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Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister chapter twenty-two or “GLAD THAT’S TAKEN CARE OF THEN.”

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Here we are with another short recap due to a super short chapter. Which honestly, I’m fine with. I could use a lazy day. At least this isn’t packed to the brim with multiple sex scenes.

I think that’s in like, two chapters.

Earl of Trevethick?

This is how the chapter starts. And in any other book, this would be a totally normal way to start the chapter following the revelation that the love interest is an earl. In this book, however, the character thinking this line has a habit of repeating in bewilderment, either mentally or out loud, the last thing another character said. So, it kind of loses its punch.

Danny tells Demelssia that Moss owns the house and the village and the land, wonders aloud at why he never told Demelssia that, and leaves.

Stunned, Alessia stares at the closed door, her mind imploding. Her knowledge of the English peerage is limited to two Georgette Heyer books […]

You and your author have that in common, probably.

Now, it’s time for another history lesson to prove that E.L. James did all that research she’s been bragging about.

As far as Alessia knows, there is no aristocracy in her country. In ancient times, yes, but since the Communists had seized all the land after the Second World War, the nobles that lived there had fled.

But here…Mister Maxim is an earl.

No. Not Mister. He’s Lord Maxim.

She doesn’t know the word for truck, but she knows the proper address for English nobility. CHECKS OUT.

Milord.

Why didn’t he tell her?

IDK, maybe he thought you got the hint when everyone kept calling him “milord?” That would have been an interesting scene. Moss confesses to his shameful secret of being cash and land rich and Demelssia goes, “Yeah, I know, everybody keeps calling you ‘milord’.” But since it’s this book, we don’t get that. We get more manufactured angst.

And the answer exhoes loudly and painfully in through her head.

Because she is his cleaner.

I love the backassward logic here. “He’s rich and fancy and he hid the fact he was rich and fancy from me because I’m his cleaning staff.” Because we all know that rich and fancy people are super duper careful about what they say in front of their cleaners. Plus, she already had to know he was fabulously wealthy. There is no way to build this into a “maybe she’s a gold digger/maybe he thinks I’m a gold digger” conflict at this point because that ship sailed the moment Demelssia became his cleaner.

Why did he keep this from her?

Because she is not good enough for him, of course.

She is only good for one thing…

Her stomach lurches at his betrayal.

He’s lied by omission, yes, but this isn’t a betrayal. A betrayal would have been if he told her he was going to help her and her friends then didn’t help her friends at all and turned her over to the kidnappers after he got what he wanted. And we already have enough drama in this plot. We don’t need more. Go back and add a little of this to the five books you wrote before that had zero going on in them.

Her relationship with him has been too good to be true.

Deep down she suspected this. And now she knows the truth.

He just dramatically rescued her from violent criminals. This isn’t proof that he cares about her?

But there’s more angst, of course. He never told her he loved her, she made all of this up in her head, she’s just his concubine, blah blah blah.

She takes a long breath–she’s cried enough. Her deepening anger gives her momentum. She’s not going to cry over him.

That’s a paragraph after we hear about her tears of “anguish,” by the way. She’s not going to cry over him, but she cries in anguish and then has to stop her tears with a long breath because she’s cried enough, but for sure she’s not going to cry over him.

In heer heart she knows that her fury is masking her hurt, and she’s grateful for it. It’s less painful than his betrayal.

Again, not a betrayal. Moss has never betrayed her. He’s done everything he’s told her he would do. The only thing he hasn’t done is told her that he’s an earl. While his reasons for not telling her aren’t supported by the text, neither is this insistence that he somehow “betrayed” Demelssia by not telling her. In fact, this seems pretty minor and petty considering all the stuff that’s just happened.

She has her clothes from when they first arrived, including the giant panties, so she puts all that on.

Dante and Ylli will be arrested, and surely once the police estabilish the extent of their crimes, they’ll be incarcerated and those brutes will no longer be a threat to her.

She can leave.

 

Okay, bye. That’ll make this book a lot shorter. Because we still have thirty percent of this god damn thing to go.

She doesn’t want to be with a man who has deceived her.

Valid point.

A man who will cast her aside when he tires of her.

Not a valid point. There has been no indication whatsoever that this is Moss’s intention and there’s no real way to extrapolate that out from, “He didn’t mention he was an earl.”

While Demelssia plots her escape, we go into Moss’s POV. He arrives at the house and learns that Danny spilled the beans about the earldom.

Bugger. Bugger. Bugger.

By the power of three!

I wanted to tell her.

No, you didn’t. Or you would have.

What must she be thinking?

Nothing justified by the text so far.

He goes to the bedroom to find her, but she’s gone.

I check the bathroom. It’s empty except for the trace of her scent. Lavender and roses.

That’s weird because she just took a bath with your pear and freesia bath gel.

Moss tears around the house shouting for her, with his brother’s dogs chasing him, and we go to Demelssia’s POV. She’s gotten lost in the house.

On the landing there’s a mullioned bay window, beside which stand two suits of armor holding what look like pikes.

She can’t be sure they’re pikes, but she knows the window is mullioned.

On the wall over the staircase is a massive faded tapestry, bigger than the kitchen table she saw earlier, that depicts a man on bended knee to his sovereign. Well, Alessia assumes he must be the sovereign, judging by the crown he’s wearing.

Whoa, we got a regular Hercule Poirot on our hands.

On the opposing walls above the staircase, there are two portraits. Huge. Both men. One is from an ancient time, the other far more recent. She sees the family resemblance in their faces and has a flash of recognition. They each stare at her with the same imperious green eyes. His green eyes.

So, she’s grasping now that he’s a big deal and she can’t quite get her head around it.

But then her gaze falls on the carved twin-headed eagles that sit on the newel posts at the top, the turns, and the bottom of the staircase.

The symbol of Albania.

I know what I think is going to happen with this. There’s going to be some kind of thought about how, oh, it’s fate or something that she happens to be from Albania and they have that eagle, and then the eagle is a thing for Moss. It’s super on the nose but whatever. On-the-nose isn’t always unbearable. I think if you’re going to be that on the nose, though, you should use a less-common heraldic symbol (eagles, lions, unicorns, harts, etc. are way too common) or make it something to do with her name somehow. That’s not a criticism of the book, just an off-hand observation that might serve someone reading this down the road when they’re trying to write something similar.

She hears him calling her name and kind of freezes in place. And now let’s talk about misplaced tension:

She’s torn. From far off beneath her, a clock with a booming chime signals the hour, making her jump. Once, twice, three times…

I mean, it sounds like it’s making her jump three times, but since three is the theme of the book…

“Alessia!” Maxim calls again, nearer this time, and she can hear his footsteps. He’s running–running toward her.

The clock is still chiming. Loud and clear.

What should she do?

Well, if she were an author asking that question, I would say, “Don’t make the scene where the hero is running to the heroine to beg forgiveness and express his love sound like such a fucking horror novel.” This is what I meant about “misplaced tension.” There is more suspense in this description than in the part where she was hiding from the kidnappers. That was very cut and dry, in the moment of her trauma response. And it’s great to write it that way. I’m just saying that a romantic reunion should not be more suspenseful than the part of your romantic suspense where the villains are involved.

We go to Moss’s POV, where he sees her in her old clothes and is like, okay, the situation is bad. She tells him she’s leaving. He asks her why, and she’s like, you know why.

“Alessis, I’m sorry. I should have told you.”

“But you did not.”

I can’t argue with that. I stare at her while the hurt in her dark eyes burns a hole in my conscience.

“I understand.” She lifts one of her shoulders. “I am only your cleaner.”

Danny and some of the other servants overhear the commotion and come running, and Moss orders them out of the room.

“This is why I didn’t bring you here. There are just too many people in this house.”

She tears her gaze away from me, her brow furrowed, her mouth a tight line.

“This morning I had breakfast with nine staff, and that was just the first sitting. I didn’t want to intimidate you with all…this.” I wave at the portraits of my father and the first earl while she traces the intricate carvings on the eagle with one finger. She remains mute.

“And I wanted you to myself,” I whisper.

Okay, that’s nice. But telling her that you’re an earl doesn’t mean you have to stay at the house instead of the Hideout. Telling her that you’re an earl doesn’t make people suddenly appear.

Demelssia tells Moss what Ylli said about her being his concubine and I legitimately cannot believe we’re using such an archaic word multiple times.

“That’s…absurd. It’s the twenty-first century….”

Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, Moss!

“I would say that you’re my girlfriend. That’s what we say here. Though I don’t want to presume. We’ve not discussed our relationship, as this has all happened so quickly. But that’s what I want to call you. Girlfriend. My girlfriend. Which means that we are together in a relationship. But that’s only if you’ll have me.”

When she doesn’t answer him, he adds:

“You’re a bright, talented woman, Alessia. And you’re free. Free to make your own choices.”

“But I’m not.”

“You are here. I know you’re from a different culture, and I know we’re not economic equals, but that’s just an accident of birth…. We are equals in every other way. […]”

No. You’re really not. There are so many ways you’re not equal. For example, you’re a white man in your own country. She’s an immigrant in a country that is currently embroiled in a highly xenophobic debate about immigration, a large part of which specifically concerns immigrants of her own nationality. And she’s a woman. There are so many ways you’re not equal. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t be together, but you’re not equal. This is one of those places where the author tells on herself; for all her bluster about understanding and being fascinated by power dynamics, she doesn’t have any real grasp of what constitutes institutional power.

Why is she avoiding me? What is she thinking?

Is it the trauma she’s just been through?

Or is it because those fuckers are out of the picture, so she no longer needs me?

Yes, Moss. She was using you. I mean, she ran away from your house and refused your help several times but somehow you were simply a means to an end.

“Look, I can’t keep you here if you want to leave. Magda is moving to Canada. So where you’ll go, I don’t know. If nothing else, stay until you know where. But please don’t go. Stay. With me.”

