50 Shades of Red…

…are the colors my face is turning right now as I think about the book I’m reading (along with half of America) and what makes me not want to put it down! It’s 50 Shades of Grey and half of me can’t believe I like it. The other half….well.

I’m not kinky, submissive or sadomasochistic, and I’m more into bonds than bondage, but this racy novel has definitely gotten my attention. And it’s not only my attention. The first book of the “Grey” trilogy written by EL James has already sold two million copies in the first month!

So, what’s the deal? The first book (I’m taking my time) is about Ana, an innocent, attractive college girl connecting with handsome, tousled-haired Christian Grey, a billionaire who likes to play rough in his “red room.” By rough, we’re talking whips and chains and handcuffs and all kinds of toys and gear.

And Ana seems to catch on really fast.  She goes from virginal to major kinky in about one chapter. Though she debates with herself about what she’s doing, she seems to really enjoy all 50 shades.

I mentioned to my 25-year-old daughter that I was reading the book and she gasped and said, “But that’s mommy porn.” And right she is. This middle-aged British author has found the key to making millions of other middle-aged women squirm in their chairs.

When asked if she’s written something that’s “new,” she said “absolutely not.” And she’s shocked by the way Grey has caught fire. But she did say, in a very appealing way, that these are her “fantasies writ large.”

I think the last book I read like this was “The Story of O,” which was much darker. This is definitely porn light. And every time I walk into the gym or on a plane these days, I see e-book screens glowing along with the faces of all the women flipping the pages.

I like this “too hot to handle” book so much that I actually walked into a neighborhood Barnes & Noble this past weekend and asked when the next book is due out on the shelves. The woman at the information counter looked at me before I could even get the question out and said, “I know what you’re going to ask.”  What, was I still wearing a plastic tie around my wrist?

It seems the author is actually coming to my book store in a few weeks. I can’t even imagine the size crowd she’ll be drawing. I’m thinking that brands that attract moms might want to sponsor James’ tour. Can’t you see Spanx with a kiosk at book stores? I can.

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