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Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister, chapters thirty-two, thirty-three, and acknowledgments. “Well, I guess that explains it.”

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We have come now to the end of our journey together. Unlike our Fifty Shades of Grey adventure, we’re closing this metaphorical chapter without any movie news. The books have fallen off the New York Times weekly bestseller list (at least, as much of that list as they show on their site). It’s out of the top 1,000 on Amazon. Don’t get me wrong; The Mister was a hit.

It’s just not a hit for E.L. James.

So, will she write another book? Certainly not for whatever advance she received for this one. But since several commenters have pointed out that The Mister borrows liberally from SnowQueens IceDragon’s other Twilight fic, Safe Haven, maybe the answer to whether or not we’ll be revisiting our favorite author again lies in whether or not she has some old fanfic lying around.

I wonder what PBS Masterpiece Theater varnish she’ll slap on the next one.

CW: Abuse apologia

So, Mr. Demachi has just turned his shotgun on Moss and commanded him to marry Demelssia.

Oh, Babë, no!

Alessia realizes that she hadn’t thought through her lie about the pregnancy. In a panic, she whirls away from from her shotgun-weilding father, desperate to explain the truth to Maxim. She doesn’t want to force him into marriage!

Manufactured drama like this always makes your characters look real stupid if you can’t justify why they’re having this reaction. We’re being asked to believe that there is some question as to whether the man who rushed to Albania to rescue her, who physically attacked a man for hurting her, who stood up to her father and mouthed off a bunch of shit while the man was holding a gun, actually loves her enough to want to marry her.

As if these are the actions of a person who was just interested in dating around a little, maybe testing the waters.

Since we all know the answer already, trying to wring out this last moment of suspense is cheap and makes Demelssia look like even more of a doormat that she’s already been made to look.

But Maxim is sporting the biggest grin.

Joy shines in his eyes, evident for all to see.

His expression takes her breath away.

The amount of, “Well, I give up!” on display here is astonishing. This is how she writes the climax of their romance? Three broad, store-brand, sentences?

But wait. Just wait for the romantic proposal. After he dramatically gets down on one knee, Moss takes out the diamond ring.

“Alessia Demachi,” Maxim says, “please do me the honor of becoming my countess. I love you. I want to be with you always. Spend your life with me. At my side. Always. Marry me.”

That’s right. Do me the honor of taking the matching title to the one I allegedly don’t want but now clearly define myself with. Oh, and yeah, I love you and want to be with you. But I’m gonna lead off with that countess part because the wealth and status are what our author’s loyal readership really crave.

Alessia’s eyes fill with tears.

He brought a ring.

This is what he came here to do.

To marry her.

No, he came to return those sunglasses you left at his house, organized crime bosses be damned.

He really does love her. He wants to be with her. Not Caroline. He wants her with him, always.

Well, the way this is written, he wants Caroline with him, always. But I have a little writing tip: if you want to give your heroine a romantic rival, it’s better if The Big Misunderstanding™ about isn’t “I saw her in a shirt at his house before we were together,” and “I saw them hugging on the street.”

Even if we take into account the whole “Albanians don’t really do PDAs” thing that would have maybe convincingly made the hug a BFD, we’ve heard too much about how well-versed she is in American culture for that moment to have ripped her apart and Moss already rescued her from kidnappers once. There is no suspense here for the reader because there was never any point at which they would have truly believed Caroline is a threat.

PS. Caroline is Tanya from the Denali clan who had her sights on Edward in Twilight.

So, of course, Demelssia says yes and Moss jumps to his feet and lifts her into his arms and we go into his POV.

“I love you, Alessia Demachi,” I whisper. Setting her down, I kiss her. Hard. Closing my eyes. I don’t care that we have an audience.

In fairness, it would have been weirder if you kept your eyes open, making deliberate visual contact with all these people.

Right now. Here. In Kukës, Albania, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

Happiness? In Albania? In this economy?

So, they stand there frenching for an uncomfortably long moment until her father clears his throat and motions them apart by threatening them with his shotgun.

No shit, he points a shotgun at his presumed pregnant daughter and the man who just proposed to her.

Mr. Demachi is confused about the countess thing, and the translator tries to help. A couple things about the translator:

A few people brought up how fucking weird it must be for the translator to be sitting here during all this violence and people drawing guns. Now, a marriage proposal involving English nobility.

And this whole time, his girlfriend is waiting at the car

He’s going to have to try to explain all this shit to her on the ride back and she’s going to be so perplexed that she won’t know whether she’s angry she missed it or angry that her boyfriend was put into this danger in the first place or both. There is going to be shouting in this car on this long ass ride. Some of it will probably be directed at Moss and Tom.

Anyway, remember when I said the thing about how we didn’t need the whole backstory of these minor characters and that was shitty writing and ha ha, E.L. James, what a shitty, shitty bad writer you are?

I had to look up something in one of my own books for consistency and I did the exact same thing. I have this character who I must have found real interesting because I gave him a husband and a passion for surfing and all sorts of details that were fully unneeded because he’s just a random guy the hero is talking to at work in a conversation that is only there to get interrupted by an emergency.

I was like, “Fuck an IceDragon. Jenny, you hackpocrite.”

Hackprocrite (noun): One who criticizes faults in the work of others while being guilty of those same faults, themselves.

But just to be clear? The Mister still completely sucks. There’s no escaping that, even if the criticism is coming from an unreliable narrator here.

To get Mr. Demachi to understand what a count is (because Demelssia refers to Moss being a count), the translator references Lord Byron.

“Like Lord Byron?” Thanas asks.

Byron?

“He was a baron, I think. But he was a peer, yes.”

This is my favorite part of this book, hands down. It really, really is. When I first read it, I squealed with the most malicious delight.

Friends.

The woman who claims to have done such in-depth research on Albania. The one who bragged about her expertise and the painstaking steps she took to portray the country faithfully.

Didn’t bother to look up whether or not there were counts in Albanian nobility.

There are.

Wait. It gets so much better.

If you read that article, you find out that the title was reserved for Albanian nobility in Italy. How did the Albanians end up in Italy? Skanderbeg, the Albanian hero we learned about last semester. Referenced in that article as “founding father of the Albanian nobility and nation.”

This is the second Google search result for “counts in Albanian nobility.” Third for, “are their counts in Albanian nobility.”

She didn’t even google it. She just assumed that Albanians, with the rich history she painstakingly researched all the way back to the 1960’s, wouldn’t understand noble titles.

And…

And.

She actually has Demelssia use the word “count” instead of “earl.” In Albanian. She says she’s a “Kont,” which I phonetically agree with. So writing the Albanians not understand what a count is despite using the Albanian word as an equivalent to earl to explain it to them is just…chef’s kiss. You’ve outdone yourself, SQID.

And it. gets. so much better. Stay tuned.

Back in the story, Tom makes a crack about this being a great tale to tell their grandchildren and Mr. Demachi breaks out drinks–but just for the men, because horrible patriarchal Albanian backward peasants, am I right?–while Moss once again describes Demelssia the way men talk about their “missing” wives to the local news before confessing to the murder.

She shines. Her smile. Her eyes. She takes my breath away.

Then they toast and Mr. Demachi announces that Moss and Demelssia will be married in a week.

