Reads like a lengthy Mills and Boon

Book: The Mister

Author: E L James

Publisher: Arrow

Pages: 512

Price: Rs 499

What do you do when you read ‘Author of Fifty Shades’ on the book cover? Pick it up right? That’s exactly what I did in excitement when I saw the new novel from E L James. Abandoning the existing book that I was reading, I began The Mister with great expectations, which soon turned out to be a big dud. I was no longer enamoured with the book, I rather found it slow and dull.

The book has an intriguing start: A girl (Alessia Demachi, an Albanian) is on the run — we later come to know she has escaped the human traffickers who had kidnapped her on her way to London. She arrives at Magda’s (her mother’s pen friend) place in a dishevelled state. And we feel relieved for her when Magda takes her in and gives her a place to stay.

The next chapter introduces us to The Mister (as Alessia calls him), who happens to be Maxim Trevelyan who has just been named Lord Trevethick after his brother’s death. Alessia works as a cleaner for him, coming in daily (and plays Maxim’s piano in his absence). There’s sexual tension between them from the very beginning and things take a turn when Maxim whisks Alessia off to Cornwall after her kidnappers come knocking on Maxim and Magda’s home.

Once in Cornwall, the narrative ‘heats’ up — numerous kiss and bed scenes sans the Fifty Shades-eque BDSM! I have no problems with all of this, what I don’t understand is how does a scared Alessia, who has been through hell can just trust Maxim and land in bed with him? More so, when she comes from a conservative town and family from Albania. As the story progresses we come to know the real reason why she left her town: She wanted to escape the toxic relationship her father was throwing her into by getting her married to a man, called Dante, who beneath the polished exterior is actually an obsessive person, looking at Alessia as his possession and has also slapped Alessia at a few

occasions. Though she ends up in her home town again, with her ‘bethrothed’ (she always addresses him as that) in an effort to keep Maxim out of harms way. Whether she meets Maxim again and if there is a happy ending or not is something I will leave for the readers to find out (apart from that I would say there is nothing much in the story).

At the end of the book, there was only one feeling I had: This is a lengthy Mills and Boon. I feel Maxim and Alessia’s story had potential and with better character development, it would have made for a really good book. This just feels like a hollow read...