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The Mister by E L James
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The Mister (edition 2019)

by E L James (Author)

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716251,213 (2.83)2
Member:Hope_A
Title:The Mister
Authors:E L James (Author)
Info:Vintage (2019), 512 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Mister by E. L. James

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I absolutely loved the Fifty Shades Trilogy, so when I heard that E. L. James had written an entirely new book, I was very excited to give it a try. I was eager to find out if Fifty Shades had simply been a fluke or if Ms. James really was that good of a storyteller. After reading The Mister, I’d have to say it’s the latter, at least IMHO. I can’t stress enough, though, that this book is very different from Fifty Shades in that the sensual content is much tamer. Aside from one very brief scene early in the story where Maxim engages in a little light bondage with one of his conquests, there’s absolutely nothing kinky. In fact, a few of the love scenes are even fade-to-black. Instead, this is a sweet but sensual modern-day Cinderella story with a white knight hero who saves the damsel in distress. If this isn’t your type of read then this book probably isn’t for you. But, if like me, you love fairy-tale retellings, then I think you’ll enjoy this one as much as I did.

Alessia is from a traditional area of Albania, where women are not particularly valued and are still treated much like chattel. After her father betrothed her to an abusive man, her mother helped her escape, sending her to a friend’s home in London, but she encountered more ill-luck when she fell into the hands of criminals along the way. She was lucky to get free and make it to London, but she’s now employed as a cleaner (aka a daily) for some well-to-do people. One of those people is our hero, Maxim, who catches Alessia’s eye and stirs her romantic fantasies from the moment she meets him. She loves working for him, because he owns a grand piano. She’s played since she was a child and has an unusual condition known as synesthesia, where she can see the notes as colors, making it easy for her to perfectly recall pieces from memory. If she finishes her cleaning work early and Maxim isn’t at home, she takes the opportunity to play, something that brings a small amount of peace to her troubled life. Although she begins to fall for Maxim from afar, she has no expectation that he’ll ever give her any notice. After all, he appears to be a wealthy man and she’s just his daily. But when the kidnappers from her journey to London show up at Maxim’s apartment and he helps her escape, everything changes. Alessia is a very sweet young woman who was easy for me to relate to, because she reminds me of myself in some ways. She’s shy, gentle, and caring toward others. She’s had a very rough life, and perhaps because of that, she harbors a quiet, inner strength of spirit that’s easy to miss if you’re not looking closely. Music is her one outlet for all the pain and emotion of the past, while also being a guiding light that helps give her hope for the future. I’m sure there will be a lot of readers who won’t “get” her because she’s not the feisty, adventurous heroine that seems to be most prized in current romance trends. While I can appreciate those types of heroines as well, I still really liked Alessia a lot because we can’t all be kick-ass females, so for me, she was more realistic to the type of woman I am.

Maxim is the second son of an earl, the proverbial “spare,” who’s basically been frittering his life away with aimless pursuits. He has talents in both photography and music and pursues those interests when it pleases him to do so, but for the most part, he’s merely a bored aristocratic playboy, looking for his next sexual conquest. However, his life takes a dramatic turn when his older brother, the Earl of Trevethick, tragically dies in a motorcycle accident, leaving Maxim to inherit the title. He has no idea how to run the day-to-day enterprises of an earldom and never thought he would have to, so it’s more of a burden to him than a blessing. Then he meets his daily and unexpectedly finds that she inspires him in ways he never thought possible. Her musical talents astound him, and as he gets to know her and realizes what a difficult life she’s had, he comes to appreciate how fortunate he truly is. He finds her beautiful in more ways than just the physical and wants nothing more than to give her the moon if she’ll have him. That’s why, when the thugs show up at his door, he knows he’ll do anything he must to protect her. However, not wanting to overwhelm her with how far above her station he actually is and also wanting to make sure that she genuinely loves him for himself, he initially keeps the truth of his titled status from her. Maxim begins the story harboring some self-loathing and feeling very disillusioned with life, but Alessia reinvigorates him into a better version of himself. With her, he’s the white knight, a gallant gentleman, who gently cares for her, keeping her safe and rescuing her when needed. I like the way he held himself back for a while to make sure that the employer/employee power differential wasn’t factoring into their relationship in any way. Maxim ended up being a kind, beta-leaning, and near-perfect romance hero for me.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Mister. It came very close to being as perfect as the Fifty Shades books for me. However, there were a few little things that I thought could have been just a tad better. I’m glad that Maxim’s persistence and their love for one another won out in the end, but I would have preferred if the main villain (Alessia’s betrothed) and perhaps her father, too, had suffered more severe consequences. After them abusing her the way they did, I wasn’t 100% satisfied with them having only a minimal comeuppance. I also would have loved an epilogue, perhaps showing Maxim and Alessia happy after some time had passed and her pursuing her music in a more professional way. After all, she said she wanted to work – not just be a kept woman – and what better way for her to do that, especially since Maxim had money, as well as connections in the music world, that could have helped make that happen for her. Otherwise, though, I really did enjoy the book. It’s just the kind of tender, emotional, and deeply romantic story that tends to puts a smile on my face. It simply gave me all the warm fuzzies and squishy feels that I look for in a romance, so for me, it was a wonderful read. ( )
  mom2lnb | Jun 14, 2019 |
I'm not even going to bother editing this review, because E.L. James and Penguin couldn't be bothered to edit this novel. Continue on for run on sentences, an overuse of commas, and some complaining.

