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Jealous Hater Book Club: The Mister chapter eight or, “We have decided to stan Albania. We’ll never be sick of its hoe ass.”

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You ever wake up and find out that one of the strangers in your top ten strangers who annoy the ever-loving shit out of you is having the kind of day where an ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY IS MAD AT THEM?

You would think this would make me happy.

But it is so infuriating. There are a few things that I haven’t mentioned yet because we haven’t gotten to them, and they’re mentioned in the article (you have to register to read it), so I’ll just touch on two of them: remember the seatbelts? Well, she doesn’t know what a smartphone is, either. Or a credit card.

No shit, she thinks his credit card is magical.

But it’s okay. E.L. James knows what she’s talking about:

In an interview with the New York Times to mark the book’s publication, James said she did extensive research on the former Communist country, visiting twice and buying an Albanian dictionary and a book about organized crime. She added that her husband had learned to make Albanian stews.

Reader, I tried to rip my smartphone, whoops, I mean, “clever phone” in half. Imagine if someone decided to write a book set in the UK and the only research material they bought was about bad dental hygiene. I’m not so sure Erika and her mindless cult of sycophants would be pleased about that.

Watching Taken and learning how to make soup doesn’t make you qualified to write about a country. Read on for details.

We pick up chapter eight right where we left chapter seven, moving into Demelssia’s POV. She’s arriving home to find out that immigration officers came looking for her while she was at work. A neighbor intercepted them, but Alessia won’t be safe once she’s homeless again when Magda leaves.

You know what I’m a little confused about? And honestly, this isn’t something that’s necessarily wrong with the book, it’s just something I think is an odd choice. Magda is Delmessia’s mother’s pen pal (this was revealed in the last chapter), and that’s how Demelssia ended up living with her. But like, there are a lot of Albanian people in the UK. So, why send her to live with Polish immigrants? I guess I’m not getting why James made this narrative choice when Poland really didn’t need to be involved in the story at all and she could have gone to live with a friend or a sympathetic family member who speaks her language. Unless, you know. All Albanians are sex traffickers.

But surely this book couldn’t be written in such a way as to suggest that.

Anyway, Demelssia knows that if she’s caught in the country illegally, she’ll be deported. Does the UK deny asylum to human trafficking victims? I feel like they absolutely could have a policy like that, considering the attitudes toward immigrants in the UK and the attitude toward immigrants in the US are like peas in a pod.

Vhat ees dis “peas pod”? Ees how you say, wegetable?

Ugh, seriously, still so furious.

Demelssia lays awake that night, thinking about how she will barely be able to afford rent on the room she found. She does so freezingly, because she is a poor, wretched urchin.

She turns over to escape the shaft of light and snuggles up in the thin duvet to preserve as much warmth as she can. Thoughts swirl in her head, overwhelming her. She wants them to stop.

Don’t think about Albania.

What is, “thing E.L. James is probably repeating in her head this very morning?” That is correct!

Don’t think about this journey.

Your writer sure didn’t.

Don’t think about other girls…about Bleriana.

She closes her eyes and immediately she sees the Mister asleep on the sofa, his hair a mess, his lips parted.

Come on, now. She’s thinking of the other girls who were human trafficked and then immediately jumps to the sexy thoughts? Ah, the misunderstanding of trauma is as thick as a sewer fatberg.

She thinks about how she could ask the Mister for help but knows this is her own mess to get out of. She’s for sure not going back home:

He’s shaking me hard. Stop this. Stop this now.

No. Don’t think of him!

He’s the reason she’s in England. She has put as many miles as she can between them.

Think of the Mister. Only the Mister.

Her hand travels down her body.

Think only of him…

Yeah, if you’re not thinking of one man, what else are you going to think of? Something that isn’t a man? Pfff.

What had he called her? What is it called?

A cleaning lady?

Synethesia…She repeats the name over and over and over while her hand moves and takes her higher and higher.

I, too, masturbate while thinking of wacky neurological phenomenon.

In the morning, we hear about how Demelssia is going to go clean for a lonely little old lady and that most of the clothes Demelssia owns are hand-me-downs from Michal. She takes a sad shower with bad water pressure to create a parallel when we jump into Moss’s POV.

My hands are braced on the shower wall. I’m panting while steaming hot water cascades over me. I’ve been reduced to jerking off in the shower…again.

You live alone. Jerk off wherever you want. But congrats on being able to do it with no hands.

I don’t understand the attitude toward masturbation in some books. Not just this one. I’m fine with scenes of heroes and heroines masturbating while thinking of each other. It’s when masturbation is depicted as a sad alternative to sex with a partner that I get all pissed off. Masturbation is awesome. There’s no reason you have to stop doing it just because you can have sex with someone else. You can do both! It’s totally free!

Once again, he thinks about how he can’t possibly fuck her because she’s his housekeeper, but he can’t stop fantasizing about her huge underpants.

Wait, were those a hand-me-down from Michal, too? No judgment here, just wondering. I’m not a fan of second-hand underpants.

After a section break, we meet Joe and Tom, Moss’s creatively named friends. They rib Moss about not knowing whether they should refer to him as his earl name or his regular name.

Joseph Diallo andd Thomas Alexander are my oldest and closest friends.

Did James just totally forget that Elizaline is in this book? Because she’s been referred to as Moss’s closest friend for like…a while now. But there I go, futilely searching for consistency.

After I’d been expelled from Eaton, my father sent me to Bedales. There I met Joe, Tom, and Caroline. We boys bonded over our love of music and, at the time, our lust for Caroline. We formed a band, and Caroline…well, she’d eventually chosen my brother.

Maybe she didn’t like being the token sex object of your little group?

Let’s find out about Moss’s friends:

“How are you holding up, mate?” Joe asks, tossing his shoulder-length dreads to one side. Joe, as well as being an excellent swordsman, has a promising career as a men’s fashion designer. His father, an émigré from Senegal, is one of the most successful hedge-fund managers in the UK.

And Tom:

Red-haired and amber-eyed, Tom is the third son of a baronet, who followed family tradition by joining the army. As a lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards, he did a couple of tours of duty in Afghanistan and saw too many of his comrades fall. Two years ago he was invalided out of the army from wounds inflicted two years prior by an IED in Kabul.

Wow, two years ago he got wounded two years ago? That’s fucking wild.

Tom has PTSD and is described as “belligerent” and “pugnacious.” Which, you know. Okay. That happens. Not unrealistic. But it’s annoying to see someone with a common mental illness described as violent when he’s a minor character whose backstory doesn’t need to be that extensive.

On top of that, Tom is dating a woman he hasn’t proposed to yet, and this is how the situation is described:

Henrietta is a saint. She nursed Tom through the trauma of his injuries, and she put up with all of his bullshit, his PTSD, his temper. He could do a lot worse.

