Book Review: With This Man ( This Man #4) – Jodi Ellen Malpas

Synopsis

Jesse Ward is back in the newest novel in the #1 New York Times Bestselling This Man series!

Life is good for Jesse “The Lord” Ward. Perfect, actually. He still has the charm, he’s in great shape, and he still reduces his wife, Ava, to a pool of desire with a mere look. He’s in full control, just how he likes it.

But Jesse’s perfect world falls apart when a terrible accident lands Ava in the hospital with a life-threatening head injury. Devastated and angry, he feels like his entire existence hangs in the balance. He cannot survive without this woman’s love. So when she finally comes around, his shaking world begins to level out. But his nightmare doesn’t end there. It’s only just begun. Because his wife can’t remember the last sixteen years of her life. That’s all of him. All of their time together. He is a stranger to her.

Now Jesse must do whatever it takes to find her memories . . . and help her fall madly, passionately in love with him all over again.

My Thoughts

Jesse Ward. The Lord of the Manor. The passionate nutcase of all romantic nutcases. My man. The only crazed book boyfriend I will ever accept.

He´s back and he´s on a damn mission. To help his Ava remember…..

I´m a huge `This Man´ fan. I don´t have the Hoodie ( or the oversized sleep shirt. I´m tempted, though ) but I still consider myself a huge fan. Huge. Really.

Anyway…

You can imagine how I reacted when I found out about a book #4, `With This Man`? With this manGood golly! I was doing my infamous book rain dance around the house. I even pre-ordered the book on Amazon ( something I never do ).

It came. I read. I…..

Let´s put it this way: You should be a fan to appreciate `With This Man` by Jodi Ellen Malpas. I can´t see any other way accepting this read would work.

The books in the `This Man`trilogy tell a pretty over fluffed, intense, totally far-fetched story about a guy who´s overly obsessed with a woman but in a questionable way.

A natural-born, modern Neanderthal.

It´s been a long while since I last held the This Man trilogy in my hands. I remember thinking of ways I would have put him down ( the good old Frying Pan – Over – The – Head method is still my absolute favorite ). That´s how absurd the male protagonist was…is.

Still. Despite not actually liking caveman behaviorism in romances I did love Jesse Ward. I loved his love story. I can´t explain why.

Reading `With This Man` pulled me back to my private Jesse cloud. But was I as mesmerized as I was years ago?

Yes and no.
Let´s break this down.

Yes, I loved revisiting old characters. I loved seeing where their story continued. Jesse Ward is hard to ignore or forget. I loved how passionate he was. I loved how he treated life ( his life being his children and wife ). I enjoyed his POV. Because the story was mainly told from his perspective. The wonderful walk down memory lane was great. With great patience Jesse fought to help Ava remember everything. The pain of losing memories and still making new ones – Not a shabby idea.

With all the love I felt for this book, there can´t possibly be anything negative, right?

Weeeeell * sigh *, there were 2 things that bugged me. Two tiny details I didn´t care for much.

  1. Jesse has gone a tad soft. I get it. A person changes with age. I guess it´s only natural for fictional characters to go through the same change as us mortal folk do. The intensity wasn´t as strong, though.

The threat of the story. It would have been completely enough for the Heroine to get her memory back. That, alone, is something to celebrate huge. But to recycle characters is not on my “Holy f*****g cow! You got me there!” list.

I´m a “Threat dealt with? Let´s move on. New threat? Wonderful.” type of person. I would have prefered to have seen a new threat instead of something I´ve seen before.

With that being said –  I still enjoyed `With This Man`. It´s not as over – the – moon spectacular but still okay. The writing was, as always, a pleasure. The dialogue was great. I´m still a fan of Jodi Ellen Malpas.

That´s why I´m going to go ahead and rate this with 4 out of 5 stars.

Without my Jesse love I´d flat out rate this with 3 stars because… well, the recycling wasn´t a great move.

 

Would I re-read this book? Probably. If I´m in the mood. Certainly bits and pieces. A chapter here. A chapter there. I may skip the ending.  I´d rather read the first 3 books, though.

Would I recommend this book? Yes and no. For any Jodi Ellen Malpas fan, I´d say YES! It´s a must have. But if you´re not into overbearing, possessive, obsessive Heroes then I´d say this isn´t the book for you.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( I like the white. I like the rings and the flower. Very simple, easy on the eyes and still eye-catchy )

The Story – 3-4 stars ( The idea of Ava losing her memory was great. But to add the threat from the other 3 books? I think I´ll pass.)

