This Fetzer book was emotionally-invoking with the angst of dealing with a manipulated breakup 7 years ago by heroine's sorority sister whom Hero married. I could feel the unspoken emotions & still-hot sexual chemistry between Hero & heroine. There was character development especially on Hero's part (he needed it!) and some groveling. But the groveling fell a bit short for me. Here's why:
What went wrong:
1. Hero chose honor (for supposedly getting OW pregnant--we know later that she lied about it) over his love for heroine.
2. He never told heroine that they were breaking up & he was marrying her sorority sister. His fiancee cruelly broke the news to heroine.
3. He doesn't divorce his wife or explain things to heroine after his wife confessed a few weeks after their wedding that she lied about them sleeping together the night he was drunk & lied about being pregnant.
4. He also displayed passivity by not looking for heroine (to apologize, reconcile, or whatever) after his wife divorced him.
5. His explanation of not wanting to emotionally disturb his young daughters didn't coincide with his dating & sexxing activities after his divorce. Ergo, he can look for a bed partner but not heroine who he professed to be the love of his life? Uh.huh.
6. He waits for heroine to question him about why he broke up/cheated on her in the past before he launches into his explanation.
7. He waits for his mother to tell him to wise up before he problem solves how heroine can have both her career & a life with him & his girls.
How he made amends:
1. Hero verbally apologized numerous times...but he waited for heroine to ask him why before he explained what happened in the past.
2. He continually professed his love for her & didn't push her to reciprocate.
3. At the end, he paid her student loans & got her a residency position close to his ranch.
Overall, Hero didn't make enough amends towards the great wrongs he did towards heroine. He abandoned her time & time again by his passivity in fighting to be with her. He had several chances throughout the years to go after her but he did't take it. They would never have reunited if circumstances didn't put them together. I think this book needed another chapter on Hero grovelling some more before I'm satisfied enough that he righted his wrongs towards her. The epilogue that showed him having a growing family with her & supporting her with her career didn't cut it for me.
I did believe that he truly loved her once they saw each other again but it's a passive kind of love that gets only activated by circumstance. He looks & behaves like an alpha male but he fails in the fighting-for-love department. Heroine, on the other hand, was a strong & independent person who took care of herself when people in her life abandoned her via death or walking away from her like Hero did. She wasn't a doormat but was the type to not hold grudges so forgave Hero. She was right to not trust him again & waited to see if Hero would support her this time around.