Skip to content

Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister, chapter twenty-seven or “THE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING”

Posted in Uncategorized

Last week, the Toronto Star ran an interview with E.L. James. There are the usual claims of people not liking her because she’s a woman and that she went above and beyond the call of duty to research Albania but it also included a brief, interesting look into which fandoms she‘ll be stealing from next enjoys:

She recently rewatched the first Harry Potter movie, which prompted her to buy the rest of the films, and now wants to read J.K. Rowling’s series again.

Somewhere, Cassandra Clare is already on the phone to her legal team.

Maxim is “storming” away from Caroline’s house.

I need a drink to help me calm the fuck down. I snatch a look at my watch. Alessia’s not expecting me back until seven. I have time.

This is interesting. Probably not on purpose. But ever since they went to Cornwall, Moss has been obsessed with being at Alessia’s side every moment but when he’s upset at Caroline he has to medicate himself with alcohol and that need overrides that concern about leaving Alessia alone. This is a very alcoholic thing to do and that’s an interesting thing that definitely won’t be explored because there just isn’t enough book left.

I cannot believe Caroline’s reaction.

Can’t you? You sat there and told us she’s a vapid, soulless fortune hunter.

Or maybe I knew it would be that bad.

Did I? That bad? Throwing-me-out-of-the-house bad?

Yo, that’s not why she threw you out. It was all the other stuff you said around the thing with Demelssia. I mean, Caroline wasn’t thrilled about Demelssia but you didn’t get thrown out until you were like, You picked my brother over me for his title!

What will Caroline say when I tell her I want to marry Alessia?

Probably nothing you want to hear but I’m not sure why you have to clear it with her in the first place. That would have been my last conversation with her.

What will my mother say?

Marry someone with money, darling.

Kit chose wisely.

So, I didn’t really get the idea from the lunch with dear old mommy that she approved all that much of Caroline, anyway.

My dark mood grows darker still as I stomp into the night.

Like a toddler in Batman pajamas.

We go back to Demelssia’s POV, where Anatoli is trying to force her to leave the grocery store with him. He grabs her arm but she pulls away from him.

His mouth presses into a hard line. “I came a long way for you. I am not leaving without you. You are promised to me by your father. Why are you dishonoring him?”

Alessia flushes.

“Is it the man?”

“Aha!” you may be thinking. “Anatoli was behind the trafficking scheme!”

“That friend of your mother. She sent an e-mail. She said there was a man.”

Alessia is dumbfounded.

So am I. What was Magda’s motive here? Why is Magda the villain suddenly?

While Alessia is “dumbfounded,” Anatoli leads her like a sheep out the door.

Meanwhile, in Moss’s POV, he’s drinking.

The amber liquid sears my throat, but it calms the violent storm as it pools in my stomach.

Okay, he’s problem drinking. But at least he’s problem drinking a violent storm and not alcohol?

I’m a fool.

A priapic fool.

Guess who has a Word-of-the-Day calendar?

I knew that bedding Caroline was going to come back and bite me on the arse.

And here’s the thing. It was always going to. But this is the most boring way possible. You fucked your brother’s grieving widow. “She doesn’t like the girl who’s marrying me,” is not the lede here.

Time for the big revelation:

I’ve never thought beyond my dick. Until Alessia. And then that all changed.

Changed for the better.

It’s not like that type of behavior can get much worse.

I’ve never met anyone like her, someone possessing nothing–except her talent, her resourcefulness, and her beautiful face. I wonder what I would have made of my life if I’d been born in lowlier circumstances.

Is she what Mr. Darcy would call “accomplished”?

There’s so much that I take for granted. I’ve been coasting through my life, everything handed to me on a plate, nothing affecting me and doing exactly as I pleased. Now I have to work for a living,

But do you, though?

and several hundred people depend on me and my decisions. It’s a daunting task and a huge responsibility that I have to accept if I want to maintain my lifestyle.

You literally have a business manager who’s been running all this estate shit. So far, it seems like the only thing required of you in any real capacity is knowing what’s going on.

In the midst of this turmoil, I found Alessia, and in an indecently short time I’ve come to care for her more than I’ve ever cared for anyone.

Thank you for the recap? Is this entire section meant for people who bought a copy of the book with the first eighty percent missing or something?

I have to admit that I hate arguing with Caroline. She is my best friend. She has been forever. My world feels out of kilter if we’re at loggerheads. It happened occasionally, when Kit was

Dating, engaged, and married to her?

here to mediate, but she’s never thrown me out of the house before.

This fixation on being thrown out of the house is really disconcerting. Why did he want to even stay? So she could keep insulting this woman whom he allegedly cares about more than any other person in the world? Even more so than himself? He just wanted to sit there and listen to Caroline hurl abuse about the woman he loves. Okay.

I’m just still not buying the “Caroline is important in my life because she’s my bestest, bestest friend in the whole wide world even though she threw me over for my brother because she’s a snobby, title-seeking opportunist” thing. Especially now that he’s so devoted to Demelssia. Can she, the woman you love and with whom you have this unbreakable, instant bond not be your best friend?

What’s worse is that I had meant to ask for her help sorting out Alessia’s legal status in the UK. Caroline’s father is a senior director in the Home Office. If anyone can help, he can.

But that’s out of the question for the moment.

You can’t just call him yourself? He’s your brother’s father-in-law. You must have met before. And even if you can’t contact him, I guarantee you know other people or can buy other people to expedite this process. Demelssia is currently the most well-connect undocumented immigrant in the UK but she can’t even reap the benefits inherent because her main connection is so fucking short-sighted.

Moss notices that it’s now fifteen minutes past when he was supposed to be home, so he leaves the bar and we go into Demelssia’s POV, where Anatoli is taking her to get her stuff from Moss’s apartment.

What if Maxim is home?

Anatoli threatened to kill him.

The thought of what Anatoli might do to Maxim is terrifying.

You know what she should do? Trip the alarm when she comes into the house. Because, you know, we’ve heard about the alarm over and over again. And if she trips the alarm, who will come running? Moss’s army friend.

Magda must have written to her mother. Why? Alessia had begged her not to.

Because god forbid a man be the true villain of the story? Because it would be unacceptable for only one woman to stand in the way of Moss and Demelssia’s true love? Pick a reason.

She has to get away, but Alessia knows she cannot outrun him.

Think, Alessia, think.

Yes. Think. Think of Chekov’s Alarm that we’ve heard so god damn much about.

Anatoli asks Demelssia if Moss is really just her employer and if he’s “had what’s mine.” She denies any romantic relationship with Moss, even when Anatoli goes into the master bedroom and finds a condom in the trash. She tells him that Moss has a girlfriend and both of them are out, and Anatoli tells her to get her stuff.

“Go. Now. I don’t want to wait for him to return. I don’t want a scene.” He undoes his coat, slips his hand inside his jacket, and pulls out a pistol. “I am serious.”

Can y’all just get guns in the UK? And get them across the border real easy? I was under the impression that the opposite was true. I live in a country where I can’t go to the grocery store without knowing at least two people there have guns. Living in a place where every single time I enter a public establishment I am at risk of being shot has warped my perspective on how other countries operate.

Her fate is sealed. She will go with Anatoli. She must, to protect the man she loves. She has no choice. How did she think she could escape her father’s besa?

So, here’s the thing. I get that she has to leave now with Anatoli. But there’s no reason she can’t try to escape later. She escaped from traffickers but she can’t plot her escape from Anatoli? And again, if she’d just tripped the god damn alarm we had to hear so much about over and over again, Moss would know something was wrong, his friend would race over, probably call the police…none of this makes sense. Why set up the perfect escape mechanism that would make your heroine look super clever just to have her go, oh, I am so meek, I am so provincial, lead me like a cow back to Albania?

Demelssia tells Anatoli that she has to leave a note for Moss because it’s only fair to let him know his employee is leaving.

Alessia scribbles quickly, careful with her choice of words, hoping desperately that Maxim will read between them. She doesn’t know how well Anatoli speaks for reads English. She cannot take the chance–she cannot write what she really wants to say.

So, what does she write that’s so careful and coded and that won’t make Anatoli suspect a thing?

Thank you for protecting me.

Thank you for showing me what love means.

But I cannot escape my destiny.

I love you. I will always love you. Until the day I die.

Maxim. My love.

Yeah, no, none of that will tip off Anatoli at all. It’s super subtle.

But it doesn’t matter because though Anatoli reads the letter, he doesn’t seem to know what it says. He takes her out of the apartment and we go to Moss’s POV, where he’s just now approaching the apartment.

When I turn the corner, the road is quiet except in the distance a man is closing the door of a black Mercedes S-Class that’s parked in front of my building.

“Maxim!”

I turn to see Caroline running down the street toward me.

But Moss is torn between paying attention to Caroline’s melodrama and watching the car because something feels wrong. The driver is getting into the car on the wrong side.

“Maxim!” Caroline calls again. I turn, and she runs up to me and throws her arms around my neck with such force that I have to put my arms around her to balance us both and stop us from falling to the ground. “I’m so sorry,” she sobs.

So, Caroline is weeping in his arms as he watches the car drive away.

And then I see it. The small red-and-black flag of Albania on the number plate.

In Demelssia’s POV…well, we all know what’s happening in Demelssia’s POV. She hears Caroline shout Moss’s name and sees:

Maxim is standing at the end of the block–and a fair-haired woman runs into his arms, hugging him.

Who is she?

He cradles her head.

No!

He holds her waist.

And she remembers–the woman wearing his shirt, standing in his kitchen.

Yup. The Big Misunderstanding™.

The betrayal is swift and cruel, slicing Alessia into tiny pieces and shattering her faith in herself–and in him.

Him. Her Mister.

So, yeah. In spite of everything he’s done for her, Demelssia knows for certain that Moss’s love is all a lie because…he hugged his dead brother’s widow just weeks after her husband died.

Reasonable.