The Characters 4-5 stars ( It´s been great having the Manor gang back and seeing how Jesse and Ava had progressed but Jesse… My man, what happened? )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Happy. Not overly satisfied but still happy.

4 stars

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase Links  This Man ( #1 ) , Beneath This Man ( #2 )This Man Confessed ( #3 )

With This Man ( #4 )  With this man

Instagram Book Box Feature

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Fictional Romance Hero vs. Husband: Experiment

Low and behold – I present to you modern-day book Heroes!

That just sounded like I was introducing some exotic creature, right? Well, I am. Sort of.

I´m talking about the manly figures in romance novels. Male protagonists. The men women swoon over while reading a romance novel. Or as I like to call them now-a-days… Passionate nut-jobs. 

You think I´m exaggerating? I assure you, I´m not.
I know I know, people reading those popular genres love their passionate nut-jobs. You know what I´m talking about. Those characters who are so bat-shit crazy, no real-life person would ever go near them, not even for money ( at least I wouldn´t ).

Romance is a popular genre and if a romance novel has the whole package then it´s like winning the damn lottery. The only problem is- These heroes are more dramatic and painted out to be the best of the best in the worst way possible.

The fictional characters some authors create are often beyond words. It´s a good thing they´re not real.

I´ve enjoyed a few of those characters a few years ago, before those characters turned into psychopaths.

Yeah, I used to get all excited by the caveman behavior. I was a member of the „ Lusting after X“ society. Swoon here…swoon there. *sigh * It was fun until every new hero became more crazier. After that….I quit the swooning. It wasn´t worth it. Maybe because I didn´t find stalking romantic, or MAYBE I think way to realistic.

These days, a lot of authors like to create characters who have power, who like full control in all areas, and who love to wash their heroines hair…like- all the time! YIKES! Now, some might find that to be the Jackpot…..I find it not necessary because both my arms aren´t broken. I´d also poison any  hero who´d treat me like their possession. 

X: ” You´re MINE! SAY IT! * him, thumping chest with fists*

Me: * eyes wide * ” I´m yours? ” * listening to crickets chirp *

X: ” I´m not convinced! Say you´re mine FOREVER!”

Me: ” Sure, I´m yours. Til the day you die.”  * waiting for X to go to bed so I can hit him on the head with a frying pan *

I´ve noticed there are 3 major Hero-types in the romance/erotica/New Adult novel world.

The Baby Billionaire ( the untouchable CEO´s )

The College Lunatic ( the passionate nut-jobs, game players)

The Bad Boy ( the social outcasts, the rebels )

And what do these 3 character-types have in common? They´re all obsessive, all passionate, and all ready for the funny farm. They ALL love to wash women´s hair. They ALL love to see their women eat, and they LOVE to be the judge of everything, including having the last word when it comes to clothes, friends, and having fun. In short- They´re all unbelievably wacko when they find their significant others. Those 3 Hero-types will do anything and go to great lengths to keep their woman.

Now, in reality, it´s kind of mandatory to have a relationship where both would do alot for each other. I want to see my husband happy and my husband wants to see me happy. But fictional characters these days? That´s a whole new level of relationship there.

Some authors will let their heroes rip plane tickets into a million pieces, let a hero hide the pill, and let a hero beat the crap out of any other male who even sneezes near their partners. If you ask me- that´s plain absurd. As if letting those characters go ape-shit is a romantic thing. The crazier, the better, right? RIGHT? In my world, it´s not reeeaaally right. Jealousy- Fine. I´m good with a suitable amount of jealousy. 

Again…I´m only talking about the millions of books that have been doing their rounds in the book world. ( Note: Not all romances, just many)

Have any of you wondered what life would be like if our „real life husbands / boyfriends / Fiancès would act like those characters? Would you like it if your better half washes your hair? Would you enjoy the things that happen in those books? I bet some readers would love to have the same sex life as the characters they read about have..:-) Which is fine, really. But, It might not be the sex that´s so awesome- maybe it´s just the way the author writes about it that fascinates a reader. Ever thought about that? Or the fact that book people have more sex than a reader does.

ANYWAYS….

After months and months of playing out the „ what if´s“ after finishing a romance novel, I wanted to find out for myself if a book character´s life was all that fancy. I did a little experiment with my poor husband. It´s not like I have better things to do, right?

