ALL I AM: DREW’S STORY (A THIS MAN NOVELLA) by Jodi Ellen Malpas (June 18, 2017; Forever Yours ebook; $2.99)
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Ellen Malpas comes a new novella in the This Man series. 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?
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Rating : 4 out of 5 stars
I love it when an author allows her readers to revisit beloved characters after the passage of years and to see them subtly changed. And, frankly, how could I resist knowing it involved a very sexy single dad! I quickly re-read some passages of the This Man trilogy, though, because it’s been a while! All I Am is Drew’s story. He is Jesse’s best friend and the devoted single father of 7-year- old Georgia. She stays with him half the time, in shared custody, and he is good at dealing with Georgia’s scheming mother. His daughter is his biggest passion and his main focus.
Drew has no time to date and never gets attached, he is fine on his own, with his daughter. He doesn’t trust easily, he was deceived by Georgia’s mother. Hux is the place where he can relax and come to terms with his darkest and deepest desires. But he always keeps his life as a father separated from his one-night stands.
Raya is a newbie at the club. She is mysterious and temptation personified, she gets Drew hooked by being so intriguing and wanting a cold and emotionless tryst. Not to mention that their chemistry is off the charts. I could sense and feel the connection
between them. Because of her, he feels he is at a crossroads in his life. For the first time, he feels the need to step outside of his comfort zone. In that sense, Raya is his game changer. Neither of them wants to get attached, and yet they both deserve to achieve joy in their life and grab their chance at happiness.
The novella format doesn’t always allow for sufficient story and character development, and yet, in this case, it worked for me. Jodi Ellen Malpas’ writing is evocative, her fully fleshed out characters are established with quick strokes and they come across as likeable and genuine. I was fully invested in their story. And this author sure does know how to turn up the heat!
An advanced copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher
‘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.
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.
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