This book has all the typical Lauran Landon charms with 2 characters after my own heart. I have always loved her characters and this book is no exception.
At the same time, this book also has the same weaknesses of her other books: rather typical settings and unoriginal plots. Simon and Jessica married out of convenience. Simon needed Jessica's money and Jessica needed a husband to get away from her evil stepbrother, who incidentlly was Simon's archenemy. The plots really aren't all that great, but Laura Landon always create characters who I come to care about. Jessica is a typical Landon heroine: demured but strong-willed, quiet strength, wise and always dignified. SImon is your typical romance hero, someone with a dark past who has sworn never to love. All in all, very typical.
If I didn't like Simon and Jessica as characters so much, I would probably find this book boring. I know Laura Landon can do better in terms of relationship development. Simon and Jessica had a good relationship, I just think they could have used more alone time where their feelings for each other could be developed more. Landon actually allowed more heat in this story, which is by far the most I have seen in her books. Since I liked the lead characters, I didn't find it such a chore to follow the story. I read on happily enough and enjoyed the calm steadiness I can always find in Landon's books.
I have read books with similar plots which are better than this book, but I most certainly enjoyed reading about Simon and Jessica. If I could make any suggestion on how to improve the characters, I would cut down the "I love you" from Simon in the end. A lot of romance writers do this and this seems to be the norm where the hero finally utters the L word. I don't get the hype. I mean, a man is not what he says but what he does. I would be more conveniced if a man shows his love in his actions. Whether he verbalizes it hardly matters (to me). These romance heros are supposed to be TOUGH guys. Isn't it a little out of character for them to go all "I love you so much and please never leave me" in the end? I mean, is it necessary to have them say oh my god I love you so much so many times? Surely there are better ways to show devotion and love? I should hope so!
The "mystery" bit about villains, aka Jessica's stepbrother and Simon's stepmother/ex-fiancee, is rather boring. I skim-read those sections (there were not a lot of them). I feel that this piece did not do much for the story. It just added a dangerous flair to the story and gave Simon and Jessica an opportunity to reveal their true feelings. I am afraid that it was not very well-done. This mystery piece was too simple and too typical. Quite a waste of a pair of perfectly charming characters.