This book is bound to elicit some strong reactions. On the one hand, the 'hero' is evil - unrepentant, sneaky, sly, scheming, and quite unlikable. Yes, he has had a horrific childhood, with multiple unspeakable traumas. He is so vile and hated that someone tries to poison him. Enter our heroine, who is there under false pretense, to nurse him back to health. And so they form a bond of sorts, he seduces her, and in the end we find out he is not the blackhearted knave we think he is. That said, I still don't like him. It doesn't excuse the evil he has done.
The author, Ms. Hoyt, has honed her craft well. Her writing is wonderful. The character development exceptional. The sex scenes are graphic and very well written. The entire book was intense and I read it in one sitting. I probably would have given the book 5 stars - the writing was that good - but I really, really disliked the hero.