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…
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Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte
J&G: We suggest listening to Angel by Massive Attack while reading this review.
Gitte: Three…..two….One….Zero …Yes Mr. Ward we are wearing Lace!!
I cannot even begin to say how satisfying it was to get the Lord of the Sex Manor back Jenny. I missed Mr. Jesse Ward with an aching heart.
He is still my number one and I will not waver on this!
I d.e.v.o.u.r.e.d this sequel completely, I got absolutely lost in Ava and Jesse’s journey once again. It was emotional, full of suspense and angst and oh so incredibly intense and sexy! I have to say I actually enjoyed and loved Beneath This Man even more than This Man because layers were peeled and we got so much closer to these characters!!
Some secrets come out in the open but they multiply too, so to say I am now HANGING for book #3 well that is an understatement. At least there was no cliff-hanger this time, I don’t think I could have coped with another one as I literally didn’t move for two days, I was sat on the edge of my seat lost to the world. The writing was flawless and brilliant once again and if at all possible I love both Jesse and Ava even more now!
Jenny: Oh we definitely had blast off Gitte and only the best lace will do for our revisit to the one and only “how old are you?” Mr Ward! Oh and don’t worry, you’ll get no arguments from this end about Jesse being number one! How can you not love this intense, possessive, unreasonable, sensual, good looking, passionate and oh so very alpha, dominant man? He ticks all the fictional man boxes!
Thankfully for me I only had to go Mr Wardless for a couple of weeks because honestly, if I’d had to wait any longer for this book after the being left with those cliff-hangers in This Man I don’t think I would have been responsible for my actions! I had so many questions at the end of book one, my naturally inquisitive self was in meltdown mode.
Luckily Gitte, we did indeed get some answers in Beneath This Man and for that I was so grateful. Then that naughty minx, Ms Malpas only goes and throws some more questions at us and here we go again, inquisitive Jenny is on the hunt! So many things I need to know, though this time, thankfully, we didn’t have to contend with the “violence to the kindle” inducing cliff-hanger.
Gitte: I started the continuation of Ava and Jesse’s story with tears in my eyes Jenny. The emotion of the written words leapt off the pages straight into my heart:
“I needed you and you left me” – Jesse.
Five days of “what happened?” and Ava is re-united, on dragging feet, with the shadow of the dark and broken man she cannot knowingly live or breathe without.
“My fear was completely justified; I’m lost in him again” – Ava
You know a story is going to be amazing when from page one you are hooked. The journey these two are on is so incredibly intense that the spot on sense of humour of both, the sarcasm and the situations they get into completely break it up perfectly. I have to say the scene that involves handcuffs and the elusive “How old are you” had me in absolute stitches! Oh and yeah I’ll never look at a rowing machine the same ever again!
Jenny: Hmmm rowing… my new favorite hobby! Honestly Gitte, as I said to you after I finished this book, I don’t think I moved…an inch….whilst reading this story! I was pulled back into the world of Jesse and Ava from the first page.
My heart broke from what I found five days after the turn of events at the end of This Man. They are both so broken and can’t function without one another. Both in the depths of despair, suffering, in their own way, from being apart.
In the short, yet intense relationship Ava shared with this man, he had become her reason for being, he had seared himself into her heart and then he broke it.
Ava tries to remain guarded and strong because she knows deep down that as soon as she sees Jesse her defenses will wither at the sight of him and knows the only chance she has to guard her heart is to keep her distance from him. Easier said than done. For reasons she can’t deny, she must go to him. What she found had me feeling bereft for her.
Gitte: Ava is by far one of the best if not The Best heroine out there for me. I just adore her. There’s not a single time that she has annoyed me. She is still funny, inquisitive, loves with passion and knows what’s what. She has one “weakness” and that is the enigmatic Mr. Ward…however, that is one “weakness” that is without doubt completely understandable, I think we all share that one.
“You don’t play fair Mr. Ward” – Ava.
She is fully aware that he has his very own special (and HOT) way to “manipulate” her to play along, concede and succumb; his methods totally unusual but extremely desirable and effective (umm yes please). Who’d question them? Honestly?!
