Long story short, there is no sex in Chapter 19. Am I surprised? Not really. Am I disappointed? I don’t think I could be any more disappointed than I already am with this book.
The chapter starts as Christian wakes Ana up to tell her she has to be ready to leave for his parents’ house in half an hour. Back me up here people: there is no woman alive who can go from ‘bed’ to ‘ready to meet the parents’ in half an hour. It just isn’t done. Ana showers and heads downstairs to leave in fifteen minutes. ‘Half an hour? I only need fifteen minutes’, said no woman ever. Now I know this book was written by a man. For sure.
As a side note, Ana realizes that Christian still has her underwear. That’s probably for the best, as she’d just be putting her stanky panties back on. Yuck. She decides not to wear any, as this will, “drive him crazy.” At this point, 332 pages into the book, I’m not sure what Ana means by that. Will it drive Christian crazy with lust? Will it piss him off that she is meeting his parents ‘sans culottes’ as Ana calls it? Or will he be frustrated that she isn’t begging for her panties back? I’m a little sad that I there hasn’t been enough character development for me to infer her intentions here.
And therein lies the problem with this book. Or one of them anyhow. The characters aren’t developed enough to make this work as an erotic story featuring people I care about, and there isn’t enough sex to make it a porn worth wasting my time on. It’s like a horrible melding of the worst features of both.
Before they leave to meet the parents, they have time to dance – to Sinatra. They whirl and spin and ‘cover the floor’. I’m led to think they are dancing the fucking polka. But whatever.
Off they go to meet the parents. Zzzzzzz…before they get there Ana manages to get herself all jealous about Christian’s first lover whom they uncreatively refer to as Mrs. Robinson. She’s mad because now Christian is all screwed up and Ana has to deal with it. Nope honey, you don’t. You can leave. There’s a whole world of screwed up men out there for your enjoyment.
Ana wants to be ‘part of his world’, but ‘not on his terms’. No you don’t want to be part of his world. Because then you wouldn’t be having this conversation with yourself. You want a different guy who just happens to look like Christian. There’s a difference. An important one. You get the feeling, reading 50 Shades, (at least I do) that Ana was made in a lab and just dumped out of the maturation chamber right before the book begins, with a head full of implanted false memories, possibly by Christian himself (the evil billionaire genius). Because she doesn’t seem to know much about anything.
Christian offers her a penny for her thoughts. Ha! As if any of the muddled sparking that goes on in her brain counts as a thought. But, whatever. Oh Christian! Not only are you broken and unloveable, you also talk in clichés! Sweet!
The wacky antics begin right off as we meet Christian’s parents and have polite conversation with them. OMG his parents are named Grace and Carrick. Somebody watches too many soap operas! By, somebody’ I mean E. L. James. And by ‘too many’ I mean ever having watched one once ever.
And then they have dirty filthy sex right under the dinner table! No they don’t. Oh God, why would they? What, do you think this is porn or something? Geez you people! You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Lets see if I can get this over quickly: Kate and Elliot are there. Christian’s parents, and his squealy little sister. They are all thrilled to bits that Christian has found somebody. Because they all thought he was gay. Kate has a case of the can’t-shut-ups and tells everyone that Ana is going on vacation to Georgia. Christian is furious. Kate then blabs that Ana went out with Jose one night and Christian is livid, though he acts polite at the table. One of the servants makes googly eyes at Christian and Ana is furious. Interesting! No wait, the other thing: tedious.
They then tuck in to good old fashioned American foods, like Beef Wellington and Lemon Syllabub. This is sooo British I expect Rik Mayall’s Richard Richard character to burst in screaming, “Gasman! Gasman!” Because WTF?!
The whole meal screams to me zero research. Zero. These are Americans! They eat bacon-wrapped fried chicken, and chocolate covered bacon for dessert. Or so I’ve heard. Ahhh…
So boring dinner stays boring. Afterward, Christian tells his family he is going to show Ana around the grounds. They get outside and Christian, still furious, hoists Ana over his shoulder, smacks her up good, and stamps off. He tells Ana that he is going to spank her and then fuck her. His words. Ana has no idea why, but then, she has so few ideas about anything really. All she knows is that she’s not happy about it.
So, at least there promises to be some sex next chapter. Which would be great if it was consensual! But, yeah. Not so much. Sigh. Maybe chapter 20 will be better…