Between the covers book club & Fifty Shades Freed movie review

Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗

Seeing as we’re celebrating the month of luuurrrvvve, I thought I’d kick off with some Valentine’s fun courtesy of the evergreen Liam Neeson…

Cute, huh? 😍

Then, I’m sure you’re all eager to hear about my Fifty Shades Freed movie experience – or perhaps not. Maybe you’ve already seen the scathing reviews and are fully aware of what’s to come. Spoiler alert: I won’t be pulling my punches, and if you want to love the movie regardless, this review is not for you. STOP READING NOW if you don’t want to hear my honest thoughts.

Firstly, let me start by making something very clear. I know nothing about movies and how to make ‘em, but I do feel somewhat qualified to comment in the light of my card carrying Fifty fan club membership and good ol’ common sense. By that same token, I know it is very easy to criticize from the comfort of my armchair, but again, with what I feel is a deep understanding of the Shades franchise characters, the holes were NOT hard to find. Also, I have never expected the films to represent the book in every minute detail. I fully understand that the written word does not necessarily translate to the silver screen. Having said all that, this final installment officially broke my heart. 😔

With the last movie I commented that it felt like a highlight reel, a picture book of the best bits, but that it lacked the time each scene deserved. There was no way we could immerse ourselves in the development of the threads that made up the bigger picture of the story because they were on to the next before you could take a breath. Freed was set at the same break-neck pace, but the sad fact was that we didn’t see the scenes come to fruition at all, save for the end of the book.

Take the topless scene, for instance. We saw Christian getting slightly irritated (not furious – as he did in the book), the whole scene builds to the bedroom shenanigans and should culminate in lots and lots of hickeys – Christian’s cunning plan to teach Ana to obey. But the latter part was not present, so we didn’t get to see their confrontation and eventually the resolution – the two of them growing, changing, and compromising in their fledgling relationship. That was the whole point of the scene. Showing us just half of it was, well, pointless.

The same goes for the Aspen nightclub fight. Where were the fisticuffs? I know I saw it in the trailer, but it was markedly absent in the film. IMHO they should rather have cut the clip entirely than just show half. That time could be spent developing another important scene to its full glory instead of the chopped-up bits and incoherent pieces we saw. And don’t get me started on Ana’s orgasm denial in the playroom. I have no words for the lack of anything real in that moment.

I was looking forward to seeing Jamie’s interpretation of CG losing himself in music, singing out loud to his family’s astonishment. But the tender moment lost its meaning when the scene was moved to the Aspen trip rather than his parental home where his healing and progress could touch his mother’s heart, solidifying her son’s partner choice unequivocally.

Then there was the ice-cream scene. Though it was a cute, why on earth would we need a filler clip THAT IS NOT FROM THE BOOK but neglect to complete the ones that are in the actual story? The longest love scene in the whole movie, the one they spent the most time on, was again, NOT IN THE BOOK. To me, it makes no sense.

But the thing that got to me the most, that made my heart ache, was the watered-down version of our beloved Dom. The jealousy, the hotheadedness, the controlling man’s man was absolutely absent. There was NOTHING of the beautiful flawed persona searching for himself through the love of his life. None of his growth or his newfound self-awareness. Personally, I believe that the movie was pandering to the “abuse criers”. This “lite” version of CG had no depth, no intensity, and seemed fake in his “perfect pretty boyfriend” nature. This bland and overly palatable version of the man was directed to appease the mainstream. How very sad. 😔

But it wasn’t only Christian’s personality that had an unwelcome makeover. Their relationship with all its severe ups and downs was smoothed to unrealistic marital bliss. Every argument between him and Ana was so easily resolved, it simply melted away in their mutual tidy capitulations. Where was the volatile passion, the angst, all the frustrations as they sought to find their way? And it seems I wasn’t alone in my disconnection. The audience around me laughed at the most unlikely parts. It was disconcerting. #SadFact

Let’s talk about the bits we saw in the trailers that weren’t in the movie: Christian emerging from the water ala James Bond, Christian swinging by Elena’s after he learnt that he would be a daddy, and Christian taking a shot at the poor guy making eyes at Ana in the Aspen nightclub. And then there was the end of the movie (queue dramatic drum-roll plus an eye roll from me). Picture Ana watching CG whilst talking a stroll down memory lane, flitting through her memories in a way that basically equated to a montage of the previous films. Again, what a waste of time. They left out vital parts in lieu of looking back? WTF? As I mentioned earlier, I understand that we can’t have 10 hours, word-for-word, straight from the book in the film, but some pivotal excluded clips, like their argument regarding Ana’s marriage vows, her father’s hospitalization, and her birthday, would have been great to see instead of a recap.

