This novel started out slow for me. The first few pages intrigued me, but I didn't really fall into the story until the 3rd or 4th chapter. This novel is much darker than some of Hoyt's others. Although I've come to expect some dark humor, she's generally lighter than this. It totally worked, though.Temperance is a strong character. Because of her actions in the beginning I thought she might be too headstrong, but that wasn't the case. Caire accuses her of being a martyr, and though she is, it's to a small degree. Mostly she's just punishing herself for what she considers a very great sin.Caire's character is harder to describe. He's an unemotional person in the beginning, almost cold. He's also standoffish and aloof. He finds himself becoming fascinated by Temperance almost despite himself, and he can't help but fall into her. Watching him open up to her was wonderful. He shies away from touch, because it physically pains him, even with Temperance. I like that Hoyt didn't make her the exception to everything with him. He still had to struggle to let her close - both physically and emotionally - despite his desire for her. My heart broke for him as the novel progressed and he let Temperance see inside who he really is.I wasn't entirely satisfied with the resolution between Caire and his mother. It was obvious they were headed for a confrontation, but it was wrapped up too neatly for me in the end. I was also disappointed with how the suspense plot was wrapped up. I would have liked to see a bit more attention focused in that direction (though I have to say I wasn't surprised at the identity of the villain).