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Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister chapter twenty-five or “Accio, foreshadowing!”

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According to Cinema Blend, Book Club 2 is happening. If you missed what Book Club was about, it told the story of four upper-middle-class white senior citizens (played by Mary Steenburgen, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and fervent Woody Allen supporter Diane Keaton) who spice up their boring sex lives through the life-changing magic of the scandalously hot and sexy Fifty Shades of Grey series.

Yes. That’s a whole movie. A whole movie encapsulating the worst stereotypes that surrounded the book while it dominated the zeitgeist. And somehow, there’s material for another? As the article suggests, maybe this one will be about The Mister.

While I would love to see the sequel die a quiet death in development, I would also love to see Book Club 2: Step Up To The Sheets hit the big screen before The Mister. Or instead of.

Now, since I’ve had a few comments here and on social media regarding the horrible names of the characters, while they are indeed horrible, Moss and Demelssia are not their actual character names. They’re portmanteaus of Maxim and Ross and Alessia and Demelza. The latter of both pairs are characters from Poldark, which this novel…let’s just say it pays overt homage to it.

So, let’s get into the recap.

A primal wail disturbs my dream, waking me in an instant.

Alessia.

I like how it’s specified here that he’s aware of who is in bed with him.

Demelssia is having a night terror and begins fighting Moss. He subdues her and she wakes.

“M…M…Maxim,” she whispers, and stops struggling.

I immediately thought of Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda.

“You’re having a bad dream. I’m here. I’ve got you.”

There’s another “I’ve got you,” right on schedule!

She calms down and goes back to sleep.

I close my eyes, one hand in her hair and the other on her back, enjoying her weight and her skin against mine. I could get used to this.

To…helping your girlfriend through frequent night terrors caused by her harrowing human trafficking ordeal that culminated in a violent attack and armed stand-off?

Okay, so it’s obvious that what’s meant here is that he could get used to snuggling Demelssia while she sleeps but this is really not the place for him to be having these thoughts. This is the part of the scene where you contemplate her lying there, trusting you completely, and you think about the terrible things she’s gone through and you wish you could erase it all from her mind, etc. This line belongs after a sex scene or something. Moss is given zero internal reaction to her waking up and screaming. It’s just, oh, she woke up from a nightmare, I’ve soothed her back to sleep, I really like cuddling her. It’s like this book might have at some point been meticulously arranged with all the pieces perfectly lined up but then someone tripped on the way to the book machine and the sentences went everywhere and they tried to stick them all back together in some kind of crude order in a desperate panic because they really couldn’t afford to lose their job.

We hop into Demelssia’s POV, where she wakes up early in the morning and takes a physical inventory of the body that got beat all to hell the day before:

Her side is a little sore, and her bruise is still tender, but she feels…good.

She was repeatedly and violently kicked and punched by a guy described as some kind of big, meaty juggernaut, but she feels great because:

No. More than good.

Hopeful. Calm. Powerful. Safe.

Because of this wonderful man asleep beside her.

Fuck Tylenol. Just rub some boyfriend on it.

She loves him. With all her heart.

And what’s more remarkable, he loves her, too. She can scarcely believe it.

He’s given her hope.

This is a heroine who ran from human traffickers and lived on the street until she could find help. This is a heroine who, knowing that she’d been caught up in a trafficking plot, encouraged other women to escape, as well, possibly saving their lives. When pursued by her kidnappers she went out a window and down a fire escape, then back up it with the thought she might somehow be able to protect her boss.

But only now is she “powerful.” Because she got the magic D.

Moss wakes and Demelssia is surprised to learn that she had a nightmare. They have a very brief conversation about it before some fade-to-black boning. This is a tender mercy because I really don’t think I can take much more of this “insert tab a into slot b” wannabe erotica anymore. After a section break, they’re all done.

And the award for most cringe-worthy sentence goes to…

She’s relishing the few moments of quiet after their passionate storm.

Jesus Christ. I had to read that with my own eyes.

Moss and Demelssia have to go back to London, so they go off to shower together and we hop back into Moss’s POV as he shaves.

The bruise on her side looks smaller, but it’s still a livid purple.

She was kicked near to pieces yesterday. Is this bitch Wolverine or something?

A wave of guilt washes through me–she certainly gave me no indication last night or this morning that she was in any pain. She gives me a dazzling smile over her shoulder, and like a sea mist in the breeze, my guilt fades into the ether.

She gave me a look that got me horny so I totally no longer care that I might have hurt her.

Moss wants to high-tail it out of Cornwall before Demelssia can be interviewed by the police. Now, I don’t know how shit works in England, I really don’t. But in America, if the police want to talk to you and you flee to intentionally evade them, that would probably hurt your case in court. Her testimony against the traffickers is like, the only evidence they have at this point that they are traffickers.

Hey, remember how this guy who’s not allowing her to speak to the police about the violent crime committed against her is the one making her feel “powerful?” Yeah, I don’t get it, either.

I do get that she’s in the country illegally and he’s afraid she’ll be deported, but this motive doesn’t fly with me. Moss is the Earl of this village or whatever. He’s known the police sergeant there his whole life and appears to be able to throw some authority around in dealing with him. Moss also has a ton of money that he can use to fast track Demelssia’s case for asylum. Not allowing her to talk to the police “for her own good” is probably hurting her chance to get justice for herself and the other women. And again, not knowing how shit works in England, it does seem like there would be some kind of law enforcement agency above and beyond the local village police who would be automatically called in, right? Here, the FBI would probably step in and investigate and hopefully seek the full cooperation of the Albanian government. One would hope.

It will be a shame to go. I’m enjoying our comfortable familiarity, and I marvel at the change in her. She seems far more confident, and it’s only been a few days.

Losing your virginity tends to make you a “real” woman in these types of stories.

Her newfound confidence is sexy as hell.

Yet again, focusing on the wrong thing here, Erika. The implication is that her sexual awakening is causing this change when really it should be that the knowledge her kidnappers are behind bars has freed her up to maybe be closer to the person she was before her ordeal. Her empty vagina was not the reason she was timid. It was the, you know. HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

In the car, they listen to Rachmaninoff, and this is the scene where the chapter should have begun. We already knew Demelssia has night terrors, so another scene of another night terror did nothing to advance the story. We already know they bang like timpani drums, so the fade-to-black fucking did nothing to advance the story. Moss watching Demelssia towel herself off after a shower and telling her where she could find a bag to pack her clothes was excruciatingly unnecessary because it revealed no information we didn’t already have, couldn’t have been introduced later or was completely unnecessary for the story to progress. The chapter should have begun with the first lines of this section:

Alessia is animated on our drive back to London. We talk and laugh and talk some more–she has the most infectious giggle.

