'Maestra' Is The Lovechild Of Gone Girl And 50 Shades Of Grey
The Debrief: The new book by L.S. Hilton, Maestra, is a lurid mix of Gone Girl and 50 Shades of Grey. But what is all the fuss about?
A sexy psychological thriller that is said to leave you feeling horny, scared, gripped or all of the above, Maestra by L.S. Hilton is set to take the adult fiction genre by storm.
What’s all the fuss about?
Well it’s tipped to be the next 50 Shades of Grey with the thriller factor of Gone Girl and as we all know, both books raked it in. With a 3-book-deal already signed and an apparent ruckus over film rights, we can assume that this won’t be the last you’ll hear of Maestra.
Who wrote it?
A pretty lady called Lisa Hilton who, to put it as subtly as the sex scenes in her book, is kind of a bombshell.
Has Oxbridge historian Lisa Hilton written the sexiest book of the year? Find out in tomorrow's Times Magazine. Photos by Dan Kennedy. Styling by Francesca Mullin. Hair and make up by Enzo Volpe at Mandy Coakley. Interview by Louise France. #dankennedyphoto #lisahilton #maestra #enzovolpe #mandycoakley #louisefrance #eroticfiction #crimethriller #judithrashleigh
Hilton goes by the initials, L.S. Hilton (removing gender from the equation by going by initials is an old gender-equality trick in author-land), and grew up in England. She works in media as a journalist, lecturer and broadcaster in London where she lives, and evidently has rather a sexy imagination.
'I was told to tone down the sex scenes' - Lisa Hilton talks about her new book Maestra. Photos by Dan Kennedy. Styling by Francesca Mullin. Hair and makeup by Enzo Volpe at Mandy Coakley. Interview by Louise France #dankennedyphoto #louisefrance #crimethriller #judithrashleigh #mandycoakley #enzovolpe #bestseller #lisahilton #eroticfiction
Just how sexy are we talking?
Not just sexy, but raw, honest and kinda nasty. Quoting directly from the book:
'So I rolled him back over, unlaced the camisole to give him a peek at my tits and crawled around him until my face was above his crotch, with my bottom in the air so he could see my cunt through the split in the panties. His cock was tiny, a two-inch stub poking jauntily from a thatched cushion of flesh… I was going to have to get him off somehow… I had done a lot of stuff sexually. Most of it I’d liked, and some I hadn’t, but I’d forced myself, sometimes from curiosity and sometimes because I wanted to know what I could take. Girls and boys and threesomes and moresomes; sometimes I’d been scared and sometimes hurt, but it was the only real power I’d ever had and I wanted to test its limits. Each of those acts had been another veneer on the enamel of my strengths, this was just one more. Nothing. I pushed my hair away and took it in my mouth and he came in about twenty seconds, a little mucus dribble that I knocked back like medicine. Ker-ching.'
Not exactly subtle.
What’s the actual Maestra plot?
The main character, Judith Rashleigh, who is set to rival the likes of Amy Dunne of Gone Girl (but nothing like that little wuss Anastasia Steele of 50 Shades) has a day job as an assistant in a London auction house and works as a hostess at a sleazy bar in the West End at night (although it’s nothing compared to the sex parties she usually goes to). An ambitious, go-getter who knows what she wants (in and out of the bedroom), with looks and sex appeal - sans money - she’s not one to pass up an opportunity when it’s staring her in the face. When she stumbles across a conspiracy at work, an attempt to expose it gets her sacked, so she accepts an indecent proposal to accompany one of the sleazy bar’s regulars to France. After attempting to drug him and failing miserably, she ends up running for her life and has to fake it to make it by blending in with the rich and famous to survive. Oh, and she has lots of sex with not too many emotions attached. Yup, just sex. No emotions. Apparently women can do it too!
Maestra vs 50 Shades of Grey
In Maestra, the heroine knows what she’s doing (or at least thinks she does) as opposed to 50 Shades of Grey where it’s the man who knows what he’s doing and the girl is a prudish scared baby deer about to die of embarrassment at any given moment. Not to totally slate 50 Shades (it does have its fair share of filth, especially the new instalment taken from Christian’s point of view: “I taste my ejaculate in her mouth”), but Anastasia refers to her vagina as “my sex” whereas Judith will just say “my cunt”. Also, there’s a splodge of violence in Maestra, and not the spank-me-with-your-leather-tasselled-sex-whip violence. Blood-from-an-intentionally-slashed-with-a-pocket-knife-Achilles kind of violence.
Another glaring difference is the authorship. E.L. James was a fan fiction writer creating a completely made-up fantasy world which was far from her own upbringing and life. Sure, you could say the same of J.K. Rowling but the difference is after reading Harry Potter we started thinking that Hogwarts might actually exist whereas after reading 50 Shades, we were all too certain that there are no Christian Greys in the world. L.S. Hilton’s background is quite similar to that of Judith Rashleigh and it’s evident that she knows what she’s talking about. They’re both from NW England, both studied English at Oxford and studied art in France and Italy. Plus, the quality of writing is glaringly better because Hilton was actually a published writer before she wrote this book.
When’s the Maestra film coming out?
The book is still steaming hot from the book press machine, you want a film already? Well, it looks like we’re going to get one. Apparently a bidding war for the movie rights of Maestra took place even before the damn thing was published. The manuscript simultaneously found its way to publishers as well as a Hollywood agent who snapped it up for 7 figures. The author said she threw up when she found out how much the film rights had sold for. Makes us a bit ill too actually (jealous much). That’s all the news on the film front for now but watch this space.
Want more? Here’s another saucy taster we teased out (trying to avoid spoilers).
Maestra by L.S. Hilton is out in hardback and digital on 10 March 2016 by Zaffre Publishing.
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At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating