It's Always Been You - Victoria Dahl 3+ stars. A good read with a hefty dose of angst.

I didn't really understand the heroine and her motives (both present day and 10 years ago), so she really annoyed me for about the first half to two-thirds of the book, which is how long it took to get the FULL story of her background in all its gory details. After that, she became a much more sympathetic character. While I recognize this is what Dahl did to build the overall plot and suspense, I thought it would have been much more effective from a romance POV for us to know a little more about the heroine so that she'd seem worthy of our hero and his interminable heartache.

Aidan is a wonderful, heart-wrenching hero, and it would've been nice to see that the woman over whom he tortured himself was worthy of those emotions. Aidan's love and passion burned with the fire of a thousand suns - yes, really. He ached for Katie, and when he discovered she was not dead, it was like he was reborn. I really liked him, and although I'm usually not on board with cheating, I didn't feel like he seduced her at all in the first place - if anything, she was the one to make the first moves on him. (Never mind the fact that it's not actually cheating because she isn't still married and is a widow at this point - don't freak out, that's not a spoiler and you find out almost right away in the story.) Beyond that, I could also glean from the narrative that his love, his physical passion, and his motivation for his relationship with Katie carried an authenticity to them that left behind the crudeness and baseness of his couplings with innumerable married women in his past. He's tortured over what Katie will think of him when/if she discovered how promiscuous and undiscerning he has been since they last parted. I truly felt for him and his resurrected love.

This was a good story with writing that packed an emotional punch, and I'll likely seek out more from this new-to-me author.