And that’s the end of a three page chapter.

We stay in Moss’s POV as we go into the final chapter of the book. A chapter that really didn’t need to be its own chapter so I’m not sure why the hell it is. According to my kindle, it’s only four pages, anyway.

Moss watches Demelssia run to her mother.

They embrace and cling to each other as if they’ll never let go, and both begin to silently weep in that way women do.

You know. In that way. The kind of way where women cry. That kind of woman crying.

It’s…affecting.

Try to sound less impressed by your bride’s tearful reunion with the mother whose life she feared for.

Then Demelssia approaches her father and Moss is like, ready to fight him again, just in case.

I hold my breath, poised to intervene if he so much as lays a finger on her.

I don’t mind heroes who are willing to commit violence to protect the heroine. I do mind heroes who constantly remind us that they would commit violence to protect the heroine, especially in moments where the tension has broken and things seem somewhat resolved.

Demelssia, however, has a touching moment with her abusive father who she once feared would kill her.

Demachi raises his hand and gently holds her chin.

That sentence comes directly after “so much as lays a finger on her,” and I laughed out loud imagining Moss tackling Mr. Demachi to the ground.

“Mos u largo përsëri. Nuk është mirë për nënën tënde.”

Alessia gives him a timid smile, and he leans down and kisses her forehead, closing his eyes as he does. “Nuk është mirë as për mua,” he whipsers.

So, her father said not to leave again because it’s not good for her mother, and then he added that it’s not good for him, either.

I look at Thanas, waiting for his translation, but he’s turned away, giving them this moment–and I think maybe I should, too.

Okay, first of all? Thanas isn’t a sign language interpreter. He can listen to them speaking Albanian even if his back is turned.

Second, WHY ARE WE GETTING THIS ABUSE APOLOGY BULLSHIT? This man sold his daughter. Not even sold! Put her up as permanent collateral on a loan! She ran away because she thought her choice was to either marry an abusive guy or be murdered by her abusive father! HER MOTHER HELPED HER ESCAPE THE COUNTRY TO PROTECT HER FROM HER FATHER AND “BETROTHED”.

I just…

You know what, we’re going to move along to the next scene, still in Moss’s POV. He’s laying in bed at the Demachi house, where he’s been forced to stay.

I lie awake staring at the dancing, watery reflections on the ceiling. The patterns that form are so comforting in their familiarity that I grin. They mirror my ecstatic mood. I’m not in London, I’m at my soon-to-be-in-laws’, and the reflections are from the full moon, skipping over the deep, dark waters of Fierza Lake.

Recalling the Thames motif at this point does not work. It’s been too long since we’ve seen it. They spent too much time in Cornwall to make this anything more than a moment where the reader thinks, “Oh, right. The water thing.” It stops you rather than drawing you in emotionally.

So, anyway, Demelssia sneaks into his room and gets naked. Sorry,

I toss back the covers, and she slides into bed beside me, gloriously naked.

According to my Kindle’s search function, Demelssia is just downright fucking glorious.

  • “her glorious tits”
  • “a glorious smile”
  • “her glorious dark hair”
  • “her glorious hair”
  • “a glorious smile”
  • “a glorious smile”
  • “gloriously naked”

They have sex, complete with yet another list of body parts in place of actual description of what they’re doing:

She’s unleashed; her fingers, hands, tongue, and lips are on me.

It’s like, five paragraphs of stuff copy/pasted from earlier sex scenes. You know, the feel of her, her head thrown back in ecstasy, burying his face in her hair, etc.

No mention of a condom or pulling out because, you know, since they’re getting married it’s implied that they’re both down to breed right the fuck now, without any on-page discussion about it.

Hey, remember the part where her family is all puritan and stuff?

Although if her father knkew she was here, he’d shoot us both, I’m sure.

Then why are you taking this risk, you fucking marble?!

There’s more abuse apology:

Her emotional reunion with her mother–and her father–was affecting. I think he does love her. Very much.

No. If he loved her, he would not be willing to sell her to a mobster. He would not beat her. He would not be willing to kill her. This is irresponsible and shows that E.L. James still hasn’t learned that domestic violence is bad. This is chilling.

Moss thinks about how great it is that despite her upbringing, Demelssia is her own person.

Plus, she’s taken me on a epic journey of self-discovery with her.

A journey of self-discovery with side trips to a museum and the hard lesson that sometimes, you have to fly business class.

He thinks about how he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her, in case that hasn’t been hammered into us by now, and then they tell each other they love each other and once again talk about how her father might be willing to murder her.

“I think your dad will shoot me if he finds you here.”

“No, he’ll shoot me. I think he likes you.”

I know this is supposed to be jokey and cute but it probably would have worked better IN A SITUATION WHERE WE WEREN’T TALKING ABOUT A MAN WHO ACTUALLY WAS WILLING TO MURDER HIS DAUGHTER.

James’s enthusiastic willingness to write about serious subjects without any sensitivity or consideration is sick.

Finally, Moss asks Demelssia if she’s okay after her ordeal, and she apologizes for lying about being pregnant. Moss is like, that’s okay, I want kids, which is a great conversation to have after you’ve blown your load in someone.

I ease her onto her back and make love to her once again.

Mindful. Beautiful. Fulfilling. Love.

As it should be.

Later this week we’ll be married.

I can’t wait.

I just have to tell my mother.

Yup. That’s the line James chose to end the entire book on. This whole thing. Multiple kidnapping attempts, human trafficking, child abuse, spousal abuse, poverty, and death. And we go with a mention of a character who appears in one scene and how she’s not going to approve of this match.

The final page is followed by a chapter-by-chapter list of the music referenced, even if that piece has been referenced multiple times. It is nearly all Bach.

Now, I wanted to touch on something in the acknowledgments. They start off with thanks to her editor and a team of people at her publishing company, people at another arm of the company, and then:

Thank you to Manushaque Bako for the Albanian translations.

Followed by thanks to her agent and agency. Then:

Thank you to Grant Bavister from the Crown Office, Chris Eccles from Griffiths Eccles LLP, Chris Schofield, and Anne Filikins for advice on earldoms, heraldry, trusts, and property matters.

Huge thanks to James Leonard for his tuition in the language of posh young gentlemen.

She consulted one person about Albania and that was for the language translations.

She consulted five people to make sure she got the details of English aristocracy juuuuuust right.

Remember all the bragging she did about her in-depth research of Albania? Bako is the only person thanked for any sort of consultation on the country. Not about the culture. Not about the history. About translating her dialogue.

But it was really, really important to make sure we got an accurate feel for just how rich, important, and well-bred the English upper-class is. Albania she could just wing, right? She’s been there. She’s had stew. She read up on organized crime and communism. What more could there possibly be to a place that is so less than England?

She even consulted two people on clay pigeon shooting. Two people on clay pigeon shooting. One on Albania, to make sure her dialogue was translated appropriately.

I’m just gonna say it: if this bitch ain’t a Leaver, whoever is writing her characterization is just as garbage an author as she is because it’s inconsistent as fuck.

My final thoughts: This book started out with promise, then rushed headlong into total garbage. The first few chapters were written with careful pacing and insight into the characters. Then, it veered off into Poldark fanfic before becoming a somehow more xenophobic rip-off of Taken in which the role of Liam Neeson is played by an earl/model/DJ/photographer/composer who just can’t resist a museum.

