I have really loved most of Lisa Kleypas's novels I have read to date, so it truly pains me to not be able to give this book a higher rating. This is one of the first four books that she wrote, and the writing style is so different from her later works that it almost seemed like it had been written by another author. The story is very heavily character-driven with very little plot. The conflict is mainly of an internal nature, driven by secrets and love triangles, with no real villains to speak of. I had a really hard time liking the characters. The heroine is very contradictory, almost to the point of seeming to have multiple personalities, for about the first 2/3 of the book, before finally settling into a steadier persona. The hero is sometimes kind and gentle, but at other times is a bit too stubborn and dominant for my taste. The two of them end up spending a large part of the book arguing about various things, often ending in an anger turned to passion moment, which isn't really my cup of tea either. The story is really heavy on the historical descriptions, especially details of the political climate between the North and South following the Civil War and the newspaper business, which I thought bogged down the pace. I love learning things about history from my novels, but I thought it was a little too scholarly and heavy-handed here. While there were some mildly romantic scenes, in my opinion, it was seriously lacking in the depth of emotion and passion for which Lisa Kleypas has become know. I'm sure there are some people who might enjoy this book, but I literally had to force myself to finish it in small doses. I couldn't really recommend it for anyone other than hard-core fans who are collecting her books, but I definitely will not be one of them. I'm really glad I borrowed this one and didn't pay the going OOP price for it.