Eyebrows were raised when I said I was reading this because apparently, "it's a girls book". Thirty-six years after the passage of the Equalities Act, I laugh in the face of such wanton sexism!
But sure enough, it took to around page 80 before I was introduced to the sleek lines of Christian's Audi SUV and the handling capabilities of his Bell helicopter. Plus by the time I'd got to page 500, nobody had been blown up by terrorists. More is the pity.
Forget all of that though. What I like in a book is a bit of escapism, but it's not an escape if where you end up isn't real. And this isn't. For a start, nobody is short of a few quid and everybody is beautiful and thin. Hey Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore ......
But forget all of that too.
Picture a young innocent (who is "a total babe", of course), saving herself for Mr Right. Within days of meeting rich Mr Grey(so gorgeous it just takes your breath away, apparently), she finds herself back at his place (more a sort of skyscraper really). Let's have a tour of his digs. Living room - nice and tasteful, balcony - great views, kitchen - all immaculate marble. And, then, there's the red room. You know, the one with the caribiners on the roof, the restraining cuffs on the wall, the chains on the bed posts and the assortment of whips and riding crops scattered about the floor. Remember, we're not dealing with reality here so the real possibility that you've just delivered yourself into the hands of the Seattle Strangler doesn't come into it. Of course, you decide to stay. And you tell yourself that while you are just a little bit unsure, you are staying because what you really want is to get to know him and his issues better. And anyway, isn't he gorgeous?
So, just like Ana, once she's been taken backwards, forwards, trussed up and with a pair of steel balls, I found I didn't have any strength left. And I'm told there are three in the series?!? Unless I get a guarantee that early on in Book 2, Jose grows a pair, buys himself a M95 sniper rifle and turns the wall behind Christian 50 shades of grey brains, I don't think so. I'll give it 1 because of all the titillating bits, but only because I am assured that nobody was injured in the research.
Meantime, ladies, if you ever find yourself alone with a bloke who doesn't like being touched and who wants to put cable ties around your wrists while applying a gag, don't ask yourself what the beautiful Anastasia would have done in these circumstances, JUST RUN!