Your only support system is leaving, by the way, so I’m your only option. Ah, the romance of it all!

She turns her tearstaned face to me. “You are not ashamed of me?”

Ashamed? No!

I can bear it no longer.

GOBLIN KING, GOBLIN KING, WHEREVER YOU MAY BE! TAKE THIS EARLDOM OF MINE FAR AWAY FROM ME!

I skim the back of my index finger across her cheek, capturing a tear. “No. No. Of course not. I…I…I’ve fallen in love with you.”

And of course, what happens now? She falls into his arms, sobbing, and he tells her, “I’ve got you,” they confess their love for each other and the entire incident is wrapped up in a neat twelve pages. Join us next time for a twenty-page tour of the house.

Not joking.

My Impression So Far: This is an author who cannot stand for the plot to impose itself on her characters.

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75 Comments

  1. Nahhah
    Nahhah

    I’m trying to work out what the rest of the book is going to be about…!

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      It’s going to be about 22 chapters too long. Oh wait, that’s what it’s been about so far.

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
    • Jenn H
      Jenn H

      Spoiler alert: Fiance shows up, everyone goes to Albania, Jenny probably ends up throwing book at wall.

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
      • Tez Miller
        Tez Miller

        If it’s an eBook, don’t throw it at the wall, Jenny – save your electronics! 😉

        June 7, 2019
        |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        It’s exactly how everyone went to Donkey Punch towards the end of H4M, for a climax that kind of came out of the left field, when they really didn’t need to do any of that or it would’ve been stronger if the fiance came to Britain and stayed there, getting more screentime beforehand and ramping up the conflict along the way properly.

        Also, Caroline was the Sophie of this book. I’m willing to bet she just gave up when Maxim ignored her call, knew she’d be better off leaving the plot altogether, and won’t be seen again.

        Isn’t it amazing how EEL writes as if this was her very first novel and somehow hits the same irritating beats? I guess I’m just grateful now that H4M cut out the sex.

        June 8, 2019
        |Reply
  2. Jules
    Jules

    Ok, so as she is fleeing from the man who “betrayed” her she takes a complete inventory of the house? What is EELs obsession with describing everything Moss owns?

    Also, the impression I am getting at this point is that Moss and Dimmy don’t actually want to be together, because these two morons are coming up with the most ridiculous reasons to screw up their non-existent romance. They are like two teens who think they have to mirror the tumultuous relationships on 90210 or their love isn’t real.

    I just can’t get over the fact that in a book about a young women basically stranded in a new country, who recently escaped sex traffickers and was sold by her father into a marriage she didn’t want to be in, the biggest conflict for this couple is that he didn’t tell he’s an Earl because…um…because he’s an Earl and that somehow is the worst thing imaginable?

    I am having such a hard time wrapping my head around the logic here. She was sex trafficked. Those guys almost just kidnapped her again, they just beat the shit out of her. She still has a fiancé out there who thinks she is his property and Moss being an Earl is their biggest problem?

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Siobhannabon
      Siobhannabon

      She probably over describes the surroundings because Eel gets editors notes asking her to describe the scene more and instead of going with the pace of her run and whether she is looking behind herself repeatedly, Eel thinks we need to know the setting more than the body clues of a character.

      I wonder if she knows that we converse 60-70% through body language?

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
      • Okay, look, we need to know how many people the dining table and the massive sofas can seat, ALL RIGHT?! What if an Earl only had room for 20 at a dining table, and not 30? How can we picture the soon-to-be Lady Poldarkus Maximus hosting Wills and Kate for a massive dinner party if his table only seats 20?! GOD.

        June 7, 2019
        |Reply
    • Ani
      Ani

      This could’ve been an interesting plot point as many rich white men do hire illegal immigrants as help specifically so they could have sex/rape them without worrying about things like payment or personal freedom. The helpers endure it because if they go to the police, they’ll be deported. If they run away, they would live on the street. Aleesia could’ve heard from other workers about this, making her “betrayal” more believable. It’s more devastating to think you ran from one sex dungeon right into another one rather than… hey, the guy I’m dating turns out to be rich. oh no…!

      June 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ani, if this scenario happened IRL, I’d more likely believe that Maxim was the sex trafficker than the random swarthy evil Eastern European stock villains.

        June 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jules
          Jules

          Ooh, wouldn’t that be a twist. Imagine if Moss is really a sex trafficking kingpin. He has no idea Dimmy is the girl who ran from his latest sale because Frik and Frak haven’t yet informed him that one got away. He falls in love with his merch without realizing she is merch. Dimmy falls for him too but eventually she learns he is the man who was going to sell her to the highest bidder and she kills him with the shooting skills he taught her back when she was just a piece of ass in big old granny panties.

          I mean, given his characterization so far, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Moss turned out to be some bad guy. The only thing that would stretch credibility to me is that he was any kind of mastermind of anything. He just comes across as so moronic.

