by MaryAnn Joyce from the September 16, 2013 issue
Tagline: Rosie wasn't convinced that this "Books and Blind Dates" thing was a good idea--but she'd been wrong before...
In a Nutshell: Rosie's library is having a singles event--Books and Blind Dates. Dawn signed up, but is nervous when the big night arrives. So is her date.
Observations: I adored this story. It was charming and different, even though it very much reminded me of my Mr. Darcy Valentine's Day Blind Date story that got rejected. Joyce's idea is very clever. Who among us doesn't love libraries and books? I liked the mystery of Rosie not knowing what the book was either. It was almost as if she had two blind dates rolled into one.
We haven't had a first person-present tense story in a while, but there's proof that Woman's Worlds accept it.
You'll notice that there was a huge chunk of backstory. Almost a third of the story described the event, the two friends signing up for it and Rosie's romantic past. That's very unusual, but necessary in this case. The event isn't something familiar like the county fair or a parade.
The amount of time spent with the hero and heroine is therefore smaller, but didn't really affect the charm of the story. The author ended the story about five minutes into the date, but she did such a great job of setting the pair up that we feel optimistic that the date will go well.
--She thinks he's cute.
--She teases him and he responds with self-effacing humor, which I like.
--They both admit to being very nervous about the event.
I also liked that she grew as a character by approaching him and introducing herself and that he stood up when she came over, showing he was brought up with gentlemanly manners.
All in all, a fantastic story.
Photo by Gerry Dincher (cc)