BLOG REVIEW: How He Really Feels By Lisa Suzanne

It's been a year that 26y.o. heroine has been constantly lusting after her boss 32y.o. Hero.
She promised herself to be braver and do something about it in the coming New Year. 
But He preempts her with his sudden appearance at the New Year's party she was at and a quick but meaningful kiss at the stroke of midnight. 
It doesn't take long for them to succumb to their strong attraction. 
But they have to keep affair as secret due to the no-office-romance clause in Hero's work contract. The secrecy becomes a problem, though, when they get more attached to each other. When their work and their affair collide,
a choice has to be made. 

This was a good read overall. There was a blip in their wonderfully-progressing relationship that made their perfect romance not-so-perfect. But it was ultimately redeemed (not completely because I think heroine should've done more but still good enough redemption).One, because of how the author wrote it in. Two, because of Hero's love for heroine.  They both went a full year building a good working relationship due to their small work team and thinking their attraction was only one-sided. What’s awesome was that both of them were celibate for the year because neither wanted anyone else and they hadn’t even made any romantic overtures towards each other.  Their timing was right with both dropping subtle hints of more personal interests in each other. Their sexual tension built well along with their emotional connection. I really liked how smooth and unresistant they were to their mutual attraction. So, when they finally were open about their attraction to each other, it was very sexy and flirty. I loved how yummy-looking alpha Hero made himself vulnerable and open to heroine, taking the initiative to express his feelings for her.Their sex scenes were combustible.

But I knew things were too good to be true with another 100+ pages to go. Here’s the set-up to the betrayals. Hero was repeatedly making his committed feelings for her more and more apparent. He was very much into her and her with him. Heroine couldn’t believe how her previously-thought unrequited crush for Hero was being returned in spades!  They couldn’t get enough of each other and it was increasingly bothering them that they had to keep their romance a secret at work.  They’ve been snatching as much time as they could to be together. They even  made space for their closets for each other. Then the betrayals.

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During their eagerly-awaited weekend together at the cabin, Hero suddenly and increasingly became morose and detached from  heroine. She tried to get him to share his troubles with her but he kept it to himself. Then “the talk”. He broke up with her, coldly stating that he didn’t want her anymore and  didn’t want to continue to lead  her on so he wanted out. It came out of left field for heroine who was so convinced their relationship was heading to a permanent commitment due to how devoted he was to her. She was broken and couldn’t function from her heartbreak.  So she called her longtime-best friend (who used to be her lover and former friend-with-benefits) for support that evening.  She couldn’t call her girlfriends because they were her & Hero’s fellow work teammates and were still in the dark about their secret affair. Heroin and her best friend were drinking heavily and he confessed to still being in love with her. They had sex once that night.  I really don’t like this trope (see my review of L.P. Dover's Love, Lies & Deception here). But I could understand why heroine in this book did. It was an unfortunate combination of these factors:
1.      She was emotionally eviscerated from Hero’s sudden and cruel breakup.
2.      She wanted to find comfort and escape from her great pain from somebody who constantly loved her and she trusted. Her best friend’s unexpected confession of always having loved her was filling the new emptiness in her heart.
3.      She felt somewhat obligated to her best friend’s steadfast love for her, especially when weighed against the fickle love of Hero.
4.      She wanted to take revenge on Hero’s cold rejection of her by moving on to another man.
5.      She was very drunk and depressed.
6.      While having sex with her best friend, she was pretending it was Hero who was making love to her.

Still, I didn’t like that it took her only half a day to find sexual comfort with another man. I didn’t like that she used her best friend that way and  manipulated  his love confession for her own selfish gains. It bothered me that she easily switched from Hero to her best friend on an emotional & sexual level. It made her seem like an emotional parasite, feeding off  the most attentive host. She should’ve groveled to Hero and her best friend for how faithlessly she switched between them in the span of only 4 days(!) and used them for her own comfort.  If it was Hero doing this to heroine and another woman, there would be a major  jerk-alert uproar. Well, I think heroine was a jerk in how she used her best friend to deal with her emotional pain and she was going to continue to use him too but Hero wanted back in. And she should definitely be grateful forever that Hero forgave her for quickly moving on to another man within just hours of having broken  up.  She emotionally betrayed him and their love by throwing it away as easily as Hero did. It was his fault for breaking them up(NOTE: The reason why he broke up with her was because his boss cornered him before he & heroine left for their weekend getaway and gave him an ultimatum to either give up heroine or get fired from his valuable job. He chose his job but didn’t tell her about it until he apologized later.) but it showed how destructive she can be to find emotional solace by having sex with another man within half a day of leaving the man she was supposedly so in love with.  She stayed celibate for a whole year when she met Hero because she wanted only him. But it took her mere hours to have sex with somebody else once Hero broke her heart. She really should’ve groveled for it instead of hiding it from him so as not to shake things. She also should’ve deftly apologized for using her best friend and give him the space and time he needed  to get over her. Good thing Hero was so forgiving & understanding. And you can't say he was a doormat either. He stayed away from her for 2 days to think about things and then her accident happened. He realized then that he'd rather have her flawed & forgiven than not having her in his life at all.

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Hero groveled and I thought it was convincing. He told her why he mistreated her the way he did and regretted his choice. And he showed her he was making up for his bad choice now. He gave up something he truly loved for her sake. He did it before he apologized to her and begged her to take him back. He realized that he couldn’t live without her during the 4 days since they broke up. And he set out to show her in words and actions that he meant it. He not only resigned from his job but openly displayed his affection for heroine at work. He asked her to move in with him. He was there for her when she needed him. He forgave her for her mistakes and tried to see it from her point of view. He wasn’t a doormat because he took time away from her to think about things before he went back again to her. All he knew was that he wanted life with her and he had to let go of both of their mistakes if he wanted a future with her. That’s the kind of unconditional love he showed heroine and redeemed his previously bad choices.

I recommend this book.

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