With This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas is the fourth book in the This Man series. Read an exclusive excerpt from the novel here!
About ‘With This Man’ by Jodi Ellen Malpas:
Life is good for Jesse ‘The Lord’ Ward. Perfect, actually. He still has the charm, he’s in great shape, and he still reduces his wife, Ava, to a pool of desire with a mere look. He’s in full control, just how he likes it.
But Jesse’s perfect world falls apart when a terrible accident lands Ava in hospital with a life-threatening head injury. Devastated and angry, he feels like his entire existence hangs in the balance. He cannot survive without this woman’s love. So when she finally comes around, his shaking world begins to level out. But his nightmare doesn’t end there. It’s only just begun. Because his wife can’t remember the last sixteen years of her life. That’s all of him. All of their time together. He is a stranger to her.
Now Jesse must do whatever it takes to find her memories . . . and help her fall madly, passionately in love with him all over again.
‘With This Man’ by Jodi Ellen Malpas exclusive excerpt:
‘You made my heart start beating again, Ava. And now it’s like you’re not here anymore and I don’t know if I can go on without you.’
My knees buckle, and I slide down the wall like a sack of shit, hitting the floor on a thud. I’m past holding it all in. I’m so past trying to be the strong one. Because without Ava, I’m the weakest man alive, and I feel like I’m without her now. My elbows hit my knees, my face going into my palms and hiding. I can’t bear the shock on her face. Can’t stand the fact that she’s seeing me like this.
‘Just go to bed.’ I beg, needing her to leave me alone in my misery. ‘Just go.’
I feel cold. Lonely.
Her hand slides onto my neck, and I look up to find her kneeling before me, teary eyes staring into mine. ‘I’m going nowhere.’ Edging her way closer, she places her palms on my knees and pushes them apart, moving between them. ‘Because even though I don’t know where I am, I feel like I’m at home. Even though I’m struggling to wrap my mind around you,’ More tears tumble as she squeezes my knees. ‘I know you’re mine. I know I’m your heart. Because even though I don’t know you, I know that when I think of you gone, it hurts really bad just here.’ Taking my hand, she pushes it into her chest. Her heart is thundering. Like mine.
‘Ava, I’m a broken man.’ I feel fucking awful admitting it. ‘The thought of you losing every memory we’ve had together cripples me.’
‘I know you’re stronger than this. I know you’re more determined. You promised you wouldn’t give up on me.’
My heart constricts. ‘Baby, I haven’t given up.’ I sigh and gesture her closer, and she comes with ease, letting me pull her onto my lap and cuddle her. ‘I’m just having a minor relapse.’
She snuggles close, and my world evens out a little. ‘Don’t have a relapse again, please.’
‘Then you need to start doing as you’re told.’
‘Never.’ she argues. ‘Because I know I never normally do, do I?’
I smile through my sadness. ‘You don’t.’
We remain bunched up on the floor for a while, quiet, both of us calming, our bodies recovering from our shakes. Then Ava breaks out of my hold, placing her lips on my cheek and inhaling. ‘Come to bed?’
I swallow, hating that it sounds like an unsure question. ‘I’d love to.’ I’ll cuddle her all night. Keep her close. No sex, no anything, just contact. I need contact.
‘Don’t thank me.’ I scorn her gently. ‘Never thank me for loving you.’
‘Because it was what you were put on this earth to do.’ Her bottom lip quivers over every word, and I gulp down the melon-sized lump in my throat and yank her back into me.