Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy

Paperback | April 17, 2012

byE L James

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MORE THAN 100 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY IS NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE


Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. 
 
But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.
 
While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

This book is intended for mature audiences. 

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From the Publisher

MORE THAN 100 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDEFIFTY SHADES OF GREY IS NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTUREDaunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.  But desire for Christian s...

E L James is a former TV executive, wife and mother of two based in West London. Since early childhood she dreamed of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, but put those dreams on hold to focus on her family and her career. She finally plucked up the courage to put pen to paper with her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey...

other books by E L James

Fifty Shades Trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed 3-volume Boxed…
Fifty Shades Trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shade...

Paperback|Jun 12 2012

$43.66 online$53.85list price(save 18%)
Fifty Shades Of Grey: Book One Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy
Fifty Shades Of Grey: Book One Of The Fifty Shades Tril...

Paperback|Apr 3 2012

$12.98 online$17.95list price(save 27%)
see all books by E L James
Format:PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.9 inPublished:April 17, 2012Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345803493

ISBN - 13:9780345803498

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! This is definitely not my type of book/genre, but I couldn't put it down! I read it in 2 days! A definite must read!
Date published: 2016-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional I have the whole series and I love everything about them
Date published: 2015-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! This book was an excellent read! I loved the plot and the suspense! I could imagine that I was there reading this!
Date published: 2015-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! It was an awesome book. The first book made me want more and this one did not disappoint. It was very hard to put the book down. Very well written.
Date published: 2015-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love it!!! This book is awesome!!! Just love it !!!! :-D one of the best reads I have read in a while
Date published: 2015-09-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from FSOG -Darker Despite veering away from the expected nasty sex romp, it does keep one interested, so it's on to #3 and hopefully another "happy ending".
Date published: 2015-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fifty shades darker I really enjoyed reading it.. It kept me interested all the way through. I enjoyed that fact that you knew what Anawas thinking. There were serious sections but there was also humour and of course romance.
Date published: 2015-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fifty Shades Darker As the second book in the trilogy it has the perfect combination adventure, romance, intimacy and character development in the way the story unfolds. Nevertheless, grammatically speaking and in terms of phrasing the entire trilogy could use a good editor. If it had a fesh editor it would probably take less pages and would be more gratifying.
Date published: 2015-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fifty Shades Darker Very interesting kind of sad how she lets him control her. Hoping he relieze there more than contolling a person and money does not buy love.
Date published: 2015-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Awesome book love them all and have read them more than once ...I hope they make them all in to movies
Date published: 2015-08-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible These books are terribly written. They lack depth. They lack emotion. They lack anything of face value.
Date published: 2015-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fifty shades darker Fantastic!!!!... Loved every chapter and scene...great story line, made me blush and want to find my inner goddess.
Date published: 2015-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Amazing book. I can't wait to see the movie. Hopefully it's better than the first one!!! Ill watch it either way
Date published: 2015-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put this down!! Modern day love story that really pulls you in. Can't wait to read the next one :)
Date published: 2015-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than people give credit It's a great book, in a great story. It's also fiction, and I think people who give it bad reviews tend to take it too literally and seriously.
Date published: 2015-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! Kept my attention read the whole book. It was one that I could not guess the ending to. I would definitely recommend this book to others
Date published: 2015-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Loved the book! I honestly can't tell you the last time that I have read an entire book. I just finished book 2 and can't wait to read the 3rd.
Date published: 2015-04-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good I enjoyed the book. It had just enough twists to keep me interested. It also gave me a good chuckle as did the first book.
Date published: 2015-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 50 YESSSSS I have read this series so many times and it has never failed me. The movie is nothing compared to this.
Date published: 2015-03-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh! Pretty lame over all.... not the exciting book I thought it would be. Definitely didn't like it as much as I thought I would.