There was actual promise here. Laziness, greed, and prejudice derailed it. And if she’s out of fanfic to recycle, her next offering will be even worse.

That’s a wrap on The Mister. Jealous Haters Book Club will resume with Beautiful Disaster recaps, and Jealous Patrons Book Club will start this week on my Patreon with a look at Safe Haven, the second Twilight fanfic E.L. James monetized. Some readers have asked me if the recaps of Safe Haven will be archived for those who can’t afford to join the $10 tier right now. Absolutely. Get on the ride when you can.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogcast.

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85 Comments

  1. Jess
    Jess

    SQUID and EEL. So apt.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Moomin
      Moomin

      I’m sort of on the fence with the SQID. I like squids, they are super cute and they don’t deserve to be insulted by company like this.

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
  2. Maria
    Maria

    i’m losing my mind with that ending line. i can’t believe i got mad at jk rowling for ending with “all was well.” this takes the fucking cake. god, what a lazy finish. i just… i don’t know what to say.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anansi
      Anansi

      It’s so clear she thought this was a great sequel hook, and I’m honestly fuming at the audacity of her thinking she could make this into a series when it was way too long as a standalone book? And thinking the way to get excited was “oh yeah, I’ll reference this character who never turned up and was barely mentioned.” I’m speechless

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Maria
        Maria

        what could possibly happen in the sequel? my guess is moss’s family will be snobbish about alessia and that will be it. maybe there will be a new lame thriller plot shoved in.
        is anyone who read this eagerly wondering what will happen when his mom finds out? anyone?

        August 26, 2019
        |Reply
        • Coco
          Coco

          As Anatoli and Caroline scheme together to bring down the newlyweds, they slowly realize that they’re soulmates in evil blondeness. Side plot of the country bumpkin Demachi parents clashing with the English aristocracy. Then Maxim’s mother will find Mrs. Demachi’s Albanian translation of her favorite book “50 Shades of Grey.” “I suppose appreciation for great literature is universal!”

          August 26, 2019
          |Reply
        • It will be the perfect EEL story: all of the women, from Poldarkus’s mummy to Caroline to the new “daily” to Magda to the lady down the shops, to Anatoli’s latest sex slave — but not the lesbian housekeeper — will be jealous of Aleesianabella because she snagged herself that rich, gorgeous, royal may-un, and is also so sweet and winsome and talented. So EEL’s garbage “plot” would just be various episodic bits about this or that woman seething with envy and trying to flirt with Mossausarus or blackmail or trip up Aleesia in some way, because women are such fucking bitches.

          Then they’d probably have a beautiful baby who got kidnapped, too.

          They’ll just have to tell their mothers.

          August 27, 2019
          |Reply
      • Cat
        Cat

        I read it as James trying to end on a cheeky note. Teehee, nothing that has occurred in the last week is nearly so scary as telling my mother about my impending nuptials.

        If I were her editor, I would have begged her not to include me in the acknowledgments.

        August 28, 2019
        |Reply
    • Zev
      Zev

      Every time I read the “all is well” line, I just exhale deeply. That’s all I can really do. It’s such a strange line to end on considering how increasingly dark, deep, and detailed the series got. JKR writes well. ELJ does not, so I’m just happy this book’s finally over. And it’s a cheap way to set up a seq–hey she ripped that off one of the “Twilight” books again. The “We’re engaged! Now we have to tell Charlie” line mirrors it. -That- I expected. ELJ will be referring to the “Twilight” series and thinking she’s clever about it for a long time.

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Also, supposedly Rowling wrote that last chapter first, and it makes more sense in that context. She might have planned it all out but she probably added and changed some things since she busted out her outline for the series. Plus I think your point about Charlie is on the nose.

        August 27, 2019
        |Reply
  3. Bunny
    Bunny

    Wow, this really. Is the chapter of. Sentence fragments, isn’t it?

    Also, love that tell-don’t-show shtick, now with added repetition. First Moss tells us that seeing Demelissia reunite with her mom is affecting (“They embrace and cling to each other as if they’ll never let go, and both begin to silently weep in that way women do. It’s … affecting.”). Then he tells us that seeing Demelissia reunite with her folks is affecting (“Her emotional reunion with her mother–and her father–was affecting”). Forget all that crap about showing us the way Moss feels by the way he mentally reacts and his physical response, that’s haaaard. Instead just bop in the same word twice! Gee, thanks.

    “Plus, she’s taken me on a epic journey of self-discovery with her.” < This REALLY bothers me. Yes, thank you, Demelissia, for getting kidnapped, beaten, trapped in the back of a car, smuggled unwillingly across borders, traumatized, and nearly sexually assaulted so that I can lounge around aimlessly and learn how much more superior British museums are to Albanian ones. Very self-discovery. So introspect. I mean, seriously, what did he even learn?! How selfish is this brat to think that Demelissia endured all this for HIS BENEFIT?

    Also, Moss's repeated use of "glorious" in regards to Demelissia is giving me strong Men Write Women vibes. I was half-expecting to see her described as a stew next, since EL is so freakin' proud of that … "Her fingers probed me like soft carrots, her breasts like burgeoning round onions framed by the peeled potato goldenness of her skin. She's as wet as beef broth *down there* as I prepared to pour my own olive oil into her pot." (I apologize deeply for this crime against description but ye god this book is horrible!)

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I don’t think you need to apologize for that. The goofy description of dinner metaphors was more entertaining even if it was gross. EEL wishes she could evoke that much feeling with her descriptions. XD

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
  4. J.
    J.

    If this is based on her first fanfic then even now, after all these years, EEL is still ripping of Twilight. Someone please send my condolences to Stephanie Meyer.

    I doubt she even researched mobs and organized crime (because at this point I have no faith in her ability to do anything). She probably saw a popular movie featuring a mob character and said, “yep, I bet that’s what it’s like everywhere.”

    Is she trying to set up a sequel with that last line? God, I hope not!

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jenn H
      Jenn H

      Though the chances of a sequel happening now are slim.

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • J.
        J.

        Outside of fanfiction.net you mean?

        August 27, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          I have a feeling she doesn’t write fanfiction anymore. She keeps using her old “gems” from years ago and only to get paid. I might be wrong but I don’t get the sense that she enjoys writing and she doesn’t strike me as the sort to become a fan of anything that isn’t already popular. She hinted at HP but that’s big bucks and she knows it. I’m pretty sure she’d only write M/M because yaoi is popular. That kind of thing…

          August 27, 2019
          |Reply
          • J.
            J.

            I’ve betting my bottom dollar she was only in it for money from the start. I don’t believe she was ever a writer or even enjoys writing outside of the fame and wealth it’s brought her. Because someone who genuinely has a passion for writing and an ounce of pride in their craft would have never allowed this dumpster fire to be published. This book is the epitome of all her greed and ignorance.

            You’re completely right about HP. I actually laughed when I read that article. Self proclaimed biggest fan girl *just* discovered one of the world’s largests franchises thats been at the forefront of media for over the past 20 years. Right, more like she just found out JK is still making 100x more than her and now wants a piece of the wizard pie.

