Chapter 39

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My body was on fire, my blood drumming through my veins. Watching Christian come undone was breathtaking and I felt more than a little confident that I’d be getting my reward because, as far as pleasure went, that looked phenomenal. Christian bends forward, cupping my jaw with both hands he pulls me up from the chair and into a sweltering kiss.

He poured everything he had into me as if I was an empty vessel he needed to fill. I tasted love, desire, but I also tasted caution. It reminded me of the question I went to sleep with last night, the same one I woke up with this morning. How could I prove I was here to stay?

One hand slipped from my jaw to my neck and down my chest, spreading his warm semen along the way. I got the distinct impression that he was marking me, claiming me to assuage his doubts. I obviously needed the light of his vulnerability to see the key that was right before me; one that I already put into effect without even realising what a valuable tool it would end up being. It was something I knew now, would verify the irrevocable ties I had to him.

Christian broke our kiss, directing his full focus onto me. “How are you doing Mrs Grey? Was that okay?” His gaze was searching, drilling into mine looking to see how I was handling our first foray back into kink.

With my short, sharp breaths, flushed cheeks and violent grip on his strong biceps I couldn’t imagine that he didn’t know. “Desperate for more, for you.” I strangled out the words, desire leaving my voice thick as I blinked out of my lust fuelled haze.

His intense stare turned broody as he reached for a small towel he’d stashed on the bed. “I can empathise Mrs Grey; I can never get enough of you. If I could, I’d spend my days buried inside you.” He looked down to prove his point, what was a semi after his copious ejaculation was now unmistakably ready for round two. Slowly he started wiping the fluid off my neck and chest, concentrating on the task. I was choked with the bleakness of his words; I hated that I could still hear the underlying uncertainty.

“I like leaving something of mine on you,” he mused, brow knitted as he confirmed what I was thinking the minute before.

My moment had come, it was time to play my trump card, “There’s something else you might like,” I whispered, my tone playful as I prepared to give him the news that would hopefully shake his thoughts enough to alter his cautionary perception.

“And what, pray tell, is that Mrs Grey?” he purred, slowly backing me up to the wall. His hands resting on my shoulders as he steered. Mercurial to a fault his eyes were twinkling with a hint of mischief, his mouth curved with all the lascivious intent in the world. Any traces of solemnity banished to a compartment in his mind that he rarely put on show.

“I have something for you – or rather – I don’t.” I couldn’t resist playing with him, teasing him with my delightful titbit. I had to employ the help of my teeth to curb the Cheshire-cat smile playing tug of war with my mock-serious face.

“Mmhh,” he mulled, his grin widening as his eyes turned into a molten shade that sent fire licking at my centre. “I love getting gifts from you baby, but if you don’t spill it I’ll torture it out of you.” He positioned his hands on the sides of my body, resting over my ribs, but I knew the stillness of them was deceptive. Those fingers could stroke with love just as much as they could tickle with merciless incursion – all at the drop of a hat. His light touch wasn’t fooling me, not with the digits poised for torment.

Much as I wanted to continue teasing him my body was demanding the attention I knew was due me – as much from my earlier stellar performance as from what I was about to share. Besides, I had nowhere to go, trapped as I was by his large frame pinning me to the wall, his leg firmly lodged between mine. I couldn’t help squeezing the latter with my thighs in a bid for some precious relief.

Christian played along, flexing his quad into my clench so I could grind my sex against him. With a knowing smirk, he found my gaze, fluttering as I gasped at the welcome pressure. His long fingers stroked my sides lightly, their tips a mere whisper on my skin – a maddening glide that was somewhere between sensual and ticklish. I moaned, forgetting myself for a minute.

I shivered as Christian added another layer to his onslaught of sensation. His ruggedly, stubbly chin made it into the crook of my neck. Judging by his groan he took immense delight in dragging the stiff, shadowy growth over my hypersensitive skin.

Goose bumps raced on the back of a shiver, all over my fevered limbs. There was no denying the sudden, liberal lubrication that’s eased the grind between our joint bodies. My thrumming pulse was already a testament to my mounting pleasure, if this was his version of torture I’d take it any day.

