Between the covers book club

Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗

Firstly, let me wish all the mommies a wonderful, blessed Mother’s Day. What a gift it is to be a mom! ❤️


So, how are you this fine weekend? It was another hectic week for me, and what’s more, our temps are slowly inching down. Soon it’ll be all warm woollies and dark mornings. *sigh* 😝

I’ve seen quite a bit of feedback about the Darker DVD. The positive reviews mostly say the same, that the extra 13 minutes apparently bring the MORE we’re all after. I enjoyed reading this Fifty convert story on the Glamour site.

Bustle features an article suggesting that a bonus scene from the film “proves that Elena may be more of a threat to Christian and Ana’s future than we thought.” Huh. Personally, I don’t think this is news. In the books I felt Ana’s icy feelings for the “Bitch-Troll” pretty clearly, the perception of Elena as a threat not something she ever kept to herself. Why does it leave me feeling as though the reporter didn’t actually read the story? Check out the clip:

Then, Katherine shared this, a satirical review twisting the Darker storyline into laughable ridiculousness. If you’re a die-hard movie fan, you’ll need to hold on to your sense of humour for this one, but I almost fell off my chair cracking up!

😂

This week I read:

The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan, book 4 in the Game On series, was another great read for this unfailing author, but my comment relating to the shoddy editing stands. Where on earth was her editor? Random single words popped up, littering the otherwise flawless text with unwelcome distractions. *Tsk, tsk* 😜

Currently I’m reading:

 
I’ve put Trophy Wife by Alessandra Torre aside in favour of Sweet Barbarian by Jayla Jasso and Crown of Lies by Pepper Winters, book 1 in the Truth and Lies Duet series, a strong rec and gift from Katherine. #HappyDays

My hubby sent me this meme. It made a laugh!! I’m definitely going to try!! LOL! 


Let me know if it works for you! 😂😂

Have a fantastic weekend, girls. See ya’ next week!

Between the covers book club

Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗

Happy almost Labour day. I hope you manage to enjoy a well earned rest! 

I’m burning to hear some feedback from the Darker DVD release. So, if you’ve spent a recent cosy night with Christian and Ana, spill the beans, girlfriends! 🙏🏻

I love clever signs, moreso when they are Fifty related…


😂😂

My reading week was super slow. Work is just ridiculously hectic at the moment, but here’s what I got up to:

Currently I’m reading:

Twist by Kylie Scott, book 2 in the Dive bar series. Sadly, I’ve not gotten very far, but I’m not seeing the quirky humour that made me fall in love with her Sage Dive series. Time will tell, I guess. 😜

On my shelf I have:

 

The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan, book 4 in the Game On series and Trophy Wife by Alessandra Torre.

Then, as May is about to dawn, let’s check out what we’ll be reading:

These screenshots are taken from the Goodreads site.

Lastly, Sharon shared this cute pic:


😋😂

Have a brilliant (long) weekend, girls. Let us know if you have anything fun to share!

Between the covers book club

Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗

Happy April Fool’s Day. Don’t let ’em get ya! 😂

Thank you for all your concerned emails and posts regarding cyclone Debbie that hit the top half of Queensland this week. We are blessed not to be anywhere near where most of the action was, but her aftermath caused a helluva’ deluge of rain and widespread flash flooding. So, I thought this pic fitting:

Then, the Laters, Baby site shopped around to bring us the who-has-what-for-how-much post regarding the Darker DVD. #GoodToKnow #DecisionsDecisions 🤔

As we are enjoying a short break this week, I’m taking my little munchkin to see the Beauty and the Beast. I can’t wait. I’ve heard some varied things about the movie so I’m keen to see for myself. I got this toe-curling pic from Sharon, not the actual actor who plays the prince, but damn, he certainly looks like the perfect “beast”! 😉

Before I get to the book club part, let me show you this super cool library in the Netherlands. The Dezeen site features the story of the “book mountain”:

Gotta’ love a country who builds a mountain out of books! 👍🏻

This week I read:

Addicted by Elle Kennedy, book 2 in the Outlaws series. I enjoy these post-apocalyptic stories, they’re well written if not a little far fetched, but like we said last week (and many times before), our whole genre veers strongly in the direction of fantasy. If you manage your near-future Sci-fi expectations, it’s a good read, but if you’re a serious futuristic fundi, this will probably be a little light in the pants for your tastes.

On my shelf I have:

The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz. I adore this woman’s amazing talent, so I’m looking forward to cracking its proverbial spine!