          June 8, 2019
          |Reply
          • Agent_Z
            Agent_Z

            Can Mical and Magda get in on this too? They’re the most sympathetic characters I’ve seen in this story thus far.

            I don’t think Maxim would have to be particularly smart to be a human trafficking Kingpin. He’s a rich a white guy in Britain and that is enough for people to trust him and you’ve got police that are apathetic towards immigrants.

            June 9, 2019
          • Kay
            Kay

            The stories in the comments are always better.

            June 14, 2019
  3. Gwen
    Gwen

    I would much rather be reading the AU fic where Moss falls for the Goblin King, tbh

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Bookdragonette
      Bookdragonette

      And then the Goblin King drops him in the Bog of Eternal Stench.

      June 8, 2019
      |Reply
  4. Samantha Pistor
    Samantha Pistor

    “GOBLIN KING, GOBLIN KING, WHEREVER YOU MAY BE! TAKE THIS EARLDOM OF MINE FAR AWAY FROM ME!”

    It impossible not to smile on a Labyrinth reference even when refers to this crap terrible awful fanfiction book.

    Ok, so let me see: we had 22 chapters so far, and optimistic, maybe five of them was dedicated to the sex traffic plot and one to address this earl conflict.

    How the hell this book had 22 chapter s plus 30% to go? For what I could see for the recaps (I refused to by this book), the sex scenes are not even as much on FSG.

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
  5. Larissa
    Larissa

    Now all I see is Moss as Jareth. Boo. It’s a disservice to Labyrinth and I don’t want to give EL that much credit.

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Agent_Z
      Agent_Z

      Well now we know why Dante smells so terrible. He was sent to the Bog of Eternal Stench.

      June 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Tree Lady
      Tree Lady

      I kind of lost it at “Goblin King.” Wouldn’t a few biting fairies improve this?

      June 9, 2019
      |Reply
  6. Sea Sun
    Sea Sun

    I would even accept the whole “he will tire of me, WOE!” if she like thought back to chapter one when she was emptying his bedroom trash of a million condoms erryday. There is established information that SHE knows that he loves and leaves a lot of women but I guess referencing your own book for characters decisions is too much trouble

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • NewFan
      NewFan

      When ?literary? commentary makes you straight up laugh.

      “WOE!” indeed.

      (and now also hearing the Bill and Ted version in my head as well now.) . WOAH!

      June 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        Or Joey Lawrence …

        June 10, 2019
        |Reply
  7. Liza
    Liza

    “Because we still have thirty percent of this god damn thing to go.”

    I’m sorry, what? I just. How? And why? And…what?

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Myriam
      Myriam

      My thoughts exactly. How is there anything left in this story?

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        The fiance is apparently a dangling plot thread but EEL was too inexperienced to insert him the way I assumed she would (by having poor Dante and Ylli working for him, instead of the traffickers.) Or by, I don’t know, giving more hints than just referencing him in brief flashbacks or random thoughts since we’re going to meet the jerk soon. Something to imply that he’s, you know, truly relevant beyond Maxim’s absurd jealousy.

        June 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Ani
          Ani

          …it’s going to turn into a triangle romance, isn’t it

          June 8, 2019
          |Reply
  8. WuBomei
    WuBomei

    You know you’ve been following this story too long when you want to read back over the previous recaps to make sure it is, in fact, at least 4 o’clock when that clock chimes. Which is unfortunate Eel levels of unnecessary detail.

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
  9. Roslyn
    Roslyn

    I want to know how many breakfasts he had this morning. He had breakfast with nine staff at the first sitting… And why is he eating with his staff? James has clearly not watched Downton Abbey.

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
  10. Vely
    Vely

    As far as she knows there is no aristocracy in her country? I think she should be very sure about such things. Or is her village in the mountains so isolated that she doesn’t know about politics in her own country?

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
  11. Seraphina Bellemonte
    Seraphina Bellemonte

    Soo….

    Wait. Alessia knows the correct address for an earl (Lord) but not “Milord”?

    So firstly, I really don’t buy Maxim’s reasons for not telling her this. But if I’m going to buy it…Alessia’s reaction bothers me so much. It’s not like she’s learned Maxim is the Marquis de Sade or something.

    God, if James was going to go so ~noble/servant romance~ why didn’t she set up all these awful suspicions early on about the new Earl of Trevethick having killed his predecessor or something to get the title/hook up with Caroline/whatever? Under investigation for being involved in Kit’s death or something. Like, give the guy some dark, Romantic backstory or something, so then, Alessia would have a genuine reason to freak out over not being told. And then, Maxim could have this vulnerable moment where he revealed the truth. Or that he’d implicated himself to save Kit/Caroline’s reputation or something.

    Or reveal that Maxim does business/has properties in Albania or something. So Alessia thinks, ‘oh no! My fiance from the medieval village in Albania ALSO does business involving trading wolf pelts in the mountains! He and Maxim probably do business with one another!’ I mean, if you’re going to make the guy an earl in a romantic suspense novel…give him some scandals beyond cocaine (which I’m assuming probably never comes up again) and having lots of sex.

    Have Maxim’s scary, scheming mother show up and try to tear Alessia down or something. Like…making Maxim an earl could’ve opened a lot of potential areas of conflict that made sense, and it’s frustrating to see that…this is the best James could come up with.

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Another Amy
      Another Amy

      You don’t buy the reasons why he said he didn’t want to tell her he was an earl, because they’re bullshit. If he had ever at any point during the story mentioned these reasons for why he didn’t want to tell her, it would be more believable. But the only reasons he ever mentioned or alluded to were A) what if she’s a gold digger? B) people want things from you when you’re an earl (basically the same as the first point) and C) something about how Alessia wouldn’t be accepted by his mother and her snobby friends so he was just going to pretend he wasn’t an earl and deal with it later. Definitely not as “romantic” as he wanted to have her all to himself and if he told her he was an earl… um… the fact of saying the word aloud would teleport them to the bu house where they’d be forced to eat breakfast with the staff? His reasons didn’t make sense. They were also emotional manipulation because they weren’t the real reasons. He was saying what he thought she’d like to hear. He also lied about being embarrassed by her. He was kind of embarrassed about the whole “I’m the landed gentry and I’m screwing my daily. What would mother think!?” He’s just awful. He thinks not about what he wants (Alessia for sexy times) and he manipulates and gaslights her about why she can’t possibly go: “I love you!” “Where would you go? The only people you can rely on are an ocean away now!” “The reason I lied and ‘betrayed’ you was because I just love you so much and didn’t want to share you with anyone. I wanted to keep you isolated along with me! Having sex all the time! Even knowing you’re a sex trafficking victim who is currently in danger of being revictimized and literally on the run and in hiding!” He’s the worst. Again, I keep saying this, but I can definitely understand why’s interviewer asked EEL about Moss being a narcissist. He’s totally a narcissist.

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
      • Another Amy
        Another Amy

        He thinks ONLY** about what he wants

        I wish there was an edit button!

        June 7, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          (I feel you. I also wish there was an edit button when I make a simple mistake that’d be easy to fix. :P)

          And as for your points, 100% agreement. I think EEL had some inkling of what she’d done, much like the abuse=BDSM lie, and instead of accepting it, she tried gaslighting as well. Same shit; different day.

          EEL is Sarem’s sister from another mister! LOL (I’ll see myself out…)

          June 8, 2019
          |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        The reasons also don’t make sense because every one of them could apply to her just knowing he’s uber-rich, which she knew the first day she showed up to clean his apartment. That isn’t a secret. The title isn’t relevant after that! Especially since plenty of nobility lost all their money and land a long time ago, so you can have the title without the money and basically be a nobody. The wealth is the important part and SHE KNOWS HE’S RICH.

        Just … ugh. I hate this author. That she’s as successful as she is proves there is no God.

        June 10, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jules
          Jules

          You know what, EEL could have easily made it matter if, say, Moss was an Earl, but poor and his money hungry mother wanted to marry him off to someone wealthy to restore the family fortune or something. He feels a sense of family honor and thinks he should marry “Insert random bitchy blonde type that EEL hates” but his heart is with Dimmy. But Dimmy can’t help him save his family. Oh, if only he were just a simple country boy who were free to marry as he wanted.

          But she already shot that in the foot by making him disgustingly wealthy which makes his “Oh no! I’m an Earl!” stuff pretty pointless. Does he think all his money is going to vanish if he marries his maid? I just don’t get it. Oh, maybe mummy will disown him? But that wouldn’t have to do with his being an earl as much as him being so much richer than Dimzy.

          It is silly, but it could have worked in the hands of an author who actually cared about this story. I think we, a bunch of people who seem to hate this story, care more about it than the woman who actually wrote it. That is just tragic. Far more tragic than Moss being an Earl even!

          June 10, 2019
          |Reply
  12. Lucy
    Lucy

    This conflict is so contrived it’s ridiculous. She already knew he had a ton of money, how does the title really change things that much? They ‘re not so relevant in modern society.
    It’s also ridiculous it’s solved so quickly, because god forbid Alessia show some initiative, gets back on her feet on her own and that they reunite later where they ‘re more on an equal standing for instance.

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Expecting rain
      Expecting rain

      “… god forbid Alessia show some initiative, gets back on her feet on her own and that they reunite later where they ‘re more on an equal standing for instance.”

      EEL has probably – mercifully! – not read Jane Eyre.

      June 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Bookjunk
        Bookjunk

        Shush! You know she would totally misunderstand it. Ugh, I’m getting flashbacks to FSoG where James thought Tess of the D’Urbervilles was a romantic story.

        June 9, 2019
        |Reply
  13. Amanda
    Amanda

    “Well, Alessia assumes he must be the sovereign, judging by the crown he’s wearing.”

    What’s the point of this sentence? It adds absolutely nothing and instead makes the whole paragraph seem clunky and wordy. It shouldn’t have even made it to the final draft. I find it hard to believe that an editor let something like this go.

