I read the negative review before I bought this book. I think a well thought out negative opinion often gives me more information than a vapid "I LOVED this book" review. That does not mean that negative reviews convince me not to read a book, but they do often offer insight about what to expect or notice as I read. However, I must say I read a completely different book than the negative reviewer read.
First, I am a grammar hound. I don't use public libraries much because I like to write in my books correcting errors I find. From reading other Justiss books, I immediately doubted the statement that there were so many grammatical errors. Justiss is an author who rarely errs. I found three mistakes as I read. One was an ommitted word, which might have been a printer's error. Another was using the adverb form of a word instead of the adjective. The third was a mistake in pronoun usage in the subjunctive mood. She used the objective "him" not the subjective form "he" ["Were circumstances different, might that young man have been HE, not "him"] I do not think these three errors qualify as "so many" and from what I know about the average American's education, I believe most people would not really notice them. I think I'm the last person in the universe who knows or even cares about Lie and Lay, for example.
Secondly, the hero... he certainly has many weaknesses: close minded, opinionated, arrogant, bigotted, sure of his infallibility. But we know men just like him, don't we? I once married his twin. How the intelligent, resourceful, brave, alpha female deals with him is fascinating. I love strong females. Steadfastness and courage combined with righteous indignation win in the end. What could be more satisfying. The riding whip scene was a gem of wonderful writing. For that scene alone, I classify this book a keeper.
Thirdly, it is typical of the male NOT to believe the female's assertions or even his own observations as to the truth. Instead, in typical male fashion he has to hear it from another male. Isn't that the way of it! What a scoundrel, but we females love them anyway, don't we. The lesson here is the heroine allows him to be a nodcock if he so insists. She knows his awakening will not come about because of her protestations. Distance and patience overcome. Even if she does not consciously use those weapons, we can see how effective they are.
Finally, Justiss is most skilled at building sexual tension. So many romance authors do not know how to be subtle. They seem to believe clinical dissection of a love scene is sufficient if they include explicit scenes every 50 pages or so. Judith Ivory in The Proposition was the first romance author I read who was as good as Justiss in creating a mood through innuendo and suggestion. Later I found Laura Kinsale, Flowers from the Storm, who is equally as good. Elizabeth Hoyt in The Raven Prince does the same thing. These authors give the lie to the commonly held opinion that romance authors are somehow inferior to "real" writers. These women and other romance writers too exemplify their own strong, self assured heroines that we have all come to love.
So I say buy this book. Most readers will not be sorry.