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.
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.