            If a sequel ever pops up on fanfiction.net it will be me. I volunteer as tribute! And I promise it will be fucking AWEFUL. 90% of the story will be set in Albania with Moss riding around on donkeys because the country will suddenly become to backwards and poor for streets and cars with the last few pages in London just so I can mention the Thames. No other reason. I’ll also throw something controversial and complelty mishandle it in the spirit of James. Once published I except to receive my billion dollar book/movie deal shortly.

            August 27, 2019
  5. Lyndsey
    Lyndsey

    I hate the constant use of “affecting” it’s such a vague way to describe the impact an emotional event makes.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      I hate that every “affecting” moment Dimzy has is shown through Mosses POV. Why not show how the moment affects the actual person being affected? Oh, right, because Dimzy doesn’t really matter, she’s just a glorious hole for the great and wonderful Moss to stick his dick in.

      What is mind boggling is that, if his POV is the only one she cares about, why not just write the whole thing from his POV? She could just write all Dimzy’s stuff in 3rd person since it doesn’t matter what Dimzy thinks or feels about any of it. It only matters that it happened and that it affects Moss in some way.

      I have never come across someone who just sucks so much in every possibly way. She might not be pure evil, like Hitler or Epstein, but Eel just…SUCKS. She is terrible in the most inane way possible.

      Also, way to limp to the finish line there Eel.

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        What is mind boggling is that, if his POV is the only one she cares about, why not just write the whole thing from his POV? She could just write all Dimzy’s stuff in 3rd person since it doesn’t matter what Dimzy thinks or feels about any of it. It only matters that it happened and that it affects Moss in some way.

        I think that’s what she wanted but she couldn’t do that while Dimzy was kidnapped (and we could’ve construed rape happened so EEL had to deflect that by showing that it didn’t, plus Moss’s POV was lame.) I think someone insisted that she added in more of Dimzy’s POV early on, so it wouldn’t feel as awkward once she was successfully kidnapped, and EEL listened, for once, but didn’t understand that this entire book would’ve been better off from Dimzy’s POV since it’s actually her fucking story arc and not Moss’s. I think that’s why he says she brought him along for the ride even though it didn’t really affect him at all.

        I think the only reason she insisted on being in Moss’s POV was that the original fanfic was written from Edward’s and it kinda works when Bella is mysterious but it doesn’t work when we have to know more about Dimzy because her background is a lot more complex and the only interesting part of the climax is in her POV. Or something. I only know a tiny bit about Safe Havens.

        And still, the unexpected parallels between the Mister and the Handbook for Mortals leaves me gobsmacked.

        August 27, 2019
        |Reply
    • Amy Too
      Amy Too

      It sounds sarcastic, especially with the ellipses. But it also just shows AGAIN that Moss is incapable of feeling human emotions or having emotional connections with people. He, and EEL, are narcissists. She’s basically said “I know this moment is supposed to have emotional resonance, because I’ve seem a lot of movies that have a scene like this and they always play some emotional sounding music during it, but I don’t know what exact emotion is supposed to be felt… so I’m just going with ‘affecting’ and you can fill-in-the-blank.”

      It’s why she’s always telling and not showing. She can’t show us emotional responses, and she can’t show us human connections, and she can’t show us all the little moments that lead up to two people forming a loving bond, because she doesn’t feel them. That’s why all her characters are basically interchangeable and why they all seem like emotionally stunted narcissists.

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
  6. Anon
    Anon

    You may have done it, but you understand that it wasn’t great writing and you don’t do it as consistently as EEL.

    “She read up on organized crime …”

    I’m not an expert on such things, but she definitely didn’t get that right at all.

    “There was actual promise here. Laziness, greed, and prejudice derailed it.”

    She’s proven her complete inability to write anything good, so I don’t know that the absence of the rest would have mattered much.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
  7. She… thanked her HUSBAND for tutoring her in posh language?! Where do we even start with that bullshit?!

    Also:

    “In fairness, it would have been weirder if you kept your eyes open, making deliberate visual contact with all these people.”

    If he were a REAL Alpha Man Hero, he’d maintain eye contact with Baba the whole time he had his tongue down Aleesianabella’s throat to assert dominance.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Maria
      Maria

      her husband is niall leonard, so i think she’s thanking a different relative. i thought maybe her son?

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • Does that make it better or worse?! “Son, how do posh lads like you — thanks to my BDSM plagiarism book billions — talk about rumpy-pumpy these days?”

        August 26, 2019
        |Reply
        • Maria
          Maria

          i’m gonna go with worse.

          August 26, 2019
          |Reply
  8. MyDog'sPA
    MyDog'sPA

    Aaaaannnnddd…… We’re done!!!! Yay!

    Gaah. The faster EEL slips into obscurity the better. Her fans are waking up to it, albeit slowly. What was the old saying? “Better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Methinks the writer’s corollary is similar. History will not be kind to her.

    But, for now, she’s laughing all the way to the bank. Ooh, I’ve got an idea: EEL is such a control freak and she thinks her book is the cat’s meow, so why not have her finance her own movie version of this book? Her net worth is, what, $95m or thereabouts? So she can cough up the funding for the movie and then see how well it does in release if she’s so sure of herself.

    If that doesn’t teach her a lesson, nothing will.

    On to Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp!!! I can hardly wait!!

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
  9. Gretel
    Gretel

    You know what I did to get through this last recap? Put my dope as fuck Sennheiser’s on and blasted Beyoncé’s 6 Inch because damn, Jenny working for that money with these recaps.
    Thank you for wading through this purulent moor of racism, misogyny and classism.

    One last observation: I’m 100% sure that Alessia’s father being all nice and sensitive is due to the inherent belief of these kind of women that parenthood is sanctity. I mean, it’s obvious that her fanbase is White, middle-aged, upper middle-class Christian women and if I know something about Christian parents is that they looooooove to abuse you in any possible way and then shield themselves from all criticism and consequences by saying that as parents they’re not only allowed to do that for your best, you have to still love and respect them because God demands it so. For these people being abused is normal and no excuse to actually cut ties with abusive parents because for them it is perfectly normal that parents are abusive and you, the child, still have to follow command, be respectful and remain in touch. The sanctity of nuclear families and idolatration of parenthood is a core belief. Questioning this by having a confrontation betweent Maxim/Alessia and her father would go against their very notion of unquestioned parental authority.

    I know because I’ve seen it from many examples and through many generations.
    These people are incapable of seeing any of this as wrong or reason to break relations. After all “they’re your PARENTS!”
    Yes, Karen, they are. But they’re also two random assholes who in the genetic lottery got me as a child and I am a person, not a property. Their bodies made mine but they’re not entitled to my being and personhood and if these two random people who just happen to make me behave like two colossal douches then maybe I can cut these ties because again, Karen, parenthood does not absolve you from your bad behaviour.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah and this is one of the reasons the protestants lose followers. Some of those mistreated kids grow-up and realize that part is BS, then decide the entire religion doesn’t have a place in their lives if it insists they keep toxic people around. The traditionalists in the mix absolutely ruin it by insisting on rigid authoritarianism with excuses baked in for abuses of power, more often than not to excuse themselves and keep their hierarchy in place. It’s the same thing that ruins any religion. 🙁

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
    • Lily
      Lily

      “These people.” OK. To forestall your objection, I was abused by both parents when I was a child, but I don’t extrapolate my experience to apply to all children of people with the superficial characteristics of my parents. Abusers are…special people who can pop up in any population, even those that don’t consist of white Protestant Middle-class Americans. I had to discover that my childhood experiences didn’t translate automatically for all of the people I have met. Perhaps you can, too.

