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Publisher's Summary

Book 2 of the #1 New York Times bestselling This Man trilogy.

Jesse Ward drowned her with his intensity and blindsided her with his passion, but he kept her away from his dark secrets and broken soul. Leaving him was the only way Ava O'Shea could survive. She should have known that Jesse Ward is impossible to escape - and now he's back in her life, determined to remind her of the sensual pleasures they had shared. Ava is equally determined to get at the truth beneath this man's steely exterior. That means letting herself get close to the Lord of the Manor once more. And it's exactly where Jesse wants her - within touching distance…

©2013 Jodi Ellen Malpas (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

This was all sorts of crazy!

First off, Ava and Jesse are one messed up couple. And Jesse is more than just a dominating alpha male, he is all sorts of crazy and twisted. I found myself screaming at Ava for being so stupid for hanging on to this relationship….seriously?? He might be rich and handsome but he is totally cray-cray! From hiding birth control bills to forcing a marriage proposal via sex… It was all just so over-the-top.

This book was just as repetitive as the first one and did drag on and on with the sex, fighting, drama, etc. When there was an actual plot it was very good. I have such mixed feelings about this book. It was like the proverbial train wreck….I couldn’t look away, or in this case I couldn’t stop listening.

Compared to others in this genre, I thought it was better than the Crossfire or Stark trilogies but doesn’t compete with the Blackstone Affair. I’m certain I will get the third book simply because I can’t stand not knowing how it all ends.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Mentally exhausted from this whirlwind romance!

Despite the fact that this book mentally exhausted me like no other book ever has, I did find myself spellbound by Ava and Jesse's unique and dramatic love life and I was unable to stop listening to their over-the-top crazy story. Eventually, I really did end up liking the second part of this trilogy much more than the first one. This book was so intense and I was utterly lost and transfixed in their world. Jesse & Ava in the depths of despair at the end of This Man. Both of them are broken by what has happened and their relationship is seemingly in ruins. They’re both in pieces and wrecked and, Jesse especially, hell-bent on self-destruction. This was done so very well – their broken hearts and intense overwhelming sadness leap vividly to life right off the page and their despair is palpable. They’re just lost without each other. Anyways, Jesse's friends come to Ava for help and so ensues the beginnings of their reconciliation. Eventually, Jesse is back to his arrogant, alpha, dominant controlling glory with sleepy sex, sense fucks, reminder fucks and now even retribution fucks. The steam factor in this book is through the roof!! I honestly didn't think Jesse Ward could seem anymore crazy but in Beneath This Man, the guy introduced us to a whole new level of borderline DELUSIONAL! At one point, I became appalled with their relationship but soon came to the realization that its just who they are(crazy in love). Throughout the book, the couple has their ups and downs. Jesse still held a lot of secrets from Ava until the end. Jesse finally opens up towards the end of the book and explains where he was AND what he was doing during those days he disappeared in the first book This Man. When he revealed this, my heart broke for Ava because she was devastated. Beneath This Man is a beautiful, captivating, conflicting, tortuous romance that had me completely consumed by their story. This book provides a wild ride, a rollercoaster of emotions, a train wreck and a beautiful prelude of what's to come in the next chapter in their story.... This book was definitely better for me than the first. I don't know what the third installment will bring, but I can't wait to find out!

40 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Justagirl
  • Tacoma, WA, United States
  • 02-18-14

What the ........ ???

The Damaged Dominant seems to be a running theme these days, but this one pushes that beyond the norm. The first book was enjoyable, this one...I wanted to choke the crap out of both of them.

He's a disaster......with obsessive behaviors that border on abusive. The adolescent wall / window punching, trying to separate her from friends and family, jealousy driven outbursts manipulations and assorted other generally creepy attributes just start to grate on you about half way through. I'm not even delving into the Binge drinking / I'm not an alcoholic thread.

Her acceptance of his sabotaging her career, beating up random men, and karmic backlash of his "reckless" Life are just a little much.

Perhaps if we didn't push so hard for the trilogy this might have been ok......I would rather read one great book then three with random made up issues that border on psychosis to fill space.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

so very frustrating

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

NO, this book was so frustrating and annoying. The first book was great, but this book showed her to be weak and stupid and him to be an overbearing, egotistical, arrogant man.

Has Beneath This Man turned you off from other books in this genre?

no, but maybe from this author

Which character – as performed by Edita Brychta – was your favorite?

Kate

What would have made this romance irresistible?

if he hadnt been so arrogant

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I WAS RIVETED!!

What a stellar follow up from This Man! Book 2 was excellent from beginning to end. I seriously didn't want this book to end. I have developed an unhealthy attachment to this series and these characters, and I can't wait to see what happens next. I'm totally in love with Jesse and all his neuroticism, but, I got pretty ticked off with him in this installment--quite a bit is revealed, and it made me want to spit nails, but, I pressed on :-) I laughed, I almost cried, my mouth kept flying open in disbelief, and I found myself literally holding my breath during various moments in the story this time around. The relationship between Jesse and Ava is so incredibly intense it's insane, but, I truly adore these two together. This is such a well written story, and although it's comparable to 50 Shades, I enjoyed it 10 times more. I highly recommend Beneath This Man, it's a keeper and definite repeat listen!!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I'm so involved

I have to admit this series has taken me. From the first book, to this one, I'm useless. I pay no attention to the outside world. This world has captivated me. Now I must wait until the next book. It's an amazing series and well worth you credit's; time; money; family/friend irritation due to your lack of inattention.... need I say more?

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Longest.Book.Ever

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book is for someone who doesn't mind stories about abusive controlling men.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jodi Ellen Malpas again?

I doubt it.

What about Edita Brychta’s performance did you like?

The narrator was fine.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Beneath This Man?

All the times Jesse was an a** to Ava. Which is the entire book.

Any additional comments?

I like a good smut book. After reading 50 Shades I was on the lookout for new books of the same type. This book is not it. I listened to the first of this trilogy and wasn't a fan but not completely turned off so went for the second hoping it'd get better. Nope, it gets worse. Jesse is a controlling and abusive jerk. Ava is stupid for continually going back to him after all the stuff he does and says to her. I will not be listening to the third book. I finished this only because I can't stop anything halfway through.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Keisha
  • Bridgetown, Barbados
  • 01-10-16

Migraine Inducing

Any additional comments?

This book literally gave me a migraine and because of that I cannot give the story a higher rating. I agree with some of the other reviews that it redeems itself in the end but it took too long to do so. I will still attempt the final book but number two did nothing for me. Too much unnecessary drama.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Marion, AR, United States
  • 05-08-14

Frustrating

While I can't stop listening, this is very frustrating to continue this back and forth about how crazy Jessie is and how insecure the "lady" is. Then the continuing remark of Jessie about her "mouth" when he spills language with every statement.

I will finish to see where this goes and probably read the last book but I'm not sure I understand why all the great reviews.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Yvette
  • GILBERT, AZ, United States
  • 04-08-14

ALMOST A TRAIN WRECK, BUT NOT QUITE

OH MY GOODNESS! Well, book 2 in this series certainly did not disappoint! I understand why so many who review this series jokingly say that they will need therapy post this reading because this romance is like a train running the tracks at break neck speeds that, many times, seems like it will come crashing out of the railings, but never quite does. This "coming close to the edge of a cliff, but not jumping" feeling is all because of the masterful writing of Jodi Ellen Malpas. What leads she has given us!! Readers need therapy because this romance is one you want to follow, but is not just unconventional, dysfunctional, unhealthy and implosive, but it's also cushioned by the aspects in the relationship which are tender, loving and sweet, and well, just feel right. And, it's all because of JESSIE WARD…lol

So our leads have endured 5 tortuous days without each other in a bad break up stage. Ava is sick and dejected, but Jessie is true to his over-the-top nature and is completely in meltdown mode. Ava cautiously comes to Jessie's side while he's down, but when Jessie regains his strength and wits, a better description is that Ava is swallowed by his side.

So, through out the book the relationship between Ava and Jessie is like a tight band of tension that represents Jessie's dominant will over Ava. Sometimes, the band loosens with Ava's prodding and opposition, but mostly, the band always bounces back to Jessie's corner of advantage. My feelings toward Jessie teetered from wanting to physically restrain him and beat him to feeling softness toward him because of his tender love for Ava.

In this book, Jessie's possessiveness of Ava has increased exponentially as she is his shiny, beautiful toy that he doesn't want to share with anyone and he will TRAMPLE anyone who impedes him from having his way with Ava. Yes, there's still more of the "sleepy sex,"reminder" sex, and "sense" sex; but you also have to add "sleepy" sex, "retaliation", sex, "al fresco" sex, "make-up" sex and "TRUTH" sex (which was introduced by Ava). Haha!!! That was one of my favorite parts in seeing Ava become more assertive. If you didn't realize already there is A LOT of sex in this book…I mean A LOT!

Even though I was hoping that Ava would acquire more control, power or influence in the relationship, sooner in the book (the first half seemed to be a series of Ava negotiating and ultimately losing the battle with Jessie's strong will), however, toward the latter part it becomes evident that Ava's strategy with Jessie was working toward the side of progress. After a major incident and turning point in the book where Jessie flies off of the handle and self-destructs in a bloody way, Ava responds in a manner that most sane people would not endorse. Yet this action initiated a series of deep talks between the pair and it spills out that Ava has much more control that she realizes. In addition, Jessie starts sharing parts of his heart that he has neurotically and protectively kept hidden for fear of losing Ava's love and affection.

Kate- I have mixed feelings about Ava's best friend. I don't like how she become secretive regarding her club activities and how she did not seem like the strongest advocate for Ava during major fighting scenes between Ava and Jessie. Toward the end, she did seem like a better friend….but just barely, in my eyes.

Sarah-OH I was so happy when Ava FINALLY put her in her place toward the end of the book. I wanted to see Sarah suffer more, but oh well, we have to be civil here…lol

Ruth Quinn-I can't wait to see what part she plays in book 3 as her pushy character was brought into this book for a reason.

Narrator: Edita Brychta is absolutely one of the best in the business. Her performance has been excellent for all characters. She has made this audiobook superb!!

So, the end of the book was absolutely fabulous!! And, even though I was "crazy mad" during many parts of this book, I also was able to "make friends" with Ava's love for her man, Jessie Ward…..that's all a part of living in "CENTRAL JESSIE CLOUD 9," I suppose.

NOW TO BOOK 3, THE FINALL INSTALLMENT!!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful