Friday, March 3, 2017

Old Friend, New Love by Jamie Pope

from the February 20, 2017 issue

Tagline: Could a childhood friendship blossom into something so much more?

Observations: This is the latest Harlequin Mini-Romance and I enjoyed it. It was very narrative-heavy, but that didn't bother me. It was also much more emotional than the normal Woman's World story. I wouldn't necessarily recommend leaning that way because I feel these stories from Harlequin authors are sort of a subset unto themselves.

The only thing that kind of bugged me was when he prompted her to "say something." And she said, ""Where's the waitress? I'm hungry." I often use humor to lighten up a heavy moment, but this felt weird to me. The guy had just laid his heart bare and she notices how nervous he is. So what does she do? She makes a joke. (Her matching declaration of love comes after the joke.) I felt bad for James and felt she was a tiny bit insensitive.

Other than that, though, I thought it was well done.

Photo credit: Hsiang Hsun (Sonic) Wu via Flickr Creative Commons License 


Tamara said...

The Harlequin story was okay, but are we regular WW hopefuls held to the same standards? It would never occur to me to make the protagonist a cancer patient.

Chris said...

It was always my understanding that serious illness had to be alluded to, rather than mentioned outright. That goes for most women's magazine fiction, I think. No editor wants to upset the reader. But if WW stories are changing to reflect the sort of issues women face every day of their lives, it's surely a good thing. It's getting the balance right, I suppose - sweet one week, a little grittier the next.

Sandy Smith said...

I agree this story was much more emotional. I don't think a "regular" writer would probably get a story like this published in WW. I think the Harlequin writers get more leeway. But I did like the story. I guess the ending didn't bother me. I think she was nervous, too.