It's weird I don't have a jackass shelf, considering the jackass hero is one of my favorites. By jackass I mean in a fond, ridiculous way "selfish and / or immature asshole" *winks at Jack Talent & Joshua Templeman*
Friends, they are my favorite kind. The stupid, immature oddly sensitive yet super defensive heroes. (Or some of my favorite anyway). The ones with their who would die for their beloveds but make her think (or sometimes out of fear I suppose) his head is shoved so far up his ass he no longer makes good sense. Hastings was one of them. In fact, I haven't read many reviews past opening paragraphs, but if there's a problem to be had with the amnesia plot and it manipulation, that's not my problem with the hero. I have more of a problem that he lay in wait for Helena to screw up so he could pounce in the most self-centered way possible. But, I also don't blame him for it. It is his sheer and utter desperation for her-revealed bit by bit that makes you understand how heavy and bright the flame he holds for her is. And she hates him for it. We can understand that too-there were 1,000 different ways to solve a problem, and he took the one that most suited him.
And then she got amnesia. It sounds contrived. It sounds easy. But it most certainly did not feel that way. What it gave them was a clean slate. On that slate, he still drew their history (albeit a simplified version) and remained forthright. And underneath his jackass exterior, he was a marshmallow of a hero who'd been planning for her forever. Kind of creepy when I say it that way, kind of sad when you read how clueless she is and how she always assumed the worst of him (and that was his own doing since the worst is often what her gave her).
The relationships and family really made this book work and made it convincing. In isolation, Hastings wouldn't have come off the right way. And as usual, Helena is to die for-with a different kind of spirit and strength than the heroines of the prior two. In the end, much like the two I mention there above, his tender heart is revealed, and it is wonderful.