So…here´s what I did.

Mind you- My husband is the most silent and easy going person I know. He hardly get´s overly emotional but he does get confused when you ask him questions. Odd, out of the blue, questions throw him off. He´ll tell you what he wants for dinner within 0.3 seconds but don´t ask him what you should wear before going out together. The answer might never pass his lips.

Test #1 ( Washing Heroine´s Hair )

Me: „ Honey, can you wash my hair?“

Hubby: „ What´s wrong?“

The look on his face- Priceless. 

Me: „ Nothing. I just thought you´d like to wash my hair. I heard that men do that alot.“

Hubby: Confused, “You sure?”

Me: „ Totally. Men do it to worship their better half.“

Hubby: „ I worship you everyday without wanting to wash your hair.“

He´s right. And he also knows I would never ask him to wash my hair but he did it anyways. Because he loves me. Poor guy. He made an effort, I have to give him that much. That same night I got my special pamper treatment I asked for.  I sat in the tub and let him wash my hair. Would you like to know how it felt? My own husband acted like my head was made out of fragile glass. He was too careful. Lol. But when I told him he needed to wash my hair, not massage it he took my words to heart and scrubbed the life out of my scalp. To this day I´m convinced he reduced the thickness of my hair to half of what it was.

And let me tell you- My face and eyes have never been as clean before, either. I nearly drowned because he didn´t know what to do with the showerhead ( so he accidentally held it against my face. Sure thing. I understand. Guys + showerheads = incompatible.) 

He told me that he loved me and that he never wanted to wash my hair again. Not until I get them well-trimmed. I agreed. In fact- I told him that I loved him but never wanted him near my hair, ever again. There was nothing remotely sexy or sensual about the act itself. I didn´t feel closer to my husband. I didn´t enjoy the feeling of his uncoordinated movements on my head ( my ears don´t have hair in them yet. Doubt they ever will have any for the next 30 years too) I feared for my life. I gasped for air. I´m traumatized. 

 

Test #2 ( Buying clothes for the Heroine )

Me: „ Honey, have you ever thought about picking out clothes for me to wear?“

Hubby: „ Come again?“

Me: „ Don´t you want to be the one who decides what I should wear?“

Hubby: „ Me?!“

Me: „ Just asking. Maybe you can go out and buy me a new dress?“

Hubby: No. Go buy your own dress.“

Me: „ Then maybe you could offer me your credit card. Show me you want to take care of me.“

Hubby: You might never come back if I give you my credit card.“

It took alot of will power not to burst out laughing at the sight of my poor husbands face. He looked so lost. Confused.The end-result of the “buy me a dress” test? I failed. For the rest of that day he just looked at me like I had lost my marbles. I can´t say I didn´t try, though.

Test #3 ( Chose a Meal for Heroine )

( we decided to go to McDonald’s while the girls were at Grandma´s )

Hubby: „ Should I order first or do you already know what you want to eat?“

Me: „ Uuhm, just order what you think is okay for me.“

Hubby: Confused, „ What?“

Me: „ I said, you order for me. But don´t tell me what you´re ordering. Order it in french and just bring it to me.“ 

He then bent towards my ear and whispered softly, afraid someone would hear him.

Hubby: „ We´re at McDonald’s. And I´m seconds away from calling your mom.“

Me: Evil eyed, „ Fine. Nuggets and fries.“

Douche-bag threatened to call my mom just because I was doing a study on Fictional Hero vs. Real Husband. Pfft.

It took a while for my husband to speak to me again but he did. When we finished eating and were back in the car, on our way home. But he only said “We need to talk.”. On the inside, I was cracking up but kept a straight face until we got home and had our little chitchat. 

The end of that story was- Hubby thought I was having an affair ( how he came to that conclusion is a mystery to me). I assured him that wasn´t the case. Then he thought I was taking medication, having a meltdown, a mid-life crisis, etc etc. I told him what I was doing. That I wanted to find out what life as a fictional character was like.

He told me I needed professional help.

The end result of my little experiment-  Life actually sucks as a fictional character ( well, it didn´t work for me). But I did have fun. I guess that´s what matters most, right?

Any author can write about whatever they want. They should just be careful about how crazed the make their heroes.

So, why is it hundreds of readers wish they had character X as their partner? What good would ever come out of it?  What´s the appeal? 

Let´s collect signatures and go against the madness. Surely, authors are capable of writing a love story without making their characters full-blown lunatics.