He got a hold of both my wrists, securing them above my head and, as if he’d read my mind, he seized all ministrations as he mumbled against my neck, “You better speak up Mrs Grey, I can just as easily turn you around and see how pink I can make that pretty little ass.” To add credence to his threat his free hand cupped my behind, digging his fingers into the soft flesh as he growled, in pleasure, in warning – I wasn’t sure.


It did nothing to dampen my need, in fact, desire spiked along with the shot of adrenaline his promise drew. “Ahh,” I mewled shamelessly. I licked my blistering lips, dry as they were from his kisses and my rapid breaths. I started on a hard swallow, “Your friend, the doctor that came to see me, Dr Blair?” My words were shaky with need, breathy.

“Mh-hm,” he managed between the decadent licks his roguish tongue was swirling along a path on my neck now that I’d started talking again.

I hissed as he found a particularly erogenous spot below my ear, my body bucking into him. “I uhm…” He nipped my ear, the darting spike of pain clearing my head just long enough to finish my sentence, “I asked her to remove my IUD.”

ear bite

Christian froze, even his ragged breathing halted. In the silence I could hear my heart thump-thumping against his pressed-up chest and I was sure he could feel it bounding as it hammered against its bony cage.

When he spoke he did so with his head still buried in my neck, hiding his expression from me. “But you saw her last Saturday. You said you’d only consider it once the threat blew over.” There was something in his tone I couldn’t quite place, it sounded like fear but I was hoping for disbelief.

I had to wonder if he’d had a change of heart. The first tingles of unease skidded down my spine, “I know,” I hesitated, “but I wanted to give you this. I wanted to tell you in person. Are… are you mad?”

He lifted his head from the cradle of my shoulder then gently brushed his lips past mine. “No, not mad I just shy away from anything that might drive you away. What made you decide to do that?” he let go of my arms, taking my face in his hands instead.

I cupped his cheek, mirroring his tenderness as his slate eyes snared mine but I stared right back. In that moment I let go of every shadow of uncertainty, every ounce of regret and every self-preserving barrier I had in place to let the love and sincerity, but most of all, certainty bleed into my upturned gaze, “This is why.” I tried hard to ignore the stark, white bandage on his upper arm as I laid my other hand over the steady pound of his hesitant heart, “I want you to believe and feel and know that I’m here, in this, with you, for the long haul. No reservations, no doubt and more than anything I want to share parenthood with you. From the very start.” My voice broke; the reminder of my guilt heavy, stuck like a lump in my throat.

I watched in fascination and a touch of dread as the emotions flitted across his handsome face until he finally settled onto one, matching the colour of his eyes with the intensity of the hopeful light that I could see dawning. His mouth split in two, the arc of his full HD beam as wide as it was joyous.

It was – hands down – the best angel-chorus moment. Christian speechless was priceless. I sucked in a relieved breath before offering him an answering smile but before I could his mouth sealed over mine, clashing. This kiss was something else altogether. He unleashed himself on me; that tightly coiled restraint whipping free, going for a rampage on my lips. It felt as though he wanted to climb inside of me, take me under siege, make us more one that we already were in our married union.

“Did you get a period once it was out?” he asked in-between the crazed fusion of our lips.

Such a Christian question! I thought, almost cringing at the shocking intimacy but my mind was otherwise occupied, my inhibitions tucked into an inaccessible corner. “Yes,” I breathed, my blush only darkening the flush of desire I was already wearing.

“That leaves seven days.” His whispered words were urgent, spoken as he dipped in and out of my mouth with a frenzied passion.

Seven days to what? I thought vaguely, too possessed by him to care.

“I. Can. Not. Wait.” He growled, “To knowingly,” he kissed me deeply before continuing on, “- deliberately leave my seed inside of you to grow.” The rapid fall and rise of his chest was enough to tell me how excited he was by the notion and I thrilled along with him, happy to provide the glue that could mend our cracks.

With impatient hands he pawed me, brutally eager to feel every curve and plane. He was grateful and I took it all, nothing wavering as I held on, my hands fisting his hair, growing more and more desperate for my banked release. One calloused hand, rough as it rasped over my skin, speared between our bodies so that he could grip the top of my panties. A sure tug had them caught between the lips of my sex allowing the scrap of lace to give me the friction I craved.

