From the April 2, 2018 issue
Tagline: Jessie had just moved into a new home and needed someone to help her with the painting...
Observations: I loved this story. On the surface, it was your typical "man to the rescue" story with a little "matchmaker" thrown in for good measure. I really love when stories span more than a day. This one went on for weeks as they got to know each other over several dinners. I would like to have seen a bit more about those dinners, but didn't mind the lack because the black moment was so good.
If you're new to the blog, let me explain black moments to you. There comes a time in every book, movie or story that things look very bleak. In romances, you think they couple will never get their Happily Ever After.
In this story, I found the black moment to be particularly sad. It was this sentence that did it.
Two days later, she arrived home to find the papers gone and her spare house key sitting there.
What an image, right? How appropriate that the key is sitting there all by itself, just like Jessie is. I really felt her disappointment keenly. If you can make your reader feel something the way Haugh did in that black moment, then the happy ending will be that much happier.
I also liked the surprise that he wasn't actually a house painter. I had an inkling something was odd when Dwayne had said he wasn't sure he was the right guy for the job. I also thought he might end up painting a trompe-l'oeil mural directly on the wall, exposing a talent he didn't know he'd had, but the way Haugh did it was just as good.
Photo credit: Ewen Roberts via Flickr CC license