4.5 - one little plot point (and no, not the device at the end-is it wrong I was really hoping for that?) was too distracting for me. While the writing was purposeful and tight (in other words, REALLY good), as well at funny at times, I also have the beautiful/artistic factor, and here for me, I didn't notice that to be a strength (maybe on a reread!).
So why a 4.5, Sam? You have a plot distracting you (Chilly) needlessly nefarious side characters (Felicity)-one and the same really- Um, the way the romance develops and who it develops between. It's the how, it's the why, it's the realistic and understandable barriers, and it's their choices in the end. It's the build between Anna and Edward, and of course his eventual undoing.
The heartbreaking moment in the stable I didn't think I'd recover from--honestly, it's a little funny to me how the characters paralleled Noah & Gavin [b:Illegal Contact|34346381|Illegal Contact (The Barons, #1)|Santino Hassell|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1493270535s/34346381.jpg|54486205] a bit, which I just read. The grouchy one with a temper who barely anyone can get along with, and the assertive and compassionate opposite who can handle the person and understands their own self-worth and then ultimately a reason that keeps them apart which makes sense in their worlds, so much it hurts.
I'd love to do a longer, more detailed review but I was up too late finishing this! What a great read.