Monday, December 16, 2013

This Man Trilogy by Jodi Ellen Malpas

The Basics:
This Man Trilogy by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Published starting June 18, 2013 ( date for Kindle edition)

I purchased these books.

Basic Plot (my own words):

Ava O'Shea is a young interior designer making it big. She's personally requested by the owner of The Manor - Jesse Ward - to take care of some decorating for him. Only she doesn't understand the purpose of The Manor, he's determined to have her, and there's a whole bunch of secrets floating around....

As the two come together, break apart and then come together again, Jesse must confess about his past and their present and Ava has to decide if this complicated, sexual man is worth all the trouble.

Why I picked it up:

These books seem to be all over the place if you're looking for erotica to read. I bought the first two on sale after reading some pretty good reviews, and hoped for the best.

My Thoughts:


So the first one wasn't great, but there were some pros.  This series features some reasonably hot sex scenes, which, of course, is important for erotica. There's some variety, some kink, and I think it was pretty satisfying on that front (certainly it was for the Ava and Jesse!)

There's some interesting plot ideas here - we've got a woman who works with Jesse who is determined to usurp Ava's position in his life, there's a rival titan of industry who wants revenge on Jesse, there's layers of secrets for Ava to unravel....  

My problem? Jesse. He's beyond controlling to manipulative, and it made me hugely uncomfortable. The labelling of their sexual encounters as "retribution", "sense" or "reminder" and so on really drove me up the wall. Sex became a weapon between them rather than something more profound or simply passion. I found it hard to see it as creating a connection between Ava and Jesse when it was always about teaching a lesson. Even if I viewed the lesson-teaching as play between them, it still made me uncomfortable because it was a game that was *always* on.  

Meanwhile, the driving plot point of the third book, for which Jesse is responsible, was also really frustrating. I felt like it was a real violation of Ava, and that it was really the cherry on top of how manipulative Jesse was.

Now, Ava's not really a prize. She was pretty immature and I think if she'd been more capable of making a decision and sticking to it AND of sticking up for herself - then these books might have been quite a bit different and perhaps more enjoyable. But because she waffles, and doesn't hold Jesse to any kind of reasonable behaviour....  

The Bottom Line:

This trilogy is really popular - I think if you're a fan of Fifty Shades, you might like it. Unfortunately, it just did not do it for me, and though I held out through the third book hoping for a climactic turn around.... Not so much.

I cannot recommend the series, but I acknowledge that your experience with them could be vastly different.

2 stars
For fans of Fifty Shades, erotica featuring control, manipulative men.

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