Skip to content

Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister chapter twenty or, “The plot deigns to make an appearance.”

Posted in Uncategorized

You know what’s really difficult? Finding news to report on this book. I haven’t even seen much ado about E.L. James’s BookCon panel over the weekend. Either I’ve unfollowed all the right people on social media, or all the right people have blocked me. Either way, I’m good, but at least Twitter pulled through for me in one respect. My awesome Twitter friend Quiana sent me pictures of some kind of promotional box for The Mister that includes pink granny panties, Windolene wipes, and artsy black-and-white photos of the Cornish countryside.

Imagine opening up your super amazing publisher promo or subscription box or whatever this thing was and finding underpants and cleaning products. Ah, the romance.

We last left Moss on the phone with his neighbor in London. Now, some people have commented on the fact that he even knows his neighbor, and I gotta say…maybe things are different in England, but I live in a small rural village in the United States, the same one where I’ve spent most of my life, ten of which have been in this very house, and I have no fucking clue who the people who live across the street are. Oh, sure, I know some of the people on the road because we all live in the same town. If I met the people across the street, I would probably know them from somewhere else. But in ten years, I’ve never had a single conversation with them. I certainly don’t have their phone number.

But apparently Mrs. B, the London neighbor, does have Moss’s contact info, and she’s called to tell him about how his front door was open and when she peeked inside, the place had been ransacked.

“I was going to call the police, but I thought I’d call you instead, dear.”

“Well. Thank you. I appreciate it. I’ll deal with this.”

Should have called the police, Mrs. B., because Moss isn’t going to do that. If he’s not even willing to call the police when two human trafficking thugs are after his woman, he’s definitely not going to call them when his house has been broken into.

Actually, now that I think of it (and if someone has pointed this out in the comments already, I apologize), he might need to scrub that house of illegal substances before he contacts the authorities about his house.

Shit! Fuck! Bollocks!

Other swear word! As many as I can think of! So long as I can use them in threes!

What have the fuckers stolen? I don’t have much–all the important stuff is in the safe. I hope they haven’t found that.

Bugger. Bugger. Bugger.

If you say it three times into a mirror, Anastasia Rose Steele Grey appears behind you, her ghostly voice entreating, “What’s a butt plug?”

What a fucking nuisance.

The plot?

I may have to go back to London, and I don’t want to go. I’m having way too much fun with Alessia.

Okay, so yes. The plot. That’s what you’re having an issue with here. You’re afraid it might turn up somehow and ruin the more interesting story happening on the page. Let me reassure you that whatever is happening to you at the moment isn’t interesting at all, so you needn’t worry.

He gets up and goes to the other room to call Oliver about the break-in.

“Good morning. My neighbor’s just called me. She says I’ve been burgled.”

And of course, Oliver, being a security expert and well-versed in the laws surrounding things like breaking and entering, immediately suggests that Moss call the cops.

Ha ha ha. Nope. Oliver says he’ll get out of bed and race right over to the apartment himself.

Look. I’m not a fan of the police in many, many, many cases. However, there are times that a rich white person like Moss or Chedward should call the police. Yet in their respective books, they never, ever do. It’s the first call Moss should have made when he found out Demelssia was being trafficked. It’s the first call Chedward should have made when Ana was being held at gunpoint by his ex-sub. These are rich, powerful, white men. The law, and by extension, the police, exist to serve specifically their interests. And if Oliver’s security company wants to stay on the straight and narrow, they should probably call the police when a crime has been committed.

The problem with all of this is that it would be plot. And plot gets in the way of fascinating stuff like going to lunch with the characters, then back to the house with the characters, then to sex and sleep with the characters, then to waking up with the characters, then to lunch with the characters, then back to the house with the characters, then to sex and sleep with the characters, then to waking up with the characters, then to lunch

You get what I’m saying. Rather than write any scenes that would actively advance the plot, James prefers to keep her characters as far from it as possible, even if it requires suddenly tossing in manufactured conflicts like, “maybe she’s a gold digger!” in a desperate bid to keep things marginally interesting. They may have marketed this as romantic suspense but it’s pretty clear that it’s not; law enforcement exists in romantic suspense. It doesn’t in an E.L. James book.

Of course, since Ross Poldark often runs afoul of the law, he rarely invokes their help and often relies on his friends and neighbors to help settle disputes or undertake potentially dangerous missions, so…

What a fucking pain in the arse this is–some fucking lowlife addict or maybe some feral teenage kids wrecking my place.

Fuck. A. Duck.

Fuck a duck,  he doesn’t even consider that it could have been the traffickers? That isn’t the very first thing on his mind?

Moss laments the fact that he won’t be spending the day with Demelssia.

Well, I might still be able to do so, but I need to assess the damage–and I don’t want to do it from my phone. If I FaceTime Oliver from the iMac up at the great hout, I’ll get a better view. He can show me via his phone what’s happened.

This doesn’t make any sense. I have an iMac. If a friend FaceTimes me from their phone, do you know what I see? Only what their phone camera can show me. It’s not like it becomes instantly panoramic just because I’m on a wider screen. It doesn’t even look bigger or particularly defined on the larger screen; in a lot of cases, it’s more pixelated.

But obviously, we need to somehow get him up to the great house so we can learn of its majesty and history.

Moss wakes Demelssia up.

She looks rumpled and sexy and eminently fuckable.

Please take this woman’s thesaurus away.

He decides not to tell her about the break-in, so she won’t worry. There has still been no mention of the possibility that it’s related to the traffickers. I’m going out on a limb here and assuming that if he did tell her, she would immediately bring up the traffickers, which would spoil the chapter hook. Therefore, the subject is avoided entirely. “They won’t see this coming!” the author thinks triumphantly. “Because by now, I trust the reader has completely forgotten the fact that Alessia is being pursued by kidnappers. I know that I’ve halfway forgotten about them! But better not even mention the possibility, lest I ruin the surprise.”

After taking a shower, Moss emerges to find that Demelssia has made him espresso.

It’s hot, strong, and delicious. A little like Alessia.

I love the inclusion of “a little.” She’s “a little” hot. She’s “a little” strong. She’s “a little” delicious. Not totally. Not a lot. Just barely meeting the minimum requirements.

So, Moss leaves and we go to Demelssia’s POV.

Something bad has happened. A frisson skitters up her spine, but she’s not sure why. She signs. There’s so mcuh she doesn’t know about him.

I’m so done with this. I am so officially done with chapters upon chapters of boring small talk wherein she tells him about the fucking weather in her country and he skirts any possible conversational topic. That is not conflict. It’s a cop-out. Obviously, if you refuse to let your characters share any information, they will remain mysterious to each other. But they’ve been isolated together for how many days now? Falling in love? Having sex all the time? Eating long dinners we have to get every excruciating detail of? And all the while, the author makes excuse after excuse as to why they can’t possibly get to know each other. Do you know what that does? It makes the reader question the emotional connection we’ve been told, not shown but told, is there.

And he said they might have to return to London.

She will have to face the reality of her situation.

Again, we’ve been told over and over again in Demelssia’s POV that she can’t think of this as a holiday because she’s still in danger or whatever. She’s had those thoughts more than once. She’s already been aware of the reality of her situation while they’ve been in Cornwall.

So, we’re back in Maxim’s POV as he approaches the great house. Allow me to treat you to the description of the place:

In this winter rain, the landscape is dreary and damp and dotted with the occasional sheep. Come spring, the cattle will be out to graze again. Through the leafless trees, I catch sight of the house. Nestled in the wide dale, slate gray and Gothic, it dominates the landscape as if plucked from a novel by one of the Brontë sisters.

IDK, I was thinking more like from a novel by Winston Graham.

The original house was built on the site of a Benedictine priory. But the land and the abbey were seized by Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries. Over a centure later, in 1661, following the restoration of the monarchy, the estate was bestowed, along with the title Earl of Trevethick, to Edward Trevelyan for his services to Charles II. The great house he built was all but destroyed by fire in 1862, and this neo-Gothic monstrosity, with all its finials and fake molded battlements, was build in its place. It’s the seat of the earls of Trevethick, a huge rambling pile, and I’ve always loved it.

Description of the entire country of Albania: IDK, there are like, mountains or something but the whole place is covered in garbage.

Description of just one of Moss’s houses: Allow me to reach back to days of yore and provide the entire history of when it was built, as well as a description of its surroundings.

Moss describes the place in more detail, from the portraits on the walls of the study to the furniture and how much has and hasn’t changed since his childhood. Jessie, who if I remember correctly, is the cooking lesbian, comes into the study and Moss tells her about the break-in. Then Moss asks for coffee, which Jessie is going to bring him and like. Didn’t you just have espresso? Moss must take the runniest, coal-black dumps, I swear.

There. You have that image now.

We go to Alessia’s POV, where she’s in the shower. Because that’s all these characters really do: eat lunch, eat dinner, fuck, and shower. “A rollercoaster ride.” Remember, that’s how this book was described.

Anyway, in the five paragraphs she’s alotted for her thoughts and feelings (one of them a single sentence, one two words, and one a single word), we learn that…she’s sad about going back to London because she’s enjoyed her time with Moss. Which we already knew. And she’s still feeling anxiety about Moss being away from the house, and she wishes she could work up the courage to touch him…everywhere.

No, really:

Now, if she could just work up the courage to touch him…everywhere.

Yay, a new point of conflict. Let’s add it to the list.

  • Moss is a playboy who can never settle down.
  • Alessia is being pursued by kidnappers.
  • Moss fucked his sister-in-law.
  • Moss is a newly-made earl and can’t deal with it.
  • Moss is in love with Demelssia but he can’t be with her because he’s an earl.
  • Demelssia’s loved ones are in danger, too.
  • Demelssia is betrothed.
  • Demelssia might be a gold digger.
  • Demelssia doesn’t want to be perceived as a gold digger.
  • Caroline’s inheritance is all screwed up.
  • Moss can’t tell Demelssia he’s an earl.
  • Moss is grieving for his dead brother.

