ALL I AM: DREW’S STORY (A THIS MAN NOVELLA) by Jodi Ellen Malpas (June 18, 2017; Forever Yours ebook; $2.99)
You don't need to read the series to enjoy this story, but if you're already a Jesse Ward fan, just wait till you see the advice he gives Drew about falling in love.
I thought I had control. I was so, so wrong...
I don't need a relationship. I have Hux, a decadent club where I quench whatever raw desire I choose. I take pleasure and I give it - no strings attached. So when Raya Rivers comes in asking for someone cold, emotionless, and filthy... well, no man ever takes his wicked pleasure quite the way I do.
Only Raya is different. Vulnerable. And carrying some deep sorrow that gets past all my carefully constructed walls and inexplicably makes me care. Now craving controls me. Ice has given way to red-hot need.
But Raya has no idea about my other life - my real life. That I'm daddy to an adorable little girl. My two worlds are about to collide with the force of a supernova. Once Raya knows the truth, will she be able to accept all I am?
I have not read all of the This Man books, although after this, I am going to go back and make sure that I do.
Drew and Raya meet as she is looking for someone who will be cold and emotionless who she can "play" with. And, Drew fits the bill. His life revolves around his daughter and after his ex, he is more than ok with a string of one night stands that are meaningless.
Until Raya. He feels with her in a way that he never has before. And, this not only scares Drew, but it intrigues and interests him. He realizes he wants her in his life but is genuinely unsure how to go about this, how to make it happen in a way that he is comfortable with.
Until he realizes that part of the thrill of falling in love is trading in the comfort of being free of emotions for the somewhat scary path in which you let yourself really feel something for another person.
This is a lot to fit into a novella, and Malpas does this incredibly well. I really enjoyed this book, and I thought the pacing and the flow were strong and that, as it is a novella you are not able to go into detail in all areas, but the author very skillfully chose the areas to delve into, and you are left feeling like you read a full length book. Which is impressive.
You can read this as a standalone, you do not need to read all of the novels in order to fully enjoy this, but there are a couple of scenes where I think reading the others in the series will enhance the emotion and the response of the other characters as they relate to what Drew is going through.
I definitely recommend this title, and I will be going back to read all of the series.
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About the Author
Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands’ town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing until it became impossible. She wrote in secret for a long time before finally finding the courage to unleash her creative streak, and in October 2012 she released This Man. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters have become her passion, a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.
‘What do you want, Raya?’
She steps toward me tentatively, as if she’s questioning what she’s doing. And when she reaches me, her chest pressed to mine, she gazes up at me. ‘I don’t know.’ Her eyes are wild and unsure. ‘But I know that every time we’re close, something powerful takes over. And you’re trying hard to fight it. You’re warm and cold. What are you scared of?’
‘You.’ My mouth is on her before I can think better of it, and I’ve lifted her from her feet before my tongue breaches the seam on her lips. We should talk, but this is the only thing I know what to say right now, and when her arms circle my shoulders, her mouth opening up, inviting me in, I know she’s okay with it. I know she gets it.
With one arm around her waist holding her to me and one secured on the nape of her neck, I walk to my office, my kiss deep, my blood racing, my heart bouncing off my ribcage. I set her on her feet and take the hem of her dress, pulling it up over her head, losing her lips for just a second in the process. She wrenches my shirt open, scattering buttons in the process, her hands immediately finding my skin beneath. My forward steps encourages her backwards, our kiss deepening as she unfastens my trousers and I push her knickers down her thighs.
We’re all over the place, desperation getting the better of us, a mess of tongues, hands and bodies. I pull some strength from nowhere, seize her hands and break our kiss, breathing heavily. Her unsure brown eyes soon prompts me to start ridding myself of the rest of my clothes, all under her watchful gaze. Until I’m naked.
‘This wasn’t supposed to happen,’ she whispers.
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