Heroine has been in love with her guardian Hero since she was 15 & set out to make him notice her as a woman since she became his ward at 17. Unfortunately he didn’t see her as a potential lover & even sent his various girlfriends-of-the-moment to vacation with her instead of taking him herself. The one time he did take her himself ended up with heroine declaring her love for him & proved to be embarrassing for both of them. Now at age 19 heroine is resigned that Hero would never see her as a lover. She wants to be independent from him now instead of waiting 2 more years before she has full legal control of her inheritance. But Hero doesn’t think she’s capable of protecting herself from fortune hunters so he proposes a marriage of convenience until she’s 21. Heroine takes advantage of their temporary marriage & tries to make him love her. Her plan seems to work especially when Hero finally makes love to her. But the reappearance of Hero’s old girlfriend instills doubt re: the permanence of their marriage.
Heroine may sound like a doormat but she wasn’t. She just knew what she wanted & went for it. It showcased her inner strength (her stubbornness, resilience, & positive view of problems) to not be discouraged by Hero’s lack of interest in her as a lover for the 2 years she lived with him as his ward & the 1st year of their marriage. She wasn’t self-pitying. When she gave her best shot at something & it didn’t work out, she moved on to her next plan.
I liked that we get both Hero & heroine’s POVs. I could clearly see where their misunderstandings were & rooted for them to figure them out at some point. I liked that Hero chose to be celibate during the 2nd year as heroine’s guardian b/c he was done with his casual-sex lifestyle. He didn’t stray during their 1st year of their celibate marriage either. Once he realized he was in love with her, he tried his best to win her love. He was a sweetheart of an alpha Hero.