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Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister chapter twenty-four or “Reader, she touches it.”

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In the news: E.L. James sat down with ET Canada to continue complaining about how the Fifty Shades of Grey movie wasn’t made to her exact specifications and take a passive-aggressive dig at the people involved. She also makes it clear that she doesn’t understand what “character-driven” means.

I’m honestly shocked that the film rights to The Mister didn’t sell the moment the publishing contract was signed. That they’re still shopping it around, apparently, is mind-boggling to me. Even if it was never made into a movie, I can’t believe the option hasn’t been picked up.

This is also going to be one of the shorter recaps in comparison to the length of the chapter, as the bulk of the chapter is sex that’s too boring to make into something funny.

Now that the exciting part of the book is over, we accompany Moss and Demelssia on a walk around the grounds. They discuss sheep and deer and the fact that Albanians keep goats instead of sheep and cattle.

She looks adorable. And I find it hard to believe that she was the victim of an attempted kidnapping this morning.

My girl is stoic.

I guess you could be adorable and stoic at the same time, but idk, that word choice is weird.

Moss asks her why she tried to leave when she found out he was an earl.

“I was hurt,” she says after an age.

I still feel like we’re missing some crucial introspection into her hurt. She was afraid he only wanted her for sex…but he arranged a security detail for her friends and put himself in danger to protect her from kidnappers. At this point, I feel like actions should speak louder than words, you know? I could get being hurt that he didn’t disclose, but her reaction was so over-the-top. Despite all the things he’s done for me that he didn’t have to do and which came at great expense for him, he sees me as disposable and therefore I will fling myself into the arms of homelessness? Not buying it.

At least it’s addressed in the text. Moss asks her where she thought she was going.

“I don’t know.” She turns to face me. “I think it was…how do you say? Instinct. You know, Ylli and Dante…I’ve been running for so long. I was a little crazy.”

I mean, okay. Valid trauma response. But it probably would have been more convincing and worked out better if she’d returned to her earlier thoughts about bringing danger into Moss’s life. I’m not saying the story should wholly center about Moss’s experience of Demelssia’s trauma, but the sudden, “Oh no, THE BAD GUY WHO BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF ME said this thing, it must be true, I should run away,” is hard to suspend disbelief on.

Moss tells Demelssia that she can’t just freak out and leave every time they argue.

“But you can’t run every time we have a problem. Talk to me. Ask me questions. About anything. I’m here. I’ll listen. Argue with me. Shout at me. I’ll argue with you. I’ll shout at you. I’ll get it wrong. You’ll get it wrong. That’s all okay. But to resolve our difference, we have to communicate.”

I think the place where you’re gonna get it wrong is planning to shout at a woman traumatized by abuse, pal.

“Don’t look worried. If…if you’re going to live with me…you know. You need to tell me how you feel.”

“Live with you?” she whispers.

“Yeah.”

“Here?”

“Here. And in London. Yes. I want you to live with me.”

“As your cleaner?”

Jesus Christ. This needs to have been resolved by now. We can no longer accept that Demelssia thinks of herself as his cleaner. Not after their mutual declarations of love and shit.

My heart is racing. And deep down, I don’t know what choice she has–but I love her. I want her with me. Marriage seems too big a step to throw at her right now. I don’t want her to run again.

Bro, it’s also a big step for you!

You know what could resolve this dilemma? If Moss offered to get Demelssia an apartment or something so that she can have her space while they date. He’s fabulously wealthy. Surely, he can afford to buy a reasonably priced apartment.

“Yes,” she whispers.

“Yes?”

“Yes!”

Yeah, Bro, it’s been said three times, it has to stick.

Moss lifts her up and spins her around, then remembers she has that big ole bruise.

“Did I hurt you?”

“No,” she says, and I take her face between my palms, and she sobers, her eyes shining with love and maybe desire.

Alessia.

I’m glad you remember who she is.

Leaning down, I kisss her. And what’s meant to be a gentle I-love-you kiss becomes something…other. She opens up like an exotic flower,

And her vines wrap around his head and pull him into her carnivorous maw.

They kiss with a passion that’s staggering and we know that’s how it happens because the words, “with a passion that’s staggering” are used to describe it.

Jensen sticks his muzzle into my thigh. Ignoring him, I lean back to look at Alessia’s dazed expression. “I think Jensen wants to join in.”

 

via GIPHY Image: Maya Rudolf making a horrified face.

WHOA. WHOA. Whoa.

Whoa.

“I also think we’re wearing too many clothes.” I rest my forehead on hers.

“Do you want to take them off?” She chews on her lip.

It’s January in Cornwall and you’re outside, dipshit.

“Always.”

Then join a fucking nudist colony, I don’t know what to tell you.

Demelssia makes a comment about being too warm and Moss is like, oh no, I didn’t mean for her to think that was a come-on. But like…how else do you interpret someone saying you’re wearing too many clothes and they always want to take theirs off? After this staggeringly passionate, borderline zoophilic kiss?

“Oh, sweetheart, you’ve just been through a terrible ordeal.”

Italicizing the “sweetheart” makes it look sarcastic and I love it.

“What are you telling me?” I ask.

“I think you know.”

“You want to go to bed?”

And she wants you to touch her.

Down there.

Beaming and giddy, we trot back to the house with the dogs in hot pursuit.

 

 

via GIPHY  Image: Jonah Hill making a nervous “stop talking” gesture.

Maybe don’t mention the dogs here. Or like, ever again. Because it sounds like y’all are gonna fuck some dogs.

Moss takes Demelssia to his bedroom, which I guess isn’t the room she was in when she took her bath and got dressed and stuff? Anyway, his bed is four-poster, intricately carved, big wardrobe, lots of shelves around with fancy stuff, you know the drill.

Once inside the room where they went specifically to have sex, Moss says she’s had a bad day and she’s like, nah, I still want to do this, and he’s like, you might be in shock…make up your fucking mind, dude.

“What do you want, beautiful?” The backs of his fingers stroke her face, and his eyes sear her soul.  She’s wanted him since he said he loved her.

“I want you.” The words are barely audible.

He groans. “You never cease to surprise me.”

How is this a surprise? You guys were both like, let’s go have sex. You went inside just to have sex. Or is this one of those things where you’re stating out loud that the heroine has a certain characteristic that we’ve never really seen before? Because she’s not that surprising, aside from being a concert-level pianist when you thought she was a one-dimensional servant.

In a scene that strongly echoes Fifty Shades of Grey, Moss stands motionless while Demelssia undresses him and tentatively touches him. Then he plays with her hair and says:

“You are so brave. In so many ways. And I’ve fallen for you. All of you. Madly. Passionately.” His words heat her blood, and he tugs the lock drawing her into his arms.

Arguably, yes, Demelssia is braver than Anastasia was. But I feel like James inserts “brave” as a trait so that she can write a heroine to be as weak as the story allows while still insisting that she has some kind of kick-butt, feminist character.

She wants to touch him. Every inch of him. But she stops. She doesn’t know what to do.

They’ve boned like, a billion times already.

He tells her to unbutton his jeans and she puts her hand on his cock (but it doesn’t say cock because for as much as James wants to write erotic romance, she sure can’t bring herself to use the words that are generally involved). And then–wait. Wait a second.

Hastily her fingers scramble to his waistband, brushing against his hardened penis. She stops, fascinated by his body, and in a really bold move places her hand over his erection.

“Oh, God,” he whispers.

Tentatively, her fingers trace around him.

He gasps, and she stops. “I am hurting you?”

“No. No. No. This is good. Yeah.” He’s breathless. “Really good. Don’t stop.”

She grins, feeling more confident. With deft fingers she undoes his top button. He stands stock-still as she moves to the zipper.

