This is my second reading of the book - the first time I disliked a lot of things about the book, but it has so many rave reviews that I decided to give it another go. My rating is a bit higher this time, but I still find the book flawed and the last quarter of the book, when certain aspects of the heroine's life are finally revealed amongst a whole lot of Victorian melodrama, is disappointing.
Gideon the hero is a wonderful character, but the situation and characterization of Prudence, in the end, just didn't work, even though she is a beautiful person. She has survived a literal hell for the past ten years and protected her sisters as much as she could, but Anne Gracie portrays her as almost TSTL for most of the book instead of as a woman with incredible strength and depth of character. I think that much of what was revealed in the last 90 pages or so should have been revealed much sooner - Prudence as a character deserves it.