Fifty Shades of Love: Vanilla, Spice, Loyalty & Everything Nice

Before you read- Possible spoiler alert!***My take on 50 Shades- just read and reflecting on it! Hint may be mild spoilers ahead- is an overview of the trilogy)***

Ana fell for her first love. Christian (or Mr.Grey- as she first knows him by) was an experienced suitor/lover and they both were experiencing new things for the first time with each other. What they didn’t realize was that the other truly, deeply loved them. They doubted each other and fought for control. Ana became his first ever girlfriend- all the others had been “submissives” only to him- that he didn’t love, but that he could control. That was the “first” for him. The first for Ana was the sexual side of things, the pleasure, the carnality. She lost control sexually with Christian, as he did with her because of his love for her and because  of her unique abilities as a temptress- she did what she liked and went for what she desired, unlike his submissives who only did as they were told.  Christian didn’t mind her temptress, seductive, take-what–she wanted- ways. He loved her and wanted her. All of her. For who she was to him. On the other hand, she enjoyed giving Christian this pleasure and playing this role to please him- and because she enjoyed it as well, as she admitted. He also enjoyed those times when she did take control and loved her all the more for her independence and fiery spirit.


When she first meets him- and has no idea of the future together or who he will become to her (so mysterious!)

Their love for each other went very deep. It was their own brand or “flavor” of love, but it was true, long-lasting and solid. They each went through their own doubts and had their own fears and avoided things or ran away from each other at certain times. But their love was of the lasting variety.

One example of Ana’s love for Christian was that she accepted him for who he was- flaws and all- yet always challenged him to be free and to be better- so they could be the best they could be- for each other. She sought out answers to fully understand him and his past and the ways he was affected by things. She accepted his past- the abuse, the choices he made. The lovers he had. And she wanted healing for him so they could be closer together and because she wanted the best for him. She didn’t want him to be trapped in his past. She wanted him freed from his prior bondage- in various ways. Pun intended 😉



One example of how she “freed” him with her love was when he allowed her to draw in marker around his “no touch” zones where he did not allow anyone to touch him because of past wounds and scarring- as it was literally painful for him. Yet he saw her need to touch and recognized his own need to be touched by her- physically and emotionally so that there was nothing between them. As he stated- he craved her touch. He enjoyed when she touched him; it was just painful with the past wounds in those certain areas where he had been hurt before. This is true to any real life relationship- we don’t want to be “touched” or hurt in ways or areas where we were wounded before and we tend to guard ourselves from this and not allow new lovers to touch us or affect us in these ways where there is scarring from the past- so we set up walls and don’t allow people in who may hurt us in the same way or we naturally react or have a reflex to defend ourselves from this possible pain. Ana freed Christian by pressing this boundary and working with him so that he could get to the point where he could allow himself to be touched- symbolizing the healing he could experience in a long-term, lasting, healthy loving relationship with her. He opened himself up to her. He allowed the “light” in and  the healing could begin. They took steps together. He was brave and allowed her to work with him in this until she was surprised and pleased of how she could hold him and touch him in the former “no touch” zones as he experienced healing and freedom from his past.


Christian also deeply loved Ana and showed this to her in many ways. He was patient and even though they had a rough start and few stops along the way, he allowed her to go at her own pace with things so that she was comfortable. Yes, they both fought each other along the way, with their stubborn independence. But. He consistently showed his tenderness and protectiveness for her- always holding her best interest at heart. I may be old-fashioned in this sense- but I crave a protector in a loving relationship with a man. I enjoy being taken care of and taking care of the ones I love. He put her own needs first when he “became vanilla” (or sort of vanilla 😉 ) for her- putting her as a person first and his sexual desires second. Yes, he still craved her carnally and wanted all of her. He wanted to take her and own her. But he realized after she left that he didn’t “need” those things of BDSM- he needed and wanted her. And so he chose her first. He was willing to go full “vanilla” for her- stating that she became his priority. He missed certain things- but valued her above all. And when it became clear that they both liked certain things- that was just the icing on the “not so vanilla after all” ice-cream cake. They learned they both liked “vanilla” and non-vanilla things. After all, as Ana so aptly put it, “variety is the spice of life.”


