What a dud. Oy. The plot and set up had sooo much potential but the actual execution was really disappointing and fell completely FLAT.
It took me forever to finish this. I just could not get into it and I felt the story dragged out forever. One of my main issues with this was the heroine, Emma. I'm not a fan of uptight prudish heroines, my patience runs really short usually when I'm stuck with a book that has one. It just dries up the story for me and makes it less enjoyable to read. But besides that, Emma's complete naivete and obliviousness to sexual relations and men in general just went a little extreme and unrealistic for me. To be honest, she came off a little TSTL at times and just wishy washy. The constant debating or questioning the hero's true intentions and calling him 'sir' through the whole damn book just drove me berserk. The man has made love to you, pretty much declared his feelings, has seen you naked yet you STILL call him 'sir'?? WTF? Just made me roll my eyes. Sorry genteel rules or not, it's too damn haughty and ridiculous for my mind to grasp. And as from a romance aspect?? UNromantic.
Besides that, I really wanted to like the characters, love them but just couldn't. They came off very one dimensional and just meh. I barely got to know the hero in this, Nicholas. Through half the book you barely get his POV, get a fuzzy description of what he looks like *barely* and 80% of the book is focused on the heroine's shame, guilt and fluttering over her bad bad dark awful secrete. RME. We keep getting Emma's POV constantly but barely anything on Nicolas until the last half of the book. It's like the author didn't want to spend time fleshing him out. He has a limp and walks with a cane, I was curious to know the story behind it, yet the author decided to wait to reveal that information near the end in a passing conversation to his BROTHER and not the heroine. Come on. Nicolas came off as more of a secondary character at times which is strange. What a waste. A male hero who's an artist is just all kinds of yum in my book. *sigh* And the villainous Uncle in this was just so incredibly vile and disgusting that I couldn't believe it.
The only part that made me smile was that surprisingly sweet poem at the end. Made the inner-artist in me all starry-eyed. If only I had an artist write me such a beautiful endearingly sweet prose. :P