This shows us that her mood is different, especially if it had been expanded on a little. It would have been far more effective than the long block paragraphs of text we got in the last section, in which Moss told us that she was more confident and different because she walked around naked now. Plus, it immediately would have dropped us into the part of the story where something was happening.

While they drive, Moss tells Demelssia about the movie Brief Encounter, mentioning that it’s one of his mother’s favorite films. Demelssia asks Moss about his mother. He explains that he doesn’t have a great relationship with her and that she had basically abandoned her family when he was young. And Demelssia reacts with shock at the idea of a woman leaving her family but again, wouldn’t it have been so much better if Demelssia had learned all of this through actually meeting his mother and observing how cold she is?

Ugh, this book had so much potential and it was just wasted for a copy/paste of Fifty Shades of Poldark.

When they stop for gas, Demelssia freaks out and clings to him until it’s time to go inside and pay. Real question here, not a condemnation or criticism of this trivial detail in the book, I just genuinely want to know: is pay-at-the-pump not a thing in England?

Anyway, while they’re standing in line to pay for the gas:

“It was my mother’s idea,” she blurts, quickly, quietly. “She thought she was helping me.” It takes me a couple of seconds to realize what she’s referring to.

Bloody hell. She’s telling me this story now? A frisson runs up my spine. Why now? I have to pay for my petrol. “Hold that thought.” I raise my index finger and hand the shop assistant my credit card. His eyes shift to Alessia, several times.

Man, she is so out of your league.

Hold that thought about how you ended up getting trafficked and brutally traumatized. I have to make it clear to the reader that you’re sexually desirable to other men while reiterating that I own you.

Like, that whole little moment there is so callous. He already knows that she doesn’t like gas stations because of her journey to England and her flight from her kidnappers. She’s having a response to her trauma because she’s been triggered by her surroundings. And rather than compassion, he expresses irritation at her bad timing.

Sorry her PTSD isn’t running on your schedule, bro.

As we climb back into the Jag, I wonder why she picks service stations and car parks for her revelations.

She…she told you in chapter ten exactly why. She straight up said, in dialogue addressed specifically to you, that they brought her and the other women to a service station to clean up.

Moss drives them to the edge of the parking lot so they can talk more.

Alessia stares out at the leafless trees in front of us and nods. “My betrothed. He is a violent man. One day…” Her voice falters.

My heart sinks. It is as I feared.

What the fuck did he do to her?

Demelssia tells Moss that her “betrothed” is upset by the attention she gets from playing the piano.

“He hits me. And he wants to break my fingers.”

“What?”

She looks down at her hands. Her precious hands. She cups one with the other, holding it tenderly.

This is actually really good on a few levels. She’s not only faced with the loss of her freedom and safety from physical abuse, she’s faced with losing the only escape route she would have in her marriage. It’s not a copy of or lifted from The Piano, but I can’t help but compare the themes. When Ada’s husband flies into a rage over her infidelity, he takes out his frustration on her hands to sever not her ties to the man she’s sleeping with but her relationship with music, the relationship that’s truly threatening him. I mean, spoilers for a movie that came out in 1993 or something but I am a sucker for slow, character-driven drama and that shit is up there with The VVitch in terms of satisfying tone and pacing.

What was I talking about?

Oh, right. So, it’s the same kind of thing here. Demelssia’s “betrothed” (what a pretentious and archaic word choice) is threatened by her true love, music. And wouldn’t it be great if that got explored in here? I hate to get my hopes up but that would be a really interesting dynamic if she was allowed to love music more than or as much as she loves Maxim. That could be part of the glue that holds them together. They’re both in love with the same thing?

Full disclosure, I am incredibly high on my medical right now.

Demelssia tells him about the other girls who were in the truck with her.

“[…] One of them has…I mean–is only seventeen years.”

I gasp. Shocked. So young.

Well, I got some terrible news for you, Shatner.

She tells him about how they were robbed and put into a truck with a bucket for a toilet and a bottle of water apiece.

“It’s okay. I’m here. I’ve got you. I want to know.”

She turns dark, devastated eyes to me. “Do you?”

“Yes. But only if you want to tell me.”

Her eyes move over my face, scrutinizing me. Exposing me, like the first time in my hallway.

Why do I want to know?

Because I love her.

Because she’s the sum of all of her experiences, and this, sadly, is one of them.

Here’s another part that’s really working for me. We have already seen, through a combination of his actions and the author outright telling us, that Demelssia is different from any woman he’s ever met. This is a place where it’s important for us to be told instead of shown and for once, James chose correctly. In Moss’s POV, we’re seeing him have a revelation that he needs to be consciously aware of in order to grow emotionally.

And maybe that’s one of the biggest issues with E.L. James’s style. By doing more telling than showing in first-person POV, her characters become hyper-self-aware filters for her ideas and hooks, instead of fleshed out human beings. When a first-person narrator is able to analyze their own changing character and state these changes certainly at every turn without some kind of revelation, it unintentionally makes everything a revelation, and the actual big, revelatory moments become indistinguishable from everything else.

Demelssia explains that she’s afraid of the dark because the truck was on a ferry on rough seas and the women all had bags over their heads to prevent immigration officers from measuring too much carbon dioxide in the vehicle. This sounds far-fetched, but it’s a real thing. Moss thinks that he regrets not killing the traffickers–okay, weirdly, he fixates on regretting he didn’t kill just Dante–and tells Demelssia that it’s not her fault, or her mother’s fault, that she was kidnapped. He asks her what her “betrothed’s” name is.

I spit the word out. I loathe him.

I mean, you should probably loathe just having to use the word “betrothed” in conversation.

She shakes her head. “I never say his name.”

“Like Voldemort,” I mutter under my breath.

“Harry Potter?”

“You know Harry Potter?”

“Oh, yes. My grandmother–”

“Don’t tell me, she smuggled the books into Albania?”

