This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Attempting to write a review for this book without allowing myself to go off on a rant about everything that bothered me about the story would be next to impossible. So, consider yourself warned.
I am a fan of the Alpha Male character in books. Hell, gimme an Uber-Alpha Male and I'm an even happier girl. But...there is a difference between being an Alpha Male and being an obnoxious bully. Sometimes the lines blur, but in the case of this book...there is no question that the character of Jesse Ward is a first class asshat.
Let me make this clear: There is nothing sexy about Jesse's behavior in this book. Nothing. He becomes obsessed with and begins systematically stalking Ava after their first encounter. Calling her phone dozens of times and when she refuses to answer he goes out and gets a new cell phone so he can trick her by calling her from another phone number. Showing up at her house in the middle of the night, banging on her door and screaming like a madman until she lets him in. Calling and blowing up at her for not calling him as soon as she got home after spending the night with him (oh, and did I mention the fact that she wanted to return home the night before but he physically restrained her from leaving?). I'm sorry, but if someone acted like that in real life, his ass would get arrested pretty damn quick.
As far as the sex scenes go...I am far from a prude. In fact a large portion of the books I have read in 2012 have been erotica & BDSM related. Having said that, in my opinion there is nothing sexy about basically forcing a particular sex act on someone regardless of the fact that the woman 'ended up liking it'. After that scene it became increasingly difficult for me to continue on to the end of this book.
Oh, and did i mention how Malpas described Jesse as being twitchy, having clammy hands and having a habit of heavy breathing on Ava?!
As others have mentioned, this book is by an independent British author who continually uses many British terms that are unfamiliar. I can pretty much ignore that most of the time and something like that very rarely makes me enjoy a good book less. However, here I found myself downright confused at times. Ava repeatedly describes Jesse's eyes as being "sludgy". Now, I am assuming that the author meant this in a positive way (considering she uses the term when Ava is waxing poetic about how impossibly perfect Jesse is), but it just didn't compute with me. Maybe's it's some obscure British-ism, but it was especially distracting given how many times the author used the term.
Speaking of which...and I feel like I'm having a Fifty Shades of Grey flashback here, but this author was extremely repetitive. Jesse was continually yelling at Ava about cursing ("Watch your mouth, lady!") even while cursing himself. And dear Lord in heaven I think I speak for everyone who read this book when I ask the following question:
HOW OLD IS JESSE WARD???!!!???
I really wish the author had cleared that up because I was so damn sick of Ava pontificating about it throughout the book. In the beginning, Ava comments that Jesse looks to be in his early 30's, but at other times she acts like he is a dirty old man and must be in his 40's or 50's because she constantly comments about how much older he is than her (even though she is in her mid 20's). That was just one more aspect of the story line that I found maddening.
Despite what it might sound like given the tone of this review, I did go into this book with an open mind, wanting to like it. Unfortunately it was 100% not for me.