4.5 stars for Crick, .5 stars for Deacon, rounded up to an overall 3.
I'd be a lot more forgiving of Deacon's characterization if every single other character
didn't immediately and eternally love and worship the man and treat him like a long-suffering saint and give him pass after pass on controlling, violent, and immature behavior.
It's not even that it's not typical of the Amy Lane novels I've read - flawed but oh-so-saintly men - but usually she does a much better job of selling it. Here, I wasn't buying it. And I was torn because I really did love Crick, and I wanted him to get his HEA, and his HEA included Deacon - but I also wanted Crick to want someone better for himself.
(Also, I was particularly irritated by the way Crick's one night stand in Germany was treated like cheating and something else he needed to be "forgiven" for - when Deacon had EXPLICITLY GIVEN CRICK PERMISSION TO DO IT. And for Deacon's later "indiscretion" to be treated like something that made them "even" just grossed me out.)