I moaned – loudly, brazenly, the world falling away so I could concentrate on him and his mind-blowing skills. I was grateful for the support of the wall behind me when Christian broke away, half lidded and panting. “I want to taste you. I want you to come in my mouth.”

Oh fuck! Yes! His filthy words hit my core with a blow, tightening my inner muscles in giddy anticipation. Already I could feel my orgasm brewing, building, every stroke and kiss charging it.

He dropped to his knees, wrenching off my panties with zero regard for the delicate lace. He fused his gaze to my mound, his level stare burning as much as his touch would. My head lolled restlessly against the wall as I mewled my impatience. Again my fingers sought the grip of his hair, wanting to force his mouth onto me.

“I need both hands free baby; you need to help me out.” The low rumble of his voice was insanely erotic as he guided my hands to the sides of my sex. I could feel his freighting breaths tease me, hot and damp as he folded all but two of my fingers away then placed them right beside my glistening lips. I copied what he’d done on the other side so I was bracketing the swollen folds with both sets of fingers.

“Pull up and hold baby,” he commanded and when I complied I damn near convulsed at the reveal, the tremble leaving my legs like jelly. My gasp was more like a pathetic whimper of need. They weren’t shy anymore, hiding between my legs but voluptuous and plump, popping out like lips puckering for a kiss. Not only were they directly in front of his ardent mouth but in my full view as well. I could see the sheen of my arousal, the juicy centre poking through the cleft in spite of the fullness of the outer rounds.

Oh my fucking my!

We gaped at the view for a long minute; shallow breaths gusting before he tore his hooded stare away. Turning those molten pools onto me he watched through his lashes as he dragged the flat of his tongue along the length of my slit, so agonisingly slow it felt as though my skin was burning, melting. The sensation was astonishingly different, as if moving the nerves altered the way they responded.

“Aaaahh,” I roped in a breath, something to help me survive the sensations lighting up the pleasure centres of my brain as it fired along my spinal column. It took that second to realise how ensnared I was, in spite of not being bound I was no more mobile. My back was pressed against the wall and my feet spread wide to accommodate Christian’s kneeling form. There was no way in hell I was moving my hands and with his face buried in the apex of my thighs the only real purchase I had was to tilt my hips to increase the pressure of his ministrations but I doubted that he’d let me get away with even that.

Again he licked, starting with a tiny swirl of his tongue at the heart of my opening before sliding it up and up, the brief contact with my clitoris jolting as a sensual shudder rode me hard. His left arm snaked up my body where his fingers found the taut pike of my nipple, tweaking and rolling. I was close, so close as the sensations crashed through my body, everything converging in that demanding bundle of nerves that cooled the moment the blanket of his tongue swept away from it.

It was the maddening lapping, the contrast between the heat of his mouth and the cooling contact with the air, the view I had from my vantage point as he watched me watching him lick me, the tugging at my nipple and finally the leisurely finger he pushed inside, rimming just inside my entrance. I wanted more of everything but at the same time fearing the force of what I could feel breaking over me.

He groaned his delight before rewarding me with another long lap, this time gently suckling my clitoris into the wet fever of his mouth. He held it there, sweeping his tongue along the underside in rapid flutters while his finger, only first knuckle-deep, stretched and slowly circled the edge of my opening.

“Oh, oh!” my breaths stuttered. “Please!” I was hovering at the verge of a vortex of conflicting desires. I wanted to remain like this – forever – melting from the inside out with the sheer pleasure of it but I also wanted that pleasure to come to a head, to tear me out and away from myself with the blinding explosion I could feel was fast coming my way.

“That’s it! Feel it baby, take it all,” his throaty rasp barely audible above the pounding sound of my roaring blood before he applied his tongue again. This time in earnest as he doubled his tempo, the flick of his licks growing shorter, hot and focussed on where I needed it. There was nothing I could do to hold back the brusque stiffening of my legs and core when he switched the lazy stroke of his finger to a hard and fast pump.