Excuse me. Exfuckingcuse the entire shit out of me. If someone stays with their disabled partner after they become disabled, they are not a saint. They are not owed. They do not get some kind of trophy for not running away.

It’s like E.L. James went, “Well, I fixed the consent issue. Now how am I going to be as terrible as possible? AHA! We’ll just use stereotypes about every marginalized group and praise people for dealing with them.

Moss thinks about how he can’t remember when he had sex last then there’s some stuff about how Maryanne is in lurve with a CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST IN SEATTLE. I’m really confused because James has been coy about a connection between this and Fifty Shades of Grey, but it’s kind of hard to play the maybe-they’re-connected game when you make it this obvious.

Something I might not have touched on yet is how often the phrase, “heir and a spare” comes up in the book. Nine times. Some variation of the phrase comes up nine times. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but when it’s used in nearly identical context over and over again, it really sticks out. Spare is apparently some kind of cruel childhood nickname Kit came up with, too.

So, Kit, the guy who was so amazing and everyone loved him, made up a nickname taunting his brother over the fact that he was the less-important child?

Moss misses him…why?

As they leave the bar, Moss asks Tom if he can walk home and Tom is like, I’m running a 5K, and Moss is like:

I keep forgetting that physically he’s mended….

Can I just express how deeply, truly pleased I am that a sensitive subject like mental illness is being handled by a wordsmith as devoted to her craft as E.L. James? And given such importance in the story. I’m sure that our hero will learn a poignant lesson about trauma and recovery from knowing his friend and his soon to be bangette, Delmessia.

Speak of the devil, she shows up after a section break and finds that Moss has company.

Closing the door, she’s surprised by the smell. The apartment reeks of stale alcohol.

I’m honestly shocked that it hasn’t before.

Joe is there, walking around in his boxers amid a bunch of pizza boxes and empty beer bottles. Before we can find out what he’s doing there, we have to go with her to change into her work clothes. She overhears Joe and Moss talking about her.

“I just frightened your barefoot help. You tapped that yet? She’s hot.”

“Fuck off, Joe. And I’m not surprised you frightened her. Put some clothes on, you fucking exhibitionist.”

At the end of their conversation, Joe sees Demelssia watching them. And he flirts with her in the most cringe-worthy way.

“Good morning, Alessia. Please excuse my state of undress.” Joe gives her a theatrical bow, and when he’s upright, he has a wicked, amused glint in his dark eyes.

WATCH OUT, I THINK WE’VE GOT A M’LADY GUY.

Then Tom comes out in his boxer shorts and Alessia runs the hell out of there because she’s, you know, afraid of men and there are three half-naked, presumably drunk men in this apartment.

Ha ha, no. She thinks about how handsome she is and stares at his scars, giving him a chance to be the moody, disturbed veteran. Then she goes to the laundry room.

Tom asks who she is and Moss tells him she’s the daily.

Tom nods with lascivious approval. I’m glad she’s gone back into her lair, away from Tom’s and Joe’s prying eyes. Their reaction makes me uneasy. Suddenly, surprisingly, I feel proprietary. I don’t want my friends ogling her. She’s mine. Well, she’s my employee.

Their reaction makes me uneasy, too. But we need every male character in the book to uncontrollably stroke themselves off at the very sight of her, or else how would we know how beautiful she is?

Demelssia pretty much hides until the dudes leave.

His bedroom is now tidy, and she was surprised and delighted to note there were still no used condoms in the wastebasket.

Again, how is that any indication that there wasn’t some hard bareback three-way man action happening? It isn’t. So that is what I choose to believe went down. Lord knows we’re not going to get any queer rep in an E.L. James book if we don’t put it there ourselves.

So, then Demelssia gets caught sniffing Moss’s shirt out of pure erotic curiosity. And then he walks in, but he doesn’t seem to notice.

“I was looking for a sweater. It’s a bright day, but cold. Are you warm enough?” he asks.

Thanks for the weather report, Moss. Now, it’s back to Ted with sports.

He laments the state of his closet (Moss. Not Ted the sportscaster):

“I’m pathologically untidy.”

“Path-o-log–”

“Pathological.”

“I do not know this word.”

“Oh…um…it refers to an extreme behavior.”

“I see,” Alessia responds, and she looks down at the clothes again and nods. “Yes. Pathological.”

Look. It’s okay for people to not know words when they’re learning a language. The real problem here is that instead of asking what a word means, she sounds it out, like a perplexed child stumbling through a vocabulary lesson. It’s infantilizing and weird as it’s written, especially when it’s every single time it comes up. She could just say, “I do not know this word,” or “What is that?” and not be made to sound however she’s meant to sound here.

Anyway, Moss “accidentally” brushes up against Demelssia when he’s reaching for his sweater, she vapor locks, and he retreats.

And he caught her sniffing his shirt. She covers her face. He must think she’s a complete idiot.

Or he thinks you were trying to see if it needed washing.

Let’s check in with Moss:

I can’t keep my hands off her. Any excuse.

Leave her alone, dude.

And if I touch her, she freezes.

Yes. Leave her alone. A woman freezing up if you touch her is not a sign to keep trying.

But he’s not going to do that, obviously. He’s going to ask her to go for “a decent meal” with him. Because that isn’t a patronizing assumption. Why not just leave a trail of impressive and modern English chocolates in a trail to your dick in the hopes of enticing her. You know. Since she’s a starving urchin.

He goes to the window to gaze out upon…

[…]the Peace Pagoda[…]

My God. He might not mention the Thames by name.

He gets up the nerve to ask her out, and when he finds her, she’s looking at the door to the FORBIDDEN ROOM.

Here we go! Here comes the kink!

“It’s a darkroom,” I say as I stride toward her.

OH MY GOD I’M SO RELIEVED! MY INNER GODDESS SINGS WITH GLADNESS TO THE LORD!

But, you know. Because there are no new ideas, he asks if she wants to see his secret room. We go into her POV.

Alessia enters the small room. It glows with red light and smells of mysterious chemicals and the stale air of inactivity.

Doesn’t smell like furniture polish, is still red.

They talk about how photography is his hobby. He takes out a camera and we launch right back into his POV.

Holding up the camera to my eye, I study Alessia through the lense. She is all dark eyes, long lashes, high cheekbones, and full, parted lips.

She is an Eldritch horror, pulling herself toward me on the pulsating brushes of her lashes, her full lips parting further to speak the language of madness and cast terrible judgment from the multitudes of her dark eyes.

He tells her she’s beautiful and takes pictures of her, then shows her the picture to prove it.

“See,” I murmur. “You’re stunning.” Reaching forward, I tip up her chin and, leaning down, inching closer and closer so she has a chance to move away, I brush my lips against hers. She gasps, and as I pull back, she touches her fingers to her mouth, her eyes growing rounder.

“That’s how I feel,” I whisper, my heart pounding.

Will she slap me? Will she flee?

Does she have a choice? You’re her employer?