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
  10. Chris
    Chris

    So no one was allowed to leave . . . Sooo that Catherine chick has just been sitting in the car the entire time? Just for what days? For some reason that’s where my brain kept going. What about the bitch in the car? LOL

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
  11. Tami
    Tami

    Feh. And I’m over here, doubting myself as a writer? That’s what happens when you have PTSD forged at the hands of abusive people (including my father, who once sold me for drugs when I was a child). Having lived that life, it infuriates me to see fellow survivors misrepresented and the horrors suffered dismissed as unimportant, or with the outrageous belief that Love Makes It All Better. James did a huge disservice to victims of trafficking and abuse with this story. She had a great opportunity to make a statement and she blew it. If nothing else, she just showed that she will take advantage of these people by using their suffering as a weak-ass backstory for a character who is so stupid and just needs the right amount of rich man dick to make the world a better place. I wish I could submerge EEL in a vat of shit and then puke on her head and cover it up with shredded pieces of her book. Because that’s what she did with this word-vomit. I am so sick of this bitch getting accolades for stealing from other authors and making a mockery of serious issues. That’s it—I’m getting back to work on my novel. If this trash can get published, I have nothing to fear. And I know how to do research!

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yes, your novel will be a thousand times better! Fingers crossed that it’ll sell well too. 🙂

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
    • Lily
      Lily

      Get back to work! You actually know what you’re talking about!

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
  12. Jo
    Jo

    I just realized the entire book could have been a Cinderella story where poor girl/rich guy meet and fall in love and the central conflict could have been about Moss snobby friends and family being xenophobic and classist to Delmessia. It would not have been original, precisely, but it would have removed the need for all the sex trafficking and the suicidal brother who was completely inconsequential to the plot.

    But it’s finally over, I guess. And I’m sure we will see a movie adaptation eventually that maybe will cut some of all the unnecessary shit the book has and fall under those rare movies that are better than the source material. And Eel will hate it because it wouldn’t be true to her vision or something

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Amy Too
      Amy Too

      Why was the suicidal brother thing never wrapped up? What happened with that? Did they determine it was suicide or accident? What’s going on with Caroline? Where will Moss and Dimzy live? Will she get a visa? How long will it take? Is her dad going to let them move away from Albania? How do we know that Anatoli is going to leave them alone? Will his life of crime be uncovered? What happened to the original sex traffickers and all the other girls? Is Dimzy ever going to play piano again? Do the Egyptian artifacts get returned? Why are there so many loose ends in this story!?

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Amy Too
        Amy Too

        Also, what was the point of all the Instagram posts!? Those were INFURIATING! I thought they would at least have a purpose. Who broke into Moss’s apartment and were they caught? Will Anatoli ever get in trouble for kidnapping a woman across several international borders?

        August 27, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jo
          Jo

          1) Because Eel didn’t care
          2) Absolutely nothing happened
          3) Who cares? Certainly not Eel!
          4) She’s evil and blonde, so it doesn’t matter
          5) England, because Moss can’t leave in such a poor undignified country as Eelbania
          6) Probably
          7) Several chapters in which the readers will be treated to every single excrutiang bureaucratic step
          8) He will brandish his gun a lot, but eventually he’ll give in to Moss’ superior alpha-maleness
          9) He’s probably in the shadows planning a kidnapping right now ala Jack Hyde.
          10) Yes and he’ll be tossed in jail with the other dirty criminal immigrants
          11) Who cares? They were probably raped so they’re damaged goods now and therefore don’t deserve to be the MC in an Eel novel
          12) Maybe once, but then she’ll decide that staying at home and raising her and Moss’ spawns is what REALLY makes her happy
          13) Moss’ ancestors stole those artifacts fair and square!
          14) Eel got bored halfway through
          15) The Instagram posts are to show that Moss is hip and cool and posh!
          16) The sex traffickers, who I must assume are psychich because otherwise I can’t explain how they knew Delmessia was connected to Moss. If it was ever explained, I wasn’t paying enough attention
          17) Refer to answer number 10

          I hope this helped!

          August 27, 2019
          |Reply
        • Coco
          Coco

          There’s no official record of Alessia having left Albania in the first place, so now that she’s back in Albania who would Anatoli be in trouble with? Since her kidnapping wasn’t reported to any U.K. Or European authorities, I don’t know who would spend the resources to investigate now. I can see Interpol or whoever being like, “She was a victim of a sex trafficking ring and you didn’t report it? And she made no effort to seek asylum? And when the alleged sex traffickers tried to abduct her again you prevented her from giving a witness statement to the local police even though she could have valuable information about the other alleged victims? And then you believed her to be kidnapped but alerted no one in authority? You didn’t even contact her family, though you clearly knew where they lived? And you were so concerned about her supposed kidnapping that you drank top shelf liquor at every hotel bar in Albania, not to mention visited a museum? Sir, I don’t care who your family is, stop wasting valuable police time.”

          August 27, 2019
          |Reply
  13. Tez Miller
    Tez Miller

    I imagine that Albanian translator in the acknowledgements would very much like to be excused from this narrative…

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
  14. Perlite
    Perlite

    How does someone screw up a basic-ass “rag-to-riches” romance story so badly?
    Admittedly the “rags” portion is tenuous at best with Alessia’s apparently ‘backward-ass, out-in-the-sticks’ upbringing included several American streaming subscriptions, sprawling yard complete with picturesque house and two cars.
    Like, it would’ve been so easy to write a steamy (if problematic) “troubled, poor immigrant that is a diamond in the rough falls for a billionaire” story.

    You can’t have your grand, sweeping romantic moment after your hero took selfies at a museum while the love of his life was trapped in the trunk of a car! “She’s taken me on an epic journey of self-discovery with her.” Asshole! What did you even learn form all of this? “Maybe the poors CAN be attractive enough for me to bone and marry”? Does anyone even remember that Alessia was his “daily” at all by this point?

    PS. Why was the translator’s girlfriend here?? Hope someone left her with a bowl of water with the AC cranked up and her favorite music playing.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah, when I saw that she’d been left in the car, I also thought about making sure they cracked a window because she was being treated like a dog. Like, I get maybe Moss or Tom was protecting her by going “Oh, she could wait for us, we won’t be long” but if so that was a fucking lie. They had no idea what was gonna go down or how and the minute they got invited in, the guy should’ve gone back to ask her if she wanted to join them, or you know, don’t fucking bring her along? Does Mr. Interpretor hang out with her the whole time when she’s on the job? *smh*

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
      • What did she do when Anatoli stormed out with his gun? It’s like there should’ve been a whole off-screen conflict to contend with. Maybe SHE is now kidnapped. But we’ll never know, because Earl Poldarkus and his big fat ring is all that matters.

