Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Unlock My Heart

by Nancy C. Johnson from the July 23, 2012 issue

Photo byAndy Roberts Photo (cc)
Tagline: Jessica couldn't help wishing that she and her acting partner weren't just pretending to be in love...

In A Nutshell: Jessica has joined the community theater and has a crush on her leading man, but judging from the woman and little girl who meet him after rehearsal every night, he's definitely taken. But wait. His wife passed away three years ago and that woman is his sister.

Observations: I really liked this story, even though it was formulaic. If you've read many Woman's World stories, you know that if there's another woman standing in the way of romance--be it a wife or girlfriend--by the end of the story, you know there was a mistake. This is the formula I mentioned before. Formula in this magazine isn't a bad thing. As long as you pen an engaging, well-written, romantic story, you can earn $800 for it.

First off, the opener is a doozy.

Sam is going to kiss me. His arms tighten around my waist as he pulls me closer. His dark eyes gaze into mine as I tile my head back and close my eyes.

We rarely see a kiss right off the bat for obvious reasons, but this definitely catches our attention.

I thought it was cute how the six-year-old daughter, Paige, made a connection with the heroine with that smile in the middle of the story. Also, at the end, we see this:

I hear Paige's giggling voice call out, "Daddy's kissing a girl!"

From that we can see that the daughter is fine with Dad moving on, and as readers hoping for a bright future for the three of them, the fact that Paige seems open to getting a step-mommy bodes well.

Only thing that bothered me--the title. I read the story and couldn't recall any mention of a lock or key, so I went back and found this:

After breaking up with Alex last year, my heart was on lockdown...

Hmm. Seems to me like it would have been more appropriate to connect the title with kisses, or the stage, or acting or rehearsal...

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