Synopsis: Young, arrogant, tycoon Earl Grey seduces the naïve coed Anna Steal with his overpowering good looks and staggering amounts of money, but will she be able to get past his fifty shames, including shopping at Walmart on Saturdays, bondage with handcuffs, and his love of BDSM (Bards, Dragons, Sorcery, and Magick)? Or will his dark secrets and constant smirking drive her over the edge?
The First Line: “I growl with frustration at my reflection in the mirror. My hair is fifty shades of messed up.” I love that Shaffer alludes to Fifty Shades of Grey right from the get go. Within the first paragraph, he tosses in a reference to Twilight as well. Well played.
The Good: The last time I actually laughed out loud at a book that was supposed to make me laugh was Lamb by Christopher Moore. Fifty Shames is relentless and shameless, in a good way.
Anna Steal is as stupid and naïve as you’d expect her to be and Earl Grey is odd. Women will be having fantasies about being slapped in the rear with a tambourine. Okay, probably not, but that was one of the funniest scenes in the entire book.
Shaffer manages to hit all the right notes in this parody. His wit is uncontested. We can only hope for more from him in the future.
The Bad: May have been just a tad too long.
Recommendation: Anyone who has read Fifty Shades of Grey or Twilight should pick this up. Even if you haven’t, give this parody a go. It’s hysterical.