Ana leaves Georgia, and Carla gives her the ‘follow your heart’ advice. Which, really, is pretty shitty advice. Follow my heart? Fuck no. My heart doesn’t know what’s best for me; it just knows what it wants in the moment and doesn’t give any regard to the future. My heart thinks that wandering drunk down Las Vegas Blvd, chasing the “guy with the shiny shirt” so I can steal it from him is a good idea. My heart thinks that quitting my dayjob to write full time would be a good idea, in spite of the fact that I don’t do well without the structured schedule that a job provides. My heart thinks eating an entire cake at once would be awesome.
Hearts are stupid. Listen to them, but for the love of god, don’t follow them. (And don’t take relationship advice from a woman who changes husbands as often as the rest of us change running shoes. One remarriage I can understand. Maybe two. But after that? Back up and figure out what’s going on before ‘following your heart’ into yet another failed marriage.)
Also, Carla and Bob are apparently saying their goodbyes at the gate, rather than outside the security checkpoint. Is this a Britishism or is it the author being an idiot who apparently never travels?
On the plane, Ana continues to wonder if Grey loves her or not, because she’s a fucking idiot who hasn’t been paying attention to her own book. Granted, I don’t think he loves her, but he’s fitting a Shitty Romance’s version of love pretty obviously, so this should not be a mystery to her.
Ana thinks she’s holding back from having a relationship (hah, what? When has she ever held back from him?) because she needs love, and sex without love is meaningless to her. She dances right up to the point of saying BDSM by default precludes love, but she doesn’t cross over and say it. Still, pretty suspect.
Good god, stop calling him Fifty Shades like it’s a name. It’s a fucking stupid phrase and I’m sick of reading it.
They email, and Grey is still distracted by his ‘situation,’ which I’m pretty sure is supposed to count as tension. Ana certainly angsts over it.
Taylor meets Ana at the airport to pick her up and takes her to Grey’s house. She tries to get him to tell her about ‘the situation’ but he doesn’t budge.
my subconscious, like me, is fraught with nerves.
What the fuck is the point of these anthropomorphized bits of her personality if they’re going to have the same reactions as she does? If she were shoving off her anxiety on her subconscious and imagining a different person being worried in her stead, that would be one thing. But what is this? Her subconscious is part of herself. How can a part of herself and herself both be nervous? It makes no fucking sense. It never made sense, but this part makes even less sense.
By the way, Grey is still hot, even though he’s clearly nervous about something. I know some of you were wondering, so I thought I’d update you. Never fear, his hotness has not diminished.
He drags his mouth away from mine, and he’s staring down at me, gripped by some unnamed emotion.
Ana, are you telling me that 300 pages into the drek and you still can’t figure out what lust is?
They go into the bathroom to fuck in the shower, because that’s all they ever do. I swear, the only character moments Grey gets are when Ana goes on for pages and pages in her own head, guessing at his motives. Whenever he shows up in person, it’s just “Oh, he’s hot and lusty. And then we fuck.”
Mid-coitus, Ana tells him that she got her job. She also tells him about Jose’s photography show, and he agrees to go to the opening again. Then the text fades out in the middle of shower-sex, sparing me from the rest of that.
Although it brings up the question of why the fuck we had to go through the first bit of the sex. Why couldn’t they chat and catch up, then go off to the shower? Why was it imperative to get a few orgasms out of the way first? Why are these sex scenes so fucking pointless?!?! I wouldn’t mind a few pointless sex scenes thrown in just for the funzies, but when there’s one every other chapter?
After the sex and dinner, they sit around drinking wine. Well, at least she’s not drinking on an empty stomach this time. Grey says he wants her to come to his playroom so he can sex her up more. (Wait, wasn’t there just a bunch of angst about how she hasn’t signed the contract yet? Is there any point to that damn contract? I mean, I know it was fucking useless as any sort of realistic tool, but when the characters themselves can’t treat it consistently, that’s a whole new level of fail.)
They go to the playroom for more kinky play. For all this book is supposed to be about BDSM, this is only the second time they’ve played here. And only, what, the third time they’ve done anything kinky at all? Fourth? Not a lot, compared to the overall amount of sex in this book.
“We don’t have a signed contract, Anastasia. But we’ve discussed limits. And I want to re-iterate we have safe words, okay?”
Just…so fucking confusing. It’s bad enough that he gets there very basic concepts of a negotiation wrong, but the author is so bad that we can’t even tell what he thinks a contract is supposed to mean. Nearest I can guess is that he thinks it means…nothing, which makes its continued reference all the more baffling.
Grey threatens her, though with some very basic stuff that I’d expect out of a scene like this. Ana feels intimidated and scared, but not once turned on by the threats or his tone of voice.
Grey ties her to the bed, blindfolds her, and puts headphones in her ears so that all she can hear is music. Oh, but first he has to waste time telling her that he’s going to do all this, because lord knows it’s just such an awesome idea that I want to read about it twice.
Apparently the iPod that he gives her also transmits to the room’s sound system (the playroom has a sound system?) but the author takes great pains to describe the antenna that can transmit, and the remote control Grey has, as if these ~*~technological marvels~*~ are just so strange and awesome. Eh, I have a transmitter like that to play my iPod in my car. Not really anything special.
Grey plays some choral music for her, then…um, touches her all over with fur? Then he hits her with a flogger.
Now, he said he would do that before he deafened her, but he also told her it wouldn’t hurt, because he’s a fucking idiot. And also because the author still thinks that all pain is bad pain, therefore if someone enjoys being hit, it must be because it ‘doesn’t really hurt.’
Also, also, it hurts. "And it’s a sweet agony – bearable, just…" People can take a hell of a lot before it’s ‘just shy of unbearable,’ so I don’t think the author meant to use that phrase. However, she did, and thus it makes it seem like Ana is being hit to within an inch of her breaking point. But, she also spends hundreds of words trying to tell us that it doesn’t hurt, and in fact it feels good and she now understands why people like to get hit, so this author is just an idiot.
With Ana blindfolded, the text become less about what she sees and more about what she feels, which is a slight improvement. However, it also comes with an increase in her internal narration, which is full of ‘oh my’s and sentence fragments and nonsensical thoughts, so on the whole, it’s really fucking annoying.
They fuck, and then afterward he unties her and they cuddle and banter. Well, at least that’s an improvement over ‘fuck and then leave,’ like he was doing earlier.
We have one chapter to go. There’s conflict for them resolve. There’s a bunch of stuff that Ana thinks is a conflict, but she’s been thinking that stuff over and over again for the whole book, so it doesn’t really mean anything. We’re on the second to last chapter, and there’s no sense, none at all, that we’re building up to anything or even that we’re nearing a conclusion. It’s a chapter just the same as every other chapter in this fucking book.