I am absolutely head over heels in love with Andreas Merrick. After reading this story, he is definitely going down as one of my most favorite heroes. He was just everything that I love about a hero. He is a solitary man who shies away from contact and connections with others. He's fearsome and knows how to defends himself and the few others that he does let get close. It was so refreshing to see that most of the story takes place in his point of view. We are able to get a real sense of who he is and what he wants. It was absolutely hilarious watching him interacting with Phoebe, the heroine. He claims he wants nothing to do with her and is constantly trying to thwart her plans and push her away, even though deep inside there is something about her that just calls to him. When she smiles it lights him up inside and when she touches him it's as if he's been felled by a blow. Seriously how can you not fall in love with him?
As for Pheobe, I LOVED her and thought her the perfect match for the uber serious Andreas. She's able to make him feel compassion and she brings out Andreas' sense of humor. Phoebe is so unlike most woman of the ton. She is smart and business savvy and she bakes. She has been taking care of her family ever since her brother disappeared and her father became ill. She will stop at nothing to get her fathers company and his reputation back in order and to do so she needs Andreas' help. She also is very attracted to Andreas and is doing everything in her powers to get under his skin and getting to know him. She feels an instant attraction to him like she's never felt for anyone before and it was quite refreshing to see her as the pursuer in the relationship. She won't let Andreas bad attitude get to her. She is not afraid of him and she won't back down. She sees Andreas as the protector that he is, not the spawn of Satan everyone proclaims him to be.
Andreas and Pheobe were such great characters to read about and I truly loved their story. They both had such great chemistry together and I loved how Pheobe was able to break down Andreas' walls. Both Phoebe and Andreas are so stubborn and I loved watching to see what was going to happen between them. I found myself laughing out loud more than once, especially when Andreas is first encountering Phoebe's attempts at breaking down his walls. After reading In Total Surrender, I definitely can't wait to read Anne Mallory's next book.
**ARC copy provided by Netgalley**