This Man (This Man #1), by Jodi Ellen Malpas ✰✰✰✰

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Young interior designer Ava O’Shea has an appointment for a first consultation at The Manor with the owner, Mr Jesse Ward. She is expecting nothing more than an overweight, cravat wearing, well-to-do countryman, and on arrival, nothing would suggest otherwise. How wrong could she be? This Man is devastatingly handsome, charming and confident. He is also a conceited, hedonistic playboy, who knows no boundaries. Ava desperately does not want to be attracted to him, but she can’t control the overwhelming affect he has on her. Every instinct is telling her to run, so she does, but Jesse Ward is not so willing to let her go. He wants her and is determined to have her. She knows she is heading for heartbreak, but how can she run when he won’t let her?

My Casting

(Firstly, before I launch into my review, I want to just talk about my casting… Now, obviously, yes, my Jesse Ward is Paul Walker. I cast this the second day of readingThis Man. That was before I learnt of the tragic news of Paul Walker’s death. What a horrible coincidence, right? I ummed and arred over whether or not to change the casting, but I decided that I just couldn’t see anybody else as Jesse. The description that Jodi Malpas gave us at the beginning of the book just instantly put me in mind of Paul, and I couldn’t change that… so I went with it and decided to keep my original casting, despite the awful news that shocked us all this week.)

So, moving on to my review. I have totally mixed feelings on this book.

4 stars for Jesse & Ava.

This Man is the story of super rich, hot-as-hell, Lord of The Manor, Jesse Ward. Jesse owns a high class ‘hotel’ just outside of London and hires the young, talented and incredibly beautiful interior designer, Ava O’Shea, to work on The Manor’s newly built extension. But as soon as Jesse and Ava clap eyes on one another, sparks fly. And you know the drill.

I’m not getting caught up with a handsome stranger, no matter how handsome he is. And oh, is he mind meltingly delicious.

Did I love Jesse Ward? No. Yes. Sometimes. ‘Ish’… oh, hell, I don’t even know. I’ll tell you this, if a guy who didn’t look like he had been made by God, especially to put smiles on the faces of women all over the world, hounded you, like Jesse hounds Ava, you would be on the phone to the police quicker than you can say ‘You are a hot, sexy certifiable nut-case’. He needs to thank his lucky stars he’s pretty, otherwise he’d have been locked up long before this story could have ever gotten off the ground.

 

“I’m going to fuck you until you’re seeing stars, Ava.” His voice is harsh as he grinds his hips against me. I whimper. “You won’t be going to work tomorrow because you won’t be able to walk. Get in the car.”

Okay, no, I didn’t love that he was so controlling, so aggressive, so unreasonable. Reminder fucks? Not okay! Countdowns? Nu uh! I didn’t like the codependency of Ava and Jesse’s relationship. And I didn’t like the dishonesty, the lack of communication and the secrecy. Would I go totally ape-shit crazy, and cause actual-bodily-harm, if any man of mine cut up a new £500 dress of mine because he thought it was too short? Hell-fucking-yes! And as for being told to ‘Watch your mouth’? Jesse, all I have to say to that is fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!

 

“Listen to me, lady. You’re not going anywhere. I’ve told you repeatedly, so get fucking use to it!”

But did I love that he was unbelievably sexy, totally confident, liked to be in control, worshipped Ava and clearly had an adorable softer side? Guilty as charged. And could I put this book down? Nope!

“Everything is so much more bearable with you around, Ava.”

I did like Ava. Most of the time. She irritated me at times, with her inability to voice her thoughts and the way she gave in to Jesse so frequently. But other than that, I did like her.

“If you want full length skirts and polo neck jumpers, then I suggest you find someone your own age.”

Jesse and Ava’s relationship is totally, 100% fucked up, to the Nth degree. There is no escaping that. In all honesty, Jesse’s stalking actually made him seem a little desperate and desperation is such a huge turn off. I really wanted him to not come across quite so pathetic and needy. He’s a very proud, very masculine, powerful man and I wanted him to own that. But instead, he just completely harasses Ava until she caves. It’s wrong, it’s a little scary, it’s a whole lot frustrating and, let’s be honest, Jesse probably needs sectioning… but despite all of that, I just had to find out what happened to these characters.

