If this is your first book by Linda Howard, I feel sorry for you. Truly. Just set it aside and try others - they are much better. Honestly. Not all of them feature a trembling damsel in distress whining after a chauvinistic macho.So, where do I start? Just how many things are hateable about this book? Well, pretty much every single one. The suspense is so weak it doesn't leave you even with a twinge of doubt as to who the main villain is. The main heroine doesn't mind being insulted and abused by the hero. Scene one, she's 11, he never pays attention to her but she follows him like a little obedient puppy. Scene 2, she's thrown out of her house and, literally, into the dirt by the same, - she still finds no fault with that. Scene 3, she is (presumably) a successful grown-up woman who is threatened and assaulted by her knight in shining armor - but her knees still grow weak at the very sight of him because obviously she never does any thinking with her brain, only with her intimate parts. Speaking of the trembling knees, I kept wondering how she was able to walk at all - the amount of time she spent going all weak over the oh-he's-so-sexy-i-don't-care-he's-a-stalker guy should have actually left her lying on the floor non-stop.It is really amazing how any idea of self-esteem would just disappear from her little mind whenever HE HIMSELF appeared. Obviously, the poor thing had so little sex in her life that the sight of a good-looking man was too much to handle. I thought that self-control was one of the differences between homo sapiens and other species but obviously I was wrong.But let's look at our hero, shall we? He didn't talk. He growled. I think I should have counted the number of times the world "growled" was used. Is he a bear or something? Well, judging by his behaviour he is definitely close to Neanderthal. The only thing he thinks about is sex, and his only way of communicating with the heroine is seizing her, shaking her, grabbing her and intimidating her as much as possible. Oh, sorry. I forgot that sometimes he can be articulate enough to shout. Or growl. Big RRR. So masculine, huh? Excited? Are you going all weak in your knees already?Somehow I did not, and the only reason I read the book until the end was to see if it could get any worse. It did. There was a cute plot twist where one of secondary characters - surprise! - let another secondary character screw her just because she felt it was kinda inappropriate and impolite to refuse. So she went on with it. For 7 years. But you should understand that, of course, she could not stop him from having having sex with her because otherwise he might get upset and leave, and if he left, then maybe her mummy would also be upset. NB: We're not talking about a teenager girl here. We're talking about a 30+ woman. Ok, I know, people have weird issues etc. Right. But sometimes too much is just too much, and some plausibility really should apply even to romance genre. I'm inclined to believe Freud himself was turning in his grave when Linda Howard was writing that stuff.The conclusion: this was one of the worst, the ugliest and the stupidest romance book I've ever read, and I'm sorry for the precious minutes lost on it.