…She wouldn’t have had to smuggle them. Have you not been listening to the days-long history lesson your girlfriend has been teaching you? Communism ended in the ’90s.

Alessia laughs. “No. She had them sent to her. By Magda. My mother read them to me as a child. In English.”

Why? Harry Potter was translated into so many different languages you can’t really even find an entire list of them. Believe me, I scoured the internet to be petty. But Albanian was one of them. Why did her grandma have to get them in English? Unless it’s like, she got them in English because they came out ahead of the translations. But even so, like…ugh, it’s the little shit like this that gets me. Harry Potter was a worldwide phenomenon. It would be weird if she didn’t know about it.

More perplexing is that Demelssia goes on to explain that her abusive father doesn’t like them to speak English in the home. So…why are we having to do the mental gymnastics to make that work? Nobody really needs to explain how they know what Harry Potter is. At this point, we all just do.

They listen to music and ride along without talking while Moss thinks about how he needs to protect her from her “betrothed” and get her immigration worked out and then:

I smirk as we pass the junction for Maidenhead, and shake my head, amused by my own idiocy. I’m embracing my inner twelve-year-old boy. I glance at Alessia, but she hasn’t noticed. She’s deep in through, tapping her finger against her lips.

“His name is Anatoli. Anatoli Thaçi,” she says.

So, he’s driving along like, ha ha, I devirginized a girl, while she’s been like, maybe I should tell him this painful thing.

“You decided to tell me?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because he has more power without a name.”

“Like Voldemort?”

She nods.

That’s…the exact opposite of how Voldemort’s name worked but I get it, Snowqueen. You can’t be totally devoted to both Harry Potter and Twilight at the same level, you know?

Demelssia tells Moss that Anatoli is some kind of gangster and that her father owes him a lot of money, so basically, she’s been sold to him in marriage to settle that debt. Because of course, he’s a gangster. In E.L. James’s world, all Albanians are either gangsters or rustic peasants from the nineteenth century.

I’m going to transcribe this entire next section:

I pull the F-Type up outside the office, and Oliver comes out to greet me and hand over new keys for my flat.

“This is my girlfriend, Alessia Demachi.” I lean back, and Oliver reaches through the car window to shake Alessia’s hand.

“How do you do,” he says. “I’m sorry we’re not meeting under better circumstances.” He gives her a warm smile.

Her answering smile is dazzling.

“I hope you’ve recovered from your ordeal.”

Alessia nods.

“Thanks for sorting all this out,” I say. “I’ll see you in the office tomorrow.” He gives me a wave and I ease the Jag into the traffic.

That’s it. That’s an entire scene. There is no point to this scene. There is no reason we needed to see any of this, as the average reader isn’t going to wonder if he got new keys or where they came from. The only reason this scene is forced in is so that Demelssia can meet Oliver, which could have happened at some other point if it ends up being absolutely vital the plot, and so that she can issue dazzling smile number two of this chapter.

And frankly, if I were someone whose biggest career achievement to date is ripping of Twilight and shamelessly claiming it for their own, I probably wouldn’t toss around the word “dazzle” too much.

They get to the apartment and jump into Demelssia’s POV, where she and Moss start making out in the elevator because why not retread all that old ground. The doors open and Mrs. B is standing there, so Moss introduces them and they chat about the burglary and then, I get the shock of my life:

“I don’t know how old you are.”

He laughs. “Old enough to know better.”

She frowns while Maxim unlocks the front door.

“I’m twenty-eight.”

THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN SOME FUCKING AMAZING INFORMATION TO HAVE WHEN THE BOOK STARTED BECAUSE SO FAR I’VE BEEN PICTURING HIM LATE-THIRTIES AND WONDERING WHY HE’S ACTING LIKE A DUDE IN HIS TWENTIES.

It’s fully normal for someone who is in their late twenties to freak out over being handed responsibility. I was in my late twenties once and it sucked because it was still impossible to figure out how to be an adult. Now he’s got this whole deal going on? I thought he was my age or a little younger and an incurable man-brat. It’s not weird for a twenty-eight-year-old to be dabbling in a bunch of rootless pursuits. He’s practically a baby!

They go into the apartment and Moss gives Demelssia a set of keys

“Welcome home.” He bends to kiss her, his lips coaxing hers. She groans as she responds, and they lose themselves in each other.

and then we hop back into Moss’s POV:

Alessia screams as she climaxes. It’s a cock-hardening sound. Her fingers are clenched around the sheets. Her head tossed back. Her mouth open. I kiss her clitoris as she writhes beneath me, then her belly, her navel, her stomach, and her sternum as she mewls, and taking her cries into my mouth, I ease into her.

That’s the entire sex scene. Fade to black, jump into the middle, fade to black. Why did we need that? What was the point of this micro-scene? It’s super jarring when it pops up and it’s really short. I do not understand like seventy-percent of the choices made in this novel.

So, after a section break, they’re post-coital in bed when Caroline calls. Moss tells Demelssia he has to go to Trenwith to see Elizabeth–sorry, I mean, he has to go see Caroline. Demelssia offers to cook them dinner. The hook of the chapter is…

I don’t tell her that I’m dreading this meeting.

My impression so far: There were two whole moments in this chapter that weren’t high-grade failure fuel. That’s better than the last few chapters have been. But you can probably guess that his meeting with Caroline is going to be the impetus for Alessia to make some rash thought leaps down the line.

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70 Comments

  1. Jess C
    Jess C

    Pay at the pump only started to be phased in a couple of years ago in the UK. 99% of the time you’ll need to go into the petrol station to pay (and buy chocolate, or crisps, or the weird deals they have for screwdriver sets or UV lights).

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Lucy West
      Lucy West

      Unless you go to a supermarket petrol station! Most of them I’ve been to have pay at the pump now, I can’t even remember the last time I actually went into petrol station to pay. I think they’ve been around a bit longer than 2 years as well, though that could be a city thing, I’m from Manchester and I’ve been avoiding human contact this way for aaaaages

      June 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        Wow! We’ve had it for decades at pretty much every gas station. I think you might still run across a tiny one in the middle of nowhere once a decade that doesn’t have it. It’s super convenient.

        But you also can’t even start pumping until you pay, so in the US, he would have had to go in first.