What in the how is going on here? Is his erection poking out above the waistband of his jeans? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but how much are we talking here? How low is he wearing those jeans? Are they hanging off his hips in that way, like Christian Grey’s? Or is she touching him over his jeans and he’s about to spurt over that? I don’t get it.

I take a deep breath. She is going to unman me.

See, there she uses the archaic historical romance phrase correctly.

In the firelight her skin is radiant, and the deep red and blue highlights glimmer in her hair.

Um. This is the first time I’m hearing of red and blue highlights in her hair. Unless he means there are both warm and cool tones in her brown hair or something but I can’t even picture that.

I want to throw her on the bed and make easy, sweet love to her.

Okay, again, hold up. “Throw her on the bed” and “make easy, sweet love” directly contradict each other.

Anyway, they get into bed and he unleashes the beast and he’s like, no wait, let’s cuddle a minute and they talk again about her bruise and how she could have been hurt or kidnapped and Moss is like, maybe we shouldn’t have sex and OH MY GOD MAKE UP YOUR MIND ARE YOU FUCKING OR NOT BECAUSE I HAVE OTHER SHIT TO DO TODAY.

Anyway, after this whole deal with her taking off his pants, she’s like:

“I want to touch you,” she says, and hides her face with her hands.

And she means his penis, if you didn’t get that. But what I don’t get is that SHE WAS ALREADY TOUCHING IT WHY ARE WE DOING THIS AGAIN LIKE IT’S THE FIRST TIME IT’S COME UP?

Ha, that sounded dirty.

She reaches the line of hair that leads down to her destination, and her courage falters.

But I thought she was so brave? Now, she can’t even touch a dick that she already touched?

So, we have to read about Moss teaching Demelssia to jerk him off.

I’ve never had to show a woman what to do. It’s possibly the most erotic thing I’ve ever done.

That’s right. None of the freaky sex he’s had before compares to the purity of a blank slate. This is in no way a creepy thing.

Anyway, he gets close to coming and tells her to stop, then does his whole mental thing about maybe they shouldn’t have sex, but then he puts on a condom and sits her on his dick, anyway.

She moves. Up and down. Again and again.

To the left y’all. Take it back now, y’all. One hop this time, right foot, let’s stomp.

There’s a moment where he tells her “I’ve got you,” because as I mentioned before, it’s stated twenty-one times.

And she rises and falls. Rises and falls. Taking me with her…climbing and climbing, until she stalls

and rolls backward down the hill, resulting in a derailment that kills two-hundred-forty passengers, the worst rail disaster in the history of the United Kingdom.

So, they have a simultaneous orgasm and I guess they blackout or some shit because there’s a section break.

We lie still and quiet, facing each other. Not speaking. Just looking. Eyes. Noses. Cheeks. Lips. Faces.

Okay, so their faces remain intact. Glad to know that his “shattering release” didn’t explode them both.

Then they have sex again.

There’s another section break.

She’s talking.

And talking.

And I’m listening.

She’s naked, her hair is loose and lfowing down to her waist, preserving her modesty, and she’s explaining how she learns a new piece for the piano.

I like how he’s all, “I’m listening,” then immediately explains how he’s ogling her. Also, “preserving her modesty.” She’s naked in bed with you, bro.

She tells him about synesthesia and how it helps her to memorize the music, and that each musical key has its own color. Her favorite composer is Bach. She sees Moss’s music in blues and grays.

“I watched you play it at your apartment. I was supposed to be cleaning. But I had to watch you. And listen. It’s beautiful music.” Her voice softens to a barely audible whisper. “I fell more in love with you then…”

Did you? That’s weird because you saw him play the piano before he gave you the umbrella, which is when you first fell in love with him. Also weird? That this isn’t the reason you fell for him since it’s so much more meaningful than loaning someone a fucking umbrella.

Then they have sex again.

After a section break, Moss asks Danny to bring them dinner in his bedroom.

I don’t know why, but Danny knows that Alessia is different.

IDK, it might be because you rescued her from kidnappers.

I’ve brought women here before, but Danny’s never been as solicitous as she’s been today.

IDK, it might be because you never rescued those women from kidnappers.

She must know that I’m in love.

Sure. It’s that.

I’m in love. Head over heels. Completely. Utterly. Wholly. In love.

I’m sorry, I’m not quite understanding. How in love are you? Are you like, halfway in love or all the way in love? I’m having a difficult time telling. Maybe you should find more words that mean exactly the same thing and cram them into that sentence.

After dinner, Moss and Demelssia talk about how they have to return to London. Demelssia says she wants to continue working as a cleaner, and Moss says:

“Alessia, I don’t think so. You don’t need to clean anymore. You’re a talented woman. Is that really what you want to do? We need to find something more interesting for you.

Ah, and here we see how he really feels about the working class. If you’re talented, you shouldn’t be working class. The working class is for untalented, uninteresting people.

I wonder why the formerly upper-middle class author who is now super-rich would write something like that.

And we need to make sure that it’s legal for you to work here. I’ll look into it. I have people who can help.”

He had those people long before they were boning, but he’s only offering their help now. I see what you’re doing, Moss.

Moss points out that Demelssia will be deported if she’s caught working illegally, but she’s still upset at the idea of being a kept woman.

“I will clean for you. And you will pay me.”

Okay, but that would still be illegal.

He agrees, though, as long as she doesn’t wear the housecoat and headscarf. She has some thoughts about how she’s safe now, thanks to him, and the book is over.

HA HA HA HA HA nope. We’ve still got nine chapters left.

My Impression So Far: The publication of this book is an accident of the universe. There is no way this would have even crossed an acquiring editor’s desk from the slush pile if it had been written by a first-time author. That’s just plain ass fact.

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103 Comments

  1. NewFan
    NewFan

    9.
    Nine…nine…nine.
    NINE more chapters.

    HOW?

    Oh wait – does he build her a concert hall in Cornwall and then pay people to come watch her so she thinks she the greatest piano player ever…
    And it’s now like Citizen Kane’s wife meets Florence Foster Jenkins?

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      No. Her fiance makes an appearance and everyone goes to Albania. Somehow (I don’t know the details beyond that but I’m betting it will be kinda like H4M.)

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
  2. Myriam
    Myriam

    “Beaming and giddy, we trot back to the house”

    I immediately pictured them frolicking through a field of flowers while happily holding hand which has to be the most hilarious thing this recaps made me picture

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Tami
      Tami

      Did they encounter a little girl in a gingham dress and pigtails and push her out of the way?

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
      • SaintSithney
        SaintSithney

        No, but he does get on the back of a CGI beast that looks like a giant tick and gets thrown off so they can roll around in the grass some.

        June 14, 2019
        |Reply
  3. MyDog'sPA
    MyDog'sPA

    I’m honestly shocked that the film rights to The Mister didn’t sell the moment the publishing contract was signed. That they’re still shopping it around, apparently, is mind-boggling to me.

    Hmm, there may be hope for Hollywood yet. Seriously, tho, there are many professionals in the biz that know what a good story is (and isn’t). Granted, they’re down in the food chain away from the 30-something white guys who greenlight projects, but the word may be getting out that Ms. Leonard may not know how to write, you know, a story. (especially one that is character driven . . . . .)

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Siobhannabon
      Siobhannabon

      It probably isn’t even that. Hollywood is hugely cliquey, how much do you want to bet her tantrums with 50 have her secretly blacklisted amongst movie makers now?

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jo
        Jo

        I was gonna say, I think it has more to do with people in Hollywood not wanting to touch any other project associated with her. Like, how much of a toxic person do you have to be for Hollywood not to want to be associated with you?

        (I know, I know, the threshold for her toxicity is lower than if she was a man, but still. She probably allienated a lot of people during the filming of 50 shades).

        June 12, 2019
        |Reply
        • Ani
          Ani

          If it makes money, Hollywood is not going to care about if James is a terrible person or not. There are plenty of rapists and child molesters who still get starring roles and get invited to public events.

