After reading London's Perfect Scoundrel and found it lacking, I had little to no expectations of England's Perfect Hero. Boy, how wrong I was. The story is written in such a way that the characters grow slowly, silently and sweetly on you, and in the end you sit there completely loving them without a slightest clue of when or how that happened. Well, that last bit isn't completely true. There was several moments where I applauded the hero and the heroine, but her especially as she was so opposite of many TSTL heroines in Regency romances. So let's start with her.
Lucinda is a surprisingly and refreshingly insightful and wise young woman. She's genuinly considerate, kind and unassuming. I love how she handles Robert (by not really handling him). She both realizes and understands without really trying that Robert, who suffers from PTSD, needs a person who can talk and act normally around him. A person who doesn't behave like they walk on broken glass, afraid that the tiniest thing they say would tick him off. She's honest in her responses to him - instead of acting all miffed when he's too direct or unintentionally insults her due to forgetting how to behave socially correct after the war trauma, she just decides to be just as direct as him, admitting that he insulted her, but that he is welcome to explain himself. She also realizes that a lot of things he does and say might have a deeper meaning than what is apparent. Examples is when he apologizes for a conversation she barely gave a second thought or seeks her out later. Instead of just waving the apology away, she understands that even though she thought little of it, he apparently did not and therefore felt it important to aplogize. So she accepted the apology. And when he sought her out she went silently with him instead of asking a lot of questions. She thought he might have a good reason or something he saw as important to talk to her about. Often she also answers questions - either by action or speech - he didn't realize he asked or that he wanted to ask but didn't know how to.
Robert's struggle with the after effects of war is described realistically, and you really sympathize with him and can to a certain degree understand how he feels. He often has trouble describing his experiences with PTSD although the author does not. Even though he shies away from interaction with his family his relationship with his youngest brother Edward is so touching. And the way Edward scolds Robert for leaving without telling anybody is highly amusing considering that he's only ten years old.
I also liked that they started out as friends (though the love interest is definitely there) before they got together - too many historical novels and romantic novels in general just focus on getting the heroine and hero together as fast as possible.
A big plus is that the 'big misunderstanding' never really happened as Robert and Lucinda was too level-headed people to fall into the trap of unnecessary drama and also trusted each other enough.
So yeah, this book was totally worth it!