The orgasm overtook me, like a full body spasm it coiled tighter still, curling in on itself then snapped with a stunning burst as I surrendered, letting it shudder through me with the force of a 1000V jolt. The earth shook then, quaking just for me as he drew every last contraction with a tongue intent on the cream of my release.

Holy fucking hell, my head was indeed spinning but I had no time to dwell on it.

“That was fucking beautiful!” he gritted, already standing, his body pulsing with fresh need and I could feel him urging my legs to band his hips. With what little strength I had I lifted a leg so he could secure it around him. Swiftly, gracefully he turned and moved us to the new bench. He set me down on my bottom and again sank to his knees on the floor.

Instantly his earlier comment about the height of the piece explained itself. Our bodies were perfectly aligned for penetration, him kneeling on the floor and me on top of the seat.

He gave me a wicked grin, self-assured brow cocked as he took himself in hand, stroking. I sat back, legs apart and supporting myself on my hands behind my back as I took in his virile maleness, not for the first time marvelling at the fact that he was mine. He ran his plush head along the length of me, gathering all the glossy wetness and reigniting tissues that I thought would be sated after that shattering spend.

Around his mouth I saw the sheen of my lust, glistening in the low light. When he curled a finger to call me closer I met him eagerly, kissing, tasting, loving the feel of him now that I was able to scrape my nails over the ripped muscles of his broad back.

We groaned together as our tongues licked deeper, Christian’s pushing into my mouth so I could take him as I knew he wanted me to take him with my sex. The prelude to the act ended with him issuing a hungry command, “Turn around, on your belly. Hold on to the edge. I’m desperate to fuck you now Mrs Grey.”

His baritone, his demand had me scrambling to obey in an instant. I curled my hands around the side of the bench as I flattened myself onto the surface. In this position I was stretched out perfectly, as though the seat was made with my proportions in mind. My legs dangled off the end and I wasn’t sure what to do with them as my hips lined up with the end of the seat. All I could do was straighten them, open wide and balance on my flexed toes.

Christian wasted no time adjusting me to suit his amorous plans. He gripped my legs from behind, just above my knees to spread me wider, careful not to strain my muscles that were still warm and lax from my orgasm. Gently he pushed until my legs were completely open, running along the line of the edge as they joined my torso on the padded top.

Silently I thanked my mom for the endless supply of Pilates DVDs she plied me with over the last two years, keeping me supple enough to hold what was basically a full split pose.

I’d be mortified if I wasn’t so turned on – my sex utterly exposed, open to whatever he had in mind. It seemed that he was bringing the red room into our everyday lives in the form of innocuous pieces of furniture whose real purpose would be a secret only the two of us shared. The thought he’d obviously put into this one that was clearly custom designed for me, for us, sent the butterflies in my belly on a wild flutter.

The stretch of my opening immediately made it feel hollow, yearning for the fullness only his girth could give me but he was toying with us, withholding. His strong hands kneaded into the soft globes of my behind, fingers digging firmly into my flesh.

His husky tone melted around me, “You have a gorgeous ass Mrs Grey. I love looking at it.” His words were almost breathless as he panted. I knew his stormy gaze was locked to the valley between my cheeks and all the delights it held there.

The slippery trickle of lubrication my body produced whenever he was near was now closer to a gush. His gravelly moan filled my senses as it reverberated through me. As his fingers massaged my ass, the movements skimming my clitoris against the seat below with maddening unpredictability, I could feel his thumbs on either side of my entrance – pressing, pushing, gently prying the sides away from each other. It was deliciously torturous, making me extremely aware of the growing emptiness that simply had to be filled.

“Christian! Please!” I begged on a high pitched plea, not caring how desperate I sounded.

He hissed his arousal but still he made us wait, always building layer upon layer of need, “What do you want baby? Tell me!” his gritted question came through his clenched jaw. I revelled in the fact that he too was hanging by a thread. His need made obvious by his edgy, frenzied grip on my butt, his hands almost shaking as they held onto a clutch of flesh.

“Please just fuck me!” I cried, almost sobbing with desire.