    I’m betting that Eel fights her editor on every little thing. She kind of reminds me of Anne Rice: “I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status.” What an arrogant douchebag.

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
  14. TheNoid
    TheNoid

    I was really imagining ol Demi running down the stairs, her enormous panties flying off and this turning into some weird Cinderella story. Too much to hope for I guess.

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
    • Seraphina Bellemonte
      Seraphina Bellemonte

      Not going to lie, though. If Alessia’s panties SOMEHOW flew off her while she ran down a staircase away from Maxim, and this turned into some very strange story where Maxim goes to his friends and says, ‘guys, I must find the woman who wears this panties,’ I might actually start liking it in a ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of way.

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
      • TheNoid
        TheNoid

        I feel the same way. It wouldn’t save the book, but it would be the light at the end of a long ass tunnel.

        June 8, 2019
        |Reply
    • Agent_Z
      Agent_Z

      Disney: “Well that’s certainly a direction we never considered going for the classic fairy tales we adapt”.

      June 8, 2019
      |Reply
  15. Black Knight
    Black Knight

    So I was right that the “conflict” of him being an earl would be wrapped up in the very next chapter after her finding out.

    But oh so so so wrong that this would be the penultimate chapter and that we were almost done with this book! 30% to go? A 20-page tour of the house?

    WHY WHY WHY????

    June 7, 2019
    |Reply
  16. Agent_Z
    Agent_Z

    “That’s…absurd. It’s the twenty-first century….”

    Said the man who considered marrying a woman after she’d lost her virginity to him.

    June 8, 2019
    |Reply
  17. Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)
    Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)

    What the fuck? Dimmy read two Georgette Heyer novels? And she can’t freaking speak English? Uggh. Everything I’ve read by her is regency and reads similar to Jane Austin. I adore Jane Austin but I wouldn’t recommend a person learning English start there. This book is so inconsistent.

    And another thing that may or may not have been mentioned before – I find it weird that she doesn’t have certain English phrases mastered. One of the first things I perfected when speaking Spanish at work was “Please speak slower” and “I only speak a little Spanish.” I can also rattle off ten or so phrases that allow me to do my job. I’ve even been complimented on my accent. But if you want to talk about the weather or anything else – I’ll be saying um. A lot.

    June 8, 2019
    |Reply
  18. Gretel
    Gretel

    Alessia: “I would be your concubine.”
    Maxim: “Don’t be ridiculous, we call this girlfriend.”

    Maxim, my dude, you didn’t contradict her on her position in this relationship, you just offered a euphemism. You’re still agreeing on her being a concubine but don’t want to call her that because it’s outdated so offer up another word.
    I know I basically said the same thing twice but I feel like I can’t stress this enough.

    We are only 2/3 of the way done?! What is this?! The Buddenbrocks?!
    So according to the coments we still have to go to Albania and see a confrontation with her betrothed. Why though? He’s insignificant to the plot…
    It’s typical EL: she throws in random thread but instead of dedicating time to it, she focuses 70+% of the book on daily activities and repeating over and over again how hot Maxim thinks Alessia is.
    Because it’s not about the plot, it’s about the angst and the self-projection. You should feel like a queen and adored, the plot is just there to serve the thinnest of pretenses of telling a story.
    Of course these two wrap up the earl thing in a few pages, it’s never been about the conflicts but about feeling like somebody wants you.

    June 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I get feeling like a queen and being pampered but if EEL wanted that then she really shouldn’t have Alessia as a sex trafficking victim. She should’ve been from another country, studying abroad, and it turned out she’s a missing heir towards the end. If it was supposed to be a Cinderella story, then make it a historical novel. And yeah, absolutely give us lots of foreshadowing about the fiance instead of this BS. I’m sure EEL thought he’d be a great plot twist by springing him on the reader after he’d been forgotten and it would validate Maxim’s jealousy… but no.

      June 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • This really does remind me of my friend’s point that “If it’s supposed to be fantasy, WHERE ARE THE FMC BILLIONAIRE CEOs?!”

        Alessia as a missing heir would complicate the message of “like with like” re: class and aristocracy, but let’s say Maxim was “just” a DJ… and the woman is the one with actual power. BECAUSE IF ROMANCE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A FAAAAAAANTASY, THAT’S MY FANTASY, GODDAMMIT.

        June 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          I’d totally dig a missing female heir falling in love with a DJ/model, who’s brother died recently and he has conflicted feelings for his pregnant sister-in-law. That conflict would’ve also worked with the nobility issue because maybe she doesn’t believe it and she’s sure they’ve made a mistake? So, why tell her new college-abroad boyfriend right away? And maybe she was right all along and it was someone’s scam but the noble family admire her character and decided to at least cover the rest of her college tuition, which she argued against it until they pointed out interns get paid nothing (and Maxim decided to help pay child support for Caroline out of love for her, his brother, and his future nephew.)