And now:

  • Demelssia is afraid to touch Moss’s penis.

How can there be so much conflict, yet nothing ever happens?

In Moss’s POV, we hear about the damage done to the flat:

Much of my flat is unaffected by the burglary.

Then he describes the fact that his darkroom is okay and his cameras are still there, and that nobody found the safe, before going on to describe:

They’ve stole some of my shoes and some jackets from my wardrobe, though it’s difficult to tell, as there are clothes thrown around my bedroom.

The drawing room, on the other hand, is a mess. All my photography has been ripped off the walls. My iMac is smashed on the floor. My laptop and consoles are gone, and my vinyl is all over the floor. Fortunately, the piano is untouched.

So, how is “much of” the flat unaffected, if they’ve ransacked his bedroom and destroyed all his shit? WORDS. THEY MEAN THINGS.

The door was forced open, and Maxim says:

“Yeah. They must have forced it with something heavy. The fuckers. I must have forgotten to set the alarm in my haste to leave.”

But he never mentions the possibility of it being the kidnappers. Oliver did call the police, at least, and they arrive, ending the phone call. Because why would they want to talk to Moss, right?

I hope Oliver hid Moss’s cocaine. We honestly can’t fit another plot thread into this tapestry of failure.

Danny insists that Moss stay at the great house for breakfast. Rather than saying, hey, no, I’ve got a guest back at the house, he folds because Danny is a maternal figure and also that would interfere with the coming chapter hook.

Back at the other house, Alessia is drying off from her shower and getting dressed.

She cannot seem to shake her apprehension. She jumps at every strange noise she hears.

Gosh, I wonder if something bad is going to happen. We’ve only heard about her anxiety a hundred times in this chapter.

Now, I’m going to skim the fuck over this next scene, because again, after a few short paragraphs, we jump back to Moss at the great house. This is what happens:

  • Moss goes into the kitchen.
  • Moss describes how many people were on staff in the middle ages vs. how many people they have on staff now.
  • Moss describes the farms he now owns and what is grown on them and it’s all organic.
  • Moss describes the traditional way the house and outdoor staff eat at separate sittings.
  • Moss discusses the break-in briefly with Jenkins.
  • We learn that another very minor character that I’m not sure has even ever been on the page is absent due to a dentist appointment.
  • Moss thinks about how breakfast was when he was a kid.
  • Danny and Moss hash out who will clean up the mess at his flat in London.

Only after all this does Danny think to mention:

“That reminds me,” she says. “There were two very unsavory characters who came calling for you yesterday.”

“What?” She has my immediate attention, and everyone else’s in the room. She pales.

The dialogue there needs to come after the part about her having everyone’s attention. On its own separate line, so it’s clear who is saying, “‘What?'”

“They were asking after you. I told them to bugger off, sir.”

“Unsavory?”

“Rough-looking, sir. Aggressive. From Eastern Europe, I think. Anyway–”

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.

They looked unsavory, aggressive, and rough…because they were Eastern European.

No, no, that’s okay, Erika. Make no attempt whatsoever to hide your utter disdain of Eastern European people. I mean, I didn’t think you could make yourself look more like a xenophobic nightmare trash heap of a person at this point but you keep on achieving excellence in the field.

So, obviously Moss thinks:

“Fuck!” Alessia!

You know how this whole conflict could have been avoided? If Moss hadn’t decided that everything needed to be handled in the utmost secrecy. If he’d simply told his staff, “If anyone fitting this description comes around here, please call the police.” If he had involved law enforcement in any capacity, all of this would be a non-issue.

Which is exactly why James didn’t have him do that. Because she has no idea at all how to get both the things she wants from her plot, even though it would have been so easy to pull off and it would make more sense in the process. Writing Tip: Sometimes it requires more than a half-hour or so of vaguely thinking about the structure of your novel to actually get what you want from it.

Back in Demelssia’s POV, she’s now brushing her hair, concluding the slowest morning routine of all time.

She switches off the hair dryer, feeling ill at ease and wondering if she heard something. But it’s only the sound of the crashing waves in the cove below. She stands staring out the window down at the sea.

Mister Maxim gave her the sea.

She smiles remembering her antics on the beach. The rain is easing off. Perhaps they could go for another walk on the shore today. And back to that pub for lunch. That was a good day.

Which one?! It’s happened every day!

From downstairs she hears the scrape of furniture on the wooden floor and hushed male voices.

What?

Has Maxim brought someone back to the house?

“Urtë!” someone grates in a strangled whisper. It’s her mother tongue!

According to Google translate, that word means “wise.” Can one of our Albanian Trout Nation friends explain why someone would use that word in this context?

Fear and adrenaline sweep through her body as she stands frozen in the bedroom.

Get under the bed and call Liam Neeson, pronto!

It’s Dane and Ylli.

They’ve found her.

 

My Impression So Far: Well, we’ve at least reached the point where the plot finally has to interfere with E.L.’s desire to write scene after boring scene of bland internal conflict that will never get resolved. But I’m not gonna get too excited about it. There’s no way it can last.

Did you enjoy this post?

Trout Nation content is always free, but you can help keep things going by making a small donation via Ko-fi!

Or, consider becoming a Patreon patron!

115 Comments

  1. Laina
    Laina

    Canada – my downstairs neighbour came over last Thanksgiving, gave us a handmade pie and introduced herself. Next door is a friend/former coworker’s mother-in-law. About 5 people my mom works with live on the other side of the building and in the other building, and a couple of them I know from the library.

    Across the street is my hairdresser/who I met at the library, then her mother-in-law who I also know from a local store, then a former coworker of my mother’s, and then after that, the daughter-in-law of my neighbour to the right, who I know fairly well/know her kids and stuff.

    That one might just be you, Jenny 😛

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      It could be the US overall. Or us being introverted, lol? I’ve rarely if ever known my apartment neighbors (but I’ve also moved a lot since young adulthood.)

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        @Dove —

        I’m in the US and have known my neighbors almost everywhere I’ve lived. Even in apartments. I think it’s individual.

        June 3, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jules
          Jules

          Definitely individual. My neighbor tries to get to know me, but she smokes non-stop and I’m allergic so I have to run past her door with my hand over my mouth. The guy upstairs I know because he introduced himself but for all I know I work with my other neighbors and wouldn’t know it because I keep to myself.

          I do find it odd for a snob like Moss to know his neighbor well enough for her to have his number, unless she’s one of his many fuck buddies.

          I hope that Dane and Ylli take a moment to let us all know if the Thames is alright. I’m worried. It doesn’t call, it doesn’t write… I just want to know that it is okay.

          June 3, 2019
          |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      Also in Canada. I don’t know my neighbours and don’t want to. A few years back I knew one neighbour, a nice elderly lady who cooked amazing smelling food and who I would sometimes cross on the way in and out.
      Don’t know any neighbours currently, or any past ones since I finished school.
      I might be able to recognize my one current neighbour via their cute dog, but that’s it.

      My mother and sister on the other hand all know their neighbours and do things like attend neighbourhood events and invite neighbours to things.

      Individual variation gonna vary.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
    • Heidi Aphrodite
      Heidi Aphrodite

      I live in Utah, in a medium-large suburban city (is that redundant?), and I know, know of, or have an idea of, the vast majority of my neighbors. That’s partly because of church, partly because the elementary school bus stop is across the street, and partly because my neighbor’s abusive and narcissistic ex-husband thought it would be fun to stalk her one year via private detectives after we called the cops on him for illegally entering her home and stealing her lawnmower and internet router, prompting all of us to stay vigilant and watch out for each other even more…

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
  2. ami yount
    ami yount

    Crowley and Aziraphale had more chemistry in the first 5 minutes of Good Omens. Fuck this shit.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      Good Omens had more plot in the first five minutes than this thing has in the past however many chapters it’s been.

      Just slid up and checked. Holy SHIT! It’s been twenty fucking chapters and this is as far as we’ve gotten? Is this my life now, just an endless recap of eating, showering and way too much backstory on irrelevant things?

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Maria
        Maria

        comparing this book to good omens is like comparing a stick figure drawing to the ceiling of the sistine chapel.

        June 3, 2019
        |Reply
        • Bunny
          Bunny

          Or, to quote Lindsay Ellis, comparing the finest chocolate torte to a Twinky.

          June 4, 2019
          |Reply
        • Tami
          Tami

          Comparing E.L. James to two of the greatest authors of our time — Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman — is criminal. Pratchett could write circles around this talentless twat and he’s DEAD.

          June 4, 2019
          |Reply
  3. That promo box is seriously the most fucking offensive, sexist pile of bullshit ever. Like, it’s a fucking “romance” because he’s an earl and loves her DESPITE the oh-so-whimsical unsexy granny panties and that she’s a goddamned working class disenfranchised domestic laborer and SHE’S FUCKING TURNED THAT INTO A CUTE FUCKING “PROMOTIONAL” IDEA?! So, what, her fans can put on their own granny panties and wash windows, dreaming of the day a billionaire will magically discover them and rescue them from all of this misery? I can fucking see her idiot fans even claiming that it would be “romantic” to be sex-trafficked at this point.

    Okay, look, Mrs. Leonard & Co, the fact that you’ve reduced your “strong” “brave” FMC to even less than 4.0 college student Ana Steele socially and financially is NOT A GODDAMN CUTE LITTLE QUIRK. That you’ve itemized it as “promotion” is bullshit. Not to mention sexist and classist.

    Why did the promo not include, say, sheet music? Information on synesthesia, maybe even links to some sort of classical music + art piece re: the phenomenon? A mix-tape, even with Earl’s Phatt Beatz and Alyssianabelladelza’s piano recitals? A collection of pub recipes and Cornwall recipes and Albanian recipes, like Mr. EL’s famous stew? Cornwallian sea shells? Or something entirely different, like necklace pendants with a tiny pic of the cover art or a silhouette of a couple on the shore, or a key fob with a Trevelyianithick family crest, or bottles of wine with the book’s cover as the label?

    INSTEAD, THEY GET UGLY UNDERWEAR AND WINDOW CLEANER AS REPRESENTING A FEMALE MAIN CHARACTER?!

