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Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister chapter twenty-six or “Prelude To (Another) Kidnapping”

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This is a short recap because the chapter is really short and whiplash-jumbled in terms of switching POVs. CW: Suicide because this book was lacking plot points and needs to keep bringing this one up.

We arrive at Trevelyan House with Moss. Now, remember, because this is not at all confusing, that Moss’s last name is Trevelyan, the house his sister-in-law lives in is Trevelyan House, Moss’s title is Earl of Trevethick, and his big fancy earl house is Tresyllian Hall. No trouble keeping any of those straight, I assume.

The butler tells Moss that Caroline is in the morning room and offers Moss a drink, which Moss doesn’t take.

I vault up the stairs, turn left, take a deep, steadying breath, and open the morning room door.

Oh my gosh, what’s going to happen next? This is so thrilling. We got absolutely zero indication of Moss’s internal thoughts or feelings during this short exchange, aside from a brief mention of not liking to be called “my lord” but understanding that it’s going to happen because he’s the earl. We’re supposed to hang in suspense from this last line in his POV, but we simply haven’t been given anything to invest in before we jump to Demelssia’s POV.

She had never dared to imagine that one day she might be living here with him. She’d never aspired to live in a place as grand as this. She does a twirl in the doorway of the kitchen, feeling gidding and grateful–and happy. She still has so much to figure out in her life, but for the first time in a long time she’s hopeful. With Maxim at her side, she feels that no obstacle is insurmountable.

Thanks for laying all of that out for us in one big clump like that, rather than putting the effort into actually showing the change in her characterization gradually over the past few chapters so that we could come to these fairly obvious conclusions on our own. The worst part of reading is getting immersed in the story and experiencing all the emotions right along with the characters.

Then, she goes and plays the piano and we go back to Moss’s POV.

Moss’s meeting with Caroline is basically a copy-paste of his earlier meeting with her:

Caroline is sitting by the fire, staring into the flames, huddled in a tartan throw.

Compare this to the beginning of the book:

There I find Caroline, nestled in an armchair, wrapped in a cashmere shawl, and staring out the windows.

Caroline basically just sits around looking tragic, I guess. Which, you know. I would be fine with, considering she’s a widow and all but she’s a fictional widow and we need to see her do at least some work to make these encounters less repetitive.

“Oh, it’s you.” she says.

“Who were you expecting?” She hasn’t risen to greet me and I’m beginning to feel a little unwelcome.

The punctuation error there is in the book, that’s not mine. As for Moss not feeling appreciated enough, I think it’s interesting that he’s 100% like, “I am not an earl! I am a man of the people!” until someone doesn’t rise to greet him.

Plus, you fucked your brother’s widow whom you have spotty romantic history with and then you up and left without any explanation and ceased contact with her. Like…you need to be a little more humble here.

From nowhere my grief emerges and smothers me like an itchy woolen blanket.

Or is Caroline smothering you with her cozy tartan throw?

Caroline tells Moss she suspects that Kit killed himself because obviously there wasn’t enough going on in this book already. We need to toss in suicide.

“Caro. That’s not true. Don’t think that. It was just a horrid accident.” My eyes meet hers, and I’m trying for my most earnest look, but the truth is–I’ve had the same thought. I can’t let her knkow that, though, and I don’t want to believe it either. Suicide is too painful for those of us left behind.

Back it up. I know people commit vehicular suicide. It just seems like doing so in a garden variety motorcycle accident is a little too slapdash. I mean, you can’t guarantee you’re not gonna get revived and have to go through a long series of surgeries and therapies and I feel like more pain is not the end goal of suicide. If he’d driven off a cliff, maybe?

Moss sits with Caroline for a while, throws another log on the fire, and then they talk about the break-in. Then she asks him what he was doing in Cornwall.

“Escaping from gangsters, if you must know.”

“Gangsters?”

“Yes…And falling in love.”

And back to Demelssia’s POV. Because we’ve finally gotten to the point of the conversation that we’ve been trying to get to but we need to build suspense…by watching Demelssia go through the pantries to find something to cook for dinner.

She has time to go to the local store to find something a little more enticing for her man.

Her man.

Her Mister.

Oh good. She can’t wait to be domestic and doting on her man. We all know how much that appeals to me in a heroine so obviously, I won’t be biased against this whole line of characterization at all.

Anyway, then she heads to the store and we go back to Moss’s POV.

“What?” splutters Caroline. “You? In love?”

“And why would that be so improbable?” I note that she doeesn’t continue her line of questioning about “gangsters.”

“Maxim, the only thing you love is your dick.”

“That’s not true!”

That’s not true! It’s just the personal image I’ve carefully cultivated through years of behavior designed to give you that exact impression! How dare you believe me!

She demands to know who he’s fallen in love with, and her reaction is absolutely predictable for a blonde E.L. James character:

“Maxim. She’s your fucking daily–literally!” And a dark cloud crosses her face; a storm is brewing.

We all knew that she was going to be the evil blonde. There was no escaping that. And the way she begrudged Moss tipping the cab driver earlier in the book was a dead giveaway that she’s a snob. But she goes full soap opera evil here:

“I knew it! That time when I met her. In your kitchen. You were so weird and attentive toward her.” She spits each word out like venom. She’s horrified.

“Don’t be so dramatic. That’s not like you.”

The only time we’ve really seen Caroline is when she’s either wrapped in a blanket and indulging in an emotionless stare or when she’s just finished fucking her dead husband’s brother. These are not exactly the marks of an undramatic person.

Caroline says that she totally is dramatic (because she’s been reading the book), and Moss asks her since when.

“Since my bloody husband upped and killed himself,” she hisses, her eyes glassy with animosity.

Shit.

She went there. She’s using Kit’s death in an argument.

And you used Kit’s death to get into Caroline’s pants.

More of my thoughts on that bullshit later in the broadcast.

“Bloody hell!” She stands suddenly, looming over me. “Don’t give me some bullshit clichéd homily. She’s just a grimy little freeloader, Maxim. Can’t you see that?”

How did you see it, Caroline? You met her for like two seconds and you have no idea what kind of relationship Moss has with her. And when he points that out, she says:

“I know her type.”

“From where? From where do you Know. Her. Type, Lady Trevethick?” I enunciate each syllable, my words echoing off the blue-painted walls and framed artwork of this small drawing room.

I thought you were in the morning room. Also, what the fuck is up with that punctuation and capitalization? That’s not my slippery fingers. That’s just…bizarre.

Equally bizarre is that he seems to be insinuating that Caroline somehow married for money and title? But then later in the argument, he thinks:

How dare she judge Alessia? Caroline, like me, has led a life of utter fucking privilege.

So, either she led a life of privilege or she was a fortune hunter. You can’t really have it both ways, especially when it’s been established more than once that Caroline is extremely wealthy in her own right.

“Caroline, it’s not the end of the world.”

“It is to me.”

“Why?”

She glares at me with a look that’s both wounded and enraged. I shake my head. “I don’t understand. Why is this such a big deal to you?”

“What about us?” she asks, her voice wavering, her eyes wide.

“There is no ‘us.'” God, she so annoying.

EXCUSE THE FUCK OUT OF ME?

I don’t like Caroline. But let’s remember that she recently lost her husband in an accident that may or may not have been a suicide and then two weeks later found out that she wasn’t actually pregnant with a baby she wanted and had been trying to conceive for two years. And in that time, knowing that she was your ex and there was a messy history there, you fucked her.

