This book surprised me. It is deep, well-written and deals with a modern woman's dilemma: how does one who has been brought up on "feminist" ideals actually find a healthy balance between an innate, and perfectly natural, need for a serious, loving relationship with a strong, decent man and still retain one's independence of being?
Phaedra is not your usual romance heroine and there were times when she took her struggle for independence too far. But she evolved from her experiences, and at times her inner struggle was poignant and profound. I came to care for her, and could feel sympathy for her fears.
Elliot was simply a 5 star hero. Ms Hunter's skill at keeping Elliot an alpha-hero, and yet also having him grow as a man, overcoming his own personal fears of dominance and control, without losing the essence of his masculinity, was a marvel to read. His characterisation is impeccable.
My one complaint about the book is not unique to Ms Hunter's books, but one I have for many romances these days: the unfortunate use of gynaecological descriptions during the erotic scenes. Why, oh, why, in the middle of a steaming scene, do we have to have a bucket of cold water thrown in our faces with the use of highly unromantic words describing female genitalia, no matter how medically or technically or politically correct they are?
Ultimately, though, this book is well-plotted, with all loose ends neatly tied up; it has a satisfying and believable ending and it has kept me thinking days after I finished reading it: no mean feat for a romance these days!