This book combines the appeal of the wounded, silent hero, who has chosen to press on and not cut himself off, but be a selfless friend, while battling his demons alone.
Only to find the poor little rich girl, who is NOT the spoilt brat. It's very appealing that they do not have him making the mistake of thinking that she is just a spoilt brat. Insted, they both click on to each other's vulnerabilities and are drawn despite both having some impressively high walls built up.
It's unusual because the hero 'feels' like he is the most isolated, but as you read you realize that it is hte heroine who has truly carved out a lonely life for herself.
It is quiet, but sly. The humor peeks out at you, unexpected among these two somber souls, but giving you these delightful hints of what they could be if their walls were erected.
Then of course Nora also uses one of my favorites, forcing the hero reject and then suffer the full extent of his arrogance in thinking that he can turn down love in order to keep his life safe.
I'm not giving the story away, but there are a host of delightful side characters, a truly irrepressible raven and a big lug who will tug at you.
It's been on my shelf for 20 years and will never get thrown away.