REVIEW: This Woman by Jodi Ellen Malpas


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Jesse Ward has stumbled through life drinking and indulging himself within the rooms of his high-class sex club, The Manor, numbing himself to the pain, grief, and guilt of his wrongs. Pleasure and alcohol are his medicine. Hedonism is all he knows.

It’s how he copes.

How he survives.

Until Ava O’Shea strolls into his office and knocks him back with her breathtaking beauty, ambition, and drive. It only takes one look into her eyes, one touch of her skin, and one word murmured, before his heart is kick-started, offering him something he never thought possible. A distraction from his daily torment. A semblance of peace.

Women never reject Jesse Ward. They fall at his feet, melt from his charismatic, devious smile, and obey his every salacious command. All except the one woman who unwittingly becomes his obsession and the only thing that can keep him from the brink of self-destruction.

He needs Ava and will do anything to have her.

Even hide every last skeleton in his large closet.

Because the truth could destroy them both.

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I started reading romance in earnest in the post Fifty Shades days of 2011, and that book—that series—started me on a path that I’m still following 11 years later. I branched out after Fifty, and that’s how I found Jodi Ellen Malpas, Jesse Ward and her unforgettable This Man series. I read a lot of books in those early days, but few have stayed with me in the way that the This Man series did. If you haven’t read the This Man series, it’s required reading before diving into This Woman.

I really don’t want to give anything away. But…if you read This Man and think you know the story, you’re in for a wonderful surprise. This Woman was so much more than a simple retelling of the epic love story of Jesse Ward and Ava O’Shea. In heart-wrenching detail Malpas takes readers into the mind of Jesse. I knew he was a complex, complicated character, but I had no idea. Jesse’s version broke my heart, but it sure did give me a different perspective of him. He was such a neurotic, obsessive character, reckless and wild—and now I understand why.

Malpas glorious prose paints a vivid picture here with her intense attention to detail, and I really loved seeing the secondary characters through Jesse’s eyes. This may be an OG contemporary romance, but this trip through the gates of The Manor was an entirely different experience than the first time. This Woman was palpably passionate, emotionally engaging and devastatingly developed, and I simply could not put it down. My heart raced, ached and soared throughout this captivating story, and I have a whole new appreciation for this much beloved hero. Five smooches from me for This Woman by Jodi Ellen Malpas.

~Danielle Palumbo



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