FREED by E. L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey Series, Book 6

Fifty Shades as Told by Christian, Book 3

From the publisher:

An instant #1 New York TimesUSA TodayWall Street Journal, and international bestseller!

Relive the sensuality, the romance, and the drama of Fifty Shades Freed through the thoughts, reflections, and dreams of Christian Grey.

E L James revisits the world of Fifty Shades with a deeper and darker take on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the globe.

You are cordially invited to the wedding of the decade, when Christian Grey will make Anastasia Steele his wife. But is he really husband material? His dad is unsure, his brother wants to organize one helluva bachelor party, and his fiancée won’t vow to obey…

And marriage brings its own challenges. Their passion for each other burns hotter and deeper than ever, but Ana’s defiant spirit continues to stir Christian’s darkest fears and tests his need for control. As old rivalries and resentments endanger them both, one misjudgment threatens to tear them apart.

Can Christian overcome the nightmares of his childhood and the torments of his youth, and save himself? And once he’s discovered the truth of his origins, can he find forgiveness and accept Ana’s unconditional love?

Can Christian finally be freed?


Is this the end of one of the most successful franchises in publishing history? I think James is finally finished with this series (unless she & her “new publisher”* figure out a way to milk it for more.) She did write another book before this one, The Mister, which is not part of the 50 Shades world, which I started but couldn’t get through. I think it did well, sales wise, as her fans are diehard and legion. Even the reviews were kinder than for the Fifty Shades books so I’m not sure why I couldn’t get into it. But this book, Freed, drew me in from the start.

It’s the retelling of the final book in the Fifty Shades series, but you may have noticed that this book seems to belong to two series; the Fifty Shades series and Fifty Shades as Told by Christian series. The last three books were just a rehash of the first three. This was brilliant marketing and the sales proved it. The same story but told from Christian’s perspective, so interesting. Plus it’s been years since I read the earlier books and didn’t remember all the details so who knows how different it really is. I will say if you read Fifty Shades Freed then you know the plot and how it ends, so I’m not even going to go there. This book is a couple hundred pages longer than Fifty Shades Freed, but I’m not sure what the extra is. Oh, and there are rumors that all three of the Christian books were “written” by a computer program but what the hell do I know.

I almost fell off my chair laughing when I saw this:

It reminded me of an experience a co-worker had when the first of the “as Told by Christian” books came out. A library patron came to the desk and wanted to reserve the “Christian Fifty Shades” book. The librarian thought that perhaps someone came out with a cleaned up version or something, partly due to the fact that there was NO NOTICE that this book was even coming out until like a day before it did. It was crazy! Most books are turned in a year or so in advance to get on the publishing calendar, but James had a turnaround in a matter of days. Or so the story goes. It’s not “Christian fiction”, also called Inspirational fiction and is usually a sweet romance with absolutely no sex whatsoever beyond a chaste kiss at the altar; it’s Christian Grey fiction, a huge difference!

What I did like about this book in particular was that we see how strong Ana really is. She may enjoy being controlled in the bedroom, but she is definitely her own woman in real life. Even in the Red Room, she safe-words and stops Christian when she’s had enough. Christian wants to include “obey” in the marriage vows; Ana is not having it. She drives his sportscar with as much finesse as he does, and gets her own for her birthday. She gets pregnant and he doesn’t want the baby; guess whose baby is sleeping in their bed?

I will say this: if you liked the other books in this series, and I did, then you will probably like this one. If you read the first book and thought there is no way you can put up with another smirk or Ana biting her lip, then pass on it. The same repetitiveness that plagues all the books continues here. The writing is still not brilliant; I’m guessing James does what she wants because IT WORKS. Screw the editors and have a good time reading this last chapter.

*Originally, James self published the Fifty Shades books as they were Twilight fan fiction. They were purchased by a small Australian publisher, then Vintage (an imprint of Penguin Random House, the largest publisher in the world) bought the rights and reissued the books with slightly better covers and the tiniest bits of editing they could get away with – not nearly enough. These last 3 “as told by Christian” books are published by Bloom Books, which appears to be James’ own publishing company. So self published again. She probably makes more money that way.

7/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

FREED by E. L. James. Bloom Books (June 1, 2021). ISBN: 978-1728251035. 768 pages.

Kindle on sale for $3.99; not sure for how long but your library should have it as well. That’s where I got it.

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