Reviewed for Sara at www.HarlequinJunkie.com
Review copy courtesy of publisher via NetGalley
Ugh. I hate giving shit reviews. I really hate giving shit reviews after reading barely half of a book. But I gave this book chance after to chance to redeem itself and I put up with it for as long as I could and I could still only get about halfway through this book. If I could give this book zero stars, I would.
I can't think of one thing that I liked about this book. It kills me to say that but I think that there has not been a book that I've ever read that I've liked less than This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas. It felt like an absolute rip off of every other "billionaire dominant" that has been churning out of the publishing houses. Except that in this one, that "billionaire dominant" is not really a dominant. He's more like an obsessive, abusive psycho. But I digress... Let's get into this thing and then YOU can make up your own mind.
I'm going to start where I normally start: with the heroine. Ava was okay but I think its an insult to real heroines to give Ava that label. The only time she even remotely stands up for herself is when she's thinking about what she wishes she could say to Jesse. If she said even one quarter of the things she thought, I'd probably still be reading this book. Normally, I love my female characters to have a job or a career. Ava has one and she's an interior designer. I think that's great! But the first few paragraphs were dedicated to all this interior design jargon and I was totally lost. I ended up reading and re-reading this section to see if I was missing something and I still never really understood what she was talking about. I'd love to tell you more about Ava but there wasn't much more to her. She goes to work, drinks too much wine at home, has sex, starts over. There's nothing else to her, at least not in my opinion.
Jesse is the "hero" of this book. There's no way this guy was a hero. No way in hell. Like I said earlier, he wasn't much better than a rapist. But let's get to that later. First, we see his obsessive stalker side. He requests Ava by name to work on his house/mansion/hotel. When she's at his place, trying to see what kind of design he wants for his interiors, he sneaks her phone out of her purse, goes through her contact list, adds his name and phone number to her contacts and assigns himself a ringtone. Now I won't mention how stupid you are, as a woman, to leave your purse unattended with a stranger so let's just get right to the fact that Jesse is a freak and an asshole. He brushes her leg "on accident" during their meeting. I mean, hello, perv!? Later, he calls her and she doesn't answer. He proceeds to call her some 40 more times. I'm not kidding. The author wrote something about 40 missed calls from Jesse! Then the next day, another 20 calls. Are you shitting me? After the first 20 calls, I'd be switching my phone number or blocking his number from my phone! Later still, Jesse bursts into Ava's apartment, proceeds to yell at her for not answering her phone, grabs a glass out of her hand and throws it across the room, into the sink, where it smashes into a thousand pieces, keeps walking towards her after she's asked him to leave, takes her panties off after she's asked him to leave and then has the gall to start fucking her. What made me finally put the book down was when the author tried to convince the reader that this was all okay by having Jesse call this a reminder fuck. Y'know, a reminder of how much she wants and needs him blah blah blah. Unfortunately, all it reminded me of was to google "date rape". Put me out of my misery.
Never mind the fact that I could barely understand ANY of what was written. This was obviously written by an English author, written for an English audience, all of whom live in London. The slang threw me for a loop and I was guessing at what the author was trying to say. The secondary characters were crap as well. Especially Ava's supposed best friend, Kate. Kate seemingly reports Ava's whereabouts to Jesse at every turn. When Jesse barrels into Ava and Kate's apartment, its Kate that let him in and its Kate that leaves Ava and Jesse alone after Jesse has already begun screaming at Ava about not answering her phone. All throughout the book, Jesse yells at Ava for cussing, which is dumb enough but when Jesse says, "Watch your fucking mouth" I have to say that I was thinking, "Hey dude, fuck you."
I'm shocked and appalled that this book has so many rave reviews on Goodreads. I must be missing something. I have to be. I've loved all of the trilogies that had a rich BDSM/dominant hero and the novice heroine that he inexplicably loves. Maybe they weren't all perfect books but I really enjoyed reading all the ones I've read. But this book only pissed me off and I really hated every single character in here. There is no way that I'd pick up another book by this author. If this is what passes for sexy heroes and plucky heroines for this author, you can count me out.