        August 27, 2019
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          Good lord, that’s a great point. And now I’m just imagining this epic struggle as the car doors are all locked, Anatoli tries to make her get out by banging on them and pointing his gun at her, but she’s frozen with shock until she just ducks down as far as she can, arms over her head, praying he’ll go away soon. And because he has no fucking bullets, it WORKS. Anatoli eventually just spits on the door handle and huffs off to his own car, peeling out like a demon from hell. So then she’s REALLY yelling at her boyfriend when Tom and he finally come out to leave and they have to explain everything on the drive back.

          August 27, 2019
          |Reply
          • Lily
            Lily

            That’s a better story than this one.

            August 27, 2019
  15. Maura
    Maura

    In a good piece of media, fleshing out even minor characters can make its world more real and sometimes even leads said characters to take on a larger role in the narrative. Sometimes it can be helpful as a reminder that the world doesn’t revolve around the main character(s) even though the narrative does.

    But that’s in a good story. In a bad one, the options are to wonder why the main characters aren’t being similarly fleshed out and/or ask why the story isn’t about the seemingly more interesting side characters.

    It’s weird that the wedding wasn’t seen, although I guess she thought there would be a sequel. Even so, that’s a weird note to end on; shouldn’t there have been a bit about how he’s going to marry her no matter what his mother thinks? Or maybe some wistfulness about how they’re marrying in a rush, instead of taking the time to plan out an event as wonderful as their love? Okay, that’s melodramatic, but still, something just feels off and flat about the ending, even more than the rest of the story.

    This piece of work gives fan fiction a bad name, and I’m glad it’s over.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      IKR
      I legit thought the last boning scene was supposed to be the wedding night until that “We’ll be married in a week” line.
      WHY would you not end your (alleged) romance with the wedding, eel?

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      “Even so, that’s a weird note to end on; shouldn’t there have been a bit about how he’s going to marry her no matter what his mother thinks?”

      Hmm, maybe the sequel will be Mummy not approving of the marriage and cutting Moss of if he marries that “foreign girl”. Now poor Moss and Dimzy are stuck between a rock, her father’s threats of death, and a hard place, his mummy taking away all his toys and money. Whatever will they do? Will love be enough?

      Watch as Moss tries to make a go of his modeling career, or his DJ career, or his photography career without mummy buying gigs for him or paying her friends to hire him for weddings and whatnot.

      While he tries to make it on his own, Dimzy has to go back to cleaning houses. Moss’s manhood takes a great hit, not being able to provide for his family sinks him deep into depression. Half way through the book Dimzy gets knocked up! OMG what will they do?

      Shattered and broken, and needing to “feel like a man again” Moss falls back into the arms of his BFF (remember, they are supposed to be friends) Caroline. Dimzy has some suspicions but she shakes them off. “He chose you, remember?” she tells herself and carries on working her butt off, while pregnant, to support Moss’ dreams.

      She miscarries, because she was working so hard. She sinks into despair and needs to be away from him for a while. She goes back home to Albanian. She runs into Anatoli. He seems…different. He’s gotten his life straightened up. He’s married. He’s out of the mob business. He’s a moderately successful shop owner now. He’s…happy. Dimzy thinks of what might have been, forgetting completely that this is the man who locked her in a truck but remembering that time he shared a sandwich with her.

      Moss comes looking for her, a repeat of their former life. When he sees her out with Anatoli (innocently, they were just catching up) he flips out. He drives off, along a treacherous mountain road. he loses control of the car and careens off the side. It is such a remote area that no one finds his body or his car.

      Dimzy thinks he has left her. She couldn’t give him a child so he abandoned her like she always knew he would. It was that Caroline! This is all her fault! He always loved Caroline more than her!

      Stay tuned for the final book of the trilogy, where Dimzy goes off on a revenge quest against the woman she thinks stole her husband! And who is the mystery man in an Albanian hospital with amnesia? Will Moszy get their happy ending? Will Dimzy get her revenge? These questions and more will not be answered because these character suck and no one cares! lol

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Hey, but you got me interested in this hint of a soap opera for the entirety of this post! Alas, it’s probably more plot development and characterization than EEL can muster.

        Also, I’d prefer Dimzy catching a break and becoming a pianist, but not being famous enough to bring in the big bucks, so they’re still struggling, and she just has a miscarriage because those can happen to anyone. Otherwise, great stuff, especially if Caroline is confused and outed at the same time. Can you imagine how AMAZING that confrontation could be?

        Caroline sighed, pouting and rolling her eyes a little bit, before giving Alessia an appropriately sour look. Each woman bristled with defensiveness.

        “Ok, yes… I was weak!” Caroline finally admitted. “I was fucking him again… but he never loved me. It was always about his needs, his sadness, and his nostalgia… Did Maxim want me or was it my surroundings?”

        The blonde indicated her richly decorated drawing room but at that moment she saw nothing of wonder in it for her eyes didn’t light up and her patience remained thin.

        Alessia stayed silent, flustered as the admittance of Maxim’s betrayal sank in but recognizing an unexpected amount of sympathy for this Other Woman. Sometimes she felt the same, although about what exactly she couldn’t pinpoint, and it chilled her to the bone.

        Then Caroline smiled as she looked down at her left hand, admiring the surprisingly modest and singular ring adorning it.

        “Now Kit…” she said. “Kit was different. That’s why I married him.”

        There was a subtle pride as she glanced idly in Alessia’s direction.

        “I know you never met him but I wish he could’ve met you,” Caroline said. “You’re too good for Maxim. We both are. I don’t know why he’s missing now, he probably found a better sugar mama to cuddle up to, but enjoy it while it lasts.”

        August 27, 2019
        |Reply
      • NewFan
        NewFan

        DYING over your, “but remembering the time he shared a sandwich with her.”

        My only question – how do you work in the “spying on her while she’s dancing in the kitchen” scene in the 3rd book if she’s on a revenge quest? These are the important questions.

        August 27, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jules
          Jules

          Revenge is hard work. Sometimes you just have to unwind with a little dancing. Reconnect with your creative side.

          August 27, 2019
          |Reply
  16. Izzy
    Izzy

    Stop saying affecting. STOP saying affecting. STOP saying AFFECTING. STOP SAYING AFFECTING! And also stop with the ellipses. James is a robot or an alien or an earthworm who sold their soul to Satan for human form. No one acts like this, no one thinks like this, no one talks like this. If this hack is going to keep publishing her fanfic she better come down from her tower and talk to some real people. REAL people, not sock puppets.

    And the problem isn’t even that James is just publishing her badly written fanfic. I’ve read plenty of badly written fanfic in my time but I’ve enjoyed it regardless because it was written out of love for the source material and I liked what they were attempting even if I didn’t enjoy the execution. Plus a lot of the time it’s writtten by someone who is ESL and they don’t have a team of editors to fix it. What makes me furious is that James has no love or even respect for the people she owns her millions to. Not the original authors, not the fandom who made her popular, not the people she’s writing about. She’s a greedy, racist, misogynistic, classist, hack and in a sane world no publisher would touch her with a ten foot barge pole.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Izzy
      Izzy

      Also I knew she was sequel baiting when Anatoli just peaced the fuck out last chapter. It’s probably not happening but I can see maybe a novella being released for an anniversary thing maybe five years down the line.