“What did you think? Us? Together? We had that! We tried that! And you chose my brother!” I’m shouting.

“We were young,” she whispers. “And after Kit died…”

“No. No. No. You do not get to do that. Don’t try to make me feel guilty–it takes two, Caroline. You made the first move when we were both empty and aching with grief. Maybe it was just an excuse. I don’t know. But we’re not a good combination. We never have been. We had our chance but you went off and fucking my brother. You claimed him and his title. I am not your fucking consolation prize.”

Remember how we’ve heard through this entire book that Caroline is his “best friend” despite there being all this romantic fallout or whatever? What the fuck exactly does E.L. James believe friendship is? This is the first we’re hearing about Caroline choosing Kit merely for his title. Which, by the way, doesn’t make a shitload of sense to me. Maybe I’m not hip to the nobility thing but what could the advantages possibly be in this day and age, if you’re already very rich and established in society? I just don’t buy earl-hunting as a plot device in a contemporary romance, I’m sorry. Especially when it comes out of fucking nowhere to create unnecessary drama late in the book.

Caroline orders Moss to leave and he reminds her that it’s his house before he goes because he is a gentleman.

In Alessia’s POV, she’s walking down the street and serving as a walking stereotype:

In Albania, at night, she would be wary of the djinn–the demons that roam the earth after sundown. But she knows that this is superstition.

Wait, shouldn’t she have been worried about the wolves that her father had to go out hunting every night in their small village of sixteen-thousand people?

Demelssia goes into a Tesco and starts browsing the aisles when:

“Hello, Alessia. How have you been?” It takes a fraction of a second for her to realize that the calm, familiar voice is speaking in Albanian. It takes another fraction of a second for fear to grip her heart and her soul.

No! He’s here!

You always run into the damndest people at the grocery store.

Since this chapter is needlessly drawn out with “suspense,” we don’t learn who “he” is right away. We jump back to Moss as he stalks away from Trevelyan House.

How could Caroline think she and I had a chance?

Because you fucked her immediately after her husband died and she’s not thinking real rational because of the grief and such?

We know each other too well. We’re supposed to be friends. She is my best friend.

But why though? If she broke your heart by marrying your brother for his title why are you still friends with her?

But truth be told, I had no idea that she had designs on me beyond the occasional fuck.

Really? Hang on, I have retained receipts:

Shit. It has to stop. I don’t want or need the complication. As I shave, solemn green eyes blaze back at me. Don’t fuck it up with Caroline. She’s one of your few friends. She’s your best friend. Talk to her. Reason with her. She knows we’re incompatible.

That’s from page nine.

Not of this chapter. Of the entire book.

Since page nine of this book, Moss has been aware that Caroline might have romantic designs on him. He knew had to cut things off because they weren’t going to be able to have a successful relationship. He doesn’t get to go, oh, wow, I had no idea on page 421.

We go into Demelssia’s POV where we find out that the next Albanian fiend to try and kidnap her is her ex-fiancé, sorry, her “betrothed,” Anatoli:

“I have been looking for you,” he continues in their mother tongue.

He’s just been out there searching every Tesco in London or something? Or was this a wacky happenstance?

His full lips are twisted in a seemingly casual smile that doesn’t touch his piercing, pale blue eyes. He scrutinizes her, looking for answers. His chiseled face is thinner and his fair hair longer than she remembers.

Jesus Christ, Erika, we get it. You hate blonds.

While Demelssia is terrified into silence and immobility, Anatoli tells her that he’s spent a bunch of money looking for her, that her parents have been worried about her since she disappeared, and Demelssia is like, oh shit, is my mom okay or did he do something to her?

He tightens his hold on her arm. “You should be ashamed of yourself. But we’ll deal with that later. Right now let’s go and collect your things, I’m taking you home.”

And that’s where the chapter ends.

My Impression So Far: I’m torn between whether the Caroline subplot is extraneous or just poorly executed. It is a good subplot but it doesn’t seem to fit into the book. It’s possible that there’s just too much going on already and it doesn’t fit, but I think the more likely explanation is that it’s how James chose to head hop from character to character. If the exchange with Moss took place all at once, then we went to Alessia’s POV and did her scene, maybe it wouldn’t seem so jumbled? But we also needed more internal thought about Caroline while Maxim and Alessia were in Cornwall. Not just, “Oh, we played here as children, ugh, she called me again.” We needed to have this allegation of fortune-hunting introduced explicitly and far, far earlier. And we need to know what Caroline’s motive for wanting the title was. And above all, that plot needs to be written in such a way that Maxim is taking responsibility for his actions rather than being absolved of them. Right now, James is asking the reader to accept Caroline as the villain who covets Alessia’s true love and ignore the fact that the womanizing Maxim continued leading Caroline on during an incredibly vulnerable time in her life.

Of course, we’re also being asked to accept two kidnappings in one book. So.

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87 Comments

  1. many bells down
    many bells down

    How was Alessia planning to pay for groceries? We know she doesn’t have a “magic” credit card. I mean, if it were a local village grocery I guess she could bill it to the estate, but a Tesco? Did she get a fat wad of cash earlier and we missed it?

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I also doubt the grocery store is within super easy walking distance from a personal estate. I know the town is close but surely the grounds are broad and how long did she expect him to be gone? Even if she’s only getting a few things, um, how does she know where it is and how does she know how long a round-trip will take her?

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
      • Amy Too
        Amy Too

        They’re back in London, I thought. That’s where Trevelyan House is—it’s the London home of the Earl, the place that Caroline has been living, where she and Moss has sex the first time.

        July 2, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          Oh, I completely forgot. It’s not as if being in London makes any difference. Why did they leave at all?

          Oh, right, the sea! But hey, a single Google search tells me there’s a couple of beaches that are closer to London, roughly an hour compared to 5 hours (amusingly, it’s still 5 hours if you drive, instead of taking the train to Cornwall.) Literally, the entire point of going there was so she could find out he’s an Earl. That was it. Nothing else…

          Seriously, everything that happened would’ve been the same if he just took her to Caroline and it sounds like a MUCH better plot-line already because she’s been criminally under-used. It would also explain most of the conflict that EEL was trying to introduce so much better… Where the fuck did Dimzy get the gold-digger fear from? Where did Mr. Thickdick get it? From talking to Caroline… you know, when it was first introduced instead of now, where it doesn’t make much sense. (Other than, well, best first guess by anyone who didn’t assume Dickpick was coercing his servant.) Or rather, it didn’t make much sense then but it makes sense in that context and he can brush it off easier with “she’s being stalked” etc.

          Ugh. I feel so bad for Caroline. She isn’t even being used for a villain correctly because she has plenty of reason to be angry or fearful and Moss is just such a dick when he argues with her. But we really needed more of that shit, plus his mother getting involved instead of being an afterthought.

          July 4, 2019
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            Forgot to add but flying to Cornwall is so much faster, only an hour. The only reason EEL didn’t have them fly there was so she wouldn’t have to deal with a passport conflict for Dimzy, but considering Dimzy is gonna be kidnapped back to fucking Albania, she might as well so Bobby could actually have an easier time getting Dimzy out of the country… it would’ve been some delicious irony, especially if he gets her to leave by convincing her that Earl Dickwick is using her and then it feels as if Dimzy is exercising her rights to leave but it’s for all the wrong reasons, and Bobby lied about changing and he’ll never hurt her again and she believes him because he’s an abusive piece of shit, and wouldn’t it be so much better if he actually made her parents think he was a good partner instead of just paying a fucking random-ass debt that is meaningless to everyone. But then her mother began noticing the pattern, she got worried about those bruises on her girl, and when Dimzy confessed that he threatened to break her hands if she stepped out of line, a little spark of grandma’s spirit saw the light of day in momma’s eyes and she decided to rescue her daughter from an even worse marriage than her own, especially when she failed to save her daughter from having such a shitty father all those years ago. Momma might be trapped but her girl has a bright future ahead of her… she’s even in college! But Dimzy is throwing all of that away because Bobby seems so tearful and sincere and after all that complication from Caroline, this seems better. She never should’ve left. She never would’ve been kidnapped if she’d stayed put… And Bobby promises he’ll protect her and she knows he has connections in Albania. It’ll never happen again!

