The take home message of this book: Be a good girl, never complain, don't make any waves, and eventually he'll fall in love with you.Yeah, I hated everything about this book. It's love at first sight for Millie. She just sees Fitz, and boom, it's love. I'd give her a pass on that since she was only 16, but since she shows no signs of growing up in the course of this story, I'm calling it Fail #1.Fitz still fancies himself in love with Isabelle after not having had anything to do with her for 8 years. "But they were so in love!" you say? They weren't married, or engaged, or in a relationship, really. They were teenagers in the throes of their first crush. As tragic as the circumstances of their parting were, they each went their own way and had lives of their own. But they still managed to be in love with each other, so much so that when Fitz finds out her husband died, he immediately contacts her, and they make arrangements to spend the rest of their lives together, his wife and her children be damned. That's...not normal. If it had been, say, three years, sure, that would be understandable. But eight years? Fail #2.So Fitz just announces to Millie that he plans to permanently live with Isabelle, right? But first he and Millie are going to follow their original plan and finally have sex after 8 (EIGHT!!!) years of marriage, and hopefully conceive in the 6 month window Fitz--without consulting with Millie, but why should he, since she'll just nod her head like the good little girl she is?--has decided is an appropriate amount of time. After a bit of a freakout, Millie, of course, agrees, no questions asked. Questions like, "Hey, asshole, don't you think it's fucked up that you plan to abandon me for another woman, making me an object of curiosity and ridicule in society?" or, "So let's say I conceive--what's your plan then? You're going to abandon your child? Or do you expect me to hand him over after I give birth? How exactly will this child be raised with one parent sobbing in her pillow every night because she's a pathetic loser with shitty tastes in men and another who's shacking up with his childhood sweetheart? And how will society treat him under such circumstances?" (You can change the above language to make it historically accurate.) With all that's wrong with this book, THAT is what most chaps my ass. Those things didn't occur to anyone? Fail #3.As Fitz and Isabelle spend more time together, he inevitably starts comparing her and Millie, with Isabella coming short. That's right, people, he has to be annoyed by the woman he loves in order for him to consider staying with Millie. What's the problem with Isabelle? Well, what it all boils down to is that Isabella is too opinionated. She's impulsive, vivacious, has qualms about his interests in business and isn't afraid to tell him so. I suppose I should be grateful Sherry Thomas didn't go completely conventional and make Isabella a total bitch, but, really, the end result was the same...Fitz having an easy choice to make because one woman is so "obviously" wrong for him (personally, I think he could use a woman who would challenge him, but that's not the kind of heroine we're stuck with). Fail #4.Both the book and many reviewers insist that Millie should have been honest about her feelings to Fitz. I don't agree. First, because I don't really believe in her love for him--love at first sight doesn't count, and there's not a single indication that Millie's love ever matures from that beginning. If at the very least there has been a moment where Millie thought, "What the hell was wrong with me that I thought I loved this fool," especially during their honeymoon, and then showed her falling in love in earnest, than yeah, I'd call it love. But that never happened. Second, and most importantly, Millie's pride in this is about the only thing I found admirable about her. Why would she confess to loving a man who's made it clear he doesn't love her; who plans to leave her and live with another women? We're told that by telling him, it will open his eyes to how much he loves her, and that's what ends up happening. And that, my friends, is bullshit. Why would anyone want that? How could anyone believe in the love of man who barely noticed you for 8 years, who had to told that you loved him in order for the possibility of a future between them to occur to him? How can anyone believe that this man truly loves her instead of just feeling a combination of lust and obligation? Of course, Millie believes it easily. She actually knows he's in love with her before he does, and she just (quietly! Ever the stoic martyr, our Millie) hopes that he'll eventually realize it and and come back to her, so she can happily take him back, no questions asked, no anger, no recriminations. Fail #5The book sets up Helena's story with Hastings. Helena, pretty much the only interesting women in the series, is getting a really shitty love story. Another love at first sight tale, since Hastings has loved her forever, and he has a really creepy way of showing it. Following her around, interfering in her private life, threatening her...yeah, that sounds like the makings of a great love story. Fail #6.What the hell happened to Sherry Thomas?