This Man – Book 1
Rating 3 Stars
There was a lot of build up for me for this book. It’s like a movie that everyone has saw and tells you how great it is, so you finally go see the movie, and are a little underwhelmed and don’t understand the hype. That’s how I felt about this book. I wanted to love it…but I just liked it. Before someone starts booing me, let me say that I really liked the second book, “Beneath This Man”, a whole lot more than this one, but I’ll get to that later (see below).
Let’s start with what was great about this book. 1) The music playlist (in both books actually). This by far had the best playlist that I’ve seen yet. Massive Attack’s “Teardrops” and “Angel”, Sam Sparro’s “Black & Gold”, Placebo’s “Running Up the Hill” – yes please! 2) The ending. This book was definitely one that got better towards the end, which is normal for a trilogy. 3) The cliff hanger was great and made me anxious to read the second book. I’m glad I waited to read this book until the second one came out. It would’ve been hard for me to wait to see what happened. And 4) the writing. It was great writing and a great story.
Now what made me feel a little underwhelmed. I’m not going to sugar coat this. I was annoyed, pretty much the whole book, with both of the main characters, Ava and Jesse. Let’s start with Ava. I really liked her at the beginning. She was independent and strong and stood up for herself. But as soon as she meets Jesse those characteristics seems to get lost to the hesitant, timid Ava. I again have a hard time with women who avoid their problems and she definitely avoided any conflict/communication with Jesse. She assumes a lot of things when it comes to him and instead of asking him about them, she just believed her assumption. She also ran away and ignored him…a lot.
Now on to Jesse. Is he hot? Hell yes and I don’t care how old he is although the suspense of finding out was a good one (you don’t find out until Book 2). But, he’s a total stalker. Anything over 5 calls or texts that go unreturned is in the stalker realm. Minus the age suspense, he was a total mystery. He never answered any question about himself and Ava let it slide! He was also a little brash. I mean the first question he asked her after their first meeting was “How loud do you think you’ll scream when I f*** you?”. Now normally I am all for blunt men who say what they want. But he said this after she repeatedly ignored his calls and texts. This is not the way to woo buddy. Red flag central. I will say that one of my favorite redeeming qualities is his taste in music.
There was also a LOT of sex in this one. It was one scene after another. It was very well written but after a while it got a little repetitious. It reminded me of the first book in the Fifty Shades series. Not a lot of story, just a lot of sex. I knew going into this that this book was going to be sexual in nature, but I would’ve liked a little more story and answers. Instead it was filled with reminder sex, sleepy sex, etc. I think the reason it bothered me was because for pretty much the whole book there was no answers to the questions.
Beneath This Man – Book 2
Rating: 3.5 starts – 4 stars
***NOTE: Don’t read this review if you have not read Book 1***
I’m going to jump right into this one. This one was hard to give a set rating for. It started out very similar to the first book, which annoyed me because there still were no answers given. We found Jesse in a drunken coma (is he an alcoholic? that’s debatable) and they fall back into the same routine. Him not communicating or telling her anything and her not asking questions or demanding answers. I was frustrated as this book started.
However, I was pleasantly surprised as it went on and by the time I finished I can look back and say I really enjoyed this book and am really looking forward to the final book to come out. First off, we find out a lot of answers to our questions. We find out how old Jesse is – which was not as shocking as I though it’d be – and we get a little more back story on Jesse as well.
Second, I liked Ava a lot in this book. Although she started off the same as in the first book, she grew (or got back) her strength and knew she needed answers but began to get creative in figuring them out. Truth sex. Smart. And by the end of the book, when she went to The Manor and found Jesse almost totally broken from what he saw on the security footage – the strength she found in herself was…impressive. I was really proud of her for getting her fighting spirit take over.
Third, the last half of the book was just great. Between the attentions of another older man who wants revenge on Jesse, to the ex-lover who is still in love with Jesse, to Ava’s need to challenge everything Jesse asks to the extreme, to what happened between Sarah and Jesse, to Ava’s response in the communal room, to the dinner with the family. Wow. A lot happened and it was enthralling.
Fourth, as an owner of a fitness studio, the rowing sex. Wow. I can never look at a rower the same. That was hot.
This book was great and was really worth the wait. I’m so glad I got to read it immediately after the first book too. I’m really looking forward to the final book in the trilogy.