I read book #2 first and then went bass ackwards and read #1. This one wasn't as good as book #2. It took almost the whole book before the hero figured out who he really wanted and that was only because the girl he was attached to found someone else. So I felt like Merrianne was 2nd choice really. And her little game at the end of "punishing" him was really childish. I don't know if I'll read the rest of the series.