5+ stars.What a gripping and beautiful love story. This is not typical erotica, so don't let that throw you. Such intensity between Ana and Christian, I literally had to give myself a break from reading. I became so involved in their romance! Christian is this messed up guy, not the typical bad boy, because you can just feel his pain. It's so real, and at the same time, you don't know what exactly made him the way he is. He's so closed off. At first, I was angry with him and his idiotic rules. And I thought Ana would be a wimpy little girl. Boy, was I wrong! Christian isn't as dominant as you'd think, though it's not really an obvious weakness that Ms. James shows. It's more like you are literally able to crawl inside both of their heads and feel their emotions. Still, as I write this, my tummy is clenching up. Ana is such a normal person, until she meets Christian. He pushes her past limits she never knew anyone had to have. Her innocence was a huge part of this book's appeal to me. Most people have no idea what this lifestyle is like, including me. So I don't think I would have fallen in love with this book if that aspect of the story was a casual, la di da thing as with the few erotica I've tried to read. While the BDSM was a major part of the storyline, it was so well done, I didn't feel like a voyeur. And it actually added to the plot...was absolutely essential. This was an absolutely gorgeous story, and I don't know when I've rooted for a couple more. Surely there have been a few that I've loved like this, but I'm in such a Fifty Shades haze that I can't think of anything but Grey.