An etheral vision in the muted light, she tentatively raises her hand and traces my lips with her fingertips. I freeze, closing my eyes as her tender touch reverberates through my body.

This would be such an erotic, tense moment, and I truly, truly mean that, if we had any indication of chemistry between the characters and at least some semblance of a power balance.

Everything about their interactions so far have been preposterously forced. She’s afraid of him. He’s obsessed with her. They’ve only talked about casual topics like piano playing and photography. This can’t be effectively heart-stopping unless we’ve sensed a connection between them that goes beyond her cleaning his house and stealing a few glances at him and both of them masturbating at the thought of their super hot interactions involving outwear and cleaning the apartment.

But they kiss.

She tastes of warmth and grace and sweet seduction. Her tongue hesitant and faltering against mine. It’s captivating.

What, the kiss or the fact that you can’t think in complete sentences?

I have to hold myself back. I want nothing more than to bury myself in this girl–but I don’t think she’ll let me.

No, generally it might take a little more than just kissing someone out of nowhere to get them to spread. I mean, if they do, great, but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable expectation that they might not.

“What’s my name?” I murmur against her lips.

Oh god, the chemicals! Turn the vent fan on! You’re incoherent and you can’t even remember your own name!

Then immigration shows up.

No shit. Not kidding at all. She says his name all breathless and limp in the passion of his embrace, and immigration is beating on the outside door.

Through the peephole in the front door, I assess the two men outside. One is short, the other is tall, and both are dressed in cheap gray suits and black parkas. They don’t look particularly official. I pause, debating whether or not to ansswer. But I should find out why they’re here and if it’s anything to do with Alessia.

Huh. I wonder if immigration being here has anything to do with the mysterious immigrant girl who showed up at my house out of blue and doesn’t want to talk about her past and whom I pay in cash under the table, Moss thought, still reeling and confused from the chemicals.

 

He has a distinct Eastern European accent.

Uh-oh. I’m beginning to think these guys might not be immigration.

Moss tells them that there’s no girl there, and if they’re going to search his house, they need a warrant.

How the hell did those thugs find out that Alessia was here? Why are they chasing her? What has she done? There’s no “immigration” department. It’s called Border Force and has been for years.

Whoa, that’s a fucking superhero ass name if I ever heard one. Please, nobody tell the sentient spray tan running my country, or he’ll rename ICE.

The men leave, and Moss goes back to assure Demelssia that everything is okay.

But she has fled.

My impression so far: It astounds me how catastrophically everything went off the rails in the last two chapters. Was there some kind of editing clause where they could only ask for developmental edits on the first six chapters of the book? Because it was actually better than Fifty Shades of Grey, then suddenly it’s like, have some ableism, have some Eastern European gansters, up the hero’s creep factor, let’s just go fucking wild!

I guess I’ll just take some medication for this rage headache and move along with my day.

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92 Comments

  1. JessC
    JessC

    So, it’s been a while since I read anything about claiming asylum in the UK but I checked on a few things. Obviously, you have to be in the country to claim asylum, and according to GOV.uk you must be at serious risk of persecution.

    ‘This persecution must be because of:

    your race
    your religion
    your nationality
    your political opinion
    anything else that puts you at risk because of the social, cultural, religious or political situation in your country, for example, your gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.’ (Copied from Gov.uk)

    I’m not sure if Demelissa would be considered because of the sex trafficking, but she can qualify for Humanitarian Protection as there’s a risk of serious harm if she were to return home. She would be more likely to be granted asylum because she’s not from an EU country and hasn’t claimed asylum in any other EU countries. She’s also white and straight, so she’ll face less scrutiny from immigration officials.

    However, those seeking asylum can be held indefinitely under UK law in detention centres, and without a lawyer, funds, or support Demelissa would be at risk of being deported (that she hasn’t claimed protection/asylum already would be a huge strike against her, and that she’s working illegally). UK immigration detention centres are… pretty bad, to put it lightly. Lots of abuse and ill treatment towards those in the centres, and the mental health toll can be pretty awful because they can be kept as long as the government sees fit.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      Ok my thing is how did immigration even know to look for her at Magda’s unless they just do random sweeps of immigrant neigbourhoods, which is not unheard of. However how would they know to look for her specifically unless she registered somewhere, or overstayed or something. Also, how did the thugs track her down to Max’s apartment anyway. Like there are gaps E.L needed to fill in and she was just like nahhhh

      May 6, 2019
      |Reply
  2. Gretel
    Gretel

    “Lord knows we’re not going to get any queer rep in an E.L. James book if we don’t put it there ourselves.”

    I actually read this in Annalise Keating’s voice and it was amazing. XD

    Ah, yes, how every expert on culture studies a country: by going on a vacation to visiting exclusive hotels and shop at expensive stores, learning how to cook a stew, and reading about criminal organizations. A country has no other reference points. Certainly not books on history, politics, economy, or culture.

    You know why she can do this and be lauded for her “preparation”? Because for white people (in Britain) a book on criminal organizations and vacations are enough to convey a culture because it reinforces their bias: those people over there are criminals, uneducated, and uncivilized.

    I majored in three subjects and one of them was Japanese Studies. There were a couple of students (and in general people) who thought that reading about the yakuza, knowing about hentai, and reading motherfucking Bushido was enough to understand 100’000 years of history, culture, economy, and politics.
    It’s STAGGERING how many students thought that reading Bushido or talking about Japanese tattoos made you somehow knowledgable. Even if you study something you might still end up orientalizing the subject matter because you don’t realize what gaze you are using.
    My point is: some people will use the least amount of work and time to “understand” a culture and they use the most stereotypical and problematic imagery there is, get their gigantic brushes out, and paint the whole fucking thing in racial bias. And after that they’ll claim their bias is an unbiased reflection of the truth.

    > It’s called Border Force
    That’s an awfully comic fan kinda name for an offical department. It’s as if they’re trying to deflect from the truth while attracting people with hero fantasies about being great warriors and superheroes.
    Fascists and their cute little names to soften their immoral work…

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • MyDog'sPA
      MyDog'sPA

      The trouble is that Border Force , a part of the Home Office, responsible for frontline border control operations at air, sea and rail ports in the United Kingdom. is not to be confused with Immigration Enforcement which is responsible for enforcing the United Kingdom’s immigration laws by conducting “visits” to residential and business premises.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Enforcement
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_Force

      Border Force officers are not police constables and the Border Force is not a police force. However, aside from powers listed below in relation to immigration and customs, section 2 of the Borders Act 2007 does allow designated members of the Border Force to detain anyone for any criminal offence or arrest warrant at a port if the Border Officer thinks they would be liable to arrest by a police constable. The power allows detention for 3 hours pending the arrival of a police constable.

