Madeline Hunter, The Seducer: I'm always uncomfortable when either hero or heroine is deliberately lying to, misleading, or especially using the other, no matter if their reasons are good ones; in this case, it's even more distasteful to me, as the hero has quite a bit of power over the heroine, and has had that power since she was a child. That said, given the hero's stunted emotional growth, I could see him doing this, and then later attempting to dramatically sacrifice himself for her in an attempt to make up for his earlier dishonesty. It was a little harder for me to believe that the heroine would fall in love with him, except that she was portrayed as extremely alone and starving for affection, and would likely have fallen in Stockholm Syndrome with him, if nothing else. I also think it might have taken quite a bit longer, in real life, for his epiphany that love is a better solution than revenge, but I was able to accept it for the length of the novel.
I especially liked the seamless way Hunter integrated historical events into the plot, and not the worn-out familiar ones so often seen in romance novels. And I liked that the romance had a darker, needy edge to it. I might not want that in real life, but it made for an involving story.