Christian’s hands slid to the top of my legs, locking them in a fierce clutch to keep me in place. “Hold on baby, it’s going to be rough.”

I had no doubt that it would and I wanted it like that, hard and brutal was the only way to slake this consuming burn. He slammed into me, the force of his drive rocking me forward and ripping a hoarse scream of joy from my throat. I had no time to adjust to the intrusion, no time to think. His hips, pistoning, set up a punishing rhythm, his rigid column dragging over my rippling core muscles. Every pound rocked the extended bud between the lips of my sex, the relentless, even pace the perfect stimulation to get me off.

With my head turned to one side I could see Christian from the corner of my eye. He was magnificent, perfectly crafted. His head was thrown back, neck and shoulder muscles defined, roped with strain. If I didn’t know any better I’d say his face was a mask of pain but I knew it was ecstasy as I felt my telling clench grip him with greed.

“Aaahh!” I heard him suck in a discordant breath before he demanded my release, “Come! Now!” His words were much harsher than usual, his restraint cracking under the might of his own eminent eruption.

Gasping and frantic we tipped then fell. Hurtling, unstoppable we shared a frenetic race towards a spectacular finish, pulsing and spasming together. His sweat slicked chest blanketed my fevered back as he collapsed over me, wrung out and heaving hard.

The weight of him on me was just what I needed, gravity grounding me again after the mind altering moment we just shared. “Wow,” I blurted, a little overwhelmed.

Still out of breath and without missing a beat he bragged, “We aim to please Mrs Grey.”

I laughed at his playful arrogance. Despite the veneer of jest, the sudden lightness of mood we knew, beneath it all, we were both deeply affected. For now there was no need to dissect it to death, the moment had spoken for itself. The return home, the re-emergence of Christian’s Dom alter ego and the indelible decision to have another child was all dramatically profound and hopefully, the final, settling shift in our fledgling relationship.

I sighed, happily curling into Christian’s arm when he rolled onto his side, pulling me into his spooning form. We lay quietly, both processing in our own way as a beautifully song filtered from the iPod, poignantly befitting for the moment – Underneath by Adam Lambert.

Trespassing (Deluxe Version)

Thank you Grueblue for the song suggestions

Be kind and review, please.

Link to chapter 40

152 thoughts on “Chapter 39

  1. Sue says:

    Beautiful, thank you!!


  2. Steph says:

    You have a real gift for writing, for taking your readers go ne heights, transcending our everyday existence, thank you !


  3. judith says:

    Amazing…that couple has mind blowing everything!!


  4. Heather says:

    That was amazing and hot as hell.


  5. I think you are superb in your writing the awesome chapters you blend into such ease with where the author left off 🙂 🙂 🙂


  6. Penny says:

    What a great place to escape to. Amazing


  7. FSOGaddict says:

    i knew it. i knew that her gift would be the baby. sooo sweet… please i beg thee make downloadable pdf copies. thanks


  8. Vicky Smith says:

    Monique, you’ve made me cry, anxious, scared and overjoyed. Your writing is phenomenal. Since you won’t do a PDF version, and I understand why, would this always be available to those of us who will go back and read this over and over again?


  9. Lisa says:

    Incredible. Song selection unbelievably perfect.


  10. Kymm says:



  11. Payal Pritam says:

    What are you doing to me…? I always wanted more…but. this is to much… :*


  12. crystal says:

    Oh my thanks you! You can feel the love.


  13. Symone Rosa says:

    Omg you have such a way with words!! I can’t even deal right now. This is my third time reading you blog!! I can’t get enough. So glad I found it!!


  14. Gmuqt2001 says:

    I knew it‼️ I knew the favor to ask of the doctor was to remove the IUD. The favor was asked, but never revealed. Bravo‼️ Anna has had time to think and grow as a person, wife and mother. She and Christian had that conversation and she decided to give Christian what he desired… another child and to see him see her pregnant… He longed for that…since he missed it with Chris… This is so exciting❕I can’t wait to read more❕


  15. Louise says:

    OK, here’s my honest opinion.
    Good tale, very clever story, excellent start, but the last scene at Ana’s father’s place doesn’t work – Christian could easily have called. He has no excuse, and I feel manipulated.