            Now that would’ve been such sweet twist for Chekhov’s passport and it would’ve shown how genuinely different Evil Bobby is from the Earl of Thickwits.

            July 4, 2019
          • Xebi
            Xebi

            There are literally hundreds of miles of beaches closer to London than Cornwall. Some of them are in France and Belgium.

            July 5, 2019
    • Kyra
      Kyra

      She probably has a live chicken or two in her purse. I think that’s how they pay for things in Albania – in the world according to E.L. anyway…

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
      • Kat
        Kat

        Nah, in Albania they use wolf pelts!

        July 4, 2019
        |Reply
    • Perlite
      Perlite

      I’ll just assume it’s a Richie Rich situation and that he had a Tesco’s built into the bottom floor of his apartment.

      Golly, you’d think after the first two attempted kidnappings Moss would keep a closer eye on the “love of his life”. The one time that providing her a personal bodyguard is necessary and our billionaire decides to cheap out. tsk

      July 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Yeah! Why the fuck isn’t PTSD boy (and whoever other boi was) helping out by watching her? In spite of the odds, she liked them so… what was the point of introducing us to his friends at all? Free body-guard and they can’t very well just punch the kidnappers lights out if he just talks to Dimzy and coerces her into walking out of the store all calm and natural while they debate the merits of beer over whiskey. It’d be so easy for them to slip up but that Moss didn’t have ANYONE going around, just to make her feel safer, is unforgivable. (Like, lol, what if there were more guys in that kidnapping ring? Did EEL even consider that?)

        I am sincerely wondering if Moss was wealthy before he became Earl because he doesn’t really act like it IMHO. I genuinely wonder if Caroline married Kit for the title and Kit married Caroline for her money, but she made some investing mistakes and Kit got too many shares and loans and now she’s lost a lot of that so she needs access to Kit’s funds to stay where she was.

        July 4, 2019
        |Reply
  2. Anon
    Anon

    EEL just doesn’t know how to write. It all boils down to that. She’s aware of subplots and human feelings and of writing techniques to create suspense and such, but she doesn’t actually know how to do any of those things. So she throws it all in a pot and stirs and pours it onto some paper and calls it a book.

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
  3. Bunny
    Bunny

    Trevelyan of Trevethick
    Is a massive Trevedick
    Omni-freaking-present Thames
    All the blondes are b*tchy dames.
    Suicide creates some drama
    Why not profit from others’ trauma?
    “I want you groveling on your knees,
    But staaaahp with the formalities, please.”
    Alessia is characterized like a child
    All the sex is bland and mild.
    Albania comes across as cartoonish
    And all the villains are truly buffoonish.
    For The Mister I will not pay
    Good money now or any day.

    … phew. This book sucks.

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • Bookjunk
      Bookjunk

      Has anyone already won the Internet today? No? Then it’s you!

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
    • Teri B.
      Teri B.

      Trevedick, oh man I laughed hard with that one. This is awesome!

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Btw, this needs to be in the introduction/forward of the Circle of Critfic. XD

      July 4, 2019
      |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      That is totally amazing. The only criticism I can possibly make is that trauma and drama don’t rhyme in the UK and Thames is pronounced “temz” but it’s STILL fucking brilliant.

      July 5, 2019
      |Reply
  4. Ren Benton
    Ren Benton

    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE THAMES?

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
      • many bells down
        many bells down

        I could too, but that pesky Russia keeps getting in the way.

        July 2, 2019
        |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        I heard that in Rainbow Dash’s voice, thanks to your avatar. (Double perfection.) XD

        July 2, 2019
        |Reply
  5. NewFan
    NewFan

    Clearly Moss here is the Lindsey Graham of romantic heroes.

    HOW DARE you remember what I said and did before! I am starting everything over right now, and remembering it how I want. There is no past other than the one I find convenient to… never mind… I reject the past. All that matters is the now.

    Oh – and more kitchen dancing. Is there no other place in the house to dance and twirl?

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
  6. Kayla
    Kayla

    CW: (Real-life) vehicular suicide.

    I’d buy “Kit committed suicide,” especially if there was another vehicle involved (full disclosure: I don’t remember if it’s mentioned and I don’t care nearly enough about this nonsense to go back and look). One of my maternal uncles died before I was born, and although it’s officially listed as a drunk driving accident, my mom’s said that it was almost certainly suicide; he was driving his car and hit a semi truck head-on. It’s easy enough to wipe out on a motorcycle that I could see Kit making a split-second decision that he couldn’t take back, even in the next moment.

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah, it’s definitely possible. The problem is that EEL hasn’t devoted nearly enough time to make this idea meaningful for the narrative. Instead, it comes off as just another over-explained detail that’s actually irrelevant.

      And it’s just so weird that with all the discussion about how great Kit was, Maxim never told us that his brother was secretly depressed or anything like that. I mean, depression and suicidal thoughts are irrational anyway. It’s entirely possible to be on top of the world and still feel like you’re nothing and that the future is endless pain, but Maxim’s lack of speculation over why his brother would feel this way, or any reflection on Kit’s past comments that would imply such an outlook, makes the whole idea come out of nowhere. We’ve had absolutely no hint of this from Caroline or Maxim aside from the suggestion that it might be a suicide. They suspect he killed himself because Kit was… willing to die for the plot?

      If EEL is trying to imply that it seems like suicide but it was actually murder, then that’s even weirder, but it might be relevant for the inheritance plot-line?

      I just don’t know where she’s going with it and the lack of depth isn’t helping. She can’t bring it up early on, whenever Maxim first thought about it in a single paragraph, and then forget about it almost ENTIRELY until maybe 6 chapters before the end? It’s way too awkward. 🙁

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
      • Seraphina Bellemonte
        Seraphina Bellemonte

        CW: suicide mention

        I wonder if we were supposed to suspect it was the pressure of being earl and not having “true love” that led to Kit’s suicide, and E.L. James is just expressing that poorly. Maxim can accept the title and succeed because he has Alessia to support him, but poor Kit had that evil, title-grabbing blonde.

        If she were a decent writer, James could’ve tied Kit’s suicide into Maxim’s reluctance to take the title. You could even bring in the overbearing mother and have her insist that Kit not get help for his depression or be depressed at all because of his wealth and the potential scandal, which is certainly something I can relate to (the being told not to be depressed, obviously. Not the wealth and title). And then, Maxim’s insistence that Kit was perfect and the most beloved son could be him having a hard time accepting that Kit killed himself, in part, because of the stress of being earl. It’s like E. L. James put all these little bits that could connect, but instead of connecting them, she just sort of dropped them in. This could’ve been a really interesting subplot about working through grief and stressing the importance of taking mental health seriously, but instead, we have this.

