To clarify, since I’m sure someone is confused about this, this is about the erotic novel series Calendar Girl, NOT the movie Calendar Girls with Helen Mirren.
Calendar Girl (January): Chapter 2
Mia takes a look at the profile of her first assignment. We’re done learning about Mia’s backstory and who she is, I guess.
Weston Charles Channing III. I stared at the name, wondering why anyone would want to have a Roman numeral behind their name.
…does Mia not know that most people don’t really come up with their name? Nevermind, I guess we are still learning things about Mia! Very strange things.
I’d just bet he was a pretentious rich boy whose mommy didn’t want to be embarrassed by the Hollywood harlots he trotted to posh events. At least, in my head that’s the only possible reason that worked as to why someone so devastatingly handsome would need to hire an escort.
Yeah, Calendar Girl is really rushing past the whole escort service thing, isn’t it? How does this work? I mean, I can’t be the only one who wonders how there’s a sustainable industry where someone like Mia can show up with zero experience but good looks and start making six figures a month pretending to date a handsome gazillionaire, who would pay that much money for that for reasons. Right?
But this is actually really important, because we haven’t been given any real information about how this world works. Put very simply: Calendar Girl hasn’t spent any time establishing its setting. Which is a concept so basic in storytelling, explanations mostly come in kindergartner-friendly format.
Mia reads over the company’s rules, because we’ve got a few items on the “if you liked Fifty Shades…” checklist to go through. It’s pretty basic (and… reminiscent of Fifty Shades… shocker…), consisting mostly of how to look (“your best”, huh’doy) and how to behave.
2. Smile constantly. Never appear to be angry, sad, or emotional in any way. Men don’t hire women so they can deal with your emotional problems.They hire a woman so they don’t have to. Emotionless. Way ahead on that one.
Wait a second, guys. My dramatic irony senses are tingling.
The contract also explains that sex is not included in the contract, and any sexual activity is not the responsibility of Exquisite Escorts. But there is a birth control requirement.
Where does [my aunt] come up with this shit? I mean, really? Who would want to get pregnant by a man they’ve just met and didn’t love? Oh yeah, rich men, dumb women. A cocktail for disaster. Well, I wasn’t one of those women.
This book is like Where’s Waldo, except instead of Waldo, you’re looking for the obvious hints that she’s going to get the feels for these dudes in every book.
Mia packs to leave her small studio apartment for the next couple weeks. Calendar Girl just learned about symbolism yesterday.
I grabbed the bottle of water on the counter and poured its remains into the one potted bamboo plant I had on the tiny kitchen counter. It was a sad attempt at being green, but it was supposed to be a lucky plant. Hopefully the plant would survive.
As I walked out the door, backpack slung over my shoulder and helmet in hand, I realized just how much the plant and I had in common.
Since we’ve been told pretty much nothing about who Mia is, it’s actually weirdly befuddling whenever she does basically anything.
[I packed] a small backpack full of essentials. Lotion, makeup, perfume, my Kindle, a small bag of my favorite jewelry. There wasn’t anything of value, but they were mine, and at the very least, I needed to be me in some small way. I also grabbed a brand new journal and my personalized stationery. Figured since this was a yearlong experience, might as well try to learn something from it. Hell, maybe I could even write it into my own movie one day.
Oh, she’s a writer, then!
This was actually one of the few times I’d been to the beach since I moved here six months ago. Most of my time had been spent trying to break into the acting world.
Or, uh, she’s an aspiring actress? Why not? Literally all we know about this girl is that she doesn’t want to do what she’s doing now. Calendar Girl just jumped right into “so you have to be an escort” before it spent any time really detailing the “you”. She could look at the moon and be like “I was so close to going there… but astronaut school was too hard…” and we have no evidence that would preclude that.
She goes to the beach when she gets her first text from her first client.
Looking forward to meeting you. El Matador Beach. Find the concrete stairway down to the beach. I’ll see you soon.
…what’s the cryptic part?
