I wasn't going to review this one because I don't usually write reviews when I read a well-known and traditionally published author. However, I felt it deserved a review to explain the low rating.
I hated the heroine, Nicholaa. There was no happy medium for this character. She was either acting like an insecure adolescent, seeking approval and attention, or she was raising hell. The only time I found the strong woman characterized at the beginning of the book believable was – yes, at the beginning of the book. Once Baron Royce has her in his presence, it was difficult to even imagine her as a strong woman. She pouts. She whines. She snivels. She looks for approval. She seeks attention. What the author seems to thing is the behavior of a strong woman, I saw as temper tantrums.
And can I say I'm sick of heroines who are so stunningly beautiful that all men stop in their tracks and gape, unable to speak past the tongue hanging out of their mouth? Read enough historical romance novels and you'll begin to wonder if there were any ugly or even just passably good-looking noblewomen in all of medieval England. This was my fourth historical romance in as many days and without fail, the heroine in each of them could have been sisters, or even identical quadruplets. Oh sure – the hair color or the eye color changes, but the description otherwise isn't original or different.
In short, the characters and the plot were shallow and formulaic. If you plow your way through romance novels and love them all, you'll probably like this one. If you demand a little more depth for your reading experience, this isn't the book that's going to deliver it for you.