        July 2, 2019
        |Reply
        • Seraphina Bellemonte
          Seraphina Bellemonte

          I want to clarify that I mean the “pressure of being an earl leading to Kit’s death” is what I think James might be trying to say and expressing poorly. It’s quite obvious that we’re supposed to see Maxim and Alessia as having a purer love than Kit and Caroline.

          July 2, 2019
          |Reply
        • Amy Too
          Amy Too

          These were things I was just going to comment about too. Moss and Caroline have both independently come to the conclusion that Kit commented suicide, but there’s zero mention at all about why he would. The whys could be so important to the story. Like you said, if the pressure of being the Earl and being called My Lord all the time was too much and too isolating, that would explain why Moss didn’t want to be the Earl and especially why he hates being called My Lord. Or was it that Kit was feeling frustrated and depressed about the fact that he wasn’t able to produce an heir? Did he have medical issues that made him infertile? Did Caroline? What if this whole time that Moss has been looking up to Kit as the perfect man and best Earl ever, Kit was actually thinking that Moss would be so much better at the job (for reasons that obviously aren’t shown to us in the book). Maybe he also thinks that Caroline was better off and happier with Moss and she only married Kit for the title, a title he doesn’t even think he deserves. (This is the Poldark plot). The self doubt that he was feeling about his role and his abilities, coupled with thinking Moss would be better at both the job and at being a husband for Caroline, could have led him to suicide?

          But if this is all meant to come down to Kit killing himself because Caroline was such a gold digging, irredeemable, unloveable, harridan then I’m going to be pissed. If we’re meant to come to the conclusion that money and breeding in a woman are not the “true marks” of a Countess, but “bravery” and humility (as expressed through virginal innocence and a cloying sense of self doubt in the presence of men like Moss) are what it truly takes to be aristocratic and worthy of marrying an Earl, then EEL will just be ticking off ALL THE TROPES. I think she is going for the idea that being an Earl is such a huge responsibility that can only be faced if the man has the love of a sweet, “good girl” to “keep him on the right path” and give his life meaning so that all of the responsibility is worth it in the end. Seriously, ALL THE TROPES.

          July 2, 2019
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            I just wanted to say that I appreciate these comments and it cements how poorly EEL has handled this. I have a feeling you’re right and she just wants ALL THE TROPES but because it’s Poldark, she still feels the need to imply what actually happened in Poldark without stating any of it outright because if it were fanfiction, then the fans would figure it out based on what they already now.

            I’m beginning to think she told the truth, she wrote this story first, but set it aside when her Twilight fic exploded. Then she tried revising it for publishing (I.E. modernizing the setting and shitting all over Albania) but got bored with it (mostly because she was leery of actually writing out such hard conflict to resolve effectively) or she crumpled under pressure, knowing it was still in a shitty state and not caring because she finally had to hit her deadline or lose her contract. Possibly both… I mean, it’s even possible she tried hard whenever she first wrote this thing, it was probably a lot shorter too (which would explain why it’s so padded, not unlike Handbook for Mortals; she just went overboard), but her personal habits and unwillingness to admit failure or to change her outlook or to focus on the plot over the sex meant it was doomed from the start. Moss might even by Christian 2.0 until someone told her that Bobby was a thousand times sexier and she decided to run with that for Masters of the Universe…

            I honestly wonder if THIS was the book where she hoped people would take her seriously because she knew Poldark was good, and she realized that she had some great hooks in her narrative… but she couldn’t commit to any of them and she assumed skimping out wouldn’t ruin her odds but she was nervous which is why she was waiting to see how it did before writing any more of it (lol classic fanfic writer tactic… but also sensible since it’s pure shit and selling like shit because of that.)

            Maybe I’m giving her too much awareness but I think she’s at least as aware as Sarem was… within reason.

            July 4, 2019
          • Dove
            Dove

            Er sorry, I meant, Moss was probably her inspiration for Christian, hence the similarities, BUT Bobby got the most traction and maybe he tickled her pickle a little bit so when EEL wrote the MotU fanfic, after her Poldark fanfic, she took inspiration from Bobby mostly when she began writing Edward and that worked its way into Christian. So, instead of Moss being a sequel model to Christian (although he is a little bit, so she can quell her critics with constant waffling over consent and empathy), Moss was the original, before she picked Bobby as her next hero. (Or maybe Maxim was worse but I have a feeling that he wasn’t since Ross is supposed to be genuinely good and a hero of the people.)

            or whatever I’m confusing myself now. I originally thought EEL lied in that interview, and the Mister wasn’t her first fanfic. I’m reconsidering that notion, based on comments one or two people made on Amazon, suggesting Dimzy has more chemistry with Bobby but we’ll see if these next chapters prove that theory.

            July 4, 2019
  7. Perlite
    Perlite

    Like, I could buy the Caroline and Moss soap opera shit and just chalk it up to “whites with too much money and free time” nonsense, but WOW none of these accusations being hurled towards her way makes ANY sense. It’s like Eel used her “blondes are gold-digging hoes” stereotype and “forgot” she was still making a Poldark modern AU.

    The “We’re bffs” line only works so far when the only interactions she writes b/w them are “We both have sad boners and we fuck… sadly”, “Hey, I’m still mad you married by dickhead bro instead of me”, and “Ew, she’s trying to talk to me again. She’s so clingy!”

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      What really confuses me is that he’s mad about that but also acknowledges they’re not a good couple? Why the fuck did they break up? Why don’t they work? Is it because he holds grudges for decades and treats people like shit because of that? But why did she pick Kit anyway? Just so she could have a title lol? Like, it could absolutely work but as you said, there wasn’t any real attempt to make this drama cohesive. These details should’ve been sprinkled through-out the whole book and it could’ve made Moss’s narrative far more interesting too. 😛

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
  8. Jules
    Jules

    Just when I thought I Moss couldn’t possibly get any worse, EEL proves me wrong. He is now a shitty boyfriend, shitty brother, shitty lord and now a shitty best friend/in-law/fuck buddy. he is, in every possible way, the worst.

    That really was a suspenseful chapter though. OMG I was on the edge of my seat wondering what Dimzelda was going to buy at Tesco. Alas, fiancé PlotDivicoli showed up and now I may never know what DailySexa was going to make for her man…sorry, her MISTER.

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
  9. This never would have happened if Aleeeesianamelza had gone to Waitrose instead of a grotty Tesco’s.

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • Mr. Fell
      Mr. Fell

      This line killed me.

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
    • Tami
      Tami

      Can we also agree that it was fucking stupid of Alessia to go out by herself AT ALL, knowing there were still people looking for her? Because according to her claims, she not only had those two traffickers after her, she also has this Albanian mobster-type “betrothed,” and a domineering wolf-killing father, so she should never have considered herself safe enough to venture out on her own — just as Moss shouldn’t have left her alone at the Cornwall Hideout, after they showed up at his Flat-on-Thames and then later broke into it. I mean, shit: there are lots of people out there in the world who would love to see ME dead, and unless I know FOR SURE that they aren’t in my neck o’ the woods, I’m not going anywhere. My father, who lives in Florida, comes up to Michigan every summer and stays with my sister who lives five minutes away. During that time, I will go to the other side of town if I need something from the store because I know going to the one closer to my sister’s house (my usual shopping grounds) is putting me at greater risk of running into him if he happens to be out at the same time. And yes, I learned this from having it happen, before. Don’t try to tell me the odds, because we know about Alessia’s superpower of being able to draw all the people hunting her right to where she is. It works every single time. If she’s stupid enough to go out when she KNOWS there are people looking for her, her dumbass assing-ass DESERVES to be captured. Fuck her, I have zero sympathies left to give. Seriously — at this point, the bad guys could be laying out a trail of chocolates for her leading right to a trap and she’d be following it like James Woods, twirling around while exclaiming, “Zot! How do you say, ‘Piece ‘a candy!'”

