Saturday, November 16

Beneath This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

She knew she was heading towards disaster. Every instinct told her to run, but Jesse Ward was a hard man to escape.

It has been five days’ since Ava O’Shea left Jesse drunk and raging at Lusso – left behind a man who drowned her in his intensity and blindsided her with his touch. Getting over this man was never going to be easy. And now he’s back in her life.

She has questions she needs answering, but her determination to get these answers will give the pleasure-seeking playboy the power to destroy her again. She needs to keep her eyes wide open and caution at the forefront of her mind, an ambitious intention when Jesse Ward is within touching distance. And he plans to be.

He’s dark, he’s broken – Ava knows this, but the only way to find out how dark and how broken is to get beneath the steely exterior of this man.

So this was the second book in the story of the Jesse Ward and Ava O'Shea. It picked up just a scant five days from where the first book ended. 

That means that right off the bat, I got confronted with one major issue--Jesse's alcoholism. Ava's (and my God) was not perfect after all. But Jesse being Jesse, he had maintained that he wasn't an alcoholic. I can't say if I agree or don't agree with him on his stance, I'm not an expert. His issue being that once he started, he had a problem with stopping. And once he got drunk, things really got bad. In this instance though, getting drunk and unconscious brought Ava back to his life. 

I will not spill all the beans about everything in this book (much as I'd like to) but remember in my review of the first book, This Man, when I mentioned that Jesse was quite sensitive in admitting what his real age was. Man, oh, man. I gotta love Ava for finding a way to actually have him tell her the truth. That was a good one. Couldn't let men have all the power, I say.

And then if you have read the first book, you would know what Jesse's luxury hotel's business is really all about. When Ava caught Jesse availing one of its services to avoid getting a drink after they had one of their classic fights, she decided to get back at him by availing the same. (Not quite the 'service' you're thinking, you gutterbrain. LOL!) Then all hell broke lose. That scene was sooo crazy, I wish it wasn't in the book. But then it had its purpose and drove the point home quite well. 

And right at the end of the book, Jesse proposed to Ava for real. I mean, he offhandedly proposed to her sometime in the middle part of the book but in this last scene, it was in front of her family and their friend.

Marry me, baby.
You're crazy mad. You crazy, crazy man.
Will I be crazy mad and married? Please tell me I'll be crazy mad and married to you.
Ahh, who wouldn't say no to that. I certainly wouldn't.

Jodie Ellen Malpas just couldn't keep from giving twists. By the time you (and the characters) have settled with a particular issue in the story, another bomb just awaited to explode. It was one heck of a rollercoaster and I effing loved it.


Final verdict: 9/10. Great read, must have.


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