Dreamboat or Douchebag: The Christian Grey Edition

I read my first Harlequin Presents when I was in sixth grade. It was Lord of La Pampa by Kay Thorpe and for the decades since I have remembered the line “With a woman like you there can be no other way.” This was said by the hero moments before he forced himself on the heroine. Because he was an Argentinian cattle baron, in my head the line was delivered in a sexy, sensual Spanish accent.

I mention that experience because when I picked up Fifty Shades of Grey a few months ago I felt very much like I was reliving that first encounter with Harlequin.  It seemed very Old Skool 1980’s bodice ripper. Christian Grey had all the core characteristics of the alpha hero of the time which is described in Beyond Heaving Bosoms as:

These heroes aren’t just determined, assertive, and confident—they’re hard, arrogant, and harsh and the heroine is often afraid of him. He’s a punisher as […]