Stylistically I have to admit that filming back-to-back was a good idea. Visually the film certainly felt part of the previous one, so that, at least, was nice. And I have to compliment Jack Hyde’s performance as played by Eric Johnson. To me, he was the only plausible character, the only one who was represented accurately in both his nature and the original plot.

Well, ladies. That was a mouthful. I’m sorry the news isn’t better. I guess the question is whether we can simply shrug off the mediocre offering to blue-blood fans or if we cry out with the injustice of the utter misrepresentation of our favorite book boyfriend. Let’s hear from you. Perhaps you felt differently? Maybe you saw something I missed? All opinions welcome as long as you play nice! 😎

Here are some other reviews thanks to Katherine and Sharon:

The Atlantic bemoans the sequel right along with me and the US Weekly site gives us 50 Reasons to See Fifty Shades Freed. The latter is funny stuff, and the US Weekly’s number 47 is for you, Lissa!

This week I read:

Prince Charming by C.D. Reiss was great. I always appreciate her exceptional research, the story built around impressive facts and realistic characters.

Currently I’m reading:


Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland and The Cad and the Co-Ed by L. H. Cosway and Penny Reid.

In the spirit of St Valentine, here is some good advice…

Lastly, here’s to good books that’ll never let you down..

Have a lovely weekend, girls. I hope you feel happier with the movie than I did…

Between the covers book club

Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗

After weeks of full summer we’ve had some lovely rain – a welcome change.

I’m a little excited about seeing the movie on Wednesday. As usual I’ll keep my comments to myself until the Sunday Book Club to keep the spoilers to a minimum. We’ll chat then and compare notes. 👍🏻

In the meantime there are A LOT of Freed footage on YouTube. Check out these clips:

Ana washes Christian’s hair, an ice-cream scene, and a montage of trailer clips…

Ana puts Gia in her place…

Ana defying Christian…

Ana buys a knockout dress in Aspen…

This quality of this one isn’t so great, but it does have a few extra bits…

And the final one is a blend of all 5 the trailers…

I quite enjoyed the ice-cream one though I don’t recall that scene from the book. Thank you to reader prunella3 who put me onto that one. 😋

This week I read:


We Own Tonight by Corinne Michaels was a little too sad for my linking, but I’m a real wuss when it comes to tearjerkers. If you’re made of stronger stuff you might very well enjoy this lovely story.

The Player and the Pixie by L. H. Cosway and Penny Reid, book 2 in the Rugby series, was an extremely interesting read from a writer’s POV. IMHO, the author duo took a helluva risk taking a very unlikable character from the previous book and making him the hero of this one. Not only that, but they further made him suck in the sack (no pun intended). 😜 What a feat to write your way around to a happy ending from there. Kudos to them.

Currently I’m reading:

Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland.

Funny 😂😂

Have a lovely weekend, girls. If you’re off to see the move this week I hope you have a marvelous time!

Between the covers book club

Hello there, lovelies 🤗

My hollies are coming to an end, but I had a lovely rest. Pity I didn’t get to immerse myself in all the books I promised myself I’d read. Oh well. 😜

Here’s a bit of interesting news. Elle reports on Jamie Dornan singing for the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack. Yes, Mr Grey will be performing “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney. Who knew he could sing? 🤔

And now there are so many versions of the trailer I’ve completely lost track. Have we seen this one?

Lastly, Ellen pokes fun at Fifty…..


For those of you with new year’s resolutions, here’s one I subscribe to: dance like nobody’s watching! (Ps: you might need to be signed in to Facebook to see this clip)

LOL! 😉😂

This week I read:

Boarded by Love by Toni Aleo, book 1 in the Bellevue Bullies series, was almost great. Had it not been for the heavy repetition of key, overused words I may have enjoyed this one more.

On my shelf I have:

We Own Tonight by Corinne Michaels.

Here’s a good piece of advice when it comes to gift giving, just so you don’t get someone’s hopes up!

LOL! 😂😂

Have a fabulous weekend, girls. 

Between the covers book club

Hello there, lovelies 🤗

How are you this fine weekend? And how is the new year treating you so far?

