From the February 6, 2017 issue
Tagline: Susan couldn't accept losing the heart tree where she received her first kiss...
Woman's World Tropes: a small town, old flame
Observations: I loved the idea of this story--saving the tree. It's not something I recall seeing before in Woman's World. Neither do I remember seeing a lot of stories in which the hero and heroine unite to fight for a common cause. This might be a plot line worthy of further exploration. If any of you remember other examples, please let me know.
Hayes is an old hand at these stories. I don't think this was her strongest story, despite what I said about the innovative plot. I just didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling at the end and I've been trying to figure out why. I think part of the problem might be that they both held torches for each other, so I couldn't help but wonder why they broke up in the first place.
Also the epilogue paragraph just didn't give me a zing of happy.
Some things in life I definitely can accept...like Justin's eventual marriage proposal. The reception was held at the new Heart Tree Hotel conference room. And of course, there was only one place to hold our ceremony--under the iconic Heart Tree.
Could it be that the reception was in a conference room? That sounds so stuffy. Maybe it would have been better if Hayes had just not included those words. That's not to say that a wedding reception in a conference room is bad or can't be romantic. It just didn't sound romantic.
Maybe it might have been better to mention again that the Heart Tree was the site of their kiss rather than that it was an icon. Or maybe we could have witnessed Justin proposing under the tree... I don't know. Anyway, your mileage may vary. Obviously the editors deemed it worthy of publication. :)
Photo credit: Krista Grinberga via Flickr Creative Commons License