I wish authors would end the redeem-a-douche program, particularly the ones who seem to only be able to do so at the expense of other characters' characters.
At least Nykyrian escaped being painted as a loser, unlike poor Acheron who got hung out to dry for his twin.
So Jullien "I'm not bad; just abused and misunderstood" eton Anatole made sure the h's kid didn't get sold to slavers, thus gaining her attention...and everyone in her family who realized who he was (and also his reputation, the bounty on his head, etc...). Of course, her family objected - why wouldn't they really? And... ok, they took a while to warm up to him, and did a nasty thing to him. Got it. They had a good reason.
What bugs me is that his parents got hung out to dry. Obviously there had to be an explanation as to why he was left in grandmother dearest's hands. I just felt that it was carried to a ridiculous extreme. His mom was drugged out of her mind right up until Nyk appeared on the scene, and at least some of that was intentionally done on others' parts so...? Dad...the reasoning made no sense. Really, if the kid is begging you to visit, why would you turn him down? Ever?
And then there's the inability to actually be the strong silent type everyone says he is. Seems to me that he never missed an opportunity to tell people how bad he had it, so how did nobody ever figure that out?
Somewhere there's actually a decent story in here. Too bad it's suffocated by the "woe is me" stuff. Really here, he's being dragged to his execution, he's destroyed the one method they had to track him (but what about that tracker his cousin implanted in him), it's only a miracle they found out at all where and what, and his last thoughts were that he'd hoped that his wife and others actually gave a damn but apparently not. SERIOUSLY?! He's been married 5 years at this point, and he still doubts her?
I'm looking at the next book - found it at the library so didn't have to actually spend money on it - with some trepidation. Supposedly the MCs both had good childhoods but knowing this author, she can't possibly come up with a decent story anymore without delving into stuff that makes me want to roll my eyes.