    I admit I’m far from a romantic novel editor, so I’m not going for what the crowd may want to read. I’m into a more believable writing, and you are clearly capable of achieving better here.

    However, nice writing style, much better than the original! But at least in the original Ana developed strength, won ground for herself, and I wound up respecting her for those efforts; it was the base of her personality. In the end I was proud of her, but not so here. This Ana gives her sole and integrity away to get Christian. That’s so sub like and so deceptive. And if it didn’t work for subs, isn’t she heading her marriage into the ground fast. Yes, she bravely admits the truth of her reason for leaving, and that took some guts, but in the end she’s losing who she is, and that’s gutless. I don’t respect this Ana. And what’s worse, she gave away her core self for a good fuck. And if it’s left up to Christian, it will end up for what her enemies accused her of: for the money.

    In fact, Christian is creating a sub-clone in this woman. He wants her to become another materialistic rich bitch (when it isn’t in her nature, and she doesn’t want to) and which is just like all the other rich bitches married to rich men, as well as like all the subs that he rejected. This, when that very lack of materialism was one of her most important features, and one that he originally found so refreshing and attractive – this girl wasn’t into him for the money thing! Still, he isn’t concerned how she feels about his rejection of her needs, also like with the subs, it is all, “Me, me, me, and you’re only value is to please me.” He doesn’t even respect her wish to hold off on the baby thing (the ultimate control issue between men and women). Instead, she elects to only take on small disagreements and not her basic rights as an individual, or to protect this unborn child’s purpose for existence. This Christian seems to have learned to be even more self-centered than the original, and I was so in his corner in the beginning.

    Christian thinks he’s won here, she’s so compliant now, when it is a greater loss than before, because in this version he’s not driving her away, he’s destroying her. Won’t this lead to the shock when one day he awakes to discover that her greatest fear is realized – he wonders where his Ana went because that’s not who he’s married to now.
    In addition, how can you put forth the fallacy that having a baby will fix their ailing relationship? That so adds to the mess they already have between them – and it’s all to make HIM feel more secure because it gives him the illusion that then she CAN’T leave him. What a burden for that new little person.

    Worse, first she decides that taking his son away is better for her purpose, without filly discussing it with him, and now she’s going to use another child for yet another purpose without fully discussing it with him. This woman is doomed with her unhealthy reasoning on how to get what works best for everyone involved. It’s just get Christian, get Christian. Further, even if she does immediately have a second child to make Christian feel more secure, as we know, a person doesn’t have to physically leave to be completely out of a marriage. I realize you’ve written that he says, “I’m trying,” but she always backs down, always gives up more of herself. I don’t feel much hope for her.

    I believe you’re talented enough and can do better.


    • Susan, Monique's Grammar Fairy says:

      As Monique’s “Grammar Fairy,” (editor) I would like to step in here for a moment and comment on a couple of the issues that you’ve raised.

      First, please know that Monique really does love to hear from her readers. Through the years that the blog has been up and Meander has unfolded, she has gleaned a very clear picture of what her readers like about the story — and she certainly has heard about it when the story has taken a turn that proved to be unpopular. She values ALL of the comments because her aim in creating Meander was to provide enjoyable entertainment, to give more Christian and Ana to those of us who fell in love with those characters — and knowing the feelings of her readers helps her to direct the story and to do just that.

      My editorial contribution tends to be largely technical. That is, I mostly deal with punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, word choice, and the like. If I feel that something in the story in unclear or doesn’t accurately express the action of the story, I point that out to Monique and we work on it. However, I do not weigh in on the overall direction of the plot. I consider that to be the realm of the author. I feel that the progress of the story, the growth and development of the characters, and the ultimate denouement need to express Monique’s creative vision, and not my own.