      Immigration Enforcement is responsible for enforcing the United Kingdom’s immigration laws by conducting “visits” to residential and business premises. These visits can often be conducted with a court-issued warrant, in which forced entry may be used if necessary, in order to apprehend immigration offenders. Immigration Officers (IOs) [also referred to as Immigration Enforcement Officers] have a number of powers which allow them to carry out such enforcement work. Whilst on a visit, IOs will question encountered individuals about their immigration status and will arrest anyone found to be in breach of immigration law.

      I found that in less than 2 minutes. Obviously there’s a difference in roles between the two, and Leonard couldn’t even spend the time to get it right.

      Gaah.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      I also did Japanese at Uni, which happened to be at the height of Orientalist revival movies (The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise as a %$%#T samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha that fetishist garbage written by a white guy with zero input from any actual geiko, etc.)

      So yeah I feel you X-X

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • S
        S

        I thought Arthur Golden (novel author) did have input from a geisha who asked to be anonymous but he credited her anyway and got her in trouble? Not denying that the movie was fetishistic bullshit though.

        May 5, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dorian
          Dorian

          If I recall correctly, part of what she was angry about was that he fictionalised and sensationalised large parts of her story.

          May 8, 2019
          |Reply
    • S
      S

      Yeah, unfortunately, I have known a few people who claim that their knowledge of the Japanese language (from anime), love of hentai, and knowing what the yakuza is make them experts on Japan. Tourists make horrible writers.

      May 5, 2019
      |Reply
  3. Shannon
    Shannon

    “Thanks for the weather report, Moss. Now, it’s back to Ted with sports.

    He laments the state of his closet (Moss. Not Ted the sportscaster):”

    I am disappoint. 🙁

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ariel
      Ariel

      Buehehehe!

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
  4. Sushi
    Sushi

    Tom has PTSD after fighting in a war? Have we just found our Dwight Enys?
    And I really thought those guys showing up was gonna be the bit where Demelza’s dad showed up with a couple of thugs and Ross fought them all, so I’m kinda surprised that didn’t happen.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
  5. Cooper
    Cooper

    “She is an Eldritch horror, pulling herself toward me on the pulsating brushes of her lashes, her full lips parting further to speak the language of madness and cast terrible judgment from the multitudes of her dark eyes.”

    I want to read this book, please.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Kitt
      Kitt

      Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame. Pls take my money.

      April 27, 2019
      |Reply
  6. Amanda
    Amanda

    Oh boy, the whole “I only come when I’m with another person” trope. I’ve seen this pop up a lot in these NSFW Alphabet things for fictional characters (because Tumblr). The alphabets are basically different aspects of a character’s sexuality (A is for After Care, B is for [favorite] Body Part, etc.). They’re usually fun, occasionally squicky, but a lot of them will have characters not masturbating because they have a sexual partner. They may also write how the character limits their ~alone time~ because of said partner. I’m just like “…but why?”.

    Masturbation – not just for single folks!

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • S
      S

      idk I mean, when i was a lot younger I would get offended if my boyfriend or fiance masturbated when we had an active sex life, like, what exactly is it that I’m not giving you

      May 5, 2019
      |Reply
  7. ELJ: “He was invalided out of the army”
    Me: Huh! I wonder what kind of injury is severe enough to get you discharged from the royal army. Is he still living with this? Will we get disabled rep?
    ELJ: “He has PTSD and is angry like every stereotype of veterans you’ve ever heard.”
    Me: Oh.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      I thought a disabled war veteran with PTSD would be potentially far more interesting as a protagonist than Moss, but not in a novel by James, please.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
  8. lani b goode
    lani b goode

    i use plenty of words my kids don’t recognize about they don’t haltingly sound them out. they say “what does “x” mean?” if an eight year old can repeat words without sounding them out, why can’t demelssia?

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • lani b goode
      lani b goode

      ugh. and, not about. that’s what i get for posting from my phone 😐

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
  9. Kristin Cecilia
    Kristin Cecilia

    ““I’m pathologically untidy.”

    “Path-o-log–”

    “Pathological.”

    “I do not know this word.”

    “Oh…um…it refers to an extreme behavior.””

    Google Translate
    [English] pathological
    [Albanian] patologjik

    These words are not that different from each other and she would “know this word”.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      It’s really odd the words she doesn’t understand are the kind of Greek derived words that tend to be similar in a lot of languages. James seems to think that if a word is long and not super common then a foreigner won’t know it.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        More realistic if she’s confused at first and then he explains it and she goes “oh, right” because they’re just uncommon enough for her to forget what exactly they mean.

        Or she points out that he didn’t use the word right because he’s using it in an informal manner instead of the official definition, possibly by accident.

        “You have the untidy disease? How does it work?”

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
        • Ellen
          Ellen

          To be fair to the character (not EL) There’s this thing called a false friend, where two languages have similar sounding words with different meanings. Alessia could have easily had that happen a couple of times and so stopped assuming that similar sounding words mean what they sound like in Albanian

          Of course, EL James, would need to have done research on Albanian, languages and written in the heroine’s POV at all to establish that kind of thing.

          April 25, 2019
          |Reply
          • Although in this case, surely the context would be enough to clue her in?
            Or she would at least ask about the word’s meaning, rather than sound it out like a five-year-old?
            Again, James would have had to have shown some examples of Alessia falling for false friend words first, to make that more plausible.

            April 26, 2019
          • Dove
            Dove

            True. She’s living with Polish people in England; that’s two languages at once to keep track of so she would’ve found some false friends by now (though I also don’t give E.L. James any credit for that.) I still suspect she’d be more likely to ask innocently or as a joke even if she stopped assuming they meant the same thing because it’s also a decent icebreaker. Even if she doesn’t say it to them, she could think about it. My example could go either way although it would be pretty cheeky to ask her employer that out loud (although as an option, she can apologize and wave it away as simple ignorance if it doesn’t go over too well.) But hey, then she’d have some personality! XD

            April 29, 2019
      • BloodyRose
        BloodyRose

        Ah, dang, I posted below with a similar comment because I didn’t see this one; my bad. But–good to see that there’s someone else who has some knowledge of linguistics and noticed that Erika clearly does not!

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
      • Pavlo
        Pavlo

        That’s what got me, too. I mean, common Greek and Latin loanwords? Really? Tons of languages use them. It’s just not believable that she wouldn’t recognize “pathological.”

        April 30, 2019
        |Reply
    • Sara L.
      Sara L.

      Okay, I am going to defend James here (oh god, I know, I am ashamed) but my husband is German, and even though English and German share many words, the pronunciation is juuuust enough different that he doesn’t always get it first try. When the stresses are in different places, it can disguise the way a word is actually spelled, thus hiding its meaning. Especially in “ology” words, now that I think about it. “Psychology” has a much different stress pattern in German (Psee-cho-lo-GEE).

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        A very good point, but does he sound them out when he first hears them? XD

        April 29, 2019
        |Reply
    • Jenny Trout
      Jenny Trout

      That might have been my bad.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • Totes judging you!