      July 6, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        On the one hand, I absolutely get where you’re coming from and we all cringed when she went shopping alone, simply because the book wasn’t over yet and something had to happen. And EEL started talking about the fiance in more depth, which was pretty clear foreshadowing (for EEL since she doesn’t bring a potential villain up without using them eventually. The timing was meant to be her giddy little surprise for the reader since it’s so sudden and slightly ridiculous but also to jog the reader’s memory that he existed at all so they couldn’t claim it was totally unprecedented.) But this isn’t even like the kidnappers, who were clearly in Britain already.

        Alessia left Albania to avoid this guy. She’s over a thousand miles away, and he tracked her down when she’s an illegal immigrant who doesn’t have a cell phone or a credit card. Also, he’s not even in her neck of the woods, she’s in Maxim’s, so she’s already shopping further afield from Magda’s. (Mind you, I still can’t remember where the fuck they’re staying now… is it the same apartment? A new one? Eh, either way… this guy needs to check with a lot of cleaning services first and he’d have to go see her employer to be in the right area to meet her at the Tesco. The kidnappers found Magda and asked her. I’m presuming the fiance doesn’t have that luxury but who fucking knows with this book?) Yeah, yeah, I shouldn’t bring up the odds but I’d blame EEL for being a shitty writer before I’d blame Alessia for making a mistake. She’s a two-dimensional cardboard cutout, after all. She doesn’t get to make decisions and we didn’t even get to piece together how this asshat found her because EEL doesn’t care. (Or maybe we’ll get a non-answer soon but same difference, honestly.)

        If this was a much better book, then running into the fiance, seemingly at random, would be traumatic and thrilling, maybe we could’ve at least had some proper doubts by Alessia that she might’ve ignored, but EEL didn’t do that and she didn’t even lay the groundwork for why this guy would chase her down. I mean, supposedly she was betrothed to pay off some debt but I’d expect him to write her off as not worth it anymore, then kill her father, take all of the money out from under their mattress, and sell her mother into slavery to recoup the loss or something. Pretty girls aren’t that hard to come by and although Alessia was afraid of him, I don’t think she mentioned that he was obsessed with her and wanted to marry her at any cost. Unless I forgot that part, which is entirely possible.

        I mean yeah, either way, I’m feeling pretty salty about this too but I think it could’ve worked out. It’s just so poorly written…

        July 6, 2019
        |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        I forgot to add, I still think Maxim’s bros PTSD Boi and POC Friend, should’ve been her bodyguards. Maybe in their presence, Alessia would let her guard down, and they could make a mistake or be outnumbered but at least they were there in the first place and clearly, Maxim tried to help and didn’t just abandon her. It could’ve been a lot tenser too. That simple change would’ve solved a lot of problems even as the plot moved forward and it would’ve given us a reason for meeting them in the first place. And Alessia should’ve really emphasized that she had a reason to think her fiance might be looking for her. Maybe she almost ran into him once before, which is why she was on such high alert when the kidnappers turned up. I dunno!

        July 6, 2019
        |Reply
  10. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    I love how James is able to contradict herself in the space of two sentences.

    “In Albania, at night, she would be wary of the djinn–the demons that roam the earth after sundown.”

    Oh, okay. We’ve never had any indication that she believes in the supernatural, but okay.

    “But she knows that this is superstition.”

    Huh? So, what is it? Does she believe in and fear djinns or does she believe those are just old wives’ tales, which means she’s not afraid of them because she doesn’t think they’re real? Or is this just James cramming in something about Albania she read during her thorough research thumbing through her copy of ’99 facts about Albania (mostly about communism and how it’s a dumpster, but also something about djinns!)’

    This book could’ve been good! There are interesting things in it! James just skips over them or forgets them or transforms them into garbage. Sigh.

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • Mr. Fell
      Mr. Fell

      That made sense to me, she might know there is nothing to fear but also be unable to stop imagining or thinking about all the horrible stuff that they say it happens there whenever she passes by that particular place.

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
      • Bookjunk
        Bookjunk

        But, like Ani said below, our beloved daily has real things to fear, because she was human trafficked and there’s an evil betrothed after her. Even when you discount the contradiction, I find it really hard to believe that on her own at night she’d be deciding whether or not to be afraid of djinns instead of worrying about dangerous stuff that could actually happen.

        July 3, 2019
        |Reply
    • Tree Lady
      Tree Lady

      I would much rather have Alessia kidnapped by a djinn.

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)
        Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)

        “I’d much rather have Alessia kidnapped by a djinn.”

        Yes, please. Either a jerk-ass genie who gives her what she says and not what she wants because he’s a dick of a literal genie who does the same because he doesn’t understand.

        Or even better, she gets kidnapped by Jeannie’s evil twin sister Jeannie, who pretends to be Alessia and goes around blinking while folding her arms and saying, “Yes, Mister.” Anyone want to take bets on how long it will take Moss to notice?

        July 3, 2019
        |Reply
        • Tree Lady
          Tree Lady

          Ummm…the twelfth of never?

          July 3, 2019
          |Reply
    • Jo
      Jo

      I feel this line would have made more sense if Eel had bothered to throw a “when she was a little kid” in there somewhere. It would have given us a glimpse of characterization for Alexia that wasn’t either “prodigy child in an oppressive home” or “human trafficking victim”. Like, we have all these details about her past but she still feels like she exists for Moss to pout his dick in every half-dozen pages. Having a glimpse of her childhood psyche maybe would make her a little less flat and more relatable?

      Then again, this is an Eel’s book, WE CAN’T HAVE THAT! TO THE CONTRIVED MELODRAMA, WITH HASTE!

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ani
        Ani

        When I was a kid, I was deadly afraid of the Blob. I used to imagine it coming down the darken hallway and I would scare myself shitless. But now I’m an adult, I have other scarier things to imagine coming down the hallway. As a trafficking victim, Alessia has experienced scarier things than a fairy tale monster. It’s just another James’ shitty attempt to put in culture.

        July 2, 2019
        |Reply
        • SandorClegane4Dany
          SandorClegane4Dany

          I was scared of the Blob too! Something about that amorphous, unthinking eating machine that slowly dissolves its prey was pants-piss horrifying.

          July 5, 2019
          |Reply
      • Seraphina Bellemonte
        Seraphina Bellemonte

        You’re absolutely right! For me, part of the problem, though, is that Alessia…doesn’t really *seem* to have a past that extends more than maybe a couple of years. We know she went to college for a bit and wanted to be an English teacher. We know that she was engaged to an abusive fiance and trafficked….but she doesn’t seem to have any past that goes back further than that. Her childhood is practically nonexistent.

        July 3, 2019
        |Reply
      • Masha
        Masha

        to pout his dick in

        Don’t know if it’s intentional or a misspelling, but it’s golden either way 😀

        July 3, 2019
        |Reply
  11. MyDog'sPA
    MyDog'sPA

    He’s just been out there searching every Tesco in London or something? Or was this a wacky happenstance?
    Oh you silly! Obviously Albania is such a backward country that Bob-the-Betrothed had Demilissa Lojacked so he could find her as soon as EEL wanted him to but not a minute sooner. Otherwise, you know, there’d be an actual story with (surprise!) a real bad guy. But as it stands, the bad guys in this book aren’t even good enough to write themselves out of a paper bag so EEL has to do all their work for them!

