I, like a handful of others, noticed that this book devolved into an episode of a singularly bad episode of The Munsters. I couldn't wait to get away from Jessie's one-dimensional parents in the first book. Now we're treated to a whole book with them where their presence adds not one bit to the story at hand. When not ignored they do and say inane and/or annoying things. When The Parents are center stage, the book's forward motion comes to a grinding halt. So what purpose did they serve in this story? And where in the h-e-double toothpicks did her dad accusing her mom of wanting to put him away come from? What? Funny? No.
In fact, nothing actually happened until 38% of the way through the book. Then it stopped again for quite a while. There were pages filled with our heroine and hero second-guessing and doubting themselves--rinse, repeat. Not to mention unimportant bits of information given in the beginning of the book, then repeated later in the book. And we all knew (or should have known), that the many forays into more the intimate aspects of Jessie's and Austin's overwhelming desire for each other would be scuttled. What? And spoil all that self-doubt and second guessing?
I gave this two stars because while I thought she went totally off the rails with this installment, when the author focused on why we were all there, it was imaginative and fun. There just wasn't enough of it. It was at times a tedious read.
Would the first three books have fit into two with the artful excision of The Parents? Maybe with a little reworking. Or would the valuable parts of this book have fit into the beginning of the fourth book? I suspect so.