This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
3* – USE THE DAMN SPELL CHECK!!
I really wanted to like this book. It had so many excellent reviews and I liked the fact that it was set in the UK. So much erotica is from the States and, while that’s no bad thing, there’s some peculiar part of me that thinks everything sounds so much kinkier in British English.
The story centres around Ava and Jesse. She is an interior designer, coming up the ranks and soon to do big things. He is the mysterious millionaire. So far so standard. The fact that he owns a high-price sex club is fairly obvious from the get-go and more than once I found myself thinking that Ava was a little dense not to realise it sooner than she did. There are a few supporting cast members – Kate, Ava’s housemate and friend, Sam, Jesse’s friend, work-colleague and eventually Kate’s lover, and a few other minor but faintly clichéd characters. Gay Tom? Really? He was so stereotypical it was almost offensive. But I digress…
Ava and Jesse meet on a project he wants her to do. To give the author credit, she doesn’t do the dreaded insta-love in that sappy way that makes it so unbearable to read. It starts out as lust, and that I do understand. I’ve been rendered speechless by meeting a gorgeous guy, so I could believe it in this book. I could even believe the first scene in the bathroom where they lose all control and get it on. Let’s face it…if Jensen Ackles walked in right now and manhandled me up against a wall, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to muster the mental capacity to turn him down either.
What I can’t believe is the way he single-mindedly pursues her. There’s cocky and then there’s downright stalkerish. If someone said to me that they wanted to know how loud they could make me scream their name, I’d probably find it funny and be a little turned on. If said person then called me forty-two times in a row because I wasn’t answering, I would call the Police and block the number.
Stalkery bits aside, when they do finally get their act together and resolve the whole issue of whether or not he has another girlfriend, he begins to use sex as a weapon. She is utterly incapable of saying no and he is utterly incapable of doing anything in a way that doesn’t send her off the deep end. What evolves is a litany of him doing scarily controlling things, her getting angry about it and him banging her brains out to get her to shut up. That’s it. The grand sum and total of the ‘storyline’. Control, rage, sex…ad infinitum.
I cannot lie. The sex scenes are steamy. REALLY steamy. But, and it’s a big but, the author is clearly writing about things she’s either never experienced or is a little hazy on the memories of, because a fair portion of it is physically impossible and/or certainly would not be pleasurable.
What lets this book down spectacularly, though, are the typos. I can forgive using the odd wrong word out of context here and there, but this was a mess: wrong words, multitudinous misspellings and a whole lot of words that were altogether made up. That’s unforgivable. The most basic of spelling checks would have corrected most of them. There is no such word as ‘writher’ to my knowledge, yet she uses it constantly instead of writhe.
I do have to tell you about my favourite typo though, considering it’s so apt in terms of current affairs. “He cried out horsely as he drove into her.” Neigh. Cue much helpless sniggering on my part at the mental image of our hero pretending to be a horse while…ahem…riding 😉 Funny for all the wrong reasons.
I did briefly consider buying book 2, even going so far as to look at it on Amazon, but given the price (£3.70) and all the negative reviews stating it’s descended into outright abuse, I chose not to download it. There are far better written examples of erotica out there for an equal or lesser price.
It scored 0 on tears and 5 on chillis.