Christian, though he acted many times on his “primal” animalistic/hunter side, expressing dominance and anger when he wasn’t able to protect Ana, also always acted out of his love for her. He was very tender with her. Even the times he was angry, he would still come back to her and show love. He might be on fire, but still loved her and expressed this to her. He compromised. He backed down when necessary. He stood up when necessary to protect Ana and fight to keep her safe. He didn’t always act “super mature,” (50 shades here, people) but he always listened to her needs, her desires and gave them to her. He protected her. He cherished her. He compromised.  He was so tender and gentle and treated her as precious because that’s who she was to him. Above all, his heart was for Ana. To guide her tenderly, protect her fiercely, and love her above all. Dominant or not, she was his and he was hers.




Boyfriend from Hell: When it all seems too perfect (Or fiery teenage rebellion from the not-so-good girl)

Review: Boyfriend from Hell by E. Van Lowe

This book defies the traditions of the paranormal romance realm and delves into the deep end. With shocking twists at every turn, the main character, Megan feels like she doesn’t know who is who anymore or what is going on, as her life totally changes once her mom starts dating. The man seems perfect, almost too good to be true, (in her mom’s eyes, at least) until she digs up some serious dirt on him. Not your average dirt either. But no one believes her, because it sounds too crazy. Who would believe a teenage girl saying that her mom’s new love interest is from hell?

What she doesn’t know will hurt her

So many changes are going on in Megan’s life that she responds at first in the usual teenage way. She breaks her tradition of being the good girl who is known for following the rules and starts to do what she wants. Rules be damned! Things get more serious when she is in danger and has to break some rules, this time for a reason- she has to protect her mother and cannot tell her what is really going on.

The relationships are what drive the book forward with an ever increasing momentum. Just as she doesn’t know who she truly is at times,  she now doesn’t feel she really knows everyone around her, let alone if she can trust them any longer.

As far as love interests go, as the title does say boyfriend– Megan does have a new love interest. And when her two best friends start dating, this throws a whole new dynamic to her friendships. Along with her mom’s new boyfriend situation, Megan does not know who she can really trust or love, let along if they are really there to protect her or hurt her. This definitely adds layers of tension and mystery to the already fast paced story. The complexity of the relationships alone is a great reason to check out the book to see how her relationships fare and how this affects the story, as well as her very chances of survival.

The ending pulls you so completely in that you need to know what happens next. Just enough is revealed so that it leaves you craving more to see what happens next between the characters that you come to love (or hate/fear, depending on who we are talking about). It’s all about the dynamics and this book nails them down.

Megan has to fight to protect her best friends, loved ones and her mom, who she loves more than anything. But who will fight for her? And what if the ones she fights for turn their backs on her?

For information on the author, visit here.

Now is also the perfect time to get your e-copy. The E-book sale is from now until August 31st, check it out here!

Boyfriend From Hell is the first book of the saga, which is great, as it definitely leaves you looking forward to the next one, Earth Angel!


Hollowland: A new type of thrill: no roller coasters, only zombies

Hollowland: A new type of thrill: no roller coasters,
only zombies

Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

“This the way the world ends – not with a bang or a
whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

This opening line promises an exceptional out-of- this-world story. And on that, it more than delivers. There is something that is so great about an opening line that really pulls you into the story, making you tense up for the next punch.  That is the way it should be and that is what Hocking gives us.