Let's start with the obvious, I have rated this novel 2 stars. As of this review posting, 272 readers on Goodreads have also given this novel 2 stars. 496 gave 5 stars (I shall try not to offend you too much in this review), 367 gave 4 stars, 416 gave 4 stars, and 398 gave 1 star. If that is not the most ALL OVER THE PLACE rating scale I would be surprised, I don't know of a book with readers this at odds with one another since ... well ... since E.L. James hit series released. That is, again as of this posting, 1,949 readers that loved it, hated it, DNFed, fell in the middle, or, my favorite, gave it a rating based on personal thoughts (without reading it at all) alone. I see you, I'm judging you.

I went into The Mister with high expectations, I couldn't fathom that an author with a top-selling and top-ranking series, as well as a movie deal, wouldn't have improved drastically, or at least had better editing advice, since that first release years ago. Plus, she was using PR companies that target indie readers and I loved that us little people were getting to help promote it. Thinking about that now, maybe that should have been my first clue about the novel. Then, as I was reading and updating, I saw the reviews rolling in and if you haven't read them, well they aren't all pretty. I adjusted my expectations, but I had purchased the novel and had to read it for myself. Turns out, I was absolutely wrong, this novel is worse, an author can indeed publish with a massive publishing house a novel that belongs in the trash.

Now, I know you're looking at this review like, "but you gave it two stars," and I'll get to that, but in terms of writing and editing, this is terrible. We've got the alternating perspectives with only the female main character's voice in third person, but on top of that E.L. James thought that continuing the annoying inner monologue of her previous novels was absolutely necessary. It isn't, their thoughts aren't even full thoughts and typically they don't even fit the character's voice. Then there's the emphasis on important words, I could use to never see a word repeated three times again, no really never NEVER never again, and the not-so-sexy, but considered very sexy by James and her male hero, the upper lip bite. We've got panic, we've got insta-love with a bulldog mouthed "daily" (read: cleaner), and, finally, we've got absolutely zero chemistry. Ladies and gentlemen, what we've got here is a dumpster fire of a novel.

Here's the deal with the two stars. I finished the novel, actually read every single word and page in its entirety, and I didn't rip my hair out, light the book on fire, or lose my eyeballs in the back of my head. I also didn't have to read page after page of non-consensual, over-the-top sexual acts or deal with a misogynistic main character who thinks he's God's gift to mankind. We've improved some, there's even condoms and a man who asks permission, my friends. While the story isn't exactly unique and it's not written very well, I wasn't too bored to set it down and never finish it again. Part of that was wanting to know the end and, admittedly, part of it was wanting to see just how bad this novel could get. It was very slow, but about 60% of the way through the story gained some traction. It isn't boring in that there is a lot going on, it's boring in that the events occurring just mean absolutely nothing to you as a reader. There's sex, there's drugs, there's terrible parents, a girl on the run, a man who doesn't honor his family, etc, etc, etc. I found myself able to ignore the flaws, both in the writing and in the characters, and able to just enjoy the escapism of the novel. Note the use of the word escape, I've never met a character who needs to escape or requires saving so often, it was quite laughable. What the characters lack in personality and chemistry, or even common sense, E.L. James makes up for with lots of THINGS happening. Things is not a great word and I typically try to avoid it, but I don't really know how to group up the events of this novel, so things will have to do.

