by Carolyn Martin from the January 21, 2013 issue
Tagline: Since he was a boy, Ted had loved Marcy from afar. Was it possible that now, years later, she could love him back?
In a Nutshell: Ted likes Marcy. He always has, but every time they bump into each other, she has to dart off. The first time, he offers her a gummi bear, but at the end of class she's hustled off by her friends. The second time, he catches her after she trips, but again she has to go take pictures with her family since they just graduated from high school. Third time's a charm though, and seven years later, they meet again. He refreshes her memory and they make a date for dinner.
Observations: This was a cute story that spanned quite a long time. Eleven years, I think! Ted may be the most patient Woman's World hero I've ever encountered. You can see him trying to get to know her better, but in the first two encounters, she has to run off. The man definitely gets an A for persistence.
I noted a nice character arc for him. Each time he meets Marcy, he gets more confident. The first time his voice cracks, the poor guy. The second time, he jokes with her. And by the end of the story, he is well able to ask her out for dinner. The author even points out...
"You're Ted! You caught me when I fell, [sic] and offered us all a ride to the party."
"That's right," he said, feeling unsure of himself--something he hadn't felt in a long time.
So we get the feeling that Ted is a man now, confident and mature.
Unfortunately, I wasn't as taken with Marcy. She was polite even as a ninth grader--I noticed she made a point of returning his pen and thanking him, but by the end of the story I would like to have seen her actually remember him. She doesn't, and that made me not like her as much. Granted, it was eleven years after they graduated from high school, but her character would have been a more likable one if the author had made sure Ted remained more firmly in her memory. I always want to believe that the hero and heroine have a decent chance of Happily Ever After, and I'm afraid Marcy isn't the right woman for Ted.
This is the first negative observation I've had in a while and was difficult to write. When I first started this blog, I was pretty much writing for just myself. No one really noticed or followed what I did here. Now, there are quite a few loyal followers, among them many Woman's World published authors. Sometimes the writers are not followers, but after Googling their names, find the blog and email me. Knowing that, it makes it more challenging for me to point out things that "don't work for me" every week. Even though I know we're professionals and should be able to take it on the chin, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. So, I apologize to any writers who have been, are, or will be upset by any criticism I put forth here. I will always strive to be matter-of-fact when pointing out things that I didn't like so much, since I don't much like snarky reviews.