These books read like badly written Harlequin Temptations. This trilogy started out as fan fiction for the Twilight series, entitled "Master of the Universe", with the names of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan as the main characters. Under the 50 shades umbrella, the names were changed to Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.
Ana is a college student, near graduation, when she meets Christian Grey, a billionaire at the age of 27. Christian has her sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. After she signs the NDA, Grey gives her a contract to sign. He wants her to be his submissive, which means during their sexual encounters, Ana would be obedient to Grey, her Dom. So if she's disobedient, then she'll be punished as he sees fit. Grey wants to do things to Ana like tie her up, blindfold her, spank her, etc, during their encounters. This is where all the book's hype comes into play. Some people may be offended with these descriptive encounters, but it's hardly anything more than what you may find in a Harlequin romance novel.
In book two, "Fifty Shades Darker", I only made it about half-way through. It's horribly written, worse than the first book. If possible, the heroine, Ana Steele, becomes even more wishy-washy.
Paraphrased examples of sentences from EL James:
Example 1: He takes off his shoe, he takes off his sock. He takes off his other shoe, he takes off his other sock. He takes off her shoe, he takes off her sock. He takes off her other shoe, he takes off her other sock. And these sentences do not occur just once, but almost before every sexual encounter.
Example 2: Ana's inner goddess: I don't know why, but anytime Ana is experiencing an emotion, her inner goddess pops up into the moment, which does nothing but distract the reader from the action (such as it is). Ana's inner goddess sits up on her chaise lounge and takes note. Ana's inner goddess' mouth falls open. Ana's inner goddess starts dancing. Then somewhere along the way, "inner goddess" gives way to "my sub-conscious". Quote from book II: "My sub-consicous stares at me over her half-moon specs."
In addition to the bad writing, there are far too many ridiculous, unbelievable things happening to the characters. I don't want to spoil the story for someone who may want to read this series, so I won't go into detail. I did like the flirty exchange of emails between Ana and Grey. However, in today's age, I believe text messages would've worked better.
If interested in this series, here are the links to them on Amazon:
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades Freed
Thank you for your visit!