Review: Behind Closed Doors by J.L. Berg

Note: This ARC was provided by InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

Wealthy, worldly, and wounded heads of companies not seeking love but finding it anyway are a dime a dozen in the romance genre. It becomes a matter of coming up with a new twist to not just capture the attention of a voracious a reader as me but to keep it from start to finish, and that's exactly what bestselling author J.L. Berg did with this standalone contemporary romance novel, Behind Closed Doors. This is a spin-off of her Walls duet--Within These Walls and Beyond These Walls--which I have yet to read, but I was able to enjoy this book independently of the aforementioned duology. I didn't feel as if I was missing anything of vital importance in connection to Roman Cavenaugh and Cara Hamilton, but I did find myself quite curious about Roman's younger brother Jude and Jude's wife Lailah, so their story--told in the Walls novels--has risen up my to-be-read list, right behind another previous series of the author's. But I digress. Behind Closed Doors is more than an office romance and Roman and Cara are much more than the lost millionaire and the innocent young woman who heals his spirit and helps him find purpose.

"Cute, but dumb" were not exactly the three words that any son wants to hear from his father, especially when describing his offspring. Years later, Roman Cavenaugh is at the helm of Cavenaugh Investment's East Coast division and proving to his late father that he was wrong in his assessment of him. He may be handle his end of the business differently from his brother Jude, who heads the West Coast office, but Roman gets the job down. So what if his employees think he needs a personality transplant? What matters is that the company makes me money and everyone working for them has a salary to take him and benefits to rely on. All Roman needs is the routine and organization that he's gotten used to and for there to be no distractions. However, when a distraction comes in the form of his temporary assistant, Cara Hamilton, his frustration at having to train someone new shifts into unexpected attraction. But Cara is in a long-term relationship and Roman knows an employer hitting on someone under his employee could get him in hot water. He may resist her until her temp contract ends, but what if she wants him as much as he wants her?

Roman was nothing like I expected him to be, breaking the mold of the overly controlling, alpha, obscenely wealthy businessman. Yes, he has issues stemming from someone in his family, making him emotionally stunted, but he isn't whipping out whips (pun not intended), ropes, and handcuffs in order to get a handle on his need to be in control. No, Roman is beyond that and proves that not all emotionally tortured men need to tease and torture (I'm using that term very loosely) the women they're with. He's surprisingly sweet and caring after he becomes more comfortable around Cara and even with his sister-in-law Lailah. Speaking of Cara, she isn't some mousy, clueless girl seeking approval at every turn. She's working on her independence and takes initiative when it matters. They may not seem like they're suited for one another--the born and bred New Yorker and the transplant from the Midwest--but they have more in common than you would expect, both with their insecurities. Behind Closed Doors is the story of two individuals who found the best versions of themselves after having found each other. This gets five stars. ♥

Date Read: 13 September 2016

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