“In his words, there is not a place on my body, that hasn’t had him in it, on it or over it” – Ava
Ava has seen his dark possessive side, his vulnerable broken side and his unreasonable stubborn side but she knows this man is worth every single bit of her effort and love. He loves her fiercely, she knows this and she knows she must unravel each layer to get this man to confess it all, only then will he be wholly hers and she will understand the why’s. She knows that she cannot be without him. Her body and mind centres and moves in sync with his. Her breath and his are dependent on each other.
“Ava, you’re asking me not to touch you. That goes against all of my instincts” – Jesse
Jenny: I’m with you on this one too Gitte. I can’t begin to tell you how I feel about Ava and how much I love her character. She has managed to bring this man to his knees.
She has the fierce, all-consuming love of this man. Ava is a character I have become so invested in. She’s human. She’s not perfect, she certainly makes mistakes, she doesn’t always make the right decisions and she loves Jesse so passionately, and this man is her weakness.
She openly admits her faults and mistakes and does let Jesse push her around at times, though this man is very persuasive with his sense fucks, reminder fucks and my favorite of all……the sleepy sex…oh my, even the sound of sleepy sex with Jesse gets you all fired up.
Ava does have a mind of her own, yet where Jesse is concerned all rational thinking flies out the window, such is the effect that man has on her, but she knows it and admits it.
Oh but our girl doesn’t let Mr Ward have his way all the time. Jesse has met his match in Ava and deep down I know he loves that about her. He challengers her and she challenges him right back and we know our Jesse ward loves a challenge! I love seeing these two go at it with each other. I love the times Ava stands up to Jesse, the times she gets one up on him is an absolute joy to see!
The “age reveal” scene was brilliant! I loved it! I did wonder how that was going to come about and never in my wildest imagination would I have come up with that. That scene, for me, showed the fun and intensity of this relationship and I loved them even more because of it. I love this pair and I think I read that scene with a big stupid grin on my face!
Gitte: Now Jesse, seriously where do I even begin? This man is just imperfectly perfect. A true lovable rogue!
“You’re mine, and mine alone, baby. Just for my eyes, just for my touch and just for my pleasure. Just Mine. Do you understand me?” – Jesse
We learn more about this gorgeous, cocky domineering man in this sequel. We learn of his vulnerability, his power, his drive and snippets from his past.
And yeah even the elusive age! He is just as frustrating and demanding as in This Man, perhaps even more so, because he nearly lost Ava and he refuses to ever be in that situation again. He loves her so fiercely and passionately that he is afraid to lose control…indeed to lose her; so he does whatever he can to ensure she understands that she is his and he is hers.
“I knew you were the one the second I laid eyes on you” – Jesse
“How did you know?” – Ava
“Because my heart started beating again.” – Jesse
Jenny: Ah Mr Ward, he’s still a mystery but little by little we’re stripping away the layers and learning more and more about this rather complicated man, and I am loving every minute of it! Oh there were times he frustrated me! Nearly losing this woman has driven him to the point of distraction and for a man who is used to being in total control of everything in his life, Ava has turned his world upside down.
Now, as much as Ava loses all rationality where Jesse is concerned, it’s definitely not a one way street. This man can hardly think straight as far as Ava is concerned, the fear of losing her consumes him, which makes for very interesting times on both sides.
Gitte: So we still have so many mysterious threads still unsolved Jenny…we have mysterious women, hidden drama waiting in the wings, un-confessed confessions and pasts waiting to be explored and I cannot for the life of me wait to find out exactly what is going on.
And yeah…I didn’t just love’ish Beneath This Man…I LOVED IT and cannot wait for the last installment in Jesse and Ava’s journey! Oh and the ending….SIGH….The ending!!!
Jenny: I know I’ve driven you crazy with my theories Gitte, but I’m giving you advance warning that I am not giving up until book three, This Man Confessed, is in my hot little hands. What about…..hmmm we can’t discuss that ’cause it’s a spoiler….and then…..nope, another spoiler!
So, what did I think of Beneath This Man? I bloody LOVED it. I loved every twist and turn. I loved the “off the charts” steam factor in this book. I love the chemistry and passion these between Jesse and Ava and I loved the mystery that still surrounds their lives.
Yes, I loved every frustrating second, I loved Jesse and Ava even more and yes, the end of this book completely satisfied me.
What a great follow up to This Man. I really do hope Jodi Ellen Malpas is madly typing away at that third book as we speak because I need it NOW!
ARC given by the author for an honest review
THIS MAN TRILOGY