2.5 stars (based entirely on all the other Hathaway siblings in this book, NOT the main couple).
Kev Merripen has loved Winnifred “Win” Hathaway since the first time he saw her, when her eccentric family took him in after the Gypsy tribe his uncle was the leader of left him injured and dying. Having been trained to fight anything and anyone, and been treated no better than a vicious dog, Merripen is hostile and distrustful at first, but the care and kindness of the various Hathaways, especially Win, ensures that the family have his undying loyalty. As the years go by, everyone in the family know that Merripen and Win love each other, but their feelings go unspoken, mainly because Merripen is convinced that Win is far too good for him, and he would harm her if he was with her.
Before Win goes to France with her brother Leo (now a Viscount after a distant cousin died and left Leo the only heir) to France to a health clinic (having never recovered entirely from a bout of scarlet fever that killed Leo’s fiancee which sent him into a destructive grief spiral), she tries to confront Merripen. They kiss, but he sends her away, heart-broken. She returns two years later, healthy and more beautiful than ever. Merripen has become cold and bitter, having used all his energies into getting the Hathaway estate into shape. He’s not happy to see that Win has brought along the handsome and charming doctor who runs the clinic, and who seems quite determined to marry her, if she’ll have him. Read my scathing thoughts on this book on my blog.