Wasn't it poorly written? No
Did I have a lot of difficulties staying with the story? Not really, I wasn't that crazy about it but I kind of enjoyed reading it.
Is it a bad story? Not at all
So what's my problem?
1. Mercy's self-serving lies:
I think people make mistakes. I am not that much of a goody two shoes to want a perfect heroine who never lies. Human beings do despicable things to each other. I can live with a heroine who has lied. But Mercy lied because she wanted to keep John and later Stephen. Come on, admit it. It was never for anyone but herself. She had no good reasons to lie other than her secret wishes didn't have a chance unless she lied. Oh Mercy girl, not cool, not cool.
2. SO MUCH internal dialogue Mercy had going on with herself:
Since she cooked this major lie about being John's mother, she had a lot of reckoning to do. She was constantly wondering about oh what if. Because again, her self-serving lies gave her what she wanted: the man she loved and the son she loved but didn't give birth to. So much page space wasted on watching a selfish woman being worried about getting caught.
3. Stephen and Mercy had little chemistry:
Why Mercy? Stephen had slept with many many many many women. What made Mercy so special? If the writer could not reasonably illustrate that, reading them having passionate sex is just plain funny. This is the kind of sex that's supposed to turn a rake into a family man? All the other poor women were all interchangeable but this one woman is special? I wasn't convinced.
This was an ok read because Lorraine Heath writes beautifully. But the plots and characters........I have no further comments.