by Shelley Cooper from the January 26, 2015 issue
Thoughts of Dan were keeping Isabelle up at night. Turns out, Dan was struggling with insomnia too!
In a Nutshell
Isabelle and Don are best friends. They kissed once, but chalked it up to having both been recently dumped. Now that he gets a job offer that will take him far away, it looks bad, but Dan kisses her just to make sure and it's wonderful.
This is a friends to lovers story that pushes the norms a little in that the "meet cute" happens before the story even starts. We join their romance in progress instead of jumping in just prior to the meeting.
Also, there is a pretty hefty black moment in which Isabelle thinks Dan will be lost to her forever because he's going to take this amazing job. We see black moments, but they're not usually as intense as this. And this is tied to the fact that a majority of stories do show the first meet, so there isn't as much on the line.
I wanted to point out a couple of really romantic moments that gave me that warm happy feeling inside, and I think this is a real accomplishment for a Woman's World story, mostly because we only have 800 words to do this.
Moment One: When he hauls her into his arms and kisses her. OMG. I could SO picture this in my head. It was like something out of a movie. Sure, it was a little cliche, but it totally worked for me. Inside, I was like, "You go, Dan. Kiss the hell out of her!"
Moment Two: When he tells her she's his dream. Big Sigh. That sentence preceding it really sets it up, too. His gaze softens. Yowsa. That prepares the reader in such a subtle but important way.
I wish the author had milked that moment a tiny bit more instead of moving on so quickly to him suggesting he pick her up at seven and I thought the ending was a little lacking as well. With all the emotions she evoked in me, I was a little disappointed that all Isabelle seemed to get was a good night's sleep.
Still, fantastic story!