Secrets no more...
In Fifty Shades Darker is only "darker" because Christian Grey's dark, painful well guarded secrets or truths come to light.
Christian's core is awaken when Anastasia walks out on him (book 1). Anastasia wants nothing to do with him, as much as it pains her, she knows a life with Christian is not the life she wants, not if it means she needs to submit herself to him, and do as she's told.
Anastasia is miserable, yet she continues with her life the way she knows best.
Christian realizes that while his dark life style meant a lot to him, and fulfilled his dark needs before, he's empty inside. He's just as miserable if not worst than Anastasia. He accepts that even if he continues his merry way, having been with Anastasia has transformed something in him that he cannot ignore. He's faced with two choices: 1) He lets go of Anastasia and continues with his life the way he's done until now, even though it will no longer fulfill that void he's always had. Or, 2) He lets go of his dark life style, and make a go for something real and fulfilling with Anastasia.
Christian decides for the latter; although, he is not sure whether Anastasia will take him back.
Anastasia surrenders to his charms, except this time things are indeed different. Christian offers hearts and flowers and more. "More" is really important to their relationship, at first neither one understands where "more" will lead them, until they realize "more" means telling each other "I love you".
Christian is afraid that when/if Anastasia finds out the truth of his birth, and the dark of his past, she'll leave him again. He's got real self steem issues, but so does she. Soon, Anastasia finds out the root cause of Christian's fifty shades, and the most dramatic and heart breaking scene unfolds, when he thinks she's going to leave him again. Gosh, how wrong was he?
Christian continues being a control freak...and that is probably one of the things that will never change. Anastasia, on the other hand, continues to be understanding, yet she wants him to understand she craves and needs her independence.
Overall, Fifty Shades Darker becomes lighter, as Christian is somewhat relieved of his dark past that's always lurked around him. I think on this one, it is Anastasia who's becoming kinky darker. Christian wants to stay away from temptation, oh goodness but she tempts him. There were times I thought: "what the heck are you doing girl?", "didn't you want him to be 'normal', a little kinky perhaps but normal?", "why are you tempting him, don't you see he wants to give you hearts and flowers like you asked?"
This is not really a "spoiler", but one of my favorite parts on this installment is when Christian proposes, the right way... the hearts and flowers way. Ahh...that was very pretty and romantic.
Again, I really enjoyed this second installment. Yes, some things were repetitive, and Anastasia sometimes drove me nuts. It is a rollercoaster, completely exhausting relationship where the characters want to be with each other no matter what it takes. While they find their way, they struggle hoping their love will succeed.