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HelenGeek

Books are like Air ...

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Time Between Us
Tamara Ireland Stone
Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) - E.L. James **** ADDITIONAL POSTING INFORMATION COMING SOON ****Overall Rating: 3Book Cover / Book Blurb = 2 / 3 = total of 2.5Writer’s Voice = 3Character Development = 4Story Appreciation = 3.5Worth the Chili = 2 [$9.99 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble]Well, I got that out of the way! Seriously, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about this book? Probably nothing, but I’ll try anyway…This book is an example of a book gone “viral” and I’m not sure I understand why.I’m rather glad I waited to read this book. I think if I’d read it a year ago or so, I probably wouldn’t have finished it – you’ll know why by the end of the review. I read this as a buddy read with another person; Ian. We are probably the only two remaining people, who read romance novels avidly, who have not read this book/this series. We each read voraciously and it was time we “bit the bullet”.I thought this book good, not great. I’ll apologize now before I get into my review. I do not mean to offend, this is only my opinion as a book lover who reads quite a bit and knows what I like.It is one of those polarizing books; people either love or hate the book, very few are somewhere in the middle. Well, I’m a middle person on this one and probably in the minority. I know my “blog buddy” Hope, will be pretty shocked. I expected to like it less than I did, but the last 7% was actually pretty good. It made me want to read #2 when I was pretty sure I wouldn’t continue with the series.Three things I liked about this book:1.) Christian. What makes this guy tick? I had a few issues with him, like we never really figure out how he became so successful at 27. Did he inherit and grow, did he invent the internet, what? We know he went to college, so seemed to take a traditional path. But we also know he has been in the D/s lifestyle through his entire sexual life. He started as a sub, now is a Dom and we get the impression he is very experienced. I liked him quite a bit, but he was a puzzle. I wanted to tell the author to just decide on how to portray him. There seemed to be some inconsistencies. He was über busy, but seemed to be able to fly all over “Hell’s half acre” for Ana. Now, some would say this was an example of his commitment to her, but come on? He knew her for little more than a week and they had only a few sexual episodes. He makes me want to read on.2.) At first I didn’t like Ana. At the end, I liked her, didn’t love her. I’ll discuss the “inner goddess” thing later; became like nails on a chalkboard for me.3.) I liked the emails back and forth between Christian and Ana. It made this book move along quite fast.What three FIVE things did I not like or not appreciate:1.) The story is a very simple one. It is told very simply. It lacked depth. When the book starts the author sounds stilted. She does get better as the book progresses, but still reads very simply. The author may throw a $10 word her thesaurus suggested out there a few times, but overall, simple language, simple storyline, simple … simple.2.) If I hear the term “inner goddess” again soon, I’ll scream. My opinion on this particular “character” is laziness. The author needed to impart an emotion or a thought. Rather than use the depth of her tale or her story writing abilities to do this for her, she uses an "id" type character. It didn’t work for me and I found myself skimming like I did when reading J.R. Ward’s BDB series with the Lesser’s. This technique, I think, is a short-cut that gives us some insight on the “quality” of this authors’ talent. My opinion only.3.) I read quite a bit of erotica and this book only scratched the surface and while “scratching” made some big errors. Christian’s “wishy / washy-ness” as a Dom. Moving Ana along too fast in her initiation to the point she “forgets” to “safe-out”? I think the story an enjoyable one. If you have very little experience with reading erotica, you may enjoy this more. And, some people have more forgiveness than I. When I pay $10 or more for a book, I expect some quality and truth in the story told. How do you do this? Either have first-hand knowledge or research baby!4.) The cost of this “reworked” fanfic is robbery. My copy – recently purchased on Amazon, still had many typographical errors. Still had stilted verbiage and other similar issues. As if an editor spent little or no time with it. You expect some of this from a self-pub’d author, but this is a mainstream publication and inexcusable. And, as mentioned before, the quality in the storytelling was mediocre, at best. Also know, for the bargain price of $29.99 you can buy all three [3] books in the series. This is $0.02 more than if you purchased these separately – a bargain?5.) The cover of the book doesn’t pull the “customer”. It isn’t until after you’ve read the book that you understand the “tie”. The purpose of the cover is to attract new readers. So, what does this tie do for you? Me, nothing obviously. I waited this long to read the book. Book blurb didn’t do it for me either.I can finally say, “Yes, I read 50, and did so with my eyes wide open and a straight face!” I did enjoy it, but I had issues. I’m glad I took the time to read it and plan to read beyond this first one. I just don’t get all the “hoopla” around it, but if this was my first experience or an early experience with “erotica”, I can see where it may hold some strong appeal. And, you have just got to love Christian. I’ve also had several people tell me this “got them back to reading”, and if this is so, then this author deserves accolades for that alone. Plus, believe it or not, I’ve also had people tell me reading this book helped them improve their sex lives. Again, kudos to the author. People don’t read enough and life is too damned short for “so-so” sex!Happy Reading!