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • It would be a romantic example of love and passion, however, if Earl Poldarkus had her tracked, because ThAt’S dIfFeReNt!1!!

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Bobby got thirsty. Really thirsty. And he needed some caffeine after his long trip to Cornwall, to visit the sea for the first time. He was kind of in the middle of nowhere though, so he stopped in the next village, fully intending to hit up the nearest cafe when he passed by the local grocer first. Since he was getting a little impatient and feeling adventurous (and since the Brits are better known for their tea anyway), he went inside to see if they had any cheap coffee of substance within the Tesco. It’d probably be sub-par but any port in a storm.

      Then, much to his surprise, Bobby found his errant fiancee beaming at the avocados as if she’d just found the face of Jesus.

      And he thought to himself, “What a wonderful world…”

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
      • Rachel O'Riley
        Rachel O'Riley

        This book. I want to read it.

        July 4, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          lol Thanks. Here’s some more? This is all spur of the moment so sorry if it doesn’t hold up.

          You’ve changed?” Dimzy asked.

          She could’ve driven needles into him with her eyes but Bobby merely smirked in the face of her very evident skepticism.

          “Yes. I’ve even given up Red Bull, I’ll have you know! Nothing but the most organic of coffee beans from now on!” he said. “And, well, the local Asian leaf water, from time to time.”

          Dimzy put a hand to her chin, shocked. Then he chuckled and lightly punched her arm. She rubbed at the spot nervously.

          “I rented a car,” he said. “It’s nice. You should come and see it!”

          Dimzy snorted. “You drove here? Only a yokel would do that.”

          He couldn’t help scowling. She often put on airs, just because she had an English grandmother, so it only made sense that actually being in Britain would turn her even more insufferable.

          “Aaaanyway,” Bobby said, “Which school did you transfer to?”

          That left her flustered and he smirked again.

          “Oh. Did the financial aid fall through?” he asked.

          Faster than the speed of light, Dimzy delicately stomped her foot and then looked embarrassed at her own reaction. She crossed her arms and turned her head.

          “Yes.” It was like drawing blood from a stone, but she had admitted it.

          Of course, he’d warned her about this very thing happening. Hadn’t he? But good advice always falls on deaf ears.

          “Then you’re just wasting time! Why don’t you come home?” Bobby asked. “You don’t need to get your degree in Britain. Your parents miss you… eh, they gave me a gift for you, but no one answered at your, uh, your relative’s house?”

          He shrugged his travel backpack off and began to fish inside the main pouch. Dimzy stood stock still, a look of horror welling up, and she fervently shook her hands and head.

          “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! I don’t need you to do that!” she said. “Why didn’t they mail it?

          The last part was under her breath, which pricked his interest, and he continued to smile as he held the small package, wrapped in plain brown paper and string, to his fiance. Dimzy pushed it away and Bobby sucked in his breath. He offered it to her again, shaking it to add interest, though it didn’t rattle at all. Her lips were furled up into the most violent pout and her eyes flashed with such bitterness and fury that she might’ve set it on fire if she stared long enough. This was getting ridiculous!

          “Just take the damn thing,” he hissed. “I wasn’t happy either.”

          When she became frozen again, he grumbled and dropped it onto the floor. It was just a stupid homemade scarf or something, but perhaps he shouldn’t have done that. They were drawing attention from wary shoppers… Almost immediately, Bobby put on another bright and sunny smile.

          “Ohhh, well! It was good seeing yooou. And remember, the wedding is in Juuuulllyyyy,” he sang. “I’ll be over heeeere if you need to know the detaaaaails.”

          Dimzy stared blankly but he knew that she hated having his mother as her wedding planner. There wouldn’t be any questions; only anger. And with that, he waved and left her to fume.

          The Tesco cafe, tucked into a welcoming corner of the store, would soothe his nerves, refresh him for the rest of his journey, and allow him to give her a toast if she remained in the produce section for much longer. Some fish and chips might be nice… OOOH, wait, all-day breakfast! YES. To hell with the rest!

          The beach was going to be perfect today. Ahhh… mentally, Bobby put on his wetsuit and began waxing his surfboard as Dimzelda quietly sobbed into the kiwis she hadn’t paid for. How grotesque! Like mother, like daughter.

          July 4, 2019
          |Reply
  12. Angélique
    Angélique

    Maybe because whoever has the title inherits the money ? But if that’s the case Idk why she was so surprised that her husband left his money to his brother.

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
  13. Jo
    Jo

    You know what? I’m Team Caroline. Moss is such a dull dude no one could love him for anything other than his money. Look at me and tell me Alexia would have fallen for him if he was, say, a random middle class dude who couldn’t spirit her away to Cornwall and “given her the sea”

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      Me too. I have no doubt as to why she picked Kit over Moss. It had nothing to do with title or money. She just realized what a dick Moss was so she married the better brother and just used Moss for the only thing he’s moderately good at.

      I still don’t know why Dimzy has fallen for him other than a weird kind of Stockholm Syndrome. He just happened to be the hot, rich guy who was around at the right time to get her to a place her kidnappers couldn’t find her…until they could. And it’s obvious what he sees in her, a clean hole to stick his dick in. Ah, true love.

      I want someone other than EEL to tell us the love story of Kit and Caroline instead. And how Caroline came to her senses, dumped asshole Moss and found love with his better brother Kit. How they were happy but her struggles to get pregnant and the pressure from his mother to create an heir drove him to a moment of panic where he foolishly drove his bike into (whatever it was that killed him, don’t remember). And now Caroline is struggling to pick up the pieces. She thought she could rekindle the fire with Moss, maybe he had grown up finally, because he was the closest thing she could find to her beloved Kit. But Moss proved to still be the selfish dick he always was. Now Caroline is alone, with a mother in law who blames her for her son’s death, a brother in law who treats her like garbage, but strings her along and manipulates her just enough to get himself laid when he wants to, and not even the baby she thought she would have to remember her beloved husband by.

      No matter what EEL tries to spin, I see Caroline as the true victim in all of this. She is my heroine and Dimzy is the gold digging little maid who finally sees a ticket out of the shitty life she had in that horrible cesspool called EELbania. And Moss is just the dickhead manipulator she will have to appease for the rest of her life because if she doesn’t, he’ll turn her over to the badguys.

      July 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ani
        Ani

        exactly. if moss rejected caroline cause she was a gold digger… then why stay friends with her? if he rejected her cause he only saw her as a friend… then why sleep with her? if he only slept with her cause she was a good lay… then why does he bitch about it every time they fucked? His best friend, his lover, his sister in law is coming to him in TEARS and he brushes her off like she’s a prostitute.

        July 4, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          Yeah, it doesn’t feel like all these relationship variables could be true, at least not without a LOT of explanation and the easiest thing to do is to drop one of them or say that one of them is no longer true… I feel like EEL is bad when it comes to a character’s personal history.

          As someone else commented, it doesn’t feel like anyone existed before the beginning of the book, even though she references certain events (and writes shitty essays about Albania.) And for that reason, Kit doesn’t feel real at all.

          July 4, 2019
          |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Absolutely. Even if Caroline was a true villain, she’d be the most sympathetic one. I think it’s really hard for a lot of authors to find the right balance and it’s almost ironic that EEL stumbled onto it by accident and thus couldn’t fully exploit the situation.

