Wednesday, August 19, 2009

6 Secret Agent

TITLE: Heart's Sentinel
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

Adam thought she was a teenager when she walked through the door.

He watched the way she paused before entering the school, her dark chocolate eyes scanning the room. She tensed when he approached, but she squared her shoulders and faced him anyway.

He gave her his friendliest smile, “Hi there, here for classes?”

He was used to taming wild things.

People didn’t get wilder than shapeshifters, and he was sure she was a fellow shifter. His inner beast growled in his mind telling him so, her scent exciting things deep inside his core. Even though she had an awkwardness he associated with teens growing into their maturing bodies, she still moved with more grace than any human. Adam mentally growled back, because his beast’s interest in a youth was unacceptable.

“Yes.” Her answer came in a quiet, wary voice. The melodic timbre of it sent shivers down his spine.

He didn’t recognize her. He’d have remembered that sweet face framed in shoulder length hair, so dark a brown it was almost black. She must be new in town, come to stay in pride territory with one of the engineer families.

She continued in that quiet voice. “I spoke to Jacob. He told me my father and I would be expected.”

And just like that, Adam knew who she was. His beast surged inside his skin, drowning Adam in the need to protect.

And she needed protection. It was why she had come to River Gape Pride.


  1. "her scent exciting things deep in her core." I stumbled over "exciting things." Other than that, it flowed smoothly. I wanted to read more.

  2. If he's a teacher and she's a pupil then it came over a bit creepy to me. I giggled a bit at the idea of his 'inner beast' but that's probably just me.

  3. My problem is I got pushed away by the emphasis on her looking like a teen. This guy seems to be older like a teacher or something of that capacity.

    So that emphasis on her youth mixed with mentions of his inner beast kinda seemed ooky to me.

  4. I agree with others - you've got a lot of great concepts to hook me in the first 250 words. Maybe revising the first sentence to remove the stress on her youth would help readers focus on all the other great things you've got going here (wild things, inner beasts, secret society of shapeshifters...oh my!). I really like your writing style and you'd definitely have me hooked if it didn't seem like a teacher-student thing.

  5. I agree with all the points of making her look like a teenager. It hit me in a creepy way, and as I read on, I wanted to like this guy. You've got a great voice, I think it'd be a shame to lose your audience in the opening lines.

    I liked this a lot, in general.

  6. Not hooked: I stumbled over several of the sentences and didn't find myself pulled into the story. For instance, the first sentence: "Adam thought she was a teenager when she walked..." This sounds to me like Adam is the "she" and is thinking she's a teenager. I didn't get that Adam was watching someone walk in to the room until the second paragraph.

  7. I liked it! hooked. But two things drew me to compare to dare I say it- "Twilight" immediately- the name jacob and the word shapeshifters- sorry!BUT having said that, I'm sure that's where the similarities end-I'd want to read on!

  8. No hooked. Neither the writing or the topic grabbed me.

    You do have elements that could be exciting - shapeshifters, a pride of them, a girl who needs protection-and I imagine it has to be from something really sinister in a world of shapeshifters. But at this point, nothing compels me to want to read on. It's all pretty average.

    Perhaps consider a new opening - something more intriguing than meeting someone. What if he were to meet her at one of the moments when she needed saving? When she was in trouble? Starting with a bang could make all the difference.

  9. I would keep reading because the concepts are more interesting to me than the "flaw" regarding the youth, but I definitely think you need to fix that.

    In a bookstore, I'd feel creeped out and put it down.

    Otherwise, agreed with those above.

  10. Great! I'd read on.

    One suggestion--you take a long time to get from his question to her answer. Although the description in between is good, it's also a bit distracting.

  11. I adore shapeshifter romances and they're a strong component of the market. The writing here was quite good, and the story immediately compelling. I definitely see potential in this submission. I'd continue to read and likely request 50 pages.

    I did have a couple of minor reservations though: Looking like a teenager is not a sexy quality in a heroine; it's a bit gross for the hero to see her as underage, even as he mentally tries to control what his beast feels. I'd prefer he recognize her as an adult, but I'd give this issue a pass until I read more. Farther along, when she says "yes," I can't imagine that one word being long enough to introduce a melodic timbre. Melodies require more than one syllable/note, so I couldn't actually imagine the sound Adam was hearing. Perhaps that line could be moved down. Other than these small issues, it's a very promising submission.