Still in celebration of the silly season, Sharon shared this cute meme:

Poor little guy! 😂

I have some delightful news for my fellow Brisbane readers. Universal Pictures has extended an invitation to me to invite my readers to join me at the FIFTY SHADES FREED BRISBANE PREMIERE SCREENING on Wednesday the 7th of February, 2018. Yes, you get to see the movie before the rest of Australia. Yay! 🎉 Arrive at 6pm for some bubbly before the movie starts at 6:45pm, Event Cinemas Indooroopilly. I will need your name and email address to pass on to Universal Pictures Australia for your participation, and naturally you’ll need to get yourself there. Reply here on the blog, via email, Facebook, Twitter, or smoke signals to join the fun. First come, first serve, ladies so let me know sooner, rather than laters, baby. 😉

“Fifty Shades Freed, in Cinemas Feb 8”

“Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Freed, the third chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon.  Expanding upon events set in motion in 2015 and 2017’s blockbuster films that grossed almost $950 million globally, the new installment arrives for Valentine’s Day 2018. In Cinemas Feb 8. Check out the Fifty Shades Freed Movie site for more.”

Harper’s Bazaar reports on a new tidbit at the end of the extended version of the trailer.

We see Ana getting the happy news of her pregnancy. Yay!

And here’s another boasting an extended version….

Frankly, they release so many I’m no sure what I’ve seen and what not! LOL! 😂

This week I read:

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry, book 1 in the Elements series. Hmm. What can I say about this story? The writing is good and the characters interesting, but it made me cry. Not something I look for in a book, but I can appreciate the skill it takes to touch a reader’s heart.

On my shelf I have:

Boarded by Love by Toni Aleo, book 1 in the Bellevue Bullies series.

Here’s something we can all relate to after the festive season….


Have a good week, girls. Let’s hear about your epic reads!

Disclaimer: The writer of this blog will not be held responsible for any actions taken by Universal Pictures or their agents in regard to the Fifty Shades Freed movie premiere give-away. Readers enter at their own risk.

Between the covers book club

Hello there, lovelies 🤗

As we are one of the initial countries to ring in the the new year let me be the first to say HAVE AN ABSOLUTE BRILLIANT 2018! My hope is that all of us will live long and happy lives in a peaceful world, filled with fabulous books! 🎉

And seeing that it’s still sorta’ Christmas I thought I’d share this Viking Santa….

I’m sure you can see why I couldn’t pass this one up. 😉😉 PS: you may have to be signed into Facebook to see the clip.

Then, Cosmo gives us a sneak peek at Christian and Ana’s first Dance as a wedded couple in Freed…

This week I read:

Taint by S. L. Jennings was an interesting read. The theme was quite refreshing, and for the most part it is well written – if not a tad overstated, but it failed to capture my heart completely. The characters seemed a little shallow and the ending was super abrupt.

Currently I’m reading:


The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry, book 1 in the Elements series and Boarded by Love by Toni Aleo, book 1 in the Bellevue Bullies series.

Then,  with the new month upon is, let’s have a look at what goodies Goodreads bring:

In conclusion, let me leave you with something to ponder. I don’t know about you, but I certainly prefer the man on the left. What ever happened to the well heeled man’s man?

Huh. 🤔

Well, that’s it from me for today, girls. If you’re partying, party hard, but please, do so responsibly. 🍾

Cheers, girlfriends! See ya’ next year! 

Between the covers book club

Hello there, lovely ladies 🤗

Welcome to the Christmas edition book club. As you can see I’m back from my hollies and well rested. 😉

So? Have you been good or bad? Are you on Santa’s naughty list?

To celebrate the season let me kick off with some festive apparel. Amazon is ready to fill your stocking with these fun gifts – ranging from the cute to the naughty…


LOL! 😂😂

Or how about a festive Santa hat, one that holds wine?

#GreatIdea 👍🏻

Then, what would Christmas be without a song?

This one is taken from the Laters, Baby UK site. Pretty cute, huh? 😉

If you celebrate Christmas, celebrate with all your heart. May the season bring you the peace it promises.

Back to the matter at hand. As expected we got an extended version of the trailer for the holidays. Here are 3 versions for you to comb through for more movie tidbits:

And lastly, here is a single from the film’s album:

For You by Liam Payne featuring Rita Ora.

Though my holiday was absolutely awesome I spent most of my time in the water, and therefore didn’t get to the trio of books I had waiting for me. I did however start a book on the plane home….

Currently I’m reading:

Taint by S. L. Jennings. This story has an intriguing theme and is written from a guy’s point of view. So far, I’m enjoying it very much.

On my shelf I have:


The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry and We Own Tonight by Corinne Michaels.

Not that we have ANY snow here in Aus for Chrissy, let alone a snowman, but here’s an adorable snowman joke:

Have a great Christmas, girls!

Official trailer for Freed

Hello, girls

It’s been an age since we’ve started this FSOG movie journey, but it’s all coming to an end. Here it is, the final trailer, the official version from Universal Pictures:

It’s nice and long! What do you think? Let’s chat! 

Also, Universal sent me this delightful poster. I must say, I do do like Ana large and in charge…