        June 27, 2019
        |Reply
    • Victoria
      Victoria

      I live in rural England and I can’t think of anywhere near me that has pay at the pump. Admittedly, I only use like 3 different petrol stations, but one of them is in the “big” market town and run by a supermarket chain and you still have to go inside.

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
    • AMS
      AMS

      I live in the North of England and pay at the pump isn’t common where I live – there’s the odd petrol station that has it, but normally you have to go into the place to pay.

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
    • SEA
      SEA

      We’ve had pay at pump for a good ten years at my local petrol station, but it is a supermarket run one in a city, which makes a difference. I can think of plenty that don’t have it though, so it really varies.

      Although if he’s going from Cornwall to London past a turning for Maidenhead, there’s a good chance that a bunch of it is down the M4, and I would have expected them to. (Not sure though – I try not to buy petrol on the motorway as it’s so bloody expensive!)

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Siobhanabon
        Siobhanabon

        I’m in Essex, we’ve had pay at pump for ages. Generally the pumps on the right are pay at pump only and the rest are PAP after the kiosk closes. I tend to go into the kiosk for a drink or snacks though.

        And like SEA, I avoid motorway petrol, apparently they all charge for anti-knock and that’s why it costs more, but I don’t see what that even does for petrol. If it gave me an extra 50 miles a tank out of it I’d justify it but I cannot see the point.

        June 29, 2019
        |Reply
    • In my small town we have three gas stations, and all three are different. One you can pay at the pump or go inside, pay first, then pump. The second you pump first, go inside to pay. There’s no pay at the pump option. The third is full service, where they come out and pump for you as you sit in the car, and you pay the attendant.

      June 29, 2019
      |Reply
  2. Ren Benton
    Ren Benton

    “Fuck Tylenol. Just rub some boyfriend on it.”

    I would take Tylenol vaginally way before I would rub Moss on any part of me, just sayin’.

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
  3. Bunny
    Bunny

    Can I just say how disgusting that sex scene sounded? Mewling and writhing and clenching, to me, just seems … ick, like the sex-scene equivalent of “moist.” “Cock-hardening sound” has also got to be up there with “music to my dick,” although it’s not quiiiiite on the same level of HURRRGHHHHHH NOOOOO.

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ethyl
      Ethyl

      I was coming here to say the same thing. I think the noise I made upon reading that was something like “mwaaaAAAAHHHugh.”

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
    • Alex
      Alex

      I like writhing and clenching in sex scenes, but I’m witz you on mewling or really anything reminiscent of baby animals.

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Alex
        Alex

        *with

        June 27, 2019
        |Reply
    • Mel
      Mel

      I was also coming here to comment this. As soon as I read “mewling” my nose scrunched up and I made a disgusted face. That is not the imagery I want in my head when reading a sex scene. It doesn’t help that every time I hear that word, I think of a smarmy super villain using the word to try to taunt or humiliate a woman. Oh, wait, I think it’s because Loki used it on Black Widow, “mewling quim” that’s why I hate it. It’s not sexy, it’s an insult.

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Eel definitely has her favorite thesaurus-words, and “mewl” is one of them. However, what works for, say, a 4-week old blind kitten needing its momma isn’t exactly the sexiest thing for an adult woman during sex.

        June 28, 2019
        |Reply
      • Person
        Person

        Also, “mewling quim” there literally translates to “dribbling c*nt” (unsure if the word would put this comment in moderation) because fucking Joss Whedon just HAD to work in the GROSSEST POSSIBLE archaic misogynistic insult. Both meanings of mewling = do not want. Also fuck Joss Whedon forever for being so proud he was able to sneak that phrase into his script because most people don’t know what quim means anymore.

        [Also I do not believe that is what Loki would go with. He’s a tricksy little shit who is going to mess with you regardless of your gender and would have entirely different insults up his sleeve. He’d likely have latched onto the idea of Black Widow having “red in her ledger” because that clearly bothers her and specifically taunted her about all the harm she’s done or something. See also that ridiculous “maybe I’ll go see her myself” moment in the first Thor movie, like…have you forgotten who you’re writing, ENJOY THE CONNIVING JERKFACE YOU HAVE]

        June 29, 2019
        |Reply
  4. Anansie
    Anansie

    I read the final scene as “he couldn’t get hard unless she screams” and he has such a laundry list of abusive characteristics I just didn’t question it. What the fuck.

    (Also, cant speak for Cornwall, but the north of England generally lets you pay at the pump. No one does though?)

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      When I read about her bruises I’d forgotten about the attack and assumed they were from sex with Moss, so yeah, the abusive undertones are there.

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
  5. Maria
    Maria

    zzzzzzzzzsnrk! i’m sorry did something happen? excepting the two kind of good parts, this chapter’s only purpose was moving the characters and learning Evil Betrothed’s name. how is it that this book swings so wildly between infuriating and dull?

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
  6. Amanda
    Amanda

    So she’s “betrothed” to him to pay off a debt to gangsters? And yet, every time she feels guilty about leaving home, it’s not guilt for leaving her family to pay off the debt or worry about what this gang might do to her family because they reneged on a deal, but about the fact that women are supposed to stay home and cook and clean and be good, little, obedient wives to their husbands and she’s not doing that.

    I’m not saying that she should, in any way, shape or form, have stayed to go through with it… but wouldn’t she think about it? Worry about it? Have second thoughts because of the danger her family is in now?

    I swear, in the hands of a better writer, this could have been heaps better than it is.

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Angie
      Angie

      Are you from Adelaide?

      June 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Amanda
        Amanda

        I assume you mean Australia? Nope, ‘merica

        June 26, 2019
        |Reply
      • Jordan Bell
        Jordan Bell

        I am from Adelaide.

        June 28, 2019
        |Reply
    • Alice
      Alice

      You have a good point! She should be having complex thoughts about her mother -someone who tried to make her a “good wife” and yet who risked herself to get her to escape-, someone who is risking death in the gangster dark albania described here. And even about her father, showing her felling guilty even when he has always been abusive, being torn between “well he looked for it” and “but what about my duty to my family”. Maybe she could have planned to bring her mother to england too?
      She should also think more about the other women, can they be helped, is there something to be done now.
      Basically, there’s ton of things she should be thinking about more important than “moss makes me fell so good!”