        However, you are in good company. The Sweet Valley High werewolf-in-London trilogy made the same error. You’re welcome.

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
  10. cher
    cher

    I know her situation is not my situation but god damn, if I walked into a clients house and there were 3 mostly naked drunk dudes in there, that would be the last my client would ever see of me. It makes me sick just thinking about any cleaning woman being put in that situation. What a bunch of fucking creeps, thinking its cute.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ariel
      Ariel

      You just don’t geeet iiiit, it’s cute and adorable, because they’re all rich, upper middle class guys having a good time! And they’re kind enough to compliment the heroine’s beauty! See, they’re thoughtful! You’re so judgemental. Boys just wanna have fun.

      However, if they were a bunch of Albanian construction workers wading through a sea of empty pizza boxes and beer cans in their boxers, then you’re allowed to be disgusted by it. But only then!

      But seriously, why are Maximus’ friends stripped to their underwear? Does E.L. James think that’s how men in their late twenties or early thirties behave? Is the thermostat broken? Are they pretending they’re on a beach? What’s going on?

      I think Jenny’s headcannon is the only thing that makes sense – they all banged each other earlier and are now drinking to forget the fact that they’re all heteroflexible at the very least. Because in James’ world anything other than absolute heterosexuality is not manly, cool or sexy.

      “I just frightened your barefoot help. You tapped that yet? She’s hot.”

      This sounds like something Elliot, Chedward’s brother, would have said. If I remember correctly, Elliot was fond of making frat bro comments like that throughout “Fifty Shades.”

      Which really drives home the point, that E.L. doesn’t know how to write men. In her mind they fit into one of two categories: they’re either emotionally tortured souls with an obsessive fixation on one woman or immature dudebros, who can only think about banging everything that moves. There’s no third option.

      All of that reminds me of a comment she made during one of the cons she was attending. She said, that writing men is really easy, ‘cause all they think about is sex. Such impressive insight.

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • MayaB
        MayaB

        There is a third option: psychopaths like Jack Hyde. I’m not sure this makes it better, though.

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
        • To be fair, the only differences between Jack and Christian is wealth and perceived “hotness.” Other than that, they’re the same kind of male character. They even both had the same “first date” for Ana — intoxicate her, kidnap her, tie her up, rape her, beat her — but because Jack is not hot and rich, it’s not sexy, like when that awesome dreamboat Christian does it.

          April 26, 2019
          |Reply
        • Ariel
          Ariel

          True, diegetically speaking Hyde is supposed to be viewed as a polar opposite of Christian – a violent, vindictive, out of control monster.

          However, I could argue, that in reality Jack’s just a slightly tweaked version of the first archetype; he’s just as entitled and emotionally disturbed as Christian (and to a much lesser degree, Maxim) the only differences between them are:

          1) the object of their respective obsessions. Christian fixates on women, who look like his mother in order to fulfill his desire for revenge, while Hyde is obsessed with getting even with Christian and uses women to get to him,

          and

          2) Christian is slightly better at hiding his true nature from the outside world via his social status, money and ability to gaslight everyone around him.

          Also, Jack recorded the women he had sex with on video in order to blackmail them later. Christian only took photos of women he had sex with, in case he had to blackmail them later! See, totally different!

          April 26, 2019
          |Reply
          • Emily Barnard
            Emily Barnard

            AND SEXY!

            April 26, 2019
      • Alice
        Alice

        Just a couple of days before there was snow everywhere but now I guess it’s so hot the guys can’t keep their clothes on.

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
        • Mr. Fell
          Mr. Fell

          I mean, they were drunk at home. All you need is one “fuck clothes!” drunk guy and everyone else starts getting on board with it.

          My issue is that they expect the cleaning lady to be okay with it. She’s trying to do her fucking job.

          April 27, 2019
          |Reply
      • Riea
        Riea

        Well I just assumed that they all stripped down to their boxers to sleep, since it would prob be easier to sleep in boxers that your clothes, or they just sleep in their boxers like a lot of dudes.

        May 6, 2019
        |Reply
  11. Tami Alexander
    Tami Alexander

    I’m not Albanian and I’m offended as fuck by the representation. Like you said, Jenny: how hard is it to google something? I have been known to research throwaway one-liners in stories so they don’t come back to bite me in the ass later, because there is always going to be at least one person who is an expert on the subject and will call you out with a bullhorn.

    Also, the only time you use red light in a dark room is when developing black and white photos. It’s because the paper is light sensitive but most photographers keeps their paper in a special dark box to prevent from exposure to regular light, which ruins it. Miss is rich enough that he would have this. There’s no reason why he would need to use the red light, otherwise. I think this was just James getting in her “Secret Red Room” kink.

    I was reading this review out loud to my visiting friend, a retired schoolteacher who is also my personal editor/proofreader. She said that a woman who has been sexually trafficked and has men after her would not be willing to enter any dark rooms with a guy. Oh, I said, but she’s so hot for him! Look how she immediately masturbated after being afraid of being deported and what happened to that other girl! She has it bad!

    Finally, as someone with PTSD, I am ready to go off on James — again. Please, unless you want to see me in prison, do not leave me unattended with her. Because I’m likely to have a flashback to a traumatic incident when someone else marginalized my mental illnesses, and go off.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      I also find it weird that he had his digital camera in his dark room. It’s not unbelievable that he’d have a dark room and even some real film cameras because there kind of is nothing like real film and developing it, but there’s no need for a digital camera in a dark room.

      My grandfather was an attorney, but his big hobby was photography. He had his own dark room and won a lot of awards. Unless he was actively using the dark room, the light wasn’t just on. And there were normal lights in it, too, for going in there for something other than developing film (same for the dark room when I took a photography class as a kid). And he didn’t keep the door closed, again, unless he was actually in the process of using the room. We haven’t seen Moss do anything with photography until this moment.

      And when my grandfather started using more digital and finally exclusively because of age and infirmity, he didn’t keep those cameras in his dark room because why would you?

      Eel is an idiot. So much an idiot. And her readers don’t care because their brains are mush, apparently.

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        I don’t think it’s stupidity so much as laziness and her most ardent readers don’t really care about the details, I guess. It’s a shame too because having a protagonist who’s into photography could’ve been cool. I liked hearing about your grandpa. It was far more interesting than what was in the book. 😛

        April 29, 2019
        |Reply
        • Anon
          Anon

          Thanks. I’m not sure it’s that difficult to be more interesting. lol

          He led an interesting life, though.

          April 29, 2019
          |Reply
  12. Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)
    Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)

    I’m reading another book where the MC thought about taking his date on a walk by the Thames and my first thought was – “You can’t. The Thames has been erased.” Did it not get mentioned by name in this chapter? Was it actually erased?!?!?!

