Joaquin Alcolar is the oldest and only legitimate son of Juan Alcolar, a Spanish aristocrat. He has spent most of his life mistrusting relationships destroyed by his father's unfaithfulness. Joaquin is a “Lone Wolf”. Being in charge of his vineyard business has taught him how to wear a mask, not allowing him to show his true emotions Love is not in his vocabulary and he's never kept a mistress for more than a year.
Cassie is his current mistress and deeply loves Joaquin. However, she is afraid she will be sent packing and questions whether to stay or leave. She is quoted saying “is it worth staying in a situation that is just not making you happy?” She has a “hungry need for this man” and is vulnerable where he is concerned. Cassie loves and adores him and is putty in his hands. She has trouble being honest with Joaquin about her feelings and what she wants from the relationship. She's fearful of being cast out and rejected. So when the end of the year approaches, she decides to leave, to keep hold of her pride.
Upon Cassie's leaving, Joaquin has an accident and Cassie is forced to return home to take care of him. From there, one complication after another and she is now back where she started, more confused and emotional..
Throughout the book, both characters explore their feelings concerning their relationship. Joaquin doesn't understand not always being in control, not knowing where he is headed nor why he feels so different about Cassie over his past mistresses. His emotions are out of control where she is concerned. He feels she is “his woman”, what he owns he controls. He runs his life with discipline and nothing happens without his approval.
This report prepared by Marilyn Shoemaker