Class and Pride in EL James THE MISTER

The Mister

Written by: E L James
Read by: Dominic Thorburn & Jessica O’Hara-Baker
16 Hours and 29Minutes
Publisher: PRHA | Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Romance – Contemporary
Release Date: April 16, 2019

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader’s copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


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.


My Take Oblong Shaped

Many of my friends look at EL James’s books and poo poo them.  While the writing in the “Fifty Shades” series may have been a little  unsophisticated, but as I listened to this book, twice, I realized she spins a hell of a yarn.  I could barely stop listening.  Her sexy scenes are a bit dull but the blossoming of the relationship between Alessia and  Maxim is charming, as is the unfurling of her personality. She weaves a delightful visit in Cornwall; who doesn’t love Cornwall.  It also talks about a very salient issue sex trafficking — so evil.

I think that James wrote for TV  is telling in her writing — it makes the story really compelling but, sometimes the descriptions  of the characters’ movements seem like stage directions.

It is possible that I just really loved the way Maxim was narrated by the velvety voice of Dominic Thorburn.  Oh my! It is just so delicious. Jessica O’Hara-Bakeralso does a great job with the portion attributed to Alessia.  The connection Maxim and Alessia makes is wrought through music, portions of which are gently played in the story.

This brings me to a point of consideration: Maxim is written in the first person, but Alessia is not.  It’s not jarring, but it was a curious point.  Perhaps it is a clever literary device because hearing the Balkan accent we hear when Alessia speaks would be annoying to hear for the entire book.  But for the print book the accent wouldn’t be an issue.

E.L. James seems to  really know about Albania, so much so I assumed she was Albanian.  Maybe it is nothing like Albania but it sure seemed as if she had it right.    And, while I think she has set up the book as the first in a new series (Maxim has several unmarried, rich pals and Alessia knew several other girls in peril,… Also she leaves a couple of mysteries, the most important being the connection between Albania and Maxim’s family crest.  That, by itself, really caught my interest to read a second book in the series.

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