          June 8, 2019
          |Reply
  19. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    I am so relieved that this huge obstacle to their epic love is out of the way now. Let’s get to the ‘maybe she loves her “betrothed” instead of me’ conflict. Next!

    June 8, 2019
    |Reply
  20. Emily, a newbie
    Emily, a newbie

    Am I wrong in saying that this entire chapter just reads like one of those really bad “Game of Sultans” ads you see on FB or Instagram?
    Now I’m expecting a later scene in an epilogue where they have a kid and Maxim cries out, “The royal son is TOO UGLY!” *dislike*

    But seriously the whole, “He kept this information from me because /clearly/ I’m just not good enough/important enough to him/too poor” bullshit trope is so, SO fucking exhausting.
    Like, it’s bad in fanfics, it’s even worse in a published work.
    Don’t get me wrong, there’s a way to write it right and make it interesting and/or good, as there are ways to do that with pretty much every trope or topic out there, but it’s just…it’s not interesting here.
    It very much so reads like a desperate grasp at any type of conflict /just/ to make a chapter full of makeup sex afterward.
    Which…is exactly what this is, isn’t it?

    And also, concubine =/= exclusive girlfriend.
    I don’t know why so many people keep romanticizing the thought of being a concubine, but it’s been a huge trend in media lately to use that word.
    At least Maxim acknowledged how archaic it is, but /still/.

    June 8, 2019
    |Reply
  21. Jack
    Jack

    Oh oh oh! So I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this in the comments at all. But my friend told me something earlier, about her local landowner, the Earl of Shaftesbury. He’s the younger son but his brother died unexpectedly, thus he inherited the title. (Let’s not get into their dad being murdered, which he was. Anyway.) And before he inherited he was – wait for it – working (for a certain value of ‘work’, I mean, ymmv, as a DJ.

    As soon as she told me the DJ bit I was like, hang on a moment, this all sounds … familiar…

    (Anyway, someone my friend knows works for him, apparently he’s delightful. He’s not married to his ‘daily’ though. We were in Wimborne St Giles while she was telling me all this – it is an extremely charming village in Dorset and belongs to the family.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Ashley-Cooper,_12th_Earl_of_Shaftesbury

    June 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Kelley
      Kelley

      Okay, absolutely *everything* about the Earl of Shaftesbury story is more interesting than anything in this freaking book.

      The father (10th Earl) was an “international playboy” and was murdered by his 3rd wife’s brother (by throwing him into a ravine in the French Alps) and she’s in prison for being an accomplice.

      The brother (11th Earl) died unexpectedly of a heart attack (aged 27) whilst visiting his brother the “in demand DJ and music promoter” (who became the 12th Earl). The death was considered natural, but what room for interesting speculations (in a novel)!

      She may have been inspired by this real life story, but she didn’t bring any of the drama or excitement!

      June 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        So, what, she managed to steal the LEAST interesting part of this guys life story to use in her terrible book. I’m already 100% more interested in the Earl of Shaftesbury than I am the Earl of Terrible Novelsthyn and I haven’t even clicked on the link yet.

        June 8, 2019
        |Reply
      • Bookjunk
        Bookjunk

        That does indeed sound fascinating! How did James turn it into this suckage? It’s almost like a… gift. So much potential; so little payoff.

        June 9, 2019
        |Reply
    • Tez Miller
      Tez Miller

      Heehee – SHAFTesbury 😉 (Apologies for my juvenile sense of humour.)

      June 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Emily, a newbie
        Emily, a newbie

        SHAFTesbury.
        TreveTHICK.

        Dear lord. It’s alllll coming together.

        June 9, 2019
        |Reply
  22. Perlite
    Perlite

    Dang, my earlier prediction of Alessia’s revelation about Moss being an earl being paired with how the aristocracy situation turned out in Albania was close, but no cigar.

    June 9, 2019
    |Reply
  23. Gretel
    Gretel

    Alessia: *doesn’t know the word ‘truck’ despite having an English grandmother and studying at university to TEACH English; has to repeat sentences like a toddler and enunciate them syllable by syllable*

    Also Alessia: Oh, woe me, I’m betrothed to an Albanian brute and am being followed by rancid pestilences whose odours are a nauseating mixture of flatulence, alcohol and decomposing animals! Ooooh, woe me, I might become the concubine of Milord Maxim, Earl of Trevethick! What will a young, simple, yet blossoming Albanian girl from yonder-year rural town Kukës from the former Communist bloc do?! Why has fate forsaken me?! Will my torment ever end or am I cursed to live a life of unimaginable luxury, heavenly beauty and impossible talents?! Somebody fetch me my salts!

    (I fucking love how she just barely knows English but can pronounce Trevethick immaculately on her first try. Fucking priceless.)

    June 9, 2019
    |Reply
  24. Expecting rain
    Expecting rain

    “I would say that you’re my girlfriend. That’s what we say here.”

    “That’s what we say here?” Well, here in SE Europe, we say, “you sound like SUCH a condensending twat”.

    “Though I don’t want to presume”.

