August 9, 2013

REVIEW: Beneath This Man (This Man Trilogy #2)

Beneath This Man (This Man Trilogy #2), by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Published January 15, 2013
Publisher:  self-published
Format: e-book, provided by NetGalley
Genre:  adult contemporary romance
To Buy: >Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) She knew she was heading towards disaster. Every instinct told her to run, but Jesse Ward was a hard man to escape.

It has been five days’ since Ava O’Shea left Jesse drunk and raging at Lusso – left behind a man who drowned her in his intensity and blindsided her with his touch. Getting over this man was never going to be easy. And now he’s back in her life.

She has questions she needs answering, but her determination to get these answers will give the pleasure-seeking playboy the power to destroy her again. She needs to keep her eyes wide open and caution at the forefront of her mind, an ambitious intention when Jesse Ward is within touching distance. And he plans to be.

He’s dark, he’s broken – Ava knows this, but the only way to find out how dark and how broken is to get beneath the steely exterior of this man.

Oh sweet goodness, where do I even start? I experienced such a range of emotions while reading Beneath This Man. First there was this one:

Extreme. Frustration. From the very beginning, although I was glad to see Ava put on her big girl panties and look at the bigger picture (Jesse missing and possibly injured), the subsequent and constant conversations about whether or not Jesse is an alcoholic was crazy. Of COURSE he's an alcoholic! I felt like this was very much swept under the rug, and it very much should not have been. 

And then, it's like Ava allowed Jesse to distract her from their real issues with sex. It's obvious these two have issues. He lied to her. She ran from him. They needed to sit down and hash things out in the worst way, and I really wanted to bear witness to that conversation. But, it came piece meal and with great stretches of flat out craziness and TONS of sex in between each chat. Don't get me wrong - good sex is important, but it should by no means be the foundation of a relationship.  

And the sex... yes, it was pretty hot. Yes it was pretty frequent. But, for the love of Mike, do we need to LABEL it? Let's see... there's the Retribution Fuck, the Truth Fuck, the Apology Fuck, the Sense Fuck, Sleepy Sex, Celebration Sex - really? It leads me to my next emotion:

Extreme. Anger. I really loved Jesse in the first book. In this one, not so much. The deception that he pulled on Ava was off the charts awful. That made me angry first. Then, I got more angry when she forgave him pretty easily. Grow a spine, woman! I don't think I could've done that.

And then there was how I felt toward Sarah. Yeah, anger covers that pretty darn well. What an awful, awful human being. Jesse's constant willingness to overlook what was clear to probably everyone else made me crazy mad. The only silver lining to this situation was when Ava finally, FINALLY took matters into her own hands (quite literally) and put Sarah in her place. I may have read that part twice.

Extreme. Exhaustion. At the end of it all, I was just really exhausted. I mean, there were some good things that happened in Beneath This Man. By the end, I did feel that Ava had started to grow up some. And, perhaps Jesse was starting to grasp the consequences of his actions and his words. I started to feel some hope that these two could maybe have a relationship and make it work.

Through it all, I have to say that Beneath This Man was certainly compelling. I could not put it down despite the frustration, the anger, the exhaustion - I just HAD to find out Jesse's secrets. And I had to know if Ava could get it together. And I had to know what Ruth Quinn's deal was (and I still didn't know this by the end!). The drive to know these things was so great that I immediately began the final book in the This Man Trilogy. What can I say? I honestly can't wait to see how it all ends.


Cleo Rogers said...

This was an absolute gem of a book. It had some funny bits, some sad bits and was completely over the top in other bits. If you love obsessive romances like I do, you will love this!

Cleo Rogers (Puyallup Plumbing)

Unknown said...

Great series loved them all. Very good story kept me interested and wanting to read more. She is a good writer.

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Marlene Detierro said...

I would recommend this book, and have. The sex is amazing. The struggle is gripping. The realness of the characters make them people, not just names on a page.

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