Date published: 2015-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good The story continues to get more in depth, Ana and Christian's love story starts to unfold on a more emotional state. Ana gets stronger, and we see a more vulnerable Christian... excellent read
Date published: 2015-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fifty shades Forget the sex the characters are worth knowing. To read this and not be aware of the debth of their pain and vulnerability is to lost to the beauty of the author.
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not bad sequel...was expecting much less back on the fifty ban wagon after watching the trailer. read the first book and unimpressed. but after the trailer i thought heck why not all my gs own the trilogy (won't be spending any money). 2nd picks up right after first. reader is taken into more depth of grey's past and his 99 problems (aka fifty shades). we are also watching the relationship of steele and grey grow. steele was uber annoying in the first book, but she is slowly standing on her own. no more whining she is finally standing up for herself, growing up and respecting her needs. i thinnk james was smart to develop her more. honestly i couldn't stand if she was still that whiny, confused, debbie down, not an ugly duckling from the first book. we meet new characters- her boss, kate's brother, infamous mrs. robinson, etc. all the characters bring more dynamic to the plot and characters relationship/ development. old cast is back- kate, jose and grey's staff. i really like taylor and i hope the given him a bit more story in the 3rd. not bad sequel. it is setting up for some new story lines coming in 3rd book. hmmm last 10 pgs was the best in the book. we were dancing around the subject of BDSM the entire novel and finally we have it. will be reading the 3rd later. need a break from grey's world. p.s. i cannot stand "inner goddess" i wanted to throw the book across my room.
Date published: 2014-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE IT I bought 50 shades of grey, I couldn't put it down, and then i bought this book, once again, couldn't put it down.. I'm totally love it!! I'm looking forward to buy 50 shades of freed!
Date published: 2013-11-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Fifty Shades of Still Boring I read the second book because my friend really encouraged me to continue reading the series, so I did. I was really hoping the second book would be better than the first but unfortunately, I thought it was even worse. I keep waiting for an actual story line and it never happened. It continued to be so repetitive and it took me quite some time to finish this book. Not pleased at all with the series.
Date published: 2013-07-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nothing To Go Crazy About ! I can't even read this book, it's worst then the first one, I could actually finish the first one this one I just skimmed through the pages. I can't get into it at all. Anastasia is annoying and Christian controls her whole life and it's really annoying she has no mind of her own and can't decide anything for herself. I find this series is too hyped up for what it is. I will definitely not read the third one, this series gets more and more boring and all she does is repeat herself throughout the books. This trilogy could've been made into one book and possibly have been good.
Date published: 2013-03-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Overly Hyped Up Oh my this trilogy gets more stupid I honestly have to say there nothing to this storyline just a naive girl who falls for this rich business man who doesn't have a mind of her own. Everything Chistina says to Ana she does doesn't matter if she is against it or not seriously girl have a mind of your own don't be controlled by his needs. It's like she is a slave to him and feel its his money that keeps her there with him. Gonna be a while before I pick up the last of the series but so far I am not impressed.
Date published: 2013-01-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Traipsing through the pages. I was overseas when I finished the first book and so parched for its continuation that I made my friend get me the second book during his trip to London. They didn't have any copies in France yet. Where I was couldn't finish the start of the trilogy soon enough, I was literally struggling to finish this one. I had to read one chapter per week, it was so boring and redundant. Half the book was everything that had just happened in the first book and the other half was just fillers to prepare you for the last leg of the trilogy. I didn't want to quit halfway through which is why I decided to check out the last one -- with desperate hope that there would be a glimmer of resemblance and success the first one bore. So the second book was definitely a dud but I command her courage and commitment because it was just as long as the other two. To write 500-ish pages is no easy task.
Date published: 2013-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Once again! Once again, a heart pounding ending! The whole story just flows and the sex - to be honest, there is a lot of sex and sometimes a bit too much, but the bottom line is that it is an amazing book! I just finished reading it and I'm going right away to get the final and last book. Although, I really didn't like the ending of this book because I just want everyone to leave them alone, but I am so happy there is another book. A. Must. Read.
Date published: 2012-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Once again! Once again, a heart pounding ending! The whole story just flows and the sex - to be honest, there is a lot of sex and sometimes a bit too much, but the bottom line is that it is an amazing book! I just finished reading it and I'm going right away to get the final and last book. Although, I really didn't like the ending of this book because I just want everyone to leave them alone, but I am so happy there is another book. A. Must. Read.