    It would’ve been more effective to send everyone cocaine, you assholes.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Gretel
      Gretel

      Some PR firm: How can we be extremely sexist AND cheap AND unimaginative at the same time? Women like cleaning, don’t they? And the underwear’s cheap, like a dozen for a few bucks. Okay, so let’s get some pink panties at the dollar store and throw some cleaning supplies in there.
      ELJ: That’s just too much.
      PR firm: Cheap window wipes?
      ELJ: Perfect.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Bookjunk
        Bookjunk

        It’s like doubly, triply offensive cause James and her publisher made so much money off of FSoG, but they can’t even shell out for a decent promo box for her new book. Literally EVERYTHING Emily Barnard suggested is better, cooler and more fun than the shitty items they came up with. Though, the box always contains a copy of the book, so whatever else they’d decided to stuff in there it would’ve been offensive.

        June 3, 2019
        |Reply
        • Xebi
          Xebi

          And actually, a lot of the things Emily suggested (which I agree were all great ideas) are CHEAPER. Recipes cost bugger all.

          June 3, 2019
          |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      I don’t think he loves her “despite” the granny panties. I think that was a deliberate theft of plot from Bridget Jones’s Diary.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Amy
        Amy

        Of course it was. Does any honestly think James could ever think of any original content on her own? Watch, the next scene will probably have Maxim touching Alessia on the boob, his finger will light up, and then he “goes home.”

        June 4, 2019
        |Reply
    • Sadie Coffey
      Sadie Coffey

      EMILY. If ever a book of mine gets the promo box treatment, I’m calling you!

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • DEAL! But you can’t pay me in granny panties and cocaine.

        June 3, 2019
        |Reply
    • Moomin
      Moomin

      Okay, but like… why the fucking window wipes in the first place? so they could better see the damn Thames? I’d get like a mini broom, that’s at least something with any sort of meaning, but window wipes make no sense.

      They weren’t just cheap, they were lazy as hell. It’s like made by someone who never actually read the book or even seen it.
      “so she’s a cleaner and they go to Cornwall? Yep, window wipes and some random stock photos of Cornwall. Done.”
      Eel: “Oh, perfect!!!! Throw in some pink underwear, the ugliest and cheapest shit you find!!! Perfect!!!1”

      August 7, 2019
      |Reply
  4. Anon
    Anon

    The neighbor things is subjective. I’ve known a lot of my neighbors in most places I’ve lived. I know some people never speak to their neighbors, but that’s not universal. So he very well may know his neighbors — especially if one of both of them is particularly outgoing. I’m still close friends with people I no longer live near but met because we were neighbors. and I have exchanged numbers with multiple of my current neighbors, attended the wedding of one recently and the others were at our wedding only four months after we moved into our house. 🙂

    “some fucking lowlife addict or maybe some feral teenage kids wrecking my place.”

    This uber-rich earl lives in a building that easily accessed by small-time criminals looking for cash to buy drugs?

    Do people really refer to their computers by brand like that? Would he REALLY need to specify “the iMac”? More dull, bogged-down details we don’t need or care about. But of course Sir Fuck-A-Duck wouldn’t want us thinking he just has some ordinary PC.

    I love British history. I eat up Alison Weir books. I LOVE the architecture, the manor houses, all of it. I wanted to poke my eyes out reading his description of the manor house. WHY? Why was that necessary?

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Amy Too
      Amy Too

      Is the Trevelyan manor house supposed to make us think of Downton Abbey? Is that why she’s telling us it used to be an abbey? The description is similar to the Downton Abbey house, Highclere Castle, with all its turrets and crenellations and gothic-like touches—and oh look! It was constructed in 1679, approximately the same date that Moss’s family house was constructed. And it also stands on the grounds of an older building that had to be rebuilt and that dated back to days of the abbeys in Britain. Is everything ripped off!? Yes, yes it is.

      That whole long spiel about the history of the estate and the random facts she spouted off about the outside staff eating separately from the indoor staff all sounds like information she gleaned from Downton Abbey and felt like stuff she couldn’t keep herself from including just to show how much she knew. And because Downton Abbey was on her mind after ripping off it’s history, architectural style, and landscape down to the sheep in the park.

      Dimzelda can hear the waves crashing in the cove. Not on the beach, or the cliffs, or the shore, but specifically the cove. Like the smugglers’ cove in Poldark?

      Also Mrs. B? The “kindly” but prying neighbor who is the type of woman to know all her neighbors, have their phone numbers, and not be shy about calling them? Who when she sees an open door, feels the need to wander into it and poke around? Who would rather call people and gossip about a break in than immediately notify the police? Is this Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice? Sometimes referred to as Mrs. B. by her husband? Of course it is!

      And this is just one chapter.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
  5. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    “I hope Oliver hid Moss’s cocaine. We honestly can’t fit another plot thread into this tapestry of failure.”

    I laughed so hard at this. It’s funny ’cause it’s true. This book is truly a tapestry of failure.

    James’ ‘let’s not call the police and/or tell anyone about people being after Demelssia’ nonsense reminds me of the sixth season of Dexter. The writers absolutely wanted Dexter to see a painting of him that season’s killer had left at a crime scene, but they didn’t want his colleagues to see it. The writers solved this by writing what they wanted to happen in the stupidest, most unbelievable, audience-insulting way possible.

    You can’t just suspend logic because you want there to be a big reveal/cool scene and you have no idea how to get there organically. That’s not how writing works!

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
  6. lfc
    lfc

    “A little like Alessia.” made me think of “A Little Bit Alexis” from Schitt’s Creek, which was a nice, fleeting feeling.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
  7. Ari
    Ari

    When the book finally returns to what is, supposedly, the main conflict, I keep finding myself asking the question: why?

    Why are these two men so obsessed with recapturing Alessia? She is one of a dozen girls from that group alone, and the implication is they, as the big bad gangsters, have done this to hundreds more.

    Do they think she will go around telling people? She is terrified that she will be kidnapped again. And if she does decide to talk, well, so what? She is in a country without a proper visa, she speaks little (?) English and doesn’t want to return back to Albania.

    Why would they want to get the clearly very rich man she works for involved at all? Sure, he might tell her to leave if he think she’s trouble, but even in that scenario he may set the police after them. And why on Earth would they take the risk of breaking onto his property???

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Because she is so beautiful and special and desirable. That’s what it means when men want to rape you, after all, according to the “literature” of assholes like Erika.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      It would make sense if she had stolen something very important from them when she fled. But that would have had to have been at least hinted at somewhere in the last TWENTY CHAPTERS of this dreck, so sadly I think it’s just because she’s the most specialist little snowflake virgin, piano virtuoso…oh, maybe they have a really important client with a piano fetish? Or a granny pantie fetish? Or she is just really good at washing windows and theirs are filthy.

      I still like to think they are trying to rescue her from this trash heap of a book and are just painfully misunderstood, with being all swarthy and Eastern European and all.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Judging from Amazon reviews that I’ve read, I think these two guys are actually working for her fiance but EEL didn’t foreshadow this up until Alessia knew their names… or maybe EEL never did and we won’t find out until there’s a really stupid twist where Alessia is confused that they’re headed for the airport/seaport or something.

        June 3, 2019
        |Reply
        • Anon
          Anon

          @Dove —

          Them working for her fiance actually makes sense and would have been nice information for EEL to include or at least hint at! Jeez. It’s almost like she writes badly deliberately. Anything that can be wrong is wrong. There’s no hint that her fiance knows where she is, has tried to contact her or even that he WOULD, but plenty of talk about being trafficked. Plot twists should be a surprise, but not THIS MUCH of a surprise.

          June 4, 2019
          |Reply
  8. PR
    PR

    I did a little more googling. Urtë could also mean Silent. But it doesn’t seem like the obvious meaning of silent. I have 0 knowledge of Albanian.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • PR
      PR

      *obvious translation, I meant.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah… I found the Wiktionary article. Another quick Google though and I found something that seems more sensible.

      https://glosbe.com/en/sq/silent Which gave me pa zë.

      But I decided to put it into google translate, to see what it thought of that.

      https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=pa+z%C3%AB+translation+Albanian It suggests that means “without sound”

      Then I reversed it and a more direct translation of that answer is apparently pa tingull.

      Then I tried “quietly” and it gave me this.

      Translations of quietly
      adverb

      qetë
      quietly, evenly, easy, undisturbedly

      pa zhurmë
      quietly, silently

      Pa zhurmë is the one that came up in the box, so I’d assume it might be the best result, but who knows? Certainly not me.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Also, google translate says “i urtë” means calm…

        Did it again with reversed languages and it says “qetë” is quietly and “pa zhurmë” is without sound. Then I tried “i qetë” and it gave me calm or tranquil. But also a few more suggestions to try! “i heshtur” is also silent but it seems to be taciturn/reticent after checking “fjalëpakë”. And this is why it’s always best to do multiple checks. Context clues aren’t always automatically obvious.

        Incidentally, “i” seems to mean of.

        June 3, 2019
        |Reply
    • Eclairmaiden
      Eclairmaiden

      I checked it too. Obviously the line is meant to be “Be quiet!” or the like, bugger if the Albanians would choose that word to say it or use it that way. If EL James’ dictionary says that’s the word for silence (a lazy attempt to say it with one word cos she doesn’t know anything about the structure or grammar of the language), then that must be the absolute truth. And of course she or the supposed editor can’t ask anyone who knows Albanian to verify.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Keaalu
        Keaalu

        After consulting Professor Google Translate for 2 seconds, it says “Hesht!” is the Albanian for “be quiet!” (alternatively, “ji i qetë!” – it doesn’t suggest “urtë” at all) which looks like a word you could stand a chance at figuring out the meaning of without a dictionary.

        June 4, 2019
        |Reply
  9. Gretel
    Gretel

    Somebody breaks into your home, smashes things, probably steals other things, destroys your privacy and intimacy, may even still be there and potentially dangerous = nuisance.

