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Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister, chapter 13 or “Are you going to start a secret smelting company, too?”

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In news directly from the mouth of hell, E.L. James has coyly teased that she may or may not write a BDSM novel featuring gay men as the central couple. 

[…]James says she’s been swamped with fans begging for her to write a book that features gay men.

Who are these fans? Turn on your location. I just want to talk.

And it’s not just men asking her to pen the erotica, women are writing in and asking for some man-on-man action too.

I highly doubt it’s any men asking her. It is 100% white Christian moms with “Live, Laugh, Love, Pray” wall decals, three desperately overscheduled “Greybies” named Mykklaryn, Renesmee, and, of course, Christian, who participate in dozens of conflicting afterschool activities that feed their mothers’ pathological transportation martyr needs. The I-would-like-to-speak-to-your-manager army is desperate for an audiobook they can listen to quietly while waiting in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru, then cite as evidence that they’re not homophobic, they just vote for strongly anti-gay candidates because they agree with them on other issues. Oh, and sure, they donated to their megachurch’s conversion therapy camp, but they read poorly written butt sex scenes so they just can’t be bigoted.

And gay men, if you are a huge fan of E.L. James, I need you to explain why you’re so into painfully heterosexual and extremely homophobic “erotica” when there are hundreds of thousands of other choices out there.

James’s coquettish “never say never” quote is the most infuriating fucking thing I’ve read in a while. And I have a Twitter account. Yes, bitch. Say never. Say the fuck never. No one, be they gay, lesbian, bi, pan, or queer, needs your straight ass fetishizing them for your ravenous audience and their dubious tastes. We have enough condescending straight women pulling that bullshit in M/M fiction already.

James says the idea interests her because having two men in the relationship would take away the power dynamics based on gender roles.

I cannot wait to read her BDSM novel where there are no power dynamics. I’m sure it will be thrilling, completely accurate, and well-researched.

Also, probably Supernatural Wincest fic.

Now, let’s get back into her current fanfic. Oh, I mean, totally original work that is definitely not a Poldark AU.

They walk hand in hand along the coastal path and stop by an old ruin.

“What is this place?” Alessia asks.

“It’s an abandoned tin mine.”

Alessia and Maxim lean against the chimney stack, staring out at a choppy sea that’s crested with white surf as the chill wind whistles between them.

Ah. Well.

Moss tells Demelssia that he grew up there and that his brother is dead now.

He digs his hands deep into his coat pockets and stares out at the sea, his face bleak, carved like stone.

via GIPHY

So, they have a little moment of grief and discussing his family. And he doesn’t ask her any questions about her family, but she’s okay with that because she changes the subject so she doesn’t have to discuss them. She tells him there are mines in Kükes, which is kind of an understatement, especially when she mentions that this particular ruined mine looks like, “the chimney on the road to Kosovo.” If you look up the area, there’s definitely more than one chimney on that “road” (which is a major highway) between two real, actual, no shit modern places that have thriving mining industries, including the world’s largest Chromium mine, which is the one in Kükes that Demelssia is talking about.

So, remember, the town with the world’s largest Chromium mine has no credit cards or stores.

Moss suggests they walk to Truro the village of Trevethick to get lunch. And of course, so E.L. James has a chance to air her feelings about Albania just not being up to her English standards:

The stone and whitewashed houses are like nothing Alessia’s seen before. They look small and old, but charming nonetheless. The place is quaint–pristine–with no trash anywhere. Where she comes from, there is garbage and construction debris in the streets, and most of the buildings are build from concrete.

Photo of a clean, modern street in Kükes. There is some kind of business on the lower level of a building that is painted with a mural of mountains. There is also a mountain visible in the background. A park with a bicycle and cafe tables and chairs are on the right of the street.
Oh, the horrors.

Yes. That’s actually Kükes. That’s the hellscape of trash and construction Demelssia is talking about.

Or, is she talking about London? Because IDK, that pretty much describes the London I went to on vacation once, and everyone knows that brief tourism paints a realistic and sympathetic portrayal of a country.

At the waterfront two stone quays stretch out to embrace the harbor where three large fishing boats are moored.

What’s that classic song Nat “King” Cole did about L-O-V-E? I think we can use that as a template here.

P is for the plagiarism she skirts

o is for the “original spin” she puts

l is lazy writing

d is Winston Grahm’s and she needs to get off it

a, absolute trash so fuck her

r is for the repercussions for this shit

k is knowing that there’ll be none

I’m telling you Poldark is freely up for grabs!

Yeah. Doesn’t scan. You see how late this recap is gliding in. If you want perfection, go find that Blue’s Traveler song I rewrote about Lani Sarem. I’m not making Weird Al money here.

Anyway, yeah. Trevethick is Truro.

There are two pubs in Trevethick, one called The Watering Hole and the other The Two-Headed Eagle. Because The Red Lion was already taken. She points out that Moss’s tattoo is on the sign, and an elderly vicar with a “tr” name is just exiting. He greets them and asks who Demelssia is.

“Father Trewin, our vicar, may I introduce Alessia Demachi, my…friend, visiting from overseas.”

Which fucking sea?! The Adriatic? Would you really refer to a place you can literally drive from as “overseas”, UK people? Like, once she opens her mouth, he’s going to know she’s not an American. Unless he’s never met an American before because he’s a royalist and those bloody colonists have something come to them.

Anyway, the vicar pulls a page from my grandmother’s handbook and reminds Moss what time church starts, then they part. Moss asks Demelssia if she is religious, but she doesn’t get a chance to answer before they go into the pub and are greeted by a dude who unironically calls Moss “Milord.”

Again, I beg of you, UK people, chime in here. Do you address actual earls with “milord” or is this one of James’s bougie fantasies?

We jump into Moss’s POV, where he learns from the barman that “Megan” still works there. And this is a bad thing. Which means brace yourself: the evil bitch who likes Moss is coming.

Demelssia takes off her hat:

With her loose, dark curls falling almost to her waist, her shining eyes, and her radiant smile, she is an exotic beauty.

Now, Alessia isn’t a woman of color. But she is “ethnic,” so all of these points stand.

Anyway, wasn’t there an evil bitch lurking somewhere?

I turn around and Megan is standing in front of me, her expression as dark as her clothes. “Table for two?” she says with a saccharine tone and a smile to match.

Yes, but is she blonde?!

I stand aside for Alessia to precede me, and we follow in Megan’s dour wake.

I know that we’re supposed to read Megan as the vengeful woman scorned, who’s crazy for no reason, right? But we’ve seen how Moss behaves toward women. I’m betting this is totally justified.

Megan takes them to the best table in the place:

“This okay for you?” I ask Alessia, deliberately ignoring Megan.

Again. Any time a woman who is not the heroine is near the hero of an E.L. James story, the hero must ignore her and we must hear about this ignoring.

Jago arrives with our drinks, and Megan saunters off, presumably to fetch menus…or a cricket bat.

Again, you probably deserve it, Moss.

Moss and Demelssia go back to discussing religion. She says that the Communists banned religion in her country, and Moss is like, why do you have that cross necklace? And then Megan comes back and interrupts them with menus.

I ignore her.

Of course, you do.

“It was my grandmother’s. She was Catholic. She used to pray in secret.”

If there’s one thing missionaries are famous for, it’s keeping their faith a secret.

“So there’s no religion in your country?”

“There is now. Since we became a republic when the Communists fell, but in Albania we don’t make much of it.”

None of this is wrong. In fact, some of it sounds like it was paraphrased from Wikipedia:

“Not in Albania. We are a…what is the word? Secular state.

She knows “secular state” but not “truck.”

Religion is very personal. You know, just between a person and their God. At home we are Catholics. Most people in my town are Muslim. But we do not give it much thought.”

But I’ve got a nit to pick and it is a mighty one. Demelssia remembers her grandmother praying in secret. Why? The ban on religion was lifted in 1990. Demelssia wouldn’t even have been born yet at that point. And while yes, Albania is a secular state, that refers to the constitution. The government doesn’t fuss with religion now. It’s totally separate. But according to this site that I was easily able to google, only 25% of the population of Albania identifies as either not religious or don’t declare a religion. Almost sixty percent of the country is Muslim.

Google: it’s right fucking over there.

Hearing about all this makes Moss want to go to church. He asks Demelssia if she likes England, and she’s like, yes, because it’s so multicultural and she’s never been to a big city before.

“Not even Tirana?” Thanks to my expensive education, I know the capital of Albania.

 

via GIPHY

Only rich people get to know what the capital of Albania is. Sorry, plebs.

So, anyway, Demelssia has never been to Tirana. Like, most of the country’s universities are located there, but okay. Let’s say she went to one of the satellite campuses in Kükes, which do exist. And apparently, have no credit cards and are just heaped with trash.

Megan appears with her pinched, angry face and scraped back hair, and my problem subsides.

The problem is an erection he got looking at how beautiful Demelssia is. So, just so you’re aware, he desires the harpy Megan so little that his boner dies at first sight.

