After thinking it over, I've decided to be honest. Plenty of other reviewers have been kind, even lavish with their praise.
Miss Catherine Fullbright, a 20 year old drudge in her fathers household who also liked to sleep late?, was such a contridictory character she fairly made my head spin. One minute cowering, shrinking and fearful. The next incredibly bold, daring and willing to anger her father in every way possible. Her split-personality happened so frequently and with such rapidity that it seemed completely unrealistic to me. I understand that this character was abused, I did read the book. But for me, a gradual change in her personality would have been much more realistic. Catherine needed to learn to have strength, learn to believe in herself despite what she was hearing from father, mother and sister. This prolonged verbal and physical abuse would not and could not have been thrown over in a moment but this author made this character do that. I could not believe the rapid change could come about like that. And then to have Catherine shrink back into her former cowering attitude just caused me to be confused. How would she react to the next situation?
The hero, Quint Childers (so named by his parents because he would be the fifth Marquess of Ravenscroft, obviously a ha-ha moment for the author), Earl of Valentine, is a politician and views the entire world through how everything will translate to his career. He didn't strike me as hot or cold, neither strong nor weak, good or bad. I couldn't warm up to him at all and personally don't think the author gave him enough personality to make me care about him or any situation he might find himself in.
The wedding was a farce. How did the family come up with a wedding dress for Catherine? This episode took place on the day Elizabeth was to marry Valentine using all the wedding arrangements already in place. The author had established that all of Catherine's clothes were dull and drab. She was much taller and heavier than Elizabeth so there was no possibility of wearing the dress already made. Were there no guests? No family members present? No best man? No clergyman with eyes in his head? Why did no person notice that both the bride and groom had to be held up (physically held up) to keep them from going to sleep in their drugged state? How was it accomplished that both bride and groom were transported from the church to the home of the groom, taken upstairs, completely disrobed and placed in the same bed? Obviously we as readers are just supposed to accept whatever is written and ask no questions. Sorry, I'm not that gullible.
The three friends of Catherine (Josie, Ashley and Madeleine) are VERY obviously headed for books of their own. It doesn't matter, I will not be reading them. I am almost positive that given the descriptions of each of their personalities in this book I would have just the same reaction to their stories.
There are many, many more instances which I could use as examples but if you have read this far I'm sure you get my drift. On the side of kindness, it is not absolutely the worst book I've ever read.