Date published: 2012-10-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I didn't like it as much as the first. 3.75 stars This one picked up right where Fifty Shades of Grey left off. A lot of people liked this one better, but I didn't like it quite as much. I found Christian and Ana a bit boring. A few things happened in the storyline in the last 1/3 of the book or so, that were a little more interesting (bringing my rating up an extra .25, instead of a “mere” 3.5 (good) rating), but I actually didn't like it quite as much. It's definitely still enough that I will finish the trilogy, though.
Date published: 2012-10-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Better This book is absolutely better than the first one! I mean, the literary value of this piece is pretty low, but yeah, it is a fun read. Interesting plot.
Date published: 2012-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orgasmic I have never felt so alive ;)
Date published: 2012-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG!!!! SO MUCH DRAMA!!! this book does not lack any drama i found that this book was completely different from the first one especially Christian!!! This book was an amazing and fun book to read i could not put it down once i started it, and loved every moment of it!!!! Totally recommending it to everyone'!!!!
Date published: 2012-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Again!! Although the sex is dragging on at times, I still think the second volume merits a five star. I like the way James has weaved in a bit more drama than the first one. Jack is going to show up again and and the Dom will probably shift as the story unfolds. I am not normally the romantic reader, but this one is a pageturner.
Date published: 2012-09-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Fifty Shades OF GARBAGE I wonder if the author is laughing because she’s making so much money off of this. Be prepared to hear an abusive amount of detail on eating, an overused and unrealistic representation of a 27 year old CEO, and a boringly repetitive description of an orgasm because that is all this book has to offer. Did it even go through an editing phase? Is it meant to be in the fiction section along with Gandalf and his magical ring? How is this author so naive? This series does nothing for me except infuriate me with its genuine "fuckedupness" and please let me quote (E L James) on that word.......
Date published: 2012-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Love Love Can't put the second book down either---on to the third!
Date published: 2012-08-28
Rated out of 5 by from I'm still reading the 3rd book, but I loved book 2. It was action packed and hard to put down. You truly get caught up in the emotions of both characters. These books would be great for men too! I see someone posted an interest in Christian Grey's version which would be awesome! I would love to read the man's side.
Date published: 2012-08-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Way too much hype I kept waiting for a real story to appear but it never did. Once the shock factor was over from the initial sex scenes, the story was quite boring...and this continued through to the last book. I felt embarrassed to be reading this book . It was very poorly written with no depth.
Date published: 2012-08-23
Rated out of 5 by from such a great trilogy! loved every second reading all 3 books and couldn't put them down! its a rollercoaster of emotions for these novels
Date published: 2012-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I liked it so much I read it twice in a week. Much better than the first book as there was more character development.
Date published: 2012-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! When I say Wow, I mean WOW! I loved every minute of this book. I thought the first one was good but this one was better. It was less of the kinky stuff and more love – or trying at least. Anastasia Steele, after leaving Christian Grey, is a mess. She can’t eat or concentrate on anything. A week didn’t even pass before Grey contacts her. They get together as friends for José’s art exhibit. After spending an hour together, they both realize that not being together is unhealthy for both of them. Anastasia doesn’t feel that she is right for Christian since she feels that she can’t give him what he wants/needs. ‘Kinky fuckery’ as they state it. Excuse my French. So much happens in this book that writing out this review wouldn’t do it any justice. I almost didn’t write this review because words cannot describe how good this book is. One of Christian’s ex-subs finds Anastasia and creats a big deal after she purchases a gun. Christian fears for Anastasia’s life but all Anastasia wants is to make sure Christian is safe. The confrontation scenes are intense, the way he looks at her is intense, the way he loves her is intense, the way he touches her is intense. Gosh, everything is intense about this book! My favourite parts were when Christian snaps, thinking Anastasia is going to leave him again and switches to Sub mode. My heart literally stopped and my jaw dropped. And I loved when he snapped on Anastasia to get in the car after her run-in with her boss. You will understand when you read it - which you will do after reading this review. GO now! I almost dont want to read the third and last book since it will be the end. P.S I love twitching palms.
Date published: 2012-08-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Genuinely suprised.. Holy moly. Now have mixed feelings towards this trilogy. The last quarter of the book took a turn for the better! There's finally a story! And i'm actually intrigued to read the third! Its still exteremly cheesy, and ridiclious, and so unrealistic that it hurts to read sometimes, but maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel! If you didn't like the first, perhaps just consider giving this one a shot. You may be pleasently suprised.
Date published: 2012-08-02
Rated out of 5 by from Pretty good books, I hope she continues them with Christian Grey's version as to how it all happened. I would love to read it from his perspective!
