I loved the gothic feel that I got when I first started this book - the bad weather, the castle, the sister traveling on her own to sacrifice herself for her sister. When I first started reading this book, I thought this would be a simple revenge story. The hero had originally arranged it so that Sidonie's sister would end up owing him her gaming debts, thus enabling him to force her to betray her husband by sleeping with him. The point was not so much to degrade Sidonie's sister Roberta, but to anger and humiliate Sidonie's brother-in-law William. The beauty of this tale is the complexity of the story and that things are not as they would first appear. The hero is not the monster we were led to believe at the beginning, but a scarred man made bitter by the injustices and cruelties he's experienced in life. The beloved sister who Sidonie is willing to sacrifice her virtue for is, although an abused woman, a woman with a gambling addiction and grasping and self-centered. The sister's husband, who at first glance might be the object of pity, is actually a cruel bully who deserves his own destruction. The only person who is who they first appear to be at face value is the heroine - Sidonie Forsythe. She is a woman who very much cares about her sister and her nephews and would do anything to help them. She is a virgin who sees the worst example of marriage on an almost daily basis, therefore making her long & plan for her independence. The hero, Jonas, changes his plans as soon as he first meets and is intrigued by Sidonie. He finds her beautiful and falls for her personality. It's at this point that I feel the hero changes - he seems not quite as hard-edged and has more depth. At first the bargain was for Sidonie to stay with him for seven days while being ravished by him. After meeting her and instantly being captivated by her, he changes the bargain to just staying with him for those seven days during which he will try to entice her into his bed. I loved the period of romancing while Sidonie is with Jonas at the castle. I feel like they grow very close emotionally and the connection they form is beautiful to watch. The only part I didn't care for was the little period of misunderstanding and estrangement at the end.