From the September 26, 2016 issue
Tagline: The bride-to-be had cold feet...until a little reminder warmed her heart!
Woman's World Tropes: Troubled couple
Observations: I admit when I saw this was the first of the Harlequin stories, my expectations rose. I didn't know what to expect. Would the story conform to the types of stories we've become used to? Would they have the same sweet tone? I have to say yes and no.
We met a bride who was having second thoughts. Couples in trouble aren't unheard of in Woman's World, so that was fine. But the story just didn't grab me. When I got to the end, I didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling. I was glad for the heroine, but it felt a little like politeness--as if a co-worker had told me "My sister's getting married" and I said, "Oh, I'm glad." It took me a while to figure out why.
Firstly, introspection dominated this story. We are in the bride's head so much of the time. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and because of the type of story this is, I don't know that that could have been avoided.
Secondly, we never did learn her name. Again, this is not a big deal. Maybe Hewitt did this on purpose, so that every reader could put herself in the heroine's shoes and really experience the story on a more intimate level. If so, I'm not sure this is the type of story to do that with. In my opinion, better to do it with a story that is much more upbeat.
I think the main reason I wasn't crazy about this story is because I didn't have a chance to like the bride first. She starts out discontented. Yes, she was stressed out from her wedding preparations. That's understandable. Yes, I talk about minor character arcs--even in these short 800 words stories--and how it's good if a character grows and changes within the story. And there were paragraphs where she thought about positive things. But for some reason none of that quite won me over to her side. I found myself caring more about Sam than I did about her.
Your mileage may vary. I'd love to hear about it if your experience was different.
Photo credit: Cara Fealy Chote via Flickr Creative Commons License