Soooo, this book. I hated it the beginning and the second half was okay but not earth shattering. I think I went into it with higher than normal expectations and came out burned.
This is story of a very hurt and bitter individual, Marquess of Dain, and Jessica Trent a determined spinster. Dain is a brute, a cad and an asshole of the first order, I get that he is a product of his childhood and all but this is a romance book and I found very little to love in him. I liked Jessica, she was a vivacious and smart young woman who handles situations that many women would crumble under and start crying.
I didn't find much in terms of relationship building in the first half, most of it is these two fighting and trying to humiliate one another. Then after Dain compromises Jessica in front of a bunch of people things get good, she shoots him and goes after him with a defamation suit. It was all good and dandy until Dain proposes marriage. I get they are supposed to be together because they are the main romantic coupling but it all felt kind of force.
Jessica and Dain had some touching moments together but it came rather late for me. I was glad to see him reform and change the way he had been treating his 8 year old bastard son but I honestly felt that everything he did was credited to Jessica. I wanted to see him redeem himself but Dain never satisfactorily succeeded in that regard.
Lisa Kleypas did a better job of the scoundrel reforming in "Dreaming of You" Derek Craven was an asshole but there where things one found to love in him and he isn't that much different from Dain but he was portrayed better.