BLOG REVIEW: Blackout by Rosalie Stanton

Early-20s heroine was an efficient & friendly secretary
who had a secret crush on her 31yo boss, lawyer Hero, 
before she gets unexpectedly fired by the law firm. It leaves her shocked, destitute, desperate, and mad. 
Desperate and vengeful enough to agree to steal a case file of Hero's current high-profile client for $100,000.  She almost gets away from stealing it from Hero's apartment
until he catches up to her in his apartment elevator.
Then, a blackout occurs, trapping them both inside. 
Now they finally have the chance to air things out in the open...For heroine to confront Hero on why he got her fired and why he has her videotape...For Hero to confess how he anonymously received the self-pleasuring videotape she made for her ex-boyfriend.
And, instead of throwing it away or telling her about it, he watched it obsessively ever since, transforming his admiration & attraction for her into an addiction to her. Making it impossible for him to get any work done, especially when heroine was around.
...For heroine to express her betrayal by him...And for them to do something about the sexual yearning they now know is mutual.
But, as explosive as they are sexually, there's still much that's unresolved. Will heroine give Hero back his file? What will he do if she doesn't? Can she forgive him for betraying her?

Never read Stanton before but I'll be looking into more from her now. This is a novella (70+ pages) but it packs a punch. Great sexual chemistry & steamy sex scenes. Never knew you could do those things in an elevator. Good thing there were no videocams in there. Heroine's self-pleasuring tape got her in enough trouble as it is.  The steamy sex scenes highlighted both their physical attraction to each other as well as their emotional attachment. Hero and heroine only had a professional relationship before the elevator scene. But not without hugely lusting and longing for each other in secret. They're both decent people who work hard to make a life for themselves. Heroine was supporting her younger brother financially through college.  And it had been 3 weeks since she'd been jobless, since no one would hire her since she was fired by Hero's law firm. Thus, her desperation to steal the file from an odious client of Hero's for $100K.  Hero himself was only an up & coming lawyer & was not a wealthy man. He worked hard at the prestigious law firm that hired him straight out of law school. Their current dilemma with the stolen file meant a lot to both of them. It said much about their caring for each other to want to give the file to the other.  Hero ends up persuading heroine to keep it. But heroine drops it at his office the next day.

Hero's obsession with heroine was hot. However, his underhanded & admittedly selfish way of handling her sex tape was not.  He didn't know who left her sex-tape on his office desk but didn't talk to her about it. He kept her sex tape for himself & used it for his own pleasure. Daily. It wasn't her fault that thoughts of her kept him from work. Yet, he indirectly punished her for it by attempting to transfer her to another department at the firm. But she erroneously got fired by the firm's human resource department instead.  It bothered me that he didn't have the guts to talk to her about the sex-tape he received anonymously. Whether openly or with great discretion. I understood that he felt embarrassed by it and even for her. But it was a very private matter for her and he violated it by his keeping the tape, repeatedly watching it, and not telling her about it . His passivity made him not so alpha but I understood his fears. And he did redeem himself.

    -------------SPOILERS: Don't read below if you don't want to know the book's details-----------

1. He sincerely apologized to heroine for his misdeeds. Finally being open & honest with her about his feelings, promising her that he would take care of the stolen file.

2. Hero quit his valuable job at the firm. He did so because:

1.) heroine's security & happiness was more important to him than his own

He didn't give the file back to his firm, telling them it was stolen from his apartment. He gave the file to his client's stepdaughter instead, the person who sent heroine to steal the file in exchange for money. He demanded that heroine get paid as initially agreed upon.

2.) he no longer wanted to compromise his morals to protect high-profile criminal clients

He took a big risk in resigning from the prestigious firm he'd been working hard for the past 6 years. Being jobless without much financial security was better than losing heroine and losing more of his integrity.

3. When heroine gave him another chance at the end, Hero accepted her reticence to commit to him permanently. Yet he let her know that he wanted her with him when he woke up in the morning, to watch movies at night together, and to spend holidays with their families. He also requested her help in the firm he's planning on starting, showing her how much he wanted her in his life forever.

I loved the epilogue, with him proposing 1-yr  later. Then, 3 years later, they celebrate their anniversary at the same apartment elevator (she was having a hard time letting go of the apartment since it's where their romance began). By this time Hero now had his own firm, with heroine assisting him when not working at her own art gallery.

     ----------------------------------------------------END SPOILERS-------------------------------------

I liked that Hero did his best to fix the problems he caused heroine without expecting to get anything back. He just wanted to help her and make her life better, after he messed it up with his betrayal of her.

Liked sweet and nice heroine's sass. She had nothing to lose now that she was no longer working with him. So, she confronted him about getting her fired and finding her videotape in his apartment (i.e.,“It looks like you’ve been getting off watching me get off.”). She was on to him and she demanded honesty. I liked how she didn't cower or how she wouldn't be swayed by his charm & other tangents. It was funny how she'd box him in with her frankness, shocking him and turning him on at the same time. And prodding him to be as frank as he'd never been with her. I also liked that she didn't get taken in by his sexual prowess. It gave her power that she never had with him. Not that she was playing games. She was being genuine and she needed time to think about things.

A sweet but steamy romance. There were some scenes that didn't make sense to me though & wouldn't have been missed if never were written in. Why would heroine's ex-BF send her sex tape to her boss? Her ex had no knowledge of her crush on her boss since neither had any contact since she broke up with him for cheating. Why did her ex's apology & transformation make heroine forgive Hero & want to give him another chance? I really didn't get that. She should've kicked her cheating ex's butt instead of wanting closure with him & getting help for her confusion. Her visit to her ex seemed odd & unnecessary.  She would've gotten closure without him, given some time & introspection.

I recommend this book.


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