“This was a really enthralling story that kept me reading to the end. It held my interest for a number of reasons, and honestly, Carl was a pretty spectacular hero. I totally loved him because his personality was a big draw for me. Yeah, he was a bit snobbish at first, but that was pretty minor. Overall he was a nice guy pretty much from the beginning. I totally adored him.
The heroine, Annalisa, was precious, too. The author made her very likable and you couldn't help feeling sorry for her many struggles. She wasn't ridiculously stubborn like some heroines are made out to be. She had a balanced attitude and I loved that she didn't believe in fairy tale love at all and thought marriage was mainly for practical reasons. But the more she got to know Carl and saw how he exemplified sacrificial love, the more she saw that true love was possible in marriage.
The way Carl was with the Annalisa's children was simply heart-warming and the tenderness there made me want to sigh several times. I loved how he introduced a whole new level of respect and self-respect to Annalisa by his example. He helped her realize she was worthy of love and should be cherished. How can you not love a guy like that? I could see the temptation Carl would have to do something involving his education that was less physically taxing, but I liked how the author showed that hard work builds character. Carl learned to respect the hard working people whose back-breaking labor was how the wealthy made their money. He learned that they were not lazy but were actually tough and quite strong.
I think my favorite part of this book was the developing love between the characters and how Annalisa came to realize that her opinion mattered, that she was worth listening to, and more than that, that she was worth loving. I thought it was touching how Carl helped her deliver her baby, how he saved the dog and a ton of other things he did that were genuine and sensitive. He was simply the most emotionally attractive hero I've read about in a long time because of his tender heart. Great story! ”