EL James, whose controversial erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey explored the disturbing relationship between a student and a businessman, has written her first novel looking beyond the desires of Christian Grey: the “thrilling and sensuous” The Mister.
Out on 16 April, and moving between London, Cornwall and the Balkans, The Mister will delve into the attraction which forms between the “privileged and aristocratic” young Englishman Maxim Trevelyan, and the “mysterious, talented and beautiful” Alessia Demachi, a woman who has arrived in London “owning little more than a dangerous and troublesome past”, said publisher Arrow.
James’ Fifty Shades series – three books from the perspective of Anastasia Steele, as she is inducted into businessman Christian Grey’s BDSM fantasies, and two from Grey’s – has sold 150m copies around the world, bringing erotica into the mainstream, sparking controversy and unleashing a host of imitations.Although the publisher would not confirm whether The Mister also classifies as erotic fiction, the description provided to booksellers called it “a rollercoaster ride of danger and desire that leaves the reader breathless to the very last page”, and the author herself described it as a “passionate new romance” and a “Cinderella story for the 21st century”.
James said: “Maxim and Alessia have led me on a fascinating journey and I hope that my readers will be swept away by their thrilling and sensual tale, just as I was while writing, and that, like me, they fall in love with them.” Her editor Selina Walker, publisher at Arrow, called James an exceptional storyteller and said the new book was “a unique and very special novel – passionate, romantic and full of suspense”.
James’s new hero Maxim inherits his family’s noble title after a tragedy. “It’s a role he’s not prepared for and one that he struggles to face,” said Arrow. “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.”