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ani
        Ani

        The only defense i can give to that is Alessia went through something extremely traumatic and she should take a step back and just think about herself and what she wants and needs without worrying about others. it’s great that she gets to enjoy sex and not have it tainted by the threat of rape.

        BUT the way the narrative is written, it looks like the only thing she cares about is sex. There is so little self-reflection, and when there is, it’s treated like an incovenience, a burden, or soemthing that can be fixed by dick.

        June 27, 2019
        |Reply
  7. KT Bird
    KT Bird

    Can I just say, I think if they would have played up Demelezzia’s injuries more there could have been an adorable scene of Moss trying (and failing) to care for her. Like, he tries to rub Icy Hot on her achy bits and ends up pressing too hard or going to fast or something. It would give them some time to actually connect in something other than sex. And would give a little palate cleanser from the high stakes/action-adventures scenes before it.

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ani
      Ani

      there’s a reason why hurt/comfort is such a big thing in the fanfic world. a post pointed out that in published fiction, there’s a lot of hurt, but no comfort, so it comes off as unnecessary pain. just like how Grey refused to do any aftercare, i doubt James wrote any scene of comfort that isn’t sexual in nature. Alessia woke up scared? Moss hugs her and thinks about how great she feels against him, but not about her mental state. a simple scene was turned sexual.

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        it also makes it come across as the more hurt/traumatized she is, the more turned on he gets. The impression EEL is giving of her great hero is that he gets off on being needed and the only way he can feel needed is if his woman is a victim of something, then he can “save” her and have sex with her and she’ll be so grateful she won’t notice what a shitty lover he is.

        July 3, 2019
        |Reply
  8. Spockchick
    Spockchick

    Scottish person here, we have had pay at pump for probably 10 years but I live in a city (like London with the Thames and all – lol!).

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
  9. myeck waters
    myeck waters

    Book Club 2: Electric Bookaloo
    2 Book 2 Club
    Book Club and Robin

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
  10. wait, she’s having a night terror and wakes up to a man pinning her down and that CALMS HER DOWN?

    *doubt*

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jo
      Jo

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who found that weird! I was like “Dude, you’re going to freak her out even more!” But obviously we can’t have her PTSD be too inconvenient, I guess

      June 26, 2019
      |Reply
    • MyDog'sPA
      MyDog'sPA

      wait, she’s having a night terror and wakes up to a man pinning her down and that CALMS HER DOWN?

      Yeah, that’s like “American Sniper” Chris Kyle who took PTSD-ridden Eddie Routh to the gun range to help him overcome his PTSD. I doesn’t sound like they even made it to the range as Routh shot Kyle merely because Kyle wouldn’t talk to him. I mean, what idiot thinks giving a gun to a soldier suffering from PTSD is a good idea?!?

      Oh. My bad. EEL, of course.

      Anyway, so now that we have this useless chapter there are 8 more to go. Equally useless?

      Nah, time to riff on Business Centaur genitalia . . . .

      🙂

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ani
        Ani

        this could (have) be a good character moment for moss. him realizing he does not having the training or experience to handle someone who has extreme trauma. instead he could try to get her actual professional help rather than think him and his dick is enough

        June 27, 2019
        |Reply
  11. Jo
    Jo

    I’m also betting the rest of the drama in the chapters we have left to be some bullshit “Misunderstanding that could have been easily cleared up if people TALKED to each other” because that is very much what an amateur fanfic writer would do to keep this story going far past the point where it was natural to end it.

    June 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • I’m sure he’ll worry that she actually really has feeling for “her betrothed,” too, even though she’s explicitly said otherwise. But, you know, Jamesian man-wangst.

      June 26, 2019
      |Reply
  12. Gretel
    Gretel

    He’s 28?!
    I thought he was around my age, maybe a bit older! He’s younger than me. He still reads like a 38-year-old man-baby, so…for me, nothing changes.

    Alessia has two PTSD attacks. In the first one, Maxim pins her down, forcing his body on hers, to calm her down. In the second one he finds her PTSD inconvenient, yet still drags her with him and then tells her to shut up.
    And then there’s the fact that he forgot she was hurt badly (probably fractured or broke some bones from all the kicks) and he immediately ignores his “guilt” because he’s horny.
    Real charmer.

    June 27, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      Ugh. I just can’t even with the moment Dimzy finally decides to open up about the horror she went through (but not too horribly because we don’t want her to not want to fuck the lead) Moss’s reaction is “yeah, hold that thought, I am really busy paying for gas right now.” The only thing missing was him buying her a bag of chips and shoving them down her throat so she can’t talk.

      At every single moment of this book Moss shows a total lack of interest in Dimzy as an actual person with her own thoughts and feelings until those thought or feelings might get in the way of him fucking her. Then he cares, and only then.

      Once again EEL has written a wonderful book about the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Unfortunately, she has one again marketed it as a romance. I hate this woman so much. She is so damaging.

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Alice
        Alice

        I wonder if what the author was aiming at was not “uhhhh not now, I have things to do” and more “shit, she just started to confide in me, but this a crowded place, and I have to pay, must do it quick to be able to focus on her”, you know more “panic cause I don’t know how to help her and I can’t not pay or wait for it or we may be interrupted anyway, and…”. Just Moss not knowing how to act well with her ptsd.
        But the whole “she’s so out of your league” destroys all of it. He shouldn’t even really pay attention to the guy as he focuses on Alesia.

        June 27, 2019
        |Reply
        • Gretel
          Gretel

          @Jules

          I hate her, too. She’s a terrible writer with terrible messages and an awful person. Just plain abusive. No surprise that her characters are equally abusive since she sees it as perfectly normal behaviour.

          @Alice

          Yes, that’s what she intended to write. What she actually wrote was a dude who was too busy buying gas and not wanting to be bothered. And as you said, him adding the “she’s too good for you” while his GF is literally having a PTSD induced panic attack due to men abusing her, just makes it worse. She should’ve written how he stupidly dragged her into the store and how his ignorance and sheltered life makes it hard for him to remember her needs but quickly start fixing them, like excusing them and bringing her to the car, asking her what she needs.
          He shouldn’t be interrupting HER, he should be interruping himself/the purchase! That puts the emphasis on Alessia and her immediate needs, showing his care and priority, instead of shushing her to then get all weird about another dude surely thinking she’s out of his league as if it was a fucking competition.
          It’s not that he made the mistake of taking her with him into the store, it’s that his focus and priorities lie with the payment and not reacting to her need and helping her navigate the situation safely. He just had to say “I’m sorry, she’s having a panic attack, I’ll be right back to pay.” and then go help her.