I’m tired. I’m so, so tired. I’m tired of hearing about how smart and brave and clever this heroine is only to see her make rash conclusions, become paralyzed with fear, and not be able to figure out something a simple as, IDK, even just shouting for help or making a scene when Anatoli grabbed her in the store. Yes, she has PTSD from her earlier ordeal. We all get that. But this isn’t real life. This is supposed to be if I remember the exact wording, a roller-coaster thrill ride or some such shit. It’s not super thrilling to watch the heroine get led around, waiting to be rescued. Like, the solution to this problem was not “add more kidnapping.” The solution was, “let your heroine fight back.”

In Moss’s POV, he abandons Caroline on the street and runs upstairs. And the “abandonment” is, emphasized as Caroline chases after him. For example:

Abandoning Caroline,

and

Leaving Caroline at the foot of the stairs,

Like, we get it. She’s following you and you don’t give a shit about her because she’s the evil blonde and we need to see how much you don’t care about her because not caring about her makes your love more pure and true or whatever but also she’s your very best friend whom you care deeply about and can’t stand to lose. Or something.

They have her. They have her again. My sweet, brave woman. What will those monsters do to her? Her clothes are not in my bedroom. Nor the spare room…

In the kitchen, I find her keys and the note.

Mister Maxim

My betrothed is here and he is taking me to my home in Albania.

Thank you for everything.

Alessia.

WAIT WHAT? That’s right. Despite it seeming very much as though Alessia had written that long thing about how much she loved him, she didn’t really write it. And we, the readers, had absolutely no way of knowing that because of how it was formatted.

“No!” I scream, overwhelmed by my despair. Picking up the phone, I hurl it at the wall. It shatters into pieces as I sink to the floor, my head in my hands.

Overwhelmed by my despair, I break the thing that will reach help the fastest.

Anyway, that’s the end of the chapter, basically. He falls on the floor and thinks about how he wants to cry and it’s over.

My Impression So Far: The other day, I went back and looked at what I’d written in this section in the first two recaps. Oh, what a fucking dumbass I was.

Let’s talk about the three things that bother me the absolute most about this chapter, things that an editor should have pointed out. Things that the author should have thought of in the first place. Things that would have made this scene so much better.

First of all, the alarm. Every time they go in and out of the apartment, we hear about the alarm. It’s as present as the Thames in these scenes (Maxim does mention the Thames at one point, by the way, so don’t worry, it’s still there). The one time the alarm would actually serve a purpose that would justify the author’s fixation upon it, she doesn’t use it. And that’s infuriating.

Second, the note. Alessia wants to make it clear to Maxim that she doesn’t want to go. She wants him to read between the lines. She leaves the note…in the kitchen. Why not leave it on the piano? The piano is another thing we hear about over and over. Why not leave it there as some kind of signal? Some poignant thing? Wouldn’t it be easy to tell Anatoli, oh, they’re super rich, they never go in the kitchen, I’ll leave it where they’ll find it?

Finally, the reader needed to be able to tell that what was printed in italics during the writing of the letter wasn’t what Alessia actually wrote. And there is one tiny change that would have completely fixed the whole situation. One single character.

Instead of:

She cannot take the chance–she cannot write what she really wants to say.

Thank you for protecting me.

We should have seen:

She cannot take the chance–she cannot write what she really wants to say:

There. It’s so tiny, I put it in bold and red so you can’t miss it. Maybe it could have gone further and instead of:

She shows him and watches as his eyes scan the words.

We saw:

She shows him and watches his eyes scan the words she wrote instead.

But even just the colon would have been enough to clear up the confusion.

At this point, my assumption is that there had already been some missed deadlines. I say this because of the interview I linked above the jump. She didn’t grasp Alessia’s character until March of 2018, at which point she began rewriting the novel. And the book came out thirteen months later. In terms of traditional publishing, a book with this much riding on it would have had much more lead time. This explains why the announcement of the book came so close to the actual release. It explains why the media campaign and promotion were so slapdash. And if it was, in fact, a case of too many missed deadlines (especially since there was almost certainly a seven-figure advance involved, possibly higher), even being a hugely bestselling author wouldn’t alleviate the pressure of time as both publisher and author watched the success of Fifty Shades of Grey growing smaller and smaller in the rearview. All of this would explain why the ending of this book is so rushed, why the chapters are suddenly much shorter, and why none of the characters are making any decisions that would lead to having to write an extra few thousand words per chapter. There simply wasn’t time to write a good book.

Did you enjoy this post?

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

Or, consider becoming a Patreon patron!

125 Comments

  1. Maile
    Maile

    Between the toddler I. Batman pajamas and throwing his phone, I now picture Moss played by William Shatner.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Thank you. Rack from Kingdom of the Spiders is his brother now; forget Kit. Two peas in a pod.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Liza
      Liza

      My dog’s name is William Shatner. I will forever after imagine my dog when I read about Moss. His behaviour would actually make a bit more sense.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Tez Miller
        Tez Miller

        I love when pets have human names 🙂

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
  2. Mel
    Mel

    I legit thought that she’d forgotten what she wrote mere paragraphs before and wrote two different notes. Or that she changed it and then forgot to change it in one of the perspectives. I did not get at all that the note in Alessia’s POV was just what she wanted to write and not what she actually wrote. That is really sloppy. Your fix made so much more sense.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Seraphina Bellemonte
      Seraphina Bellemonte

      Thank God I wasn’t the only one. I thought she wrote two separate notes, too, and did a letter-switch when her evil betrothed wasn’t looking or something that just wasn’t mentioned in-text. I should’ve known better; that would be too proactive for our intrepid heroine.

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Bunny
      Bunny

      Me too! I thought it was going to be like Lani forgetting that Sofieaeooo in HfM didn’t push Zammalammadingdong away when she was doing CPR. This sure seemed like a continuity blip – so clunky and bad.

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Siobhanabon
      Siobhanabon

      I thought it was written on two different sides, but even that first draft would have alerted Albertolli or whatever his name is that she was lying.

      And really, the Caroline scene should have been Alessia’s saving grace. Like, see, here’s the “mister” and his girlfriend. I’m just the help Alioli.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Right? And EEL didn’t even use it that way; have Dimzy cry and mean it due to the misunderstanding… What a waste of this entire chapter. All of it could’ve been cut, quite frankly.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
  3. Shanti
    Shanti

    What if he’s pissed about Caroline throwing him out of the house because… it’s his house? Like, he’s the Earl ergo despite the fact that her husband JUST DIED and he had sex with her while she was grieving and then dropped off the face of the earth, then reappeared and called her a gold-digging slut, he feels like it’s a party foul of her to tell him to leave.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      That sounds plausible. I’m also wondering if EEL just had a really hard time imagining how he’d feel about it because EEL was having such a hard time sorting out their relationship at all. As said in prior comments, he has too many different relationships and feelings for her and they’re contradicting each other in ways that only a much better writer could succeed at. Also, the friendship is barely realized so that entire angle doesn’t ring true at all, which doesn’t help in the slightest.

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
  4. Bunny
    Bunny

    What is it with EL equating twoo wuv with some kind of understood ownership? The repeated usage of “Mister” just reinforces that Alessia’s position relative to Maxim’s is one of ownership, this time as an employee thing + a wealth thing rather than D/s + wealth as it was in 50sog. Plus, you know, Chedward’s “you’re mine!!”ing and Ana’s “he’s mine!!”ing in those books. I doubt I would’ve noticed it if it hadn’t been so expounded upon in 50sog, but now it just seems like “imbalanced societal/socioeconomic power dynamics = sexy” is a consistent theme in Eel’s work. Urgh.

    Also, Anatoli is incredibly underdeveloped as an antagonist. We know next to nothing about him! Is this supposed to be compelling or thrilling or something? It’s not, it’s just super underwhelming.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Gretel
      Gretel

      Gosh, Alessia calling him Mister creeps me out so hard. My mom was a cleaning lady and right now I’m working as a cashier until my shit for my PhD works out. Other family members also have or are still working in typical blue-collar jobs. The thought of being doe-eyed about your boss and calling him Mister freaks me out because there’s such a huuuuuge power imbalance. You’re basically in the hands of someone else and what Alessia does is reinforcing the hierarchy. In fact, she actually uses that power imbalance to create a cute nickname because him being ridiculously wealth AND her boss is aparently the turn-on.
      It’s gross and reeks of privilege. I’m 1000% sure EEL never worked a manual job in her life because this kind of dynamic is only sexy when you’ve never had to work in that position.

      Nothing kills the trope faster than having to work for abusive bosses.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Lucy
        Lucy

        She might have in mind Jane Eyre referring to Rochester as her master. The thing is, Jane makes it clear again and again that she thinks herself as his equal, never mind the social or gender imbalance of the time. To be honest, I ‘ve always thought Jane might be a little bit kinky.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
      • Amy Too
        Amy Too

        I think the whole “My Mister” thing is maybe supposed to call back to the “My Fifty” thing from Grey? Like being someone’s boss and being “fifty shades of fu*ked up” are both not really great things, yet the heroine internalizes that bad or awkward or wrong parts of their relationship to the hero, and somehow twists them into being romantic. So Ana called Christian “My Fifty” because her love was “in spite of” and yet also meant to transcend and conquer his fu*ked upedness, and Dimzy calls Moss “My Mister” because her love is in spite of him being her employer, and also meant to transcend, and somehow heal, the screwed up and gross power dynamic that’s at play in their relationship. Like both heroines are romanticizing the things that are actually such red flags about their relationships with their respective heroes.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • Tez Miller
          Tez Miller

          MY Mister?

          That reminds me of a Kath & Kim episode. Someone called Brett a “dud root”. Kim replied, “Yes, he is. But he’s MY dud root!” 😉

          July 9, 2019
          |Reply
  5. Juliana Coons
    Juliana Coons

    Not enough time to write a good book? Not enough time in the world could fix the glaring, breathtaking lack of talent behind this “writing.” She is just the worst. And a “priapic fool”? IDK that word is odd. She clearly wants to sound smart. She doesn’t.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Tami
      Tami

      “Priapic fool” = “a dick idiot.”

      Yeah, I’m betting the publishing house is feeling like a whole bunch of dick idiots, right about now.

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
  6. MyDog'sPA
    MyDog'sPA

    IMHO it’s not a good book because the bad guys are badly written. Gotta have a good bad guy for a good book. And EEL wouldn’t know a good bad guy from a toddler.

    Minor consolation: it’s fallen to #19 on Publisher’s Weekly list:

    https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/nielsen/tradepaper.html

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah, seriously. I wrote those two shitty snippets with Bobby in Anatoli’s place but I’d like to think he was more compelling in his affable evilness.

      The worst part is we shouldn’t need fucking Magda or Caroline to get involved. It sounds as if Anatoli would’ve stayed in Albania without the former or that he wouldn’t have been able to get Alessia out of the country without the sudden and DEEPLY confusing re-appearance of Caroline. I mean, wtf? Yeah, she was mad, but if Jenny’s confused about why the fuck Maxim wanted to stay, I’m puzzled about why Caroline went to his apartment. Yeah, it was 30-minutes to an hour later or whatever but I’d be angry for a lot longer or, I don’t know, text or call him before turning up at his apartment. She had no idea if he even went home. What if he decided to go out somewhere with Alessia? IDK.

      But yeah, Anatoli is a lame generic baddie. Even Dante had his stench to distinguish him… is Anatoli’s distinctive characteristic gonna be his blondness? lol

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • MyDog'sPA
        MyDog'sPA

        And then I see it. The small red-and-black flag of Albania on the number plate.

        Since 2011, tho, the plates have been white and blue:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_registration_plates_of_Albania

        And the S-Class has been around since 1972, so we don’t know what year it was.

        Yet more proof of EEL’s status as a novice writer. That and everything in this chapter and the last reinforces my opinion that, as a noob writer, things happen in the story because the writer wants them to, not because the characters want them to.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
  7. Agent_Z
    Agent_Z

    So, Magda is a villain now? Well there goes the only sympathetic character in this story.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      We still have the Thames! :’)

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • And the lesbian cook. Lesbians are the only okay women in Eel’s world.

        July 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jules
          Jules

          I’m pretty sure EEL thinks lesbians just haven’t been cured by a dick(head) yet. If she does that gay love story she’s hinted at it will be male on male because she hates all women.

          I am glad to hear the Thames is alive and well.

          Also, this book actually sounds 10,000 times worse than 50 Shades of Shit which proves she was only able to write that book because she was using someone else’s template.

          This woman’s success infuriates me.

          July 9, 2019
          |Reply
          • Lily
            Lily

            Like there isn’t enough Harry Potter slash already.

            July 9, 2019
  8. Tami
    Tami

    Read the interview. Shouldn’t have done it so soon after eating. Now I want to vomit.

    “There is nothing more wonderful than escaping into a book that doesn’t let you go. That’s what happened with Twilight. And I’m now getting the same response with my books. Crikey. I didn’t know I could do that,” says James, two days after BookCon during her first official visit to Toronto as an author.”

    Crikey, someone please beat me with a cricket bat.

    Who wants to bet her next book will be set in Toronto because she was there for a day? It’ll be about a Mountie who falls in love with an innocent woman named Nell who is being persued by BDSM villain who goes by the nickname “Whiplash.” Meanwhile, the Mountie’s palimino tries to trample poor Nell out of jealousy.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Tami
      Tami

      And yes, I know it’s “palOmino,” that’s what happens when the “i” and “o” are next to each other and a cat is trying to walk across your laptop while you’re typing.

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      She’s plagiarizing Steve Irwin now. This cannot stand!

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Well, yeah, but… but I’d read that. If it wasn’t EEL then it’d be just as hilarious as the original I hope. XD

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
  9. Oye, just for fun, please do a recap for E.L James take on Harry Potter. I am already imagining how it will be like…

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Seraphina Bellemonte
      Seraphina Bellemonte

      That sounds fun in a really morbid sort of way. I want to give that a try.

      Beautiful and innocent English literature student Alana le Fay spends her days studying the works of the Romantics, dreaming of the day when she’ll be able to experience the passion that drove the world’s most fiery poets. Then, her world changes. Alana discovers she is a witch with a natural and untapped talent for magic, and it is her destiny to save the world from the wicked Carnemorte. She is whisked away from her home in Seattle, Washington, to London’s Camelot University to hone her magical talents, but the biggest challenge of all might be her classmate, the beautiful, intimidating, and otherworldly Dorian Grey (wink, wink) IV.

      While Alana should be focusing on honing her magical powers, she can’t deny her fervent attraction to her classmate. And although he’s very, very distantly related to an unnamed earl (wink, wink) and has many dark secrets, Dorian can’t help but be seduced by Alana’s bravery, beauty, and wit. There’s just one problem; Alana’s magic is dependent on her virginity. Can Alana resist the music of Dorian’s dick long enough to save the world, or will she send the world plunging into a thousand years of darkness?

      Plot Twists/Ideas:

      *Is this book (which would obviously be a title that has something to do with the hero’s name) in the same universe as 50 Shades and The Mister? I don’t know…wink, wink.

      *90% of the book is told from Alana’s first-person present perspective. 9% is Dorian’s third-person present perspective (because how will you know that he loves the heroine if he doesn’t tell you?). The other 1% will be an ambiguous villain’s perspective.

      *Dorian’s backstory is that he had an evil blonde girlfriend who still wants to get back together with him and is willing to have sex with him (so Alana will have something to angst over), and his dark secret is that he’s into magical bondage or something. At one point, the evil blonde probably uses a love potion on Dorian, and instead of realizing that her Love Interest’s sudden change of behavior is very suspicious, Alana immediately assumes that Dorian was never interested in her, despite all his ~smoldering gazes~. Alana figures out the love potion plot after hearing Dorian’s evil blonde ex brag about it.

      *Alana is related to Morgan le Fay, who was probably Just Misunderstood and betrayed by her lover and/or made to do evil things by her lover Merlin, which makes it feminist, right? Because Morgan wasn’t ACTUALLY evil. A MAN made her evil, but she was actually good.

      *A minor villain, who has a vague and confusing relationship to the main villain, decides he wants to sacrifice a virgin, so Dorian decides to “rectify the situation,” saving Alana’s life. And Alana fears she’s lost her powers but discovers she has them because she’s still pure of heart, and instead of going after the minor villain who just tried to sacrifice her, she spends several chapters having great sex with Dorian.

      *Despite all the obvious Dorian Gray jokes and all the questions that she probably should ask as an English major, Alana will choose Jane Eyre as the book that she keeps referencing.

      *After Carnemorte kidnaps Alana (gasp!), she tries to fight him but is knocked unconscious and has to be rescued by Dorian, who ultimately beats Carnemorte (off-screen, of course) because of the power of love he shares with Alana. And after the world is saved, Alana marries Dorian (whose older brother conveniently died, leaving him a dukedom), so she becomes a magical duchess.

      The problem is that this all sounds SO hilariously bad that I kind of want to write it now.

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jamie
        Jamie

        Please do!

        July 8, 2019
        |Reply
      • Jo
        Jo

        Okay, but that sounds like a fantastic Harry Potter + 50 Shades mashup parody. I’d read it

        July 8, 2019
        |Reply
      • Maile
        Maile

        You should write and publish this before Eel gets a chance!

        July 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          YES. lol XD

          July 8, 2019
          |Reply
      • Coco
        Coco

        “The 50 Dick-tures of Dorian Grey”

        July 8, 2019
        |Reply
        • Seraphina Bellemonte
          Seraphina Bellemonte

          That title is GOLD, I tell you. Combining both 50 Shades and Picture of Dorian Gray? Shoehorning the hero’s ENTIRE name in there? A reminder that you could be reading much better books? Splendid. The only way it could possibly be better was if it was “The 50 Dick-tures of Mister Dorian Grey.”

          The only downside is that I’m now imagining Dorian Gray, aging normally… all except for his penis.

          July 9, 2019
          |Reply
          • Coco
            Coco

            “The 50 Magical Dick-tures of Wizard Mister Dorian Grey”

            He has one of those Harry Potter magical portraits so that in addition to having sex with real women his portrait self has sex with portrait women.
            Maybe the heroine is an art history major who has stumbled across his image in dozens of masterpieces. She’s failing her classes because her professors can’t see the mysterius, magnetic man she writes about in her papers. She learns that she can see him because she’s a witch!

            July 9, 2019
      • Am inspired to write it myself, or trying to write it myself 🙂

        July 8, 2019
        |Reply
      • Eclairmaiden
        Eclairmaiden

        The Jane Eyre thing especially made me laugh. Great stuff!

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
  10. Maybe I just haven’t been paying enough attention, but the fact that Anatoli ISN’T associated with the sex traffickers is extremely frustrating and confusing to me. I had thought he originally was, but no, because I guess what this story really needed was Alessia being pursued by completely separate and unrelated evil Albanian men. I really don’t see the point of having them being unrelated. Unless it’ll turn out that they ARE connected somehow, like Anatoli arranged to have her kidnapped as a way to both punish her for her rejection, and to also make himself look like a hero to her by “rescuing” her from them? Probably not, because that twist would be way too smart for ELJ.

    And of course, OF FUCKING COURSE this book would have the classic “other woman” big misunderstanding that’s built entirely on sand. Look, I’m no stranger to other man/other woman type misunderstandings, hell, I’ve written them in my own books. But I can’t stand it when they’re not only as flimsy as this one here, but also totally pointless. We have enough drama at this point in the story already with Alessia being in very real danger with her fiance, sorry, “betrothed.” I guess maybe the point was so that Alessia would be in the depths of despair and have no hope of being rescued by Maxim since she thinks he doesn’t really love her?

