Top positive review
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Brilliant continuation of the This Man trilogy
on 17 January 2013
Wow! Just, Wow!
Before you read my review, please just open Massive Attack's Angel in a new window and play it in the background as you read. This song features frequently during the book and is Jesse's song for Ava. Play it LOUD!
This has to be one of the most anticipated releases of 2013. After the last desperate and devastating few chapters of This Man, we've all been waiting with bated breath for more Jesse & Ava. The second book of a trilogy is traditionally the weakest, it's neither a beginning or an end and can often be just filler but that is NOT the case here. This book just blew me away, I DEVOURED it and I am now bereft that it is over and can't wait for the third book to be able to finally conclude this intense and overwhelming romance.
We left Jesse & Ava in the depths of despair at the end of This Man. Both of them are broken by what has happened and their relationship is seemingly in ruins. They're both in pieces and wrecked and, Jesse especially, hell-bent on self-destruction. This was done so very well - their broken hearts and intense overwhelming sadness leap vividly to life right off the page and their despair is palpable. They're just lost without each other.
As they move beyond these events and attempt to get their relationship back on track I couldn't help feel that their connection was one of the most intense and most emotional that I think I've ever read in romantic fiction. I so wanted them to sort out their differences, to be open and honest with each other and to find that Happy Ever After that's constantly drifting ever so slightly out of reach. I read with a big grin, loving every minute that they were together and then again always with that ever-present worry that Jodi Ellen Malpas was going to rip the rug out from under us with some unforeseen complication and plummet them back down into the darkness. It's a story of unbelievably wonderful highs followed by despondent lows.
The normally strong dominant playboy has been reduced to a frightened desperate soul by the intensity and depth of his feelings for Ava. He's lived a hedonistic lifestyle until the moment he met her, he's never cared for the multitude of women that he's had physical relationships with and was fairly self-destructive not caring whether he lived or died. Now Ava has burst onto his horizon and he can hardly see straight, he loves her so much. He's terrified that he's going to lose her, that someone will take her from him and she brings out all his extremely over-protective instincts. He's a troublesome, neurotic rogue and there were times that I wanted to scream at him, bang his head against a brick wall to knock some sense into him - he made me crazy. Ava too. I was just rooting for them to find a happy balance - an equilibrium that would ultimately ease their troubled souls but they're so deeply connected to one another, body and soul, they have the power to absolutely destroy one other.
Ava continues to be a wonderful heroine that you can truly believe in. She's as overwhelmed as Jesse by her feelings and is completely bowled over by him. She's a feisty soul and despite Jesse's dominant presence manages to win some of their battles. She's strong and independent and doesn't take well to Jesse trying to micro-manage her life to the nth degree and it makes for a tortuous path as they argue and dispute every little aspect of their life together only to make up with seriously hot off the charts steamy bedroom action! Ava feels a connection to Jesse that she has never felt with anyone ever before and he makes her ecstatically happy and allows her to feel safe at the same time as driving her totally barking mad.
Beneath This Man is a beautiful, captivating, conflicting, tortuous romance that had me completely consumed by their story. I was totally absorbed by the words on the page, everything else just faded into the background as I lost myself absolutely in their fictional world, falling more and more in love with Jesse with every chapter. There's just something so open and engaging about what is passing between them. It's also funny as we get to see the little quirks of character from This Man building and growing giving you the reader a feeling that you're getting to know this central duo so very well. They feel like friends. There's also a great host of secondary characters with poor Clive, the much abused concierge at Lusso, John an absolute pillar of strength at The Manor and Kate and Sam and all of Ava's riotous friends and colleagues.
As I was lucky enough to be one of the earliest to read this, I got asked over and over the same questions - how old is Jesse, how did he get that scar, did he sleep with Sarah, and more. All I can say is - you're just going to have to read the book. I know you're all desperate to know but you don't really want me to tell you. You'll want to experience it for yourself just the way the author intended.
So, this was my first 5 star read of 2013 and an absolutely stunning continuation of the This Man trilogy and I can't wait to get my hands on book 3. If you liked This Man, you're going to absolutely love Beneath This Man. If you enjoy your romance on the angsty, emotional and intense side then this book is most definitely for you.
5 stars super steamy and very special erotic romance