As a devout fan of Jodi Ellen Malpas’ This Man series, I was thrilled to discover that she was writing a novella set in the world of The Manor. Although I am not the biggest fan of novellas (when done well, they always leave me wanting more), I was very excited to receive an advanced copy of this book for review.
In “All I Am”, we revisit old friends from The Manor. Jesse and Ava, Sam and Kate are happily paired off in this novella, which takes place several years after the end of the This Man series. Drew is still a happy bachelor and a devoted dad to his little girl. His “appetites” are still a driving force in his life, however.
Malpas treats us to a scorching hot story with a hidden depth here. Drew and Raya’s encounters are steamy and make for some sinfully delicious reading. However, the real highlight of this story is the personal connection that quickly develops between the two.
There is an air of mystery surrounding this pair, and the reader is captivated, desperate to know the secrets held between them, and where those secrets will lead Drew & Raya.
Malpas delivers a sexy, emotional, and enjoyable story with “All I Am”. My chief complaint? I wanted more. Although Jodi packed a lot of story in a few pages, I would have loved a deeper look into this couple, and would happily read many more chapters of this story.
I loved getting a peek into the lives of Jesse and Ava as well! This novella made me want to head to the bookshelf and pull out This Man and get lost in their world all over again.
‘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.
Meet Jodi Ellen Malpas
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.