on September 12, 2016
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Be a good little assistant and go get me some coffee.”
Comments like this are why I hate my boss. Since taking over as CEO of Benson Industries, Cole Benson has been demeaning, arrogant, and infuriating.
For as much as I hate him, I can’t stop thinking about him. A captivating attraction passes between us each time his dark eyes meet mine. As the late nights and business trips add up, we are compelled to cross the line of our professional relationship.
But how can I call him my boyfriend when I already have a husband?
I’m a big fan of love triangle stories. If they are done right, they deliver on my need for angst in spades. So I was giddy with excitement to start Conflicted; a boss/assistant relationship and a husband to contend with? Talk about hitting the holy grail. There was so much about this book that I enjoyed.
“I hated my boss’s guts, but I also had a tiny crush on him.”
Lucy Cleary just acquired herself a new boss. Right away, it’s clear that he is a grade A jerk whom she can’t stand. No matter how she tries to prove her usefulness, Cole Benson is full of disdain and hostility. Meanwhile, Lucy’s home life isn’t much better. Her marriage is struggling and she’s not sure how to fix it.
“Just because I found Cole sexy didn’t mean I would act on it.”
Lucy struggles with her attraction to her new boss, while also struggling to communicate with her husband, John, who has become a workaholic. I admired Lucy for her willingness to open up to her husband about her concerns, even if those efforts weren’t always met with the desired outcome.
“I was going to fix my marriage. I was going to be happy with John again. I just had to figure out how to battle against the first love in his life…his job.”
As Lucy continues to feel lonely at home, her relationship with her boss starts to develop into unprofessional territory. Cole is rude and condescending towards her, but still she feels the pull between them. She begins to question their feelings towards one another, and if she can trust what she feels. Is she just acting on loneliness? Or could this be something more?
I don’t want to say much more about the two heroes. This type of plot is better experienced without too much info beforehand. I will say that for the most part, I like the way it was handled. There were times where I wanted to shake Lucy for some of her actions; her justifications made me anxious to see how it would all turn out.
Overall, a very compelling story that captured my attention from beginning to end. I didn’t hate Lucy, or any of the other characters, which is quite rare with this type of book. I think the author did a great job making the main players relatable. The story is told completely from Lucy’s POV, so we are left to wonder right along with her as to why the men in her life act the way they do. In the end, I was left satisfied with a smile on my face.
“I’ll save myself from further embarrassment by cutting in.” His voice was deep, and I caught his scent before I saw him. Jack smiled at me and made a face like he’d gotten in trouble.
“I’m off to get Arlene some more wine.” He elbowed Cole in the ribs. “She gets a little randy after she’s had a few.” He laughed and scampered away to find his wife while Cole rolled his eyes in disgust.
He took my small hand in his big one, and my entire body flushed with heat at his proximity. Our hands had never touched before. If anything, he did his best to avoid any sort of contact with me.
His skin against mine was electric.
Just our hands touched, but it felt as if he was touching me everywhere.
He laced one arm around my waist as the notes of another ballad filled the room. We were dancing like old people, my hand in his, his arm around my waist, and my other hand resting on his shoulder.
That big, broad shoulder hidden behind his tuxedo coat.
My fingers flexed involuntarily, and I couldn’t help but notice how hard his entire body was beneath that sexy tux. My mind wandered and my mouth watered as I thought back to that picture I’d seen of him wearing just his swim trunks. That mental image mixed with the man in the flesh sent an aching need right to my core.
He pulled me just a bit closer to him, surprising the hell out of me, and I felt something rigid pressing against my hip.
Was he as hot for me as I was for him?
No way. There was no possible way.
But his erection digging into me told a completely different story.
“What was my father telling you?” he asked in a deep rumble. I looked up into his eyes.
God, he was handsome. His milk chocolate irises had golden flecks in them that I’d never been close enough to notice before, and his breath smelled of peppermint.
I couldn’t think when I was this close to him. Words caught in my throat.
“That bad?” he asked. I sensed his nervousness.
I cleared my throat and broke our eye contact so I could think. “Just a proud father bragging about the time his son took off his clothes in a department store.”
“God. He tells everybody that stupid story. I’m surprised this is the first time you’ve heard it.”
I smiled. “It’s not so bad.”
“I was ten.”
I choked on my laugh as I tried to hold it in.
“It’s okay. You can laugh.”
I didn’t hold back, and even Cole chuckled along with me. I couldn’t help the joy that filled my heart in hearing even a small chuckle out of the man who was in a perpetual bad mood.
I made the mistake of looking up at him as we both laughed. When he smiled, adorable little crinkles outlined his eyes and he had a tiny dimple in just his left cheek. He looked carefree and young, ten times more beautiful than he had just moments earlier.
But when our eyes met, the mood instantly changed.
Neither of us was laughing anymore. Instead, an intense heat passed between us and the air around us filled with a raw and savage tension.