Why did I check this book out of the library and take the time to read it? A moment of insanity surely. The book wasn't neccessarily baaaaad, it just wasn't really that good. I felt like I was reading a cartoonized romance novel, a parody of itself. Let's face it, the male characters in this book were little more than over-sexed buffoons. The women were shrewish, stupidly stubborn and in my opinion, totally selfish. At one point one of the female characters, Esme, takes Toste captive because she doesn't want him to avenge his twin brother's "death." Rather, she needs him to be by her side to help her with her cause and not abandon her. Really? Throughout the novel, she is afraid of losing her independence and power and yet sees no problem in taking it away from another? The plot was rather thin and dull in my opnion, too. One annoying thing was that each section in each chapter was introduced by the author's irritatingly anachronistic "witticisms" which destroyed any momentum that had been going. Good concept, disastrous execution, in my opinion.