BUT IS SHE BLONDE?

Boy, is she still bitter. It was one summer seven years ago. One fucking summer.

So, what did you do to her, boy?

She’ll probably spit in my food–or worse, in Alessia’s.

Yeah, since you had no trouble with Megan’s spit before, clearly.

Demelssia totally notices that something is going on between the two of them, so Moss steers the conversation toward Demelssia’s family.

“Well, my father is old-fashioned, and I do not…how do you say? We do not see eye for eye.”

So, she absolutely grasps the concept of idioms. “Raining cats and dogs,” shouldn’t have been such an Amelia Bedelia moment for her.

Moss gets a sense that she doesn’t want to talk about her family, so he asks her about the country, instead.

She tells me Albania is a special place where family is as the center of everything. It’s an ancient country, influenced over the centuries by several cultures with different ideologies. She explains that it’s both Western and Eastern-facing, but more and more her country looks to Europe for inspiration. She’s proud of her hometown.

She literally just said it was covered in trash and everything in England is so much better, but thanks for your sixth grade report on Albania, Erika.

We are interrupted by Megan and fish pie. Megan plunks the plates down on the table and leaves without a word. Her face is sour, but the fish pie is warming and delicious, and there’s no sign that anyone spat in it.

I hope she dropped a whole handful of pubes in yours. Hers and the fucking vicar’s.

Moss asks Demelssia what her parents do. Her father is a mechanic, her mother is a homemaker. Demelssia says she went to university until it closed, and this really makes me think E.L. James does google things, because while researching something else, I found out that a university in Kükes did close in 2014. So, I mean. She is capable of doing a little googling. But there is at least one other university in that town. Why couldn’t she have been going there? Why is it so important for Demelssia to be tragic and uneducated?

They talk about his DJ job and he skirts telling her that he’s an earl. Then he asks her:

“[…] What about you? How old were you when you started playing?”

“I was four.”

Wow. Early.

Not really, I guess. According to two music teachers I polled, between age four and nine is ideal, but one of them said they won’t take a student until they’ve had at least some preschool. I guess once again, Moss is impressed by the average.

“Did you study music? I mean, music theory?”

“No.”

That’s even more impressive.

Wait, whut? How did she not learn music theory, but she can read sheet music? Like, sight read it, even? Music theory is straight up built into learning to play the piano. Maybe not advanced music theory, but am I supposed to believe Demelssia just dropped out of her mother’s sainted vaginë knowing how to read sheet music?

They leave the restaurant without us finding out whether or not the Dread Megan is blonde or not. I’m never going to recover from this. Anyway, Moss realizes before they pay the bill that Demelssia is “tipsy”. They stop at a local shop so he can buy her nightlight, which is really sweet, right?

She takes the package and returns to the counter, where I spy condoms.

Well, I might get lucky.

With the sex trafficking victim who’s here hiding from, you know, the sex traffickers.

And he straight. up. buys. condoms.

Demelssia is distracted by the lipstick display but turns down Moss’s offer to buy her some, and he thinks about how he’s never seen her wear makeup because OBVIOUSLY, she’s a natural beauty who doesn’t need it. As they leave, she spots Tresyllian Hall.

Tell her you’re the fucking Earl of Trevethick.

No.

Why not?

I will. Not yet.

Why not?

I want her to know me first.

Know you?

Spend time with me.

Who…who are you talking to, Moss? Your inner goddess?

They go back to the beach where once again he broods with his hands in his pockets while she revels in the majesty of the sea.

She is giddy. Excited. And in love. This is what it should feel like. Joyful. Filling. Free. The realization surges through her like the bracing Cornish wind and whips her hair across her face.

She is in love with Mister Maxim.

So, she’s in love with him. That’s all it’s going to take to get those over-sized novelty panties down and that trauma forgot.

“Thank you for bringing me here,” she exclaims, breathless.

He grins down at her as he holds her close. “It’s my pleasure,” he says.

“It will be!” she quips, and laughs as his eyes widen and his mouth drops open.

She wants him. All of him.

Doesn’t know the word for “truck,” totally grasps the nuances of clever wordplay. CHECKS OUT.

In Moss’s POV, Drunk Ass Demelssia falls into a wave and gets all wet, and he has to run out and rescue her and lead her back to the house, where he kisses her and helps her take off her sodden outerwear. He tells her she should go change, then makes some phone calls. One of them is to his old buddy, Tom, who asks if Moss has “sealed the deal” yet.

Hey, were you loving this book (no you weren’t) but missing the long email and text exchanges from Fifty Shades of Grey? GOOD NEWS. We get to read Moss’s email to Oliver informing him that he’s in Cornwall and instructing him to pay Tom’s invoice. Then, he texts Elizaline. She asks him if he wants her to come to Cornwall, and he’s like, no, so she’s like, I’ll call you at the hall, and he’s like, I’m not at the hall, and she just won’t stop getting into all his business. But he doesn’t tell her what’s going on.

Moss goes off to look for Demelssia and finds her in the laundry room, pantsless, reading Jamaica Inn (DOESN’T KNOW THE WORD FOR “TRUCK”) and waiting for her jeans to dry. It never occurred to him that she might not have any others to change into.

I try not to look at her long, naked legs. I try not to imagine them wrapped around my waist. I fail.

And she’s wearing the Pink Panties.

IDK, if she only has the one pair of jeans, you might wanna steer clear of that panty situation.

Remember how in the last chapter she had to wear his pajama top and only his pajama top because she had absolutely nothing to wear to bed?

Alessia appears by the door a few moments later wearing SpongeBob pajama bottoms and an Arsenal FC shirt.

They were too small for Michal, the fourteen-year-old boy, but they’re too big on her. This is an important detail because we absolutely must not be imagining her as some kind of fatty, right?

Glossing over, glossing over, glossing over, she tries to come on to him but he’s like, you drank too much, she takes it as a rejection and runs off.

I know the look she was giving me.

Hell. I’ve seen it often enough.

Right before the process server handed you the restraining order, right?

A fuck-me, fuck-me-now look.

Isn’t that why I brought her here?

…no? You brought her there because she’s being followed by…kidnappers?

But she’s tipsy, and she has no one, and she has nothing.

If she wasn’t drunk though, he’d climb on that VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING real quick.

If I fuck her, I’ll be taking advantage.

No shit?

But then he’s like, oh no, she’s playing sad piano, I might have to fuck her to make her feel better. Oh, and then take her back into danger:

Maybe I should take her up on her offer–fuck her and take her back to London.

Maybe he should have sex with her, then bring her back to where the human traffickers can find her. Sure. This is romantic. Why not. This is how love is now, I guess.

Meanwhile, In Demelssia’s POV:

The music slowly moves through her and out into the room, filling it with the somber colors of regret.

You know. Those colors. The ones of regret? It’s not even worth mentioning what the character with synesthesia as a defining character trait considers regretful colors because everybody just knows.

Moss apologizes for upsetting her, and she’s like, it’s about my clothes, isn’t it, and he’s like, no, also, please play something for me, and we go into his POV where he recognizes the song he was writing that weekend that she first inspired him. It was originally a song for his dead brother, and he starts crying.

I bury my face in her hair and inhale her soothing scent. And I cannot stop the tears sliding down my face.

Shit.

She’s unmanned me.

This is how I know that E.L. James is a god damned liar when she says she reads historical romance novels. If you read historical romance novels, you know, you know that a hero thinks he’s been “unmanned” when he ejaculates. As in, the hero must halt the heroine’s stroking of his shaft, lest she “unman” him. Pick up any Bertrice Small, Christina Dodd, Laura Kinsale, Jo Beverly, literally any classic historical romance novel and you’re gonna know this terminology does not mean to a romance reader what E.L. thinks it means to a romance reader.

So, I choose to read this as Moss just blew a load into Demelssia’s hair.

Sadly, Moss considers himself unmanned because the act of crying isn’t manly. Which is definitely not a toxic way to think at all. But he can and does cry in Demelssia’s arms.

Which means tomorrow we’ll be reading a sex scene, because he can’t be too “unmanned” for long.

My Thoughts So Far: I think I said all the fuck I wanted to say about this shit show already, so allow me to make a couple notes here.

First of all, as you can see, I’ve been embedding gifs from Giphy. It only just today dawned on me that those might not, in fact, have descriptive text attached to them for my readers who use screen reading devices. If this is you, let me know how the Giphy thing is working out. I can always put the description in the actual text.

Second, I so, so, so appreciate everyone who has thrown money into my Kofi account or signed up on my super disorganized and always running behind Patreon. My money situation is NOT GOOD and hasn’t been for a while. My book royalties have plummeted. After my husband’s mother died last year with negative bank balances, unpaid bills, and no pre-need for her funeral, and then I ended up with the lawsuit thing, we wiped out every last spare bit of money we had. We’re pretty much living off donations and Patreon at the moment and things are looking grim. So many of you chipped into the legal fund, sent money to help with the mother-in-law situation, and I never, ever stop appreciating that. Which is why I hate ever having to say, hey, money is tiiiiiiiiiight, but maybe if you’ve been meaning to donate but you haven’t, or it never occurred to you to toss a few bucks my way, it would be foolish of me not to mention it. I did so many years of living off food stamps and pretending to be a Big Successful Author™ that I definitely learned my lesson to be upfront about help if it’s needed. So, to all of you out there who support me with donations, thank you forever. And to those of you who can’t because we’re in the same boat, hey, aren’t Aldi’s frozen pizzas way better than name brand?! It’s SHOCKING how good they are.

