“He should have told me this. He should have told me this years ago, before I fell in love with him, before he injected his soul into my veins and I became addicted.”
This is not your usual office romance! True to Alessandra Torre’s brilliant storytelling abilities, this sexy forbidden romance has emotional depth, angsty surprises, and a wonderful balance between humor, hotness, and emotions. I read this book cover-to-cover in one sitting and loved it!!
So I’m going to be really honest with you. I’m not a very trusting reader. As a general rule, I don’t like going into books blind, and I have a list of questions I ask about nearly every single book before I read them. However, every rule does have exceptions and sometimes I’ll take a leap without knowing anything, but it’s rare. Alessandra Torre however is one of the few authors whose books I’ve consistently loved and I have that trust now to just dive in without really knowing anything about them. In this case, I actually didn’t even read the blurb (shocking, I know!) and literally just opened the book and started reading. However, I’ll share the blurb here if you’re curious…
I hired her to fix my company, to bring Marks Lingerie back to life. I didn’t expect her to become my friend. I didn’t expect to fall in love with her.
The first rule of business is to never touch your employees. I think there is another rule about not falling for your best friend—a rule against imagining the curves of her body, or the way her breathing would change if I pulled down her panties and unzipped my pants.
Now, I can’t wait any longer. I’m tossing out the rules.
Damn the company.
Damn our friendship.
Damn my fears.
In a nutshell, the heroine is hired by the CEO of a failing company to help revive it. Lingerie is their specialty and even though he’s not used to people telling him what to do, she is admittedly ruthlessly gifted at her job and he soon realizes that his company can’t afford to lose her. She expected to just have exciting new job, but what she didn’t count on was the chemistry between her and her gorgeous new boss or how hard it would be to stick to his rules…
“I’m not the easiest person to work for.” He leans forward, his forearms resting on the desk, and runs the fingers of one hand over the knuckles of his other. “I’m temperamental, and terrible with instructions, and I can be a real asshole.” A hint of a smile appears, then he sobers. “But despite what you may have heard about me, there are certain lines I don’t cross, and fucking my employees is one of them.”
As I mentioned above though, this is not your average office romance. I was so pleasantly surprised that this story kind of went in a completely different direction than I was initially expecting spanning years rather than weeks or months and drawing out the sexual tension to the point to the point where, by the time they actually got together, you just knew in your heart of hearts that they belonged with each other. This is not an insta-love/lust story. There was an undoubted connection between them — a spark — from the first time they’d met, but for so many reasons, they couldn’t act on their feelings…
“STOP.” He holds up a hand. “You’re about to ruin all my future fantasies about you.”
“Ha.” I roll my eyes. “Little chance of that.” I frown at him. “Besides, you aren’t supposed to have fantasies about me, or anyone else at [work]. In case you missed the memo, the CEO is a real dick about fraternization.” I smirk at the thought of his last all-company email, one that spanned three pages, all devoted to ensuring that our hands are kept to ourselves, and our minds are clear of the gutter.
“You’re confusing the rules. I’m allowed to have fantasies; I’m just not allowed to act on them.”
And let me tell you, THE ANGST of them not being together when you knew they were perfect for each other was almost PAINFUL — but in a really good, heart-pounding, so-good-it-hurts way. Heehee — deliciously painful angst! The distance between them was necessary but the draw they felt was impossible to ignore…
“I’ve never wanted to kiss a woman so badly in my life. To bury my hands in her hair and dominate that mouth. My hands twitch on the leather back of the chair. I stop myself from moving forward and pulling her across that glass desk…”
Oh, and the hero has a secret — one he’s terrified will make him lose the one woman he wants more than anything, and is forbidden to have…
I could tell her how I feel and plead for her heart. I could come inside of her, and have her for the rest of my fucking life. I could scare her away and lose her forever.
I don’t want to say what his secret is here but I’ll just say that it’s a bedroom kink that… um… I guess it’s just one of those things that some people love, some people are okay with, and for others, it’s a complete turnoff. I will say that it never actually enters *their* bedroom so if you get to that point and you’re worried that this book might not be for you, don’t be concerned. Personally, it’s a kink that doesn’t work for me, but that I fully respect other people enjoying. And I did really appreciate the message embedded in the story that it’s always the better choice to just be open-minded, to respect what other people want, desire, and need, and to not judge them for it.
“Why should society judge me for it? I get it, though. I understand the stigma, the flinch of the mind when confronted with the idea.
Oh and also the second message which I really liked was more subtly delivered but definitely stuck with me. You’ll see as you read the book that it really feels like things are just completely not working out for these guys. But the more you read, the more you realize how every single one of these events that stood between them, or sometimes even created more distance between them, ultimately served to bring them together far closer than if they’d just jumped into a relationship on day one. I actually feel that the reason why they found a way to be together was because of what they went through. Just makes you think how even when life isn’t working out for you, not to give up… maybe you’re just going in a direction you never intended because it’s leading you to a destination better than you could have ever imagined.
There is a long beat where her eyes hold mine, a challenge flashing out, clouding the arousal. My dick is confused, and so is my head.
I open the door and escape into the hall, into my domain.
If this woman was lingerie, she’d be black leather, with studs along the seams and enough of a dominatrix vibe to give a man pause.
If this woman was lingerie, I’d strip it off and then properly show her who is in charge.
Anyways, I’m rambling a little so I’m going to wrap this up by just saying that I genuinely loved this book! It was an absolutely fantastic read. Alessandra Torre is one of the most talented authors I’ve read over the last few years. Her books have an incredible range from romantic to thrilling, comedic to emotional, and they’re all unique, captivating, and fantastically well-written. They practically beg you to keep turning the pages until you reach the end of the ride and this book was no exception. A sexy, steamy, angsty, and addictive new favorite! Loved it!
Rating: 4.5 stars! Standalone Adult Contemporary Romance.