Monday, January 7, 2019

New Year, New Beginning

by Nina Singh from the December 31, 2018 issue

Tagline: Gina's New Year's resolution is to take more risks, but when her business partner, Rafe, puts it to the test, will she be able to make the leap?

Observations: This week I'm going to do a stream-of-consciousness critique, which means, I read the story and type my thoughts as they occur to me.

"One tall peppermint latte with a shot of espresso." - Tall lattes automatically have a shot of espresso. Maybe he meant an extra shot.

...tall, dark and handsome man - Not loving the cliche.

"That's why our partnership works so well." - I'm wondering what business they run together.

"These peppermint lattes should be available all year," Gina said. - I work for Starbucks and as a public service announcement, I will tell you that you can, indeed, get peppermint lattes and peppermint mocha lattes all year. The only thing that will be missing are those chocolate shavings on top. The shavings we only get during the holidays.

You two are so cute when you almost-flirt. - Love this line. I love snarky secondary characters.

There was so much to do before they began decorating the small advertising agency. - Aha! It's an advertising agency.

"Didn't she tell you? She said she had to run out. It's just you and me, it seems." - Okay, wait. It's only a three-person office? Before it said "They both had so much fun planning the event and pulling it together." That's a bit of an overstatement if the party only involves three people, max. Maybe I'm just lazy, but I'd never throw a party, complete with streamers, for three people unless it was extenuating circumstances, like someone was sick in the hospital and the party was in their room.

Edited to add: someone pointed out to me that it was probably a party for clients as well. Now I feel dumb for not realizing! LOL

"We seem to have found ourselves under leftover mistletoe from the Christmas party." - I'm being really snarky here, but obviously they enjoy throwing parties for just three people.

I'm at the end of the story and I know it's only 800 words, but I think I'd like to have seen that conversation in which they resolve the problem be a little meatier. I feel like it wrapped up too fast, like they didn't address the possible problems well enough. Of course, this isn't their only chance to talk about things, but just a sentence or two more from Rafe when he was declaring his feelings would have made me feel better about their budding romance.

Also the photo of the two people holding the heart balloon is a strange choice.

Even so, I did like the story and am glad that the Harlequin authors' stories seem to be fitting in more with the tone of the "normal" Woman's World stories.

Photo credit: skeddy in NYC via Flickr CC license


Pat said...

I thought this was a cute story. Loved that her sister, working in the same office, is setting her up with the boss.

Regarding the party, I had the idea clients were being invited. I think that is standard procedure for an advertising company. Ditto for the Christmas party.

Tamara said...

It all happened too fast for me, too -- the "Tora thinks I should ask you out" line and kissing him on the cheek. I like a little more subtlety in my romance. Gina's tingling stomach that later does a dive, a chest with exploding fireworks, and a leaping heart all within 800 words; I'm surprised the guy didn't have to call the paramedics. And, I agree also that so much hoopla for a party of three is unlikely. They'd probably just go out for a drink together. The photo looks like Valentine's Day. Guess I'm not being very nice; I just didn't get this one.

Anonymous said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that the editing on some of these "romances" is being done by an extremely inexperienced "editor," or more than one editor is trying out for the job. When I read Tamara's comments, I actually whooped with laughing out loud. In two or three of the more recent stories, I have read that the girl's "breath hitched." Hitched? Like to a wagon, or maybe a hitching post? Just what is that supposed to mean? Whatever happened to the real editor? Did she get thrown under the bus?

Sandy Smith said...

I also felt this story went a bit fast. I agree that they didn't really seem to work through the possible problems.

Kate, did you miss the December 24 issue? I didn't see a critique of that one.

Jill Weatherholt said...

I’m behind on my issues, so I haven’t read this story. That said, I like snarky secondary characters too, Kate!��

Kate Willoughby said...

Huh. You're right. No December 24th issue. :(

Okay, I could buy that it was for clients. Good point!

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