          Is it because the bdsm craze has died down? Is it because James’ popularity has dropped? Or maybe the #metoo movement has finally nailed its way into people’s minds and they don’t want to be associated with another potential rape cultured book. Most likely there was a movie associated with it, but someone was like, “Let’s wait and see if this is worth our efforts…”

          June 12, 2019
          |Reply
          • Jules
            Jules

            “If it makes money, Hollywood is not going to care about if James is a terrible person or not.”

            They don’t care if she’s nice or not, they care if she’s a total nightmare to work with because as much as she thinks she runs the world now, she’s completely and utterly replaceable. There is no real story here for Hollywood to sink it’s teeth in, the book is plummeting and she’s already a has been.

            There are a million other EELs out there just waiting for their big break who would probably work a lot cheaper than her and be much easier to control.

            June 12, 2019
          • Anon
            Anon

            @Ani —

            There was definitely something fishy in the way she hedged her answer. She seemed a bit put out by the entire interview and was answering questions with non-answers. Something’s up. So there may have been someone who wanted the movie rights and then saw the actual book and backed off quick. She’s a one-trick pony and she lucked into it. People who love her books aren’t generally people who love reading, so if she doesn’t keep giving them exactly what they want, they’re going to go away and not pay to see another movie with her name attached.

            I think Hollywood thinks a movie would bomb. She’s not worth dealing with for a bomb.

            June 13, 2019
          • MyDog'sPA
            MyDog'sPA

            I also wonder if, maybe, EEL’s agent may have been holding out for a bigger fee on the option and wound up with no bids. Thinking that they’d make even more after it was proven to be a runaway bestseller, that decision may have backfired at this point. EEL may be lucky to get the standard $2k for the option at this point . . . . .

            June 13, 2019
        • MyDog'sPA
          MyDog'sPA

          Actually, there would be a way to make it work, even with Erika on set, even with this story that, at best, is only worth 10 to 15 minutes of actual film time.

          So here’s what you do: Buy the rights, do the ‘casting’ for the principal leads and all sub-characters and get a ‘director’ and ‘writer;, but all those are in reality the movie-within-the-movie. For the purposes of this production, it’s really the second unit. But it ties Erika up on set away from the real film. The real movie is about the characters who have to make this shlock 15 minute travesty of a movie into a blockbuster by any means necessary because this is the studio’s last hurrah for any type of hit and if they don’t pull it off the studio goes bankrupt. So the real actors, director, and production team is off in another building and all they have to do is act to the dailies coming from the second unit including the hidden camera that catches Erika’s antics live on the second-unit set. The ‘studio execs’ are beside themselves as Erika micromanages the direction of the sex scenes. She’s ruining take after take and the execs are apoplectic because, after all, it’s just schtupping and doesn’t do anything for the plot or story. (This could actually be quite funny with all the studio execs yelling in yiddish at each other of how they couldn’t possibly get a hit out of all this drek. It’s so awful they know they’re doomed and have to make up their minds to either release it or pull the plug and shut everything down.)

          So Erika is happy that she gets to make the movie she really wants and we get to laugh at it all.

          See? Give us enough creativity and we can make anything into lemonade . . . .

          🙂

          June 13, 2019
          |Reply
        • BOX OFFICE POISON!

          Time for Mrs. Leonard to go trim some rosebushes?

          June 13, 2019
          |Reply
  4. Mel
    Mel

    There’s still NINE chapters????? HOW!?

    I hope the poor performance of this book means that EL’s career is over now and she can fade away into mediocre obscurity. Perhaps she could become a cleaner since that is apparently so befitting a job for the “uninteresting”.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Juliana Coons
      Juliana Coons

      The obscurity is well-deserved, but “mediocre” is far too soft and kind a word to describe the atrocious excremental quality of this talentless hack!

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
  5. Kristin Cecilia
    Kristin Cecilia

    “Eyes. Noses. Cheeks. Lips. Faces.”

    So ELJ listens to songs from Evita when she writes about unmanning?

    “Eyes, hair, mouth, figure
    Dress, voice, style, movement
    Hands, magic, rings, glamour
    Face, diamonds, excitement, image”

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
  6. Ren Benton
    Ren Benton

    “Eyes. Noses. Cheeks. Lips. Faces.”

    Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. Eyes and ears and mouth and nose, mouth and nose…

    A blessing upon your house for spelling “whoa” correctly.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Tami
      Tami

      “Nails, hair, hips, heels, ass fat, lips real
      Purse full, big bills, bitch I’m a big deal
      Legs, legs, face, eyes, thin waist, thick thighs
      You, me, you wish, new phone, who this?”

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
  7. Ashley
    Ashley

    Look, Turdley, I wear that headscarf when I clean so I don’t have to constantly brush back my hair with my dirty work hands! I wear that “housecoat” so I don’t run my clothes with bleach! Get the fuck out of here with that.

    I’m taking this book way too personally 😀

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      Also, wasn’t he all hot and bothered over the housecoat? Now he doesn’t like it?

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
  8. Bunny
    Bunny

    I can’t be the only one who’s uncomfortable with Alessia being compared to an “exotic flower,” considering how exoticised and infantilized Alessia has been throughout this entire book.

    Of course, I’ll forgive this if she gobbles him up Audrey II-style. Now THAT could possibly save this book.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Roccoriel
      Roccoriel

      He sure looks like plant food to me…

      June 14, 2019
      |Reply
  9. Carrionbird
    Carrionbird

    That “bro” in his thoughts is so disingenuous.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
      • Deadjolras
        Deadjolras

        His Inner Broddess!

        June 12, 2019
        |Reply
  10. J.
    J.

    She has no idea what character-driven means yet all the books she’s written are EXACTLY THAT.

    *slow claps*

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      This is exactly what gets me. The sex in Fifty Shades of Grey…isn’t character driven? Because BDSM is a part of Chedward’s characterization? I…

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
  11. Jo
    Jo

    HAHAHAHAHA, JENNY, YOU CRACK ME UP! Nine chapters? That’s hilarious! There’s no possible way there’s still nine chapters left! I mean, they’ve already confessed their feelings, comitted to their relationship, boned like thirty times and dispatched the sex traffickers that were after her. What could they possibly have left to do that takes nine entire chapters? HAHAHAHAHA, what a funny joke!

    … wait, you’re serious?! Holy shit. What. No. Relly? Come on…

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      The fiance and Albania still await us… ;P (But yeah, lol, what was EEL thinking? Her pacing and foreshadowing are horrendous.)

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
  12. Tami
    Tami

    When “Jensen” stuck his muzzle in Moss’ thigh for a moment I thought we’d jumped into J2 (Jensen/Jared Supernatural) fanfic territory and he just stuck the Colt in a strange place.

    “|She moves. Up and down. Again and again.|

    “To the left y’all. Take it back now, y’all. One hop this time, right foot, let’s stomp.”

    Then she did criss-cross and ripped his dick off.

    We should be so lucky.

    And I’ve noticed that Alessia is now “whispering” every fucking time she speaks. She’s got Anastasia-itis, y’all. No wonder she flinched when Maxim warned he would be shouting at her. “WHY YOU ALWAYS GOTTA BE WHISPERING? SPEAK UP, BITCH! THIS AIN’T NO LI-BARY!”

    Sorry, I’ve been watching too much Drag Race…my inner Queen is coming out, purse-first.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • ChrisFe
      ChrisFe

      “When “Jensen” stuck his muzzle in Moss’ thigh for a moment I thought we’d jumped into J2 (Jensen/Jared Supernatural) fanfic territory and he just stuck the Colt in a strange place.”

      Okay, so that wasn’t just me. Of course, this book would have been more interesting if the muzzle had belonged to a gun and the trigger of said gun was pulled, severely crippling Moss forever.

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
    • Saundra
      Saundra

      T, I had the same thought at “Jensen”! LMAO

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
    • Erin
      Erin

      I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one who thought this! You all are my kind of people!

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
  13. So touching a dick that’s already been inside her quite a few times is the last taboo? Is that because sex with some agency is more shocking than sex that’s done to her? YICK.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ani
      Ani

      At this point I think Alessia has had more sex than I have. But she still has to be the virginy-virgin to ever virgin. Even FSG Ana was still like, “omg, he’s doing stuff to me!!” well into their relationship.

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
  14. Bunny
    Bunny

    I finally downloaded the Radish app and I’m reading thru “The Boss” on my lunch breaks at work, and it is really good and I love it AND it’s made extra good having read all these recaps of 50 shades and now this dreck, knowing how much better this shitty writing can be told in the hands of someone with actual talent.

    These characters aren’t even cardboard cutouts, they’re like wet paper dolls being mashed together in ever more ludicrous ways. Thanks for providing us with the entertaining recaps, saving us from having to read the actual book 😀

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
  15. Jules
    Jules

    “She is going to unman me.”

    So she’s going to chop his dick off? This book just got a lot more interesting… oh, that’s some weird way of saying they’re having sex? NVM

    Their sexy times still feel like an instruction manual. I can’t believe EEL is known for erotica. Her writing is more like a cold shower.

    This book really just sucks. Oh, has he given her the manual on how to suck him off yet? Are their diagrams?

    I think Dimzy might have short term amnesia and that’s why she keeps acting like she’s never touched his dick before even though it has literally been inside her! Multiple times! So much so that she had to stop having sex before she got like a permanent injury or something.

    It truly feels like EEL is just writing their first time over and over and over and over and fuck we have to deal with nine more chapters of “OMG! I touched a dick!!!!!!” “Oh I love her, love her, LOVE HER soooo much, I’m going to write Mrs. Dimzelda Trevadick over and over in my Trapper Keeper with little hearts all around it, and I’m gonna use my pink glitter pen because I’m so manly despite my inner monologues (oh so many inner monologues, this guy really loves the sound of his own thoughts) sounding like that of a 12 year old girl.

    I hate this book soooooo much and I’ve never even read it. I don’t really like wishing harm on actual human beings, but since I have a sneaking suspicion that EEL is really an android put on the Earth by aliens who have finally found the key to destroying all humanity, I feel okay saying I wish she just didn’t exist. I wish she had never sold 50 Shades of Stupid, I wish she had never been told she can write (whoever lied to her about that should be put out of our collective misery) and I wish she would just go away!

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      Ok, can we talk about how “unman me” is part of the toxic masculinity culture for a moment? Why is is so horrible that she sets him into weakness/orgasm/vulnerability? For showing that he’s no longer a man? Bullshit. Im so ragey I can’t even elaborate.

      Also, even though the dick has visited the vag many many times, she’s never actually tactile-touched it, so once more let’s devalue sex. Its only meaningful if you stroke and touch the body parts. P into V isn’t deep and meaningful.

      *insert gif of the red flame headed guy from Inside Out*

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
      • Agent_Z
        Agent_Z

        “Ok, can we talk about how “unman me” is part of the toxic masculinity culture for a moment? Why is is so horrible that she sets him into weakness/orgasm/vulnerability? For showing that he’s no longer a man? Bullshit. Im so ragey I can’t even elaborate.”

        I find this to be the part about toxic masculinity culture that confuses me. Why is it considered unmanly for a guy to have a good time during sex?

        June 17, 2019
        |Reply
    • Juliana Coons
      Juliana Coons

      Agree with all of this, so much!

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
  16. Maile
    Maile

    A few thoughts, if I may.
    Nobody wants to work with Eel looking over their shoulder.
    Hot pursuit makes me think of Roscoe P Coltrane giggling and saying ,”I love it, I love it,” on Dukes of Hazard.
    Did they fuck with the dogs watching?
    Should I read these sex scenes to cure my insomnia?

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ani
      Ani

      The sex scenes here are quite… vague. It’s almost soft-corn porn. There’s so much flowery purple prose, and coupled that with it’s equally vague plot points, I’m left snoozing.

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        Soft corn porn sounds like a really niche market. I wonder if there’s money to be made there? I bet there is. I bet there is. (I bet there is because everything must come in threes!)

        June 13, 2019
        |Reply
      • Amy Too
        Amy Too

        And they’re confusing. I think the passage Jenny quoted was Dimmy tracing the outline of Moss’s erection while it’s still encased in his jeans, but it’s really unclear. So even when EEL actually describes things, rather than just using metaphors and euphemisms to describe everything they’re doing sexually, it’s still not sexy or interesting bc you’re constantly going, “wait what’s going on?” Plus everyone has such overly dramatic reactions to whatever the other person is doing to them and that adds to the confusion. He’s about to ejaculate just bc she touches him over his clothes? If everything is super mega hot and erotic, then nothing is. If everyone is forever shattering, detonating, and coming undone at any touch during every scene, and everyone is constantly in a state of super arousal where any touch, or even just a look from their partner, will send them over the edge, then it all just sounds unbelievable and I’m left rolling my eyes at how ridiculously, amazingly, hot and sexy the author is trying to convince us her characters are if even just catching a glimpse of one of them causes the other to spontaneously orgasm.

        June 13, 2019
        |Reply
  17. Maria
    Maria

    when you get right down to it, erika is a very boring writer, huh? this reminds me a bit of our goffick lady of hogwarts, ebony darkness dementia raven way and her, uh, memorable sex scenes.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Maria
      Maria

      i take that back–erika’s scenes all blend together into forgettable mush, while i will never forget the line “we frenched passively”

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
      • Seraphina Bellemonte
        Seraphina Bellemonte

        As much as I hate to say it…I’d take Ebony’s sex scenes over Erika’s any day. Were they badly written? Sure. But if we’re comparing the heroines, Ebony was a lot more memorable and compelling than Alessia. Ebony was loud, foul-mouthed, and overly dramatic. And she wasn’t ashamed of making out or having sex, unlike Alessia who seems to warp at random into a blushing virgin over and over. Sure, Ebony didn’t have much of a backstory, but she was a fun character. (Although I might be biased because I once cosplayed Ebony and participated in a dramatic My Immortal reading panel, and it was so much fun.)

        The sex scenes in My Immortal also *did* contain legitimate surprises sometimes, and they were at least, creative (i.e. they didn’t all happen between two people, doing the exact same thing, in the bedroom). I mean, I wouldn’t bang my paramour in the Forbidden Forest, but that was something different. And when Dumbledore swooped in and caught Draco and Ebony? The first time I read, that was legitimately surprising.

        And there was, if I recall correctly, another point where Ebony found a ‘Vampire’ tattoo on Draco Malfoy while they were having sex, and it was a plot twist. Nonsensical? Maybe. But I’d take that over just this monotonous copy and paste sex over and over.

        June 12, 2019
        |Reply
        • Rehela
          Rehela

          You know, I never thought of My Immortal like that. Yes, it was silly and badly written and completely ridiculous. But at least it had *ideas*.

          June 13, 2019
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            This book has ideas but they’re all pushed aside in favor of copy-and-pasting sex. It sounds like My Immortal actually tried and wanted to have some fun. It just didn’t care if it was great or not. (And I believe it was discovered as an intentional parody later on, whereas this is the author being as lazy as possible.) XD

            June 13, 2019
    • Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)
      Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)

      I love My Immortal and you’re obviously a prep if you don’t! I much rather read MI than this dreck, and I can only read a chapter a little bit at a time because of the spelling. Jenny makes this nonsense tolerable.

      June 14, 2019
      |Reply
  18. Meli
    Meli

    “And her vines wrap around his head and pull him into her carnivorous maw.”

