For me, the hero made the book. That is not to say I did not like the heroine Jayne. I thought she was pitch perfect. First as a wife who loves her husband through the 'sickness' part of 'sickness and health', second as an individual who has to weigh her wants and needs against loyalty and what she feels is conventionally proper, and finally as a woman who has to come to terms with a lot of emotional turmoil. Really Jayne did most of the emotional heavy lifting in this book.
But it was Ainsley who stole the book for me. He was simply in love from the word go. And he did everything in his power, even if it was at cost to himself, to make sure the woman he love was happy and fulfilled.
I also thought Jayne's husband was a bit of a rotter. Not in the conventional villainous sense though. He was dishonorable, disloyal and quite manipulative. But while I could think he was an asshole, I couldn't completely hate him. I felt that the author did that wonderful thing all authors should do when writing either a villain or an antagonist. She made him feel that what he was doing was right
. Sure, it was hella wrong. Every action he took from marrying Jayne in the first place while loving someone else and placing his burdens of guilt on everyone around him so they would do what he wanted was so very, very wrong. But in his
mind he was coming from a place of rightness. That he needed to do these things to make things come out ok. And that is the thing that separates an effective, interesting antagonist from a boring one.
This book has all the stuff I really like in a book. A good plot hook, a couple with great chemistry and an intense connection, sexy love scenes that really pull you in, believable relationship complications, a dash of angst to season the romantic sweetness and a group of interesting secondary characters.