This is the 2nd book in Dare's Stud Club series. I was really looking forward to it because Rhys intrigued me in the first book. He was so bent on self-destruction I wanted to see how his character would develop and what his past would reveal. On that score I wasn't disappointed. Rhys really came alive for me. His past and his self-destructive bent were explained well, and we got a lot of insight into his character. On the opposite side was Meredith. If Rhys was dark, brooding and complex, Meredith was light, open and uncomplicated. She was just a simple woman trying to make a living for herself, her father and the village she loved. Rhys decides fate had decreed that he and Meredith marry. He thinks it's because of him she's had to work hard to make a living for herself all these years and that her father was injured and lost his job. He also feels responsible for the state of the village. His solution is to marry Meredith and rebuild his manor, which will save her from having to work so hard plus offer jobs to the village people. I understood where both of them were coming from; Rhys wanted to make things right and finally settle down with someone who would give him peace; Meredith wants to be wanted for herself, not because fate said so or Rhys had "nothing else to do". Unfortunately something was lost in translation. While I appreciated both their positions, I wasn't as emotionally invested in either one of them as I expected to be. I became annoyed with both of them on several occasions for not talking things out.