A lone figure was out in the water surfing. I watched the person take on each wave like a professional […] I scanned the beach but didn’t see anyone else. […] Maybe he isn’t here yet?
WHAT’S THE CRYPTIC PART?
In complete and utter fascination, I watched his body move up the landscape. The surfer was a feast for the eyes. Brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “eye candy.”
…this is literally the one and only meaning of the phrase “eye candy”.
each square pec and toned ab more visible as he got closer. The sexy swath of skin that dipped in, making a delectable V, had dots of sand and ocean water mingling together. Made me wonder what it would taste like.
Wait. What. What’s dipping into what? What’s the V? What part of him are we wondering about the taste of?
“How pleasantly unexpected.” He grinned.
YOU KNEW WHAT THE OTHER PERSON LOOKED LIKE AND WHERE YOU WERE MEETING. WHAT’S THE UNEXPECTED PART?
In case you’re hoping the book gets less needlessly confusing once it moves on to dialogue from having to, uh, describe a scene… remember how we know nothing about Mia?
“You’re Mia?” […]
“That’s me. You Weston Charles Channing the third?” I held up three fingers and cocked a hand on one hip.
He chuckled […] “Third,” he agreed, mimicking my gesture. “My friends call me Wes,” he said causally.
“Am I your friend?” I asked coyly.
So my first thought here was that, well, she got the hang of this pretty fast. Except… we started the story right at this point, so we don’t know what she was like before this Thing She Has To Do But Does Not Want To Do. How much of a persona is she putting on? Is this how she usually flirts? Is it usually this bad?
“So why don’t you tell me a little bit about why I’m here,” I asked […]
“My mother,” he said, as if that explained all the secrets of the universe. I crooked an eyebrow, and he shook his head. “I have these events I need to attend professionally and personally over the next few weeks. Having a woman on my arm would help ward off the socialites and gold-diggers who often vie for my attention, preventing me from getting the networking I need to do completed.”
Wow, we might already know more about Wes than we do about Mia. Or at least we caught up distressingly fast for a guy we’re going to toss aside by the end of the book (or will we?? I mean, there’s gonna be eleven more of these, so…)
They go back to his giant house. I’ll spare you the half dozen consecutive pages describing what a great house it is. It’s great.
Hmmm I can’t help but feel like we’re missing some obvious trope though. Something that says something about Mia without actually saying something about Mia…
Wes nodded and watched with rapt attention as I pointed and wiggled my socked toes. I looked down and realized why he was holding his hand over his mouth, a veiled attempt to hold back his laughter. (Boy, I’m glad we got two descriptions of what Wes’s face was doing just now. One just didn’t do it.)
I had on my Christmas socks under my boots. Tall— to the knee— green-and-red-striped socks stared back at me. […]
Rolling my eyes, I huffed, “I got ready in the dark.”
“Obviously.” He laughed. “I think it’s cute.”
Being 100% serious right now: it’s actually kind of interesting that I don’t know if I should be rooting for them to have chemistry or not. Maybe this book could be a little more emotionally complex than most of our erotica after all!
“Cute? That’s like the kiss of death.” I narrowed my eyes at him. “You think I’m cute? Well, no refunds, buddy. You said yourself, I’m here for twenty-four days. No take-backs!”
Ok, I take it back. Does anyone reading the blog understand a word that Mia’s said this chapter? I’m worried I’ve somehow lived my life thoroughly misunderstanding how human conversation works.
They have a brief spat when he says that he “can’t wait to see you naked” and she sputters a bit before pointing out that’s not in the contract.
“Oh, I’m well aware of what’s in the contract,” Wes said as he came over to me, slid a hand around my waist, and plastered me against his body.
I gasped as the steely ridge of a very large erection pressed into my belly. […]
“If I get you naked, it will not be because I’m paying for it.”
The actual ending of the chapter is boring, so I’ll leave you with one more “weird ways Calendar Girl described a sexy thing”:
Oh, I hadn’t noticed his feet before.