Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Love in the Mail

by Cora Allen from the November 14, 2011 issue

Tagline: Later, Ben would say that fate had brought them together, but Maggie knew better.

In a Nutshell: Maggie jokes with the mailman about wanting a love letter instead of the plant bulbs she'd ordered. Three days later, she meets the handsome new neighbor who happens to work at the same hospital. He has a letter of hers that the mailman delivered to him by accident. He invites her to dinner on his deck that night.

Observations: There are a lot of story elements that occur over and over in Woman's World romantic fiction. I thought I'd go through this story and highlight the ones I noticed.

1. Clever addition of a character's backstory. Allen slips the fact that he just moved into the neighborhood into the dialogue very naturally.

Ben handed her the letter. "I'm not sure when this was delivered. I've been so busy moving in, I haven't checked my mail the last few days."

2. There are several instances where we see the heroine is attracted to and likes the hero.

--Ben smiled, which made Maggie's heart flutter just the tiniest bit. 
--So he's single? And he cares enough about his parents to move closer to them? Maggie returned his smile.
--An image of Ben, tall and fit-looking, and working in the garden, flashed through her mind.

3. The hero and heroine have a lot in common. They are neighbors. They work at the same hospital. They both love gardening.

4. Both characters discover that neither of them is attached.

"I went back to school after my wife died in a car accident."

And later

"Are you and, um, your husband busy tonight, Maggie?"

She smiled. "I haven't got a husband--and no, I'm not busy tonight."

Finally, best of all, there was a total surprise ending. At least, it was a surprise for me because I completely forgot about the mailman and never NEVER expected him to be a matchmaker. Man, that was great!!! That surprise boosted this story from good to great, in my opinion.

1 comment:

Kate Willoughby said...

Man, I simply HAVE to write a story with a surprise matchmaker. I think this is the second one I've really loved.

Note to subconscious: Get going on that ASAP, please.