      August 26, 2019
      |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      And the problem isn’t even that James is just publishing her badly written fanfic. I’ve read plenty of badly written fanfic in my time but I’ve enjoyed it regardless because it was written out of love for the source material and I liked what they were attempting even if I didn’t enjoy the execution. Plus a lot of the time it’s writtten by someone who is ESL and they don’t have a team of editors to fix it.

      Right? I’ve read stuff I thought could’ve been better but I enjoyed the ride because the author did too. I’ve also read some ESL-author stuff that could be unintentionally funny or weird, based on word-choice, but still good because they had a vision and you could tell what it was all the same (or in a few cases, enjoy trying to puzzle it out.) Even some of the bad fanfic I’ve read was entertaining: so bad it was good!

      Hell, I’ve written stuff I didn’t think was so hot but I still liked it and usually if I read it again, I’m happy, even if I can see where some mistakes were made. You don’t need perfection to have a good time; you just need sincerity.

      This novel is a string of limp snot from a sneeze. EEL tried beating her fanfic into a shape with a variety of new ideas but she didn’t go far enough, she didn’t edit well enough, and she cared more about getting it sent to the publisher than in making certain it flowed properly and made sense. Creativity also goes a long way and she has some but doesn’t use it properly. With time she could improve, but not with her ego or her outlook on life.

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Actually, you know what? Part of the problem was EEL’s sincerity showing… this novel was a mirror into ugliness. And the stuff she was insincere about also spoke volumes. But anyway…

        August 27, 2019
        |Reply
  17. Jenn H
    Jenn H

    I think the biggest thing that is bugging me is this: E. L. James is wealthy enough that she could have done the research properly. She could have spent months in Albania, soaking up the culture. She could have hired lots of experts to help her get the details right. But she didn’t. She just didn’t care enough, but still wanted to use Albania as a setting (instead of say, making Alessia a poor woman from Britian).

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah, if she actually cared, we’d see a huge difference.

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
    • Ani
      Ani

      That’s what makes it so frustrating. She has the resources. She has the money. She has the ability to stop writing for a few years and come back and still have attention of her fans… and just chooses not to.

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      Especially considering you don’t even need that much in terms of resources to do research these days, all you really need is a decent library and an internet connection.

      August 28, 2019
      |Reply
  18. Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)
    Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)

    It’s a more interesting book when every single character’s entire life doesn’t revolve around the MCs. But not during the dang climax while the hero is lallygagging at the museum and at a freaking bar. OMFG – I don’t know how you finished this.

    Sis and I had a lot to drink during during Fifty Shades of Craycay. (We snuck it into the theater each time.) I think I’m going to have to get falling down drunk if sis wants to talk me into this.

    August 26, 2019
    |Reply
  19. Maile
    Maile

    And all was heteronormative.

    August 27, 2019
    |Reply
  20. Mr. Fell
    Mr. Fell

    “Like Lord Byron?”
    I was content to wtf at the complement backward Albanian peasant who somehow knows who Lord Byron is, then I realised that El James assumes everyone knows all British poets, why would we not, it’s not like they would have their own poets… Fuck it.

    Also after surviving sex traffickers, abusive fathers, abusive fiancès, stupid fiancès and whatnot, the new threat is… Moss’ mom? Great sequel hook. /s

    August 27, 2019
    |Reply
    • Mr. Fell
      Mr. Fell

      Alessia deserved better.

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Not to mention, Moss doesn’t really have to face his mother. It’s stressful for him but he’s the heir so I don’t think mom can actually stop him… And Dimzy is the one taking the full brunt of the attack whenever they meet, all because dumbass wants her approval. Of course, if she actually wrote the book, the “tension” would be drawn out unbelievably long and then resolved almost immediately once they actually deal with it.

        August 27, 2019
        |Reply
        • Jules
          Jules

          I am no seeing a 10,000 page book of Moss and Dimzy actively avoiding his mother. Dodging out of restaurants when he sees her enter, avoiding all family gatherings, etc. Dimzy doesn’t know why because Moss won’t say, so she assumes he’s ashamed of her. More endless non-communication leads to a series of break ups and rejoinings with boring makeup sex. In the final page and a half chapter the doorbell rings. Moss opens it. It’s his mother. She pushes past him and marches towards Dimzy. He tries to stop her. Dimzy braces herself. Mummy looks her up and down. “Do you love my son?” She commands. Dimzy nods nervously. Mummy holds out her hands. “Then welcome to the family!” and pulls her into a big hug. Crisis solved. They all live happily ever after.

          Eel has no clue how to handle crisis, crisees, crisises? (I’ve never done it plural before. It feels naughty!) so she just kind of ends them out of nowhere. “Nothing to see here, move along now”.

          August 27, 2019
          |Reply
  21. Oh my gods.
    That was all quite horrible.
    Thank you. 😀

    August 27, 2019
    |Reply
  22. merry
    merry

    Hello,
    I think we could all use a nice palate cleanser like for example Buffy or Angel now. Starting with Beautiful Disaster right after this will be tough!

    August 27, 2019
    |Reply
  23. Hilma
    Hilma

    Wait, so those Instagram snaps…. had zero meaning whatsoever? They never came up??? What was their point???

    August 27, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I suspect it’s just part of her travel journal, which means EEL may have irritated some Albanian museum guards in real life. Or she needed something to show how hip and young Maxim is, which meant Instagram. Clearly, she didn’t plan them out any better than she planned out the apartment alarm, the Egyptian artifacts, or Kit’s suspected suicide. That’s the problem with just dumping details in all the time and never tying them into the plot; she misses the opportunity and it’s also hard to determine if any of these details are important so if they get repeated or seem off, then we assume they are when all she wanted was padding and what she considers characterization (even though that would need to impact their character somehow.)

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
  24. Amy Too
    Amy Too

    Does anyone else (like maybe they author of The Mister) remember the chapters upon chapters of stupid angst Moss was feeling about revealing that he was an Earl? Remember how he was so worried that Dimzy might be a gold digger who only wanted to marry him for his title and not because of who he was as a person? And now he’s proposing to her not as Moss, the man, but as the Earl of Trevithick? He’s not looking for a wife to love or a companion to share his life with, ,he’s looking for a Countess? !!!!!! Ugh!!!!!!

    August 27, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      Oh lord. Was that this book? That seems like it happened decades ago. lol

      Seriously though, that Countess line was odd. Was it meant to show that Dimzy taught him, on this great journey of self discovery, that it was okay to be a rich, privileged anglo-dude? That he should embrace his elitism? Is that what the poor, foreign maid taught him? How wonderful. I’m so glad she was able to get through to him. I was worried he’d feel bad about being rich and privileged for the rest of his life and have to spend all his unearned wealth on booze and women to heal the wound in his heart. Who knew all it took was some virgin sex.

      I am so grateful that Eel took us along for this beautiful voyage of self discovery, of a man learning what is truly important in life, coming to terms with being rich. Oh poor Moss. I’m so glad that burden was lifted from his perfectly chiseled shoulders (because not only is he burdened with wealth and power, he’s also gorgeous and supposedly talented. How ever did he survive under such horrible circumstances?)

      On the plus side, I now know what to say if someone asks me what the worst book ever written is.