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130 Comments

  1. Jaycie
    Jaycie

    “Demelssia remembers her grandmother praying in secret. Why? The ban on religion was lifted in 1990.”

    This, I kind of get. I can’t speak to the Catholic experience specifically, but generations of Jews growing up in Eastern Europe before and during WWII grew accustomed to keeping their religion a secret. Some of their children are paranoid about revealing it to this day, because they were instructed not to from a young age. So I can imagine her grandmother praying in secret largely out of habit.

    You know what I can’t imagine? Why the jealous waitress is useful. She wasn’t useful in Twilight and she’s not useful here.

    May 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      (She needs to be here because there’s an old timey whore at the tavern who Ross Poldark slept with and who gives Demelza the evil eye at a party)

      May 7, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jaycie
        Jaycie

        FUCK’S SAKE E.L.

        May 7, 2019
        |Reply
      • I like the old timey whore on Poldark, she’s gorgeous and she has such great hair!

        May 10, 2019
        |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      Back in the I believe early 1990s (though may have been late ’80s), my grandparents invited a newly-arrived Russian Jewish immigrant family to our Passover Seder. My grandparents’ dining room was in the front of the house and there was a large window facing the street.

      We happened to just leave the curtains open even though it was dark outside I guess because who cares that much in the US? We were dressed and all. lol

      Anyway, it took us a bit before we realized those poor people were TERRIFIED that someone would see us celebrating Passover and report us to the authorities.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      Eel seems to have trouble remembering her heroines are women in their early twenties and not in her fifties like herself. Hence Ana, the university student without a lap top or an email address. And a millennial Albanian who behaves as if the Cold War was still going on or was barely over.
      I find the “jealous ex” character really unbelievable. Do these women have no pride? If I met some guy I’d fooled around with in the past I’d do my best to act civil and normal, no matter how hurt and bitter I might be, I wouldn’t want to give them that satisfaction!

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Riea
        Riea

        Because just like in Twilight the jealous is being used to show what a cad the hero was in the past but isn’t anymore cause the heroine has changed him. Or how he doesnt treat the heroine the way he treats other woman cause she’s special. *Rolls eyes*

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
      • Riea
        Riea

        Also, its certainly possible for Megan to not even be bothered by it anymore, like it could have just been a hook up for her or maybe she’s over it cause it was ages ago. Of course these types of women never exist in these types of books. *deep sigh*

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      Because just like in Twilight the jealous is being used to show what a cad the hero was in the past but isn’t anymore cause the heroine has changed him. Or how he doesnt treat the heroine the way he treats other woman cause she’s special. *Rolls eyes*

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Riea
        Riea

        Sorry for the duplicate reply, stupid phone

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • Lucy
          Lucy

          It’s because the hero is just so HAWT that no woman could get ever over him.

          May 9, 2019
          |Reply
  2. Jaycie
    Jaycie

    Also, re: milord: It’s certainly the protocol to address earls, marquesses, viscounts, and barons that way, and the vicar of the village where the peer’s family seat is located would probably do so as a matter of course. (Dukes get “Your Grace”; knights get “sir.”)

    May 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Sabayon
      Sabayon

      Okay, it is protocol and all, but even for a small town vicar it strikes me as SUPER UNLIKELY (aka, weird Downton Abbey bollocks). I mean, granted I live in Scotland, not England and the most likely thing an Earl would be addressed as by someone who recognised them as the Earl of this village or whatever up here is probably cuntface, but this still strikes me as a thing that just doesn’t happen anymore outside weird middle class londoners bizarre sexual fantasies about becoming members of the actual aristocracy. I mean, who even know who the local lord is? I guess in a small village the vicar might, but like…… Nah, it’s weird.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Helen
      Helen

      Yeah, I might call the local duke (I have one!) “Sir” if I bumped into him informally, but never “Milord”. “Your grace” would be for formal occasions.

      May 12, 2019
      |Reply
  3. Chelsea
    Chelsea

    The Giphy gifs don’t have descriptions attached. It’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of the post, but descriptions would be wonderful. 🙂

    I wish I could throw you some money, but I’m in a very similar boat right now. I’ll try next month.

    May 7, 2019
    |Reply
  4. Tami Marie Alexander
    Tami Marie Alexander

    First, this:

    “Yes, bitch. Say never. Say the fuck never. No one, be they gay, lesbian, bi, pan, or queer, needs your straight ass fetishizing them for your ravenous audience and their dubious tastes. We have enough condescending straight women pulling that bullshit in M/M fiction already.”

    YES! THANK YOU! As I said before, I want James to keep her crap-ass writing far away from the LGBT+ community. This is MAH HOUSE, beyatch! Don’t be bringing your trash up in here! James did a disservice to the BDSM community, she’s doing a disservice to the victims of sex-trafficking with this book; we do NOT need her giving her WASP soccer mom audience the wrong impression of a much larger faction of the public.

    Which brings me to the next thing: the fact that she is ONCE AGAIN presenting a rich guy who wants to bone a drunk girl. Where have I seen that, before…hmmm…I wonder… Seriously, WTF is wrong with James? Why is she so fucking redundant with her characters? Oh, wait — silly me — it’s because SHE HAS NO TALENT.

    And then, the whole “…how do you say?” thing. Oh my fucking GOD. Did she research this by watching the French character in The Most Popular Girls in School? I think she did. No, really — check for yourself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zs9xTGn1Mc

    Maybe Alessia is from Montreal…

    May 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      To be fair, my Polish friend says “how do you say” quite a lot. Actually she speaks very good English but is not very confident in her ability to do so, so she comes off as very hesitant and not as fluent as she actually is. She will say “how do you say” followed by a 100% correct “guess.” If the Eel were a better writer, Alessia would remind me of my friend in the way she speaks. But sadly the Eel isn’t a better writer so Alessia’s speech just comes across as badly written.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • LW
        LW

        Same! When I speak other languages, I use “how do you say” very often, even when I know how to say what’s coming next. This is especially true when I feel less confident in the language, but I even use it as a filler in a language I’m fluent in. It’s one of the first phrases I learn, and I also hear it very often from my non native English speaking friends. The phrase bothers me the least about her speech. What gets me more is the inconsistency and the grammar, although I do understand that it’s difficult to write non native English speech when you are a native English speaker, esp. if you don’t spend a lot of time with non native English speakers.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Riea
          Riea

          All E.L had to do was talk to an ESL tutor or some non native English speakers. That would be too much like research though.

          May 9, 2019
          |Reply
  5. roma
    roma

    Jenny you are the first person I’ve ever signed up for a Patreon thing for and I am so happy I am finally in a position to do so because I have been lauding your content & writing for ages, thank you so much! <3

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  6. Jenn H
    Jenn H

    “Where she comes from, there is garbage and construction debris in the streets, and most of the buildings are build from concrete.”

    This is Albania as portrayed in the movie “Wag the Dog”. I wonder if E. L. James saw it and managed to miss the point. There probably are parts of Albania that look like that, I know there are parts of England that do.

    Alessia’s inconsistent grasp of the English language continues to make me suspicious.

    I assume there is some important plot reason that Alessia is Catholic rather than Muslim or non-religious. In another book by a better author this could be so they could explore the experience of someone from a religious minority. But here Alessia is a horrible stereotype except for this detail.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Quinn
      Quinn

      I just assumed she is Catholic because EEL couldn’t imagine a Muslim as a good person worthy of love. All the Mommies Jenny talked about at the beginning can accept Catholics, even if they give them the side-eye for not being “real” Christians, but a Muslim heroine would have been a DNF for most of them. At least where I’m from anyway.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        That is my assumption. DimZelda has to be “exotic” but not too “exotic”, so she can be from some “exotic” country but she can’t also have an “exotic” religion. She wouldn’t be relatable. I’m sure the Muslim community is grateful for this after seeing what she’s done to Albania.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      Okay when I think of places with concrete buildings, I think of modern living, as in they would at least have grocery or convenience stores(maybe credit cards). According to Demelessia they don’t though, so this is odd to me, maybe it’s just odd to my weird brain though.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        I’m starting to think Dimzenda was raised in captivity. That all the stories she’s telling about her home country are things she was told. “You don’t want to go out there Dimmy, the world is full of horrible things, buildings made of concrete, and there are no seas, and there is trash everywhere. You are safer in here with us. No go practice piano. We will get more money if you have “culture”.” *insert evil madame she calls “mom” and pimp she calls “dad” here*

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • Agent_Z
          Agent_Z

          Your comment made me think “so basically she’s a Rapunzel from Tangled”. But then I realized that character was nowhere near as Alessia is depicted here.