    Confidence and privilege or stupidity? I don’t know which is worse. No, wait. Both. Both are equally bad. Maxim is garbage.

    “Now, if she could just work up the courage to touch him…everywhere.”
    I know what the book means but I’m going to pretend she’s talking about his hairy anus or his stinky arm pit or salty balls because that amuses me more. Just finding new, ridiculous places/body parts she could be talking about that are way more entertaining than the mythical penis.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I’m assuming he wants her to touch his eyeballs with her long fingernails and that idea makes her squeamish but she wants to try… for him.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      Didn’t they have sex so much in the last chapter Alessia had to tell him she’s sore? Was she not reciprocating? Was he having sex while she laid there unresponsive?

      I guess this was to mean she wants to be more proactive, but after an entire chapter dedicated to… what was it? Five sex scenes? At this point the shy, demure virgin bit doesn’t work.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
      • Lucy
        Lucy

        Didn’t she get on the top at one point then? You have to be at least a little proactive to do that as the receiving partner.

        June 6, 2019
        |Reply
  10. Ren Benton
    Ren Benton

    “Writing Tip: Sometimes it requires more than a half-hour or so of vaguely thinking about the structure of your novel to actually get what you want from it.”

    ELJ has the same relationship with story structure that you have with your neighbors. She’s encountered it outside her home, but she couldn’t identify it if it bit her on the ass.

    I’m good friends with all of my neighbors’ dogs and one old horse, but I don’t know the name or face of a single human in this neighborhood.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
  11. Ashley
    Ashley

    Windolene wipes? Damn, get some Sprayway in there at least! Better quality and the cold can would be nice between one’s overheated thighs!

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • “Overheated thighs”? What book do you think they’re promoting, Ashley?!

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
  12. Dove
    Dove

    Mister Maxim gave her the sea.

    The Dover Strait is giving Alessia the side eye right now…

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      Being in Cornwall, she could be getting simultaneous side-eye from both the English Channel AND the Atlantic.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
  13. Siona Larsen
    Siona Larsen

    The chapter’s tension could have been solved if Alessia was feeling SO good her anxiety wasn’t bothering her. So even if Moss went “shit it might be the kidnappers…” In his head, she’s not worri d because she’s never been safer in her life. Meanwhile the audience is sweating bullets because Sweet child, no, you’re in danger!!

    I mean this book a lot more work than that small change to this one chapter. But Gah. You don’t build tension by characters unnecessarily leaving out information and characters jumping at every stray leaf. You build it by giving the audience information the characters aren’t dealing with.

    Hell, even if Moss found out the kidnappers had been by and his servant is all “by the way I called the cops on those guys you described for me” then the audience is all “oh maybe nothing bad will happen after all…” Then BOOM. It happens.

    This was from just some vague ten minute thinking through the details…

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      “The chapter’s tension could have been solved if Alessia was feeling SO good her anxiety wasn’t bothering her.”

      yes, imagine, for the first time in her life she finally feels safe, free, Moss has given her the sea after all! She has finally put her horrible past behind her. She is looking to the future now. then BAM! She hears a commotion downstairs. Shit! Everything quickly crashes around her. That is what an emotional rollercoaster looks like EEL! Not, OMG I’m so afraid to touch his penis. Oh, I wish I could touch his penis. He makes he feel safe, I am going to touch his penis! WEEEEE!!!!”

      It’s like EEL is allergic to storytelling. I’m not talking good storytelling even, just, actually telling a story with a beginning, middle and end. All she does is write travel procures and sex procedures and is calling it a novel.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
  14. Emily, a newbie
    Emily, a newbie

    “[…] law enforcement exists in romantic suspense. It doesn’t in an E.L. James book.”
    Soooo E. L. James got inspiration from Ride To Hell: Retribution, confirmed?
    Though I guess at least in that abysmal game (and thus, the story), they at least /kind of/ explained the lack of police? Something about the town being so full of crime that the cops could handle it so they just decided to abandon ship and leave the town with no law enforcement to speak of. Or something like that.
    Sure they got rid of the cops for the sake of the plot as well, cause a big biker dude can’t just go around offing literally over a hundred members of a biker gang without the police mucking up their story, but at least they gave a reason.
    There’s literally no reason for E. L.’s characters to not be calling the cops, illegal immigrant or not; money does a lot, position of power does even more. They’d be find.
    But really. Wow. Never thought I’d see the day when a story rivals the nonsense found in Ride To Hell. That is…truly something.
    Not sure what. But just…something. Reaaally something.

    And I’m sorry, but the word “burgled” really, really takes me out of the moment here.
    Maybe it’s because I’ve played WoW too long, and it sounds too much like a murloc sound, or maybe it’s just me having weird preferences.
    But I really think “robbed” would have just been /such/ a better fit. And actually flow better with the sentence, because no one says “burgled” seriously.
    And not give me horrible flashbacks to Elwynn Forest.

    Altogether though, I’m just…really confused as to what this break-in was supposed to /do/ for the story? Like, if it really was the kidnappers that trashed his place to get Alessia alone to grab her, like it’s being hinted, that’s just…a little much, isn’t it? These kidnappers are two bigger dudes, probably with some bigger buds too because apparently all Eastern Europeans are thugs in E. L.’s world so why not, why would they even need to lure Maxim out of the hideaway in the first place to grab Alessia? Because once again, it’s already two against one, because we all know that Maxim would make Alessia hide away as he heroically fends them off, and I’m willing to bet that pampered and pretty boy Maxim wouldn’t do well against two burly dudes who likely have no qualms against fighting dirty. So why go to so much trouble, of breaking in and stealing stuff and smashing stuff and whatever else, just to turn back around and go get the girl? How were they to know that he wouldn’t just bring her with? Or take her elsewhere with him? How were they to guarantee that she’d be there? Were they just gonna chill in the living room in the dark ’til they came home and do a big “we’ve been expecting you” reveal? Chill in the attic with a couple beers and wait? What exactly was their back-up plan, here? Because SO MUCH could have gone wrong, or at least gone /differently/.
    On top of this, why even break in to Maxim’s flat and leave that much of a trace to begin with? Like, you’re running a human trafficking ring; when you’re already doing something highly illegal like that, then you typically take extra care to make sure you don’t have the crosshairs of the law enforcement or anyone else on you. One could argue “diversion”, but in order for a diversion to necessary, or even a thought, you would’ve already had to have garnered some suspicion. Because of Maxim’s inability to call the police, there was no suspicion circulating absolutely anywhere, there was no “watch for these dudes” alerts, no manhunt to speak of. Nothing. there was no reason for a diversion. NO. REASON. The break-in here MEANT. LITERALLY. NOTHING.
    It would have been SO much more intense to have it be kind of like one of those horror movies back in the day. Make it so the kidnappers are stalking them even when they think they’re hidden and safe. The kidnappers have been scouting them for days now, just trying to get their timing right, but neither Maxim or Alessia suspect a thing; just biding their time for the perfect chance. Then, have them break in during a late night (because another thing, who the FUCK commits a break-in and kidnapping in broad daylight? Gotta have a lot of balls for that), Maxim gets beat up desperately trying to protect Alessia, but he tries his hardest; Alessia, at the last minute, chooses not to run away and actually try to fight, but all in vain. Maxim gets beaten down, Alessia gets kidnapped right in front of him, he starts fading into unconsciousness, and the last thing he sees is her being dragged off, screaming his name. That would have been far more impactful, raised the stakes, actually given a real sense of danger to this fluffed up “book” of small-talk and bad sex. It would have actually made this a /story/.
    I just…I want to know who supposedly edited this. I need to know.
    We /deserve/ to know.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Emily, a newbie
      Emily, a newbie

      Ugh. Couldn’t*, fine*, whatever other typos there are.
      I really shouldn’t write up stuff while having a low blood sugar episode :c /is ashamed.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
    • amblonyxx
      amblonyxx

      I may have forgotten my armed robbery training but in Australia, burglary is theft without threatening another human. Robbery is when you hurt or threaten to hurt someone during the theft.

      So burgled in this case would be technically the correct word. But I agree that it’s a weird word, haha!

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dinah Lord
        Dinah Lord

        I would say it’s common usage in the UK to say ‘burgled’ in this context (if we were out of our house when the theft happened).

        June 6, 2019
        |Reply
    • Amy Too
      Amy Too

      I was also going to comment on how weird it is that they created this reason for him to leave Alessia alone, when the entire reason they’re hiding out in Cornwall right now is because he needs to protect Alessia by keeping her WITH HIM. It’s like all the characters also just forgot the main plot of their own story and somehow thought that they were actually just on a totally normal vacation together and not forced into the highly unusual and intimate situation of an ultra wealthy, playboy, aristocrat being forced to live with his poor, sex trafficked, vulnerable, foreign maid whose immigration status is dubious, who doesn’t speak or understand English that well, and who apparently has been transplanted from rural Albania circa 1700. How did they, in less than a week, go from being forced into this awkward and strange living situation in order to keep themselves hidden and safe from bad guys, to apparently becoming so comfortable with the situation that they’ve forgotten that they’re not just an old married couple hanging out at their beach house? Why would Miss leave her alone? Why would Dimzelda allow him to? Why didn’t she remind him that oh hey, the whole reason we’re here is because you thought if you left me alone in London I’d be kidnapped by bad guys?

      Are we supposed to believe that the bad guys, who traffic women internationally are unable to figure out the train schedule to leave London? Like London is the one and only place where they’re in danger? And that’s why Miss didn’t want to go back there, even with Dimzelda? Was that even hinted at anywhere in the text? If we assume that’s they case, then he thought she was safe alone at the beach cottage…..so why has he been staying there with her this whole time!? Why force yourself on this woman who has already been kidnapped and nearly sold into sexual slavery? If she’s safe there alone because you’re close by at the big manor house, then why haven’t you just been staying at your big manor house all along?

