Calendar Girl (August): Chapter 2
Here’s a quick summary of Calendar Girl so far. Yep, all of it! I know, that sounds like a lot, but it’s useful to take a step back and recount everything that’s happened so far. Because it doesn’t seem like the author has.
- Mia becomes a high-class escort to pay off her father’s gambling debts
- Mia and her first client, Wes, fall in love with each other
- Mia decides to keep working because it’s important to her to pay of her father’s debts herself. Wes sees it differently, because the debt wouldn’t scratch his considerable net worth. Simultaneously, they aren’t ready to commit to each other. Given all these factors, they decide to keep in touch and see if circumstances are better down the road.
- Seven months go by, Mia and Wes are emotionally ready to commit.
You might notice there’s a thing hasn’t happened:
- Mia and Wes talk about the money thing.
So… it’s a little unclear why they got together now? I mean, sure, feelings-
-but it’s really weird that so far this entire book reads like it’s either 1) suddenly a story about two people ignoring the main disagreement they had about being together, 2) two people forgetting the main disagreement they had about being together, or 3) the story retconning the whole damn thing.
I would be moving to my next client’s house in a few days. Wes knew it, and we’d still not discussed it.
I have no idea which one it is, but you could make a drinking game out of how often “BECAUSE YOU NEVER TALKED ABOUT IT AND DID IT ANYWAY” is an applicable response to the central conflict.
I needed to know that I could finish doing what I had started for my family without being given a pile of money from my ridiculously rich boyfriend.
“We’ve been through this already. You agreed.”
He frowned and thrust his hips ever so lightly. […] “I know we did, but I figured maybe I could sway you in another way, a more pleasurable way.”
It’s very tiring, is my point.
“Wes, honey, you know I have to. Our relationship needs to be clean of my father’s debt.”
He shook his head. “It would be so easy to just take the money. Pay off the goon and stay here, with me. Don’t you want to stay here?” […]
“I know that in my heart, I’ll always feel like I owe you something. […] We can’t start our relationship with one beholden to the other.”
Ugh, so, ok, let’s back up to the start of the chapter, because I skipped ahead a bit to make that point about how frustrating, you know, the entire plot is at the moment. And also because the chapter starts off with a phone call between Mia and her BFF Gin, which nothing would make me happier than to just skip over and hope no one finds out.
“I’ve moved into Wes’s house.”
The gum-smacking stopped. Everything stopped. […] “You fucking moved in with bachelor number one? […] Mr. Rules?” She scoffed.
Actually, wait, maybe I was too quick to judge. Maybe Gin and I can finally bond over how much Wes sucks.
“Gin, I love him.”
“Oh, Jesus Christ on a fucking pogo stick. Not the love-him shit again!”
Nah, we’re not there yet.
“You love everybody, Mia. It’s part of your DNA, your genetic code. […] This is not the first or the last time you will repeat this pattern.”
You know what’s not a great way to convey this to the reader? By telling them that this happened before the story actually started and then only showing them doing the opposite of that. Nothing screams “falling in love with everybody is in your DNA and this isn’t the first or the last time this will happen!” quite like “you’ve spent eight novellas only having feelings for one person and this has never changed once”.
To be fair, Mia does point this out, and Gin proves her point by… accidentally agreeing with her. Whoops?
“I didn’t with the other guys I fucked this year. Explain that?”
“Explain a roll in the hay. Okay, when a boy and a girl meet, there is this chemical that puts off pheromones…”
I groaned and blew out a harsh breath. “Ginelle! Focus here!” I almost stomped my foot in exasperation. Shit, I’d called the wrong sister.
I don’t know what bothers me more about this exchange: that Mia totally 100% did indeed call the wrong person because Gin hasn’t had a redeeming quality for eight books now and their friendship is very confusing, or if it’s that pheromones are chemicals.
Mia asks Gin to just be happy for her, and Gin gives her some not-slut-shaming-but-totally-slut-shaming bullshit.
“Honey, I am. Always will be, but you know that your best friend has to play both sides. […] It’s in the fucking book of best friends, right under the part that saws pat them on the back and make them feel better when they’ve had a one night stand and can’t remember the name of the guy they fucked, totally making them a whore. It’s my job to make sure that even when you’re being a whore, you don’t feel like a whore.”
Hang on, I’ve got the perfect gif for this…
This is super frustrating when you remember that Mia has had a fight with multiple clients in multiple books about how she’s an escort, not a whore, and yet this is Mia’s response when her friend makes this joke about what makes someone a whore.
Her logic had merit.
“Thank you. For caring and worrying… even though you’re a two-bit skank.” […]
“I got you. I so got you, wackjob hussy.”
What’s frustrating is that when it comes to sex positivity, Calendar Girl wants to have its cake and eat it too, and it’s a cake that a stripper’s hiding inside of, and when the stripper is Mia it’s empowering but when it’s just a stripper in general she’s a hussy.
Which is some real self-defeating, exhausting, white-ass feminist bullshit.
Somehow Mia thinks this is a conversation that went well, which explains a lot about how the rest of the plot is going.
I pumped a first into the air and did a little touchdown dance, complete with wiggling my knees in and out while rolling my ass the way Maria De La Torre taught me back in Miami. Hell, this white girl could dance.
A joke that Audrey Carlan is so proud of, she’s used it at least once in three consecutive books.
Anyway, this brings us back to that scene with Mia and Wes, where they clearly haven’t talked about their disagreement about how to handle her father’s debts, how Mia wants to pay them off, and what the boundaries even are in their relationship. The book tries to frame this like the issue is that Wes is just insecure…
“It kills me to know you’re going to be spending time with another man. Allowing him to woo you, fall for you.”
I cupped his cheek this time. “That’s not going to happen.” […]
“But it happened to me. I fell for you.”
And that’s definitely part of the issue, but even that gets undercut a lot when almost every conversation these two have just becomes a sex scene where Wes keeps shouting “MINE.”
“Mine,” he gasped, the last of his orgasm racking his large frame.
Yeah, I actually meant “mine”. He literally gets off on possessiveness.
Don’t worry, there’s definitely some other Audrey Carlan sex scene gems here:
- This wasn’t making love. It wasn’t sex. It was hard-core fucking
- “Someone likes her tits worked over, huh, sweetheart?”
- He fucked me so hard and with such intensity that I lost the ability to speak coherently.
But, like every sex scene with Wes, it’s mostly about ownership of Mia.
“I’m going to fill you so full, you’ll be feeling the slickness trickling from between your legs for days, proving who owns this pussy. Me.”
Just once couldn’t it be the guy who loses the ability to speak coherently? How fucking insecure is he that he has to give a speech that verbose during sex? Like, dude, be a little more in the moment.