Wilder Shore by Clair, Daphne

A Wilder Shore - Daphne Clair Heroine finally consents to marrying persistent Hero a few months after her 1st husband died. She & Hero had a very strong attraction 6 years earlier when she was engaged to be married. But heroine got scared of the intensity of their attraction & didn't want to rock the boat of her proper upbringing so she proceeded to marry her fiancé much earlier than planned. Being married to Hero now gives her the passion she never had before, the freedom to be what she wants to be, & the wealthy lifestyle she's accustomed to. But as much as Hero gives her the things she wants heroine feels that Hero is holding himself back from her. Hero isn't sure what heroine's real motives are in marrying him but he's going to do his best to provide the lifestyle he thinks she wants.

I liked this Claire book b/c it had a strong emotional tone & the characters were dynamically written. Hero was aggressive, clear about his attraction to heroine to the point of rudeness, & very persistent in pursuing her. But he wasn't an open book by any means. He was mocking in his pursuit & hid his vulnerability. I liked his obsession & possessiveness with heroine in combination with the freedom he gave her to do what she wanted to do & to choose him freely. Heroine wasn't as likeable to me. She teetered between following social rules & giving into her impulses. She was duty-bound, immature, & feared losing control at 19, which made her impulsively marry her fiancé right away instead of taking a chance with Hero. She ends up doing some passive-aggressive acts as a result. She became wiser & matured more 6 years later. But she was still having trouble trying to please people &, hence, suppressing her innermost thoughts & feelings up to a point. That was her redemption. Heroine wasn't a complete doormat b/c she held some boundary lines. Heroine engaged in emotional cheating with Hero & some physical too (kissing & some touching). Hero was also guilty for relentlessly pursuing her, knowing she was engaged to be married.

Recommended.