        But that said, poor Dimzy doesn’t really deserve being looked down upon. She also had in an insane amount of potential, well beyond her role as a love interest, and she got the shaft too! Moss just fucks up everything when he fucks a girl. Until Dimzy met him, she was doing just fine! She might’ve even gotten a better paying job if she wasn’t his cleaner… And for instance, the traffickers didn’t find her until she started working for him. He’s like a magnet for undesirable men… ;P

        July 4, 2019
        |Reply
        • Ani
          Ani

          EEL forgot the most important thing about writing: show, don’t tell. The only reason Caroline is a gold-digger is because Moss told us she is. Nothing in her story has shown this.

          July 4, 2019
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            Yeah, I don’t buy the gold-digger aspect. She could so easily be a villain without that; I’m in the “Moss was just an asshole” camp and that’s why she dumped him. All she has to do is oppose Moss and want to get even for being treated like shit, to retain what she has and to keep Kit’s memory alive (maybe by returning that grave robbed stuff back to Egypt, since Moss is only considering it and he would probably feel slighted if this was done without his name attached.) There’s so much potential for her to be a heroine or a villain and yet she’s sidelined completely because of EEL, stuck in a limbo where she’s incapable of progressing her own story in any way. 🙁

            July 4, 2019
          • Jules
            Jules

            Caroline being a gold-digger is just the lie Moss had to tell himself to protect his fragile ego from the fact that he is a terrible romantic partner.

            July 5, 2019
        • Jules
          Jules

          And now the lastest story idea: The Deadly Dick.

          Moss is a man on a mission. To destroy the lives of women everywhere by fucking them with his deadly dick. One poke of the dastardly appendage and a woman’s entire life and personality deflate, like a popped balloon.

          Suddenly, two of his lovers meet. Moss does everything in his power to keep them from being alone together, but a man has needs. While taking an extra log shit, his two lady loves compare notes and realize what is going on.

          With the help of a couple of “cousins” from Eelbania, all Caroline’s family money and a sudden reappearance of the elusive Thames, two women who have lost their identities to a dick(head) will band together to find the source of his evil power, the mighty alien overlord simply known as The Eel.

          Can they bring down The Eel and free the idiotic Moss forever? Do they even want to free him?

          These questions…and many others… will be answered on the next episode of Soap (Soap, the all time best soap opera parody of all time!)

          July 5, 2019
          |Reply
  14. Maria
    Maria

    cw: suicide
    kit is such a strangely written character and yes i know he’s dead, but i feel like i don’t know him at all. he’s supposed to be super important to maxim and the bestest earl ever, yet in a lot of maxim’s memories he comes off as a dick. and i could see kit perhaps being passively suicidal? maybe that’s what they’re implying? there’s a comment that lays out what i think eel was going for but if we have to imaginate most of the story then erika isn’t really doing her job.
    also can’t wait for more comically inept depictions of albania! /s

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
  15. Jenn H
    Jenn H

    Still clinging to my headcannon that Kit was murdered.

    July 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • Seraphina Bellemonte
      Seraphina Bellemonte

      But that would be too interesting for this book! Or, knowing E. L. James, the plot twist would be that the Albanian human traffickers and/or Alessia’s fiance killed Kit. Because, you know, those characters aren’t evil enough? Their villainy is too subtle.

      But wouldn’t it be kind of awesome if Caroline married Kit for his title (but was more attracted to Maxim), so she killed Kit by tampering with his bike. And then, tried to rekindle her relationship with Maxim, while playing up the tragic widow angle to gain his sympathy, reasoning that she’d have the title AND the guy she wanted?

      July 2, 2019
      |Reply
      • Amanda
        Amanda

        That would be an AWESOME twist. I’d definitely read that book.

        July 2, 2019
        |Reply
        • Kiara (Wilderness)
          Kiara (Wilderness)

          Co-signed.

          July 2, 2019
          |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      By Moss, who wanted the money, the title and Caroline back (until he met an unsullied pussy he could have all to himself). He was sick of living in his brothers shadow. He wanted it all and he thought he got it, until Caroline finally put the pieces together and took his ass down!

      Oh crap. Now I want to write an criticfic of an EEL book. Is this how far I have sunk? What has my life become?

      July 3, 2019
      |Reply
      • So far that you’ll be posting weekly blog updates of said fiction on your own site, perhaps? *cough* Not that I’d know or anything.

        (But if you do it, I’m just saying, we could have a whole Circle of Critfic!)

        July 3, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jules
          Jules

          Hmmm. I’ll see what I can come up with. I’m torn between doing a full on parody if this shit show and trying to see if a good, solid love story could be mined out of this pile of crap.

          Also, that would be a great name for a place for people to write their versions of terrible stories: Circle of Critfic.

          July 3, 2019
          |Reply
          • I want it to be something vaguely supernatural as well. CAST A CIRCLE OF CRITFIC FOR OUR PROTECTION!

            July 3, 2019
  16. kirrix
    kirrix

    “More of my thoughts on that bullshit later in the broadcast.”

    Hi commenters, are there subtitles / transcripts or a written summary?
    That would be great, thank you! <3

    July 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Person
      Person

      Jenny was just using the word “broadcast” here to refer to the recap itself. She continued the thought further down the page when the subject came up again. You’re not missing anything! 🙂

      July 3, 2019
      |Reply
  17. Lucy
    Lucy

    But WHY are Moss and Caroline so incompatible? It’s never really made clear. I’d say that, overall, they have better chemistry than Moss and Demelssia. Ok I know this isn’t really much, but still, I feel the story of her having chosen his brother and them awkwardly drifting back together after the brother ‘s death would have been way more interesting.

    July 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ani
      Ani

      they’re only compatible cause caroline is an adult woman who has and enjoys sex without putting it on a pedestal. but in EEls world, that makes you a whore, and whores can’t be the heroes

      July 4, 2019
      |Reply
  18. Small jar of fireflies
    Small jar of fireflies

    The dialogue is skewed hard. If I ask someone what they were doing, and they say, “Escaping from gangsters, if you must know,” the first part of that is rushed and the second suggests I’m being intrusive.

    And if I say: “Gangsters?”

    And all I get is: “Yes… And falling in love.”

    Then that person has already brushed me back and is now being curt. They are then either changing the topic, or telling me they fell in love with a gangster and need my discretion.

    But then it’s a mark against his conversational partner that she asked about the love rather than the gangsters.

    Basically, if you don’t already hate the character so much that she can’t even breathe right, there’s no reason to dislike her so far.

    July 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • MyDog'sPA
      MyDog'sPA

      Just as James writes sex like a 14-year-old who thinks they know how it is done

      Huh. It fits with Twilight fanfic, but hopefully you can follow my logic here:

      My wife’s theory of vampire stories is that they’re perfect for tween/teen women because they’re all about sex that can’t actually occur. So all the rape, stalking and controlling behavior by Edward is ‘sexy’ to the reader because she (the reader) is in control of the sex. (all she has to do is put the book down) In real life the opposite is true and rape is a PTSD-inducing nightmare that lasts a lifetime.

      So, because EEL essentially wrote vampire fanfic in 50, that’s all she knows how or what to write, it all shows up in Mister all over again. But because vampire fanfic is all about the 14 year-old’s viewpoint on sex, that’s all we’re seeing in this as well.

      Just a thought.

