While the writing was excellent, I had a hard time with the story itself. I felt that the way Sandro placed all of the blame for their failed marriage at Joanna's feet, even after he knew what she had been through, was reprehensible. There was no understanding, no patience, and no promise that he would be there for her no matter what happened. Instead, there were recriminations and ultimatums. She destroyed his belief in himself by pushing him away. She insulted him by believing he valued her virginity more than his love for her. She should just get over it already, and move on with her life--three years is "more than enough time" to spend wallowing in the past. If she doesn't sleep with him, he may just consider her a lost cause...
Truly, I kept waiting for him to get a clue, and he just never did--which for me completely negated all of the truly loving and thoughtful things that he DID do throughout the book. I think that's what upsets me most of all; that for once we were given a Harlequin "hero" who wasn't afraid of his feelings for the heroine, who loved her unquestionably and wasn't afraid to show it...and then the author went and ruined it all by making him a selfish piece of crud who cared more about his own hurt feelings and bruised machismo than the fact that his wife had been violated and traumatized. No, on second thought, what upsets me most of all is the way that rape is portrayed as something that can and should be "gotten over" through bullying and coercion, and that the trauma resulting from it can be "cured" by a couple of rounds of hot sex.
In the end, I gave this three stars. The writing, as I said at the beginning, was excellent, the story was well-plotted and made sense, and the portrayal of a traumatized rape victim was pretty spot-on. However, this kind of subject matter needs to be treated with a little bit more respect than Ms. Reid showed, and the typical Harlequin 2-page wrap-up was just not sufficient.