Beneath This Man (This Man #2), by Jodi Ellen Malpas ✰✰✰✰

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Book #2 of the erotic 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 Casting

Hmmm… I’m feeling very much the same as I was at the end of This Man right now, without the horrid agony of a God-awful cliffhanger!

Am I on Central Jesse Cloud Nine…? Mmmm, not really.
This series is car-crash-reading! You know what’s going to happen, you know it isn’t going to be pretty, but You. Can. Not. Look. Away!

4 stars for Jesse & Ava!

We are left with a brutal cliffy at the of This Man, which had me diving into Beneath This Man right away.

Now, I do have some similar grievances with book two, that I had with book one. It’s too long. The characters are unhealthily codependent. Jesse is waaaay too OTT controlling. Those things haven’t really changed. But I am still really enjoying this series. And I have definitely fallen deeper for our handsome, crazy Lord of the Sex Manor!

“I’ve waited too long for you. You’re my little piece of heaven. Nothing will rob you from me. Nothing.”

I would never put up with his demanding ways in real life. Not in a million years! He’d drive me nuts and his behaviour is completely unacceptable. But I am really loving reading about him and Ava. I’m intrigued by them, their crazy ways and their totally dysfunctional relationship.

Is it unhealthy if you accept it? Not because you’re frightened or vulnerable, but because you love them immeasurably.

In Beneath This Man we find out a lot more about Jesse Ward. A lot of his secrets are revealed, as are his insecurities, his vulnerability and even more of his neuroticisms. Oh my goodness, the man really is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic! He’s completely unreasonable and at times, quite scary. Personally, he’d have me running a mile!

“You completely consume me, Ava. I can’t function without you. I’m totally addicted to you, baby.”

But he is also broken, needy, vulnerable, desperate and really quite sad. It’s heart breaking to see this strong, self-assured ‘God’ on his knees. And it’s this, the fact that he is balancing precariously on the edge of sanity and the fact that his love for Ava is enabling him to cope, that is both completely and utterly unhealthy, yet strangely endearing and leaving me wanting to know more. His love for Ava is both his biggest strength and his biggest weakness.

 

“I’ve never had anything I’ve valued or want to protect. Now I have, and it’s a bizarre mixture of total happiness and complete fucking fear.”

Everything about this book screams at me to be appalled. And in one way, I am… I spend the whole time like ‘whaaaat?’… BUT, I want to keep reading. I want to read when I supposed to be working and I read until I can’t keep my eyes open. So although I completely disapprove of the characters ways, their relationship, their decisions, the way they behave… I could go on… I can’t give this book a low rating.

Ava also drove me a little cuckoo in this book. She has totally jumped aboard Jesse’s crazy train and at times it’s infuriating. In the first book, even though she gives in to Jesse a lot, I still felt that she had her own mind, her own identity and was capable of existing without him. But in the second book that completely changes. I now feel that Ava almost as batty as poor ol’ Jesse. The pair of them should really consider relationship counselling because their coping methods are just a one way ticket to the loony bin right now.

 

I remain still and stare blankly at the profile of my handsome, troubled man and wonder whether I could be classed as troubled too, now. My sanity is certainly questionable, but I’m sane enough to admit that. I was a normal, sound-minded girl. I definitely don’t qualify for that any more.

A lot of the story is predictable. There is quite a bit of going around in circles. The characters have the same arguments, the same conversations, etc. quite a few times. And the book could definitely do with culling some of the scenes to make it a fair bit shorter.

But there are some parts that really had my heart racing. There are too many sex scenes, but the sex scenes that were on point were some of the hottest eeeevvveeerrr!

“I think I’ll let you come first,” his voice is gravelly. “Then I’m going to rip you clean in half.”

There is a lot of unnecessary drama, but when you get to the good bits, it’s really good. Like, heart-in-mouth, sweaty palms, if-I-put-this-book-down-I’ll-die, ‘Oh my God, what the actual fuck?!!’ good! Stuff I definitely didn’t predict, which totally makes up for the stuff that I was like [insert sarcastic voice here] ‘Wow, really didn’t see that one coming’.

“Do you realize the effect you have on women?”
“Is it similar to the one you have on me?
Do they stop breathing for a few seconds every time they see me?
Do they want to keep me in a glass box so nothing can hurt me?
Do they think their life would be over if I wasn’t here?”

So you do have to sift through some lesser great parts to get to the uber great parts. Don’t get me wrong, even the ‘lesser great’ aren’t exactly a terrible hardship, although maybe strap a cushion to your forehead because you’re guaranteed to be banging it against a brick wall on numerous occasions, with these fruitcake crazy characters.

 

“That’s your problem, Jesse. You want to fix things by distracting me with your touch instead of talking to me and giving me some answers. I can’t let that happen again.”

Re. the surrounding characters… I hate hate hate Sarah! I love love love Kate. And I also love x3 Sam!
I want Sarah to die a slow painful death and I want Sam and Kate to have their own book! Or I least want to read more about them in book three. There are other great characters in this book too. I do love a fab surrounding cast.

A lot was wrapped up at the end of this book. It felt very final and very happy-ending. It isn’t a cliffhanger. But there were still a lot of things left unsaid, a lot of issues unresolved and obviously there is a third book (which, unfortunately, looks just as long as the first two.) so I’ll be interested to see how the author packs out the third book. I’m hoping it is a little more varied because whilst I can be lenient with two books filled with loony arguments and crazy monkey sex, I’m really hoping there’s a little more depth and substance to book number three. Either way, I’m intrigued enough to start the third book without a second thought, so Jodi sure is doing something right.

 

Beneath This Man Statistics
• Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥♥
• Ending: Unfinished but not a cliffhanger.
• Length: 452 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
Controlling, alpha male
Erotica
Alcoholism
Codependency
• 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, Beneath This Man, Four Stars, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Rich Guys, Series, Steamy Reads. Bookmark the permalink.

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