      July 4, 2019
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      • That’s the reasoning behind the rape fantasy of Romance novels in general, too. I’ve mentioned before that certain frameworking can distance the reader from the actual horrors of kidnapping, rape, torture, abuse, etc., because if it’s being done by, say, a pirate or a lord of the manor circa 1800, there’s enough distancing provided in the plot with those details that it feels like something other than abuse. Women not having economic/physical agency rings true to us as historically accurate (whether it’s true or not, but that’s beside the point). Some women who have experienced abuse or are avoiding/afraid of sex IRL find that this kind of control is a preferable way of engaging sex. Plus, you know, the usual rallying cry of “It’s FAAAAAANTASYYYYYY!” which can be both framing AND rationalization. Either way, there’s some sense that this isn’t “real” and can’t really happen.

        The problem with Eel/Fifty Shades, though, is she doesn’t provide any of the “fantasy” distancing other than obscene wealth, which is already very contemporary element of rape/abuse, and not distancing at ALL: we already know that if a man is rich enough, he can get away with raping and abusing women. IRL AND in the books’ world, the women have no control of anything at all. (Ana ends up with LESS agency at the end of FS than she had in Book 1 Ch 1.) Applying the usual “It’s FAAAAAANTASYYYYYY!” rationalization to this shit is more than fucked up, since we’re literally battling this every day of our lives as women.

        July 4, 2019
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  19. Kit didn’t die.

    Kit was at death’s door after the motorcycle crash and was brought back to life by a young blond doctor claiming to be from the American Northwest. Since then, the doctor has been trying to get Kit to live with his vampire brood. After a year has passed, Kit will go back to Caroline and offer to bite her so that they can live together.

    Then they accidentally maim a young billionaire, leaving him physically weak and entirely unable to go back to his previous life of non-stop sex. He becomes so co-dependent that even his doormat wife gets tired of him and leaves with one-half of his net worth.

    Did I fix it?

    July 3, 2019
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  20. Emm
    Emm

    Did we all forget that Grey’s real name (as in yes THE Christian Grey) was Trevelyan-Grey as revealed in the second book?

    July 5, 2019
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    • Tami
      Tami

      I was watching “Rocketman” — which I fucking love and think it a brilliant biopic and have a million reasons I could name but won’t at this juncture — and noticed that Taron Egerton, as Elton John, would look out and up to the side while composing. Being a longtime fan of John (I’m now 52 so I grew up with his music as the soundtrack of my life), I recognized this instantly as something I’ve seen Elton do in performances. We know he is a child prodigy when it comes to music; at three, he was able to play a waltz just from hearing it on the radio. I’ve seen him do this thing all the time but seeing it recreated by an actor playing him, I was struck with one thought: does Elton “see” the music when he’s performing? Does HE have a form of synesthesia? Because he can be playing a song he’s played a million times and he does that, looking up like he’s seeing something no one else can. I realize back during his hardcore addiction days, maybe he was…but he still does it after getting sober.

      Side Note: There is a line in the movie, when he’s in rehab, where Elton asks his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell, whom I loved as Billy Elliott) if he will still be able to make music when he’s not drunk or high. And while no one says it, I was screaming internally, “Honey, you were doing this since before your feet could touch the pedals, long before you ever had your first drop of beer — of COURSE, you will!” But at the same time, I understood his fear. I’ve been through a lot of the same problems he’d been through, and there was a time when I stopped doing anything creative. Both my parents were artists and I came by it naturally at a very early age; I also started writing plays at age 8 and could also play organ/piano as early as 6. But in 2003, I had a total mental breakdown and just stopped drawing and writing althogether. This lasted five years, and it was horrible. I thought I’d never be able to do it again. I had started to get help, too, and got put on medication to “fix” me. You know how you always hear about the “tortured artists” — like Poe and his drinking, Van Gogh and his mental issues — and people say, “That’s what made them so great, they couldn’t have produced that work if they weren’t addicted or fucked up?” BULLSHIT. In truth, the real “torture” is an artist who is trapped inside their own mind and cannot bring themselves to do anything creative. But you don’t have to be fucked up in order to produce. Talent is often a gift, something you have from birth. Some people think you can enhance it with drugs or alcohol; others think a traumatic event can also give more impact to your work. I’ve done both, and while I did enjoy doing art while high and have called upon my life experiences in stories I’ve written, I know that I can still be creative without those factors.

      Anywhooo…

      The point I wanted to make with this observation about Elton John is in context to Alessia’s synesthesia. They never mention it in “Rocketman” and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it addressed in any interviews with Sir Elton, but just the thought that he MIGHT have it made me even more curious about him as a person. I know as a writer that I “see” the stories in my head like a movie projected on a screen, complete with soundtrack and credits and changing camera angles, and I’m always interested to know if other writers have the same experience. EL James presented a character with a unique ability and she never really DOES anything with it. I am equally disappointed that it would be so poorly handled — then again, consider the source.

      The real problem here is that James has TOO much going on in this book. I think she started throwing in anything and everything, perhaps so she could say, “I’ll write something no one else can copy!” Because we have all seen how many people tried to jump on the 50SoG bandwagon (I cannot tell you how many offers I turned down from clients who wanted me to ghostwrite the same story for them). Maybe she’s hoping she can stand out; maybe she’s issued a challenge to other writers because she believes that old adage about imitation being the highest form of flattery, and she enjoys having the bragging rights (even though we all know she ripped off both “Twilight” and now “Poldark”). After this, anyone who tries to write a character with synesthesia (and do it correctly) will face the accusation, “You got that from ‘The Mister.'” What a shameful waste of potential…

      July 6, 2019
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      • Dove
        Dove

        That’s a very interesting idea, regarding Elton John having synesthesia, and I loved the overall discussion of the creative highs and lows, though I would add that it’s not impossible to become a really good artist or writer when there was no indication of greatness at a young age. It’s still a skill that has to be learned; some people are simply drawn to it, obsessed with it, and start off way ahead of everyone else because of that. But yeah, no one needs to be drunk, on drugs or depressed to make something of artistic merit and it can certainly hinder as much as it helps. (Also, I remember hearing speculation that Poe might have had rabies or some other mentally degenerative illness going on but whether that had any impact is irrelevant because people with dementia don’t routinely write poetry like the Raven.) Although I suppose having your senses altered can remove some of the anxiety and the self-doubt long enough to work on something and finish it. Er but anyway…

        As for the unfortunate future criticism… I think more people might accuse other authors of making the heroine/love interest a maid or an ordinary pianist because of the Mister and that’s if they remember this book at all. I don’t think anyone will remember that Alessia had synesthesia. This book is only doing so-so and it’s such a throwaway idea, much like Maxim’s photography hobby. Considering how many plots are crammed into this poor tome, I’m pretty sure that’s the last thing they’ll think of unless they took an interest in it and were underwhelmed by the execution of it.

        July 6, 2019
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      • Spockchick
        Spockchick

        Stephen King’s great book, ‘On Writing’ talks about this. He was drinking a lot and smoking far too much weed. His wife snapped and took a big refuse sack to his study and binned all the roaches, bottles, cans etc, and gave him an ultimatum along the lines of ‘get clean or get going’. He said he bought into a mythos of the tortured writer. When he got clean, turns out he could still write. Sorry I read this book about 6 years ago so I’m probably paraphrasing a lot!

        July 10, 2019
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  21. Sigyn
    Sigyn

    *sobs dramatically* NOOOOOOO
    WHY DOES ANATOLI HAVE TO BE A LONG-HAIRED BLOND THOSE ARE MY FAVORITES WHY DOES ERIKA HAAAATE MEEEEEEEE

    July 9, 2019
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