          May 13, 2019
          |Reply
  7. E.
    E.

    The reference about Tirana, that he knows it because of his expensive education, I took as a joke and a jab at himself that he supposedly has this good education but he doesn’t know anything about that country.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      You’re giving the author far too much credit. lol

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
  8. katiedidwhat
    katiedidwhat

    I know somebody who taught himself to read music before he could read English (his mother tongue). Nobody taught him initially, he just figured it out on his own when he was four or five because it made sense to him, so, like, it’s possible to read music without studying music theory, but he was also later a musician in school and definitely had some further assistance. He finally taught himself to play piano in his late 30s. Dude’s some kind of musical genius, and these folks are too, allegedly? I dunno if it’s possible to be 100% self taught when how the heck do you even HAVE a piano in garbage-strewn, concrete Albania, but I guess if we accept she had constant piano access, it’s slightly plausible she could have gotten reasonably far with no training especially when our Moss is definitely impressed by average.

    Also, and maybe this is just me, but I’m super reluctant about physical contact. There is no way in HELL a dude would wake up to find me draped all over them unless I’d woken up and done it on purpose, and that’s speaking as a person without a history of abuse or human trafficking, just as a person who has really clear boundaries for that kind of thing. I can’t even *imagine.*

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • S
      S

      I completely agree with you re: physical contact.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Even ignoring the boundaries issue, I can’t sleep when someone or something (living, like a cat for example) is touching me or there’s just enough pressure nearby for me to notice they’re there.

      I have sensory issues (I’m very sensitive to touch disturbances, like things in my shoes or the toe seam on my socks, and certain fabric textures are abhorrent to me.) I can’t stand any kind of compression bra, for instance, so cuddling in my sleep just isn’t possible; I’d wake myself up even if I managed to do it by accident somehow and someone else doing the same would wake me up as well and freak me out. So I also only drape myself across people if I’ve woken up and done it on purpose. (I sometimes passive-aggressively do it to my husband when he’s snoring because he’s a light sleeper and so am I but usually when I’m at my breaking point. I do enjoy cuddles when I’m already awake and not trying to sleep.) I enjoy burrito-ing myself inside blankets though; things that aren’t alive don’t bother me unless they irritate my skin or feel too tight. *shrug*

      I know not everyone is the same, maybe we’re outliers, but I thought I’d add my two cents into the “why is this trope so common?” pile. ;P

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
  9. Bunny
    Bunny

    4 years old is definitely not early for starting an instrument. I started playing violin at 4 (well, “playing” as in holding a box with a paint stick attached so I could figure out posture before getting a real breakable instrument) but my cousin started at least a year earlier, and some of the people in my orchestra have probably started even earlier than that. And, like, starting age isn’t an indication of how good a player you are, either. There’re two 5th-grade girls who go to my teacher and they’ve always been leaps and bounds ahead of me despite their youth. It’s a question of practice and dedication to learning the instrument, not when it was picked up.

    Also, the leads have zero chemistry – which has always been true, but it’s especially sore-thumb-ish in this chapter. The bizarre blink-and-you’ll-miss-it snap from lukewarm “this is fine” to “sexytimes NOW” is just … it’s sooooo forced. Has this been built to at all? Am I missing something?? It’s also really uncomfortable that it happened while the heroine was drunk and falling all over herself. The fact that she still calls him Mister Maxim … I dunno, it seems particularly infantilizing (I mean, what isn’t?). Like, adults don’t usually call each other ‘mister’ and ‘missus’ rather than by just first names. Those formalities are something that grade-schoolers do.

    Maximus Poldarkicus is a real creepster. He just doesn’t seem to view Alessia as a person. At first it seems like he saw her as a helpless infant-alike – again, super creepy and disgusting, since he was still perving on her – but now, with a sex scene looming on the horizon, she’s not even that. He just sees her as meat. “Exotic,” foreign meat which he can’t wait to dig into. Pair that with the fact that she’s a survivor of SEX TRAFFICKING, THAT IS, #@()#% SEX #*@(% TRAFFICKING @#%(@*, and I have just one question: which way to the nearest chemical showers?

    I think the synesthesia is just stage dressing at this point.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • James is treating surviving sex trafficking like it’s just another “exotic” quirk on her two-dimensional heroine’s roster. Piano! Synesthesia! Albanian! Sex-trafficked! It all adds up to a fairy-tale quality, doesn’t it?!

      It’s like Eel is using sex trafficking as a convenient plot device to prevent her characters from boning — and “she’s not like other girls/sluts” — right away, and that’s pretty much it. Sex trafficking is a minor inconvenience that means they have to spend time walking hand-in-hand on the beach, and go to dinner down the pub so the one server can be jealous. That’s it. It would’ve been more effective if Earl Poldarkus’s maid had come down with food poisoning or pneumonia instead, but that’s not as romantic as women being kidnapped and forced into prostitution.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Amy
        Amy

        There’s the added – she was never forced into anything sex related. So in Jame’s mind, Im sure she sees Demelza as a garden variety kidnap victim. The intention was sex/prostitution, but our heroine escaped before all that.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Well, she couldn’t be sullied by any other man’s dick, obvi.

          May 8, 2019
          |Reply
          • Jules
            Jules

            Oddly, I’m more pissed that she was “sex trafficked” but still “pure” than if she had just been a victim of sex trafficking who had been raped. Making her still a virgin sends a terrible, terrible message about a woman’s worth being related to her hymen. It also makes it far too gimmicky and something like sex trafficking should never, ever be used as just an obstacle that can be overcome with a good, hard fuck from the right guy. (of course I pity the woman who sees Moss Poledick as the “right guy” to cure her of pesky sex trafficking sadness).

            May 8, 2019
          • Tashi
            Tashi

            EL James writes like a man- she keeps sexual violence in books, but doesn’t want to explore any further than the “sexy” situations it gives. She doesn’t want to explore the horrors rape/trafficking bring. Even if she wasn’t raped, getting threatened with rape/violence and getting kidnapped is nightmare inducing and will cause unknown trauma.

            But no, lets gloss over that.

            May 14, 2019
    • S
      S

      I agree with you but I’m going to add that I introduce myself as “Mrs.” Lastname when guys are trying to hit on me.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      I thought it was only me, like E.L feels like if she tells us the characters are in love rather than showing it, we will just believe her. Maybe its cause I’m reading the recaps and not the books but theres been like zero dev4lo0ment of their relationship. Well I figured she still called him Mister cause he’s technically still her employer. It would have been nice to have a scene where he basically tells her she doesnt have to call him that cause of the present situation, preferably before they have sex. Cause it would make the power imbalance less large if that makes sense.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
  10. Juliana Coons
    Juliana Coons

    Omg. I laughed so much. You are hilarious. I love you! Thank you for these summaries, such a gift to readers and actually literate people everywhere.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  11. Xebi
    Xebi

    “James says the idea interests her because having two men in the relationship would take away the power dynamics based on gender roles.”

    Or…you could do that in straight porn? You know, by not making the man a pathological control freak and by giving the woman an actual personality. Or by making the woman dominant. Or just by not recycling the same repellent characters over and over and then all but complaining that you’re bored of them. I mean, if you were an even slightly competent writer you’d have the imagination to do that, but never mind eh?

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • MyDog'sPA
      MyDog'sPA

      ***** wake with a jump*********

      Oh, the antagonists are still missing, no response from the Amber Alert yet. (And its’ been, what 5, 6 chapters since they politely knocked on the door and then left without so much as a peep?)

      Alas, what woke me, then? Aha, must be the “James says the idea interests her because having two men in the relationship would take away the power dynamics based on gender roles.”

      Based on EEL’s antics on the 50 set (telling the director and writer what to do) the only power dynamic she can possibly write is the one she lives in real life. So, no, it matters not a whit what the gender roles are as she’ll still have a control freak as the lead character. Because we know she does no meaningful research, that’s all she knows so that’s all she can write about.

      Good news, tho: ~ 37% of her old 50 fans are now pissed off at The Poldarkster, so her fanbase is rapidly eroding. She’ll fade to oblivion soon. (I know, but not soon enough)

      Back to my nap.

