"I had all intentions of sending James straight home, but his softness, emotions and demeanor got the best of me," she writes

By Desiree Hartsock
July 02, 2013 09:50 AM
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC(2)

Former Bachelor contestant Desiree Hartsock is calling the shots and handing out the roses as the current star of The Bachelorette. The bridal stylist will blog all season long on PEOPLE.com about her dates, the guys and the difficult decisions she must make. You can also follow Desiree on Twitter.

I’ve always wanted to see Spain and now that I’ve been there on The Bachelorette, it’s one of my favorite places on earth! The city of Barcelona, the people, art and culture are so inspiring. What a wonderful place to start fresh after such an awkward week in Germany. That is, until I was placed in a compromising position and had to deal with more emotions and drama from the men.

I wanted to explore the city and continue my connection with Drew. In a group setting, he tends to be more reserved and I wanted to see his fun, playful side on our date. Although that side didn’t shine through, a different and powerful one did.

It really took a lot for Drew to tell me about his father’s past. The emotion he showed talking about his father being his hero was endearing and I appreciated Drew for being so open.

Drew may be reserved but he definitely knows how to show his passion and feelings through a kiss! It was such a great moment with him that ended up being over shadowed by the bombshell of information about James. Drew is one of the most trust-worthy men in the house. I knew I could believe his every word.

After the drama with Brian’s girlfriend, Bryden leaving and Ben’s behavior with the other men, the James debacle was the last thing I wanted to focus on.

I was extremely disappointed by what Drew told me. James seemed like a loving, caring and respectful man. I don’t see what the men are like around each other in the house or when the cameras are off, so I had to take my time in making a decision about James. At this point James was pretty high on my list. I was thinking about meeting his family. I know his good side is so, so good.

Good Sport

I love group dates that allow everyone to be active and let loose. So when in Spain, do as the Spaniards do … and play futbol! Juan Pablo is really in his element on the field. I’m quite competitive, so it was fun to win the game with my incredible team.

I didn’t want to confront James during the day and ruin the fun for everyone, so I spent the day just observing his behavior. James was being very quiet, standoffish and looked downright miserable. It was obvious that he was having a hard time being there and didn’t get a long with the other men. But even James’s behavior on the field could not prepare anyone for what happened at the afterparty.

I was excited to have one-on-one time with both Brooks and Chris – especially knowing that I had to talk to James later. I shared a poem I wrote with Chris. He has been so generous with his thoughts and poems. Everything is so natural and easy with him. It truly felt like we were high school sweethearts sitting on my bed that night.

My time with Brooks was one of the best we had thus far, and it was nice to connect once again since our one-on-one date seemed so long ago. Both Brooks and Chris lifted my spirits and made the night seem like it was going well. I had no idea what was happening simultaneously.

Confronting James

Once I confirmed everything with Kasey, it was time for me to confront James. With all of the drama going on I was in no mood to give out a rose. I had all intentions of sending James straight home, but his softness, emotions and demeanor got the best of me. I needed to sleep on it and couldn’t make a decision that night. I mean, he is charismatic!

After the emotional confrontation with James, I truly just wanted to have a fun-filled day with Zak to take my mind off of things. He was the best man to have on this date because he knows how to make me laugh. I love to paint, sketch and create, so it was exciting to spend the day sharing that with someone else.

This could have been an uncomfortable moment drawing a naked man, but Zak took it in stride and created art! His portrait of me was – let’s be honest – terrible, but his effort was touching. Who better than “shirtless Zak” to share two of my passions – art and the male form?

I needed to take care of the James situation before the rose ceremony. Once again, my intention of letting him go fell away once he started telling me how he felt with such sincerity. Watching it back, I feel I was completely manipulated by him. He would put on a softer, caring persona around me, but then speak so harshly with the men.

After a lot of thought, I decided that keeping James there would diminish my other relationships. It will be interesting to see what James has to say about himself at Men Tell All. I know I will have some questions for him!

Final Five

It was an emotionally draining week – and so difficult to send home really great men (aside from James). I couldn’t go further with Juan Pablo once I knew other relationships were stronger and that he had his daughter back home waiting for him. It wouldn’t be fair.

Chemistry is a very strange thing that is either there or it isn’t. You guys didn’t get to see a lot of Juan Pablo. He is great and we had a strong physical connection, but could not get it to that next level. Some woman will be very lucky to end up with him.

Although Kasey has all the qualities I’m looking for in a man, and seems perfect for me on paper, we just couldn’t force the chemistry to be there. It was the most nerve-racking rose ceremony to date.

With James gone, I thought that all of the drama was behind me. I stayed hopeful that a mutual love could be found in one of the five amazing guys that were left.

The dates next week are full of romance and wild excursions on the beautiful island of Madeira. Feelings are fully developed at this point and it is exciting to explore the depth of each relationship.

Thank you for watching and reading my Bachelorette blog!