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
    • NewFan
      NewFan

      Hey! Accepting your Earl status is hard… UNTIL you realize you can use it to class bludgeon dirty foreigners back into their holes (3 story holes w/ satellite dishes on a lake?)

      Now that being an Earl has a Purpose… all is well.

      August 27, 2019
      |Reply
  25. Tree Lady
    Tree Lady

    Thanks so much, Jenny, for throwing yourself on your spork and sacrificing yourself for us! I would have been a hostile mass of brain-jelly if I’d had to read this.

    August 27, 2019
    |Reply
  26. Coco
    Coco

    “Fuck a duck, mate, last night I dreamt I went to Trevethick again.”

    The sequel could be a fanfic of ‘Rebecca,’ considering this book already has several elements of Du Maurier’s work. Moss’s mother can fill the Mrs. Danvers role, belittling both the newlyweds since Alesia is too un-English to be acceptable and Moss can never live up to golden boy Kit. Maybe she’ll throw in some ‘Jane Eyre,’ with a disfigured Kit playing Bertha Rochester. Caroline will reveal she’s not as shallow as her blondeness would suggest, because she loves her husband no matter what he looks like. Moss, having grown to love being Earl, will go mad with rage and burn down the estate. He will lose an eye in the process and get a funky, funky eyepatch, meaning that the last book in the trilogy will be a rip-off of ‘The Pirates of Penzance.’ He will use Alessia’s giant pink panties as the flag of his pirate ship.

    August 27, 2019
    |Reply
    • You lost me at the eyepatch, but you pulled me back in with the giant panties.

      August 28, 2019
      |Reply
      • Mar
        Mar

        I’d read that.

        August 28, 2019
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  27. I have nnnothing to add to the other comments regarding the… … “content” of this “book”, BUT… I just have to mention that I had this feeling that I’d heard/seen the description of Anatoli before, and now it dawned on me! Look up Bill Pullman in the 80’s movie “Ruthless people”. Yes? YES?? Isn’t it spot on??!

    In any case, thank you for these recaps. Always a hoot to read (and I don’t have to read (and buy) the actual book)!

    August 28, 2019
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  28. Lucy
    Lucy

    I ‘d buy that her father actually loves her if he’d shown with any redeeming features, as someone who was stern and patriarchal because he was a product of his culture, so for instance he ‘d bethroted her to someone he didn’t know was abusive and genuinely believed would have been a good choice for his daughter rather than selling her off. And he never openly showed affection because it’s not the done thing for a man. But like this? He’s just a cartoonish stereotypical villain.
    I also don’t really buy Alessia being comfortable sneaking into Moss’s room to have sex, considering it’s something that’s potentially awkward to do under your parents ‘roof even for people coming from pretty liberal families.

    August 28, 2019
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  29. Mar
    Mar

    That was a weird ending if I ever saw one, but I had so much fun with these recaps! We can never thank you enough for taking one for the team with these awful books.

    August 28, 2019
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  30. I’m in the middle of my first attempt at writing a romantic suspense (well, more suspense-lite; there’s meant to be more focus on the suspense element in the sequel) and I gotta say, this book makes for a pretty good guide for how to write one. As in, everything EEL does, do the opposite. This is the most weaksauce ending to a plot involving multiple kidnappings, an abusive arranged marriage, and human trafficking that I could possibly imagine. Never in my LIFE have I seen an author so blissfully ignorant of her own limp storytelling. The hero spends a supposed rescue mission taking Instagram photos in a museum and picking out engagement rings??? Are you kidding me? And then it comes to a wet fart of a conclusion with the bad guy basically just fucking off and Alessia sharing a tender moment with her dad after he pointed a gun at his supposedly pregnant daughter? What?

    There were seeds of an interesting story here, if you ignore the xenophobia, the general insensitive handling of subjects like sex trafficking and suicide, and the fact that most of the interesting parts were probably ripped from Poldark. But the more I think about it, the more obvious it is that this was based on a serialized fanfic, and it almost feels more like it than Fifty Shades. It just reads like EEL kept coming up with wacky new plot ideas as she went on, and wrote them all in whether or not they really fit, and never bothered to go back and make sure they made sense with the rest of the story. A number of these elements could’ve been decent plots on their own in the hands of a competent writer, but as it is, it just feels like a bunch of pieces of 3 different puzzles scattered on the floor that she tried to insist all fit together.

    August 30, 2019
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    • Ani
      Ani

      don’t forget, the epic romance ends on alessia going, “i have to tell my mother!” right after she suffered days of sexual assault, physical abuse, and contemplating suicide. this girl is gonna have YEARS of mental anguish and intense PTSD. she’s going to spend the next couple of weeks waking up in the middle of the night screaming, averse to the touch of anyone, flinching at sounds and shadows, and double-guessing her relationship.

      im sure if the book had continued from here, ELL would’ve written a sex scene immediately after this, ignoring everything done to her. she is literally that tone deaf.

      yup, what a great romantic movie this would be! i love watching the main female protagonist getting verbally abuse, beaten, nearly raped, and watching as she holds a gun to her head. forget epic romantic moments like when the beast gives belle the library or the epic speech from pride and prejudice. i wanna see the male love interest take SELFIES and bitch about public transportation! i wanna see women dragged kicking and screaming into cars!

      oh hey, what about those other women alessia were with? oh, they’ve probably been sold into sex slavery where their lives is filled with daily assault and eventual murder. but look how pretty the ring alessia has! ooh shiny!

      September 2, 2019
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      • Okay, but to be fair, those other women probably aren’t as slender and beautiful as Alessia, so they don’t deserve love or freedom or orgasms or shiny rings.

        September 2, 2019
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        • Ani
          Ani

          In the movie Crimson Peak with Tom Hiddleston, he marries several rich women and then allows his sister to murder them so he could collect their inheritance. When you see pictures of the women, they’re (slightly) older than him or they’re overweight or they’re not as attractive. So it implies had the main lead been anything but a beautiful, young, skinny blonde, Hiddleston’s character would have not saved her, let alone fall in love with her.

          So knowing ELL, those women were probably were fat/ugly who “deserved” to be sold into trafficking.

          September 2, 2019
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  31. Lumipuna
    Lumipuna

    I’ve been storing this joke I came up with during the early chapters of this recap:

    With all this English national supremacism and Brexit-spirited nostalgia, with all the seemingly unfounded erotic tension and silly quasi-Victorian prudishness, and with the author’s established reputation as a women’s kink ambassador…

    This book is clearly erotica for women who have a fetish for England. As in, women who get turned on specifically when they lay back and think of England. During sex with their husband, or otherwise. England, England, England!

    September 1, 2019
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  32. Ok, I know this is old news now, lol, but I have been working on different fun writing projects revolving around The Mister. Yes, my life is that sad.

    Anyway, the first is a parody written regarding the whole “umbrella meet cute” where Dimzy fell madly in love because Moss gave her an umbrella. This has very little to do with the actual characters so much as it’s a fun little riff on why he might have given her the umbrella.

    I would love feedback as I very seldom have the guts to put my work out there, as you’ll see from the fact there is only one other post on my ancient wordpress site.

    https://wordpress.com/post/mabinogia.wordpress.com/13

    Mod, if I’m not allowed to do this sort of thing, please take this down and let me know.

    September 13, 2019
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