    EL doesn’t understand how masturbation works. I was going to say in books, but I don’t think she gets it in general. I know this is the recapped version, but that was boring and it didn’t tell us anything new. Why was it there? For either of them? Ughhhhhh! Now if it was the first time she’d felt comfortable with the thought of someone specific since the trafficking, he’d had a revaluation that wasn’t about her granny panties, or anything remotely interesting, then maybe. But. Nothing. Happened. I call BS that an editor read the entire book and was listened to.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
  13. Potato
    Potato

    Have you seen Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ted talk where she says someone told her it was a shame all Nigerian men were child abusers and they knew because of reading her book. And she told him it was a shame all Americans were murderers and she knew from reading American Psycho

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      I read two of her books and neither of them portrayed all Nigerian men as child abusers. Someone didn’t actually read her book. Or there’s one I haven’t read that happens to do that, but it’s neither of the two *I* read.

      FTR: Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah.

      And I was introduced to her through reading Sun in a book club — the pick of our member who was a Nigerian immigrant. And male. And a really amazing guy, too. He left FB and the group sort of broke up and so, sadly, I have lost touch, but he was a really neat person. And AFAIK, not abusive to anyone.

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Potato
        Potato

        I think the book of hers they were talking about was Purple Hibiscus which has one guy who is a child abuser. And the other main man character in the book is definitely not abusive as far as I remember, but people will make ridiculous generalizations about anything I guess. I think the Ted talk is The Danger of a Single Story and it’s a really good one. She also talks about professors who tried to tell her that her Nigerian characters shouldn’t be driving cars because it was unrealistic

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
      • Potato
        Potato

        Also I’m sorry if I made it sound like I agreed with the person who assumed all Nigerian men are abusive. I was trying to use it as an example of something ridiculous that someone would assume from one character in one book but sometimes I’m bad at writing what I mean online. This is why I suck at texting tbh

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
        • Anon
          Anon

          Oh no! I didn’t think you agreed. I was just shocked that anyone got that from her books because I’ve read a couple and that just isn’t in there. At all. Whoever said that to her obviously was looking for something negative to take away and basically made it up.

          I haven’t read Purple Hibiscus, but I’ll take your word that only one male character was abusive, so the point stands! lol

          April 29, 2019
          |Reply
  14. Wait… so EL (allegedly) went to Albania TWICE and never saw anyone use a smartphone or credit card, never used a credit card there herself, and just assumed it was such a backwards place that they didn’t know to use seatbelts, or so poor that no one HAS seatbelts in their cars? Or that they don’t even have cars at all? Wow. Once again I’m left in awe of the incredible depth and scope of her research. Even if she’s assuming that Alessia is from some remote village, it still boggles the mind that she actually thought portraying her in such a naive, infantilizing way would be anything but offensive.

    I was casually reading some Goodreads reviews for the book, and I stumbled across one by someone claiming to be Albanian, who said they were pleased with the accurate portrayal of their country, which… certainly had me raising an eyebrow.

    At least this chapter somewhat broke the pattern of Alessia entering the apartment, noticing the alarm is off, etc. But it’s still infuriating just how obvious it is that ELJ couldn’t have been less interested in writing her POV. So far, her POV served no purpose except to show her ogling the hero and occasionally remind us of her trauma that he’ll eventually swoop in to save her from. Not saying that Maxim’s is compelling my any means, or that you have to have a perfect 50/50 split in a split POV book, but it’s just so obvious where her priorities were, and that Alessia is so transparently 1) a stand-in for the audience through which they can vicariously experience her romance with Maxim, and 2) a sex object for Maxim whose inner life is incidental except for when it’s needed to propel the plot forward.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      That review sounds a bit dodgy. Later in the book, Alessia say ma Tirana, as the capital, is different from her hometown, so maybe James went only there and believes the rest of the country is living in prehistory?

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
  15. BloodyRose
    BloodyRose

    Funny thing, both “pathologically” and “synesthesia” derive from Ancient Greek and are, in fact, VERY SIMILAR across wildly spread-out European languages. Maybe she’s sounding them out because she’s trying to find their Albanian cognates, which Google Translate suggests “patologjik” and “sinestezi” respectively, and is thus extrapolating the etymology. Hell, she might even be using her synesthesia to help figure out the meanings from the phonemes or by picturing the graphemes, if she has grapheme synesthesia as well.

    Or that’s just the sort of nonsense *I* do as a synesthetic linguistics dork and Delmessabella is a fragile childlike Furby person who only understands the most common thousand words in ANY language and can only produce or process telegraphic speech.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
  16. “She is an Eldritch horror, pulling herself toward me on the pulsating brushes of her lashes, her full lips parting further to speak the language of madness and cast terrible judgment from the multitudes of her dark eyes.”

    Okay, Jenny, I’m calling it. I think you need a mental health break from this book. Take a day off.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
  17. Amanda
    Amanda

    This book is heading towards 50SoG direction. Hang in there, Jenny!

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
  18. Tez Miller
    Tez Miller

    Wait, were those a hand-me-down from Michal, too? No judgment here, just wondering. I’m not a fan of second-hand underpants.

    “You know you’re not in high-finance
    Considering second-hand underpants”

    –“Inner-City Pressure”, Flight of the Conchords

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ariel
      Ariel

      “She’s not crying,
      Alessia’s not crying,
      No, no
      She’s just been cutting oniooooons!

      She’s making a lasagnaaaaaa…
      …for one”

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • Linn
        Linn

        does that give her hurt feelings and diamond tears of a rapper?

        April 28, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          That would make her amazing so probably not. XD

          April 29, 2019
          |Reply
  19. “My hands are braced on the shower wall. I’m panting while steaming hot water cascades over me. I’ve been reduced to jerking off in the shower…again.

    You live alone. Jerk off wherever you want. But congrats on being able to do it with no hands.”

    I laughed and laughed and laughed at this. Still laughing.

    This whole damn book so far is just awful.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
  20. Ariel
    Ariel

    “She is an Eldritch horror, pulling herself toward me on the pulsating brushes of her lashes, her full lips parting further to speak the language of madness and cast terrible judgment from the multitudes of her dark eyes.”

    THANK YOU FOR SPONSORING MY NIGHTMARES TONIGHT, JENNIFER. I APPRECIATE IT.

