Review: Beneath This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Review: Beneath This Man by Jodi Ellen MalpasBeneath This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Series: This Man
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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...

When I started reading Beneath This Man I was very excited because I really enjoyed the first book. I honestly wasn’t prepared to what I would find in this book. Let’s start with this, I like Jesse, I think that even though he is a broken, sad and self centered man he keeps a certain charm. I also admit to liking Ava on the first book of the trilogy. I can’t say I feel the same way about her now that I have read book #2 and this saddens me.

This Man was sexy, and a great introduction. It sort of set the foundation to arouse the reader to go back for more, however now having read Beneath This Man I feel I was slapped in the face with an immature, self absorbed and insufferable man who seems to think with his dick is the answer to his problems. Jesse & Ava’s relationship goes from one bump to another. Jesse’s manipulations are going to the extreme, now he sabotage’s Ava future by kidnapping her contraceptive pills in an attempt to get her pregnant. Not only does he play with her future but he completely disregards her desires and needs to maintain her job and make something for herself. Though Ava hasn’t necessarily come to terms as far as Jesse’s secrets and way of handling things, she has made an effort to “understand” what he goes through, but at times question her own decisions. Now, Ava has gone from being a strong and independent,  self sufficient woman to a doormat. I am so disappointed that I can’t even begin to describe how much this bothers me.

The plot is good, even the drama which most seem unnecessary is good at times. Though I could go without all the back and forth from Ava about Sarah who isn’t necessarily a big threat. The reason why I am so disappointed is because Ava let Jesse do everything she has fought to stay away from. Not only does she allow  him to dictate her work (which to me is a sore subject) she also allows him to manipulate her, the whole “I can’t think when I am in his arms” got old fast. I really wanted to see more substance in their relationship, what attraction other than sexual there is, is she interested in helping him overcome something? the answer is No. Ava doesn’t want anything to do with Jesse’s issues, in fact she doesn’t want to deal with her own issues let alone help him with his drinking problems. I think the story took a weird turn on this book and I was left expecting and wanting something I wasn’t going to get.

Their relationship though steamy and almost always hot feels rushed and under developed. I know we see the same in other books but for some reason Ava’s inability to make demands and put her foot down just rub me the wrong way. I am usually into the whole dominating, frustrating and overpowering type of alpha male, Jesse didn’t do it for me in this book. There wasn’t enough drama other than the one Ava created herself, there wasn’t substance other than the sex which I totally loved. I wanted more, perhaps an actual threat to their relationship which was just Ava’s struggles with Jesse’s dominance and though that can add to the plot shouldn’t have been the main theme. I expected more drama and not necessarily the whining and complaining that Ava did, but something of substance. I am going to read the last book in the trilogy because I want to see where all this goes, I am hopeful the final book This Man Confessed gives me more of what I thought I saw in book one, I need more I want more.


Reader, book reviewer & blogger, love books and most genre: contemporary romance, fantasy, paranormal, mystery & thrillers, new adult & historical romance. When not working, I like spending my time reading, watching tv with my husband and socializing with my friends.

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