All I Am

Good afternoon, bibliophiles! We’re almost at our mid-week point, so it’s almost time to breathe a sigh of relief for the impending weekend. I’m not sure about you guys, but I’m ready to kick back after a hectic few days.

I thought I’d bring you yet another long-overdo review while I’m at the office. I never get time to breathe during my 8-5, so this is a rarity for me. I figured I’d try to use my time wisely while I have it, anyway. That being said, let’s not waste another minute discussing All I Am, the latest novella in the This Man series by Jodi Ellen Malpas.

Not long ago, I reviewed books one through three for one of my favorite romance series I’ve ever read. Though I spent time with these stories a few years ago, I never gave them the proper justice of a review until recently. That’s totally my fault and I just dropped the ball. If you know me, you know that Jesse Ward is one of my favorite book boyfriends of all time. He’s a piece of work, but he’s a hell of a masterpiece. If you haven’t met him yet or you aren’t sure quite who I’m talking about, check out my review of This Man here and then go meet the Lord of the Manor ASAP!

As for the story I’m discussing now, we’re fast forwarding a bit to installment 3.5. Instead of Jesse and Ava being the focal point, we instead get more insight to one of Jesse’s best friends, Drew Davies. When I found out Drew was getting his own spotlight, I just about lost my composure. While reading the original trilogy, the readers seem to get insight to almost every other character… except him. I was stoked to finally get one-on-one time with him and find out why he was seemingly so elusive.

I was not disappointed.

I knew he was roped into a sham relationship of sorts when he unknowingly gets one of Jesse’s past conquests pregnant, but despite the headache of a woman he encountered in Coral, he adores his daughter, Georgia, more than words can express. In fact, Drew doesn’t have time for anyone or anything else but his little girl.

Burned in the past by women, Drew has closed himself off emotionally from any sort of romantic entanglement. He fills his days with work at a successful real estate company, and his free time doing one of three things; caring for his child, hanging out with his boys, Jesse and Sam, or getting lost in non-committal, erotic encounters at a club called Hux. Ever since Jesse found himself married and no longer the owner of The Manor, Drew has had to find other outlets to channel his pent up sexual energy. When Raya Rivers is brought to his attention, he finds himself at the center of the perfect scenario. She’s looking for someone cold, detached, and filthy she can fool around with, and forget. Too bad Drew bit off more than he could chew when it came to her.

Their encounter is explosive, and connected. Neither of them want to admit the spark they ignited when they came together, but it’s there, burning brightly. Drew is stuck in his ways, and has his routine, while Raya has demons of her own to face, and limited time left in the country.

Even though they keep meeting, and can’t seem to keep their hands off one another, neither Drew nor Raya will voice what they’re truly feeling inside.. until it might be too late.

This may have been a short story, but man, was there a LOT of story to tell in less than three hundred pages. It’s obvious that I adored Drew. Whether he was brooding and isolated, or caving into his heart’s desires, I swooned over him. I couldn’t blame Raya for having such mixed emotions about their whole scenario, because I was right there with her.

All I Am was packed to the brim with emotion and sensuality from beginning to end, and my only complaint was that I wanted more. Whenever it comes to anyone Malpas writes, I can never get enough. I’m so glad I not only got to re-visit the old crew and one of my favorite book boyfriends, but I’m elated I got to know Drew more. It thrilled me that I got to experience every moment he had not only with his daughter, but with Raya by his side as well! It may have been a rollercoaster of an emotional journey, but it was completely worth every minute and every page I turned!

My Final Rating: five out of five stars

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