      Is it seriously all going to come down to him knowing that she wouldn’t truly be safe on her own in the cottage, but he just couldn’t bare to bring her up to the big house with him because he doesn’t want her to find out he’s an Earl? Is that supposed to be the reasoning here? He’s risking her being kidnapped by sex trafficking rapists because he’s just not ready to say, “oh by the way, not only am I fabulously wealthy, but I also have an aristocratic title that doesn’t actually mean anything anymore because it’s 2019 and not 1819”? Then we’re back to, why is that a big deal? She already knows he’s super rich and probably important. This is already a Cinderella story with the whole “Am I worthy of such an awesome man when I’m just a poor scullery maid?” trope, that there is literally nothing that him having a title can add in the way of tension.

      Gah!!!’ I hate this book!

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Yeah. All he had to do was call his servants and tell them to call him “Sir” instead of Milord or whatever. It’s really threadbare at best. I mean, EEL could’ve had them in a scuffle, they managed to grab her, Moss didn’t want to accidentally shoot her… EEL literally just didn’t want to write an action scene because she probably isn’t good at them and doesn’t like them very much. So, she went with the Earl BS instead (also because of Poldark but it gave her the excuse that she wanted.)

        June 3, 2019
        |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      There’s literally no reason for E. L.’s characters to not be calling the cops, illegal immigrant or not; money does a lot, position of power does even more. They’d be fine.

      Honestly, if he was simply up to his eyeballs in debt and previously in a lot of hot water/other scandals before the story started so that even if he’s theoretically in a good position, Moss is teetering on the brink and has to tread lightly (maybe some stipulation in Kit’s will says that if Moss fucks up with the law, then it all automatically goes to his wife, Caroline, and that also gives Moss reason to debate whether it’d be better if he got in trouble or not), then I’d buy that.

      But yeah, EEL ignores the obvious, without answers, and that’s the only reason it’s so hard to swallow. I’m sure there could be plenty. Even if Moss is in a good position it’s not fool-proof. There’s some chance he could get a very short term in a great prison as something closer to a hard slap on the wrist. The real problem is that we don’t have any stakes to explain why he’d avoid an easy resolution.

      Incidentally, I think the break-in is LITERALLY just very bad foreshadowing. EEL didn’t want random nerves to ruin the vacation so she thought this sudden phone call could break the serene calm instead and be used to send Moss elsewhere… but it just falls flat because you’re right, there’s really no point to them breaking in.

      Then, have them break in during a late night

      I think it would’ve been amazing if they were on the beach when in the distance they see two figures walking towards them. At first, they think nothing of it, but she’s a little nervous because they’re walking slow but with intent. Moss decides to ignore them. Then when they’re close enough, Dimzelda happens to recognize them and she BOLTS again but she doesn’t know where to go except the house! So she has three guys chasing her, Maxim is a shitty runner, she makes it back safe, but she doesn’t lock the door in time. They smile and villain-logic her into coming quietly while Maxim is gasping, wheezing, and just caught up but can’t talk yet so he throws himself at one. The other grabs her arm and drags her off. Maxim runs to get his rifle and they book it faster, just as the get-away driver appears. They all hop into an unmarked van, Maxim wastes some bullets, and THE PLOT LIVES!

      Dun dun duuuuun… then we meet her fiance in the van with them and we find out why they were so determined to get her back.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        That would have been exciting. That would have been a page turner. OMG Is she going to escape? Will Moss reach her in time? What will the bad guys do when they catch her? Then WOAH! It was the fiancé!?!?!! Oh man, what is going to happen next!!?!?!!

        We can’t have that, it might give some of her readers a bit of a fright. No, let’s just send Moss up to the house to talk about the history of Dickwad Manor while Dimzelda takes a shower for 30-40 minutes. yeah, that will keep the readers hearts not racing.

        Maybe EEL is trying some odd form of euthanasia? Like, boring her readers to death? Or forcing them to take their own lives to escape the unending horror that is The Mister?

        June 4, 2019
        |Reply
    • IsobelA
      IsobelA

      ‘Burgled’ and ‘burglary’ is a completely normal commonly used word in the UK…

      Burglary is when someone breaksinto your property and takes stuff whilst you’re away. A robbery is when someone breaks in and takes stuff whilst you are there.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
      • Emily, a newbie
        Emily, a newbie

        I wasn’t meaning to come off as offensive or anything with that little chide, I swear. It may just be a regional/U.S. thing, but I never really hear the word “burgled”. It’s actually such an odd word for me to hear sensory-wise (my sense of sound is /incredibly/ sensitive and thus, others love messing with it) that my friends only say it in a joking manner/in funny voices to make me laugh. “Burglary” isn’t odd to me, but “burgled” is just…very phonetically silly-sounding to me, so reading it here really took me out of the moment. Probably just me, though c: I forget my sensory problems aren’t shared with other people sometimes. I’m sorry if it came off that way.

        And interesting to know that there’s a difference; I actually didn’t know that 😮 here where I live, everyone just uses the two words interchangeably. That could just be very telling for the educational system here though, as we’re ranked near the bottom of the list of worst schooling/education systems in the U.S. I’m glad to learn something new though c: thank you for the correction <3

        June 4, 2019
        |Reply
        • Cat
          Cat

          Don’t worry Emily! It’s jarring to most readers who don’t use the word/read it regularly. And most Americans don’t. Also, I think the lack of knowledge of the difference between robbery and burglary as well as other legal terms isn’t uncommon. I know they spent a good amount of time explaining the subtle differences when we were sitting on a jury with regards to assault and that wouldn’t be something covered in a normal class.

          June 10, 2019
          |Reply
  15. Brandi
    Brandi

    Does anyone else feel like this whole book was completely written from Maxim’s point of view, and Alessia’s POV was shoehorned in later because someone told her a dual POV would sell better?

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • *arm shoots up high*

      I’d bet good money on that.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I made a similar comment a chapter or two ago and I absolutely agree. I suspect some editor tried to make their mark but EEL would only do so much because writing for Alessia was hard. And EEL refused to use the first person again because she at least knew that would get confusing… since she’s terrible at writing personality.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Amy
        Amy

        When the Grey books came out, fans were excited cause they thought they were going to get more background on Grey. Instead, they just got further confirmation that he’s aware of his unapologetic shite behavior, more talk of his penis like it’s sentient, and they didn’t learn not a damn new thing.

        As bad the writing was from Anastasia’s pov, at least it felt like a woman speaking. With Grey, it felt like a teen writing fanfiction for the very first time in their life. Even if you never read fanfic before, the fans picked up on the shite writing. I specifically remember flipping through the book and reading a few passages and going, “This feels even more fanfic-y than the first one!”

        June 4, 2019
        |Reply
  16. Veronika
    Veronika

    I laughed out loud when I read “Ylli”. Because that’s the name of my son’s teacher in swimming class. (He’s an Albanian, by the way, and nothing in his appearance said “eastern European” to me when we first met. I would have guessed Spanish or Italian). Anyway, he’s tall, very very thin, slightly goofy and NOT AT ALL threatening in any way.
    Can’t help picturing Alessia’s kidnapper like that know.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I approve. He’d probably teach Alessia to swim on the way to England and she’d be like, “Oh, even if he’s trying to kidnap me, I don’t want Moss to shoot the poor guy.”

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
  17. Genuinely questioning if Eel has ever even been to the UK at this point. (She’s meant to be British, right?!)

    As any of us know, Londoners are notoriously well-practiced at not acknowledging the presence of other humans unless they absolutely have to, so there’s no way he would be on having telephone calls terms with his neighbour. Especially not in one of those West End gated blocks of flats.

    The rest of the UK, sure, if you’ve lived there a while. You might swap numbers if you were going away on holiday and wanted them to let you know if there was a problem but it would take years, probably decades, to get to genuine friendship.

    And London is a completely different kettle of fish. Remember moving back to London from Manchester and telling a colleague how I knew all my neighbours and we’d chat at the bus stop in the morning on the way to work. Her reaction was pure horror that I would see this as a positive.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • IsobelA
      IsobelA

      I think this is a YMMV. I live in London, and made great friends with my neighbours in two different flats, we have each other round for dinner, go out, and cat-sit for each other. I also made a number of friends on the train, as we all got so used to seeing each other on the same trains morning and evening that we got into the habit of sitting together and chatting. I went to one of their weddings last year.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
      • Oh that’s so nice! How long did it take to get to know them though? Have known neighbours in London to chat to but never swapped numbers but then I never stayed in one place for long…

        June 4, 2019
        |Reply
        • Xebi
          Xebi

          I live in London and exchange numbers with my neighbours on one side when we went away so they could call us in an emergency. Not the ones one the other side though, ’cause they’re a pair of cunts.

          June 4, 2019
          |Reply
        • IsobelA
          IsobelA

          A couple of weeks? One set came down with fresh baked biscuits the day I moved in, I left them a banana bread to say thank you for the biscuits, they came down to say thank you for the banana bread, and I invited them in for a cuppa, they invited me back, and etc. etc. The other guys we just bumped into in the hall and invited down the pub!

          And the shocking train service is to thank for my train friends – after a year of nods and ‘morning’ we all got chatting on one of the many cancellations and shared a cab.

          June 5, 2019
          |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      I have a friend who’s an English ex-pat. She’s lamented an inability to find a church in the US that she likes because she said the churches where she’s from are far more involved and everyone knows everyone and helps everyone and she hasn’t found a similar congregation here. So I’d extrapolate that where she grew up, people knew each other pretty well.

      She didn’t grow up in London, though she lived there as an adult before moving to the US. I actually have never talked to her about knowing neighbors in London since it’s not really a common topic of conversation and never came up.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
      • Xebi
        Xebi

        I’ve lived in three different parts of London (admittedly all suburban) and have to say it does vary by quite a lot.