    Except there doesn’t seem to be any indication earlier in the chapter that she had any hope of being rescued by or reunited with Maxim, only that she wanted to protect him from Anatoli and let him know her reason for leaving. So, I’m really at a loss as to how this whacky misunderstanding could possibly have any real impact on the plot.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Exactly! Hell, it’d be great if maybe Dimzy despaired and then realized she had to save herself, found some way to do so in Albania, and when Moss finds her again, she is less trusting and whatever… just SOMETHING to make it mean anything. It’s so infuriating that the reason behind the misunderstanding is not only facepalming stupid and contrived (if I was Caroline, I’d be so done with Maxim, more so than his supposed anger seen here) but also that it has no bearing on the outcome whatsoever because this is EEL and she can’t have any conflict carry on for more than a few chapters at best. GUH.

      We know this doesn’t mean anything but she already blew her wad with the first kidnappers and is trying to ramp this up to eleven because her pacing and her whole structure are off-kilter. She wanted it to be a surprise but she spent too much time on meaningless garbage early on and jumbled everything up at the end.

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Yeah, but then if Alessia had to learn to trust Maxim again, that would just make the book drag on for even longer! And if there’s one thing E L James hates, it’s letting a conflict go on for more than a chapter and a half, no matter how rushed and sloppy the resolution is. I mean, she could always NOT write in these pointless, contrived conflicts to begin with, but nah, gotta milk that melodrama for all it’s worth.

        Besides, we can’t have Alessia save herself, because then that would require actual creativity and effort on ELJ’s part. Why bother showing us how a female character is strong, brave, and smart when you can just have the male character TELL us over and over again? And why bother coming up with an interesting way to get Alessia out of danger when you can just fall back on tired old rescue romance cliches? I’m actually pretty sursprised and grateful at what instances we saw of Alessia’s bravery and resiliance earlier in the book. Even though we don’t get much of the story from her POV compared to the less-interesting Maxim, she somehow has far more brains, backbone, and (arguably) personality than Ana ever did in FSOG.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
    • Ani
      Ani

      Worse, who freakin’ cares if he’s with the other woman? Alessia was being kidnapped and her biggest concern is, “who is that slut”?????????

      Priorities!

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • I mean, on the one hand, I guess I can understand how the heightened emotions of the moment could skew her perception and cause her to jump to conclusions. But on the other hand, the way EL James writes characters with romantic insecurities is freaking EXHAUSTING, and unless Maxim and Caroline where passionately making out in the middle of the street there’s no way Alessia’s insecurity should be so prominently at the forefront of her mind that it’s the big emotional bombshell her POV for this chapter ends on. Have her be shocked/confused/feel a stab in her heart when she sees them together if you must, but if THIS is what’s getting the most emotional weight during a KIDNAPPING SCENE, it really undercuts the drama and danger of the moment. Which I’m certain is the opposite of what the intented effect was, since I can think of no other reason this was in here than to crank the melodrama up to eleven.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • Ani
          Ani

          A Hardy Boys book contained a scene where a friend was severely beaten and had their stuff stolen. And what was the boys’ first question? “What was stolen?” Their first concern was a stolen item, not if their “severely beaten” friend was okay or not. Like i get it, it’s a mystery of the missing item, but c’mon…

          July 10, 2019
          |Reply
  11. Kyra
    Kyra

    “There simply wasn’t time to write a good book.”

    I think you’re being quite generous here. This seems to imply that she’s capable of writing a good book, given world enough and time. I’d argue otherwise. Fabulous recap as always!

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
  12. K R
    K R

    Albanian’s drive Mercedes’?! They could afford them?! Seriously?!

    Ok, all joking aside, I seriously want to know what people find enjoyable about this book?
    There is hardly any characterization for any characters and the ones that should be the most developed because they are the protagonists spend their time inside their heads being vapid AF. I couldn’t understand the love for FSoG, that inner goddess schtick was the lamest thing I’ve ever read, and this is more of that same vapidness sans inner goddess.
    Then again, even when I wrote fanfiction, the shi++iest stories had the most hits :/.

    Well, I guess we’ll get to meet Alessia’s parents then. Has it been mentioned if she has siblings? I can’t remember.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      I think Jenny has mentioned this before, but like – in fanfic, you don’t NEED to write characterization (unless you have an important OC or something, but even then) because the readers are already familiar with the characters from the source material.

      You absolutely -can- write good characterization in a fanfic, but it’s not necessary and a lot of stories aren’t going to do so. So yeah, the Eel doesn’t know how to write original stories and characters *at all*

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
  13. Nanani
    Nanani

    The black car with a national flag on it makes me think “Embassy Vehicle”.

    Is teh Ebil Bethrothed working at the Albanian Embassy and found her in the grocery story via an international spy ring?

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      European number plates have a little flag on the left hand side to show which country they’re registered to (there are exceptions, notably the UK, but most countries do it). EU members usually have the EU flag, but Albania isn’t a member so uses its own flag:

      http://www.olavsplates.com/albania.html

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Xebi
        Xebi

        Sorry, part of my comment doesn’t make sense. Not that it’s relevant to the original comment, but even if they use the EU flag you can tell which country it is by the code next to it, e.g. F for France. In this case it’s AL for Albania.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
      • Siobhanabon
        Siobhanabon

        The UK does do this for cars registered after a certain date. Older cars seem to be exempt. I’m the kind of nerd who will try and study this but I haven’t pinpointed the year. My car is late 2014/early 2015 and it has the GB signage x

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • Xebi
          Xebi

          It’s still not compulsory, but more and more are doing it. Seems like only about half of 2019 ones have it.

          Source: am looking out of my window on a busy street. Can’t see the Thames though.

          July 9, 2019
          |Reply
          • Victoria
            Victoria

            If you can’t see the Thames, then where even ARE you?

            I have a 2018 car that doesn’t have the flag (even though I want one and would happily paint my entire car blue with yellow stars to get my point across). But I have a handy-dandy magnet with GB on it for when we drive to the continent.

            July 9, 2019
      • Nanani
        Nanani

        TIL!

        I knew about the letter codes but I mainly dealt with embassy vehicles in a non-Europe part of the world. So I didn’t know flags on normal cars were a thing! Thanks.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      Yep. I thought the same thing – flag on the license plate? He’s a diplomat??? None of this makes sense. My brain hurts and I’m only reading recaps.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Ani
      Ani

      Yup, this guy kidnapped a woman in broad daylight while driving a very distinctive, traceable car. He may as well also be wearing a top hat and a curly mustache

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Xebi
        Xebi

        Yeah, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to spotting car number plates and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Albanian one in London. It would stand out.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
  14. Nancy
    Nancy

    Maybe I have the wrong definition in mind, but he’s a phallus shaped fool? Really?

    What’s with the hate for those of us lacking pigmentation? I’m blonde, with blue eyes, and a first generation American, with a mother born in Poland. Do you think EL James would hate me on sight?

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Errapel
      Errapel

      ‘A priapic fool.’ Could also mean a fool with a persistently erect penis.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • That’s what I was thinking. Still sounds ridiculous as fuck, though.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
      • Nancy
        Nancy

        That’s true. Priapism is painful isn’t it? Maybe that’s why he always seems to be in a bad mood? Plus the lack of blood flow to the brain would explain the dumbness.

        July 11, 2019
        |Reply
    • Vely
      Vely

      I think she would. But being female would already be enough for her to hate you. If I remember correctly the only woman Ana ever met that she didn’t immediately dislike was black.
      And as a redhead I’m wondering did EL ever mention one of us in any of her books?

      July 11, 2019
      |Reply
      • Nancy
        Nancy

        I don’t think she’s ever mentioned a red head, but I imagine she’s one of those people who go around joking about gingers not having souls even after it’s clearly not funny anymore.

        July 11, 2019
        |Reply
  15. Ari (Wilderness)
    Ari (Wilderness)

    “My fiancé (who is an abusive nutjob) is taking me home (to my father, who is also an abusive nutjob) to Albania (the country I fled from specifically to escape these exact people).” It could only have been more obvious if she had added “P.S. please help me escape immediately!”

    And he thinks it’s real?? Is he literally that stupid? Or did he fail to listen to anything she said?”

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
  16. H2
    H2

    She does the ‘I have no other choice’ thing and the first thing that popped into my head was Harvey Specter from season 1 of Suits telling Mike Ross that when someone has a gun to your head: “you take the gun, or you pull out a bigger one. Or, you call their bluff. Or, you do any one of a hundred and forty six other things.”

    If someone has ‘no other choice’ you can’t just say that – you have to show that all the other options are not viable. That’s not the case here. There are tons of options.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      It’s really not about the gun. It’s everything else… the gun is a smaller symptom of other problems, but yeah, it would be so much better if she’d called his bluff or tried to run. It’s not even that she can’t but the way it’s written makes it sound out of character for her. If she specifically freezes up when it comes to him, explaining that would be helpful. There’s just so much wrong with this chapter that it’s hard to pin it all down but her reaction here is frustrating because it’s simply what the author wanted and EEL didn’t bother to hide that at all.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
  17. Jo
    Jo

    The Big Misunderstanding™: CALLED IT.

    Also, Alessia’s characterization this chapter bugged me. I mean, it was already paper thin, but now it’s like the paper has got wet and is disintegrating before our very eyes. The guy is trying to kidnap you in a grocery store. SHOUT. MAKE A SCENE. What’s he gonna do, shoot you in the middle of the aisle? We know he 1) wants to take you back home to marry you/rape you, 2) is a mob boss. He is not going to want to call attention to himself.

    On that note, Anatoli is a fucking incompetent crime guy. You approach the woman you inted to kidnap in broad daylight, in a crowded place, where she could easily call for help? He’s lucky Alessia’s survival instincts of a possum and goes into a frozen, complacent state instead of fighting him. And like, I know it’s necessary Because Plot that he takes her back to the apartment and lets her leave a note, but since you’re already taking all these other risks with the kidnapping, you might as well have the car parked right outside so you can push her in and drive away. You can buy clothes for her in any of the countries between England and Albania. You don’t have to be polite about it. Christ, Anatoli, you suck at Bad Guy-ing.

