First of all, I have to state that I respect Nora Roberts' work and usually enjoy her books immensely. Most of the time I like her characters and find them fairly sympathetic.
This time, not so much.
Bone to pick number 1: Emma, hereafter to be known as Idiot Girl, gets involved with a commitment-phobe (Our Hero) and is then stupid enough to start wanting marriage after FOUR MONTHS of dating. What planet is this girl from? Is she a masochist or a moron? Personally, I have her pegged as both.
Number 2: When Idiot Girl gets the key to her boyfriend's place from his secretary (he has no idea) and proceeds to girlify his house and the poor bastard comes home from a very hard day at work, feeling like crap and then horrified by the flowers and ABBA permeating his personal space, she throws a hissy fit because he's not appropriately grateful and dumps him. The we're supposed to feel sorry for her. Please.
Number 3: Idiot Girl's friends, who are all clearly as stupid as she is, refuse to allow Our Hero to apologise to her for his lousy behaviour and treat HIM like the bad guy for not wanting to rush into commitment FOUR MONTHS INTO THE RELATIONSHIP. What gets me is that by the tone of the writing, we're clearly supposed to admire these women for treating Idiot Girl like a baby and Our Hero like a cruel, heartless bastard.
I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone could read this and not want to bludgeon the protagonist and her friends, although Mac is somewhat okay. Nora Roberts needs to get back on track and write some likeable characters, because her Bride Quartet is beginning to suck. For the first time since picking up my first NR book I am not going to bother finishing one of her series.