        June 4, 2019
        |Reply
  18. Crystal M
    Crystal M

    This book reminds me of all the bad horror movies I’ve watched, whose plot could have been solved in five minutes if someone had the brains to call the cops.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Mouse
      Mouse

      It’s half way a shame she doesn’t write, if you can call it that, sci-fi or fantasy. If she did, her stuff would be begging for some Mystery Science Theater treatment and or memes.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
  19. WuBomei
    WuBomei

    In weird but not really surprising ways, this book keeps reminding me of one I read many years ago when I worked in a bookstore up north. It was written by a 14 year old girl whose parents made the unfortunate decision to then have it published by a vanity press. (We took some on consignment as “local interest”.) It was written exactly the way you’d imagine a 14 year old would write; they were marketing it as a story about grief, but what actually happens is, the teenage narrator’s BFF dies before the book begins, and she’s sad her friend won’t be with her on her family’s annual trip to [my hometown]; she arrives, makes friends, inexplicably gets a waitressing job, and is romanced by the wealthy son of a local business owner (she’s still 14 the whole time); in the last chapter she remembers she had a dead friend at the beginning of the book and thinks her friend would be happy she had such a great summer. Which is to say, it’s a conflict-free what-I-did-on-vacation fantasy essay. (We had a bit of a giggle because her description of the love interest sounded a lot like a real person, a very nice, very gay local man she may well have bumped into during her stay.)

    Of course, that author had the excuse of, again, being a 14 year old child, and she even had the sense to be embarrassed that she had “published” a book when we asked a year later if she wanted to do any promotion for it. It may even, technically, have had a more original plot, for what little plot there was in it.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
  20. Aria (Wilderness)
    Aria (Wilderness)

    What the shit, Maxim forgot to set the alarm when they left? How? Wouldn’t he have to turn it off for some reason and then forget to turn it back on? That’s a lot more complicated than just forgetting to turn your key. Don’t those alarms just rearm if you open and close the door from the inside?

    Also, I thought his apartment was in a gated community? Or at least somewhere with security cameras or other devices? Do Alessia’s abductors have the resources to get past those? Disguises? Have they bribed or pressured security staff? How big is their network exactly? I got the idea that it was a small operation and that’s why they’re so desperate to get her back, because they don’t have their own people in government or law enforcement yet to back them up if they fall under suspicion. A country house has got to be easier to get into. You don’t even need a distraction if they’re the only ones there — you can just wait for them to fall asleep.

    If this was a better book, I’d be wondering if someone *else* broke in.

    Hey, it could be Maxim’s sister-in-law. Maybe she’s going to look for something to blackmail him with, now that he’s no longer sleeping with her. She needs the money. Maybe the pregnancy scare was a ruse, and she dropped it when she figured he wouldn’t be fooled for long. She could have hired people to break in and plant a listening device. If they were already her employees, they’d even have a legit excuse for being in the neighborhood. She knows he won’t call the police, because he has drugs in his apartment. *And* she knows he’s out of town — didn’t he just get a call from her asking about his location?

    I know something that resembles a real plot this closely won’t turn up in an EL James novel, but I did it to myself anyway. Is there a word for the compulsion to fill in someone else’s egregious plot holes? A borrowed phrase in French, maybe?

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I know something that resembles a real plot this closely won’t turn up in an EL James novel, but I did it to myself anyway. Is there a word for the compulsion to fill in someone else’s egregious plot holes? A borrowed phrase in French, maybe?

      lol Fanfiction!

      And I love that idea. Caroline could’ve also been frustrated at how he ignores her so easily when it isn’t convenient for him.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Whoops, meant to reply to this part too.

      What the shit, Maxim forgot to set the alarm when they left? How? Wouldn’t he have to turn it off for some reason and then forget to turn it back on? That’s a lot more complicated than just forgetting to turn your key. Don’t those alarms just rearm if you open and close the door from the inside?

      I think the idea is that because Alessia was there cleaning, Maxim had turned off the alarm so she could get inside the apartment, as he usually does. Then when he ran after her during her unexpected flight, he was in such haste that he didn’t arm it again before leaving. (I don’t know about how they function so can’t comment on automatic arming.)

      It works fine. I think the big issue is that Maxim should’ve paused to wonder why Oliver wasn’t calling him about this instead (even if he forgets to arm it regularly.) Then he could have some emotional reactions and figure that he forgot because of course, Alessia was there cleaning and he was in such a hurry… or something. Point being, we’re only getting the little bits that Jenny shares but I doubt EEL wrote the correct details. Especially since it’s a terrible cliffhanger and should’ve simply been the beginning of the next chapter, no teaser at all. That makes the gut punch stronger.

      I’m also buying into acceptance that Maxim could’ve been outgoing enough to know his neighbor but I still say she should’ve been introduced before now. Alessia could’ve gotten to know her too or something. If she’s going to hint at the plot’s arrival, then his neighbor is more relevant to us than his drunk ass friends were. It lends itself to exploring his personality, instead of simply giving EEL an alternative to the police getting involved.

      I mean, for fuck sake, if she just wanted that, one or both of his PRIOR fucking friends, introduced in such detail, could’ve turned up and called him, asking if he was okay and Maxim could’ve been all “DON’T CALL THE COPS, I’LL SEND OLIVER” and then he told Oliver to hide the cocaine because if he told his friends about it, they would’ve just used it up. XD

      I think EEL just took it for granted that Maxim would know his neighbor and she would call him but as this comments section has pointed out that absolutely shouldn’t be taken for granted because people are all different and some never speak to their neighbors. It’s another missed opportunity for something more interesting than what we got because EEL finally said to herself, “OK, I guess I better let the plot in, it’s been scratching at the door for a while now.”

      Then it dragged itself in, shook itself off in her face, and she scolded it for not drowning in the Thames.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
  21. I read your description of the promotion box and my brain stopped functioning for a few seconds. Then I clicked on the link and … oh god I still haven’t recovered.

    To say that I’m disappointed in the complete lack of forward momentum in this book would imply that I was at some point emotionally invested. But I’m just bored with it. E.L. James being a narcissistic, misogynist mess of a writer is more interesting, maybe even the most interesting thing about her, but even that is losing its fascination for me. Right now I’m just envious of my dad, who will never realize that a hack erotic fiction writer copied one of his favorite TV shows and got away with it.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      That’s a good point: this book came out and so far… it’s not exactly breaking any barriers. Yeah it sold a lot, but the Twilight phase has come and gone, and this book has left such little impact I’m actually surprised by its non-existence reception.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
  22. Rec
    Rec

    By now I really wouldn’t be surprised if Moss was the boss of a rival sex trafficking gang and it’s some kind of turf war Alessia isn’t aware of.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Brandi
      Brandi

      Well, that would be an interesting plot, at least.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
  23. Perlite
    Perlite

    I think Moss’ first thought of the possible ransackers being looters rather than, I dunno, THE FREAKIN’ HUMAN TRAFFICKERS, WHICH ARE THE WHOLE REASON YOU TWO ARE IN CORNWALL TO BEGIN WITH, is unintentionally demonstrative of how little Moss actually cares about Alessia.
    “She is totally interesting, I promise” narration does little to help his case, and feels more like he retroactively copy-and-pasted paragraphs from the Albania wiki rather than actually take the effort to learn about her. It seems like he only fell for her because she’s the only lady who can do literally nothing to him when he decides to be a dick. She has no family, no home, her friends don’t know where she is, and she (purportedly) knows very little English.
    I’d feel sorrier for her, if she were an actual character rather than a sexy mirror for Moss to flex wealthily at.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • That’s an exceptionally valid point: if Maximus Poldarkus gave two shits about Alessianabellazelda, his first thought should’ve been “Oh, shit, what if it’s them? I MUST PROTECT MY BELOVED DAILY-TURNED-SOULMATE AND HER MAGIC VAGINA FROM HARM!” Even the most cursory of interest in her as his favorite RealDoll Fucktoy means that he’d want to — in Eel-MMC-speak — “protect what is mine,” right? But the fact that he doesn’t even *jealously* connect anything shows how little he’s invested in considering Alessia and her life/experiences in connection to him in any way, but, rather, just has his head up his own ass.

      Yet again, Erika tries to go for demonstrating “_____” but ends up making one of her MCs just look like a selfish asshole idiot instead.

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Perlite
        Perlite

        It figures when there’s an actual danger to protect the female lead from, EEL makes it so that the MC wouldn’t be half-arsed to give a crap about her. No, guess he’d rather get jealous over a teen boy that happened to be in contact with Alessia. And instead of, I don’t know, protecting her, he wants to jump through all these hoops because she may possibly learn that he is slightly wealthier than she already knew he was.

        Knowing EEL, the reveal will be Alessia being like, “An Earl??? In postcommunist Albania- attempts to reestablish the monarchy was rejected in 1997, overturned by a two-thirds vote!”

        June 4, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jules
          Jules

          “Knowing EEL, the reveal will be Alessia being like, “An Earl??? In postcommunist Albania- attempts to reestablish the monarchy was rejected in 1997, overturned by a two-thirds vote!””

          Haha, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if we get some kind of history lesson about monarchy either Albanian or we will get the entire family heraldry of Moss’s clan. How they were originally druid priests who helped build Stonehenge, then a history of Stonehenge which Moss and Dimzi will never actually visit and will have nothing to do with the story but is important to include because EEL is being paid by the word, or is getting kick backs from UK Tourism or something. Obviously she’s not getting anything from Albanian tourism so they are getting royally hosed in this story. Should have paid the extortion money Albania. Let this be a lesson to you!

          June 4, 2019
          |Reply
  24. Maria
    Maria

    wow what a terrible promotion box. also i’m glad something is finally happening, though i know it’s just going to be disappointing in the end.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      This is what happened in 50. There’d be some tension leading up to what could have been some decent plot and then it would be resolved in a paragraph and on to the next boring thing. She has no interest in the story. She just wants to fantasize about a hot rich guy and his sexing her.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
  25. Amy Too
    Amy Too

    “What a fucking pain in the arse this is–some fucking lowlife addict or maybe some feral teenage kids wrecking my place.”