Date published: 2012-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The erotic fluff continues.... This second book allows the characters to evolve and depthen while you get more insight into Christian's past. I think the shock factor from book one has allowed this book to feel more "tamed" down. Again this is a good erotic fluff read, not for those looking for prose, poetry or any strong literature stucture. Regardless, it was a fun read.
Date published: 2012-07-24
Rated out of 5 by from Better than book 1 for sure. Lots more happening with respect to other characters and the sex is a little more steamy!
Date published: 2012-07-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Kinda sucked loved the first one , this one didn't live up to what it could have been
Date published: 2012-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing second book in the trilogy! This book did not disappoint! It was definitely darker than the first one! Amazing plot that kept me wanting more! A must read!!
Date published: 2012-07-09
Rated out of 5 by from Loved this trilogy.....naughty yet romantic!
Date published: 2012-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC!!! I absolutly LOVED this book, I've read the whole trilogy twice now & can't wait to see who they cast as Christian Grey in the movie version of this book trilogy I have recommended & will continue to recommend this trilogy to everyone I know It really has a way of heating up things up in your bedroom, I know a few husbands that are now encouraging their wives/girlfriends etc to read these books Excellent Fantastic story very well writen & easy to get lost in =)
Date published: 2012-06-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mundane sequel..sort of. This sequel is entertaining to an extent. I really hoped for more knowledge about Christian (i.e., his demons), but there wasn't that much revealed - well a lot more than last time. The sex scenes are getting pretty boring, but I'm glad that E L James is making them less descriptive - intense stares, bed, intercourse, and sleep. Also, I think the proposal was a bit early; it's only been like a month since they knew each other (figuratively speaking). I'm hoping that fifty shades freed will be the best one of the trilogy.
Date published: 2012-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read but not as good as the first! The first book left you hanginog so you needed the second one. I did not find this one as interesting as the first & third one but still a good read. There was a bit more of the sex scenes in this one and repetative performances around the middle. Got more interesting at the end, overall a great.
Date published: 2012-06-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thank Goodness for the Follow Up Because EL James leaves you hanging in the first book, I had to read Darker right away! Good to (predictably) find out more of Christian's past and to see the development of Ana & Christian's relationship. From my review on the first book Fifty Shades of Grey: Got through all 3 books rather quickly and really did enjoy them. I started the series knowing that it wasn't a literary stunner but was curious to see what all the commotion was about. With that attitude, I had a great time getting through the books (yes, a little too much "inner goddess" and mulitple orgasms). I must admit, EL James did make me have a big crush on Christian Grey!
Date published: 2012-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Following Novel! Loved the first book, COULD NOT put it down...2nd was equally good, the third...well..disappointing frankly
Date published: 2012-05-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Pointless and stupid Ashamed to say i bought the second installment of this stupid trilogy but I won't get sucked into buying the third. Same boring story line as the first, weak and repetitive story, explicit sex, annoying female main character that I want to slap some sense into. Male character that emotionally suffocates and controls women and uses them as sex objects. Unrealistic story, she must have been very sore with all the sex she was having, but she keeps on going like the Eveready bunny. She never says "no", go figure.
Date published: 2012-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Follow Up This book is getting a 4.5/5 stars I thought it was a great follow up to the first book. I thought the story progressed really nice and I liked the development with the characters I thought both Ana and Christian were great and ya it was just awesome I can can see why these books have hyped and I think it lives up to the hype. Overall great book if your looking for a great erotic romance book check these out. :0)
Date published: 2012-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A decent follow-up This follow-up is definitely not as impactful as the first book, but its keeping my attention and I'm keen to finish the series to see where it goes. Fifty's metamorphosis is a bit implausible but I'm trying to just enjoy the "journey". A little less steamy than the first ... or I'm becoming desensitized to the hotness ... oops!
Date published: 2012-04-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Ho hum The writing style hasn't improved at all and the storyline was starting to dwindle down. I only reason I am reading this - is due to the hype - seriously just save your money for something better. If you really want to read this series, borrow it from the library!
Date published: 2012-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fantastic Follow Up Darker picks up right where Grey leaves you hanging (if you were anything like me, there was some shouting at that cliffhanger, and an immediate purchase of this novel). I really loved watching Christian and Ana's growth in this installment, and although their chemistry is still smoking hot, this reads sweeter and gentler than the first. If Fifty Shades of Grey was a sharp intake of breath, than Fifty Shades Darker is an exhale. I am looking forward to the third and final book, but will be sad to see this series come to an end...definitely one I will revisit. Highly recommended for open minded readers who enjoy really hot romances.
Date published: 2012-03-21

