4 Star Review: Gentleman Sinner by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Friday, 15 February 2019

Gentleman Sinner by Jodi Ellen Malpas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This really was a book of two halves. 

From being excited to read it to then feeling that it was slightly too familiar to certain other well-known stories, suddenly something, probably Theo, locked onto me and was not prepared to let me go (or maybe it was the other way around!). 

Theo’s back story is similar to a certain other well-known alpha male but at the same time, it’s totally different in a way that I found more thought-provoking and genuine. I could sympathise with Theo and his behaviour, despite him being a ticking time bomb 99% of the time in a way that I never could with CG. I hate comparing the two characters but that’s what the book made me do, at first. 

Having read the first quarter of the book, I’ll admit to being tempted to move on to something else. The story was initially difficult to get into and it felt too predictable thus spoiling my enjoyment and my much-needed feeling of suspense/drama/intrigue. Then, the story seemed to do an about turn. The theme remained unchanged but something clicked and before I knew it, I was 100% invested in the story and its characters.

I’m at his mercy. My heart is at his mercy. My feelings are his to control.

Theo’s love interest in this story is nurse Izzy, who, along with her friend and flat-mate Jess, were incredibly endearing characters. Yes, I can hear all of the “doormat” quotes and the blatant disregard for her safety when it came to Theo, but Izzy was a nurse and nurses have it ingrained into them to help people, and that’s exactly what Izzy did for Theo, and Theo did for Izzy in his own misguided way. Both Izzy and Theo have so much emotional baggage it weighs them down in their everyday activities. They are both recovering from trauma but in totally different ways. Both Izzy and Theo have formed lives for themselves based on their pasts: Izzy has run and created a new life for herself trying to move on from her memories but Theo is living the life his father wanted for him, despite his mother’s pleas. Different paths and journies to recovery aside, Theo and Izzy are like two pieces of a jigsaw that shouldn’t fit together but somehow manage to, without too much effort. Whilst Izzy’s is able to use a gentle healing hand on Theo, Theo’s method of helping Izzy is more akin to an emotional bull-dozer. Theo and Izzy may be opposites but when it comes to their coping strategies their relationship clearly works for them. 

To me, he is simply Theo. To me, he is comfort and love.

Despite having two very strong lead characters, it appears that the side story between Callum, Theo’s bodyguard, and Jess, Izzy’s friend and flat-mate, is what has put readers into a tailspin. For some reason their coming together has resonated with readers perhaps more than Theo and Izzy’s connection. Personally, I’d be happy to have more from all four characters but my curiosity is calling out to find out what would happen if Jess and Callum got together. 

The epilogue, which can make or break a story IMO, was incredibly saccharine. It had an overload of gooiness, which was completely at odds to the brutal and violent start to the story, and yet it managed to wrap things up nicely. I just love it when two tough guys are brought to their knees in the most unexpected way! 

Theo Kane is like marshmallow coated with steel. He’s a big softy in a hard exterior.

Whilst this story was enjoyable, it did feel a little forced at times and almost as if the author was finding her way with the book whilst writing it. The essence of the story was thought-provoking and there was drama and suspense but overall it felt as if the book was growing as it was written rather than being mapped out from the start. Despite this, the book donned its Converse, and before long was running straight towards very successful conclusion. 

This ebook was kindly provided by the author/publisher via Netgalley prior to release in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Izzy White knows of the darkness in this world. After all, she escaped it long ago. Determined not to let her past beat her, Izzy has a secure, stable life with a job she loves in nursing. But one act of kindness will completely upend everything she's so carefully built-putting her right back in the crosshairs of danger she's been so desperate to avoid.
When Theo Kane shows up like a knight in shining armor, Izzy can't help thinking she's been saved from one threat and exposed to another. His imposing physique, the harsh lines of his face, and the wariness of everyone who comes close are just a few clues to Theo Kane's notorious reputation. The man is positively terrifying. But with Izzy, he's tender and a complete gentleman, and her fascination with the mysterious beast of a man becomes too powerful for her to walk away.
As Theo's demons come to light, running becomes even more impossible. And yet staying together could doom them both.

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