    Jenny, thanks so, so much for fixing the ending of this book! Now we can all move on to something that’s actually fun to read…What do you mean nine more chapters?

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Black Knight
      Black Knight

      I giggled at that line because it reminded me of one of the books in an interactive fiction app I like (Choices) where the LI sprouts flowers and wraps vines around the MC during love scenes.

      The LI is an actual wood nymph, however. What’s the excuse for Delmessia?

      June 12, 2019
      |Reply
  19. Saundra
    Saundra

    Long time reader first time commenter…is it possible THIS chapter was supposed to be their first time? It sort of reads like it, but EL padded the page count by adding more sexy times earlier and forgot to edit this bit?

    Of all the crud this book expects readers to accept like virgin victim of trafficking I think the moving in after they’ve known each other for what seems like only days takes the cake…no…second to the virgin sex trafficked victim. So. Unbelievable.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah, I genuinely think EEL jumped around and wrote things out of order a lot, which is fine, but she didn’t go back to smooth over the rough edges, create any additional connecting tissue, and remove any unnecessary overlap. She doesn’t like her editors making any major changes and as you said, these scenes contradict each other a lot so it might’ve been hard for them to select which sex scenes anyway, without altering a lot of in-between stuff, so their best bet was to simply recommend cutting this or that. EEL didn’t want to, either out of spite, because she was being paid by the word, or because she was tired of the book and didn’t care anymore but the publishers were pushing for something so she dropped this onto their desks, as is, after fights with several editors, and said “good luck.”

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
  20. Misty
    Misty

    While Moss’ reaction isn’t great, I have to say, I have no idea why she would still want to be a cleaner. Maybe she finds satisfaction from it, IDK? I’ve been a cleaner (at a hotel vs. private houses, but still), and it’s not a fun job, at least not for me. If I hooked up with a billionaire, I sure as hell wouldn’t be cleaning anymore. But then, I’m the type of person who makes no bones about the fact that if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t still be working just to ‘have something to do.’ There are so many other things I could get fulfillment from.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dvärghundspossen
      Dvärghundspossen

      Maybe she could, for instance, teach piano to people? Moss could get her a place where she does that, doesn’t even have to be in his apartment.

      Cleaning for your BOYFRIEND and he paying you, that’s gonna be SO AWKWARD and NO BETTER than just being “a kept woman”.

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      I’m going with the wierd “I can’t be a kept woman” stigma, and cleaning is all she knows how to do. Ya know, because the piano thing wasn’t valued by her family, so she doesn’t think she has any talent or any marketable skill in that regard. She’s just a lowly woman, fit only to clean.

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      Dimelsa has had the thought that she doesn’t want to rely on him and wants some independence, so for now, cleaning is her way of making her own money. I actually go into a bit of a zen place when I clean. I don’t think I’d like cleaning at a hotel, but I have taken cleaning jobs at private houses when I was between regular jobs and I kind of liked it. One was for a family trying to get their house ready to sell, so I was cleaning, but also helping to organize and make everything look nice for showings and I enjoyed it.

      The pay is the main issue I would have with it, though if I could have my own company, maybe I could make it work. I’m not sure I have the physical energy to do that at this point in my life, though.

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Yeah, if she had her own company or at least different clients, it might work. But cleaning for Moss? As Dvärghundspossen said, it’s gonna be really awkward. Like, when you do something for your family, friends, or a significant other, getting paid for it puts a distance between you and them; it becomes a transaction, which is impersonal. Affection or loyalty should be enough, after a certain point.

        It’s also the case that if you’re doing something because someone else told you to, then you’ll enjoy it a bit less than if you chose to do it entirely on your own. So, I dunno…

        But yeah, since we haven’t been told that Dimmy enjoys cleaning and it’d be better to distance her from her previous servitude to Moss, just helping her get a job with piano or English would make a huge difference, especially since she wouldn’t have him as one of her clients. (She could teach him something but only for free. lol if she taught him how to clean or get out of bad habits and be less of a slob it’d be way better.)

        June 13, 2019
        |Reply
  21. Emily, a newbie
    Emily, a newbie

    /Alessia./
    Aw, look. He’s actually thinking of her by her name. She’s not just “his daily” anymore. Totes adorbs.
    Love is really in the air, isn’t it, folks?
    And apparently some slivers of some untapped Furry interest. Erika must have read Save The Pearls recently, and been about as clueless as /that/ author was when getting hot and bothered.

    Honestly though, Eel has some of the weirdest and most /absurd/ fucking word usage.
    It’s just. It’s…it’s like. You can only deep-throat a thesaraus so far, ma’am. This is going to become a health hazard, and you aren’t even doing it for those sweet Youtube views.
    Using ‘different’ words is fine sometimes, cause y’know, word repetition and whatever. But seriously who tags dialogue like, ‘she said after an age.’ I’ve picked up on different words all throughout this book that legitimately make me just stop and squint, thinking, “Well, not quite the word I would’ve used. But alright.” Some of them just really throw me through the loop though, either in how bizarre/archaic they are or just the fact that I have /never/ even heard or read the word before (i.e. “Surreptitiously.”)
    Then Eel goes and uses words like “Bro” and shit in the middle of what’s /supposed to be/ a serious, heart-to-heart, relationship evolving moment. It’s like she read one of the “But you’re my world, bro” memes but took it seriously.
    Maybe that’s Eel’s problem. She’s one of those older people that doesn’t actually know how technology actually works, doesn’t understand meme culture beyond Minion memes, and doesn’t really get how Google works but refuses to learn how from her kids or any of the “younger folk”.
    That would explain a /lot/ about her aversion to research in general, actually.
    But hey, at least Eel remembered Alessia has synesthesia. Finally.

    And I must say, your insert of the Cha Cha Slide into the sex scene was literally the only thing that made the sex scene interesting.
    I vote to make that song the new “Sexy Twister” thing in romance.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      “she said after an age” is awkward because it’s supposed to be, “she said, after what felt like ages.” Or replace an age with an eon. Or something…

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
      • Person
        Person

        I think keeping the same phrasing and putting in “eon” would make it even more awkward, since it’s more specific than “age,” and it’d be like, uh…that’s…that’s a long pause, Alessia. IA about saying it seemed like or felt like an age, though.

        And while the example of surreptitiously seems normal to me, so many of the words the Eel uses, both big and small, are used in such weird “how does talking work” ways that if any of them is something you’ve seen for the first time, it is going to be wayyy weirder in context.

        June 14, 2019
        |Reply
  22. Perlite
    Perlite

    Considering how a lot of straight men seems to consider their girlfriends to be cleaning maids, maybe Alessia is getting a good deal by at least being paid for it. All jokes aside, she hasn’t cleaned for him since chapter 5 and we’re nine chapters ’til the end. I don’t understand why she’s constantly pigeonholing herself into the “just a lowly cleaner” corner.

    June 12, 2019
    |Reply
  23. Maile
    Maile

    Anyone else picture Dimelda as Consuela from Family Guy when she said “No, I clean, you pay me”?

    June 13, 2019
    |Reply
  24. Angélique
    Angélique

    I can’t believe there are people who get off to those books. I would maybe understand a bit of the appeal if the sex scenes were really steamy, or if they were so bad that you read it to make fun of it, but they’re just so boring !

    June 13, 2019
    |Reply
  25. Lucy
    Lucy

    It looks like she might have watered down this scene from a blowjob, which some cultures consider shaming for a woman to perform. It would have made more sense.

    Also, Moss has never had to show a woman how to pleasure him? Not even Caroline when they traded V-cards? Plus it’s not like all penises are exactly the same, or that everyone gets off in exactly the same way, so a bit of , uhm, guidance might be necessary even with someone who already has experience.

    June 13, 2019
    |Reply
  26. Gretel
    Gretel

    Alessia: I don’t want to be your concubine/kept woman.
    Also Alessia: Keep me as your cleaner and pay me, boyfriend.

    Dumber than a rock, I swear.

    Things she could do to earn her own money:

    – teach Albanian
    – teach piano lessons
    – work at a grocery store
    – clean someone else’s house
    – go back to university after getting papers sorted and finally become an English teacher who doesn’t speak English but also talks like a Victorian era virgin
    – go to music school and become a professional pianist
    – find a completely new profession
    – literally anything else than working for her live-in boyfriend

    But she wants to stay a cleaner because of EL and EL has two reasons to do this:
    1. show modesty; you don’t want a job stealing foreigner having a well-paying job or even an education; by staying in her place, Alessia can be shown as having integrity and being down-to-earth while being non-threatening to White people so that she becomes a pure and noble foreigner trope that doesn’t disrupt White Supremacy. Because I’m 100% sure that if Alessia said “You know what, you’re right, I want to finish my education and get a well paying job” will not be met with enthusiasm from her middle-class, white Christian, anti-vaxx, pyramide scheme loving, cops calling moms.
    2. EL can keep the power imblanace which is at the core of the story because the sexy thing for EL and her fans is that you get swooped off your feet like Cinderella by a rich, good looking guy. This way you can keep the power imbalance for “kinky” reasons and keep point 1 intact.

    My mom worked as a cleaner and if she could have, she would’ve left the job to do something else because being a cleaner is exhausting and also a bit gross. It’s an important job and it pays the bills but cleaning is physically exhausting, seldom paid well enough to live off it comfortably, stressful (my mom cleaned at several places so she had to run from A to B to C), some people are abusive, full of responsibility and can also be a bit gross.
    There is NO fucking way a young woman with an unfinished college education would continue cleaning her BFs house when she can do literally anything else while being supported financially.

    June 13, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dvärghundspossen
      Dvärghundspossen

      EXACTLY. There’s nothing shameful about being a cleaner, but I think few people would choose that over every other option. And even IF she absolutely loved being a cleaner, she should go clean at someone ELSE’S place and be paid by THEM, not cleaning her and Moss’ common home, getting a few bills in return, and after that he bangs her… that’s just SUPER WEIRD and will NOT help her keep her independence or integrity or whatever in the relationship.

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
  27. CornettoLass
    CornettoLass

    The bit about the dog wanting to join in reminded me of that creepy “I think the baby likes sex already” line when they’re having pregnant sex in the FSoG epilogue. It’s like her characters all suffer from gross intrusive thoughts and can’t stop themselves from announcing them out loud

    June 13, 2019
    |Reply
  28. Anon
    Anon

    What even was the point of that interview? It was odd and that poor reporter seemed like he was trying REALLY HARD to get her to respond properly.

    Also, I freaking love British accents and it makes me seeing-red angry that she has one. I mean, I know she’s British, so of course she has a British accent. But I have never before heard her speak and now I hate her even more.

    I have a feeling the option wasn’t picked up because people in the film industry aren’t stupid. They know she’s a crap writer and probably wanted to see what happened, knowing it was likely to be a flop since it didn’t have the Twilight thing behind it, which really was what propelled 50. No one can argue with a straight face that 50 was written well. Or, well, I guess some people can. But those people frighten me.

    Finally on the matter, don’t character-driven things require the characters to have personalities?

    Is “bro” a common usage term in the UK? I feel like it just wouldn’t be. That’s such an Americanism. I’m not claiming it as a thing to brag about, just something I can’t imagine a British person saying. It’s too vulgar.

    Do “exotic” flowers open differently from plain old regular flowers?

    The dog thing is almost as cringey as Ana thinking about her unborn baby already being into kinky sex. I’m concerned about the animals and children in Eel’s sphere.

    “He groans. ‘You never cease to surprise me.'”

    I literally had to take a break from reading after that line. My reaction was more intense than I would have imagined possible. How does anyone take this woman seriously? I expected you to comment on how Chedward always said that to Anabella over stupid benign stuff, but you didn’t so I am. Maybe Eel walks around constantly surprised by things like ants on the sidewalk.

    Oh! And now she’s so brave, just like Anabella! I guess at least we’ve seen some evidence of Dimelsa’s bravery.

    I think the “red and blue highlights” were the firelight reflecting in her hair.

    Her hair is preserving her modesty by falling to her waist and I finally get why he’s so captivated and why she was so valuable to the traffickers — HER HEAD IS ON BACKWARDS!!!!

    June 13, 2019
    |Reply
    • JosieAllByHerself
      JosieAllByHerself

      “Bro” is one of those things that it’s not unheard of for Brits to use, but still stands out as sounding American. “Mate” is probably our closest equivalent.

      (“Too vulgar” for Britain, though? Lol. You’ve never been on a train to Leeds at 10pm on a Friday, have you)

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
      • stuffnstuff :D
        stuffnstuff :D

        I would’ve thought ‘bruv’ would be a closer equivalent, but I guess that’s not posh enough for moss? But ‘bro’ isn’t posh either??

        June 13, 2019
        |Reply
    • Corbeau
      Corbeau

      When I read red and blue highlights, I immediately thought about the police. Which made me remember how Moss told them that Delmessia will only talk to them once she has calmed down. And I pictured the cops just awkwardly idling about the estate, waiting for them to finish making love so they can have Alessia’s statement.

      June 15, 2019
      |Reply
  29. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    How is this so mindnumbingly boring? How? Why? And there are NINE more chapters? JFC.

    Also, now that she’s finally agreed to be his sex buddy for the foreseeable future, he suddenly remembers that he has money and privilege and people who can sort shit out with regards to her immigration status. Yeah, Moss, we see you. And it’s not pretty.

    June 13, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      You didn’t expect him to buy the product if it wasn’t going to do what he wanted did you?

      Seriously. I would take Chedward over this asshole at this point. At least sex with Chedward was somewhat interesting. Moss isn’t even good in bed. It’s the same thing over and over “she touched my wee wee, I’m so excited!!!!!!! The pretty girl touched my wee wee!!!!! I want to bang her now!”

      For me all EEL’s master/dom ideas seem to be more father/daughter. Both Ched and Moss treat Ana and Dimzy like they are small sexy children, which is incredibly disturbing to me.

      None of this feels like “I am your lord and master and you must obey me” sexy stuff. It’s all “you are too stupid to know what you want so let me tell you. Don’t worry, I will use small words and diagrams”.

      I am way into the whole lord and master thing. This is not that. It would be beyond sexy for an Earl and his maid to have a hot, forbidden affair but there is nothing sexy about this story. NOTHING. Not her choice of knickers, not her previous abuse, not his constant pre-pubescent mind ramblings, not their having a “first time” type experience every time they fuck!

      GRRRRRRR This book makes me ragey.

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
      • Bookjunk
        Bookjunk

        E.L. James does have a gross, unhealthy, very controlling father figure thing going on. Here and in FSoG. The ‘heroes’ are indeed constantly deciding things for the ‘heroines’ and, yeah, it’s super annoying. This ongoing power struggle – that James obviously isn’t aware that she’s writing and that’s inevitably (in the weird world of E.L. James) lost by the women – is aggravating and exhausting.

        I don’t want to read a book where women are forever being not-so-subtly-but-not-violently-either (so apparently it’s okay? FML) forced into doing stuff they said they didn’t want to do a second ago, because the man always knows best. But maybe that’s just me.

        I’m kidding. I know it’s not just me.

        June 13, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jules
          Jules

          Anti EEL romance novel.

          Moss “Hello beautiful. You look like you need someone to protect you. I’m going to take you away to my country estate.”

