This was difficult to rate. Mary Brendan's writing is fantastic. Her grasp of the time the story plays, is accurate. However, and here I would have given a minus star, the hero is cruel, malicious and while the last few chapters tell us he loves her and all he has done, he did to keep her and to convince her to love him, I did not see it. I wanted to say to the heroine, do something, get out of there, but alas and this is where Mary Brendan's knowledge of the times comes in, she really had no place to go. She had no options as hard as this is for us in the 21st century to believe.