Author E L James is giving a final nod to bonds on the cover of the last installment in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series “Freed: Fifty Shades Freed as Told by Christian,” out June 1. Though this time the cover image is more about marital bonds than sexual ones.
The cover, which USA TODAY can reveal, shows a wedding band wrapped around Christian Grey’s ring finger.
“I think it’s great to put a wedding ring and then have ‘Freed’ written above it because those two things in conjunction don’t signify freedom,” but for Christian they do, James tells USA TODAY. “That was important to me, for him to be free from his past.”
In designing the final cover for the series, James, whose name is Erika Leonard, wanted to keep the look in sync with its predecessors. Mostly monochromatic shades of gray, this one does have a pop of color with some pink confetti hearts. While the novels have been famously racy, James has always wanted to keep the covers subdued.
‘Fifty Shades’ author E. L. James says some of her favorite literary couples range from works of fiction including ‘Emma’ and ‘Twilight.’ (March 20)
Opting for a “stripped down” cover was born out of personal experience reading romance novels in public, says James, a USA TODAY bestselling author.
“I spent my 30s reading romantic novels with women whose clothes are falling off with bare-chested heroes, and on the tube going into central London, it was like, ‘Oh, look what I’m reading,’ ” she says.