I’ll leave you with this funny pic – again from the evergreen Sharon:

😂😂

Have a fantastic weekend, girls. If you watch the Darker DVD, please let us know how it compares to the movie. Did it feel as fast? Is there chemistry between Jamie and Dakota?

 

Between the covers book club

Hello, lovely ladies 🤗

How are you this fine day? We’ve had a welcome start to autumn, a blessed relief from the incessant heat that’s been plaguing the Eastern parts of our country. Phew!

Without much preamble, let’s get stuck into this week’s blog:

Bookstr reports on some nutter’s self published book miscrediting E L James, calling it her “earlier” work. She’s denied any ownership of this book, but it makes me so mad when folks blatantly steal like that. *imagine me getting on my soap box* For all the pleasure authors give us I believe they deserve every red cent coming to them. Erika might not be a good example, because we all know that she’s swimming in it, (not that that should matter), but even fairly well known writers do not make a vast living from just putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be. Spread the love, peeps. Don’t take something that doesn’t belong to you. 😝

And while the Darker movie is not yet cold, most of us are ready for the cinematic conclusion of our obsession. Check out these fan made clips of Freed:

People are so creative. Where do they get the time?

BC

This week I read:

fs

Fidelity by Aleatha Romig, book 5 in the Infidelity series. My 3 star rating is mainly due to 2 reasons: firstly, the series is too long. You have to be sure that your story is gripping as all hell if you’re going to subject your readers to 5 purchases. And secondly, though I LOVE a well-researched, action packed story, and I understand that a lot of scenes in the genre we read are a tad exaggerated, there comes a time when a storyline is simply too implausible to ignore. And when innocent folks end up in jail, no matter how bitchy they were to the main character, I balk at an author’s sense of justice. Note to writers: when you put something out into the big, wide world, please remember that you have a voice, one that may reach many, many people. As is the case IRL, keep your words soft and sweet AND real.

Currently I’m reading:

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Royally Matched by Emma Chase, book 2 in the Royally series. As far as I’m concerned you can NEVER go wrong with a prince and a fairytale…. 😉

Then, as a fitting ending to this week’s post, I thought I’d share a little life truth:

life

#Truth 😂

Short and sweet today, girls. Have a beautiful weekend!

Monique kiss

Between the covers book club

Hello, lovely ladies 🤗

How are you this fine weekend? Our flaming temperatures have finally cooled a little. Thank goodness. It was ridiculously hot the last while. 🔥

If you’ve not had the pleasure of a virtual tour of Christian’s apartment, check out this cool clip that does it for you…

I saw this collage on Twitter, liked the memories it evoked, but sadly I don’t know who the clever owner is:

fifty-montage

And as I know how very concerned we all are with staying fit, centered, and focussed, I thought I’d share this useful video on yoga…

LOL! 😂

BC

This week didn’t see much action in the reading department – I’m too damn busy, but I must mention that I’m enjoying Fidelity more with this action packed edition to the five book series.

img_7957 img_7956

Fidelity by Aleatha Romig, book five in the Infidelity series & Royally Matched by Emma Chase, book two in the Royally series.

From the Goodreads site, let’s look at what March will bring to our shelves:

m1

m2

m3

m4

m5

I’m delighted to see a new one by Tiffany Reisz! Yay! 😍

chicken

Anyway, that’s all I have to share with you today. I hope you have a stunning weekend, girls. Let’s chat!

Monique kiss

 

Between the covers book club 

Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗

heart

Happy Valentine’s Day! While I love the institution of V-day, I do hope you love your loved ones HARD – Every. Single. Day! 😍

So, by this time, I’m guessing most of you saw the movie. Whatever will be chat about now? LOL! 😂 But despite the proverbial show being over, I do have some news:

Firstly, Susan shared this, a fantastically entertaining review of Darker on Buzzfeed.

Then, I saw some clips on YouTube during the week showing the Easter Egg that came after the credit roll of Darker, but as far as I can tell, they’ve all been removed. I suspect copyright infringements. 😳

Movie Pilot chats about the H.O.T. scenes that ended up on the cutting floor because they were apparently too H.O.TTTTT for the movie going public.

From the 50 Shades of Grey Support page on Facebook I saw an ABNewswire report on the launch of a new book: Fifty Shades Deeper, a book by fans, for fans. If you’re keen to “delve deeper into the messages and insights of the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy” this might be the read for you. 