    … what am I saying? This dude is exactly the type of Bad Guy this book deserves.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Coco
      Coco

      There will probably be a time jump to her being back in Albania, but I’d love it if she was at the airport and, even if Anatoli had acquired a false passport for her, she announced “This man is kidnapping me!”

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I mean, in theory, he could shoot to incapacitate. He did go to fucking England to find her so he clearly won’t kill her unless he’s insanely unstable. I think she should’ve tried calling his bluff and run, the way she did with the other kidnappers…

      But more importantly WHY THE FUCK did he let her leave a note?! Yeah, it’d be normal, maybe, if he’s trying to give off that normal vibe, but why did he even take her back to get her stuff? WTF did he think was important enough to let her fetch it? The bitch traveled there illegally with nothing. Hell, if I was him, I’d be worried it was a trap. The last thing that he needs is for rich, white people to get involved.

      This is why I wish things were more complex. Making him a gangster is the most ineffective way to give him power in this overall situation.

      July 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Xebi
        Xebi

        Yeah, if he has no idea she’s banging Maxim then from his point of view Maxim won’t care if his cleaner suddenly vanishes one day, because that’s always a risk if you employ illegal immigrants. Anatoli really isn’t very bright or he’d realise Maxim would know that. What he wouldn’t realise would be that their relationship is rather different from that and since Maxim knows people are after her, he would find her gone and realise something was off and immediately try to track her down. Which could have worked as a plot, although tracking her would be pretty hard since he wouldn’t know what sort of vehicle she was in or who with, and they’d be hiding her since she probably has no documents.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      Alessia is so frustrating here… Sure, a real person shouldn’t be blamed for being paralyzed with fear, especially after previous traumatic experiences, but as Jenny pointed out, this is a fictional character who ‘s supposedly strong and smart and who managed to escape dangerous traffickers, survived in the streets, etc. But the moment a man appears to rescue her, she loses any capacity for self-preservation. When the traffickers broke in I could buy her being alone at home and un capable of defending herself, but here? It’s relatively easy to attract someone ‘s attention in a busy supermarket!

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      Alessia is so frustrating here. I get that a real person might be paralyzed with fear, especially if she’s already been traumatized, and shouldn’t be shamed for that, but like Jenny said, this is a fictional character who ‘s supposed to be strong and smart, who managed to escape dangerous traffickers, live in the streets, etc. And yet the moment there’s a man to save her she loses any capacity for self-preservation. I could buy her being unable to defend herself from traffickers when she was alone in the house in Cornwall, but she’s in a busy supermarket, it should be relatively easy to attract someone ‘s attention!

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Lucy
        Lucy

        By the way my phone acted up, sorry for the multiple posts.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
  18. Coco
    Coco

    In order to give the heroes even less agency, Caroline will attempt to shoot Alessia just as Anatoli is attempting to shoot Maxim and will end up killing each other. Overcome by the emotions of their brush with death, the two star-crossed idiots will have sex in the same room as the bleeding corpses.

    July 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      It wouldn’t be worse than whatever we’re stuck with… ;P

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Bookjunk
      Bookjunk

      At which point ‘Hide and Seek’ by Imogen Heap starts to play, Caroline turns out to be still alive and she shoots Alessia, who then shoots Maxim. Yeah, I’m imagining this -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmd1qMN5Yo0 and it’s hilarious.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
  19. Dove
    Dove

    James noodled with this Upstairs, Downstairs story for a decade, but the story wasn’t clicking. It wasn’t until March 2018, after much research and several intensive trips to Albania, did she find the crux of Alessia’s character. Early drafts of The Mister were all written in third person. But James missed the immediacy of Fifty Shades, and how that story was told through the direct observations of her female protagonist, Anastasia. So James rewrote The Mister, switching Maxim’s story to first-person present as Alessia’s backstory slowly reveals itself.

    Okay, I agree that she probably rewrote a lot of it, missed deadlines, and the publishers were pressuring her to finish it when she did, but I don’t buy that she didn’t know Alessia’s character until then because she also lied about doing a lot of research and visiting Albania multiple times (or else we have a difference of opinion but I digress.)

    Here’s what I think happened:

    The original Poldark fanfic was really short and indeed written well before FSoG. It may have been in the third person, that’s not impossible. Anyway, she had abandoned it for several years when her publisher asked her to start writing a new book. She knew her readers were begging for more of Grey’s PoV and she had read some of the criticism. She didn’t feel like doing the former but clearly, it was popular to see her guy’s PoV and she could get some jabs in while giving a peace offering to her critics. She really only knows fanfic, has trouble coming up with her own plots and characters and she had this old fic, which might have focused on Ross, kicking around. It was probably her baby or her most popular fic before 50 took off. Maybe she’s legit been rehashing it over the years because she knew it wasn’t good but wasn’t sure how to fix it.

    Anyway, her love interest was Polish but then she caught wind of some story about sex trafficking in Albania. It grabbed her imagination and she knew it was gold if she could use it somehow. Maybe she actually listened to a bunch of her editors this time around even! Who knows? But she struggled, a lot, and she fought her editors over many things, like removing or rewriting huge sections, until she sort of saw their point, but didn’t know how to address it. I think there may have been a lot of moments where she couldn’t sacrifice her ego, her weird principles, or her beautiful prose in order to follow their advice so she half-assed it the best way she knew how. She wanted conflict but couldn’t commit to it. And she got bored with writing the crappy repetition and sex scenes. She hated going back and filling in the details when something changed or she had to go back and finish a dead-end moment.

    I think she did this to herself. Maybe she wrangled it with all her might but she got lazy. She was running out of time because she hadn’t managed that very well. She sat on her laurels because it would sell no matter what. She tried to expand her fanfic the way Lani Sarem expanded her screenplay but went about it the wrong way. I sincerely believe she rewrote it all from Maxim’s PoV before her editors made her realize that this was Alessia’s story and it would really help to see her PoV. Then she added those in but it was a mess because nothing held up. And she still hadn’t finished the end because she spent so much time padding out the beginning and adding infuriatingly pointless sections for Alessia, so people would take her seriously. She threw in cool ideas just because and that took time. And she kept putting off the ending because she’s terrible at conflict and she didn’t want to do it but she knew that was meat and honey right there. She only knew it was necessary but now how or why and she was very workman-like with it.

    Maybe I’m extrapolating too much but I think there was always time for this to be a good story if a) she was better at pacing and b) she wasn’t retrofitting an old story onto a new idea. I also suspect she pitched it to them before she’d hashed everything out and then when the editors got back to her, it became a cascading landslide of mistakes that she never expected.

    Maybe I just don’t want to give her any sympathy but then again, I didn’t charge $10 dollars for an incomplete book.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Forgot to add, she was mulling this over for a decade. I don’t know when she actually made the deal, possible 10 years ago, but if so… well, let’s be honest, it wasn’t Alessia’s personality so much as EEL suddenly decided to add in the sex trafficking thing and that’s a huge problem right there for multiple reasons. Still no sympathy… She flew too high to the sun and her wax wings melted. Simple as that.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      She tried to expand her fanfic the way Lani Sarem had expanded her screenplay and thus EEL went about it the wrong way.

      Sorry, typo there. And explained it better.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
  20. Chesh
    Chesh

    I’m glad you pointed out the flaws with the note. I borrowed the book from the library to read with and when I got to that part I was like, what the fuck? She just said she wasn’t sure how good his English is, so she’s really throwing caution to the wind here isn’t she? Only to realize later on what Eel was trying to say. JFC.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
  21. Jenny D
    Jenny D

    About “Can y’all just get guns in the UK? And get them across the border real easy? ”

    I’ve never had my car searched when travelling on a ferry to the UK. On the other hand, I’m a middle-aged Swedish woman, so it seems likely that I’m not considered high risk. But if Anatoli is such a Bad Guy[TM] and has brought his gun from Albania, I’d assume that he can figure out how to hide it in his car in such a way that it won’t be discovered by the sort of fairly casual search that happens at a border crossing absent any specific reason for searching his car in particular.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ellen
      Ellen

      I’m pretty sure it was an important clue in Sherlock that the criminal had a gun, so I’m going to say that maybe this criminal can get them, but it’s not a handwave he just has a gun kind of thing like a story set in the US

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Johanna
      Johanna

      It’s (from what I’ve heard) reasonably simple to get hold of guns in the Balkans. A lot of weapons floating around since the Balkan war, so if Anatoli is involved in organised crime he definitely has access to a gun. I also seem to recall that most illegal guns in the UK are smuggled in from the Balkans by car or ferry. But it’s still a stupid risk of him to take when a knife would have done the exact same thing, with less risk of being detained at the border. Unless of course it turns out he is involved with the same crime syndicate as the other kidnappers, in which case he could have gotten a gun from them that someone else snuggled in.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Xebi
        Xebi

        That’s a good point. Jenny D might not have her car searched, but maybe border control are a bit more strict with cars coming from countries known to be a source of smuggled firearms.

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dinah Lord
          Dinah Lord

          There are no direct ferries to the southern UK from anywhere but France, Belgium, the Netherlands (and at a pinch, Spain). So Anatoli has driven all the way from Albania to, say, Calais, in his very identifiable car, taken it on a ferry and then driven to London, rather than fly to the UK and hire a British car? I suppose if he’s come to take Alessia back, then he needs a vehicle to transport her, rather than risk her alerting airport staff, but it would make more sense if he picked up a car in an EU state and drove that – UK Border staff are much less likely to inspect an EU car.

          July 13, 2019
          |Reply
  22. Siobhanabon
    Siobhanabon

    I read the interview. God I want to punch her smug face! Yeah, everyone else was panicked your plane was delayed but hey, you got a massage so it’s all fine! Bitch. (EEL, not you, Jenny!) Just, everything about that interview makes my skin crawl so much.