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
  21. KR
    KR

    Ugh….I can understand if you’d never lived anything traumatic in your life ( good for you), but it’s one thing to not have first hand knowledge of certain traumas, and a whole other thing to trivialize said traumas. I personally dealt w/ years of depression, anxiety and PTSD due to childhood sexual abuse and I’m am a lot better thanks to therapy, but things never completely go away. I’m ok being alone with a guy, but years past I would get extremely anxious if left alone with a male. Alessia’s background might be even more horrible and it doesn’t point to her getting professional help for her trauma. She needs someone to actually help her deal with them, and a magic dick is not the answer. I’m not a romance fan mostly because of stories like these, but I wouldn’t have minded if this had been a love story between a girl looking for a second chance and a guy that was willing to help her get to where she felt comfortable and that it had nothing to do w/ his good looks.
    Speaking of good looks, maybe because I’m asexual and don’t think of others in a sexual way, but neither the description of Christian in FSoG or of Maxim here make me think of them as even remotely good-looking. Or maybe it’s just EL’s physical descriptions of them that make them sound physically unappealing to me? The cheat hair always gets me, since that is one of the things I’ve never found attractive.
    On the credit card and seatbelt, I will just say this, even here in the US, some people don’t really understand how credit cards work. As for the seatbelt thing, I’m just going to talk about what I do know. In Mexico there is a seatbelt law and a lot of people are beginning to adhere to it, but especially in smaller towns, a lot of people tend to ignore that one. Maybe it happens like that in Albania? I think coming from any other author that could possibly be the case, but EL being EL, it’s probably her just thinking other countries are backwards.

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      Adherence to seatbelt laws varies a lot from one place to another in my experience, I’ll admit to being kind of lax myself when sitting in the back, but I think even if you don’t use them you ‘d understand a different country might be stricter. And it’s not that she’s not used to credit cards or doesn’t know how to use one (again, some societies rely more heavily on cash than others), she says that a credit card is “magic” (not humorously) as if she had no concept at all of what it is.

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      I read a couple Goodreads reviews and they said she’s a virgin (in the Eel sense of the word, I assume, so not raped). It sounded like she escaped the sex slavery thing before the sex happened.

      I could be wrong. And that doesn’t mean she isn’t traumatized, but Eel of course would think she wouldn’t be traumatized at all because she got away before they stole her precious hymen.

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        All I can think is “of course she wasn’t sullied, if she had been she would not be worthy of Eel’s latest manwhore!” UGH. JUST…UGH!

        How bad are London prisons? Because if I run into Eel while I’m in London I’m gonna end up behind bars for rage induced murder. I consider it my civic duty. Hmm, I wonder if I could go with temporary insanity, from reading a recap of her insane book?

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      It’s a big difference between a country not having strict seatbelt laws and not having seatbelts at all. Alessia basically implies that Albania doesn’t have seatbelts in their cars like wtf? Least that’s what I got from it.

      May 6, 2019
      |Reply
  22. “She is an Eldritch horror, pulling herself toward me on the pulsating brushes of her lashes, her full lips parting further to speak the language of madness and cast terrible judgment from the multitudes of her dark eyes.”

    Laughed until I peed. Thank you for that.

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
  23. Errapel
    Errapel

    “I’m pathologically untidy.”

    “Path-o-log–”

    “Pathological.”

    “I do not know this word.”

    “Oh…um…it refers to an extreme behavior.”

    “I see,” Alessia responds, and she looks down at the clothes again and nods. “Yes. Pathological.”

    I don’t know if that was intended to be funny, but I found it hilarious. Upon learning the word means ‘extreme behavior’, Alessia takes one look at his clothes and completely agrees he is pathological…

    Trauma responses are weird, and I could get the idea of having sexual fantasies to distract from something you don’t want to think about. But writing that in the context of a sex trafficking victim is going to be problematic, more so if you don’t have the skill, sensitivity and knowledge to write it well. So all we get is “I have this horrible trauma I don’t want to think about, better think about my boss and masturbate furiously!”

    It’s so clear her trauma is only there to make her vulnerable and give Moss something to rescue her from. Because it vanishes the moment it becomes inconvenient for the *plot*. I’m not saying no traumatized sex trafficking victim would ever go into a darkened room alone with a man, or not be afraid to see three half naked drunk guys oggling her. But it does rather stretch credulity. At no point is there a thought of “I should be scared but… I know the Mister would never hurt me. I know he wouldn’t let his friends hurt me. I’m safe. It’s going to be ok.” possibly because this would count as character and relationship development, we can’t have that!

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
  24. Mr. Fell
    Mr. Fell

    In which universe the fucking albanian ambassador saying that this book is bullshit and completely misrapresents Albania is put on the same level as E.L. James said she read a couple of books, visited twice and HER HUSBAND LEARNT HOW TO MAKE A FUCKING STEW so it’s totally fine?

    (Also bet you a fiver that E.L. James is /that/ kind of English tourist who goes around clutching her pearls and finding everything +*so foreign and mysterious (and barbarian)*+).

    Also this is probably a stupid thing to get mad about, but why even the albanian organized crime cannot do their job? All they had to do was wait by the house Alessia lives in and ambush her one evening. Not be vaguely menacing at the door of the posh guy she works for who can immediately find out they are faking it and maybe call the actual police on them.

    >on the room she found
    Alessia, why are you looking for a room in London. You’re broke, look for a /bed/. (And only because she’s illegal, otherwise she should just look for a bed in a hostel).

    >and that most of the clothes Demelssia owns are hand-me-downs from Michal
    Okay, so why is this polish family so nice to host her and give her clothes for free but also not nice enough to give her a duvet or point her to a charity shop if she needs more stuff.
    …it’s because E.L. James is middle class, isn’t it?

    >Closing the door, she’s surprised by the smell. The apartment reeks of stale alcohol.
    Did they purpousefully spray beer and gin on the walls while drunk? Because that takes effort.

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)
      Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)

      Now I’m picturing them spraying beer and alcohol everywhere while they have a drunken orgy without condoms.

      Because that would be more interesting that what’s going on – in the hands of a competent writer.

      April 28, 2019
      |Reply
    • S
      S

      I’m just imagining them pouring beer and gin into spray bottles and spritzing the walls.

      May 5, 2019
      |Reply
  25. Squim
    Squim

    I read the Telegraph article, and it says EL’s next book is a paranormal romance…

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
  26. MayaB
    MayaB

    Another small detail which annoyed me: the “secret room” is a dark room. But when Ross takes a photo of Demelza (is this her real name?) he shows it directly to her. This would mean that he uses a digital camera and doesn’t really need a dark room which is used for analog films. Of course it’s possible to have multiple cameras, but I feel it had to be mentioned somehow. Or maybe I’m just too nit-pickey, because photography is also a hobby of mine.

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • KT
      KT

      Also, if the dark room is bathed in red light, that picture is going to be horrible. Low light, red casts, blurry because he’s not using a tripod. Of all the places in the world, a dark room is probably the worst to take a portrait of someone (unless it’s for Halloween and you want to make them look terrifying).

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ariel
        Ariel

        Yes to all of this.

        Also, if he’s using a flash, which would probably be a logical assumption, then Alessia might end up with rabbit-red eyes. And even if she doesn’t, then she still might end up squinting due to a suddenly flash of light or look startled.

        None of that screams „a portrait, that showcases your beauty” to me.

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
    • A. Noyd
      A. Noyd

      Stood out to me, too, and the closest thing to photography I do is take pics of my cats with my phone.

