"She'd remember, and she'd start shaking, and there was no one there to remind her to breathe."This is such a hard book to review. Totally easy to rate, though.Five Huge StarsI can understand why some people took Bastien to be just a little too cold-hearted. But I just can't bring myself to care. I LOVED him, so much! He is ruthless and soulless. For nearly the entire book, he just doesn't back down. But you also get a glimpse of the emptiness that he exists with, the nothingness that is in his head and in his heart. It sounds crazy, but I fell in love with him even before he (sort of) redeems himself.Breathe, Chloe. You know how in historical romances, they say that reformed rakes make the best husbands? It's because they need that ONE woman to show them what has been missing. Sebastian has no joy...nothing to look forward to, no light at the end of the tunnel. His days are filled with ruthless determination to get the job done, no matter the cost. His allies aren't friends, they are expendable helpers...as is Chloe. The fact that she is a complete innocent never even factors into the equation. He is just so unreachable. And it's crazy, the way that he slowly starts to thaw. I didn't realize how much I was rooting for him until I finally, finally started to see a little glimmer of light. These tiny flickers of tenderness...AH!!! They are so much more golden due to their rarity!!I know that all I've done so far is defend Bastien. I put off this series for so long due to the negative reviews about the ultimate gamma hero who never redeems himself. So here is my defense of a misunderstood man. And they are right in the fact that Bastien doesn't redeem himself the way a normal romance hero usually does. There are no hearts and flowers for Bastien and Chloe. Just a knowledge of the deep affection and seriously passionate love that Bastien feels. I could just tell that it's a one time only thing for him. Chloe is IT. She is all he sees. What is more romantic than that?