One Night: Denied, Jodi Ellen Malpas
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Contemporary.
Well, I adored Jesse – confused man, yes, but where Ava was concerned the love he had for her was so clear right from the start. M though… Miller, the man of Mystery, well he’s a puzzle. What I don’t like about him is that he seems to say the word “I” a lot, everything seems to revolve around his needs whereas Jesse was all about what Ava needed – or at least what he thought she needed!!Finding out what Miller really is/does though…that was a shock to Livy, and I understood that, but WTF?? He insists on her only having him, not dating anyone else and yet she doesn’t insist on the same right from the get go? How could she do that, have so little respect for herself? I know her background made her understand him and what he did, but how, after she’d opened herself up to him, could he not be honest with her?Then once she knew how could she go back without insisting on being the only one? That’s beyond my comprehension.
Livy, she seems a really troubled girl in many ways, and I understand her a bit but lots of the time I just want to shake her and say “ get a grip”. She’s got a lovely nan who’s done, and still does, so much for her, and Gregory – her gay best friend – he’s a huge support. Even her boss and work colleagues, but she kicks them all when Miller calls. She doesn’t call nan, avoids Gregory and skips out from work so many times or is throwing up there I’m amazed they still employ her. She’s certainly not employee of the month…..What I loved about Ava from This Man was her strength, her self respect, and Livy needs some of that. I’m struck by the sensual connection between her and Miller, that comes over so well, but other than sex, what do they have? For me they need more. they don’t seem to ever go out or do “couple” things, and for me there has to be more than just great sex between two people or they become just sex partners. The time they tried it – well, once again Miller went down in my estimation. He seems as if he won’t even try, just pays lip service to it. I know it must be hard creating another man after the inestimable Jesse and the way he’s so loved, but Miller needs a sharp dose of what he will lose if he doesn’t buck up, and at least try harder to be the man Livy needs! Its not like this life is all he knows, his early life was hard but then so is many peoples. Clearly there’s still a lot to be revealed, and maybe this will make more sense after book three – that’s why I love standalones and not so much trilogies, as it often just doesn’t make sense until the end…and I have to wait for it! Usually I’d wait til all three books were out before buying, simply so I can read in one go, but having this for review made me buy book one, and so far I’m still struggling. There’s so much I love here, a UK setting ( hurrah, its great to read familiar places and types of pole), Miller’s intensity, the connection between them, the drama – its page after page but could do with a bit of reality and a break thrown in, just to balance it. The sex – wow that’s hot, but then Miller should be good!! I can’t quite fix on his definition of it being OK so long as he doesn’t actually sleep with clients, what exactly doe that mean? How far does he go – as they are paying a hell of a lot of money for his service, and I can’t see a meal and conversation will cut it! Its what he delivers, guaranteed orgasms that they pay for, so what exactly is he doing? And how can Livy reconcile herself with it?
Of course we get to the end and then More secrets come out, more mysteries and dammit – the dreaded, hated ( for me) cliff-hanger is there. I’m left in limbo and by the time book three is out I’ll have lost the intensity and drama, and not appreciate the story fully until I’ve read all three in one swoop.
Things that Really griped: – “Baby/Baby girl” I see this all the while in US books, but come on Jodi, Livy and M are British – I’ve never heard anyone use that since the early seventies when Baby, Chick and Bird were still hangovers from the 60’s ( I got called a “bird” once on a blind date and left…to be fair I was only about 13/14 and teens are arrogant..) It just sounds so wrong. Millers OCD – I accept it happens and affects people this way, and maybe the chaos and lack of control in his other life made him this way, but Livy just seemed happy to go with it from the start, never getting irritated by it even before she understood him. The “mine for 24 hours” bit – I found that hard to take, and when he was claiming she owed him xx hours I thought she’d say tough luck, I owe you nothing, but once again she just caved, and this was in the beginning. Gregory, he was so OTT gay in some ways that it demeaned him as a character – he didn’t need that. I liked the line taken with him and Ben(?) his not out boyfriend and would liked to have seen more of that. The way they had no life except sex…and yet she was throwing away everything and giving a big finger to those who knew her and dared to warn her to take care.
Despite all that I was sucked into Jodi’s fabulous writing once again. Book three has a lot to do to work it all together – and if she can pull it off then maybe it can come up to This Man but…so far its not promising for me. Its a hard act to follow of course, and if this was the first trilogy/novel from Jodi maybe we’d be less harsh, but we’re all hoping for some of that same Jesse/Ava magic. I need more detail and openness from Miller, more backbone from Livy, more couple-ness from them both and not just steamy, erotic sex, and more jealousy and drama from others involved. Cassie – I’m hoping for great things from her, she’s the potential of a first class jealous bitch who’ll stop at nothing ( very this man Sarah type) so I hope that gets delivered. I loved the epilogue in this man and hope we get the same glimpse of Livy and Miller’s future.
Stars: Four, I’ve lost of criticisms but they didn’t spoil the overall feel of the book, I did hover over three and a half, but in the main the parts I loved outweighed my crits, they were more little niggles so its a four. I’m really rooting for a five star finsh though which can explain away my irritations.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers