This Man, By Jodi Ellen Malpas


Book 1 of This Man trilogyYoung 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.

Review Time:
Sara’s Review: 
Disclaimer: I generally don’t like to give bad reviews.  I rarely do it.  However, this book left me inspired.  Having said that I also must say that no matter whether I liked the material, I have a lot of respect for authors (ok…not Glenn Beck…or David Barton…or Bill O’Reilly…but I digress).  I know it’s difficult to put yourself and your work out there.  The following review is merely my opinion of the book.  Now, onto the review!
You know those books that you constantly hear people raving about?  Then, you go look on Amazon or Goodreads and see it has several hundred reviews most of which are 5 stars?  So, you read it for yourself and you think (in the nicest way possible) “Were all of those people smoking crack?”  That was this book for me.  It was 400+ pages of poor decision making and pain. Though re-reading the blurb from Amazon, I guess I should have known.
I am a fan of the flawed alpha male character. It can be done, and done well (Hello Knight Sebring!), but this author did not manage to pull it off. You have to give me at least one redeeming quality in a character like this, but Jesse is just a giant jerk.  If he were a Hobbit, he’d be Douche Baggins. His actions seem to be fueled by his own needs and desires (and neuroses), rather than by any love he has for our heroine, Ava. Actually, I really wasn’t convinced that he cared for her at all, and was confused by his actions. Perhaps the author will have more character development over the next two books (yes…TWO more books), as a standalone it hinted at moments of plot and character development, but never really went there. Jesse comes off as manipulating, using sex as a weapon, and controlling in order to get what he wants, which is Ava. He had no respect for Ava or her opinions.  Come to think of it, I’m not really sure why he wants Ava to begin with. Oh, it’s because she’s hot.
Now for Ava…oy. She is just…vapid. She has moments of clarity that she quickly talks herself out of. She knows Jesse is manipulating her, but allows it to happen because he’s just so darned attractive! I don’t remember being this stupid about men at 26. And for the love of all that is holy, ask questions! I mean, how could she not wonder about the Manor? She’s supposed to be redesigning it, after all.  Gah!
All in all, this book just didn’t do it for me. Several people I know and trust recommended this book, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I just don’t understand the draw of stories where the main characters are case studies in dysfunctional and abusive relationships. So he’s rich, is a manimal in the sack and is gorgeous. Yeah, he’s also probably going to fly into a rage and kill you one day. I realize it is fantasy and all that, and hey — I read a lot of contemporary romance so I get it. However, there’s nothing about Jesse or Ava that draws me in and makes me want to be a part of that world. I’d date my first boyfriend all over again before I’d go out with a man like Jesse, and that’s saying something.
This is a two star read for me.  While I didn’t particularly like this book, it kept me interested enough to finish it. That’s about the only positive I can give it.  This truly seems to be a book that people either love or hate.  You may read it and think I’ve been smoking crack (answer: not while reading this book), but if not you can’t say you weren’t warned!
This book is currently 99 CENTS on Amazon.
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