Where do I even begin?
This book caught my attention because my husband directed me to a news article about the book that stated how many women were SO into its dark, brooding, BDSM scenes. What a joke! I am not sure how or why this book is even on the Bestsellers list. Perhaps it's because I am such an avid reader of erotic lit and enjoy BDSM?
Either way, while I do commend the author's attempt at authenticity, I was appalled at how obvious it was that the author's a Brit trying to write from the perspective of an American. There were sooooo many odd choices of wording (i.e. the white shirts we Americans refer to as tank tops or "wife beaters", or simply undershirts were referred to in the book as a SINGLET!!!! WTF is a "singlet"???? I had to look it up as we in the USA never, ever use that term! Then there was the implication that any 21 year old college student would actually say something like, "Hey girlfriend!" when talking to one of her besties.... ummm... what?!?!?! No one actually says "Hey girlfriend!"). I was actually offended by the abundant use of British vernacular amongst two obviously very American people. The oddness occurred often enough that it consistently threw me off while I was reading, causing me to rely on Kindle's built-in dictionary quite often.
The next thing that I did not enjoy were the Dom/sub and sex scenes. Classical music during a scene amongst two people under thirty years of age? Odd, but I went with it. However, the protagonist's freak-out over being spanked (when she was ready to completely throw away her virginity on a whim) was over the top. Ana, to me, seemed a lot like Bella Swan. While I did enjoy the Twilight series overall, I absolutely *do not* like Bella Swan, and likewise felt no connection with Anastasia. She was too fake/phony/whiny/whatever for me. I haven't read many books and had an actual angry reaction, but this one certainly made me pissed by the time I reached the end.
I appreciate what the author attempted to do, but I think this book is better described as a romance novel for vanilla people who occasionally think a kinky thought or two.... not as BDSM erotica, which it clearly is not. If it were more appropriately described, then I probably wouldn't have been as put-off and disappointed as I was. I really wanted to like this book, but as an erotica fan and non-vanilla young American, I simply couldn't. The one thing I did enjoy, though, was the non-traditional ending. That was well-played and executed on the author's part... even if the protagonist was "over the top" about it. I mean really.... sleeping in a bed smeared with your hymen's blood is cool, but six swats from a belt on your ass is enough to make you get up & start packin'???? Whatevs.