Fifty Shades Darker is the second novel in the Fifty Shades trilogy.
Official Book Summary
Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the handsome, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle Independent Publishing House (SIP); but desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sexual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.
While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.
The book starts in the aftermath of Ana and Christian's breakup.
Ana starts her job at SIP, where she has been hired as personal assistant to editor Jack Hyde. Ana gets an uneasy feeling about him, but writes it off anyway. Christian asks her if she needs a ride to José's gallery exhibit in Portland, which she had totally forgotten about. The pair ends up reconciling and getting back together.
Christian buys SIP, but the deal is still secret for another month. Ana is furious that he is interfering in her career, especially when he freezes the company's accounts so that she can't go on an overnight business trip to New York with Jack. Christian insists that it was for her own protection, because Jack is a "known philanderer". Their suspicions about Jack prove correct when he corners her and demands sexual favors. Ana's self-defense training with Ray Steele when she was younger allows her to escape, and Christian has Jack fired.
Ana meets Mrs. Robinson for the first time and finds out that she and Christian own the salon, Esclava, together. Ana is disgusted that Christian continues to be friends with the woman who seduced him when he was only 15 years old. When Mrs. Robinson realizes that Christian sees Ana as a girlfriend and not a submissive, she becomes antagonistic towards Ana, trying to sow discord in the budding relationship.
Ana starts being stalked at work by one of Christian's former submissive, Leila Williams. Leila had a mental breakdown after losing her significant other in a car accident. Ana's fear intensifies when she finds out that Leila was able to obtain a gun. The situation comes to a head when Leila breaks into Ana's apartment and threatens her with a gun. Christian is able to diffuse the situation by using their Dominant/submissive dynamic, but this leaves Ana worried that Christian isn't satisfied with a vanilla relationship. Ana later confronts Christian about what happened with Leila, and he fears that she is leaving him again. He impulsively asks Ana to marry him, but she needs time to think about it.
José drives to Seattle to visit Ana. Christian still views José as a romantic rival, and only permits Ana to see him if they both stay at Escala. On the night of José's visit (and the night before Christian's birthday), Christian goes missing while flying from Portland to Seattle on business. He eventually makes it back to Escala unharmed, to the relief of his entire family and staff. He explains that both of his helicopter's engines failed; sabotage is suspected. Ana realizes that she doesn't ever want to be without him, and accepts his proposal.
The next day, Christian's family throws him a birthday party at their mansion. Christian and Ana announce their engagement to all of their family and friends. Mrs. Robinson angrily confronts Ana, accusing her of being a "gold-digger" and insisting that Christian will never truly be satisfied with a vanilla relationship. Christian's family overhears the argument and is furious to find out that Elena preyed on their son. Elena leaves the house, disgraced, and Christian decides to end their business relationship.
Christian pulls Ana away from the party and takes her to the boathouse, which he has decorated with flowers and soft lights. He gets down on one knee, pulls out a ring, and proposes for real.
But just outside the Grey's mansion, Jack is watching and planning on his revenge.