This should have been called "The Pining."
Nash is not a bad writer. Although she pulls some bizarre modern references out every once in a while. At one point a character refers to "cats and dogs living together." Nobody could read that line and not hear Bill Murray's delivery. It's a very bad choice. There were other moments where I felt the language was jarringly anachronistic.
But I can live with that. It's the pining that drives me nuts. You can start with pining and build from there, but you can't just pine through the entire novel. No. It just doesn't work. At one point the heroine thinks how she's in a rut. I'd been thinking that through the previous 80% of the book. And the hero's no better. Pining away for something he ... Just. Can't. Have. It takes a heck of a misunderstanding to keep all that pining going through a whole book, but I guess they're so busing pining they can't be bothered to actually talk to each other with any degree of honesty.
The template Nash uses (based on two novels in the series and one short) is the hero and heroine caring for one another early on, denying themselves for some contrived reason, indulging, then denying themselves some more, then indulging again (or coming close), and then denying themselves, and then, right before the end of the book, coming together for real. It's not my fave template. I prefer the couple to have a few chapters of being together, so we can actually see how the hea is working out -- I assume there will be danger or some outside obstacle -- but what I really don't like is couple not knowing how the other feels until the end. Even the epilogues don't work for these things because they don't fill in enough. For me, anyway.
But now look at me starting the next one in the series anyway. Nash has made me curious about how this one character's HEA is going to work out. Since we saw the post-HEA couple in the short, I feel like I've gotta know. And I'm hoping that, now that my expectations have been sufficiently lowered, maybe I'll really like it.