This is the first in a trilogy and the debut novel for this British indie author. Ms. Malpas knocked it out of the park with this book! The writing was smooth and I enjoyed the British slang….Google will be your best friend, if you’re not familiar with this ;).
Ava O’Shea is a 26 yr old interior designer who is sent to do a consultation on job at “The Manor”, a large estate that is owned by Jesse Ward. Jesse is a dominating alpha male who is the personification of sex! The sexual tension at their first meeting had me fanning myself and getting out the ice water. Ava is drawn like a magnet to Jesse and he knows it.
A cat and mouse game begins where Jesse is relentless in his pursuit and basically stalks her until she caves into her desires. The sex is off the charts and is a tool of manipulation for Jesse. They reminded me of Eva/Gideon from the Crossfire Series. Jesse has a past and is most definitely a mystery. He won’t even reveal his age to Ava. He is very arrogant and cocky, but we learn that it is a defense mechanism for him. There is witty banter between them, sometimes sarcastic. Ava is a good heroine because she stands up to him, repeatedly.
I started to feel for Jesse towards the end because of his vulnerability and for Ava because she just knew that going into this relationship there was a potential for her heart to be broken. The mystery is thinly veiled, as you can pick up hints throughout reading and Ava pieces them together at the end. However, there was one revelation that took me by surprise. I am highly anticipating book #2, Beneath This Man which will be released around Christmas.