Review: This Man Confessed (This Man Trilogy #3) by Jodi Ellen Malpas


Title:  This Man Confessed
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing  7/02/1313
Length:  544 pages
Series: This Man #3



The Manor, the very place where their passionate love affair began, fills with guests on what should be the happiest day of Ava and Jesse’s lives. She has accepted that she’ll never tame the fierceness in Jesse-and she doesn’t want to. Their love is profound, their connection powerful, but just when she thinks that she’s finally gotten beneath his guarded exterior, more questions arise, leading Ava to believe that Jesse Ward may not be the man she thinks he is. He knows too well how to take her to a place beyond ecstasy . . . but will he also drive her to the brink of despair? It’s time for this man to confess.

My Thoughts

Whatever it was that you thought you knew, you knew wrong, or you didn’t know enough.  This final installment to the trilogy took us in directions that i wasn’t necessarily expecting (well, somewhat but not from the folks involved) – and that’s a great surprise.  I like to pride myself in understanding who the bad guys are and who we should keep an eye on, but i think that in this story, we were surprised to find that while it was right to be skeptical about some, we weren’t focused on the right ones.

In any event, we are taken on the passionate roller coaster that is Jeese and Ava and it’s really nice.  Coming off the highs and lows of the previous story, we are taking deeper into their committed relationship with no real idea what’s going to come next.  We know that it’s volatile which means that there’s going to be such heat and anxiety ridden, but what to expect is your guess…..

I’m constantly quetsioning Sarah’s roles in things, Coral’s place in their life, what will happen with Kate and Sam, and well, what’s the deal with Dan.  All the while i’m rooting for Jesse and Ava to have a happy ending, but with all that’s been done and all that’s yet to be uncovered, i wonder if it’s possible even.

We’re taken to Paradise, given a not so nice surprise there, returned home to find even more strife.  We see the over protective side of Jesse come out even further and there’s reason for it that we slowly learn as well.  Ava’s life is put in danger a few times over and she’s trying to figure out who exactly has it out for her (without telling Jesse)

The only downside to this finale is that i don’t necessarily think that there was a purpose to the Epilogue.  I know that it was done in the same tone and feel as the epilogues of 50 Shades and many other similar stories, but i think that it wasn’t something that we NEEDED to have.

Regardless – i;’m thoroughly pleased that i came across this series and i can’t wait to find my next one to read 🙂

Review: Beneath this Man (This Man Trilogy #2) by Jodi Ellen Malpas


Title:  Beneath This Man
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing  1/15/1313
Length:  544 pages
Series: This Man #2


Book 2 of the #1 New York Times bestselling This Man trilogy

Jesse Ward drowned her with his intensity and blindsided her with his passion, but he kept her away from his dark secrets and broken soul. Leaving him was the only way Ava O’Shea could survive. She should have known that Jesse Ward is impossible to escape—and now he’s back in her life, determined to remind her of the sensual pleasures they had shared. Ava is equally determined to get at the truth beneath this man’s steely exterior. That means letting herself get close to the Lord of the Manor once more. And it’s exactly where Jesse wants her—within touching distance…

My Thoughts

I’m so deep into this story that i don’t even know what to make of it.  What we know from the first introduction into this series is that Jesse and Ava has something so deep and passionate that they are certain to self destruct or cause the other to do that.  We saw it start to happen in book 1 especially with how things ended and picked up in this 2nd installment right on that same roller coaster.

This 2nd book continues the story with Ava and Jesse – with Ava continuing to try to push to learn more about what makes Jesse the way that he is all the while trying to accept what it is that he does since it was all smoke and mirrors so far.  This installment takes on a few dark paths that you wonder if it’s love that keeps them together or fear that maybe this is the best that they can get.  While we continue to see that Jesse is incredibly overprotective, we don’t quite know the extent to what he thinks he’s protecting her from, and Ava doesn’t make it easy on him.  She manages to land herself in a few less than savory encounters where it’s lucky that Jesse is so overbearing.

What i really love about this story is that we get a heated passionate relationship that seems to have endless depth.  While we know that there’s a LOT going on under the surface, we’re not left feeling like we need to get there to have a complete story.  What we get is quite enough and maybe more than what i’ve read in a lot of other series.

The other interesting piece is all of the supporting characters that we know and have seen along the way.  Reading this from Ava’s perspective, we certainly know where we want things to go and know waht’s going on in folks’ heads, but it’s nice to know that things haven’t been resolved overly cleanly just yet, meaning that book 3 will be a GREAT finale if things continue as they do.

I actually have some continued questions though that i can’t wait to see a resolution of

1) what’s the culmination of the latest phase of their relationship?

2) is Ava preggo?  i mean – we all know that Jesse’s taking her pills right?

3) What’s Sarah’s motive and how far is she willing to go?

4) is there more to John than we know and what does that mean?

5) Kate and Sam – what’s their deal?  I kind of hope that we get a spin off of them based on what we’ve seen so far, yet i don’t know if it really is ‘just fun’ like Kate keeps claiming.

onto the finale for me since i’ve already got it downloaded!

Review: This Man (This Man Trilogy #1) by Jodi Ellen Malpas


Title:  This Man
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing  10/22/13
Length:  480 pages
Series: This Man #1


Book 1 of This Man Trilogy, the #1 New York Times Bestselling Series!

Young interior designer Ava O’Shea has no idea what awaits her at the Manor. A run-of-the-mill consultation with a stodgy country gent seems likely, but what Ava finds instead is Jesse Ward—a devastatingly handsome, utterly confident, pleasure-seeking playboy who knows no boundaries. Ava doesn’t want to be attracted to this man, and yet she can’t control the overwhelming desire that he stirs in her. She knows that her heart will never survive him and her instinct is telling her to run, but Jesse is not willing to let her go. He wants her and is determined to have her.

My Thoughts

WOW,  i mean WOW.  I get so excited when i discover a new trilogy or series and this one has definitely gotten me all sorts of riled up.  Not only was it quality writing, and really engaging, but it was LONG.  i love it when i keep turning the pages (figuratively of course since it’s an ebook) and the pages keep on coming and coming.

In this story, we are introduced to Ava who is an incredibly successful interior designer in Central London – and it’s surprising that she’s come by her successes so quickly because she’s quite young.  Her latest piece de resistance is the Lusso building which is a six star (six – really?) contemporary high rise that offers ALL of the amenities that any wealthy person would want.  Because of her amazing work on this job, she’s been requested on a new project even though it’s out of her usual scope.  She sticks to moderns and her co-workers stick to the period pieces.  Oh well-  when she’s requested – she goes.

What she finds at this new meeting is something that will change her life forever.  She’s summoned to The Manor which is a vast country estate which Ava assumes will have some older paunchy weather man as her client.  To her surprise, she meets Jesse – who is the complete opposite and whom she feels this INSTANT connection – like an electric shock drawing her to him.  She allows him to show her what the extension is that she’s being commissioned to work on, and decides that because of the job, her attraction to Jesse and her discomfort at a lot of what she feels from the Manor that it’s not for her and she tries passing the job to her boss Patrick.

What we learn from this is that Jesse LOVES control – he needs it and he will claim it from anyone at any time.  He feels empowered to control Ava and it’s partly becuase it’s hi nature and partly because he feels like he HAS to keep her safe.  Personally, with all the references to his scar and this past that he keeps hiding, (and the fact that he doesn’t drink) – it makes me wonder if something bad happened that we’ll learn about in the following installments that will show us why he needs to keep her safe.

In any event, what i LOVED about this story is that there were constant curveballs being thrown about.  it wasn’t just one climactic thing towards the end, it was a full on roller coaster throughout.  I also loved that as a result of this, we get to see the constant flow of passion and attraction between these 2 and we can’t deny the raw animal chemistry going on.  The story line is really enthralling, the characters have a lot of substance to them that make you want to know more – even the supplemental folks (Kate and Sam, and Drew and Tom even).

