Read from: 02nd March
To: 14th March
Format: Audible audiobook
Length: 17 hours 15 minutes/448 pages
When Fifty Shades of Grey erupted way back in 2012, there was a massive rise in the popularity of erotic novels and slowly they started creeping into mainstream marketing. I had seen the This Man trilogy around for a while before I actually used one of my Audible credits to get the first audiobook, but I was quite intrigued by the book. On Goodreads, Fifty Shades has a rating of 3.66/5, whereas This Man has a rating of 4.17 (and is also a #1 New York Times Best Selling Series, like the Fifty Shades trilogy). I think the fact that This Man has a higher rating may be down to the fact that it isn’t as popular as Fifty Shades, which means less people are likely to have down-voted it, but with over 85,000 ratings currently, it is still a hugely popular book!
This Man, by Jodi Ellen Malpas, centres around a young girl named Ava O’Shea – an interior designer – who has a consultation at a place called The Manor with its owner, Jesse Ward. When she meets him, he completely astounds her with his godly physical appearance and unwavering confidence. She tries to fight her own feelings for him, but his playboy lifestyle has led to a charming demeanour she just cannot escape from. As much as she tries to deny her own feelings, she can’t help but feel drawn to him, despite knowing in her head that it will end in heartbreak. But can she put the distance between them when he just wants her?
It is cookie cutter
I am going to start off by saying that overall, I actually really did like the book. That in mind, I thought there were lots of aspects in this book that felt very cookie cutter: the main male character is rich, damaged and controlling, the main girl is very relatable and a typical ‘everyday’ type of person. The male is very self-assured and pursues the female. Sound familiar? I definitely noticed similarities between this book and 50 Shades of Grey as well as the Crossfire series. I didn’t think it was a bad thing, per se, it just felt very similar to what has already been done in this genre.
The plot is somewhat aimless
At 448 pages, it’s a pretty long book. Though it definitely isn’t the longest book I’ve ever read or listened to, it isn’t a short or quick read. With that in mind, there were definitely times when it felt as though the plot was a little aimless, and a lot of the content could have been cut from the book to make it a bit more of a suitable length.
Enjoyable writing style
I actually really enjoyed Jodi’s writing style – it was very easy to listen to and it was also incredibly captivating. I was listening to this book at almost every opportunity possible, which meant I got through the book pretty quickly. However…
The ending wasn’t an ending
I was kind of disappointed with the ending. As I said, I enjoyed the book and I really didn’t want it to end, which I think was a credit to the writing style and the characters that the author had created, but it definitely felt like the ending could have been the main plot arc instead of the cliffhanger at the end of the book. I didn’t really feel as though it was a strong enough ending for the book, and the way in which it was written (especially considering there is a sequel to the book) made it seem as though she had written an 800+ page book that needed splitting into two, and this was the scene she chose to be the breaking point. It didn’t feel like there was much of a climax or resolution to the book but rather it was ‘just another issue’ that Jesse and Ava were facing.
One of the things I don’t understand about books like this is the characters who dive headfirst into relationships when they know they shouldn’t. Maybe that is because it is something I have never experienced, but it doesn’t seem particularly realistic or relatable to me. I kind of wanted to scream at Ava to listen to her instincts and slow down because of how quickly she rushed into things with Jesse, which was kind of irritating!
So many adult scenes!
There are a lot of explicit scenes. Take this as you will – there were definitely times when I felt the heat but on the flip side there were a lot of times when I thought that the scene was just a filler and didn’t really help the plot at all. You could have cut out about half of the sex scenes and it would have been just as good a book.
The characters are a little annoying…[POSSIBLE SPOILERS] It seemed as though Ava kept running away from the relationship and then going back to Jesse, who was also incredibly (read: way too) possessive at times. I enjoyed the characters on the most part but they were definitely both flawed in major ways, some of which led to the book feeling quite repetitive. However on the whole, I definitely liked the characters more than I disliked them, however I thought that – again – a lot of the book could have been cut out if the characters didn’t act so repetitively.
Overall rating: 8/10
Writing quality: 8/10
Feel good: 4/10
Recommend: I definitely enjoyed this book and was super captivated to finish it. If you liked novels like Fifty Shades of Grey or the Crossfire series, or if you like seeing all aspects of a relationship in a book, then I would definitely recommend this novel. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a book filled with drama then I would also suggest picking this one up, so long as you don’t mind a fair few explicit scenes!
Have you read this book, or this series? What did you think? Is it on your list of books to read?