by Diane Crawford from the May 14, 2012 issue
Tagline: Laura was so sure she wouldn't like Graydon, she considered not meeting him at all. That would've been a mistake...
In A Nutshell: Laura's mom wants Laura to show the son of a friend around town since he's relocating there. She agrees and sets up a meeting, intending to duck out ASAP. But he's handsome and nice. Luckily, he likes her too.
Observations: Diane Crawford is a regular contributor to Woman's World. Her stories are always sweet and realistic. The coincidence you're asked to swallow is not that huge, because we all know what a small world it is! Laura's parents retired in Florida, and her mom makes friends with a woman whose son is relocating to Laura's town. After that one small coincidence, the rest of the story plays out believably.
The story is in Laura's first person POV, and it's easy to identify with her. She has all the thoughts we ourselves might have. She's reluctant to meet the guy. Then she makes it clear that she "has plans" after the movie so she can duck out as soon as possible. And when Grady seems like a nice guy she'd like to see again, she regrets her earlier claim that she had plans after the movie. This helps make her character more sympathetic to readers. We're like, "Yeah, I'd probably do that, too."
There was a nice black moment at the end when Grady doesn't call for a week. But then, of course, he does call. :)
Crawford also takes the time to show the connection between the hero and heroine being made.
First, Laura finds him handsome. (See "My Favorite Part" below.)
Second, in the movie...
I'd chosen a good movie, and before long we were both engrossed. But not so absorbed that I didn't feel a little tingle the few times he leaned close to whisper comments in my ear.
Finally, there's this...
He walked me to my car, a gentlemanly gesture that made me like him even more.
It didn't take a lot of words, but Crawford clearly showed Laura's attraction. That's important in Woman's World stories. We want the readers to believe that the couple has a chance at long lasting happiness.
My Favorite Part: After Laura's hemming and hawing and dread, the big day arrives:
On Sunday, I got to the plaza early and stood waiting for Graydon Wentworth.
Finally[,] I spotted him.
Tall, dark and handsome pretty much covered it.