    Which is precisely why, unbeknownst to you, I’ve been referring to you as my fiancee.

    June 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      Just more xenophobia from our dear EEL. Because basically he’s implying that the dating dynamic in Albania is that women belong to men. Just…UGH!!!!! Of course during the course of their ENTIRE relationship he has basically treated Dimzy as his property. A little self reflection might do Moss some good. There is just literally NOTHING appealing about this guy. How are we meant to be invested in this relationship or rooting for them in any way at all?

      June 9, 2019
      |Reply
  25. Maria
    Maria

    i don’t why i thought something would happen in this chapter. a part of me was hoping it wouldn’t be resolved in one chapter like last time, but tbh erika has done nothing to make me believe otherwise

    June 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Maria
      Maria

      *i don’t know why

      June 9, 2019
      |Reply
  26. griff
    griff

    For me, this is still Twilight fanfic, right down to Moss’s physical description – which is the exact same as Chedward before he became Chedward.

    The “Earl” secret = secret vampire identity
    This also explains the ridiculous fear to fall in love.
    Demelzia is a poor copy of Bella as well.

    June 9, 2019
    |Reply
  27. Tree Lady
    Tree Lady

    Jenny, there’s a hysterically funny review of The Mister on Amazon – June 3rd, titled “No Ducks Were Harmed in the Writing of This Review” that may be one of the funniest reviews ever. Definitely worth a look.

    June 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      I just read it. How is a parody review a million times more exhilarating than the actual book. I know the writer of the review was poking fun at EEL’s stupid, repetitive and circular way of writing without actually saying anything, and yet it was still interesting. I really want to know how that story ends. I could care less how this one ends.

      June 10, 2019
      |Reply
  28. Vivacia K. Ahwen
    Vivacia K. Ahwen

    Did anyone else find “That’s weird because she just took a bath with your pear and freesia bath gel” half as funny as I did? *snorts tea*

    Also, Griff, good call on the continuation of Twilight fan-fic. Because Bella ALSO smelled like freesia.

    June 9, 2019
    |Reply
  29. Anon
    Anon

    I just can’t with this book. There is more drama and angst around Moss failing to mention being an earl (which really means very little in modern-day England) than there is about freaking human traffickers being after her. I.Just.Can’t.

    “…she knows the window is mullioned.”

    But not “truck.”

    (Apologies if I’m just repeating. Got here late and haven’t read previous comments yet.)

    Off-topic, but Eel related, I finally watched “Bad Times at the El Royale” yesterday and I wanted to really hate Dakota Johnson’s performance just because, but she was actually quite good in it, which means she sucked in 50 simply because she had a lousy script to work with. Not at all surprising, but still …

    June 10, 2019
    |Reply
  30. Brandi
    Brandi

    And the Goblin King answered and swept Maxim away from his troubles as Earl. He offered Alessia the opportunity to take him back via the Laybyrinth, but Alessia, recognizing a king is higher than an earl, took Jareth’s offer and became the Goblin Queen. Jareth found Maxim too obnoxious to be a goblin and instead dumped him into the oubliette, where he was appropriately forgotten.

    June 10, 2019
    |Reply
  31. Stormy
    Stormy

    There was no reason for Maxim not to tell her and there was no reason for Alessia not to know. What even is this.

    A lot of the time when “I didn’t tell you I was famous/rich/royalty” is used it’s because the famous person liked the way that their LI treated them like a normal person, not knowing who they are. This doesn’t apply to Maxim and Alessia because she can’t treat him like a normal person. She’s literally his servant.

    Second, considering how many members of the peerage would likely lose their shit at not being addressed by the proper title, the person who hired Alessia would have 100% given her a heads-up about how to politely interact with Maxim and/or his family.

    This just fails as a set up on every level.

    June 10, 2019
    |Reply
  32. Or, I mean, all we’ve seen is that Earl Poldarkus DGAF what anyone else thinks, and likes the idea of marrying ___ to piss off his mommy, so… Eel ALSO could’ve made him interrogate THAT, too. “Am I just pursuing her as proof that I’m not capitulating to the demands of my title?” “Am I just doing this because Alessia is no Caroline, and I am not Kit, and I want a reaction from my mother?” If his douchebag bro friends piled on with the “Yeah, Earl, bang the help!” and Maximus Poldarkus had to interrogate those class imbalances — something that Eel, as, you know, A BRIT, SHOULD UNDERSTAND ON SOME LEVEL, YOU’D THINK — we might have a kernel of legitimate plot tension.

    Mrs. Leonard wouldn’t know a plot if it restrained her with cable ties and smacked her around in the name of kink.

    June 10, 2019
    |Reply
  33. Moth
    Moth

    You know what?

    Jen may not be able to forget about that truck part, ever.
    But.
    BUT.

    Didn´t Alessia introduce herself with the words “I am cleaner?”

    I know for a fact (actually i don´t) that James had already forgotten about all of that when she decided to make her character an English student. That is so, so sad.

    June 14, 2019
    |Reply

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