      ***** sounds of snoring********

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Tami Alexander
        Tami Alexander

        Here’s my interpretation of the nightmare we’ve been experiencing: EL focuses so much on her control freak characters because they are HER. She is a control freak, based on her behavior on the movie set and the responses she gives to anyone who tries to enlighten her to her errors. “You’re all just jealous that I’m so great.” The classic words of a narcissist. She spends more time in the heads of her control freak characters because she hates being a fat, frumpy, invisible housewife whose husband is a successful writer and had things to do outside the home whereas she had no hobbies, no direction, nothing exciting to do. So she creates these attractive male characters who have everything, lead exciting lives, are desired by everyone, don’t really have to work a real job (Christian mostly yelled at lackeys but we never knew what he really DID as far as actual work goes); Maxim is a model-slash-DJ-slash-spoiled rich guy who can party all the time without consequences. They both have other people to clean up their messes. And they always get what they want. James wants everyone to love these men on the page and gets angry when people find fault with them because they are finding fault with HER. She doesn’t care if people are alarmed about the heroines being mistreated because she is a misogynist. Probably because guys she liked picked pretty, skinny girls over her and now she punishes those women in her stories. I’m willing to bet her husband cheated on her with a blonde before she became a famous plagiarist, and found a way to blame the woman for it. Just a guess, anyway. YMMV.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • MyDog'sPA
          MyDog'sPA

          Tami, Yep, I’m with you 98%. As far as the blonde thing, tho, that could have equally been the pretty, skinny blonde girls over her (or were more popular than her). Other than that, yeah, she’s a control freak, so her characters are, too.

          May 8, 2019
          |Reply
        • S
          S

          It’s kind of her own fault she has nothing fulfilling to do. Like, take a dance class. Volunteer at a library or community center. Learn a new skill, like singing or blacksmithing or music composition. Join the SCA and learn actual history. Take some online classes. Start your own TV show. Host a quilting bee. All great things with which to occupy one’s time. She could also become invested in her personal fitness and dye her hair blonde idk. There’s nothing wrong with brunettes, though I started bleaching *my* hair when I learnt my crush likes blondes…although now I think I look too much like his daughter for him to consider me, but I like being blonde.

          May 8, 2019
          |Reply
        • Riea
          Riea

          She wasnt a fat frumpy housewife though. She was a working mom(broadcasting I believe) also, by all accounts her husband is a chill dude and shes the one who is more aggressive or dominant in the relationship etc… I feel like she writes dudes like this cause they are control freaks like her, Also cause that’s her idea of a real man or the type of man she idealized or wants. That’s why the female lead is usually just written as a stand in for her. Although if I’m wrong about her husband being chill someone let me know

          May 9, 2019
          |Reply
    • Pre-Successful Indie (now with less misquoting)
      Pre-Successful Indie (now with less misquoting)

      >>Or…you could do that in straight porn? You know, by not making the man a pathological control freak and by giving the woman an actual personality.>>

      THIS, except I am cynical and think her audience wouldn’t read that, in part because they have swallowed so much misogynistic programming and have shitty expectations of a) romance and b) men and women.

      …not to kinkshame and such, just… ELJ’s crappy stereotypes sell because people love them. Because we’ve all steeped in a culture that tells us that abuse is sexy and women are bad and virgin/whore dichotomies are normal and okay.

      The People want more abusive asshole dudes and Not Like the Other Girls-es. Sure, there are audiences for other flavors of stories. But not kajillion-dollar audiences, necessarily.

      Anyway, I have so. many. conflicted feelings about female authors/audiences and M/M (good morning, have you met my unresolved gender identity issues), but I can absolutely say that that minefield does NOT need EL James waltzing through it. Thanks.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      I read that and was like so has she never heard of Female doms, or sexually aggressive/sexually dominant women or just women with dominant personalities, WTF E.L?

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Wub
        Wub

        I get depressed every time I read an “erotic romance” listing in my Bookbub newsletter, because every time it’s male dominant/female submissive. Pre-e-books, this was also always the case with “Black Lace” adult books: the heroine *always* had a dark secret and it was *always* submission.

        Nothing wrong with BDSM done that way (apart from the dreadful lack of any sense of humour), but I often wanted to see a change.

        May 16, 2019
        |Reply
  12. Xebi
    Xebi

    “Would you really refer to a place you can literally drive from as “overseas”, UK people?”

    Eh, I’d give her a pass on this one, since we’re on an island. And we can’t drive all the way, you’d have to get a ferry to mainland Europe if you were driving. I would say one thing EL is good at ought to be British English, but even then she’s…weird sometimes. Anyway, thinking about it, “overseas” would normally be used to refer to somewhere farther than our neighbouring countries (i.e. France, Belgium, the Netherlands etc). So I think probably people Eel’s age probably would say that. As for Maxim, well, his upper class background might make him talk like a middle aged woman, who the fuck knows.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Squim
      Squim

      Heh, snap! I didn’t read your comment and said almost exactly the same thing!

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      I would have expected “abroad” rather than “overseas” but then I don’t know shit about upper class speech.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Crystal
      Crystal

      To me, France is totally “overseas.” Everywhere except the UK and Ireland is “overseas,” and yes, I know the Ireland part doesn’t make sense, sorry.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
  13. Squim
    Squim

    If Trevethick is a village, it’s not Truro. Truro has 20,000 residents and is Cornwall’s biggest and busiest town, and it’s not on the coast.

    More likely she’s modelling Trevethick on one of the picturesque villages in coves, like Cadgwith.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Squim
      Squim

      There are also enough pubs in Truro for there to be a ’15 best pubs in Truro list’.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Squim
        Squim

        Also also, as a 40 year old middle-class Engligh person living in the south of England, yes, we say ‘overseas’. Britain is a small island, everywhere else is oversea. Immediately ‘local’ places (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway etc) would probably be named, anywhere further away can be lumped into ‘overseas’. ‘Abroad’ is also common, as in your hairdresser would ask if you’re going abroad on holiday.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Xebi
          Xebi

          Ha! I commented around the same time as you and said almost exactly the same thing about which countries would be referred to as “overseas.” Which is funny because I’ve never thought about it before.

          May 8, 2019
          |Reply
      • Xebi
        Xebi

        Truro is in fact the only settlement in Cornwall that’s classified as a city. Has a big-ass cathedral. And some of those pubs are lovely. I’ve spent many happy weekends in Truro.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Squim
          Squim

          I’ve never actually been to Truro, but I did just spend the bank holiday weekend in the Lizard and it was just stunning, and also why I thought Eel meant something like Cadgwith (we walked there from Lizard Point on Friday, and then to Kynance Cove on Saturday, and came home via Marazion and St Michael’s Mount). They like their zeds, in Cornwall.

          May 8, 2019
          |Reply
    • Jenny Trout
      Jenny Trout

      I should have specified that this was clearly meant to be Truro as depicted in Poldark. Less a bustling city, more a lively hamlet where dressmakers do a brisk business and there is only one local sex worker.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        They’re probably in Portwenn. 😉

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
  14. Squim
    Squim

    Isn’t it funny how bad research can ruin a novel? I was reading something (I forget the title) a while ago, by an American but set in Scotland with a British (English, I think, even though set in Scotland) love interest. He finds an abandoned dog in the Highlands and is worried about approaching it in case it has rabies. Which wouldn’t even begin to cross the mind of any actual British person, as we eradicated rabies in the 1920s. Stopped reading immediately, as I could just tell it was going to be one long cliche of Britain from there.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • THIS. This drives me quietly bonkers about some Americans writing British historicals, in particular. They have NO CLUE how England works TODAY, much less in 1820 or whatever. Yes, England’s small – but no, you cannot get from Essex to Gretna Green overnight in a horse-drawn carriage (I’m looking at you, Marie Force). Nor were there wolves in Hertfordshire in 1810 – not the 4-legged variety, anyway.

      If you want to write romance set in a place you’re not totally familiar with, GET AN EDITOR WHO IS. I pay my American editors a LOT of money to fix my Australianisms and Britishisms.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Sabayon
        Sabayon

        I like the idea that there were hordes of three-legged wolves plagueing Regency Hertfordshire (not what you meant, but still)

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
  15. Squim
    Squim

    As for the Milord, it seems as though the village of Trevethick belongs to the Trevethicks, i.e. they own most of the land and would historically have provided the school and funded the doctor and the vicarage (we’re talking Victorian and earlier historically). A lot of locals would probably still work for a large estate in many capacities, or rent houses/business premises owned by the estate. In a small traditional village under those circumstances you might get older people using someone’s title, yes. But the earlier scene of a doctor referring to Moss as the earl when his brother dies? No way. One of my client contacts is an Earl and I had no idea until I’d worked with him for about four years.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dinah Lord
      Dinah Lord

      ‘Milord’ I always associate with Edith Piaf… An actual English person would say “m’lord”, probably. Since Maxim so recently inherited the title, though, I’d expect a few more people inadvertently calling him by his name, since that’s how they’d be used to referring to him.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
  16. Mr. Fell
    Mr. Fell

    All that money and he only learnt Albania’s capital. I’ll stick to my free one where we spent one year in middle school reading about every country ever and then giving a presentations on it.

    Also holy shit, EL James is basically every starting 13-years old fanfiction writer/reader who just found out about m/m. And BDSM. And… everything, really. Can’t wait for her badly written A/B/O AU with werewolves (… which will probably be her supernatural thing now that I think of it).

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • MamaLich
      MamaLich

      ‘Also holy shit, EL James is basically every starting 13-years old fanfiction writer/reader who just found out about m/m. And BDSM. And… everything, really. Can’t wait for her badly written A/B/O AU with werewolves (… which will probably be her supernatural thing now that I think of it).’