          June 28, 2019
          |Reply
          • Gretel
            Gretel

            I forgot to say: why did Alessia go with him? Shouldn’t she be like “I can’t go inside because of the thing that happened to me, it makes me feel anxious, I’d rather stay here.” and he can go “Oh, sure, idiot me! Stay here. You need something?”

            Boom, solved. Why on Earth would she go inside because her PTSD wouldn’t start when entering the building, she would be thinking about it the moment they stop at the station and she’d be probably thinking how she 100% does NOT want to go inside because of X.

            June 28, 2019
          • Jules
            Jules

            Yeah, Dimzy saying that would have solved everything, but Dimzy saying that would also mean she is not basically Moss’ pet and has thoughts and desires beyond pleasing him and doing every single thing he wants, so it would never happen in an EEL book. Women don’t have agency or rights in EELs world.

            Though I love your idea that he drags her into the shop, sees that she is uncomfortable and realizes not that she is “out of his league” but that he is out of his depth in dealing with someone with PTSD and maybe he should talk to someone about how to deal with a partner with PTSD or even ask if she would like to talk to someone. That would have been a swoon moment, OMG HE CARES!!!!! Rather than EELs version of swoon which is basically OMG HE HAS A DICK!!!!

            June 28, 2019
        • Person
          Person

          I had assumed the gas station attendant was looking at her because she appeared distressed, and he has, like, actual functioning empathy, and that the next line would have Moss being like, um, should I try to explain…? But no, nobody here has actual functioning empathy. This is an EL James “novel.” He just wants to fuck her, obviously.

          June 29, 2019
          |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      He reads likes 38-year-old man baby because Eel can’t write characters (or at least, male leads) that aren’t her.

      June 27, 2019
      |Reply
  13. MayaB
    MayaB

    James actually got the whole name thing about Voldemort and Alessia’s fiancé kind of right. In HP, the main idea is that calling Voldemort You-know-who instead by his real name increases the fear from him. This is the literal quote from the first book: “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself”.
    So if Alessia doesn’t call her “betrothed” by his name, she’d be even more afraid of him… or something like that. I still don’t like it that EL uses some other people ideas (for the umptienth time) and in a such bad way at that.

    June 27, 2019
    |Reply
    • Person
      Person

      That gets turned on its head in the last book with the taboo, though.

      June 29, 2019
      |Reply
  14. Anon
    Anon

    I flat-out refused to see Book Club specifically because of that premise.

    The mention AGAIN of the fancy-schmancy music they were listening to made me wonder if Eel does that because her background is in television. Music on TV or in movies sets a scene in a subtle way, but it doesn’t have the same effect in a book. She seems not to get that.

    If she writes bad erotic fanfic about Harry Potter, I will burn the world down.

    June 27, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Well, she did say that she was interested in writing M/M so it wouldn’t surprise me if she wants to attempt some Draco/Harry. (lol although Jenny suggested Supernatural which wouldn’t surprise me either.)

      July 1, 2019
      |Reply
      • Maria
        Maria

        oh god please no… i feel like el james would right H/Hr fic before she writes Drarry. i can’t explain why. i would love to see her attempt to rip off supernatural if only because i am morbidly curious as to how she will deal with a paranormal romance. (unless she does a complete au.) mayhaps the vampires will coincidentally sparkle and live in the pacific northwest.

        July 2, 2019
        |Reply
        • Maria
          Maria

          *write, not right d’oh!

          July 2, 2019
          |Reply
        • Raven
          Raven

          “i feel like el james would right H/Hr fic before she writes Drarry. i can’t explain why. ”

          I can believe it. A lot of bad H/Hr fic has this whole slut-shaming virgin/whore dichotomy thing going between Hermione and Ginny that would totally appeal to ELJ.

          July 10, 2019
          |Reply
  15. Alice
    Alice

    There could be some great delay between the English publication and the translations, so many fans read Harry Potter in English if they could, to avoid spoilers+be able to participate in the fandom new release joy online.
    Plus Alessia could have been taught that it’s always better to read/see something in the original langage when you can.
    So her reading Harry potter in English instead of Albanian doesn’t really bother me. Her mother reading them to her though? Sounds very weird with other parts of her mother’s characterization…
    And of course Moss being surprised she knows about harry potter is soooo annoying.

    Also annoying: her feeling perfectly safe and happy when her situation is still so difficult and she has still her trauma to deal with. She is still illegally in the country. The traffickers were arrested just the day before which first is very soon for her to feel ok and second means she still has the stress of “will they be condemned? were there more people working with them?”. She escaped the sex trafficking, but not the other women, she may feel survivor guilt. She still has to deal with the fact she feels ashamed being a kept woman (not sure the expression is the right one sorry). So many things! And yet, nothing matters cause of Moss. Uhhhh

    June 27, 2019
    |Reply
  16. Coco
    Coco

    The timeline of Alessia’s backstory makes less and less sense the more that James puts into it.

    Communism fell in Albania, as well as several other countries, at the end of 1991.
    Assuming the story takes place in 2018, Alessia would have been born in 1995 (she said in an earlier chapter that she was 23). Now any political transition or regime change is not going to be immediate, but by the time she would be old enough to have any memories of the wider world around her, there doesn’t seem to be much reason for her to be talking about Communists all the time like her family were they only capitalists in Albania and constantly under siege.
    I don’t know where I’m going with this exactly, except it makes me want to read a good book about someone born at the tail end of the Communist era and how that shaped their life.
    But also, the first Harry Potter book was published in 1997. Magda, a Polish woman, sent the books to the grandmother, even though Magda was the pen pal of Alessia’s mother (unless I’m remembering wrong).
    Is the fact that she only grew up reading Georgette Heyer and JK Rowling the reason she doesn’t know that people in the U.K. Have credit cards? Like she thought they would all be Regency Wizards? “Oh, your mother will never accept me! I am a lowly scullery wench, a mere Hufflepuff, with no gold in Gringott’s and not fit to be seen in the Assembly rooms of Bath!”