The pace and nonstop action of the story demands that you keep walking (and running) along to see what happens as you join Remy and her companions on this journey through what is left of the world after zombies take over. There are corpses in the streets (if the zombies didn’t eat them yet) and zombies are not the only things you have to worry about. Oh, and of course you cannot step outside without the risk of becoming a corpse yourself. And what happens when it seems that the zombies can be capable of some type of rational thought and planning? It makes for a very unpredictable new type of horror, I can tell you that.

From the outset, it is clear that Remy is fiercely independent and outrageously brave even though this newZombieland without the amusement parks scares the hell out of her. It is inspiring and makes for a thrilling, edge of your seat story to see a young woman who fights without stopping for what matters most to her.

No admittance: Ride out of order (or: Ride at your
own risk)

Remy was in quarantine when the story starts, along with a bunch of other young girls placed there for their safety once the zombie apocalypse started. They are living in what is supposed to be a safe place for them, but it soon becomes a death chamber as the zombies break in, killing off the last of the soldiers that were there to protect them and, it seems, on the verge of killing everyone else there as well.

Remy was not about to lock herself in, even though all the other girls did, as they were taught to protect themselves in this way (and only this way) from zombies. She leaves “the safe place” (which at that point was quite safe…for about 5 minutes) to venture out to find her little brother. He had been at the same place as her and he was evacuated because he was sick, which raises some questions about wh they didn’t evacuate all the healthy people as well. She vows to find him and protect him, and two other girls go with her.

After fighting zombies, acquiring an unlikely pet, and meeting a rock star, she is well on the way to finding her brother; at least this is her hope. This is her mission and she will let nothing get in her way.

Zombies with brains?

It is very interesting how the zombies are portrayed in this story, as mentioned before. They seem to be smarter than your averag zombie and can actually communicate with each other in some way- all for the purpose of eating you quicker, my dear. This is definitely not your normal fairy tale zombie story and that, along with the great characterization, tense action and the magnetic pull of what the fight is really for, is what keeps you running to catch up with Remy. Definitely makes me want to learn more about the zombies that Hocking has created.

Dark side of town

The darker side of humanity is also explored in the book. People kill other people without reason and just for the thrill of it and dangerous run ins with cults make for some very scary what if questions. It is interesting to think about how easily some people could lose their so called “humanity”. Then, of course, there are those who have already lost it that Remy must face. She also deals with questioning herself on if she is doing the right thing for everyone around her in her attempt to save her little brother and try to protect her friends.

It is important to realize that no one has all the time in the world and when Remy realizes this, this is what makes her fight her hardest for what is most important and to not waste any of her time.

Title talk: Not so Hollow after all?

Remy can be said to be seen as hollow, emotion wise, at least in how she connects to others. Not that she doesn’t care about them, but her issue is that she does, and wants to protect them. She fears she won’t be able to and so she shuts them out.

She doesn’t want anything to get in the way of her reaching her brother. Nor does she want to get too attached to anyone in this world of death, where it is very likely that you have to leave your best friend or kill them before they kill you if they are bitten or infected by a zombie.

Love in Hollowland?

Nothing to fear for the weak at heart when it comes to love stories, as Remy, as discussed before, does not allow love get in the way of what she is trying to do. There is nothing that is love at first sight, it is a believable relationship that is allowed to develop naturally (as naturally as it can in a world of zombies) and it definitely is not the focus of the story.

In regards to her love interest, she does shut him out as she doesn’t see this as an option with the world the way it is as well as her goal to find and help her brother.

At the end of the novel, she makes a very difficult choice. No one who loves her will be happy with this decision, but it is what she feel she must do. Readers may cry out in protest, as they find themselves loving Remy as well.

This decision also allows her to open her heart to love again, as she confesses how she feels to her love interest. But this may not make much of a difference, after all.

 End of the ride? (Or: those who
survived, exit to the left, those who didn’t, stay on)

The end will leave you hungering for the coming sequel, Hollowmen, (coming out this Fall) in which everything might change again for Remy, but there is no way to tell if these will be welcome changes or not. Be sure to look for my review on the sequel!