Extra Content

Read from the Book

PROLOGUE   He’s come back. Mommy’s asleep or she’s sick again.   I hide and curl up small under the table in the kitchen. Through my fingers I can see Mommy. She is asleep on the couch. Her hand is on the sticky green rug, and he’s wearing his big boots with the shiny buckle and standing over Mommy shouting.   He hits Mommy with a belt. Get up! Get up! You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch.   Mommy makes a sobbing noise. Stop. Please stop. Mommy doesn’t scream. Mommy curls up small.   I have my fingers in my ears, and I close my eyes. The sound stops.   He turns and I can see his boots as he stomps into the kitchen. He still has the belt. He is trying to find me.   He stoops down and grins. He smells nasty. Of cigarettes and drink. There you are, you little shit.     A chilling wail wakes him. Christ! He’s drenched in sweat and his heart is pounding. What the fuck? He sits bolt upright in bed and puts his head in hands. Fuck. They’re back. The noise was me. He takes a deep steadying breath, trying to rid his mind and nostrils of the smell of cheap bourbon and stale Camel cigarettes.     CHAPTER ONE   I have survived Day Three Post-Christian, and my first day at work. It has been a welcome distraction. The time has flown by in a haze of new faces, work to do, and Mr. Jack Hyde. Mr. Jack Hyde . . . he smiles down at me, his blue eyes twinkling, as he leans against my desk.   “Excellent work, Ana. I think we’re going to make a great team.”   Somehow, I manage to curl my lips upward in a semblance of a smile.   “I’ll be off, if that’s okay with you,” I murmur.   “Of course, it’s five thirty. I’ll see you tomorrow.”   “Good night, Jack.”   “Good night, Ana.”   Collecting my bag, I shrug on my jacket and head for the door. Out in the early evening air of Seattle, I take a deep breath. It doesn’t begin to fill the void in my chest, a void that’s been present since Saturday morning, a painful hollow reminder of my loss. I walk toward the bus stop with my head down, staring at my feet and contemplating being without my beloved Wanda, my old Beetle . . . or the Audi.   I shut the door on that thought immediately. No. Don’t think about him. Of course, I can afford a car—a nice, new car. I suspect he has been overgenerous in his payment, and the thought leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, but I dismiss it and try to keep my mind as numb and as blank as possible. I can’t think about him. I don’t want to start crying again—not out on the street.   The apartment is empty. I miss Kate, and I imagine her lying on a beach in Barbados sipping a cool cocktail. I turn on the flat-screen television so there’s noise to fill the vacuum and provide some semblance of company, but I don’t listen or watch. I sit and stare blankly at the brick wall. I am numb. I feel nothing but the pain. How long must I endure this?   The door buzzer startles me from my anguish, and my heart skips a beat. Who could that be? I press the intercom.   “Delivery for Ms. Steele.” A bored, disembodied voice answers, and disappointment crashes through me. I listlessly make my way downstairs and find a young man noisily chewing gum, holding a large cardboard box, and leaning against the front door. I sign for the package and take it upstairs. The box is huge and surprisingly light. Inside are two dozen long-stemmed, white roses and a card.     Congratulations on your first day at work. I hope it went well. And thank you for the glider. That was very thoughtful. It has pride of place on my desk. Christian     I stare at the typed card, the hollow in my chest expanding. No doubt, his assistant sent this. Christian probably had very little to do with it. It’s too painful to think about. I examine the roses—they are beautiful, and I can’t bring myself to throw them in the trash. Dutifully, I make my way into the kitchen to hunt down a vase.     And so a pattern develops: wake, work, cry, sleep. Well, try to sleep. I can’t even escape him in my dreams. Gray burning eyes, his lost look, his hair burnished and bright all haunt me. And the music . . . so much music—I cannot bear to hear any music. I am careful to avoid it at all costs. Even the jingles in commercials make me shudder.   I have spoken to no one, not even my mother or Ray. I don’t have the capacity for idle talk now. No, I want none of it. I have become my own island state. A ravaged, war-torn land where nothing grows and the horizons are bleak. Yes, that’s me. I can interact impersonally at work, but that’s it. If I talk to Mom, I know I will break even further—and I have nothing left to break.     I am finding it difficult to eat. By lunchtime on Wednesday, I manage a cup of yogurt, and it’s the first thing I’ve eaten since Friday. I am surviving on a newfound tolerance for lattes and Diet Coke. It’s the caffeine that keeps me going, but it’s making me anxious.   Jack has started to hover over me, irritating me, asking me personal questions. What does he want? I’m polite, but I need to keep him at arm’s length.   I sit and begin trawling through a pile of correspondence addressed to him, and I’m pleased with the distraction of menial work. My e-mail pings, and I quickly check to see who it’s from.   Holy shit. An e-mail from Christian. Oh no, not here . . . not at work.     