This was my first ever historical romance set in the good ol' U S of A. I wasn't really sure what to expect but I'm glad I didn't have high or low expectations. I don't think this was as hot or sensual as other historical romances I've read but I think that has more to do with this particular story and less about this genre overall.
I want to start with the hero, Theo Ward. At the start of the book, I didn't really like him at all. To me he seemed like a hard man with very little compassion. Later I realized that he seemed that way because we were seeing him through Margaret's eyes as she was breaking up with him! Shortly after that, we've moved forward in time by two years and we're seeing from Theo's point of view. It was really great because I really got the idea of how much he really did love Margaret and it looks like maybe he loves her still? I feel like I totally "got" Theo. He's a young man, an intelligent man and he has ideas. But he feels like he has no way to enact those ideas; no way to see them come to fruition. Isn't that similar to what a lot of people feel? That they see how "things" are and they have ideas on how to change those things or to make those things better, but have no idea what to do to get those ideas moved into some kind of action? So yeah, at first, Theo wasn't so likeable but after that first scene, I found that not only was he likeable but that he was funny and sweet as well!
Even though Theo wasn't so likeable at first through Margaret's eyes, I never disliked her. Margaret was just as wrecked about breaking up with Theo as Theo was. She just felt that he would never change, he would always be that guy with the big ideas that never did anything but talk about ideas or complain about the status quo. Because she knew that Theo felt she was always nagging him, eventually he would get sick and tired of her as well. So why subject them both to that kind of unhappiness when she could just break it off now? Sure, that's a little cold but I really felt like Margaret was trying to do what was best for everyone. And that's who she was. She kind of seemed like she was always thinking of what would be best for everyone. She was always strong for everyone, being what everyone else needed.
Of course, you've read the blurb by now so you know that they come back together. Margaret invigorates Theo and inspires him to make changes that neither of them thought he would or could make. But these changes eventually force them apart for a while and that separation is so painful for Margaret (well, its tough for Theo as well). Sheesh, I think I cried a little several times in this book. Margaret realizes that while she wasn't able to open to Theo while he was with her, she's feeling all kinds of new emotions now and has no idea how to communicate that in her letters to Theo. Its so great to see that she's opening herself up to the possibility of love but its kind of gut-wrenching to go through the process with her!
I really enjoyed this book. I wish the final scene between Margaret and Theo would have been longer and that the Epilogue would have been about them rather than about the next book coming from the author or publisher. But that's really my only complaint and its a minor one at that. This book was a little more chaste and tame than other historical romances that I've read. It's not a problem for me but I just want to be clear about that. The story is so great though that if you can handle not having much Sexy Time, you should really give this one a shot. It was really great!