We go through the phases of the relationship where Ava’s trying to feel him out while trying to keep her professional life intact, we see that Jesse is fighting with his own demons about what he’s willing to admit, we see that there’s a constant fight for balance between them.  We also get the expected but interesting dynamic of Sarah who comes into the story throughout and puts a wrench in things.  Jesse claims she’s just a friend but clearly she wants to be more.  This adds to the constant discomfort that Ava has with going to The Manor and really seeing the Manor for what it is.   Such suspense and anxiety and well, you’ll just need a cold shower throughout.

All in all, i’m THRILLED that i have the other books in the series so that i can dive right in tonight and see what’s coming next . Where we were left off is literally on the edge of a cliff, slipping as the rocks fall out beneath our feet (that’s my mental imagery – not the story).  so tonight will bring me back into this amazing london world full of passion.

Review: Tell Me (One Night with Sole Regret #6) by Olivia Cunning


Title:  Tell Me
Author:  Olivia Cunning
Publisher/Year:  Vulpine Press 9/16/13
Length:  200 Pages
Series: One Night With Sole Regret #6


He had planned a perfect weekend for her…
Gabriel “Force” Banner has been unable to get a certain sexy accountant out of his head. Sole Regret’s inventive drummer has created big plans to keep sweet Melanie entertained all weekend long. Unfortunately, Melanie arrives for their rendezvous with a bit of baggage that just might ruin their fun.

She didn’t mean to make things difficult…
Melanie wouldn’t blame Gabe if he left her at the airport with her bit of baggage, but he’s determined to make their limited time together work. When they leave behind the bustle of New Orleans and the rock ‘n’ roll scene to visit his serene oasis outside of Austin, Texas, their romantic weekend seems to be back on track. But life has a way of butting in at the worst possible times.

Can they learn how to support each other in the face of adversity or will reality destroy their budding relationship before it even takes flight?

My Thoughts

well, we know that all of the bandmates have managed to come off the market in the matter of a night so it’s no wonder that Gabe is feeling like he needs to see Melanie even more.  it’s only been a week but he wants her with him NOW.  When he manages to convince her to hop on a plane a bit earlier than planned, things seemed like they couldn’t get any better…and of course Nikki is there to ruffle feathers once again and get in the middle.

What we get in this 6th installment, and the first that actually reunites us with the couples that just formed, is a creatively inventive man who continues to find ways to steam up his encounters while also trying to bury his secrets.  Is Melanie the one that can bring out the darkness in him and will she even get the opportunity?  Are these guys doomed from the start because of outside forces?  that’s what we get while interspersed with some of the most unique sex toys known to man.

i think adam and madison are up next so i can’t wait to see where things go with them.

Review: the Testing Guide (The Testing Trilogy #0.5) by Joelle Charbonneau


Title:  The Testing Guide
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher/Year:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  5/1/13
Length:  40 pages
Series: The Testing #0.5


In the scarred and war-battered United Commonwealth, ten-year-old Cia Vale watches her older brother Zeen dream about being chosen for The Testing. He’s graduated at the top of his class, and being chosen, like his father was before him, means a chance to attend The University and help lead the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. Cia is conflicted—she hopes Zeen is chosen, but dreads him leaving home. She also realizes that one day she too must set her mind on being chosen. But does she realize the deadly path she will have to take?

My Thoughts

i’m always one for a different POV or a novella of a book that i’ve enjoyed so this was a nice chapter or 2 for us to read – getting a bit of the fore-shadowing of the story.  it kind of makes you hope that there’s more that we get to learn about with Zeen and i kind of hope that we get to read a full story on Zeen and see what he can do for the commonwealth or for whatever cause Cia and ‘their side’ is on.

I kind of wish that there was something more that we could get from this, but again it was just a prequel and not a full novella – so my expectations are met i suppose 🙂

Review: The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau


Title:  The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher/Year:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  6/4/13
Length:  344 pages
Series: The Testing #1


It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

My Thoughts

Think Hunger Games but….maybe a bit ‘dirtier/edgier’?  I’ve had this book in my elibrary for quite some time now, and i’m not sure what my hesitation was in reading it.  Let’s just say – HANDS DOWN THRILLED that i read it finally.

I’m not one to draw similarities among books, but i’m sure that anyone who reads this first book of the series will see that there are comparisons that can be made between The Testing and Hunger Games.  That being said, i still really enjoyed it.

Taking place in the future, after the world has self destruct through a variety of bombings, and 7 horrific feats (some man made some natural sort of) and the population is only bits of what it was, and are scattered around the country in ‘colonies’ .  Tosu City places the capital role here and where all things governmental stem from.

We meet Malencia a 16 yr old on the night of her graduation from ‘high school’ i suppose when things are going to change for her.  She’s from a smaller colony where for the past 10 years or so at least, no one has been selected for the Testing. it’s odd, but i suppose it happens right.  there are rumors that an official from Tosu City will be at the ceremony which makes people wonder if one of the graduates have been selected.  i believe that there were maybe 14 kids in the class so the liklihood of Cia being the one, well, surprisingly higher.

While no one is selected at the ceremony, we soon learn the next day that not only has 1 person been chosen, but 4 have.  Thomas, Malachi and Zandri.  This story that we follow in The Testing centers around the relationship that Cia and Thomas develop both on an emotional level and really just to survive.

The Testing is a series of survival tests, to see who has the skills to reinvigorate the world, to develop things that seem lost, and to lead the continent into the future as a power.  The question really becomes what are they looking for in the future of the United Commonwealth, and do either Cia or Thomas have what it takes.

Survival of the fittest

May the smartest one win

who can out strategize the ‘man’ who controls it all

and is someone a pawn?

Throughout this story, similar to what we saw with Katniss in THG, Cia is quick to notice when things aren’t always what they seem and uses it to her advantage.  She’s an honest player and competitor, and that works for her benefit.  The folks that she meets on her journey just add to the confusion and tease what we hope to see in the next few books.  Michal for sure, the gray haired man from the journey – Zeen and her father – all people that i can’t wait to learn more about and how they affect things.

A few questions that come up to me:

1) what will happen with Cia and Thomas

2) What’s the story with Michal

3) will they ever see their families again

4) what will they remember and what will they forget

5) what’s the motive behind everything?  who can you trust.

so….now i can’t wait for book 2 to come out.  it’s not here fast enough! Thinking that i have to wait until january unless i can get my hands on an ARC


Review: The Transfer (Divergent #0.1) by Veronica Roth


Title:  The Transfer
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins  9/3/13
Length:  35 pages
Series: Divergent #0.1


The first of four new short stories told from the perspective of everyone’s favorite Divergent love interest!

More Four! Fans of the Divergent series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by “The Transfer,” the first of four new short stories told from Four’s perspective. Each brief story explores the world of the Divergent series through the eyes of the mysterious but charismatic Tobias Eaton, revealing previously unknown facets of his personality, backstory, and relationships.

My Thoughts

I really enjoy when we get another POV on characters that we’ve come to know and love and be attached to.  I think especially with Tobias/Four, we wanted to get some of the thoughts that went through his head when we had his Choosing Ceremony.  I like the consistency here about his feelings towards Marcus and i love that we got to see some of the intros that were made from his POV with Tori, Zeke and some of the others.

The other bit of insight that i like is that Four had a bit of an insecure side that we didn’t really see much of in the series so far so i wonder if it’ll come through in the finale or if it’s now something in the past upon choosing Dauntless

It’s a nice teaser here that the factionless man references Four’s mom and quite a bit of foreshadowing here, which is nice given what we read in book 2.  Now i can’t wait to see the novellas of the other 3 which will be a nice tie-me-over until Allegiant comes out

Review: Soft Skills (Office Toy #5) by Cleo Peitsche


Title:  Soft Skills
Author: Cleo Peitsche
Publisher/Year:  Pouch Productions  9/9/13
Length:  106 pages
Series: Office Toy #5


SOFT SKILLS is an erotic romance novella of 15,000 words. M/m/m/f (three men, one woman). Includes public punishment and publicly submitting to a stranger at the command of her dominant boss.