And lastly, Sharon sent me the following: Cringeworthy Sex Ed Stories, again as featured in Buzzfeed (boy, there are some real winners in there), plus this cute kitty meme in honour of V-Day:

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Must’ve been a very naughty kitty! 😂

BC
This week I read:

rds
Raw Deal by Cherrie Lynn, book one in the Larson Brothers series. I read my first book by this author not long after I turned to this genre, and despite having one of the worst book covers I ever saw, I LOVED her story and style. It’s been a long while since I’ve had the pleasure of reading a new book by her, but, I can confirm that I STILL love her writing. I am going to be totally cliched and say that she has a way with words. These may not life changing stories, but consistently good ones with just the right side of yummy.

Currently I’m reading:

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Fidelity by Aleatha Romig, book five in the Infidelity series. Let’s hope THIS is the final one. Five books for this particular range is a book or two too much – at least IMHO.

On my shelf I have: 

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Royally Matched by Emma Chase, book two in the Royally series. I loved the Cinderella-esque nature of the first novel, so I’ve got high hopes for this.

And finally, this week, in the search of the perfect V-day gift for my hubby, I came across this… uhm… practical gift…

Imagine the fun your man could have with this in the shower!! 😂 And I love the “ONE SIZE FITS MOST MEN” disclaimer! 😂

Have a beautiful weekend, girls. Remember to share your loveliest reads with us. 😘

Monique kiss

Between the covers book club + SPOILER-filled Darker review

Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗

Well, what a week it’s been. With the movie premiere here in Brisvegas, and a house full of guests, my free time for reading went out the window. Aww, well. Perhaps this week things will return to normal. 😜

Before I start with my review, let’s take a look at the news:

  • If you want to see MORE of the glamorous L.A. Darker premiere, check out this link from Sharon on the Any Second Now site.
  • USA Today reports on 7 secrets from the set of Darker.
  • Marie Claire features 11 behind the scenes facts about the film.
  • And if you want a vacation package to make your kinky Fifty fantasies come true, see what Cosmo has to say about this “clothing optional” resort in Mexico. Oh my…

The final clip is not related to FSOG, but I couldn’t help sharing this absolutely ESSENTIAL training app that will get your man up to speed on his lingus technique – lickety split!

Wahahahahaha! 😂😂 Thank you, Sharon for making me spray tea all over my phone! Though I’m a little concerned about the hygiene of this tongue-in-cheek (or is it somewhere else??) app, I do appreciate a man that can give a good tongue lashing! 😉

Okay then, let’s get on to the main event of today’s post: the Fifty Shades Darker movie review. I made an effort NOT to read any reviews before the film or before I posted my own. I didn’t want anything to influence my thoughts while I took in Erika’s vision. The only bits I caught was of the ladies raving in general about the L.A. premiere.

Again, if you DO NOT WANT TO SEE EVERY STITCH AND DETAIL UNRAVEL, skip this bit! Also, this review reflects my personal opinion only. Please feel free to disagree, but as I mentioned last week, let’s play nice 😉 

Spoiler alert  Spoiler alert

So, I’ll start with the things I DID like. This time around the movie was MUCH more accurate, the flow and events treated with a sensitivity that reflected Erika’s wish to do right by the fans. Little details like clothes choices, etc. might not have been strictly adhered to, but as far as the BIG details were concerned, it was true to the book. And if I had to venture a guess, the folks who did not read the book would probably find this movie more appealing than FSOG.

I enjoyed Ana’s smart mouth, her quips often funny and a great replacement for her inner goddess.

Also, I think her hubby did a great job adapting the book to the screenplay. Naturally there are a lot of things that can be done in writing that won’t translate to film, and with the first movie, I felt that some of those additions took away from the general veracity. This time, I didn’t sit in my seat, slack jawed and outraged at sudden new scenes that seemed senseless in its place. The one scene that did leave me frowning, (and this brings us to my list of grievances), was the masquerade ball bit: in the book as well as the movie, when Ana prepares for the night, she looks through her sexy new undies and selects a fetching number that leaves CG speechless. The Ben Wa balls follow, and then, off she goes to be the belle of the ball with a side helping of sexual frustration that leaves her breathless and achy. Later, when Christian buys her for the first dance auction and they steal away to his childhood bedroom, he strips her of that silver dress, but in the movie, she’s wearing nothing underneath. It made the whole flow seem ridiculously pointless. Why get dressed in heartstopping lingerie, only to take it off before you slip on your dress? Strange. (And yes, I could tell that the undies she wore wouldn’t fit underneath the cut and style of the dress, but the two acts are one in the book. A little finer planning would have gone a long way to ensure continuity here).

ana-ready

Personally I felt that CG came across as unlikable, an asshole even, in the first movie, something that I NEVER thought of him in the books. I understand that he was closed-off and broken, but his beauty – inside and out – shone through even in the earliest of chapters. I also understand that in Darker he came around to “the light” – as Ana calls it, but he NEVER became Mr. Straight-Laced-Vanilla-Nice-Guy. Certainly he had moments of playful, boyish charm and a sense of humour, but Fifty ALWAYS lurked in the background, whether it was in the sternness of a command, a searing look, his mercurial mood switches, or his jealous growls. And further, I get that they had to find a visual way to portray his transformation, however, THIS movie painted him as an all-round teddy bear, a picture perfect boyfriend. It’s probably the part of the movie I disliked the most. Where was our Dom, not the belt wielding one, but the one that LOVED with his domination rather than hurt? I missed the dark looks, the brooding pouting, his trademark distraught hands shoving through his unruly hair in exasperation, and that sexy, OTT jealousy. Over and over he tells her that he’ll never change, that his controlling, overbearing nature will always keep her on her toes. And we see that in the book too, even in moments where they are blissfully happy. In Darker they fight so much as they forge their way, as they come to grips with loving each other in the infancy of their relationship, but the film shows them resolving conflict too easily, like a well-adjusted couple with years of compromising experience. It took so much away in terms of the chemistry between them, the anger, the passion, the deep; new feelings that they both struggled to deal with. You have to ask yourself if the outrageous cries of abuse from the ill-informed public steered their decision to make him sweet as apple pie.

As far as the sex was concerned, there was definitely more, but with markedly less skin. I didn’t mind the more tasteful version of the bedroom antics, but, I’m sad to say, it contained little heat. In fact, the audience in the movie theater giggled through so many of the sexy scenes because the acts seemed stilted in their heavily edited state. And having been edited so harshly, it left no time for you to feel the connection between them, to see the desire building into the beautiful crescendo that is their strong bond. We saw a LOT of Ana’s reactions, and, in my opinion, way too little of Christian’s, especially considering that the movie’s demographic is overwhelmingly female. One of the most appealing things about him is the way he turns her on with just a look, the intensity of his desire evident in those deep, gray depths. Those heated gazes are, instead, replaced with playful smirks that yet again hint at well-adjusted guy, rather than the broken MAN using his exceptional skills to win his girl ANY way he can.

The sex scenes were not the only parts of the film that bent under the pressure of time constraints. At a supposed 118 minutes, I was hopeful that MORE time would give us, well, MORE, but the fact of the matter is that it went by in a blink of an eye. One of the biggest criticisms of the first movie was that it lacked some pivotal scenes. This time the director took that to heart and decided to include EVERY crucial moment, but – and this is a big BUT – it left the movie feeling like a reel of highlights, a montage of clips, a photo album of the book, rather than the full story itself. Rushed does not begin to describe the unnatural jumps from act to act. Vital, story-changing scenes like when Christian admits that he loves Ana, the bit where he goes full Dom on Leila to get her to heel, and then, the most important one of all, where CG lets Ana touch him for the first time, was devoid of emotion because they felt so abrupt. If you didn’t have the book as reference I have no idea how you would interpret these flash-card moments as significant. It is my understanding that more than expected landed on the cutting room floor (including the pool table shenanigans that we saw in more than one trailer), however, personally, I could have lived with less in terms of sequential accuracy, but more of their love and connection.

Wow, looking back at all that gabbing, I suspect you think that I hated it, but that’s not the case. I just wish that they would stop to think about the true essence of the story rather than the blatantly obvious charms. Would I go see it again? For sure, if only in hope of seeing some new insights and perspectives. Perhaps now that I know what to expect I might see the MORE that I crave.

And for those of you curious about the Easter Egg at the end of the film: if you stayed until after the roll of credits, you would have gotten a tiny taste of Freed! It was a lovely teaser showing bits of their wedding and honeymoon.

————— END OF SPOILERS —————

BC

Currently I’m reading:

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Raw Deal by Cherrie Lynn, book one in the Larson Brothers series. Don’t mistake my snail’s pace for disinterest. I just had NO time to read this week.

Let me wish you well for the coming week with a VERY naughty pic from Katherine:

morph

I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember Morph, but my version obviously missed something vital! LOL! 😂

Monique kiss