      April 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        I mentioned above, but my grandfather was a pretty serious hobby photog and had his own darkroom, then gradually made the switch to digital and there would be no reason to have a digital camera in your dark room. And most dark rooms have regular lights you can turn on, too. The red would only be used for developing. I’m not an expert, but I took a class years ago and know a little about it, on top of what I know from my grandfather.

        It was a weird and pointless scene. I guess she’s trying to connect to 50 — he has a mysterious, forbidden room just like Chedward, but his is just for pictures, not kink! And he showed it to her without any angst! He’s a totally different guy!

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
  27. Anon
    Anon

    “I, too, masturbate while thinking of wacky neurological phenomenon.”

    Don’t we all, though?

    “Moss thinks about how he can’t remember when he had sex last …”

    Have we missed a time stamp somewhere? Wasn’t it within the last week?

    OK, so I get you would have to heal a certain amount in order to run a 5K after a major injury. But, um, 5K isn’t that far. Why is that line in there like it’s some kind of ultra marathon? *I* have run a few 5Ks and I’m not really even a runner. My normal, usual daily exercise is to walk at least 4 miles. I’m not running it, but 3.1 miles is still less than my normal distance. And, again, I’m no athlete.

    Why are they all in their underwear?

    Ugh, yes to the way she’s presented. Eel makes her sound either stupid or like she’s from another planet rather than an intelligent person trying to learn a new language.

    “But she has fled.”

    Is there a back door? Where did she flee to?

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
  28. Rachel
    Rachel

    So, so far we have a wealthy and attractive yet troubled young man, a shy brunette virgin with nerdy interests, a dudebro comic relief character, and a bitchy blonde woman with a past sexual connection to the hero who was only sleeping with him because she wanted to fulfill her own selfish desires. The hero has a secret red room in his house devoted to a private hobby, and the hero and the naive brunette virgin just shared a kiss in an enclosed space.

    She did it. She wrote the same damn story twice.

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
  29. Alice
    Alice

    So she wears clothes too small now for a 14 year old boy? Oookay…

    ‘I’m glad she’s gone back into her lair, away from Tom’s and Joe’s prying eyes. Their reaction makes me uneasy. Suddenly, surprisingly, I feel proprietary. I don’t want my friends ogling her. She’s mine. Well, she’s my employee.’
    Oh Moss, you were almost there. If only the fact that they made you uneasy made you realized how awful you’ve always been to women instead of being uneasy because she’s yours…

    Also, how was Caroline ever friends with those jerks?

    April 26, 2019
    |Reply
  30. thegreatdragon
    thegreatdragon

    Do you think Maxim is going to ask Alessia to marry him so she can stay in the country?

    If we’re going with Poldark parallels, I feel like Maxim’s lust for Alessia is going to make him propose to/marry Alessia so he can keep her in the country/on his estate and keep having sex with her.

    April 26, 2019
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    • Mr. Fell
      Mr. Fell

      I really, really, really hope no.

      April 28, 2019
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  31. Izzy
    Izzy

    So I guess James half listened to the criticisms of not setting your story in a country you know nothing about if you’re not going to do the research. She set this one in England yet she still managed to piss off an entire country. That’s talent right there.

    There’s no point in me picking out a single cliche I hated this chapter. This whole book is nothing but a series of poorly executed cliches and terrible writing. It’s exhausting just reading excerpts.

    April 29, 2019
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  32. H. Savinien
    H. Savinien

    Just did a quick google because “Bleriana” sounded off. These are what I came up with for actual women’s Albanian names:
    1. Blerina
    2. Blinera
    3. Blerona
    4. Blerta
    5. Bledana
    6. Bleranda
    7. Bletana
    8. Blediana
    9. Blertana
    And only the first three show up often. So…like, every combination near that EXCEPT Bleriana is a name. Cool.

    April 29, 2019
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    • Dove
      Dove

      I suspect Eel did that tiny bit of research (maybe just the top Albanian names, I’m not sure what list she would’ve found) but she thought they all sounded a bit weird or didn’t look pretty enough so she tweaked Blerina by adding in an a that would make it sound more like Ariana, instead of, you know, picking a different name. That’s my guess.

      April 29, 2019
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    • Dove
      Dove

      Alternatively, her spellchecker didn’t like Blerina and she fixed the red lines without bothering to see what was changed or without caring, so long as the red lines went away. If she even leaves spellcheck on… XD

      April 29, 2019
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  33. S
    S

    If my boss kissed me without my consent, I’d probably slap them…but then, I can somewhat afford to place my dignity above my employment and I understand Delmessia may not be in that position. Which makes this worse.

    While I’m reading this I’m also rereading sporks of Hogwarts Exposed, a fanfic even worse than what Eel churns out. The nudist characters not respecting the modesty of other characters is a HUGE peeve of the sporkers, and I can’t help thinking about that when we see here three half-naked men unconcerned with the modesty of the help. Like, I’m all about the beauty of the natural human form, but I also prefer my sister and brother-in-law be clothed when I go visit them. And if my boss and their buddies are hanging out at my boss’s house, and I’m expected to help with tasks, I damn sure expect them to be clothed when I’m doing so. I’m certainly not going to be eyeing them up if they’re not – I’ll just inform them I can come back when theyre dressed.

    How can you taste graceful?

    Sentient spray tan omg

    May 5, 2019
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  34. Gina
    Gina

    “Spare is apparently some kind of cruel childhood nickname Kit came up with, too”

    If Erika said in the book that Kit came up with the phrase “heir and a spare”, then she’s lying. It’s been used in the UK for (I would suggest) CENTURIES for any high-born family that produces two boys. William and Harry have been referred to as heir and the spare, FFS.

    May 29, 2019
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  35. Moth
    Moth

    As someone struggling with depression and various eating disorders, I´m feeling mildly infuriated by the statement that staying by someone in hard times requires you to be some kind of saint. Bitch, please: there are some people less self-absorbed than Anabella and Chedward. They exist.
    Overall I nearly spat my drink twice, so thanks for recapping that Poldark copy so I am somewhat qualified to talk about it without having to actually read it.

    June 11, 2019
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  36. Cat
    Cat

    If he can show her the pic immediately then he’s operating a digital camera and doesn’t need a dark room. If the room hasn’t been used in a while then the chemical smell should be faint, because they aren’t overwhelming to begin with and they’re stored in airtight containers when not in use to reduce chemical decay. This is the red room all over with EL assuring everyone he has everything he needs without understanding how any of it works.

    Also, 2 guys associated with the main dude, one slightly friendlier, one slightly threatening to the main chick, one has red hair, one has dreadlocks and is probably black. Oh hi, James/Jack and Laurent/ trainer guy! Nice to see you both again.

    Wait a minute… Blonde, was hooked up with her brother, had expectations to be a romantic prospect before becoming a sister friend who is oddly obsessed with having a baby– Rose? Is that you? Oh my god, it is you! Girl, I haven’t seen you like this since Twilight, how have you been?

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply

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