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

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

Overview

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

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

Overview

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.