      We all bring our own life experience with us when we sit down to read something, and that experience colors our impression of the action in the story. I think that’s a big reason why the reaction to the Fifty Shades trilogy has been so dramatic, and so wildly divergent. Christian’s need to watch over Ana, for example, is viewed by some readers as stalker-ish, creepy, and even borderline abusive. Others see it in the light of his own traumatic past. They see the brokenness that lies beneath his self-assured exterior, and recognize his behavior as his way (albeit sometimes misguided) of showing his love for Ana. You mention in your comments that “…Ana gives her sole [sic] and integrity away to get Christian.” I suppose it can be seen that way, although Monique has gone to considerable lengths to make it clear, through Ana’s inner dialogue, that what Ana is trying to do is to realize the part her own self-esteem issues have played in her past decisions. She is trying to repair the damage she has done to their lives and to move herself and Christian forward into a happier future. The fact that she is willing to weigh her options and make some compromises doesn’t indicate to me that she’s selling her soul as much as it illustrates an increase in her level of maturity. A childish, self-centered person is one who demands their own way and refuses to accept anything less than exactly what they want. Ana is going about the business of trying to make their second chance more successful than their first go-around. She recognizes the part her insecurities (and Christian’s insecurities, for that matter) played in their previous problems, and she feels that the right thing to do is to make some compromises in order to reassure Christian of her love and her determination to stay and make their marriage successful. Of course, you, as the reader, are entitled to view Ana’s character development in any way you see fit. However, you state in your comments — twice — that you think Monique could have “done better.”

      Those comments from you lead me to something that I see as a huge, recurrent problem with book reviews and criticism. I read a great deal, and I’m guessing that you do, too — otherwise you wouldn’t have found yourself here in the first place. When I’m in the process of choosing a new book to buy, I read the synopsis and I look at the reviews. I don’t bother reading the four and five-star reviews. Those people obviously loved the book and they’re not likely to say much beyond, “Wow! It was great!” What I do read are the bad reviews. To me, a “bad” book is one where there are lots of technical errors, the story line doesn’t move in an understandable fashion, the author can’t keep track of the characters’ names and physical traits, I feel no emotional connection with the characters or the story, the dialogue sounds like it was written by a seven-year-old, etc. I am frustrated and dismayed by how often I see reviews which brand a book as “bad” because the reader feels that a character is shallow, immature, selfish, duplicitous, or shows some other undesirable quality. I hate how often I see a book declared to be “bad” because the characters in the story engage in infidelity. A book is not bad, and an author is not unskilled just because the reader happens to disapprove of the actions of the characters. Maybe the author intended for a character to be prickly, to be flawed, for their actions to make the reader think, or feel uncomfortable. Is it a story that pulls you in and holds your attention? Does it make you feel something? Is the story well-expressed? If so, then the book isn’t bad. The reader simply doesn’t approve of the characters’ actions, and that is the reader’s prerogative. I always wonder if the people who write those comments have, in their own real lives, people with whom they disagree. Most of us have friends and family members, people who we like, maybe even love — but we don’t love every single thing about them, and we don’t love every decision that they make. It’s totally legitimate to feel that way about the characters in a book, but it isn’t due to a failing on the part of the author. In telling Monique that she could “do better,” you’re basically saying that her writing is in some way lacking and less than it could be because you happen to disapprove of the direction of the story, and I feel that is an unfair criticism.

      I do hope that you will continue with your reading of and comments about Meander — after all, you’re already 39 chapters in! Reader feedback is important to Monique, and she does consider it as we continue the editing process. Please keep in mind as you read that the editing of the chapters is an ongoing (and extremely s..l..o..w) process, due to the time constraints of real life. Monique has some wonderful things planned for the re-edit of the ending, but it will take us a while to get there. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the rest of the story.

      Oh, and I guess I should make it clear that even though I’m Monique’s editor, anything I say here expresses only my own personal views. I rarely venture forth on the blog, and I want you to know that my opinions don’t necessarily reflect Monique’s. She’s a big girl, and she can speak for herself. I just hope that as readers cast a critical eye upon the work into which she has put so much time and care, they remember that any disagreement they might have with the actions and qualities of the fictional characters does not indicate some sort of failing or weakness on the part of the creator’s abilities.



  16. cherrishish says:

    One other of Adam Lambert’s songs calls really to me regarding Fifty Shades too. Maybe not so much to this scene, but I can’t help but think of this book when listening to For Your Entertainment.


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