Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Agree to Disagree: This Man (Series) by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Leftie here. Before proceeding any further, please note we're covering a whole series here, so 3 books in total. Apologies ahead for the length...

RATING: ----

Via Goodreads

Leftie: I would've rated it lower or even say I didn't like it, but that would be totally hypocritical of me since I did end up finishing the book. And got me to read the next one too! Gah!

I'm not gonna focus on the minor editing issue (like "standing" is the progressive tense of "stand", not "stood", for starter), or the weak female character, or the over-the-top alpha male character who has extreme control issues, or the gratuitous sex, or the fact that it probably could have been 100 pages shorter, or the way it ended the way it ended leaving you hanging and no choice but to read the 2nd book, or the story (and the ending) giving me a feeling of "been there, read that" which made me less forgiving of the book... No I'm not gonna...

Like I said, yes, I did finish it and read the next one (I can only imagine how it would have been if I read this one with the 2nd one not published yet, with the way it ended... not even going there). Begrudgingly, despite it all, it hooked me in, so in my books, that's gotta count for something... *sigh*

Rightie: Despite the book's faults (mainly the repetitiveness of some phrases), I liked this book and is certainly better than some more-hyped books I've read in this genre. The author has a lot of potential and should definitely keep writing. Ava is not my favourite heroine, but I like Jesse Ward well enough;) Can't wait to read the second book!

Via Goodreads

Leftie: Again, I would've rated it lower or even say I didn't like it, but, again, that would be totally hypocritical of me since I did end up finishing the book.

Minor editing issue still there? Yup. Weak female character? Yup. And actually has gone more neurotic I thought. Over the top alpha male with control issues? Yup, still there, and has gone more over the top, if that's possible. Gratuitous sex? Yup, of course still there. They fought and have sex, fought and have sex, fought and have sex, get the idea? It was the only way he knows how to communicate, so went the explanation *raises eyebrow* Could the book have been shorter like the first one? Yup. HEA at least? Of course! Again, the story (and the ending) giving me a feeling of "been there, read that" which made me less forgiving of the book... 

Oh, and I don't get, in both books, the whole thing about him not liking when she swears and him swearing in the same breath. And I'm not even touching his issue with alcohol, and her issues, in general, nor his age issue, which made me brace myself, before it was revealed , in case he was in his 50's or something. There was an attempt to explain his behaviour near the end, a tad too late if I may add. If the characters were fleshed out more, instead of just the constant sex, that probably would have explained a lot of things. I guess that's the goal of the 3rd book. It is titled This Man Confessed after all. Not sure how to explain the female character though.

But hey, yes, I did finish it. Again, begrudgingly, despite it all, it hooked me in, again, even made me swoon a few times (how about that!), AND here's the kicker, I think I may just be looking forward to the 3rd one at that (just maybe), so in my books, that's gotta count for something... *sigh*

Rightie: I wanted to like this book. I really did, as I liked the first one. Alas, it was not meant to be. The constant fighting then making up, which I didn't mind in This Man, became quite tedious:( Some parts of the plot did not sit well with me ( ie. what happened the 4 days Jesse disappeared and the thing in the office with Sarah) although I will admit they are almost to be expected. Ava also irritated me to no end. 

I will point out that this was a fast read for me, which shows that Ms. Malpas knows how to tell a story. The build up to climactic events was well done.

Via Goodreads

Leftie: Considering the love-hate relationship I have with the first 2 books, the fact that I continued to read this last one is a testament to Ms. Malpas' writing, where I'm concerned.

Keeping this thought process along the same line as the other 2 books, let's see... Editing? Waaaay better. Ava, the h? Still neurotic, still don't like her. Jesse, the H? Still OTT but now has gotten just swoon-alicious, in a lovable alpha jerk way, for me anyway:p. Gratuitous sex? Not so much anymore, fortunately. Jesse berating Ava for swearing while he swears like a sailor himself? Not so much anymore either, fortunately. Could it have been shorter? Again, yes, but I didn't mind it as much this time around, maybe because I know it's the last in the series so it's the ending. 

This book...

~had me feeling definitely frustrated at times losing count the number of times I made a fist gesture in the air; 
~had me swooning for Jesse, for the most romantic lines I've read in a long while; 
~had me screaming at Ava up until the last 60 pages, didn't get her for the most part, real REAL shame that Ms. Malpas didn't create a better h; 
~had me rolling my eyes when it was showing that the characters were (still) barely growing;
~had me feeling hopeful to see their relationship starting to grow a little at least even though it was the most co-dependent relationship I've read in a romance novel in a while yet it worked perfectly for this couple (sigh); 
~had me shaking my head at all the drama, there were soooo many, just too much; 
~then back again to being frustrated because certain things I thought could have been said sooner rather than later (as in practically the ending) to make me better understand people's motivation, umm, like the lieS of omission on Jesse's part; 
~and finally, had me nodding my head when things finally worked out and just wanting to hug Jesse & Ava (yes, even her, albeit begrudgingly) for what they've gone thru and managing to get thru it.

So now in my mind, how do I rate this book?

-if it was just about Ava (really sorry but most of my frustrations in this book were because of her and I really did try to understand her but didn't for the most part).
-if it was just about Jesse (it would have been higher if we're only talking about the romantic lines that were coming out of his mouth... Oh Jesse, Jesse).
-for the weak h which just made me too tolerant of the H even though he's done jerk-y things to her; don't think that's fair especially when you give the best lines to the H already.
-or higher, just for the mere fact alone that Ms. Malpas put me thru so much emotions with this book and still got me sticking it out right til the end, which for me means that she writes well. And yes, I can see myself reading future stories from her.

Final rating: 3*
Again, considering the love-hate relationship I have with all 3 books now, and making me feel all over the place, taking the middle road once more for what it's worth.

Rightie: (did not bother to read, AT ALL)

Leftie here, again. Wait, what?!? Did that sound we agreed to disagree? Confoozling! Funny enough, there appears to be no middle ground with this series, either you hate it or love it. OR, either you love to have it or you hate that you love it. Ackkkkk!!! 

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