    June 27, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anastasia
      Anastasia

      I’m from Russia and was born in 1994 – everyone talks about the communist era. Not like, every day, but you will hear horror stories about it on a regular basis from the older generation.

      June 30, 2019
      |Reply
  17. Something just occurred to me. MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE US.
    ***********************************************************************************
    Maxim and Alessia seem to me to be like the Tethered in the movie Us. Their actions make no sense because they are only the shadow selves, going through the motions of what the real people, Ross and Demelza, are doing. Their reactions are all off because they are responding to emotions they don’t feel, and perhaps can’t even comprehend. They are doomed horror movie characters, forced to act out someone else’s plot, while lacking the originals’ motivations.
    ***********************************************************************************

    June 27, 2019
    |Reply
  18. Emily, a newbie
    Emily, a newbie

    Maxim is 110% /that guy/, holy shit.
    You could text him in a complete, emotional breakdown, super upset after some harrowing diagnosis, and he would reply with “Lol that sucks. But anyway, how ’bout you send me some pics, beautiful? [;”

    And you know, you just KNOW that Eel wrote, “She’s relishing the few moments of quiet after their passionate storm,” sat back, sipped at her expensive wine while nodding to herself.
    ‘This is good,’ she thought, ‘This is such an emotional moment. This is perfect.’
    When asked about editing, she likely shook her head and gave a very insistant, “No, this is good. This is /fine/. It’s PERFECT the way it IS. Just send it to print.”
    The one poor editor who tried to intervene promptly went missing, never to be heard from again. Just another, “Tim who?” in a long line of others. Moment of silence for the brave soul.
    On a serious note though, I /love/ when you can pick out specific lines in badly written books where you just /know/ the author sat back for a while and just. Stared at it with so much pride.
    From “50 shades of fucked up”, to the whole “kinky fuckery” bit, you can just /tell/.

    I just…so deeply want to understand what Eel’s obsession with virgins is, and why Alessia losing her virginity is comparable to her awakening a Persona or something. It’s like she’s saying that being a virgin is ideal, and the only ‘right’ way to lose it is to give it to the big sexy strongk man hero, because only /he/ can awaken your true potential.
    It’s just…such a creepy, outdated thing to obsess over, and Eel uses virginity almost like it’s actually a character trait or something. I know a lot of factors usually come into play for a focus on something like that, like here where I live, people hold virginity/celebacy in such a high regard because of the suffocating religious bubble this area of Idaho has over it (C.T.R., or Choose The Right, is so huge here it’s basically a fashion brand), but even then. Eel’s views on relationships, their power dynamics, and sex as a whole seems very, very dated. Absurdly so, for someone who is in the public eye like she is, and thus intimately exposed to all the current shit going down in terms of the big push for diversity and change to gender roles in ways that only the “famous” ones get to see. Usually people in the limelight at least try to adjust with the times, sometimes out of an actual desire to be better, and sometimes just to cash in on tweeting out all the big buzzwords that gets people talking. The more active you appear in terms of these issues, the more likely you are to expand your audience and get more fame to your name, and the more money you end up making.
    And we all know how much E. L. James loves her money.
    I just don’t know how her archaic beliefs and views can still exist today, with such a deep, unwillingness to change, at that.
    Just more to back up my lizard overlord theory, I suppose >.>.

    June 28, 2019
    |Reply
    • Bookjunk
      Bookjunk

      There’s some internalised misogyny going on with the virgin fetish (of course) but making the heroine a virgin and the hero the one who ‘pops her cherry’ (ugh) is a trap many (fanfiction) authors fall into – even those who don’t have this ridiculous ‘women are either sluts or virgins’ mindset. It’s because the relationship between the heroine and the hero needs to be special – which makes a kind of sense: readers like epic ‘I have never loved someone as much as I love you!’ romances and by extension ‘The sex with you is awesome!’

      The trouble is that these authors aren’t the best at writing two people falling in love or madly in love (as you can see clearly here, by the fact that Moss and Demelssia barely know each other, have barely talked to each other and have had exactly zero cute or funny or sweet moments together).

      So the author covers their lack of writing ability by writing the heroine as never having been in a relationship, having dated or even having been in love. This means she can’t have had sex either because:
      1) that makes the sex with the hero automatically the most fantastic ever (it doesn’t work that way, but these authors don’t seem to realise that) because she has nothing to compare it to.
      2) the hero is responsible for her sexual awakening (which doesn’t have to be awful, but it’s often written as if the sexual awakening has very little to do with the woman, but is ENTIRELY due to the hero’s good looks and magic dick)
      3) the author gets to be erotic all over the heroine’s first time and her sexual awakening.
      (And (of course) 4) women who have sex outside of relationships are sluts, so the heroine has to be a virgin).

      That way the author doesn’t have to bother writing the heroine and hero falling for each other and being in love (all the good stuff, basically) in order to still achieve ‘I have never loved anyone as much as I love you!’ or ‘The sex with you is awesome!’ Because the heroine hasn’t loved anyone or had sex before! It’s brilliant! Except, it sucks.

      If the only way an author can make a relationship seem real/special/epic etc. is by having the heroine (or hero) experience every bloody thing for the first time with her (or his) love interest… Just, aargh, no. I mean, this *can* work, but you still have to write actual fucking romantic stuff around it, ffs.

      June 29, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)
        Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)

        This makes me bananas – when one person knows nothing and the other knows EVERYTHING. Why can’t they both have had sex and enjoyed it, but like sex with each other best?

        In my favorite fanfic ever, MC1 is a virgin, but he knows what sex is, masturbates (implied), and has realistically portrayed PTSD which is the cause of him being a virgin. MC2 is not a virgin, but he’s not a sex god either, he’s beyond patient with the slow pace, and he does everything he can to help MC1 come to terms with the situation while not forcing it on him or deciding what’s best. He’d rather die than scare or hurt him and how much they love each other is so angsty and beautiful.

        Not like this dumpster fire of a book. :/

        June 30, 2019
        |Reply
        • Bookjunk
          Bookjunk

          Yeah, that is fucking annoying, huh. These kind of authors always overdo it with the level of ignorance and inexperience too. Like how Ana had never masturbated and didn’t even have an email address, despite having graduated from uni (years later, and I’m still laughing about that one.)

