Jan 22, 2013

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

I am sadly kinda' disappointed in this sequel to "This Man." I admit that even with Jesse's CONTROL FREAK issues, I had enjoyed the first novel in this trilogy but this one made me pissing mad more than gushy and romantic. I hate giving bad reviews because each novel is like an author's baby and who am I to bash on someone's hard work, right? So I'm not going to bash but I will honestly express how I felt about this book and why. 

I will be the first to express how very much I love reading novels with ALPHA male heroes. They're the sexiest heroes to read about. Since "Fifty Shades of Grey" and then the Crossfire series, I've been a bit obsessed. Frantically searching for more stores with males like Gideon and Christian.I even enjoy Lynda Chances' obsessed and even stalkerish heroes. But Jesse Ward takes ALPHA to a whole other level and honestly not in a very good way. I'd be almost afraid if a man like him wanted me, gorgeous or not. 

I was okay with Jesse's "issues" in the first one. His relentlessness, though annoying was tolerable and even endearing at times but instead of true positive character development of this hero, we get much more of the same except this time he's more controlling and supressive than ever. Yes, supressive and the fact that Ava is blind to that and tolerates this man's high-handedness speaks volumes of her character as well. To add insult to injury, it's clear that Jesse is an alcoholic and needs help with this problem but everyone brushes it off and does nothing. Are they all blind? The man clearly needs an AA support group and maybe some psychiatric help too.

Ava O'Shea. My God! I even liked Ava in the first novel and by the end I gave up waiting for her to grow some backbone and let Jesse stop treating her like an errant child. He tramples on every aspect of her life and she lets him. I don't know why she even tries to defy him and she does it on purpose sometimes, when she knows how he'll react. Ever heard the saying, don't poke a sleeping bear, Ava?

When Jesse got his way things were great. I was enjoying the story in those moments. There weren't enough of those moments. The sex scenes thought a plenty and very counterproductive to a romance story, were hotter than the first novel and unique especially the gym scene, Still way too much sex and not enough story.

Okay so aside from the very little characterization in this book here's what else happens:

  1. We find out Jesse's real age. (Finally!)
  2. Ava loses her birth control pills for the third time. 
  3. We find out how Jesse got his scar. A very sad story.
  4. Jesse is an alcoholic. Okay so they don't cop to that but it's true!
  5. Jesse has deep seated issues. I mean he comes across really needy and desperate. I mean how many times does he need her reassurance? If she hasn't run for the hills from his crazy ass already, she probably won't be running anytime in the near or  distant future.
  6. Ava comes across as completely spineless. She lets Jesse trample all over her. You're a grown woman and you let a man that you've known for the span of a few weeks tell you to retire from your job at twenty-six. He's trying to get you pregnant so you can't leave him. He shows up at your most important client meeting and figuratively pisses all over you to mark his territory. When you try to have your own way which happens like never, he fucks some sense into you to get you to do what he wants. WTF!
The few times emotional issues that come up in this sequel were very few and far between for me to feel any true connection. It's hard to feel that connection when all they do is fuck. I'm not just saying that. That's what they do. I mean Ava and Jesse have to be addicts because as soon as the sexing starts she's as compliant as a well fed kitten. It's physiological that she'd be sore after so much sexing right? Way too much sex in this book, it needed a balance. With other books there's a balance but Ava and Jesse have no real conversations because he always wants his own way and getting information out of him is like pulling teeth. She has to literally tie him to the bed to even get him to admit his true age.

Jesse says a few things that make me melt at certain points. He tells her he loves her and says things that women always want to hear from the man they love but his personality screws it up for me.

“I knew you were the one the second I laid eyes on you."

"The one?"

'The one to bring me back to life.” 
― Jesse Ward, Beneath This Man

Everyone says he's laid-back but I couldn't see Jesse being laid-back  There was a moment or two when you kind of glimpsed him being less than his control freak self but they were fleeting.

One scene that would have been a deal-breaker for me, was when she found out about him sleeping with other women in the week they were apart. He loves her so much that he gets busy with any woman who throws herself at him. Oh and he's drunk off his ass while he does this and Ava has unprotected sex with this man! Crazy. Did he even remember to use a condom with any of these women while he was drinking and fucking his pain away? Oh Ava, you poor, delusional and completely naive girl. 

Ava made me proud though at one point. One huge redeeming moment for her was her standing up to Sarah and staking her claim on Jesse. I was so proud. I loved this moment. I cheered for her here because I hate Sarah just as much as she does!

Jesse though a huge control freak, I can understand that some people may have these issues. I'm relating. People might have these issues especially with him not ever having a real relationship. I felt though that instead of feeding his ways, Ava should have made an effort help him tone down his ways. Make him understand why he couldn't be so controlling and overbearing. It's seriously not an attractive quality. They love each other so much, he should be open to making concessions when needed. Even though she loves his possessiveness, she knows it's crazy sometimes. Do something to make him see the error of his ways, woman!

I loved the end though with Jesse's surprise for Ava and the proposal. Best scene for me actually. Really loved it. Made me smile a plenty! The end saved it for me. Jesse was better I think after what happened at the Manor. He was kinda' different and I liked it. So much more than his actions for most of the book. The last two chapters/last chapter . . . I think saved the book for me. Made me start liking Jesse again (don't make me regret it) and made me love him for what he did with her family and his impulsive but sweet second proposal.

I didn't completely dislike this book. I liked this book, well parts of it. It just wasn't as great as I thought the first book was. I was just thoroughly disappointed with a lot of things that happened with this one. I will follow through and read the last book "This Man Confessed" to see how it ends.

3/5 stars!

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