I read this book recently, after reading Pearce's other offerings, A Bird Without Wings and For Those Who Wait. And I've enjoyed The Value of Vulnerability more, not just because the prose has matured, but also the subject matter.
I'm not a regular Romance reader, so with A Bird Without Wings and For Those Who Wait, I regularly had problems suspending my disbelief. Not because Pearce is a bad writer, far from it, but because the romantic worldview permeating most Romance novels is distinctly alien to my own experiences in the matter.
The power in The Value of Vulnerability lies in the subtle shift towards more mature characters. Not the characters in the other books were immature or even adolescent, but there was a sense that the characters were at the cusp of adulthood, rather than jaded by their adult experiences.
In The Value of Vulnerability, the main characters are Ford Howard and Erin Russell. Ford is a sociopathic womanizer who abandons more women than a sniffler throws out tissues. Erin is a single IT specialist who presents a welcome challenge for Ford, who is used to dating vapid women who rarely warrant more than an evening's attention.
The brief courtship that ensues, surprises them both in its intensity and as quick as they connected, they spiral apart, each confounded by their feelings for each other.
Then disaster strikes...
I'm not going to give away more of the plot, except that I was enthralled by the story and characters, and genuinely moved by the dramatic developments. An accomplishment worth five stars.