          Dimzy: “Um, thanks, but you think maybe, with all your wealth and power, you might get me a green card?” (sorry, my U.S. is showing. IDK if they have those in U.K. Just go with it. At least I didn’t say Albania is full of garbage and criminals!)

          Moss: “Oh, I should have thought of that. Dimzy, you are very smart. Here, eat this food I am forcing on you.”

          Dimzy: “Well, actually, I’m gluten free.”

          Moss: “Dimzy, you are changing me into a better man. Here is a menu. Order whatever you like.”

          Dimzy: *swoon* “My granny panties are wet for you.”

          Moss: “I would really like you to touch me…down there”

          Dimzy: “tee hee hee… Down THERE?”

          Moss: “Please?”

          Dimzy touches him “down there” and his dick goes off like a firecracker! They are dead now, from the explosion, but they both died with a smile on their faces.

          (okay, that took a weird turn)

          June 13, 2019
          |Reply
          • Bookjunk
            Bookjunk

            Still better than what James wrote, lol.

            I remember way back when I was reading Jenny’s FSoG recaps (& the FSoG books, for some reason; I didn’t make that mistake this time around) and I had so much fun lampooning James’ horrible writing with this (definitely not a fan-)fic:

            https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9746235/1/Bic-McPenlamperson

            June 13, 2019
        • Amy Too
          Amy Too

          What’s annoying is that you can tell she’s trying really hard to make Moss less of an actual sexually abusive rapist, like Chedward was, but she still hasn’t quite figured out what exactly was gross about Ched/Ana’s relationship. She’s making Moss extra gentle and reluctant with Dimzelda, but he’s still completely disregarding what she wants over and over again. Whereas Ana didn’t want to do a lot of the BDSM stuff and Chedward made those decisions for her anyways, Dimzelda has the opposite problem of knowing that she’s horny and wants to have sex with Moss, but he’s making the decision to either not have sex or to go super slowly for her anyways. Or he’s deciding that she WILL have clothes bought for her by him, or she WILL speak only English during sex, or she CAN’T be a cleaner anymore, etc. He’s still controlling her, but he’s doing it in an infantilizing, “nice guy” kind of way. EEL doesn’t seem to get that the problem is that her heroes are taking away the heroines’ agency, not allowing them any freedom or space or choices in their lives. The issue wasn’t that a Chedward’s control was coming from a sadistic, mean, jealous place. The problem was the controlling. So just making Moss controlling but in a gentle, paternalistic, “I just want what’s best for you, you fragile, special flower of a girl” type of way isn’t fixing the problem. It’s just a new, more boring flavor of the same problematic relationship dynamics from the first books.

          June 13, 2019
          |Reply
          • Bookjunk
            Bookjunk

            Exactly!

            What’s sad is that she’s trying to make the controlling behaviour of her male leads more ‘palatable’ instead of removing it altogether. What’s even sadder is that some people buy into this and do indeed find controlling behaviour (more) acceptable when it’s this soft variant.

            It’s like James heard the criticism and subsequently decided to change the window dressing and keep all the problematic content. She seriously does not understand the root of the issue. Just went – whoosh! – over her head. You can tell by all the stuff that stayed the same that the core of what she finds sexy is: men telling women what to do, everywhere, all the time, and the women ‘surrendering’ because the menfolk always know what’s best, amiright?

            Yeah, I’ll NOT have what she’s having, thank you.

            June 14, 2019
  30. Amanda
    Amanda

    The waistband part got me too when I was reading it. I couldn’t quite picture it. She either stuck her hand way too far down his jeans, making it impossible that she somehow managed to unbutton them OR she’s got some creepy ass, slenderman fingers.

    The hair over her breasts to preserve her modesty ticked me off. As someone with really long, thick hair, it’s actually really difficult to get your hair to cover your breasts and stay like that (definitely never tried this myself at home or anything…). I mean, it’s hair! It slides around with every movement of her body!

    It actually would’ve been much more indicative of her newfound comfortability with him if she was just lounging with him completely naked.

    And, last but not least, I hated that they had sex here (and not just because I hate this boring, garbage pile of a book). Dude, she was JUST attacked by the men who wanted to sell her into sexual slavery. SHE’S TRAUMATIZED, YOU DUMB FUCK! There should definitely NEVER have been any sort of inner argument about whether she was ready to have sex or not, no matter what she claims! Take responsibility as the one who’s not currently fucking traumatized and DON’T DO IT!! She’s also been beat the shit out of and, despite seeing the doctor, probably not in any condition to have sex multiple times that day!

    I’m so angry. I have this book and I hate EL James. Like hate. Loathe. Despise. Detest. Abhor. (This is how you write, right??)

    June 13, 2019
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  31. Mat Winser
    Mat Winser

    Wait – Danny? Has she taken Mrs Danvers from Rebecca?

    June 13, 2019
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  32. Ilex
    Ilex

    We keep getting told how much Moss and Delmessia love each other, but wow, is it not showing in the narrative at all, at least not what I see of it here.

    What this book is reminding me of is how, after I ended up in the emergency room about a dozen years ago, I found myself with a huge crush on the PA who treated me. I knew it wasn’t “real” in the sense that we didn’t know each other, we hadn’t had a conversation beyond discussing my symptoms and him telling me how to treat them and sending me home, and there was absolutely no foundation for anything like what I was feeling. But that didn’t stop that crush from feeling HUGE and completely like real love. I mentally obsessed over that guy for two weeks. And then it just vanished, as quickly as it came on. It was just some kind of weird overblown reaction to the gratitude I felt in response to being taken care of and getting some relief from the pain I’d been in. (I’m sure there’s a clinical name for it; I can’t be the only person to have had this experience.)

    And that’s what the “love” in this book seems like to me: A reaction between saved and savior, but nothing real, and if these two spend a day or two apart, they’d realize that. I need a better foundation than this to root for a romance.

    June 13, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      I agree. The foundation of their relationship seems to be situational. Take the two characters, keep their “personalities” (I quotated that because, do they actually have personalities? I’m not sure.) are but put them in a different situation, where they are equals take away his money, take away her desperation, and I just don’t see anything there. Which is funny since they supposedly have this musical connection that could have been build up but is just sort of there.

      I don’t see EEL as character driven so much as prototype driven. She has these types of people she likes to write about but they aren’t actual characters just “troubled billionaire” or “playboy Earl” and “bookish moron” or “foreign idiot” and she works around their power imbalance to play out her sad little fantasies.

      If you can’t tell, I have a total and complete absence of respect for her so called writing skills. She’s just an embarrassment.

      June 13, 2019
      |Reply
  33. Anon
    Anon

    This books is already so uncomfortable because of how infantalized Alessia is, can you imagine how uncomfortable the movie would be? Watching a grown ass adult woman having to portray Alessia with the mindset of a child and the worst written, most xenophobic take on broken English imaginable, meanwhile the audience has to watch as Some Generic Attractive White Guy ™ is barely able to restrain himself around a character who is literally written like a toddler at points.

    June 13, 2019
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    • Ilex
      Ilex

      Ugh, you are so right about that.

      June 13, 2019
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    • Ani
      Ani

      They’re gonna try to appeal to the American FSG crowd, so they won’t know the difference nor care.

      June 15, 2019
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      • They might as well just cast a Barbie and Ken doll from the get-go.

        June 15, 2019
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  34. blip
    blip

    I know this has probably been covered already in the Ten Million Ways This Shitbag Nonsense Is a Ripoff of “Poldark,” but I just realized that “Delmessia” is pretty much exactly a shitty twisting of “Demelza.” Old eyes, long hours, etc.

    June 14, 2019
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  35. Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)
    Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)

    OH MY GOD MAKE UP YOUR MIND ARE YOU FUCKING OR NOT BECAUSE I HAVE OTHER SHIT TO DO TODAY.

    BHAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG – so funny.

