I do not need my protagonists to be likeable.
I do however need my protagonists to be interesting humans who don’t fuck their brother’s widow the night their brother dies. Like if I could have one thing in a romance novel, can it not be starting a book with a man, who we are supposed to LIKE, fucking his brothers widow? And then informing us he also did it the night his brother died BECAUSE OF GRIEF? Can we just have something other than that?
Well apparently we cannot because E.L. James decided she should unleash hell onto our world by releasing The Mister.
Holy shit y’all. I tried. I really did. But this is hot garbage. The main character, Maxim, is so unlikable and yet incredibly boring it made my eyes bleed. You can write swarthy, cocky, asshole characters and still make them compelling. He doesn’t have any of the traits of the “alpha” male character, aside from being rich and fucking nameless women.
Fucking a load of women is not a personality trait and I wish romance authors would learn that.
Alessia is a Albanian immigrant who gets a job as Maxim’s new maid or “daily” as he refers to her roughly 20 times within the first two chapters of meeting her. She’s a virgin, which is apparently the most important thing about her because we learn that right as she’s introduced. She also is so beautiful yet so shy and demure she inspires Maxim to compose a whole piano piece but also shows up in his dreams as an angel before he even meets her, just sees her when he’s half asleep.
Do I need to continue?
This story is told via dual perspective but for SOME REASON Maxim’s sections are in first person and Alessia’s are in third. Why? I don’t know. It’s annoying as fuck to read.
The writing is all over the place. This book should have been at least edited to be half the length.
Maxim acting like a weird savior to a immigrant woman who struggles with English is just 10 types of yikes icky feeling. She also repeatedly refers to him as “The Mister” which yeah I get it but ugh. Felt really gross.
“It’s music to my dick” is an actual phrase that is uttered.
Anyway skip this. There’s better porn on Archive of Our Own and it won’t make you hate your life choice to pick this book up.
Title: The Mister
Author: E. L. James
Pages: 494 (way too many)
Three descriptors: Slow-moving, boring, awkward