    With regards to guns in England, you do need a licence and they are hard to get, HOWEVER I know that in places like South London there is an underground supply of illicit firearms, and it is associated with other criminal activities so you can bet your ass EEL’s lack of research extended to reading an article on The Sun or The Mail’s site about something happening in Brixton and thought it would do for the story. I don’t know how he’d get it over the border unless somehow he has a boat that he uses from somewhere other than the ports and docks. Somewhere like Canvey, Southend, or Gravesend where it’s close to London but more of a tourist place. Leigh-On-Sea has a marina? But I’m probably thinking about this way more than EEL ever did.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
  23. Angélique
    Angélique

    Of course the thing that upsets Alessia the most isn’t that she’s being kidnapped for the gazillionth time (seriously, the woman gets kidnapped more than Princess Peach) or that she’s being dragged back to Albania to marry a man she hates. Oh no. What’s upsetting her is that her “Mister” (barf) is hugging the Evil Blonde. Because obviously that’s the real tragedy here.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Brandi
      Brandi

      Oliver, at the apartment door: I’m sorry, Lord Moss. Your daily is in another house by the sea, sea, sea!

      July 10, 2019
      |Reply
  24. Dove
    Dove

    Magda must have written to her mother. Why? Alessia had begged her not to.

    This is 100% a patch job element. I believe EEL forgot about Magda entirely until she knew she had to explain Anatoli’s arrival or else this was her automatic go-to all alone (lololol I’ll just pick someone to tell him, okay the parents would, and Magda knows, she’ll work.) Like, did Magda also fucking tell her mother that she almost got sex trafficked? When exactly did Anatoli start looking for this woman and how long has it been since she left? Maybe it’s possible but I think it makes more sense if Magda just told her mother that she arrived in England safe, not to worry, and that’s why he knows. There’s literally no reason to tell him about Maxim. Unless the original time-frame never had the sex traffickers return and then maybe? I dunno!

    But it’s also deeply annoying that EEL refused to use the fucking alarm I mean COME ON. It’d be so simple to have Maxim arguing with Caroline and then his phone goes off, telling him his alarm was tripped, and this triggers anxiety although he doesn’t immediately assume she’s being kidnapped again because holy fuck she can’t really almost get kidnapped twice in one week right? The sex traffickers are gone, who else would… oh wait, right, would they really be in England? Yeah, gotta go, and then Caroline wants to keep arguing before she gives up and throws him out and he’s angry because he was going to leave anyway how dare she do that?

    This was such an easy fix if EEL had just paced herself and wanted organic conflict.

    Also…

    What’s worse is that I had meant to ask for her help sorting out Alessia’s legal status in the UK. Caroline’s father is a senior director in the Home Office. If anyone can help, he can.

    But that’s out of the question for the moment.

    This should’ve happened earlier, when he first started to have feelings for Dimzy, and everyone agreed that he needed to help her stay since Magda was leaving and all that good stuff. Maybe he dropped by on the way to Cornwall and Caroline wasn’t amused and rebuffed his request for assistance. Then Moss is simply returning to see if she changed her mind or was already working on it. Maybe he responded to her texts and shit to try and push her on this and then she got mad at him for only using her, they had a fight about it, with other old hurts coming up, and I dunno… then it’d make more sense if she FELT BAD and turned up to see him because she was wronged but also she knows she should help Dimzy.

    Grrr… but no, Caroline is this Barbie being flung at his neck instead.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Also, wouldn’t it be amazing if he turned up at the apartment while she was playing piano and she answered the door, thinking it was the groceries she’d ordered, and it was him instead? Then Anatoli got suspicious because she isn’t really acting like a servant, he heard her playing, but it’s not too out of line and she can talk her way around it, especially if she just goes along with him and doesn’t put up a fight. But she intentionally triggers the alarm on the way out, saying she has to put it up when she leaves, and oh no, that was an accident, and he is suspicious again but doesn’t have time so he orders her out and they go.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • MyDog'sPA
        MyDog'sPA

        Umm, that is very logical. Makes perfect sense. But EEL would never have thought of that . . . .

        July 9, 2019
        |Reply
  25. Kat
    Kat

    You can get guns in the UK but unless Anatoli smuggled it in (possible but somewhat unlikely), he would have had to cultivate some sort of criminal connection to sell him one.

    Also, Magda sent the email and Anatoli decided to DRIVE his expensive car all the way to the UK instead of just flying?

    Of course, he definitely couldn’t have smuggled his gun in if he’d done that.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      Apart from the gun thing, I think he would have to do it this way because he is also smuggling Alessia. He doesn’t have her documents. Also, it’s probably a lot easier to force someone into a private vehicle than to get them to an airport without anyone knowing you’ve kidnapped them.

      July 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        That’s a good point but I really wish he had used social pressure and the threat of harming her family to make her leave by plane. I mean, what if he had a private airplane instead of a private car? The only reason we see the car is to add tension when Moss is on the street and it’s so contrived. If Moss is supposed to chase after them in his own car… uh… wow. I don’t know why but that feels so lame.

        July 10, 2019
        |Reply
  26. Errapel
    Errapel

    There are guns in the UK, but they’re predominantly shot guns and hunting rifles. You need a licence. Handguns are banned, but there are a few floating around, either pre-ban or smuggled in (or badly 3D printed). Mostly not though. To get one you’d need criminal connections. Already established connections, because 9 times out of 10 if you’re new to the scene and are trying to buy a firearm, the person you’re trying to buy it from is probably a policeofficer. He’s an Albanian gangster leader, so maybe he has contacts. My knowledge of London criminal gangs is lacking however, maybe there are Albanian crime syndicates there.

    I’m curious about Albania’s gun laws. Though I don’t have the energy to google much, Albania does seem to have a gun crime problem (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/albanias-rate-of-gun-related-deaths-almost-twice-as-bad-as-us-a6821551.html) so I can believe Antoli might have one. Precisely what sort of gun I couldn’t be bothered to dig up.

    My guess is he must have smuggled it in, which would explain how he’s planning to get Alessia out again without her passport. Unless he doesn’t know she doesn’t have one.

    And I know I’ve said it before, but Moss is pathetic. He should have lawyered up the moment he found out she’d entered the country without the proper papers. Particularly when he heard about the English Grandmother. Call your bloody lawyers, you can more than afford the best possible ones. If you can’t be arsed to find them, I’m sure you have someone on your staff to whom you can say “Jenkins! I need to set up an appointment with a lawyer that specialises in British Immigration law. See to it pronto!” She escaped traffickers, she has an English grandmother. She has a pretty good case already.

    And yes, WHY mention that bloody alarm so often, only to forget it when it might actually be useful? You want to contrive a reason for Alessia to go with Antolli? Have him show her the gun earlier. She gets in thinks “I could trip the alarm, but what if he hurt Maxim’s friend? I couldn’t bare it if anyone got hurt trying to protect me. I’ll wait until he’s not looking, and jump out a window. Just gotta act meek to make him drop his guard…” but nope.

    I GET she’s supposed to be traumatised, and compliance can very much be a trauma response, but you have to make that clearer. You can write it as
    ‘She knows she has to do something. She should scream. Run. Knock over the wine wrack between them to cause a scene. Anything. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t resist as he takes her arm and pulls her towards the door. To her horror she realises she’s not going to do anything. She hates herself, and desperately tries to force herself to do something. Anything. But her arms won’t move, her mouth won’t open. He’s going to take her away, and he is going to hurt her. But she can’t make herself fight. Her heart fills with shame, perhaps she deserves what he will do, if she can’t even cry out…’

    There, see. Did it way better on a moment’s notice. (Note *I* don’t think she deserves it, but it’s a common thought among traumatised survivors trying to flee).

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      There, see. Did it way better on a moment’s notice. (Note *I* don’t think she deserves it, but it’s a common thought among traumatised survivors trying to flee).

      Yes, way better, and deeply effective. I feel so bad for Alessia after reading that paragraph and it proves her compliance could be just as compelling. I think the problem is that EEL doesn’t know how to connect the dots very well or she’s just not good at getting into the heads of her characters. She may have been rushed but we’ve all come up with ideas on the spot that still work really well. If she knew how to write these characters then everything would’ve flowed more, even when it was hastily cobbled together. I mean, yes, things still might’ve been out of order if she didn’t have time to move things around and fill in the gaps but at least we’d know instead of puzzling over her decisions and trying to track down the reasons.

      July 10, 2019
      |Reply
  27. Ani
    Ani

    James: I did lots of research on Albania!

    The entire country of Albania: No, you didn’t.

    James: Then you just hate me cause I’m a woman!

    Women readers whose favorite authors are women: No, it’s not.

    James: I think I will write a fanfic on Harry Potter next. A ~sexy~ Harry Potter

    Harry Potter fans who’ve been reading r-rated fanfics for years: … Don’t

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
  28. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    When I read the second note, I was almost happy. ‘Yes, Anatoli can read and write English! He must have written the second note and switched it with Alessia’s one without her noticing! Finally, a twist! And a somewhat clever move from a character!’ But of course that isn’t the case. Because that would make sense and be exciting, and James doesn’t want us to have good things.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
  29. Amy Too
    Amy Too

    If Moss has been planning all along to ask Caroline for help with Dimzy’s status, then why was that never mentioned before? Here we all are wondering why he’s not doing anything and also wondering why he’s constantly trying to keep Dim away from any police or authority figures because she’s undocumented, when all along he’s had this big plan to help her. Also, if his plan this whole time depended on going through Caroline for help, then why is he being such an asshole to Caroline? Ignoring her calls, acting pissed off that she even exists or wants to speak to him, and then acting all jerky when he finally sees her? I think this is a random tidbit that EEL just came up with towards the end of the book and decided to throw in there. Another reason why we should all suddenly be mad at Caroline. “Oh she was Dimzy’s only possible chance for legal status and now because she’s being such a crazy bit*h, poor Dimzy’s damned to a life of perpetual shadow lurking! That meanie Caroline!” I can’t think of why it would suddenly pop into EEL’s head that hey, the hero should be helping the heroine with her immigration status, this close to the end of the book? She didn’t think of it at all before? Did someone bring it up when she was almost done writing? If she had been thinking about it all along, she would’ve mentioned it earlier, right? Is this supposed to be a shocking twist?