From: Christian Grey Subject: Tomorrow Date: June 8 2011 14:05 To: Anastasia Steele   Dear Anastasia   Forgive this intrusion at work. I hope that it’s going well. Did you get my flowers?   I note that tomorrow is the gallery opening for your friend’s show, and I’m sure you’ve not had time to purchase a car, and it’s a long drive. I would be more than happy to take you—should you wish.   Let me know.   Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.     Tears swim in my eyes. I hastily leave my desk and bolt to the restroom to escape into one of the stalls. José’s show. I’d forgotten all about it, and I promised him I’d go. Shit, Christian is right; how am I going to get there?   I clutch my forehead. Why hasn’t José phoned? Come to think of it—why hasn’t anyone phoned? I’ve been so absentminded I haven’t noticed that my cell phone has been silent.   Shit! I am such an idiot! I still have it set to forward calls to the BlackBerry. Holy hell. Christian’s been getting my calls—unless he’s just thrown the BlackBerry away. How did he get my e-mail address?   He knows my shoe size; an e-mail address is hardly going to present him with many problems.   Can I see him again? Could I bear it? Do I want to see him? I close my eyes and tilt my head back as grief and longing lance through me. Of course I do.   Perhaps—perhaps I can tell him I’ve changed my mind . . . No, no, no. I cannot be with someone who takes pleasure in inflicting pain on me, someone who can’t love me.   Torturous memories flash through my mind—the gliding, holding hands, kissing, the bathtub, his gentleness, his humor, and his dark, brooding, sexy stare. I miss him. It’s been five days, five days of agony that has felt like an eternity. I cry myself to sleep at night, wishing I hadn’t walked out, wishing that he could be different, wishing that we were together. How long will this hideous overwhelming feeling last? I am in purgatory.   I wrap my arms around my body, hugging myself tightly, holding myself together. I miss him. I really miss him . . . I love him. Simple.   Anastasia Steele, you are at work! I must be strong, but I want to go to José’s show, and deep down, the masochist in me wants to see Christian. Taking a deep breath, I head back to my desk.     From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Tomorrow Date: June 8 2011 14:25 To: Christian Grey   Hi Christian   Thank you for the flowers; they are lovely.   Yes, I would appreciate a lift.   Thank you.   Anastasia Steele Assistant to Jack Hyde, Editor, SIP     Checking my phone, I find that it is still set to forward calls to the BlackBerry. Jack is in a meeting, so I quickly call José.   “Hi, José. It’s Ana.”   “Hello, stranger.” His tone is so warm and welcoming it’s almost enough to push me over the edge again.   “I can’t talk long. What time should I be there tomorrow for your show?”   “You’re still coming?” He sounds excited.   “Yes, of course.” I smile my first genuine smile in five days as I picture his broad grin.   “Seven thirty.”   “See you then. Good-bye, José.”   “Bye, Ana.”     From: Christian Grey Subject: Tomorrow Date: June 8 2011 14:27 To: Anastasia Steele   Dear Anastasia   What time shall I pick you up?   Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.     From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Tomorrow Date: June 8 2011 14:32 To: Christian Grey   José’s show starts at 7:30. What time would you suggest?   Anastasia Steele Assistant to Jack Hyde, Editor, SIP     From: Christian Grey Subject: Tomorrow Date: June 8 2011 14:34 To: Anastasia Steele   Dear Anastasia   Portland is some distance away. I shall pick you up at 5:45.   I look forward to seeing you.   Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.     From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Tomorrow Date: June 8 2011 14:38 To: Christian Grey   See you then.   Anastasia Steele Assistant to Jack Hyde, Editor, SIP     Oh my. I’m going to see Christian, and for the first time in five days, my spirits lift a fraction and I allow myself to wonder how he’s been.   Has he missed me? Probably not like I’ve missed him. Has he found a new submissive? The thought is so painful that I dismiss it immediately. I look at the pile of correspondence I need to sort for Jack and tackle it as I try to push Christian out of my mind once more.   That night in bed, I toss and turn, trying to sleep and it’s the first time in a while I haven’t cried myself to sleep.   In my mind’s eye, I visualize Christian’s face the last time I saw him as when I left. His tortured expression haunts me. I remember he didn’t want me to go, which was odd. Why would I stay when things had reached such an impasse? We were each skirting around our own issues—my fear of punishment, his fear of . . . what? Love?   Turning on my side, I hug my pillow, filled with an overwhelming sadness. He thinks he doesn’t deserve to be loved. Why does he feel that way? Does it have to do with his upbringing? His birth mom, the crack whore? My thoughts plague me into the early hours until eventually I fall into a fitful, exhausted sleep.     The day drags and drags and Jack is unusually attentive. I suspect it’s due to Kate’s plum dress and the black high-heeled boots I’ve stolen from her closet, but I don’t dwell on the thought. I resolve to go clothes shopping with my first paycheck. The dress is looser on me than it was, but I pretend not to notice.   