"It's pure bliss, baby. Total gratification. Absolute, complete, earth-shattering, universe-shaking love." - Jesse Ward, Beneath This Man
The story of Jesse and Ava continues. Once again, this book is intense, emotionally and physically. If you aren't ok with the steamy scenes, you won't love this book. If you're good with them and love Jesse and Ava as much as I do, please continue reading! Spoiler alert, by the way- go read the book if you don't want any spoilers!
Oh my goodness! This Man left us on a major cliffhanger, right?! Jesse and Ava were dreadfully apart, both miserable. Ava was crying herself to sleep every night and Jesse was drunk out of his mind. We start this book in a very similar situation. Sam approaches Ava because he's worried about Jesse and Ava is the only one who can get into Lusso to check on Jesse. Ava refuses at first, but her love for Jesse and her need to make sure he's ok has her giving in to Sam's request and helping out.
Sam, Drew, John, and Ava find Jesse in an unconscious, drunken heap at the penthouse. Ava cries and cries, so upset over the state Jesse's gotten himself into, and John just shakes his head saying he'll come around. As a reader, I felt like my heart was breaking with Ava's seeing the detrimental state Jesse was in. We all know he's crazy and neurotic, but that's because of his passion and love for Ava and how can you really blame him for caring too much? I can't.
Naturally, Ava and Jesse make up. I hate that I love the snipping/fighting between Jesse and Ava, but you just come to expect it. As the book progresses, the reader starts to see and understand why Jesse is the way he is with Ava. One of my favorite sections of the book was with Ava talking to John about how exasperating Jesse can be...
"Determination?... Determination to be challenging?"- Ava
John stops as we reach Jesse's office. "I've never seen him so determined to live." -John
It's obvious in this book that all of Jesse's crazy antics and behavior centers around his love for Ava. He wants her with him because he loves her and misses her when she's gone. He wants to be there for her and protect her. He wants her any and all ways he can have her. Who hasn't wanted a guy who wants her that way?
"I want the woman who keeps my heart beating with me." -Jesse
Jesse has to fight a lot of challenges through this book. He has to fight drinking (as Ava is convinced he's an alcoholic), he has to fight suitors of Ava/enemies of his own, as well as finding a way to keep Ava happy with him. It seems like Jesse grows a lot in this book. He's opening up more to Ava (even if under duress) and she's starting to figure out what Jesse is all about. Not to mention, we FINALLY find out how old Jesse actually is!
There's a few major plot points to this book.
1) Ava is freaking out about how to explain her relationship with Jesse to Patrick, her boss, as well as her family. Her family wants her to enjoy being single, love the single life while living in Londontown. Ava has no idea how to explain to them she's fallen head over heels in love. Jesse takes care of this little concern for her ;)
2) Women from Jesse's past are coming up to bite Jesse and Ava in the butt. First we've got Coral who thinks Jesse should help her out because she left her husband for Jesse, even though Jesse never promised her anything more... Then, we've got Mikael. Mikael is out to get Jesse in any way possible, because Jesse played a third party role to Mikael's marriage... bad, bad boy!
"I don't deserve you, Ava, but by some miracle, I've got you. I'll protect you fiercely- remove any threat." -Jesse
3) Jesse is still not being completely truthful with Ava. Ava basically has to threaten him with leaving him to find out anything. The frustrating part is most of the stuff he keeps from her, isn't a big deal. He makes it a big deal by covering it up and keeping it from her, so I'm totally on Team Ava with the lack of information Jesse provides. Any woman would get frustrated with that.
4) We learn a lot more about The Manor and what goes on there, specifically in the Communal Room. Wow, just wow- is all I have to say on that.
5) Speaking of the Communal Room, there's a major scene that takes place there towards the end of the book. It had me tearing up and nauseated right along with Ava and Jesse after all they went through in that scene. At least (hopefully) Jesse can now see that Ava can and does love him that much, too.
6) The very end of the book- OMG. Can we say romantic and so sweet? All I'll say is this... when Jesse does things in a traditional way, it works really well for me! How can Ava resist??
"Do you realize the effect you have on women?"- Ava
"Is it similar to the one you have on me? Do they stop breathing for a few seconds every time they see me? Do they want to keep me in a glass box so nothing and no one can hurt me? ... Do they think their life would be over if I wasn't here?"- Jesse
OH, and one more quote I found hilarious:
"Seriously. A man categorically devised the high heel, and he did it in an attempt to make it easier for you dudes to rugby tackle us womenfolk to the ground and haul us back to your beds." - Kate
Beneath This Man Playlist by JEM:
Angel by Massive Attack
Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap
Morning Glory by Oasis
Dakota by Stereophonics
Nights in White Satin by Moody Blues
Love Man by Otis Redding
Superstition by Stevie Wonder
Run by Snow Patrol
Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People