    I was also really pissed when I read that Moss thinks he now has to “work for a living.” Being an Earl and bossing around hundred of underlings is not “working for a living.” Dimzy was working for a living. This new form of responsibility that Moss has is NOT working for a living. It’s 90% living a life of leisure and luxury, being pampered and feted and complimented and ego-stroked constantly (“My Lord”), and 10% delegating any work that needs to be done or decisions that have to be made. Since he’s become an Earl, however many weeks ago, he’s had to zero “Earl work,” and has his life has only changed for the better: he’s richer, he owns all the houses now, he has staff to do everything for him when before he just had one cleaning lady (Dimzy), and everyone bows and scrapes for him and treats him with a breathless level of respect and deference that he’s done nothing to earn.

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Keaalu
      Keaalu

      “If Moss has been planning all along to ask Caroline for help with Dimzy’s status, then why was that never mentioned before?”
      – especially as we’re in his head and we’d have read him thinking about it before.

      Reminds me of those people who say “oh yes, I was TOTALLY going to do [some generous / kind / noble thing], but because [vapid excuses blaming everything (except themselves) occur], I now can’t do it” – where they want to get praised for being a somewhat-altruistic human being (even though they had zero intention to ever do the nice thing, and it hadn’t even crossed their radar until that very instant), but it’s NOT THEIR FAULT they couldn’t do it, there’s a totally valid excuse and it’s all that other person’s fault anyway. But please give me credit anyway.

      July 10, 2019
      |Reply
      • Bookjunk
        Bookjunk

        That’s exactly what it seems like.

        Another fail on E.L. James’s part. It’s hard to believe that she’s ever read a book before, let alone written an entire series of novels. How can she not get that when the reader is constantly in the head of her character, it is super unconvincing if the character suddenly thinks about something he’s been meaning to do all along – when we, the readers, have not witnessed the characters thinking about it even once?

        I don’t even know what’s more infuriating. This – Trumpian ‘believe me’ bullshit, wherein the reader is supposed to believe something is true simply because the author (by way of a character) says it is – or if James had actually listened to her editor and randomly inserted some totally out of place ‘Moss thinks about asking Caroline for help with Alessia’s status’ bits before this, which likely would have interrupted the flow (what flow? The flow of the Thames, silly) of this shitty, shitty book even more.

        July 10, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          I hate giving her any credit, but it’s possible she ran out of time while rewriting everything. If so, she still sucks because going around and tying up the loose ends was priority one. She also possibly could’ve demanded an extension… I don’t know how much haggling power she had at that point, maybe she’d begged for too many already or she was confident that she could revise everything in time but if she had any wiggle room at all, then she should’ve asked for it.

          Also, perhaps she could’ve bargained for turning it into a series? I really don’t know! Maybe she was absolutely out of luck but in that case, she probably should’ve hired a ghostwriter to help her out. Anything to make this a more cohesive whole…

          July 10, 2019
          |Reply
          • Bookjunk
            Bookjunk

            I’m not going to give her a break, ever, lol.

            I just cannot imagine sending this shitshow of a book into the world. If I had written this and knew it was full of loose ends (it’s kinda debatable whether James is aware, because she seems to think her novels are wonderful and people who point out stuff that’s wrong with them are just haters) I would not let it be published. And, yeah, I’m making that sound very easy, when it’s probably not.

            I find it hard to believe that if James had told the publisher that the book simply didn’t make much sense yet – and her editors would have agreed – that the publisher wouldn’t have pushed back the publishing date. Rather a decent book later than a shitty book now, right? Shitty books now mean diminishing returns. People read it, don’t like it and don’t bother to pick up the next book by James.

            But maybe, just maybe, the publishers and editors were realistic and knew the book was never going to make sense, no matter how much James reworked it. (Her revision might even make it worse!) So, they eventually said ‘Fuck it, we’re publishing it as is!’ And here we are. That, I’d believe.

            July 10, 2019
    • Dove
      Dove

      This new form of responsibility that Moss has is NOT working for a living.

      Yeah, I’d argue that he was working for his living before, not after, but I have a feeling EEL forgot that he was a model/DJ in the beginning. Or yeah, EEL has just never once had a blue collar job and/or she never researched how Earldom works and that’s why we never see him do anything and why she has no clue that he’s essentially a CEO… theoretically has a ton of responsibility and culpability but will never feel any direct impact from making mistakes or getting fired. Just look at all the CEOs who get massive separation checks while the lower tier workers pay the price of their poor decisions and the unwillingness to pay them better so the CEOs can get huge paydays. It’s the nobility all over again but under capitalism instead of feudalism. Maybe they have more stress but dude… they will never struggle with juggling two jobs just to get by. I’m actually surprised Dimzy only had one employer, or that only one was mentioned anyway, let alone that she just the one job in this economy (I mean, Magda was probably covering the difference but especially once Dimzy was gonna have to move, she was gonna need another job or more places to clean. Way more.)

      July 10, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Did someone bring it up when she was almost done writing?

      I’m betting an editor asked why Maxim went to see Caroline and then EEL had that bright idea, mostly for the reasons that you listed (making her “villain” look worse) but then EEL forgot or ran out of time to add in the prior implication (although, the editor should then ask the same questions that you did… why the fuck is Maxim treating her like shit when he needs a favor?) And she really didn’t have the time or interest in changing his reactions to Caroline… in all honesty, I’m betting she wouldn’t have done so because it’s clear that ignoring every other woman in existence is the only way to prove the hero’s love for the heroine which is BS and so gross and absolutely toxic. I think she thought it was especially necessary since he’d fucked Caroline and that was the ONLY way EEL could fathom signally without a doubt that Maxim/Caroline would never happen (as if that would deter shippers lol.)

      July 10, 2019
      |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      Also, if he and Caroline are best friends, wouldnt he already know her Dad and could just call him, on his own. I do remember them saying something about Caroline being the reason he got kicked out fo boarding school, so later that’s it or why the Dad doesnt like him or something like that, but that should be mentioned, it just doesnt make sense

      July 10, 2019
      |Reply
  30. Jenn H
    Jenn H

    50 shades of grey meets Harry Potter… Those fanfics already exist.

    On the topic of this book, I agree with Jenny’s view that James probably lost interest in it. So why not give up? Don’t all writers have stacks of unfinished stories that just didn’t work? Does she really need the money?

    July 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • J.
      J.

      One thing I’ve noticed is that for the world’s “#1 fangirl” James seems to have little to no interest in pop culture. Lile, at all. She’s so boring and normal. Maybe it’s why she’s just getting into Harry Potter *now.*

      To answer you question…. she doesn’t strike me as someone who seriously wants to be a writer. I mean, she can’t even pull through on a single book without leaving it a jumbled half-assed mess, can’t take constructive criticism, and seems to have no interest in improving her craft. To me she seems more interested in the social perks and huge wads of cash that comes with being a popular writer. So I have a weird hunch The Mister was her only other idea so she had to stick with it.

      And she has a huge fucking ego who wouldn’t be able to bare the thought of thousands of women not being jealous over her success with another #1 book. So there’s that.

      July 10, 2019
      |Reply
      • J.
        J.

        Edit: I mean millions
        not thousands

        July 10, 2019
        |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        I agree with you and Jenn H overall, but if it’s true that she hit her deadline when she started rewriting everything, I have a few theories about what happened.

        The publishers originally gave EEL a very generous timeframe and/or multiple extensions but decided that after ten years they’d had enough and needed results. Obviously, she doesn’t need the money but if she’s under a contract, then it might be harder to break it (and it’s possible EEL thought it’d be better to turn in something subpar to get a mediocre return than to find another publisher to work with.)

        During that decade, I’m sure EEL put off writing. I don’t know if she was flailing around for different ideas (possibly pursuing them off and on) and only had one story close enough to being finished when the publisher came knocking on her door or if she always intended to go back to her Poldark fanfic but kept wrestling with it because she knew it was boring and had trouble hammering it up to a novel’s length (hence the useless padding which doesn’t even pay off; it was there before and wasn’t originally relevant to the ending, something she might have forgotten about because it was so boring… unless she meant to do the alarm trigger and just ran out of time but if that’s the case, she failed at time management.)

        I suspect it’s true that she suddenly started rewriting the whole thing at an inconvenient time. I have a feeling the sex trafficking idea grabbed her and she knew it was ripe for the picking, even though she had no idea how to implement it properly. The Poldark fanfic-turned-novel kept boring her and she thought that idea would prop it up nicely BUT I believe that was her major downfall.

        Clearly, this could’ve been a great story in the hands of a better author but I think, given enough time, even in EEL’s hands it could’ve been good at least, for what passes as good when we’re talking about EEL. Given how the beginning of the novel had Jenny feeling optimistic I think EEL actually would’ve been better off submitting her Poldark fanfic as it was, taken a small loss because it was still mediocre (but possibly not as much of a trash heap as this is), and more of her fans might’ve been satisfied since she would’ve had more time to polish that version.

        Then she could’ve devoted all her time to the sex trafficking plot as it’s own story with a much later deadline. She still probably would’ve made it a romance plot but… eh. I think the only reason she was so determined to include it here is that it truly made Alessia more interesting to EEL and everyone else… I mean, she still failed but without that sub-plot, Alessia would’ve been as empty as Ana… maybe more empty. Plus, it isn’t exactly contraversial, the way her portrayal of BDSM is, but that topic is absolutely the only hook this novel had; which is why I think the blurb talked it up so much.