          That fanfic you’re describing sounds so romantic! (And sweet and properly hurt/comfort and hot!)

          July 1, 2019
          |Reply
  19. Buffy
    Buffy

    Okay, I just spent every free moment today catching up on the blog postings, just so I can comment in a timely manner. I have thoughts. First, as Maxim’s last name is Trevlyn, or whatever, I fully expected him to be related to Grace, Christian’s mom. Second, as this book doesnt orient us to time for like the first 4 or 5 chapters, I assumed it took place during the 80s. I mean, he was doing blow in the middle of the afternoon. Third, after Caroline is like, weee, I have an heir!, I fully expected him to decide to travel and I immediately thought, Holy shit, this guy is Christian’s bio-dad! Like, in my head I had concocted this (far too) elaborate scenario wherein he travels to the states, and on a cross country journey encounters a young woman with whom he does the dance with no pants. They fall in love, but for some reason, he can’t stay or she had to leave. He leaves the pain behind, and ends up in Seattle (sure, why not) were he starts his life anew. In an epilogue, we find out that the young woman has just given birth and her pimp is ready for her to get back to work. We know its Christian because we’re given one of the scenes he relayed in one of the 50 Shades books. It seems that it isnt the case at this point, but I said God damn, I just wrote a fanfic! Think I can publish it for millions, too?

    June 30, 2019
    |Reply
  20. Vivacia K. Ahwen
    Vivacia K. Ahwen

    The word “mewling” always bothered me. I mean, “mewling and puking” is an actual…not cliche, but they’re two verbs that go together. Not sexy. Kind of like a cat coughing up a hairball.

    June 30, 2019
    |Reply
  21. Kiara (Wilderness)
    Kiara (Wilderness)

    Wait. She’s confiding in him about what happened to her, and what, he’s afraid to hear it? Afraid? What the fuck? Like if he wasn’t In Love, he’d exercise his privilege to be ignorant?

    Bullshit! She doesn’t get to be ignorant ever again! She lived it! And now she’s reliving it in her mind, just so he can understand it! And he’s thinking he’d rather not know? He’d rather have the version of her with the awful past edited out, like she’s a book he’s reading instead of a whole person that he claims to love and value regardless of what she’s been through?

    Would he not even fucking care that she was trafficked if she wasn’t his girlfriend?

    That is a stone-cold heart he’s got there, the Earl of Whatever. Sorry, why exactly should I root for her to trust him? No. Garbage. Get out of here with this shit, E.L.

    July 1, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ani
      Ani

      That’s an immensely good point. Had alessia been ugly or a guy, had moss even bothered with them? Alessia is LUCKY she had been born decently attractive otherwise she would’ve been ignored.

      July 1, 2019
      |Reply
      • Kiara (Wilderness)
        Kiara (Wilderness)

        And see… that’s the other thing that skeeves me the fuck out.

        She can’t afford to piss him off if she wants his help. A real person in this situation would probably be trying her best to do exactly what he wants. If the thought hasn’t crossed her mind that he might misuse his power over her, that’s how we know this is fiction.

        Just. The power imbalance gives me a stomach ache.

        July 2, 2019
        |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      That’s a good point. I mean, I get that it’s also rough to learn about this stuff. Nowhere near what the person actually went through but if you have any empathy then it’s uncomfortable. It’d also be so easy to fix how she phrased it though… to make it clear that his interest is unconditional.

      “It’s okay; I want to know.”

      She turns dark and devastated eyes on me, startling me for a moment. I wasn’t expecting that and I can only guess what’s behind that haunted look, based on what I already know. I wince with sympathy.

      “Do you?” she whispers. “Really?”

      “… Only if you want to tell me.” I give her a faint smile.

      She scrutinizes my face, looking for some tell-tale clues, and my smile falters for a moment. I wasn’t just being polite!

      Alessia is the sum of her experiences, including this one. It doesn’t make me love her any less and right now I’m worried about her. I just want to help. This conversation, as hard as it is for her to go through, is getting everything off her chest, out in the open, and hopefully off of her mind for a while. It’s a release. An outlet! Why wouldn’t I listen?

      I go in for a hug, just for good measure, and she readily cuddles up, relaxing her shoulders into my comforting arms.

      “If you’d like, it can wait,” I say, “But please tell me as soon as you’re up for it, okay? I want to be here for you.”

      or something like that. I dunno, I’m tired and I should really go to sleep. ;P

      July 1, 2019
      |Reply
      • Kiara (Wilderness)
        Kiara (Wilderness)

        I feel better after reading that.

        July 2, 2019
        |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        dude, you just showed a stronger connection between these two characters than EEL has in this entire book. Your Moss would actually be swoon worthy.

        July 3, 2019
        |Reply
  22. swanna
    swanna

    idk if it’s just me, but “cock-hardening sound” just made the guy’s dick sound like some kind of gross, dried-out sausage. it would make a crunchy noise and all.

    honestly your recaps are a blessing.
    i tried reading this book during lunch breaks at our store (because fuck if i’ll actually pay for the thing), but it’s just so god damned repetitive in wording and action that I had to give up.
    reading along with your commentary at least adds some entertainment.

    …i also don’t seem to be the only person not willing to spend money on it here, because we’ve only sold a handful of copies so far. nobody comes in asking for it, nobody is interested enough to pick a copy off the shelf to take a peek, and i can’t blame the demographic in our town, either, because similar books sell just fine.
    we’ve had to restock the after books, but the mister is just… sitting there. being irrelevant to anyone’s interest.

    not that i can blame people, because it’s not a good book, but man, that’s an ‘ouch’ for ELJ

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
  23. Sigyn
    Sigyn

    Knowing Harry Potter is universal, but knowing the name “Voldemort” may not be. He has different pretentious fake names in every language.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
  24. Sigyn
    Sigyn

    I still love your recaps, but I’m still gonna complain here. I’m 28 and I don’t think Moss’s behavior is appropriate in the least. He’s been an adult for a whole 10 years. Granted, earldom is a larger than average responsibility, but there’s no reason a typically-developing adult near age 30 to be as…childish as he is. The way he is about Alessia is what I would expect from someone under 20.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply

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