yeah I have to say, Max and Aurelia are quite mean to each other. But somehow it did not bother me.
Max was one of Aurelia's brother's best friends, so they grew up together. As a young girl she loved Max, until one day she saw him having sex with a maid. Yeah I imagine that would discourage a 15-year-old girl. A talented artist herself, she drew a caricature of Max with a small penis. The paining was left by accident in the open and was discovered by a group of boys, who then went on to make fun of Max. Max and Aurelia, who were friendly with each other until that day, became each other's archenemy.
Max and Aurelia really were fighting all the time. And they were both kind of mean. However Sophie Jordan managed to create 2 people with a strong pull between them. I have said this before: Sophie Jordan is good at that. Lots of sexual tension which would have worked really really well if there was a little more warm feelings and love. There was, but with all the fighting and resistance between Max and Aurelia, I thought some tenderness would really make the story more believable.
The ending was a bit abrupt too. I mean for a character like Max, he needed more "coming to terms" with himself and his feelings before I could be convinced of his change of heart. I felt the book could have used at least another 20 pages of "how Max finally realized he loved Aurelia". He could have suffered just a little more before the happy ending, I think. :D
Despite their constant bickering, which I usually hate, I like Max and Aurelia as individuals and together. It is not a historically accurate book, unoriginal characterization (take hero who wouldn't love because his father became weak when he lost his wife? Come on!), but is entertaining enough as a romance story.