Reread in 2010.
I loved both Ruthie and Chris. But I felt that the romance happened too quickly for Ruthie's past, and it bothered me that that Ruthie was the one who instigated the hurried pace.
I like that they agreed to go slowly, though (even if they couldn't keep to that promise). It showed they were both wary (Chris especially) and that they were aware of potential issues.
However, even though I thought it all happened too fast, I thought that Winfree handled the domestic violence aspect absolutely fantastically. She has a way of dealing with deep emotional issues that cuts right to the heart of the matter.
Chris is one of my favorite Winfree heroes, throughout the series.