Just so I can have the pleasure of burning it. I just finished (as much as I could take of) a series that went to places E L James only dreamed of. It was so, so bad.
I first heard about “Consequences” from a list of recommended books that included titles like “Never Let Me Go” and “Crime and Punishment”, so I decided to try it. The first book was actually a mindfuck. It is like 50 Shades of Grey, but written from the point of view of someone who knows how abusive that relationship really is. A rich man with control issued kidnaps a woman, beats her, rapes her, keeps her locked up, and messes with her mind until she spends every moment of every day terrified of displeasing him. It’s not romanticized. Rape is clearly labelled and portrayed as rape, even on the occasions when she orgasms. At one point, the man literally almost beats her to death. Even when he’s not actively hurting her (since she is doing everything in her willpower to please him), you see how damaging it is. When she starts to develop feelings for him, it is shown as Stockholm syndrome and seems even more disturbing. He controls her every action, and continues to beat/punish her if she displeases him. In the end, she tries to escape, he frames her for a crime, and she ends up in jail dreaming of revenge while he moves on to stalk another woman.
So I started book Two thinking it was going to be the revenge story. Nope! It reads almost like fan fiction written by the one messed up person who would like the actions of the first book. He wasn’t a sick bastard with control issues, he was just in love with her! That time he beat her unconscious is now referred to as the accident. Whereas previously he slapped her for any independent thought and beat her because she was a few minutes late, now he loved her “fiery attitude” and hugged her when she was late because he was so worried about her. He actually had someone killed in the first book because she once had feelings for him, but later on it’s revealed that while he tried to have her ex-boyfriend killed, someone else actually killed him, so it’s all good. Oh, and it turns out that a mean old lady was actually tricking him into doing all the bad stuff in the first book, so he’s really not at fault.
I continued hate-skimming the books until I came to the point where she’s pregnant and telling him that if he has to choose between her and the baby to pick the baby, because she would die happy knowing she gave him two beautiful children. That was when I closed my laptop and looked for some brain bleach.
These books are apparently New York Times bestsellers. They each have high ratings on goodreads. What is wrong with people? How do you read the first book and think “Aww, I bet he’s actually really romantic!”? I can’t wrap my head around it. Are we really the only people out there who find consensual sex hot?