by Katherine Baker from the June 18, 2012 issue
Tagline: Karen was sorry she would never get to know the handsome stranger who'd pulled over to help her. Boy, was she in for a surprise!
In a Nutshell: Karen gets a flat on the way to an important meeting. She works for a literacy foundation and is hoping for a generous donation. A man helps her change her tire. Turns out he's the guy she was rushing to meet. She gets both the donation and a date for lunch.
Observations: It's been a while since I saw a story with car trouble. Although flat tires occur often in Woman's World stories, I wasn't rolling my eyes at this one. I think part of it was Karen's personality, which is spunky. She tries changing the tire herself--something I'd never do. (That's why I belong to AAA!) Also, when the man pulls over to help her out and she realizes how handsome he is, she thinks to herself:
Well, hello there, Mr. Good Samaritan!
That made me smile.
Another thing I wanted to talk about was the fact that Mike made a point of telling her the check had been made out the day before and that he'd already decided to donate to her foundation. That was an important plot point, because otherwise, that business would have "mixed" with their personal interest in each other, causing a conflict of interest. That was a smart move on the author's part to make their romance run more smoothly. Perhaps if this had been longer story, or even a novel, that conflict could have been milked, but with only 800 words, it's better to not cause the conflict in the first place. :)