    What an asshole. Addicts are “lowlifes” teenagers are apparently “feral,” which sounds like coded racist language, besides just being a jerk thing to say and think. Feral=wild animals=POC are all barbaric animals with wild, uncontrollably violent impulses who have no notion of how to live like “civilized” white people. (Just being super clear that I don’t think these things personally, they are a racist stereotype). It fits well with the “unsavory, aggressive, swarthy” Eastern Europeans. Male POC/foreigners are these aggressive, feral animals, whilst female POC/foreigners are “exotic beauties,” docile, innocent, virginal, vulnerable and downtrodden, needing to be saved by some imperialist (Maximus!), aristocratic, white man from their violent male counterparts.

    How is “…some fucking lowlife addict or maybe some feral teenage kids wrecking my place,” supposed to be consistent with a hero that EEL is TRYING to write as caring, sympathetic, empathetic, the type of guy who feels awkward being the Earl because he’s always thought of himself as the “everyman,” the type of guy who gets along with the servants and pub owners and who doesn’t buy into his mother’s snobbery? I can see why that interviewer asked EEL about Moss being a narcissist. He comes off like an asshole all the time who has no compassion, and who only ever happens into doing nice things for people if it directly and immediately benefits himself and his penis. It’s so weird to me that this is obviously based on Poldark, when Ross Poldark was a great guy, constantly putting himself at risk to help other people because he thought that it was his duty to use his power and privilege to fight for social changes that would give the vulnerable people he was surrounded by a better, more just, equitable, and fulfilling life. Moss only has Ross Poldark’s status and stuff—as if EEL thought THOSE were the defining qualities that made Ross such a beloved hero.

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      It’s so weird to me that this is obviously based on Poldark, when Ross Poldark was a great guy, constantly putting himself at risk to help other people because he thought that it was his duty to use his power and privilege to fight for social changes that would give the vulnerable people he was surrounded by a better, more just, equitable, and fulfilling life. Moss only has Ross Poldark’s status and stuff—as if EEL thought THOSE were the defining qualities that made Ross such a beloved hero.

      I think it’s because she doesn’t know how to merge the two ideas that she’s running with… “Bad Boy Anti-Hero” as Chedward theoretically was and Ross Poldark. Also, she might have been trying to veer further from Ross because of the mild flack she got for revising an AU fanfic into its own shitty modern universe and selling it. But she stuck with her “how to write men” formula of thinking only with their dick and being grossly, confusingly Evangelical, plus a lot of randomly sprinkled romance and fanfic tropes without any fine-tuning, which just made things worse. And of course, she couldn’t avoid her own prejudices so… it’s just a terrible result of uncritical thinking.

      I also wonder if she was aiming for an AU where Ross was “cooler” or some nonsense but… eh. Who knows?

      June 3, 2019
      |Reply
  26. Jenn H
    Jenn H

    Maxim: “If I just ignore the plot for long enough, it will go away.”

    Later:

    Maxim: “Oh no, somehow the plot found us!”

    June 3, 2019
    |Reply
  27. Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)
    Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)

    That forking promo box – what were the thinking? Was that something that came to people who hadn’t read the book yet? Because I’d have dumped it all in the trash, including the book, as soon as I saw the cleaning wipes. I wouldn’t want to subject the library to the donated copy of the book.

    None of this makes any sense and noting is happening. Heck, I’ve seen more tension and angst in comedies. I can’t believe you’ve read two dozen chapters of this dreck.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      I know, it doesn’t sound real. If I opened my promotional box for a sexy erotic book from an author I adored, I would expect candles, candy, maybe some hot pictures. But if this came this to me without my knowing what it’s supposed to represent, I would’ve thought someone stole my stuff and replaced it with random items to weight the box down. I would have screamed at the granny panties and thrown them out.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
  28. Corbeau
    Corbeau

    I think the noise of furniture being pulled across the floor followed by that “wise” comment means that either Dane or Ylli thought about blocking the entrance with a wardrobe or something so they can’t be followed. Which is a bit weird, because wouldn’t they want to get out once they have Alessia? Are they deliberately preparing for a hostage situation?
    Also, I’m from Central Europe (which not everyone acknowledges, for a lot of people, it’s just Eastern too) and I’m so fed up with Eastern Europeans always being thugs, drug dealers, part of an organized crime group, prostitutes or victims of all of the aforementioned criminals. Guys, I’m not saying it’s all rainbows and sunshine here but most of us lives a pretty peaceful life. The biggest crime I have ever committed was smoking pot and downloading Game of Thrones episodes. And once I forgot my pass at home and rode the train without a ticket. I was fined about 5 dollars. So beware, I’m a dangerous and vicious Eastern criminal on the loose!

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
  29. Lucy
    Lucy

    I don’t get the not calling the police either. If it’s supposed to be because Alessia is in the country illegally, well, money and influence can take care of that.

    I also don’t get why falling in love with someone you know next to nothing about is so romanticized. Sure, sometimes people develop a strong attraction very quickly, and the “love at first sight “ is a powerful fantasy, but it still needs to be based on something more than wanting to bang. Indeed, they ‘be been cooped together alone for several days, why didn’t talk to each other, share memories, likes and dislikes, tell jokes? That’s what people at the beginning of a relationship do!

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
    • Just inverting a lot of their relationship points could’ve made it more effective. Instead of starting with him wanting to bang her, it could’ve started with him protecting his sweet, kinda shy housekeeper when kidnappers come after her, because he didn’t have anything else going on that week and needed distraction because he’s grieving his brother — more realistic emotional responses and actions than Romance/Erika-brand insta-soulmates. And then on long drives to Poldark Manor and those “cooped together alone for several days,” they could’ve shared memories, talked about their mutual traumas even, and grown attracted to each other, and THEN had real conflict about the ethics of wanting to bang your boss the new earl who rescued you/your housekeeper who told you about being sex-trafficked who you are hiding from kidnappers.

      Mrs. Leonard puts less time into her plots and characters’ motivations and development than I did when playing with my Barbies.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
      • Lucy
        Lucy

        But… if he didn’t want to instantly bang her, wouldn’t it have meant she wasn’t really HAWT?!
        I think the story would have worked much better if Moss were more traumatized by his brother ‘s death, and Demelssia had to be the one to have to encourage and comfort him at some point, but of course we can’t have the hero display weakness even for a split second!

        June 6, 2019
        |Reply
  30. A. Noyd
    A. Noyd

    “some fucking lowlife addict…wrecking my place.”

    Said the dickhead who does cocaine and habitually throws his dirty workout clothes everywhere.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
    • J.
      J.

      But he manages to throw his piles of used condoms into the waste basket. I guess everyone needs their saving grace.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      Yeah but he’s rich so it’s different, or something.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
  31. Ghislaine
    Ghislaine

    Ross Poldark didn’t call the police because there wasn’t a police force in England until 1829, which is too late for him. If there had been, though, he might well have, given that he’s an intelligent character and not the absolute muppet depicted here.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
  32. Masha
    Masha

    Can I just say, being Eastern European I take being disdained by ELJ as one hell of a compliment.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
  33. J.
    J.

    Wow, I already had a pair of pink unattractive panties (don’t worry, I’ll burned them) and not a single misogynistic billionare has been banging down my door for me clean his flat and make him expresso.

    Thank God.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
  34. AN
    AN

    You know, this whole book really has me thinking in how little do you need to go so far, and hence how little E.L. James cares for making a compelling story that doesn’t stick of sexism from every corner.

    Short story long, I follow a series of japanese novels by the name of 茉莉花官吏伝 (Matsurika Kanri Den / The Legend of Officer Matsurika).

    The main character, Matsurika, is an intelligent young woman with eidetic memory, who has however grown wary of standing out due to previous bad experiences (bad teachers, etc). By the time we meet her, she has an unassuming but nevertheless successful life as one of the many maids in the Imperial Harem (the story taking place in an Imperial China-style fantasy world).

    It’s chance what crosses her path with that of the current Regent (as the real emperor is like 4 years old), Hakuyou, who upon seeing her potential won’t accept letting it go to waste as a simple maid. He’ll patronage her, give her teachers, whatever is needed but he wants a genius like her as one of his officers… which she obviously rejects initially, given her background.

    It’s only when he starts pushing his agenda on her (he wants to gather the highest amount of talent possible in the 4 years or so he’ll be governing in stead of his half-brother) and considers her side of things that the gap between the two starts to close. The request is ultimately for her to give her all in the studies for officer, if after that she still wants to return to her old life he’ll make sure that her livelihood is guaranteed. A promise that he means to keep.

    Afterwards, the relationship is for the most part one of pupil and trickster mentor. However, they start to get close ONLY once he starts seeing things from her perspective and taking her feelings about everything into account. After their initial clash, he always respects her choices, although he always attempts to nudge her towards anything that’ll allow her grow more as an individual (last thing was orchestating her meeting with a rival/fellow genius).

    Hell, far from putting the plot on vacations like this… thing they dare to call a novel, it’s Hakuyou who is often left behind so Matsurika can go where the plot calls. Although his presence is always felt, a lot of the time she is away for work and so he gets almost no scenes.

    And perhaps the most incredible part of it for me is how despite Matsurika’s books have many less female characters (as the Officer world is still mostly one of men), it is SO MUCH BETTER with its treatment of them and with including sorority. One of Matsurika’s stated goals becoming an officer is precisely to set an example to make it easier for other women to become one, as she is the first woman officer from humble origins. A dream she got from her respect towards a fellow woman officer and the realization her childhood could have been way less miserable if this door had been open for her from the start.

    Which Hakuyou very much likes of her. When Matsurika suggests she would want to marry someone whilst working in order to set once more example and precedent to help her fellow women, Hakuyou mentions half-jokingly he wouldn’t mind being the househusband (once he retires from his position as Regent). By the way, they aren’t together. Which is another huge difference, as the author is allowing them to grow closer before any romance.

    I wouldn’t call Matsurika Kanri Den the best written book ever, not by FAR, but… I swear what it doesn’t isn’t so difficult to achieve.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
    • AN
      AN

      *stops pushing his agenda
      f*ck

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      Thanks for the book rec!

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
  35. Isa
    Isa

    …You know, I just now remembered that I’ve met an actual “daily” for an absurdly rich person in London and toured said persons equally absurdly luxurious flat. Let me share my gleamings of wisdom!

