I think it's a typical romance novel without romance. The relationship is motivated by lust. "I must have her but I don't know why so it must be special" kind of relationship.
I think sometimes a writer can make that work. In this book it somehow fell flat. I did not care for the political intrigue either. It does not have enough romance elements for me.
And Claire, oh Claire, I dislike her as a heroine intensely. But it has a lot to do with me. I don't take well to "manly" women, using Claire's own words. She is too pigheaded and hot tempered for my taste. Another person may have greatly appreciated her strength. I don't. I prefer a different kind of strength that does not speak through weapon and the heroine pretending to be a man. I never understood this archetype of a heroine. What's so good about acting like a man? But that's just my preference.
I think the book is more a 2.5 than 3 stars. But I like Paula Quinn so I rounded it up.