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.