

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I stopped reading mid-way through and I was startled to discover I knew why the fuss was all about. It’s about meeting expectations of the reader. And E.L. James knew exactly what the target audience was: bored wives, women over 40, housewives with plenty of time on their hands and a tired husband who does not pay attention to them as they needed him to.
50 Shades of Gray offers a great escape from the mundane life (much as any good book would do) while presenting the avid reader with:
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  • a handsome (super sexy) millionaire
  • a horny boyfriend that never seems to get enough
  • a lip-biting innocent girlfriend ready to be ravaged by the big bad wolf
  • the girlfriend’s origins must be common (see Bella in Twilight)
  • the girlfriend must be smart – no-one likes a blonde bimbo as the main character
  • the girlfriend’s thoughts must be visible throughout the book (so that the reader can assume them to be their own and let them be pulled in)
  • a weak love triangle (Jose, her friend – poses temporarily a threat to the possible relationship between Anastasia and Christian)
  • an unforgettable ex (Mrs. Robinson for Christian) that would make the main heroine jealous over an invisible person she cannot fight (see Rebecca)
  • a jealous and possessive boyfriend that keeps a woman’s heart fluttering.76a443e4c7104a5cd380c50330974b79
  • the boyfriend must be classy – with a knowledge of wines, foods, cars and helicopters. He must be well traveled and bedazzle the young maiden with his experience / wealth.
  • the boyfriend must have a dark secret that the girlfriend will try to fix (as it is in all human nature) and then she will fail miserably as some people cannot be changed.
  • the breakup

As you see, this recipe for romance has been used in many books so far and the only difference between 50 shades and the rest is the descriptive sex scenes. Very descriptive. I would rate them a 10/10 but not being an erotica reader, my vote might be changed in the future when something better comes along.

“Turning to face him, I’m shocked to find he has his erection firmly in his grasp. My mouth drops open. ‘I want you to become well acquainted, on first name terms if you will, with my favorite and most cherished part of my body.'”

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Overall Rating: 4/5

Favorite parts: The seduction, the cat and mouse game, the hot sex scenes
Least favorite parts: Christian Gray is too much of a deranged psycho for my liking. Any decent girl would have had a million red alarm signs go out in their minds at the mention of a non-disclosure agreement and signing a contract for sex.

Any thoughts?