The Mister is the final nail in E.L. James' writing career, at least for this reader. While I loathed reading the Fifty Shades series, I quite enjoyed the movies, and I'm perfectly happy accepting that I will only watch movie adaptions of any novels by James going forward. Should Penguin or another publisher opt to give James more editing and a thesaurus, give me a shout. If you don't really mind reading an unedited novel featuring characters with little personality and no connection, then maybe this one is for you.

*I purchased this book...I could've done so much more with $9* ( )
  CarleneInspired | Jun 14, 2019 |
The Mister

I Picked Up This Book Because:Had to see how this author was outside of FSoG

The Characters:

Maxim Trevelyan:
Alessia Demachi:

The Story:

A ton of things happen in this story so I won’t do a rehash as I am much too lazy however, I will say I enjoyed this book. I liked Alessia’s mysterious past. I liked her connection with Maxim even if it was insta-love. I do think she had maybe one too many obstacles to face and the book could have probably been 100 less pages with reducing the storylines but everything was resolved and they did indeed get their happily ever after.

The Random Thoughts: ( )
  bookjunkie57 | May 28, 2019 |
I did this to myself. No-one forced me to read this, but I said "screw it" and threw caution to the wind. I knew better, I had read the 50 Shades trilogy. In the back of my head, I thought, maybe she's improved, maybe all the fame helped her get better editors and better ideas. I was wrong. So wrong. The Mister makes 50 Shades look like a damn masterpiece. This was somehow far worse than 50 Shades; I honestly didn't know that could be possible. The Mister features a WEALTHY LORD (named Maxim... are you kidding me?!?!) who starts to fall for his new maid, Alessia. Alessia escaped from some "shady shit" in Albania and she is in London illegally. She hasn't been around for very long and is soo naive! She is literally screaming damsel in distress. Maxim is a rich playboy who bones a different woman every night of the week. Then he sees his new maid and becomes infatuated with her and helps save her from the "shady shit" that's following her from Albania. He wants to "keep her safe" and "keep her to himself." They soon start shagging and he's even a gentleman and takes her virginity... All the while, Alessia is so naive she doesn't even know that the man she has been cleaning for/making love to, is a Lord. I mean, for fucking real?!?!!?! Since it's E.L. James there is a ton of steamy sex (that's perfect every time - I mean a virgin who gets the hang of it that quick?! How neat!). If you're looking for a story that is short on plot and heavy on unrealistic sex, then this is the book for you. I'm tired of reading about naive dumb girls that need a man to rescue them and show them around a bedroom. Next! ( )
  ecataldi | May 22, 2019 |
Yea no. Fifty shades was my guilty pleasure. This book is just a rehash of Fifty shades but set where the guy is royalty and a sex addict. When he sees his "true love" for the first time, she licks her lips and it sets him afire... hmmm just like in fifty shades where she bites her lip. Didn't finish it because 500 pages of another type of Fifty Shades is too much for me.
  booklover3258 | May 13, 2019 |
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For Tia Elba. Thank you for your wisdom, strength, good humour, and sanity, but most of all for your love.
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No. No. No. Not the black.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The passionate new romance from E L James, author of the phenomenal #1 bestselling Fifty Shades Trilogy

London, 2019. Life has been easy for Maxim Trevelyan. With his good looks, aristocratic connections, and money, he’s never had to work and he’s rarely slept alone. But all that changes when tragedy strikes and Maxim inherits his family’s noble title, wealth, and estates, and all the responsibility that entails. It’s a role he’s not prepared for and one that he struggles to face.


But his biggest challenge is fighting his desire for an unexpected, enigmatic young woman who’s recently arrived in England, possessing little more than a dangerous and troublesome past. Reticent, beautiful, and musically gifted, she’s an alluring mystery, and Maxim’s longing for her deepens into a passion that he’s never experienced and dares not name. Just who is Alessia Demachi? Can Maxim protect her from the malevolence that threatens her? And what will she do when she learns that he’s been hiding secrets of his own?


From the heart of London through wild, rural Cornwall to the bleak, forbidding beauty of the Balkans, The Mister is a roller-coaster ride of danger and desire that leaves the reader breathless to the very last page.
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