The first quarter of this book, I was pretty sure I was going to hate it. Then things really got in gear, and it became gripping and heartbreaking. The heroine is definitely not my type of girl, but the more I learned about her past, the more she and her reactions made sense. The hero is very damaged (by design, thanks to an amazingly manipulative mob boss) but fights hard to be the best kind of being he knows how. The characters felt unique as did Gideon's version of the paranormal underworld of New Orleans - something that's been done to death, but still felt fresh in this take.