Finally it’s five thirty, and I collect my jacket and purse, trying to quell my nerves. I’m going to see him!   “Do you have a date tonight?” Jack asks as he strolls past my desk on his way out.   “Yes. No. Not really.”   He raises an eyebrow, his interest clearly piqued. “Boyfriend?”   I flush. “No, a friend. An ex-boyfriend.”   “Maybe tomorrow you’d like to come for a drink after work. You’ve had a stellar first week, Ana. We should celebrate.” He smiles and an unknown, unsettling emotion flits across his face, making me uneasy.   Putting his hands in his pockets, he saunters through the double doors. I frown at his retreating back. Drinks with the boss, is that a good idea?   I shake my head. I have an evening of Christian Grey to get through first. How am I going to do this? I hurry into the restroom to make last-minute adjustments.   In the large mirror on the wall, I take a long, hard look at my face. I’m my usual pale self, dark circles around my too-large eyes. I look gaunt, haunted. I wish I knew how to use makeup. I apply some mascara and eyeliner and pinch my cheeks, hoping for some color. Tidying my hair so that it hangs artfully down my back, I take a deep breath. This will have to do.   Nervously I walk through the foyer with a smile and a wave to Claire at Reception. I think she and I could become friends. Jack is talking to Elizabeth as I head for the doors. Smiling broadly, he hurries over to open them for me.   “After you, Ana,” he murmurs.   “Thank you.” I smile, embarrassed.   Outside on the curb, Taylor is waiting. He opens the rear door of the car. I glance hesitantly at Jack, who has followed me out. He’s looking toward the Audi SUV in dismay.   I turn and climb into the back, and there he sits—Christian Grey—wearing his gray suit, no tie, white shirt open at the collar. His gray eyes are glowing.   My mouth dries. He looks glorious except he’s scowling at me. Why?   “When did you last eat?” he snaps as Taylor closes the door behind me.   Crap. “Hello, Christian. Yes, it’s nice to see you, too.”   “I don’t want your smart mouth now. Answer me.” His eyes blaze.   Holy shit. “Um . . . I had a yogurt at lunchtime. Oh—and a banana.”   “When did you last have a real meal?” he asks acidly.   Taylor slips into the driver’s seat, starts the car, and pulls out into the traffic.   I glance up and Jack is waving at me, though how he can see me through the dark glass, I don’t know. I wave back.   “Who’s that?” Christian snaps.   “My boss.” I peek up at the beautiful man beside me, and his mouth is pressed into a hard line.   “Well? Your last meal?”   “Christian, that really is none of your concern,” I murmur, feeling extraordinarily brave.   “Whatever you do concerns me. Tell me.”   No, it doesn’t. I groan in frustration, rolling my eyes heavenward, and Christian narrows his eyes. And for the first time in a long time, I want to laugh. I try hard to stifle the giggle that threatens to bubble up. Christian’s face softens as I struggle to keep a straight face, and a trace of a smile kisses his lovely sculptured lips.   “Well?” he asks, his voice softer.   “Pasta alla vongole, last Friday,” I whisper.   He closes his eyes as fury, and possibly regret, sweeps across his face. “I see,” he says, his voice expressionless. “You look like you’ve lost at least five pounds, possibly more since then. Please eat, Anastasia,” he scolds.   I stare down at the knotted fingers in my lap. Why does he always make me feel like an errant child?   He shifts and turns toward me. “How are you?” he asks, his voice still soft.   Well, I’m shit, really . . . I swallow. “If I told you I was fine, I’d be lying.”   He inhales sharply. “Me, too,” he murmurs and reaches over and clasps my hand. “I miss you,” he adds.   Oh no. Skin against skin.   “Christian, I—”   “Ana, please. We need to talk.”   I’m going to cry. No. “Christian, I . . . please . . . I’ve cried so much,” I whisper, trying to keep my emotions in check.   “Oh, baby, no.” He tugs my hand, and before I know it I’m on his lap. He has his arms around me, and his nose is in my hair.   “I’ve missed you so much, Anastasia,” he breathes.   I want to struggle out of his hold, to maintain some distance, but his arms are wrapped around me. He’s pressing me to his chest. I melt. Oh, this is where I want to be.   I rest my head against him, and he kisses my hair repeatedly. This is home. He smells of linen, fabric softener, body wash, and my favorite smell—Christian. For a moment, I allow myself the illusion that all will be well, and it soothes my ravaged soul.   A few minutes later Taylor pulls to a stop at the curb, even though we’re still in the city.   “Come”—Christian shifts me off his lap—“we’re here.”   What?   “Helipad—on the top of this building.” Christian glances toward the building by way of explanation.   Of course. Charlie Tango. Taylor opens the door and I slide out. He gives me a warm, avuncular smile that makes me feel safe. I smile back.   “I should give you back your handkerchief.”   “Keep it, Miss Steele, with my best wishes.”   I blush as Christian comes around the car and takes my hand. He looks quizzically at Taylor, who stares impassively back at him, revealing nothing.   “Nine?” Christian says to him.   “Yes, sir.”   