Connor Malloy, Houston pediatrician, is temporarily in tiny Millerís Landing, Texas, when he lets out a curse after finding his car has been damaged. That is a bad idea. Suddenly he finds himself hauled off to jail and then to court based on an obscure town law that doesnít allow cursing in front of women and children. Connor has the distinct impression the whole town is in on some weird conspiracy against him. He is really baffled when he is told that he can get out of jail if he is willing to ask Gillian Bates out on a date.
Connor naturally wonders what is wrong with this woman who requires most of the town to force someone to take her out. But when he finally meets Gillian he canít find much of anything wrong. In fact he discovers he likes her quite a bit. He has no problem asking her out.
Gillian is terrified of this handsome stranger. Well, sheís terrified and intrigued. Since she has sworn off men after a disastrous engagement and subsequent pregnancy, she fights her interest in Connor. Gillian has discovered she doesnít like the doormat she turns into when she falls in love -- she is willing to give up almost anything, including her own desires, to make the object of her affections happy. Even worse, he never is made happy by her personality change. In this case she knows Connor Malloy has the potential to make her forget herself entirely.
The author tries hard, but I just couldnít swallow the idea that anyone would be willing to be ďsentencedĒ to this kind of community service or that anyone would really sentence someone to do that. Therefore, I couldnít completely set aside my disbelief to just enjoy the story. There are too many problems. Connor does realize that the whole plot is bound to be discovered and at some point he tries to get out of it since Gillian will be hurt when she knows. But he doesnít struggle very hard.
The judge, who is also the townís mayor and Gillianís aunt, gives an explanation as to why she sets this up, but the whole idea seems too manipulative. In fact the town is supposed to be small, concerned over Gillian (maybe too concerned), and quaint. But all the spying on Connor and Gillian gave me the creeps. Certainly no one seems to trust either of them to act maturely on their own.
I also cringed when it became obvious that the two of them were going to settle down in Millerís Landing forever. If I had a chance to get out of that place with all those meddling busybodies, Iíd run for it. Iím sure that isnít the reaction the author had in mind, but thatís the reaction I had. I did, however, like the Gillian and Connor enough that Iíd be willing to take them out of town with me. They donít deserve their fate.