I really wanted to like this book, but in the end it was nearly everything I hate about romance novels. The widowed hero was a total ass to the heroine for 90% of the book. Yes, I get it, he was broken up about his first wife's brutal murder. Be that as it may, he proposed to the heroine of his own free will. Treating her cruelly and rudely because he didn't want to love her and thereby betray his first wife? 1. Not how normal people think/behave. 2. Not endearing in the least. 3. Makes me think less of the heroine for "loving" him despite the constant abuse. Couple this with an abusive streak--he attacks her when he was drunk and punches a guy who she's friends with--and I wanted to call a shelter for the dear girl. She wasn't in love. She was in a co-dependent, abusive relationship.The plainly told writing did the book no favors either. Lord. If it was worth saying once, she made sure to explicitly spell it out a few more times, just to make damn sure I got what she was getting at. It was like training wheels for a book. Anytime something happened in the fairly predictable plot, she made sure to point out what it meant before I could hurt my purdy head thinking it over myself. Bored the tits off me.