An office hazing leaves Elle feeling vulnerable, and she finds herself defying her three bosses, secretly begging to be taken in hand so that order will be restored to her world.
Cunningham teaches Elle a lesson… on the side of the road. She squirms in front of the growing crowd, and she can’t believe her ears when Cunningham calls for volunteers to restrain her. She loves his dominance, but the second it’s over she defies him again.
His response shocks her. Before the week is over, everything Elle thought she knew about Cunningham, Jonathan and Nolan is turned upside down, and none of their lives will never be the same.

My Thoughts

It was a nice surprise to see this alert pop up in my Goodreads ‘books by authors you’ve read’ since i wasn’t expecting book 5 to be out so quickly.  In any event, we pick up right where we’ve left off with Elle and her many men.  She’s now coming into her own at the agency, proving that she’s got her own ability and this next installment starts when she’s just had a very successful client meeting, however when she arrives back at the office, Nolan and Jonathan alert her to the fact that Cunningham is very displeased about something and you can only imagine how on edge she is since she’s not quite sure if it’s something that she’s knowingly or unknowingly done or if it’s because she’s been so lax in setting up a meeting with the guys and her mom.

in any event, since we know that this foursome doesn’t like to be too comfortable with one another (meaning that they like to be on edge)  – the imbalance upon her return means that Elle can surely expect to be put through her paces in the office boardroom and with her favorite men.  We see quite a bit of steamy control action there and then it’s taken to another level as the story continues.

What i love here is that Elle never settles into the relationship as you’d expect her too.  she’s still mouthy which comes at it’s own price – namely some very public scening which added a nice quirk in this book.  The direction that this series is taking it a nice one.  we know that they’ve moved on far past ‘just sex’ and that there’s real emotion and love going on between everyone.  what that means for each man and for elle is still to be determined and it’ll be a great story to follow to see if the man that we expect to be #1 actually is…..or if there’s something else that’ll come out of their relationships.


Review: Unscrupulous (The Manhattanites #2) by Avery Aster


Title:  Unscrupulous
Author:  Avery Aster
Publisher/Year:  Ellora’s Cave Publishing 8/14/13
Length:  241 Pages
Series: Manhattanites #2


Book 2 in The Manhattanites series At thirty-three, Warner Truman is one of the richest men on the planet, a spa mogul who buys and sells resorts at will. He holds powerful executives’ careers in his well-groomed hands. Nothing is beyond Warner’s reach…until he meets her. Stunning, tantalizing and perverse, Taddy captivates Warner’s carnal desire like no woman he’s ever met. A self-made millionaire, Taddy is tougher than steel, more brilliant than diamonds and, at twenty-seven, she’s never depended on a man for anything…until she meets him. The more Taddy plays with Warner’s affections, driving him to erotic heights, the more she is confronted by a dark past. Before she can love him, Taddy must meet her worst fears head-on or risk losing it all, including herself.

My Thoughts

Well, after my feelings of sadness and dissatisfaction with book 1 of the series, i had really low expectations for this book.  I have to say that sometimes that’s really needed to enjoy the next one.  I’m not one to shy away from a challenge and before reading this 2nd installment, that’s what i considered it to be.  I had received the ARC via Netgalley but was a bit hesitant to read it since i wasn’t really excited about the style that the author wrote. Happily i can say, i don’t know if it’s my mindset, or just the difference in story, this book was a success.

In book 1 we were focused on Lex and her troubles as a successful fashion designer who wasn’t financially successful.  I think that the fail there was that there was an over-cockiness about both leads, Lex and Massimo that really was off putting until the very end.  In this story, we are focused on Taddy who comes off as brash in book 1, but really is quite likeable in book 2.  As expected, she has her fair share of baggage, parents who ship her away when her father admits out loud that he doubts that he’s the real father, and she finds herself emancipated along the way.  We get to learn more about her relationship with Blake who we’ve met before and a bit more about Vive whom i’m assuming we’ll really get to know more about in book 3. I also liked that we got a supporting character in Kiki that was unexpected because she’s so naive and innocent (true to some of the asst level in NYC), and she’ll be interested to read more about.

From the male perspective, we get Warner who exudes raw sexuality yet his own insecurities.  He’s successful but not forthcoming with it – he doesn’t take the stage and stand in the spotlight, and it’s not because he’s truly uncertain of himself and his success, it’s just not his style and he’s gotten burned in the past so he avoids it.

these 2 come together on a last minute change of travel plans, and they don’t even know who the other is during that time.  they have a prelude to passion that’s interrupted and then part ways unfulfilled.  fast forward a few months, their paths cross again in the south of france due to unfortunate circumstances that work to their favor.  Taddy is called to bail Kiki out of a situation and it’s at one of Warner’s properties.  So when this happens, you know that they will acknowledge chemistry, get heated when they find out the identity of the other, and who knows where it will go.

What i liked here is that although things seemed to go a bit fast once you get them out of their holiday mode – it’s ok.  They are both successful and busy and realize that it’s never going to be the norm for them.  What i also like is that they seem to balance out one another really well and it’ll be nice to see where this can go for them.  Who knows if it’ll work out outside of the bedroom, but it’ll sure be interesting to see.

so, Avery Aster – i’m glad that i gave you another chance – because this 2nd book was something that i’m glad i decided to read.

Review: Revealing Us (Inside Out #3) by Lisa Renee Jones


Title:  Revealing Us
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Gallery Books 9/10/13
Length:  320 Pages
Series: Inside Out #3


No in-between…

He has become her life, her heart, her very soul. But he is dark and damaged, and his secrets are many. Sara will risk everything for him. He, in turn, will dare to expose his deepest needs, his most erotic desires. And in the fury of passion he will reveal all that torments him, all that he can never escape. To love him, Sara must embrace the darkest part of him, and become his shelter in a storm that will be his ultimate salvation.

My Thoughts

WOW!  This is exactly what i was hoping for in the next installment and Ms. Jones has not let us down!  From what we’ve learned of Chris and Sara’s relationship, it’s nothing short of heated and passionate and all consuming.  When we last left these 2 off, Sara barely escaped being killed by Ava who’s gone a bit bat-s**t crazy, and Chris is yet again afraid that he won’t be able to protect her from everything.  the trouble too is that this all went down at Mark’s house and that means there’s angst and a divide since Chris and Mark don’t have warm fuzzy feelings towards one another.

Chris needs to go back to paris, and he’s basically given Sara an ultimatum to follow him or be done.  She is smart to make the choice to get her butt to the airport and on the plane to see where things fall out with Chris.  Chris is both relieved and uncertain that she’s decided to come, and that just sets us up for the roller coaster that we will encounter in this third book.

Upon arrival in the airport when things seem like they could be looking up, Sara is pick-pocketed and loses her ID/passport and everything.  That’s just a pre-cursor of all that will happen.  Not only is this the first bad thing in a string of issues, they finally arrive at ‘their home’ when they fall into their own passions to be interrupted by Amber – the woman who created Chris’ amazing dragon tattoo and a woman who’s still in love with him.  Not a fun thing for Sara at all to have to deal with.  That’s just the start of things to come.

Where this story takes us is exactly like i’ve said before, a roller coaster.  Sara is still trying to find out where Ella is, and finds out that it’s potentially even worse than she ever imagined.  Then she learns along the way that there’s even more strife in her own personal future since she’s now a suspect in Rebecca’s murder/disappearance because Ava is trying to use that angle as her defense.  Meaning that Sara can’t get her passport back, and may have to stand trial back in the States.

The nice thing that we get in this installment though is that there’s now a potential supporting character budding romance that i’m hoping we’ll get to see play out.  Rey is Chris’ security / Sara’s bodyguard and Chantal is Sara’s french Tutor (and friend of Chris’ godmother).  there definitely seems to be some chemistry there and i think that it helped add a bit of lightness to the story when this book was really deep and stressful.

I LOVED it and i’m so happy to see that this isn’t a trilogy but a series.  I have to get it out of my head that all boks that i read will be a trilogy because in my mind i have expectations on how things will end up and then spend much of the story trying to figure out when things will get tied up.  I now can’t wait to see what happens next, especially with the epilogue that Ms. Jones included – it was EXACTLY what i was hoping for and a very good teaser.