    It was my then-boyfriend’s aunt and she looked after this flat as a side-job. It belonged to a rich family from somewhere-in-Asia who used it on vacations in London. How rich? Rich enough to have a four-bedroom flat in Knightsbridge just standing around for the week or so a year they felt like visiting London. Said aunt would clean and cook for them whenever they were around, but otherwise she’s pop in once in a while to make sure it was OK and otherwise leave it be.

    Or, you know, bring her visiting extended family in to gawk/borrow the bathrooms.

    My wisdom is this:
    -No way there wasn’t a security system on the building itself, not just his flat.
    -How the heck would drug addicts/teens make it all the way into his apartment?! That’s like, behind at least three locked doors and a guard.
    -WE DID NOT SEE THE THEMES FROM THE FLAT.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
  36. Alice
    Alice

    I’m confused… I thought Oliver was like the one dealing with all the earl stuff, not the security company friend?
    Also I thought the men looking for Alessia had broken into the appartment, but why would they be in London yesterday if they were asking for Moss at the estate a few days ago? Why would they need to if they are able to track Moss and Alessia down already?
    Also Moss, if you don’t call the cops, I don’t think you’ll be able to get your insurance.
    The weird excuse to get Moss to go to the estate? The domestics waiting to warn their boss that suspect men are asking for him? Alessia being ok being left alone? With no way to contact Moss? The tons of historical details we don’t care about because they can’t replace actual character development or plot? Just so many bad stuff it’s hard to keep track.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
    • Transpacific visitor
      Transpacific visitor

      Thank you … I was pretty sure that PTSD Tom (you know that’s how ELJ has him tagged) was the security guy, and that Oliver was the soon-to-be-long-suffering office-bod who actually makes sure that Rossamillion doesn’t bankrupt himself/the estate.

      Maybe the Albanian sex-traffickers drove all night (Now I have that earworm in my head, stupid me), to make it between Cornwall and London so that they can trash his apartment in ??petty revenge for him not being available to deny Alessia’s existence again?? IDK??

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
  37. Coco
    Coco

    I really don’t understand the neighbor, who should worry that the burglars are still in the building, wouldn’t call the police then call Moss. Is everyone in the building so damn rich that a break-in is merely an inconvenience?
    Or here’s my idea: Moss is contacted directly by the police to be told that not only was his flat burgled, but that his sweet old neighbor lady interrupted the crime and was attacked. She’s in the hospital but alive, so can give a description of the men as speaking another language but did keeping asking her in heavily accented English, “Where’s the girl? Where’s the girl?”
    That would cut down on all the characters avoiding calling the police only to have them end up being called anyway, and it would show Moss that the bad guys are willing to hurt a BRITISH person. He might actually react to that, since so far he seems surprisingly serene about the idea that international sex traffickers have traumatized the woman he loves.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      “He might actually react to that, since so far he seems surprisingly serene about the idea that international sex traffickers have traumatized the woman he loves.”

      Ah, once he found out her hymen was intact and she hadn’t been “sullied” I don’t think he much cared about the sex trafficking. the emotion toll it may have taken on her would require him to acknowledge she is an actual feeling person and not just put there for him to lust after and fuck every moment they are not eating the food she made him or he is watching her clean up after him. No, Moss doesn’t give a shit about her as an actual person so any harm the traffickers may have caused her that is not sexual in nature doesn’t actually matter to him.

      In his defense, she only seems “traumatized” occasionally, when the plot remembers it is part of this book and peeks it’s head in for a moment, then gets bored and wonders off again leaving her to forget she was kidnapped and nearly sold into a constant rapage.

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
      • Everyone knows that unless there is actual p-in-v, it’s not actually real sexual assault that leaves you “dirtied” and “damaged” because if it did, how else could you recover from it with a hot elevator romp or fucking in the car with your AlphaBillionaireAsshole? That’s what’s REALLY important Just ask Ana.

        June 4, 2019
        |Reply
  38. Amy
    Amy

    There was a reddit threat from long ago asking what’s some of the tribulations of being rich. The majority of it was stuff about how you can never know who your true friends are, that everyone and their mums want you to pay for all their stuff, and as a result, you stop being their friends and become their purse.

    An Earl owned house would’ve had security, cameras, guard dogs, and/or alarms. There’s no way someone would have broken in without someone noticing.

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
  39. Alyssa Jones
    Alyssa Jones

    “What a fucking pain in the arse this is–some fucking lowlife addict or maybe some feral teenage kids wrecking my place.”

    Ok, am I the only one that thought “lowlife addict” was super gross and hypocritical since he regularly does drugs

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply
    • Lily
      Lily

      Yeah, I thought maybe it was his dealer, wanting more money or something. Moss is a crappy ‘hero.”

      June 4, 2019
      |Reply
    • Bookjunk
      Bookjunk

      Nope, that was indeed super gross. This book and Moss in particular suck so much that these sort of offensive and (as you say) hypocritical thoughts of his are barely a blip on the suck-o-meter.

      June 5, 2019
      |Reply
  40. Tami
    Tami

    Okay, let me understand this…

    Maxim finds out there are thugs after Alessia so he grabs her and whisks her off to Cornwall to a seaside cottage to hide her away. He takes her into the nearby village on shopping sprees and visits pubs — basically, showing her off around to the locals because everyone knows The Earl is in town and has seen that he’s got this girl with him who speaks with a foreign accent and murders the English language every time she opens her mouth.

    Then Maxim gets this call that his flat with the view of the Thames has been burgled, and the only way he can get a decent signal to Skype his friend Oliver is to go allll the way to his family’s huge sprawling estate (yes, I recognized the description of Downton Abbey, too, and I don’t even watch the show), wherever THAT is because this is the one place James has made up so we have no idea how long it takes to get there/how far it is from the seaside, but I’ve been to England and it takes longer to drive from the Michigan-Ohio border to the Upper Peninsula. Anyway, Maxim has to do this because apparently that’s the only place he can get a signal…you know, out at this countryside estate in the middle of Buttfuck, Shropshire or wherever it is… And once he connects with Oliver, he gets to see the damage to his flat, and yadda yadda yadda — oh, fuck, ALESSIA!

    Yeah, Maxim, you remember Alessia? The granny-panty-wearing daily who you spirited away from London for safety AND THEN JUST LEFT HER AT THE COTTAGE ALONE WHILE YOU BUGGERED OFF TO THICKDICK ABBEY. And right now, after she’s showered forever and dried her hair for even longer, she hears someone in the house and GASP! It’s those thugs! But HOW did they find her? How did they know where Maxim had gone and that she was with him, and also that Max had left the cottage — and Alessia — behind while he looked into his trashed Maxi-pad?

    I get that Jenny’s giving us the highlights, but I’m sure she would have mentioned the chain of events that led to this point. Like, in trashing his place, they go into his dark room — which is left untouched — and find the camera (why wouldn’t they take something that expensive? if you’re gonna take something of value, take the freakin’ camera!) which would have the photos Maxim took of Alessia thus proving she WAS there. But we STILL don’t know how they found out Maxim had gone to Cornwall and not his family estate (which would be more heavily guarded against just two swarthy Eastern Europeans looking for one little peasant girl).

    For a moment, let’s pretend EL actually knows how to tell a story. Maxim noted that some of his pictures were smashed. Hey, what if there was one of the family estate or even better, one of Maxim and Kit at the cottage, and there’s writing on it — perhaps along the border or on the back — which tells when and where it was taken. Armed with this information, the thugs head out to Cornwall. They go around the village, showing Alessia’s photo at shops and pubs, asking if they’d seen this girl because she’s a runaway or some shit, and people would say yeah, she was here with the Earl, and they’re staying at his cottage. Because having lived in a small town, I can attest that everyone knows your business. If you fart, they’ll know. And if you’re any kind of celebrity — like an earl — they’re going to know EVERYTHING about you. If these guys, also with foreign accents, try to say this is their niece or little sister who ran off with this dude, and Maxim has this reputation as a Party Boi? Trust me, the tongues WILL wag.

    And let’s say that when Maxim is looking at the damage to his place, he sees that smashed picture frame and the photo of him and his brother at the seaside is missing, and he knows what’s written on it, and like Luke Skywalker realizing what all those dead Jawas meant, he’d know where the thugs were headed. He would drop everything, leap in his land speeder, and rush off across Tatooine to the cottage…

    Hey, she’s stealing from everyone else — why not George Lucas, too?

    But we don’t get that. We have NO IDEA how Maxim knows Alessia is in danger because there is nothing to indicate how the bad guys know where she is. His neighbor Mrs. B said she told the thugs to bugger off when they ask where Maxim went. Google Maps says London to Cornwall is an almost five-hour drive. Oliver is IN London; how long did it take his ass to get to Maxim’s flat? How long did it take for someone to notice the flat had been broken into before they were able to reach Maxim to tell him this? How far is the estate from the cottage? Has EL James never heard of TIMEFRAMES? Or am I expecting far too much of her, at this point?

    And, really — WHY DID MAXIM LEAVE ALESSIA ALONE? Why couldn’t he take her with him? Ohh, that’s right: because he doesn’t know how to tell her he’s an earl. As if his London flat didn’t scream “I got money!” and his cottage on the seaside and the car and the shopping trip were no indication…I mean, come the fuck ON. It’s kind of stupid by now to be tripping over whether or not this sex-trafficking escapee knows you’ve got a title, Max. If you’re as crazy about her and about protecting her as your narrative has told us (repeatedly), you never should have let her out of your sight, even for a second. I realize James needed to separate them in order to have this dramatic moment of Alessia being in danger of being captured, but why would he go from keeping her under a safe, watchful eye to “it’s okay, we can leave the puppy unattended for a few hours” and then freak out about her when there was NOTHING to indicate that the Evil Eastern Europeans knew where to find The Girl Who Has Yet to Touch Maxim’s Willy?

    Fucking hell, this shit gives me a headache. I need to go back to watching Good Omens…

    June 4, 2019
    |Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *