" Three, Two, One... Zero, Baby." - Jodi Ellen Malpas, This Man Confessed
Ah, our last installment of The Lord of the Manor. It's really bittersweet. While I've had to step a way to get a break from Jesse and his neurotic ways, I'm also going to miss reading about such an intense love.
Where to begin? I was so excited to read This Man Confessed. One, because I adore Jesse and Ava together. When they are good, they are really, really good. Two, I knew Jodi Ellen Malpas would finish their story beautifully and I couldn't wait to see how that all played out. Last but definitely not least, I was desperate to know about all of the secrets Jesse was still keeping from Ava!
There will be some spoilers in this review, so if you don't want to read them, stop reading now!
We start the book with Ava and Jesse's wedding- Awwww! It didn't take them long, right? It's a gorgeous affair done at The Manor and it's a beautiful start to their married life. No surprise that Jesse makes sure Ava says she'll obey him as part of her vows, and also pulls out a set of handcuffs so the pair can't be separated from each other for too long that day!
Then we go into the is she or isn't she phase of the book. We've learned from the earlier books that Ava's birth control pills keep getting "misplaced." Ava had a theory towards the end of the 2nd book that Jesse was taking them and decides to confront him about this issue. Hence, first big knock-out, drag-out fight of married life, what married day 2?...
Ava is so mad with Jesse she leaves for a week-ish. She stays with Kate and is depressed because she's missing Jesse and wondering why he's not throwing a fit about her being gone. Ava had asked Jesse to give her some time and space and that's apparently what he was doing. Ava got it in her mind that because she "wasn't" pregnant, Jesse wasn't as interested in her anymore. Ava was still, actually pregnant and considered an abortion as soon as she found out officially. Ava was upset because she didn't want a baby right now in life and didn't want her choice about it to have been taken away be Jesse taking her pills. It's at this point of the book I totally wanted to STRANGLE Ava. She HAS to know that Jesse will love her regardless and is she REALLY going to consider getting rid of that baby she created with the love of her life?! I don't think so.
Luckily, Jesse comes around and admits to having been stalking Ava the whole week. She feels better about him now knowing that he's been watching her and hasn't just been staying away. Ava also gets a surprise visit from Sarah who apologizes and says she's happy for Jesse to have found Ava. Ava goes running (literally) back to Jesse after this conversation.
Naturally, Ava and Jesse make up. Ava decides she's keeping the baby and tells Jesse she's actually pregnant. Jesse couldn't be more thrilled, while Ava is struggling to deal with the guilt of having considered abortion.
Leave it to Ava's ex to come in and ruin the day... Matt forwards some flyers Ava got in the mail about abortion and Jesse happens to check the mail that day. Jesse goes off the rails and Ava tries to convince him she'd never have gone through with it. He says he believes her, but then is always over protective of her taking care of herself and their unborn baby.
Another big drama happens in this book! Someone seems to be after Ava. Ava gets threatening letters in the mail and she even gets into a car accident with someone who hijacked Jesse's car! She's "fine" but Jesse notices blood running down her legs and they both assume she's miscarried. Ava is torn to pieces over it because she's just started really wanting this baby and life with Jesse.
Luckily, this isn't the case! Ava didn't lose the baby at all. :) She actually found out she's having TWINS! Jesse drops the bombshell that he was a twin...
All the while, Coral is still making an appearance. She still shows up at The Manor and also at Lusso wanting Jesse to help her. Recently, she showed up trying to pass off a pregnancy saying Jesse was the father. Ava saw through it right away and trampled all over her. Poor Drew...
Meanwhile, Ava's work is stressful. Jesse wants her to tell Patrick she won't work for Mikael, but Patrick hasn't been in the office to talk to. When Patrick is finally around, he's not in the best mood and won't give Ava the time of day to talk to him. Patrick calls a meeting and the group finds out that Patrick has decided to sell the agency and has sold to Mikael. Naturally, Ava quits.
On the way home (with John who busted into Ava's office when he saw Mikael), Ava feels good about having quit. She'll get to have more time with Jesse and doesn't want to be around crazy Mikael. John does a quick sweep of the penthouse (because of all of Ava's threatening messages, car chases, etc.) and doesn't find anything. He gets called downstairs because there's supposedly a suspicious person down there. In the time he's gone, Ava goes to the place she feels safest... Jesse's office.
Ava's (not-so-favorite) client Ruth Quinn is in Jesse's office. Ava is starting to figure out there must be something more to her. Ruth starts beating Ava up, telling her she told her to stay away from Jesse and Ava should've listened to her threats. Ava gets kicked in the stomach, head, and all over repeatedly. Then, Jesse runs in.
It's obvious Jesse knows this person, but I'll let you read the book to find out the details ;) Ruth/L looks to hurt Jesse now, wielding a knife in her hands. She charges for Ava, but Jesse jumps in front of Ava and protects her. He knocks Ruth/L out cold, but only after sustaining a nasty stabbing.
Most agonizing two weeks EVER! Ava had to hold Jesse in her arms, waiting for an ambulance, as she watched the life drain out of him. She was sobbing, begging Jesse not to leave her, and it was the most heartbreaking thing I could've imagined for this book! Then, Jesse spent two weeks in a coma in the hospital. Ava never left his side, rarely ate, all in the hopes that he'd wake up mad for defying him by not taking care of herself. Luckily, Jesse pulled through after a little resting time.
After Jesse is rested up, they decide to take a little trip to Paradise where they renew their vows with ALL their family present. It's perfect and one last little getaway before the babies are born!
*Just a little tidbit... get these books on Paperback!! The paperback version of this book gives us a Jesse POV for Ava going into labor and having the twins- it's awesome! The epilogue of the book is great because we get to see a glimpse into the little mini-Ava and mini-Jesse of Maddie and Jacob :)
Perfect ending! Zero, baby. You've totally outdone yourself, JEM and I'll definitely be reading anything else you write in the future!
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Clubbed to Death by Rob D
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Wide Open Space by Mansun