      Yup–I look at ELJ and she totally screams as the kind of woman who sees those uke/seme romances as ideal. Ten years from now, she’ll enter her Merry Gentry phase (because come on, she’s an author who LOVES money and fame).

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
  17. ‘Would you really refer to a place you can literally drive from as “overseas”, UK people?’

    I actually do have to say ‘Yes’ here. I mean, it isn’t that common a term – we’d normally say ‘abroad’ – but I can’t really see being any less likely to use the term for a European country than for a country on any other continent.

    ‘Again, I beg of you, UK people, chime in here. Do you address actual earls with “milord” or is this one of James’s bougie fantasies?’

    This one is James’s fantasy. I mean, I suppose a servant working for someone with a title might still use the term (I honestly don’t know, and suspect it would depend on personal preference for the people involved), but normally, if you wanted to address Lord Someone formally, you’d call them Lord [Surname]. (Alan Sugar of ‘The Apprentice’ famously makes a big deal about getting addressed as ‘Lord Sugar’ by the candidates on the programme, although that apparently isn’t because he views the title as a big deal but because he thinks it’s rude to address a senior you don’t know well by their first name.) Point is, you wouldn’t say ‘milord’, because that suggests that the person has some sort of lordly authority over you; after all, it literally means ‘my Lord’. Moss is a Lord, but he wasn’t that random dude’s lord.

    Also, how did random dude know Moss had inherited the title?

    ‘Boy, is she still bitter. It was one summer seven years ago. One fucking summer.’

    Er, Moss, that bit where you were rude enough to ignore her rather than taking ten seconds of appropriate politeness to thank her for showing you the table/bringing you the menus… that actually happened about five minutes ago. We were here for it. We saw it. And if you were that oblivious to it and you visit here regularly, there’s a fair chance you have a history of treating her with that sort of thoughtless rudeness. Even before we get into the thorny question of what you did seven years ago, I’m not really having a hard time seeing why she might be legitimately annoyed with you.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      I guess…if Moss’s family is associated with this village, and if the guy in question is landlord of the local pub, he might a) know Moss reasonably well and b) have heard about Kit’s death and Moss’s subsequently inheriting his title. I can see a pub owner (or random old bloke who happens to be a regular? I’m not sure what he is) using milord for a laugh, as an in joke, or just because he’s a traditionalist.

      Maybe.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • JessC
      JessC

      An Earl would be referred to as ‘Lord Foldark’ in conversation – if the vicar knows Moss, then he would probably start a conversation by first calling him ‘Lord Foldark’ as a means of respect and then drop it to have a normal conversation depending on how formal Moss is. ‘Milord’ is how a medieval peasant begs an audience with his feudal overlord.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      This is true, maybe its it’s less about what happened 7 years ago and more about him acting like dick towards her now. Like maybe if you would be civil towards her she wouldn’t be so prickly.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
  18. “Do you address actual earls with ‘milord’?”

    I honestly have no idea. I am a middle-aged British woman and have no recollection of ever having spoken to an Earl or similar. I did catch a glimpse of the late Princess Diana in 1990, though.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  19. Small jar of fireflies
    Small jar of fireflies

    “…having two men in the relationship would take away the power dynamics based on gender roles.”

    EL James has always used money, social standing, sexual experience, and class to delineate the imbalance between her leads. Was age a factor between Christian and whoever? I kind of think that was, too.

    Seriously, for Beautiful Disaster, I flipped the sex of a character in a parody to point out that the man’s portrayal is ludicrous and sustained only by misogyny. (And misanthropy.)

    It was a comment on the portrayal. Not an endorsement.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jenny Trout
      Jenny Trout

      She kind of insisted that age was a factor in 50 Shades, but Ana was 22 and Christian was 26. It was supposed to be this huge age gap and they angsted about it endlessly.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        Yes, but in the source material she totally didn’t plagiarize off of, the Christian character was what, over a century old, so they had an age difference so her characters had to have an age difference.

        Much like how the source material for this book that she totally didn’t plagiarize off of, has people addressing the Moss character (I don’t even remember his real name, nor do I care because he is Moss from IT Crowd cosplaying Poldark) as milord, because that’s what you did back in Poldark’s time.

        Eel lacks the creative mind needed to take from a source but make it her own. She just basically copied and pasted Twilight and Poldark into a new setting and changed the names.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Lucy
          Lucy

          I think Eel was fiddling with the tropes of the May-December romance but didn’t want a hero who was actually-gasp-old, hence the fuss about a 4-year age difference (isn’t this actually the reason why Jenny wrote an actual significant age difference in “The Boss”?

          May 8, 2019
          |Reply
    • Blogging a gender-swapped Alpha Dom parody thing myself for those same reasons. Know what? When your cornerstone is internalized misogyny, it really becomes clear with a gender-flip. I keep hoping Mrs. Leonard will try to Life and Death FSOG and really make a mess of it, even more than her Midnight Sunning did.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
  20. merry
    merry

    It’s surprising that Jenny got sued over a picture on her blog and EL James stole somebody else’s story AGAIN and is earning money like nothing’s wrong.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  21. K Luise
    K Luise

    I’m going to support your Patreon but part of me doesn’t want to because right now you’re sitting at 69 patrons.

    (I am a Very Mature Person.)

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  22. Dove
    Dove

    They were too small for Michal, the fourteen-year-old boy, but they’re too big on her. This is an important detail because we absolutely must not be imagining her as some kind of fatty, right?

    Wha– How fat was Michal?! Or is Demellsia really short? Men tend to have much narrower hips than women. Unless she has a really slim figure, like that of a fourteen-year-old girl, there’s no way they’re big on her.

    Also, she’d have SO much more personality if she unironically chose those pajamas as her only nightwear when she got to England (or they were what she brought with her since she had no idea she was being trafficked at first.) But no… they’re hand-me-downs from a boy who outgrew them. Fuck, wait, that means he probably wore them better when he was twelve, right? How fucking tiny is she?

    I guess she’s a five foot no inches, or smaller, former gymnast (or maybe a preemie baby?) I mean, she’s got curves in all the right places so it’s not as if she’s one of those rail-thin supermodels… Or maybe she is and Moss never mentioned it. If she was just born to be thin, with a super high metabolism, and was constantly eating, and always being told she needs a cheeseburger by motherly types, that could be interesting. Again, some personality maybe, but then our heroine would make the women who don’t have that kind of body possibly feel jealous so… Probably why she doesn’t. (lol next EEL villain, I guess?)

    I really think EEL got bored with this story, realized it wasn’t going anywhere after a long time or that more research was needed/the little details were a pain to keep track of, especially after she changed the heroine’s country of origin, but she didn’t want to finish it up and get an editor to hammer it down to a tighter page count so she got it lightly checked for spelling and maybe grammar errors, then released it to see if there was any traction to keep it going. Supposedly she handled the ending the way she did to leave it open for sequels but I have a strong feeling that she won’t bother, especially if she’s planning on tapping the Supernatural fanbase next.

    I’m very amused that she mentioned the BDSM without a power play for her poor M/M couple (I also pray she doesn’t go there but I’m betting that’ll happen anyway.) My hunch is she read all the complaints about the vanilla sex being boring so she figured she needs her faux BDSM to keep people from noticing how bad she is at sex scenes. (Or she just already knew which is probably why she had that one scene with the drunk lady that was totally nonconsensual but kind of amusing. She has trouble keeping herself interested during multiple scenes of bad BDSM, let alone shitty generic hetero virgin fucking.) And yaoi is big in fanfic…

    But hey! We know she’ll never do F/F so the lesbians are safe. Unless she decides to create an evil blonde who loves beating up innocent, naive brunettes and using strap-ons before the brunette is rescued by a wealthy Anglo-Saxon man… Ugh. 😛

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      “Wha– How fat was Michal?! Or is Demellsia really short? Men tend to have much narrower hips than women. Unless she has a really slim figure, like that of a fourteen-year-old girl, there’s no way they’re big on her.”

      What I took away from that bit was that Moss has the hots for what is basically a 13 year old boy with long hair. He wants to fuck someone who looks and acts like a child. Not even a teenager, a CHILD! How is any of this supposed to be sexy or romantic or even acceptable?

      Between that and being a complete dick to a girl he fucked and dumped seven years ago, if someone held a gun to my head and told me to choose between Moss and Chedward…I’d tell them to pull the fucking trigger because I refuse to live with either of those options.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Tami Alexander
        Tami Alexander

        We know she has pale skin, a “riot” of long hair, dark eyes, and long legs. Presumably skinny/in need of food, too, like the heroine in the last series. But those are the only descriptions EL has given. I can’t even recall if breast size was mentioned which is odd because most men focus on a woman’s rack right away.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
    • Liza
      Liza

      I think the bigger question is, why does a 14 year old boy own SpongeBob pajamas?

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Tami Alexander
        Tami Alexander

        Actually, I’ve seen adult men’s pajama/lounge pants with Spongebob on them. Same with Taz of Warner Bros. fame.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Liza
          Liza

          So have I. I had SpongeBob bedding when I was in college. But 14 year old boys are generally self conscious. I’m just imagining my teenage son who thinks he is way too cool for everything. Good on EL if she has a teenage character who doesn’t deal with normal teenage insecurity, but I highly doubt it.

          May 8, 2019
          |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      I think she 2ants to go back to the whole BDSM schtick cause that’s what made her, her money. Her fanbase apparently isn’t to happy with the mister cause it’s not like FSOG. Which is prob due to the lack of Bad/vanilla BDSM and Max being less of an abusive fuckshot than Christian.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        I read some of the reviews on Amazon and even the people who were hoping for something different weren’t happy because they could tell it was bare bones and badly written, even if they didn’t completely understand why. Max is less abusive but in EEL’s sorry attempts to address that issue, it becomes more apparent that he’s a horrible human being so the veil was pulled away from their eyes.

        I genuinely don’t think the BDSM sold them on it but it gave them an excuse to cling to when people started criticizing their fantasies. Without that and without the slight amount of creativity the faux BDSM requires, it’s just so obvious how boring, bland, and repetitive the sex scenes are.

        May 14, 2019
        |Reply
  23. Sammy S
    Sammy S

    “Again, I beg of you, UK people, chime in here. Do you address actual earls with “milord” or is this one of James’s bougie fantasies?”

    I’m from the UK (Cornwall no less, so I’m bracing myself for EL James to depict us all as country bumpkins who drive around in tractors and say “ooh-arr” a lot) and I guarantee that nobody on the street is even going to recognise an earl, unless they happen to work for him. Then, sure, they might call him “milord” or something equally antiquated and ridiculous, but your average person in the street? No chance!

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • MamaLich
      MamaLich

      I lived near a small English town (Husband got stationed nearby there, and we moved off-base because we like living with locals). We knew one ‘lord’ who was just minor (and impoverished) and couldn’t inspire any respect among the local townspeople (so we all just called him ‘Sir’ or his full name. Especially when we hear about him being caught driving way above the speed limit on some country road). We still go to the pub closest to his estate, and they NEVER called him by his full title (partly because no one saw him as that important, and also because he’s a cheapass* who clearly didn’t care about the town).

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Ironically, that makes him far more interesting than Maxim.

        May 14, 2019
        |Reply
  24. Katie M.
    Katie M.

    I can’t speak to this book (because I’ll never read it — life’s too short, and your recaps are too good), but I sort of want to visit Albania now.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      I know! The photos Jenny shared are GORGEOUS.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      Same! It looks beautiful.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
  25. Alice
    Alice

    It looks like Megan is just doing her job and moss is just being paranoid and rude. First she is smiling which is normal, perhaps a bit forced but eh if you have history or if the day has been long or whatever, it’s hard to have a genuine smile and at elast she is trying? He ignores her. She gives them the best table, he ignores her. She brings the menus, he ignores her and keeps taking to alessia. Then she gets annoyed, which is normal when you are dealing with rude clients, but oh no it’s because she’s a bitch and let’s ignore her some more instead of some thank you!

    The whole ‘she’s smaller than a fourteen-year old boy’ thing is coming back and I still hate it. Also annoyed how the clothes problem is here to bring “she’s in panties! need to fuck!” and not to show him having some empathy? Like ‘I can’t imagine having to leave my country, leaving everything behind, and have absolutely nothing.” or even wonder what is her style of clothes since he never saw her in something she chose. Hell, I’d prefer a discussion in which they discover they both love sponge bob, and what are the names of the characters in albanian or something. Anything but him thinking of nothing but when he’ll get to fuck her and how great he is for holding until now. Instead of showing some growth he is getting worth and worth…

    How are we supposed to buy this as a love story when he doesn’t care about the situation she’s in? He barely thinks about her trauma, has no plan to keep her safe in the long term, doesn’t care about what she actually wants to do (does she wants to stay in england? does she want to try to do piano for a living? Something else?)

    The way she falls in love because he is the best man she ever met is super depressing when you see how he is.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      “The way she falls in love because he is the best man she ever met is super depressing when you see how he is.”

      I’m trying to figure out why she fell in love with him. All I can get is:

      1) He showed her the sea
      2) He has a piano
      3) He knows the name of her countries capital
      4) She’s seen his bare ass and in her backward village in Elbania that means they now must marry.

      Wow, four things. That’s actually more than I expected.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah, Megan is being perfectly normal. It’d be different if she didn’t work there, just so happened to be having lunch/dinner there, and decided to join their table. Also, how the fuck would he be able to tell if anyone spat in his food? The whole point is for it to be subtle, you dumbass. XD

      Hell, I’d prefer a discussion in which they discover they both love sponge bob, and what are the names of the characters in albanian or something. Anything but him thinking of nothing but when he’ll get to fuck her and how great he is for holding until now.

      Exactly! It also makes them both super boring because we have no real idea about their interests. They kinda discuss music briefly but not really how any music lover would, I suspect, and certainly not like to casual musicians hanging out.

      Btw, based on the headcanons about her being an assassin, I personally think Alyssia is starring in a live action Chun Li movie. She’s just into poverty tourism and she actually has a mansion of her own back in Albania that she’ll return to when her mission to kill her father’s killer is over but something went wrong, sci-fi amnesia, and now her handlers are trying to help her out before shit gets real.

      (And yes, that movie plot made absolutely no sense for Street Fighter’s Chun Li either so it fits in perfectly with this confusing world.)

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        And now my head canon has those two guys who came looking for her are actually her bodyguards, or men in her employ who, when she went off the radar, went looking for her because they realize something went wrong with the mission. They are there to find her and find out why she hasn’t been in contact recently.

        So really, it’s Moss Poledick who has kidnapped her. It will turn out he is the bad guy and Sis-in-law hired DimZelda to come and take him out because she knows he tampered with his brothers bike, or possibly drugged him and caused the accident.

        In the end, when DimZelda remembers who she is, she, Sis-in-Law and Megan will all get together and teach Moss that he sucks and no woman actually wants him unless he gets her drunk, which is not cool.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah, Megan is being perfectly normal. It’d be different if she didn’t work there, just so happened to be having lunch/dinner there, and decided to join their table. Also, how the fuck would he be able to tell if anyone spat in his food? The whole point is for it to be subtle, you dumbass. XD

      Hell, I’d prefer a discussion in which they discover they both love sponge bob, and what are the names of the characters in albanian or something. Anything but him thinking of nothing but when he’ll get to fuck her and how great he is for holding until now.

      Exactly! It also makes them both super boring because we have no real idea about their interests. They kinda discuss music briefly but not really how any music lover would, I suspect, and certainly not like to casual musicians hanging out.

      Btw, based on the headcanons about her being an assassin, I personally think Alyssia is starring in a live action Chun Li movie. She’s just into poverty tourism and she actually has a mansion of her own back in Albania that she’ll return to when her mission to kill her father’s killer is over but something went wrong, sci-fi amnesia, and now her handlers are trying to help her out before shit gets real.

      (And yes, that movie plot made absolutely no sense for Street Fighter’s Chun Li either so it fits in perfectly with this confusing world.)

      (Also, my internet went out, couldn’t send this the first few times. Sorry if it sent before or I missed other comments relevant to this.)

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Agent_Z
      Agent_Z

      I’m imagining reading this story from Megan’s POV and she’s trying to remember if she recognizes Moss or not and that might be why her smiles seem a bit odd to Moss.

      May 13, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Or she has more tables to wait on, her time is money, but this conceited asshole keeps her lingering in confusion because she doesn’t know if he heard her or not and she doesn’t want to keep repeating herself while he continues talking to the random woman that he showed up with. He also could’ve told her to come back because they hadn’t decided what they wanted yet and his date didn’t want to air her business in front of random people at the inn. There are so many better ways he could’ve handled this.

        If Maxim wanted to be natural about the situation then he should’ve just treated her as if she were any other waitress and keep his interaction with her limited to a calm, cool, if stilted, request for his favorite dish and beverage, then a curt and dismissive thank you any time she turned up. It’s much less personal and sends the message that she’s not important to him without being overly rude (it’s not great but if he’s worried she’s bitter then she isn’t expecting him to be kind anyway.) If he was on the phone, ignoring Megan would make some sense but he isn’t…

        May 14, 2019
        |Reply
  26. Nanani
    Nanani

    This line
    ” Thanks to my expensive education, I know the capital of Albania.”

    reminds me mostly of goofy silver age comics, like

    “Thanks to my state of the art BAT ATLAS, I know the capital of Albania!”

    Cue the riddler cursing about his plans being foiled again

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  27. Anon
    Anon

    “James says the idea interests her because having two men in the relationship would take away the power dynamics based on gender roles.”

    So, basically, women can’t be Doms?

    How people treat servers is a good look into their character, so Moss ignoring Megan is just shitty and rude and not even a little charming.

    That is so much unnecessary prose about her describing where she’s from. And who the hell talks like that? “I am from, how you say? A-mer-i-ca? The land, it stretches from sea to shining sea and is bordered on the north by Canada and the south by Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico. There is much to do there — swimming, theater, even skiing in the mountains that traverse the East and West coasts.”

    She talks like a travel guide, apparently.

    I think we can safely assume Megan is blonde.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • S
      S

      That’s how I’m going to respond next time someone asks me where I’m from.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • “I am from Aus-tra-lia, the land girt by shining sea and full of venomous creatures who would love to eat you.”

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Maybe she learned English from a travel guide that she found at the truck stop.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        @Dove —

        Like the Japanese guys in Better Off Dead who learned all their English from watching NASCAR. This has been done before, Eel! And so much better.

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          lol I was thinking of Lost in Translation but that sounds like something I’d enjoy too.

          May 14, 2019
          |Reply
  28. WuBomei
    WuBomei

    Between my childhood and teens, I had maybe a year of piano training, and learned to read music. I decided to try learning ukulele last fall and was very upset to learn there was a ton of theory no one ever tried to teach me before. My more musically inclined friends said that wasn’t really a surprise, as most people just learning to play piano wouldn’t be introduced to theory for a while. (I would have loved to know about it at seven, though, because part of the reason I quit was that we couldn’t afford a piano and book-learning would have been a nice alternative).
    That said, I’m skeptical, cuz if Alessia actually studied music, no way she’d have avoided theory, but I suspect the real reason for her ignorance is that Eel knows nothing about much theory and didn’t want to look any up.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  29. S
    S

    Friendly reminder, Miss: Women aren’t just crazy for no reason. Many times, adult onset mental illness is a result of being emotionally (or otherwise) abused by rubbish males like you.

    Also, it’s really bad form to treat waitstaff poorly.

    It amuses me that my crush has an ex-fiancee named Megan (pronounced Meegan so she can feel special). I don’t think that one is blond; she has light brown roots under her dyed-magenta hair. So i keep mispronouncing Moss’s Megan in my head, oops.

    “We are interrupted by Megan and fish pie.” Is that a euphemism?

    *snort* Women don’t NEED makeup to be pretty. Some have jobs that make them wear it and some like to play around with it to express themselves. But “natural beauty who doesn’t need makeup” falls flat to me every time.

    Max’s inner goddess should be Minima.

    No you know what, Michal the 14 year old boy is now 300 lbs in my head and Demelssia is 200. Fight me.

    He sniffs her hair. What. The fuck. I was at a friend’s house last month and he sniffed my hair and I was all kinds of creeped out by it. I can’t imagine how a human trafficking survivor must feel about it. Gross.

    Hey now, maybe Moss is the kind of guy who sheds tears when he ejaculates?…although that would mean he just came from hearing her play piano and sniffing her hair. Double gross.

    Oh or he came into her hair. Nice, Jenny!

    Oh fuck that. Crying is, too, manly. My dad cried when a misunderstanding caused me to become a ward of the State. My friend James cried when my bitch ex-girlfriend lied to him and said his daughter was saying nasty things about him. Loki has cried before when he’s gotten overwhelmed during arguments with me. And guess what – a man crying is 100% more likely to make me want to come to a resolution and compromise than a man yelling at me. I would rather have a man crying about his dead brother than being belligerent at everyone in sight because anger is his default emotion.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • S
      S

      Moss, not Miss!

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      No you know what, Michal the 14 year old boy is now 300 lbs in my head and Demelssia is 200. Fight me.

      lol No, I love it. I’m with you! Max has a fat kink then (only explanation; someone this awful wouldn’t want her for who she is.)

      Max’s inner goddess should be Minima.

      Also, love it.

      Oh or he came into her hair. Nice, Jenny!

      I think if he legit ejaculated into her hair and the book addressed this as if it was sexy, I’d like it way more. It wouldn’t be good, it’d still be unrealistic, but it’d be a lot more interesting than these crocodile tears.

      Oh fuck that. Crying is, too, manly. My dad cried when a misunderstanding caused me to become a ward of the State. My friend James cried when my bitch ex-girlfriend lied to him and said his daughter was saying nasty things about him. Loki has cried before when he’s gotten overwhelmed during arguments with me. And guess what – a man crying is 100% more likely to make me want to come to a resolution and compromise than a man yelling at me. I would rather have a man crying about his dead brother than being belligerent at everyone in sight because anger is his default emotion.

      Agreed. It’s a shame that EEL can’t write this scene with genuine emotion because it could’ve been amazing. And I think this is the kind of BS that might lead her less soul-searching fans to think emotionally healthy men just don’t do it for them when it’s really just EEL’s failings as a writer. 🙁

      May 14, 2019
      |Reply
  30. Crystal
    Crystal

    I have to say, I am greatly enjoying the way Jenny keeps saying “British people, there’s no way you can possibly talk like that, is there?” And the comments are all “Awfully sorry, old bean, we’re afraid we do.”

    No shade, I heart you Jenny, thanks for the recaps!

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      My poor English friend is raising an American child and his Americanisms make her so angry. He says, “What?” instead of, “Pardon?” and she thinks it’s rude. There are a few other things that are just normal American English and she hasn’t quite figured that out.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Rhoda
        Rhoda

        Oh ‘Pardon’ is one of those hopelessly middle-class words that would traditionally be seen as Non-u by the really posh. 🙂
        Read Watching the English by Kate Fox for a light hearted anthropological look at the English.
        (Sorry going rather off topic there.)

        May 10, 2019
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          The Russian side of my family says “pardon” and I have no idea why.

          May 10, 2019
          |Reply
          • Transpacific visitor
            Transpacific visitor

            I’m going to chime in here, based on my mother’s instruction:
            ‘Pardon?’, is short-hand for “I beg your pardon, I didn’t catch/hear what you just said”.
            ‘What?’ is short hand for either “Watchoo want?”, or “Watchoo say?”
            Therefore ‘Pardon?’ is polite, and ‘What?’ is not.
            (This does not cover Whaaaaaat <- expression of shock/horror/disgust)

            … Don't get her started on contractions … I'm sure that I was the only 7 year old in the world who was thoroughly drilled in 've vs. of

            June 7, 2019
  31. Anon123
    Anon123

    “The realization surges through her like the bracing Cornish wind and whips her hair across her face.”

    The realization is what’s whipping her hair across her face here. Gotta love it. XD

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  32. Starlight
    Starlight

    I’m just a hobby musician (I play the piano and a few other instruments), but I always have to skip over any music scenes like EEL’s. They are infuriatingly badly not-researched.

    Also, I started taking piano lessons at age 5, which was considered a little late for becoming a career musician. Four or earlier is preferred according to all my teachers (developing specialized ambidextrous fine motor skills along your natural childhood development was given as a reason).

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  33. Kay
    Kay

    How is she speaking perfect English, and understands ideoms?

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  34. Maria
    Maria

    el james might write m/m? i would like to dead please.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  35. Crystal M
    Crystal M

    Ugh, Magical Healing Sex is such a fanfic trope.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  36. Tammi
    Tammi

    I dropped a few bucks over on Kofi. Money well-spent for how cathartic it is to read these recaps.

    I was one of those “if you’ve meant to but haven’t yet,” so thanks for mentioning it!

    May 10, 2019
    |Reply
  37. You seem to love her so much, hehe. Even though I’m not yet finished reading all this, I think I got what the rest will be about after that song on Poldark. I don’t think I’ll get the essence of this to write up until I read the book. So I’ll be back again.

    May 24, 2019
    |Reply
  38. Corbeau
    Corbeau

    “She is giddy. Excited. And in love. This is what it should feel like. Joyful. Filling. Free. The realization surges through her like the bracing Cornish wind and whips her hair across her face.”
    I thought she was going to realise that she is in love with The Sea.
    Also we went from “I am cleaner” to fluent conversation at the same unbelievable speed they developed romantic feelings for each other. It’s like time passed differently to them, like in some sci-fi, where people age extremely fast compared to the average human hero, so they have to do everything really fast.

    May 25, 2019
    |Reply
  39. Wub
    Wub

    “Pardon?”

    To a (relatively) old-fashioned Brit, this is complicated by class markers. “Pardon?” may be polite, but it’s a very nervous lower-middle sort of polite. Brits not identifying with that may say “What?” if they’re really shocked. If they’re being polite, they say, “Excuse me?” or “Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.” If they’re being rude, they still say, “Excuse me!” and vary the tone. This is why British class differences, manners, irony and use of tone and register are a game for experts.

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • This jumped out at me, too. In fact, if Eel’s cribbing from Bridget Jones, there’s a whole bit with Bridget’s mother insisting she say “Pardon” instead of “What?” and the unspoken knowledge that that’s associated with a much lower class than, say, a Mark Darcy-esque solicitor.

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
  40. Ally
    Ally

    I’m sorry if someone else has made this comment, but you KNOW she’d be writing a Brokeback Mountain AU. I cannot believe EL James would do anything less

    July 4, 2019
    |Reply

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