This Man Confessed by Jodi Ellen Malpas

THE STUNNING CONCLUSION TO THE THIS MAN TRILOGY IS A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!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.
So, I STRUGGLED with this.
I didn’t like the first book, or the second…but everyone kept telling me how much Jesse redeems himself in this book and how it all comes together, so I thought in order not to just dismiss this entire series outright as one of the worst I’ve ever read I need to actually finish it.  Well, I finished it, and my opinion has not changed.
I’ve really thought long and hard about this review, and I’m giving it two stars because on a technical level this isn’t a bad book.  The writing is good.  What kills it for me is the characters.  And it’s not that they’re written poorly they just aren’t good people with any redeeming qualities.  And the central relationship between Jesse and Ava contained within these novels is, in a word, toxic.  They are not good for each other, and for people who aren’t spring chickens, you’d think they would have the experience to make better choices.
Ava really took the cake for me in this one.  I just do not understand her on any level, nor do I feel a connection to her as a character. If I met someone like this is real life, I’d slap them silly.  I
understand being pregnant was a shock, but after she finds out she’s pregnant, SHE GETS DRUNK.  Drunk!  Come on.  Ava, you are a vapid twit who apparently shouldn’t be a mother either.  And lord help those children that she and Jesse spawn, that’s a healthy example of a relationship to have in your life right there. She’s so immature as well.  I remember thinking when I read the first book that I don’t remember being that much of an idiot about life in general at 27.  I mean, she KNEW Jesse was taking her pills.  She knew this, but she denied it to herself.  So, what right does she have to be pissed when he finally admits it?
So pissed, that she leaves him the DAY AFTER THEY ARE MARRIED.  Puh-lease. She knew how he was and married him anyway.  Actually, I’m convinced she was manipulated, like everything else in their relationship, into marrying him.  Either that or she’s actually in some perpetual vegetative state where she lacks the ability to make any kind of thoughtful decision.  They’re a freakin’
match made in heaven.  I’m sure they’ll go the distance.
Now for Jesse.  Why does everyone love this guy so much??  And ok, I get now why he’s so screwed up, but I guess I was looking for something a bit more to fully be able to understand his motivations.  The crux of the problem in his relationship with Ava that I had is what drew him to her so fiercely in the first place?  So fiercely that he steals her birth control pills, disrespects her body by not using a condom when she asks him to and tries to trap her by getting her pregnant after knowing her for, what I can surmise from the overall timeline, mere days.  That is not love, people.  It is not alpha male hotness.  This is misogynistic man who only cares about his own selfish wants and desires.  He found a woman he wanted to possess and possesses her, but I’m still not convinced that his motivation was love.  He is abusive, has violent tendencies and is an alcoholic who stopped drinking AFTER they go together with no real support.  Yeah, I’m sure that will work out great for
everyone involved.  Plus, you find out he basically has lied to her about EVERYTHING from the get-go.  Ok, ladies, here’s a tip: if you find out a man has lied to you over the course of your entire relationship and cheated on you, then you need to leave him.  It’s pretty simple.  Great romantic leading man Jesse is not.  And it’s not that I even need for the hero of a novel to be perfect, I like imperfect heroes actually…but Jesse is not even on the same planet as the word imperfect.  He is psychotic.  How is that romantic?  Mental illness really doesn’t get my blood pumping.
I guess the bottom line for me is that the reason I read romance is read about great love…great love and men who have integrity and women who have enough self-respect that they can accept love and love in return.  I simply do not understand why everyone loves these books so much, because they fulfill none of my personal requirements for a great love story.  The characters in this book are misguided and stupid, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, and they don’t redeem themselves by the end in any way.  They are just as clueless and stupid at the end as they are in the beginning.  It’s
I do not mean any disrespect to the writer of this series at all.  Again, my issue isn’t with the writing, it’s just that these particular characters weren’t for me.  I would give another series by this author,
with different characters, a go.  But at the end of the day I had a very difficult time finishing these books because the characters were just so bad. Different strokes for different folks, it seems.  I hope we never hear from Jesse and Ava again.