“You’ll always need me, Ava. I’m going to make sure of it. Now, let’s see if we can fuck some sense into you.”

This story is a great example of something becoming a bigger and bigger issue the more it is ignored or brushed under the carpet. The mysterious Manor hotel, Jesse’s huge scar, his evasive tactics about almost everything in his life, his age, his wealth… it all became a whole herd of huge elephants causing total havoc and making a mess of all the ‘Italian shit in every damn room of Jesse’s very posh Lusso penthouse. So I justhad to get some answers.

Speaking of which… did I get answers? Meh, some. But this book ends on a freakin’ cliffhanger that will make you want to jump straight into the next book. I was up until 3.30am last night, reading these damn addictive books.

 

‘You’re the one I’ve been waiting a long time for…
Jx’

One thing I didn’t like about the book. It’s loooooong. Too long, in my opinion. I get that the author needed to really create the feeling of the characters batting back and forth with one another… one minute they couldn’t get enough of each other, the next they were at each other’s throats and then they were running scared. This happened over and over and I understand that the reader needed to experience this to fully appreciate the emotional whiplash that these characters go through, and inevitably, the extent of the attachment they form with one another. But still, I’m pretty sure we could have just hacked a few scenes, as there just seemed to be some parts of the book where you were running and 100mph just to stand still.

And when characters have issues that they mull over and over in their internal monologues but suddenly lose the power of speech and communication when it matters most… It. Drives. Me. Insane. Gah!
The words are on the tip of her tongue, she’s telling the reader how she feels, or she has a burning question that she really wants to ask. It’s all rolling around inside her head and she wants to say it but she can’t get her mouth to function… and then something happens and the moment is gone! Aaaarrrrrgggghhh!!!! SOOO ANNOYING!

I can’t write this review and not mention the sex. This book is off-the-chain hot. Like, make sure you’ve got a willing male nearby, or extra batteries available, ladies, because Jesse Ward will get your pulse racing. If you’re looking for a steamy read, look no further.
This isn’t a BDSM romance, there’s no red rooms, silver balls or floggers (yet!!!) but it is extremely hot.

“How loud do you think you’ll scream when I fuck you?”

The end of this book was great. Once some of the secrets began to unravel and the characters actually started talking, I was rubbing my hands together like ‘Yes, here we go. Bring it on!’ Halfway through This Man I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d carry on with the series if it didn’t pick up… there are so many books I want to read and whilst Jesse does intrigue me, and he most certainly gets me hot under the collar, he also irritates the life out of me, added to that is the length of the books, so I just really wasn’t sure… but after the ending, I definitely need to know more.

There is more than meets the eye with this man – not just confident and wealthy, possessive and gently, controlling and dominant. I could go on forever. But there’s more.

So, I had quite a few issues with Jesse and Ava, and their relationship certainly isn’t role-model material. But we can allow for a little of what we wouldn’t accept in real life, in out reading life, and still enjoy the book, right? I did enjoy this book, on the whole and I do want to find out more. I want Jesse to learn that he can’t be so unreasonable, I want him to come clean about all his demons, I want Ava to stand her ground, I want them both to feel more secure and I want them to achieve a more healthy, normal relationship together. Will I get that? I’ve got two more books to get through yet, so my guess is no time soon… but fingers crossed for eventually. I’ll let you know.

This Man Statistics
• Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥♥
• Ending: Cliffhanger
• Length: 448 pages
• Narrative: Ava’s POV. Present tense.
• Series: ✓
• Reading Order:
– Book #1 – This Man (This Man, #1)
– Book #2 – Beneath This Man (This Man, #2)
– Book #3 – This Man Confessed (This Man, #3)
• Can this be read as a standalone? No
• Themes:
Mystery
Insta-lust
Controlling, alpha male
Erotica
• WARNING. This book includes…
Sexual content. A very controlling male.
• Writing: Good

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This entry was posted in Alpha Males, Angst Overload, Cliffhanger, Contracts & Arrangements, Delicious Sexual Tension, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Rich Guys, Series, Steamy Reads, This Man. Bookmark the permalink.

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