This is the first contemporary romance by Kleypas that I've read, and boy is it an emotional rollercoaster ride. The issues addressed are serious and bring you to the abyss's edge, but the handling is sensitive and competent. Now the characters are human, perfectly flawed and make for a captivating read. Just when you think you get it another layer is pulled back. Overall, a worthwhile read. This is not a light, frolicking good time kinda book. It is dark and violent in places. The characters have to crawl their way out of the darkness. The HEA is earned, not given to these protagonists. BUT, boy--it is a good read.