    June 14, 2019
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  36. Corbeau
    Corbeau

    Reading this recap I felt like Billy Pilgrim, as in, being unstuck in time. Because a lot of things happening in this chapter should have happened a long time ago. Moss offering to help her sort out her immigrant status? Should have happened the moment he got to know she was an illegal immigrant. Even if he wasn’t into her, he recognized that she was poor, pitied her, and he was satisfied with the work she’d done. The part where she tentatively touches his penis? Should have happened before they first boned. I mean, they have been together so many times, I have lost count, what did she do until now, close her eyes and pretend it wasn’t a dick? The part where they bond over music? Should have happened (gradually) from the first time he found out she could play the piano, and should have already reached this point in dialogue before the kidnappers showed up. It would have made their love so much more believable.

    June 15, 2019
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  37. Laura
    Laura

    So….I guess I’m still amazed she’s scared of touching his penis. She finally did it, but she was scared. And I shouldn’t be, because touching a penis on purpose is sexual agency, it’s her being an active participant and not having sex done to her. And clearly EL James is of the opinion is that the best relationship is where a woman just passively accepts what’s done to her by her SO. Shocker.

    But. I mean. Maybe I’m being too logical here, but, speaking as a virgin, if I’m considering having sex, I’m starting with a hand job. I would like to know what it looks like in all stages, how long he lasts, does anything weird happen when he cums, let’s make sure there’s no STDs…. But I’m pragmatic, and besides that ace, so perhaps in moments when I would be planning the best way to go about sex someone who isn’t ace isn’t capable of thinking.

    But really, if you’re having trouble bringing yourself to look at or touch a penis, you should not be having any sort of relations with one.

    June 15, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      “But really, if you’re having trouble bringing yourself to look at or touch a penis, you should not be having any sort of relations with one.”

      This is why it is so weird that she’s still all “OMG I touched his dick!!!!!” That sucker has been balls deep inside you you dipshit! Why are you still afraid to touch it? Oh, wait, maybe he hasn’t washed it since then and she’s afraid it’s sticky?

      “And clearly EL James is of the opinion is that the best relationship is where a woman just passively accepts what’s done to her by her SO. Shocker.”

      This is both horrifying and true. What is it with EEL’s disgusted at women being active participants of sex? Even in this story, it seems like every time Dimzy wants to initiate, Moss is all “oh, it’s not a good idea right now. You’re all chaffed” or whatever excuse he comes up with. Like, if a woman is sexually aggressive she should be punished. Are we 100% sure EEL isn’t secretly a man, because it hurts my soul to think a woman is this fucking misogynistic.

      June 15, 2019
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      • MyDog'sPA
        MyDog'sPA

        And clearly EL James is of the opinion is that the best relationship is where a woman just passively accepts what’s done to her by her SO. Shocker.

        What is it with EEL’s disgusted at women being active participants of sex?

        Women can’t win. If we give it away too freely we’re sluts. If we wait to get to know someone we’re frigid.

        The only think I can think of to explain all of this is that something happened to EEL in her life to where she can only romanticize abuse and/or rape. According to a theory by my wife, the reason the rape fantasy works in romance fiction is that it’s fantasy and the reader has control of the fantasy while they’re reading it. In real life rape/abuse isn’t about sex, it’s about power over the victim, and the fantasy/eroticism goes out the window because of the sheer terrifying aspect of the abuse because the person being assailed has no clue of how it’s going to stop or when. (In a fantasy the reader has full control, therefore, it’s ‘erotic.’) So, in summary, EEL only writes what she knows: men initiate and have full control over women. She got lucky in that a lot of readers enjoyed it, but I think they’re starting to wake up to the fact that she can’t write and the rape thing is starting to get old because real life just doesn’t work that way.

        June 20, 2019
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    • Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)
      Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)

      Just my two cents, but starting slowly – like with hand jobs – is a great plan. You don’t have to go from 0 to 60 in three and a half seconds. Anyone who pressures you into going faster than you feel comfortable with doesn’t deserve anything from you, except maybe a swift kick to the groin.

      June 15, 2019
      |Reply
      • This is one of the romance tropes I hate most: that every single relationship has to have the couple start fucking within a few weeks, even, usually, a few days, and then establish intimacy after. Not all of us are wired that way. Not everyone thinks that’s sexy. Sometimes sexy is a slow build, lots of making out and heavy breathing and more and more touching as you see what you and the other person like. I mean, why does it all have to be “They want to fuck from the second their eyes meet, or else we won’t believe the sexual attraction/tension”?!

        June 15, 2019
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        • Jo
          Jo

          *demisexual murmur of agreement*

          June 15, 2019
          |Reply
          • Jo, the number of times I’ve been told that I’m “frigid” or “not sex positive” because I don’t want to bone with someone unless I know/like them is… *throws things*

            Yeah.

            WE NEED MORE DEMISEXUAL VERSIONS OF ROMANCES, FFS! NOT EVERYONE FUCKS RIGHT AWAY! THERE ARE MULTIPLE KINDS OF STORIES!

            June 17, 2019
        • Jules
          Jules

          Women can’t win. If we give it away too freely we’re sluts. If we wait to get to know someone we’re frigid. The only wrong way to have sex is with someone who doesn’t agree they want to have sex with you. Other than that, there is no wrong or right way. Why must we always shame women?

          The trouble with stories is it always seems to either be “they fuck the moment they meet because they just can’t keep their hands off each other” or “I’m going to wait until the very end of the book/movie/tv show to hook them up because I think that push and pull is the hottest” but there is a whole spectrum of options in between that.

          There are a lot of sexual options between “their eyes met” and “they fucked in the bar bathroom because they couldn’t wait to experience each other” which, if done well, can be just as hot as penetration. There’s kissing, heavy petting, light petty, hand work, foreplay, oral, mutual masturbation, flirting, banter, just talking and getting to know each other. (Hahahaha, like EEL would ever have her characters do those last three.)

          June 17, 2019
          |Reply
          • Literally everything I’m trying to do as an author.

            But readers, say as much on reviews and to publishers, because they’re really fond of “Readers don’t want ___.” TELL THEM OTHERWISE IF YOU DO.

            June 19, 2019
  38. Izzy
    Izzy

    Demelssia isn’t your average English rose, she’s an *exotic* Albanian vine and it’s all very romantic and not problematic at all.
    It was this chapter I realised that either there was no editor to begin with or after reading the part about the dog joining in, they got so blackout drunk they forgot to leave a note telling E.L. James to cut that shit out immediately.
    Why, for the second time while reading this (alledgedly) erotic novel, am I reminded of my toddler niece? She too takes inventory of facial features, those are ears and that is a chin. I wonder, if like with a toddler, fingers were poked in eyes and shoved up noses.

    June 16, 2019
    |Reply
  39. Emily, a newbie
    Emily, a newbie

    Okay, so. Out of some pretty intense boredom, I decided to Google up some reviews for The Mister. Y’know, just to see if the public opinion was still tanking, if there were any defenders, who complained, who praised, who tore it to shreds, etc. etc.

    Well, one review stood out for a couple of reasons. Not only was their entire review more fluid, interesting, and somehow more “show-don’t-tell” than the entire book itself. There were some mistakes in the review as well, like saying Alessia’s POV was written in second person POV, and their criticisms were *very* kind and often a triple-compliment sandwich. It even went on to say that the book, “[…] it almost felt like a mix of a sweeping historical with a modern day Cinderella retelling.”
    And I mean…I /get it/. I get what they were saying, I can see how they interpreted that.
    But with that, now I’m even more mad, because honestly this /easily/ could have been a rather decent, modern-retelling of Cinderella, while also bringing in the real-life danger of human trafficking and immigration laws. We all already knew this book is just a slew of missed opportunities, but this…

    This is a whole new level of opportunity wasted.

    June 23, 2019
    |Reply

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