Getting kinky in Coral Gables, Miami

“Are you here for the book signing?” asked the concierge. I was in the lobby of the venerable Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Miami  and  the buzz was all about E.L. James’s erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The book launch was happening at the hotel.

The Biltmore, Miami

The Miami Herald had featured the book launch on the  front page of its Saturday edition and the book signing at The Biltmore, hosted by Books & Books, had sold-out in a flash. A second event at the bookstore itself had been added for April 29, 2012.

Nothing kinky happening here

“We’re expecting 700 people,” said the concierge, raising his eyebrows.

I wasn’t  too surprised. The book has garnered a frenzy of fan attention, a movie deal and everyone– from Ellen Degeneres  to my fellow press trip participants–seemed to be talking about it. I hadn’t even heard of it until I’d arrived in Miami. But the book has sold two million copies in April. Definitely something for a writer to pay attention to.

What was most surprising to me was that the launch was happening in Coral Gables. It just didn’t  seem to be the most likely location for the launch of an S & M-laced book. South Beach maybe, but staid Coral Gables? Not so much.

Atmospheric but quiet streets of Coral Gables

I decided to stop into Books & Books, check out the scene and get my own copy.

Books & Books is located in a staid and classic 1927 building

“Do you want a voucher to attend  the signing tomorrow? ” asked the clerk,

“No, I’ll be leaving town before then,” I answered, as I flipped though a random few page and began reading at a bath scene. There were washcloths, hot towels and lots of panting.

“How about a bag?” asked the clerk, holding out a brown paper bag.

Romantic but family-friendly Venetian Pool in Coral Gables

“Yes, I’ll take one of those,” I said, stuffing the book deep inside the thick paper.

Coral Gables might have a hidden streak of sensuality but there was no way I was walking through town with the evidence in my hands.

 

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Showing 4 comments
  • Carol
    Reply

    I have to read this book! I’ve been hearing whispers …. also must go to the Biltmore – maybe I could read the book by the pool.

  • Hal
    Reply

    When I saw your headline and the image of the Biltmore, I thought this blog was going to refer somewhere to the hotel suite used by former President Clinton for his Miami visits. No kidding, when they took me on a press inspection of the Biltmore, they also took me to that huge suite which they explained he always uses on his Miami stays. Anyway, you were so fortunate to have a stay at the Biltmore, it’s really a living landmark of Coral Gables and much of its history, but you also got to some other wonderful locations with the Venetian Pool and just driving down those tree-lined avenues. Books & Books is also one of my hangouts when I’m in the area. Hope you get back here again sometime for another visit to George Merrick’s town!

    • Michele
      Reply

      That’s right Hal, I did see a photo of Bill and Hilary in the lobby of the Biltmore! Both of them looking so young. Wish I’d seen the suite.. I’ll bet it’s popular for weddings and honeymoons

  • Lesley Peterson
    Reply

    Love love love Coral Gables, the Biltmore and the Venetian Pool – thanks for the fantastic photos!

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