I never thought about reading romance novels, although I knew two (very good) girls in high school who read them constantly. I wound up reading my first romance novel by accident. Andrew’s grandmother trades stacks and stacks of books with her friends. One summer, about 4 years ago, she gave me a stack of five books to read, and unknown to me, two of them were
Jude Deveraux romance novels from the Velvet series. I was shocked and embarrassed at first that someone’s grandmother had given them to me, but I also found them intriguing because nothing was described in excruciating detail, and the complex story lines of rival families were fascinating. The third book in the stack was World Without End by Ken Follett. This 800+ page book is written from multiple perspectives as it follows the stories of all of the main characters. The sexual encounters are not the main focus of the book, although there are many, and the medieval England setting is one of my favorites.
This leads us to my latest read, Fifty Shades Freed. I was intrigued by this series, having read the three romance novels before, and also because these books really flew off the shelves when they were published in 2011. Having finished the series, I feel as I do when I finish any book series. I am sad that it is over because I liked the characters so much. Many people have criticized the Fifty Shades books for the unrealistic portrayal of Ana Steel, namely the elevated vocabulary when she is just 22 years old. However, Ana is a well-read young woman who gets a job right out of college at a publishing company, so I find her thought processes and vocabulary fairly realistic.
My verdict? I loved Christian and Ana, but this series could make even an open-minded reader blush. The Fifty Shades trilogy provides very detailed sexual encounters that many may feel uncomfortable reading. While not all of the couple’s encounters involve BDSM, many of them do. This is definitely for the 18 and older crowd. If your interest is piqued, it is worth looking into. If you have never read a romance novel before, it is important to know that there are plenty of lighter reads that treat the subject more delicately; the couple is married from the beginning, the descriptions tiptoe around things, or the story transitions to the following morning.