I agree with you about not liking Nicholas. He was verbally and emotionally abusive and I'd have walked away from him and his evil mother.
The mother was verbally and emotionally abusive as well - and even threatened physical abuse!
I found the "change of life" excuse to be unbelievable. I went through the change and I didn't become a witch. Yes, I got depressed and warm, waking up at nights and throwing off the covers - and sometimes wanting to throw something at my husband - BUT I made it through it.
The mother and Nicholas suddenly - and I mean SUDDENLY - changed. The ending was good but I never did like Nicholas and I had no empathy for the mother either.
My favorite character was Jeremiah - now HE was a sweetheart.
If you like mail-order bride books the way I do, you can get through this book, however, it is NOT the best mail-order bride book I've read. I kept thinking all the way through the book WHY did Nicholas send for Faith in the first place when he acted the way he did towards her from the very start?! I've read better by this author. I borrowed this one from the library and I'm glad I didn't spend the money on it....