        Perhaps the “special edition” with the stupid panties and cleaning supplies was based on her initial pitch, before she changed it up, which is why it sucked so much… I mean, a tiny piano or sheet music still would’ve been better, or even just a fucking french maid costume. I don’t think “sex trafficking” is a good inclusion for the extras, mind you, but if she didn’t pitch any of these other details to the marketing people, then there was nothing else to work with. Not sure how all that goes down but clearly the special edition had to be hashed out by some group of people before it was published.

        Anyway, if she had more time and effort, the sex trafficking plot could’ve been the meat of an entirely separate novel and she was clearly excited by the idea so, with more time, maybe it would’ve done about as well as FSoG… maybe. I really think she overstuffed this book with subplots, which made it harder to keep up with everything and wrap it all up quickly. Maybe she doesn’t even understand that exploring everything fully is what’s so satisfying about juggling multiple conflicts. I think she struggled with making it interesting to herself, didn’t understand how to solve that properly (she doesn’t seem to fully get characterization or how it should work, which is kind of weird for a fanfic author but makes sense if she’s still hung-up on the Mary Sue stage of writing), and made everything harder for herself at the end. Then she just failed but she’s too full of herself to admit that.

        July 10, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jenn H
          Jenn H

          I have no idea how the industry works, so I wasn’t sure where the deadlines might come from. Especially for a book isn’t a sequel.

          I can see multiple potential good things in this, but overall it reads like one of my Nanowrimo attempts.

          July 11, 2019
          |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        I forgot to add, but I think she’s focusing on HP because she knows it’s a solid formula (and a solid franchise, at this point) and she’s hoping to tap into the HP fans for her next book. Purely a cynical endeavor… I don’t think she’s a fangirl either but she knows it’s easier to hook fans than it is to grab a fresh audience and maybe she’s hoping her current fans, who were disappointed with this book, will come flocking back at the hint of HP.

        July 10, 2019
        |Reply
        • MyDog'sPA
          MyDog'sPA

          Maybe not. The latest review on Mister at Amazon was this by AnnRose on July 9:

          I got the book as a gift from a friend of mine and I love books so much as reading a good 8 hours a day maybe more. I had a bad feeling about this one and didn’t bought it on my own. The thing is I read it even though I had the feeling and sweet God it is AWFUL.
          I am bored out of my mind and seriously doubt I will read anything else anytime soon. It was traumatic experience which made me realize that I don’t want to read El James ever again.

          So, as I suspect, 1) EEL’s fanbase is rapidly shrinking. 2) If she does write an HP fanfic there’d be so much blowback from die-hard HP fans and Rowling herself that EEL might get shut down forever. I don’t think Rowling would put up with EEL’s garbage, especially when there are Hogwarts-sections of major theme parks still drawing in throngs of HP fans. Rowling has way more clout than EEL and Rowling would bring Universal into the mix to help her.

          Erika, don’t even go there.

          P.S., go find AnnRose’s comment on Amazon and click on the ‘helpful’ button to get her comment rated to the top of the list.

          July 11, 2019
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            I’m still confounded by the people giving four stars and three stars, especially the recent ones saying they loved the ending in spite of all that. lol I can’t wait.

            July 15, 2019
          • Dove
            Dove

            Forgot to add, I didn’t consider Rowling fighting her. Perhaps EEL shouldn’t have been so blatant although she only hinted at wanting to read the books, not necessarily copying them, but it’d be easy enough for Rowling to sue for enough money that EEL would prefer to settle and take the loss, even if it’d be hard to prove.

            Of course, if EEL does write M/M it’ll be even harder for Rowling to make a claim since she never officially created any M/M pairing. She had her chance with the new movies and didn’t do it. I don’t think EEL is gonna target them anyway but it’d be hilarious if she ran with Grindelwald/Dumbledore (young versions, of course) when Rowling was too scared to actually commit to her claim (or Universal got cold feet but same difference: it’s not in the books or the movie so it might as well not exist for all the good that does anyone.)

            And anyway, I suspect EEL would only use Hogwarts as a backstory at best if she did pluck away at HP (maybe a Mauraders fic… oh god…) I wonder if Cassandra Clare would make a statement about her new book? Haha, probably not.

            But people were saying the Harry/Hermione pairing would probably appeal to EEL more with Ginny transformed into an evil, slutty blonde… ick. I frankly don’t care for either pairing; I didn’t give a shit about Harry’s love life (he started annoying me halfway through the series with his realistic teenage angst) but none of his potential girlfriends had enough invested in them as significant others (Cho for good reason) and EEL would only make it worse. Meh.

            July 15, 2019
      • Moomin
        Moomin

        “Maybe it’s why she’s just getting into Harry Potter *now.*”

        Especially when people kinda get out of HP now. But it’s still huge and there are still written thousands of super popular fanfics you can steal, I mean read.

        Like, I kinda wanna see James stealing the original fanfic by Clare (which you can still find). Like, can you imagine the absolute shitstorm that would happen considering who and how Clare is? And then Rowling, who is easy on fanfics but I don’t think she’d want her franchise blemished by James. One thing that would definitely come out of it is James would be completely, utterly, wholly finished everywhere and forever. That’s why I’m starting to pray for it.

        August 8, 2019
        |Reply
  31. J.
    J.

    Can James just decide if Elizabeth- I mean, Caroline is a gold digging hussy or not? The mother’s comment on Kit “choosing wisley” seems to imply that Caroline was either equal to Kit in wealth and rank before the marriage or possibly higher on the food chain. So how would that make her a gold digger? Where were the editors?

    And yea, she’s kinda horrible but it’s nothing compared to the shit Moss is pulling.

    July 10, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I genuinely don’t know if this confusing situation is because she was shifting gears about why Caroline sucked (in her opinion) and ran out of time/told the editors to ignore it because she’d fix it later lol or if EEL is trying to imply that Caroline was wealthier, the Earls needed money, and then with their assets combined (the family money, not whatever Caroline shall inherit or gets as an allowance, for lack of a better term) they created a lot more wealth. Sooo… Caroline/her family wanted the title and maybe the Earl assets because they knew they’d get a bigger return but because Dimzy has nothing and can’t bring anything to the table, she’s just a gold digger. This could work but it needed more details.

      I think the true answer is that Elizabeth had a completely different reason for changing brothers but EEL couldn’t or wouldn’t go down a similar path and thus it gets all kinds of mixed up since she’s really bad at sorting out human rationalization. Again, maybe she couldn’t make up her mind and/or ran out of time but then she didn’t bother trying to straighten the whole thing out and here we are.

      July 10, 2019
      |Reply
  32. Emily, a newbie
    Emily, a newbie

    “I’ve never thought beyond my dick. Until Alessia.”
    Erm. I’m sorry, Maxipad. But if your entire endeavor with Alessia is you /not/ thinking with your dick, I’m actually concerned as to what you believe “thinking with your dick” actually is. Because from what I recall, most of your time with Alessia has been spent with your dick inflating in various ways.

    In all seriousness though, I went on a Neil Breen movie marathon binge-type thing over the weekend. Real sad when Neil Breen movies hold both more intrigue and suspense than…well, anything. Yet, here it is.
    The Mister is truly something else.

    And if we thought the book slogged in pace before, it only gets worse from here.

    July 15, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Because from what I recall, most of your time with Alessia has been spent with your dick inflating in various ways.

      Before, he was a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Dickman… a dick with arms and a funky face.

      But now he’s a normal Tubeman with an Inflatable Dick-Flailing attachment in the front, and together, they fight crime!

      And if we thought the book slogged in pace before, it only gets worse from here.

      *gross sobbing* Why? How? Because Maxipad mopes for a while and all Dimzy can do is think about being with him? Please tell me it isn’t that!

      July 15, 2019
      |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      “And if we thought the book slogged in pace before, it only gets worse from here.”

      How is that even possible? I feel like we’ve spent the worst part of a century slogging through this nightmare and now you are telling me it gets worse? What is left of my poor brain can’t even wrap itself around that idea in the way an EEL heroine wraps herself around the dick that changed her life, which is much like how a weed wraps itself around a flower that had so much potential but then choked the life out of it so that no one would ever see the true glory that flower could have been, or, you know, like an EEL book just kind of sucks the life, creativity and beauty out of the world.

      July 15, 2019
      |Reply
  33. Not the Albanian Wife.
    Not the Albanian Wife.

    I am an English woman who fell in love with an Albanian dude I met in nightclub. He pinched my bum, I slapped him, furious making out ensued and reader, I nearly married him. He was clever and sexy and we moved in together after a whirlwind romance featuring a proposal after just 6 weeks (I was naive and believed he had leave to remain status.) What I remember most about leaving him was the Home Office letter that arrived whilst he was at his job, stating that he would be deported, calling him on the phone to hear that he would book me a flight to Tirana, and looking at my headscarf and diamond engagement ring with this grief that I just couldn’t marry him, I just couldn’t do it. I was the coward. It was so sad because our relationship contained this spark of laughter and tenderness – and fiery arguing/sex – and he was a good man on the wrong side of the migration process. I still think about him now and again, he did marry someone else and is living happily, from what I hear.

    Reading these passages made me angry because they are so racist. I’ve felt the fear of a silly young woman realising she doesn’t want be a wife rearing goats in an Albanian village. I own that I was so caught up in the heady romance of the proposal, I made a mistake. The Albanian men I knew had some retro and at times misogynistic views, but not more so than the English men whose more evolved British brand of sexism was still as awful. I don’t recognise characters like Anatoli in the men I knew from that time in my life. I think E.L James has written a reductive, superiority complex type version of Albania as primitive.

    She wrote a similarly reductive, superiority complex thing about BDSM, I think what she appeals to is a desire to look down on the characters, to judge them and sneer. It’s a petty way to slack off telling a real story.

    July 27, 2019
    |Reply

Leave a Reply

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