When I saw that EL James, author of the 50 Shades series, was coming to Joseph Beth Booksellers in Lexington to promote her new book, The Mister, I was determined to go.

I may catch flack for this, but I enjoyed the 50 Shades series in all it’s raunchy, dramatic, and sexy glory. Every woman needs a guilty pleasure kind of read, and after my mom and sister-in-law recommended it, I decided to give it a shot despite all the controversy about the first book of the series. Despite not being a huge romance novel reader, I thought good on James for pushing the envelope. She wrote a romance novel about BDSM with a female character who wasn’t afraid to, ahem, spice things up, but still pushed back about being submissive, and then added some action and drama to the plot. I think those that had problems with the series were more due to personal embarrassment and discomfort in reading the content, rather than the content itself. It’s not meant to be literary fiction, it’s meant to entertain, and for myself and all her fans, James succeeded.

Let me tell you, her fans SHOW UP. There was hardly any free seats in the theater-style seating, so there had to have been over 100 (mostly women) people in the audience. When James walked out, they stood, applauded, and cheered for this author. I’ve been to a few author signings, and I’d yet to see a crowd react like that- she was their rock-star. I found it very sweet that James teared up and got emotional by their reaction. She said a brief introduction of herself (including a comment about wishing she loved horses more, maybe she’d have come to Lexington sooner with such a welcome) and a little about The Mister, and then jumped right into signing copies.

Because of the sheer number of audience members, they limited the signings to two books per person, unless you bought multiple copies of The Mister, but because James was way cool, she said she’d sign it all, as well as took photos with her fans. The whole time, everyone was smiling, laughing, chatting- really just enjoying the evening.

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I personally had such a good time just observing the buzz of the atmosphere! When I got my chance to meet EL James, I did my typical fan-girl clamor for words, finally squeaking out “It’s so nice to meet you! Welcome to Lexington!” and then stuck my foot in my mouth by saying ” I’m sorry you don’t love horses, I’m a horse girl, lol!” *facepalm*… it’s a wonder I’ve ever made friends with such conversational skills.

Any who, I’ve yet to read The Mister, but I’m planning on working it into the reading rotation next month. You bet I’ll give you a good rundown incase you’re on the fence of checking it out!

The Mister was published April 16, 2019. The launch party was May 2, 2019.

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