Friday, November 11, 2016

Dinner Reservations by Cat Schield

from the October 24, 2016 issue

Tagline: Melody's game plan for romance was about to be thrown a curve ball

Observations: So, this is the second of the Harlequin stories and, in the words of Johnene Granger, it didn't work for me.

I found it a little hard to swallow that Melody accidentally put on a black dress and is only just realizing that she set up a romantic dinner with "flicking" candles and Kyle's favorite meal. I would rather have seen her dither in front of the closet wanting to wear something sexy for Kyle but having to remind herself that this was just a ruse. I would rather have seen her feel bad about the game playing. Then maybe I might have respected her more and been happy for her happy ending.

There was a legit black moment and Melody is faced with a hard choice at the end, but again, I couldn't like the way she handled it. I'm assuming Melody and Hunter's relationship was exclusive just by virtue of the fact that they'd been seeing each other for over a year. If Melody had a problem with him taking her for granted, she should say something to him, not concoct a fake relationship to make him jealous. I also thought it was callous how she held her hands out to Kyle and basically dismissed Hunter without so much as a by your leave. Granted, Hunter demanded that she choose, but I still would have preferred that she at least apologize.

Some might argue that this is just a story and I shouldn't be so preachy or judgmental, but in long novels or short stories when I have my reader hat on, I need to respect the main characters and I just couldn't warm up to Melody. Your mileage may vary.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Vacher via Flickr Creative Commons License


8 comments:

Tamara said...

If these stories are coming from Harlequin, does that mean that they're a second US market for us? I guess I don't quite understand the process. I had trouble with word usage in this story's beginning paragraph: I would have said the candles were "flickering" rather than "flicking", and I wouldn't have used "oozing" to describe jazz coming from a stereo. To be blunt, I didn't care much for this one; I thought it was hard to follow and a bit silly.

Mary Jo said...

This Harlequin story seems to illustrate the vast differences between a novelist and a short story writer. If it is meant to intrigue WW readers into reading the Harlequin line, I am afraid it misses the mark.

Chris said...

I agree, this was a story with no heart. I get the feeling this author has not read too many WW romances before writing this, as it lacked the warmth and spark between the characters that we are used to seeing. As a sales ploy by Harlequin to encourage WW readers to buy their books, this missed the mark. If I can't engage with the heroine in a piece of short fiction by an author, why would I bother to read anything longer by them.

Betsi said...

Couldn't agree more! It was like an episode of The Bachelorette.

Bonny Dahlsrud said...

Not my fav!

Pat said...

I agree with all of you. I felt the writer didn't understand WW romances at all. It might be the editor in me, rather than the writer/reader, but this story doesn't read like any other WW romance to me. I felt two guys was a negative thing for a WW romance.

Not my cup of tea.

Juli said...

This story was definitely a miss. It was silly and seemed so juvenile. I ended up disliking Melody and Kyle and felt bad for Hunter.

Darby said...

Definitely Not the type of romance story I've come to know and love in WW magazine. Hope that the Harlequin writers will soon be coming to an end; don't like the tone, the story, and they are missing the heart of the romance. Very unhappy...