Christian nods as he turns and leads me through the double doors into the grandiose foyer. I revel in the feel of his hand and his long, skilled fingers curled around mine. The familiar pull is there—I’m drawn, Icarus to his sun. I’ve been burned already, and yet here I am again.   Reaching the elevators, he presses the “call” button. I peek up at him, and he’s wearing his enigmatic half smile. As the doors open, he releases my hand and ushers me in.   The doors close and I risk a second peek. He glances down at me, and it’s there in the air between us, that electricity. It’s palpable. I can almost taste it, pulsing between us, drawing us together.   “Oh my,” I gasp as I bask briefly in the intensity of this visceral, primal attraction.   “I feel it, too,” he says, his eyes clouded and intense.   Desire pools dark and deadly in my groin. He clasps my hand and grazes my knuckles with his thumb, and all my muscles clench tightly, deliciously, deep inside me.   How can he still do this to me?   “Please don’t bite your lip, Anastasia,” he whispers.   I gaze up at him, releasing my lip. I want him. Here, now, in the elevator. How could I not?   “You know what it does to me,” he murmurs.   Oh, I still affect him. My inner goddess stirs from her five-day sulk.   Abruptly the doors open, breaking the spell, and we’re on the roof. It’s windy, and despite my black jacket, I’m cold. Christian puts his arm around me, pulling me into his side, and we hurry across to where Charlie Tango stands in the center of the helipad, with its rotor blades slowly spinning.   A tall, blond, square-jawed man in a dark suit leaps out and, ducking low, runs toward us. Shaking hands with Christian, he shouts above the noise of the rotors.   “Ready to go, sir. She’s all yours!”   “All checks done?”   “Yes, sir.”   “You’ll collect her around eight thirty?”   “Yes, sir.”   “Taylor’s waiting for you out front.”   “Thank you, Mr. Grey. Safe flight to Portland. Ma’am.” He salutes me. Without releasing me, Christian nods, ducks down, and leads me to the helicopter door.   Once inside he buckles me firmly into my harness, cinching the straps tight. He gives me a knowing look and his secret smile.   “This should keep you in your place,” he murmurs. “I must say I like this harness on you. Don’t touch anything.”   I flush a deep crimson, and he runs his index finger down my cheek before handing me the headphones. I’d like to touch you, too, but you won’t let me. I scowl. Besides, he’s pulled the straps so tight I can barely move.   He sits in his seat and buckles himself in, then starts running through all his preflight checks. He’s just so competent. It’s very alluring. He puts on his headphones and flips a switch and the rotors speed up, deafening me.   Turning, he gazes at me. “Ready, baby?” His voice echoes through the headphones.   “Yes.”   He grins his boyish grin. Wow—I’ve not seen it for so long.   “Sea-Tac tower, this is Charlie Tango Golf—Golf Echo Hotel, cleared for takeoff to Portland via PDX. Please confirm, over.”   The disembodied voice of the air traffic controller answers, issuing instructions.   “Roger, tower, Charlie Tango set, over and out.” Christian flips two switches, grasps the stick, and the helicopter rises slowly and smoothly into the evening sky.   Seattle and my stomach drop away from us, and there’s so much to see.   “We’ve chased the dawn, Anastasia, now the dusk,” his voice comes through on the headphones. I turn and gape at him in surprise.   What does this mean? How is it that he can say the most romantic things? He smiles, and I can’t help my shy smile.   “As well as the evening sun, there’s more to see this time,” he says.   The last time we flew to Seattle it was dark, but this evening the view is spectacular, literally out of this world. We’re up among the tallest buildings, going higher and higher.   “Escala’s over there.” He points toward the building. “Boeing there, and you can just see the Space Needle.”   I crane my head. “I’ve never been.”   “I’ll take you—we can eat there.”   “Christian, we broke up.”   “I know. I can still take you there and feed you.” He glares at me.   I shake my head and decide not to antagonize him. “It’s very beautiful up here, thank you.”   “Impressive, isn’t it?”   “Impressive that you can do this.”   “Flattery from you, Miss Steele? But I’m a man of many talents.”   “I’m fully aware of that, Mr. Grey.”   He turns and smirks at me, and for the first time in five days, I relax a little. Perhaps this won’t be so bad.   “How’s the new job?”   “Good, thank you. Interesting.”   “What’s your boss like?”   “Oh, he’s okay.” How can I tell Christian that Jack makes me uncomfortable? Christian glances at me.   “What’s wrong?” he asks.   “Aside from the obvious, nothing.”   “The obvious?”   “Oh, Christian, you really are very obtuse sometimes.”   “Obtuse? Me? I’m not sure I appreciate your tone, Miss Steele.”   “Well, don’t, then.”   His lips twitch into a smile. “I have missed your smart mouth, Anastasia.”   I gasp and I want to shout, I’ve missed you—all of you—not just your mouth! But I keep quiet and gaze out the glass fishbowl that is Charlie Tango’s windshield as we continue south. The dusk is to our right, the sun low on the horizon—large, blazing fiery orange—and I am Icarus again, flying far too close.

Editorial Reviews

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING FIFTY SHADES Trilogy
 
"In a class by itself." 
Entertainment Weekly