Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Secret Agent #40

TITLE: Hawaiian Heat: The Marriage Trap
GENRE: Romance


Ginny Fitzgerald whipped her head around. “Excuse me?”

“Virgin?” the man repeated. “Not you, sweetheart, your drink. You told your boyfriend no, but he ordered for you anyway before going to the john.” The bartender smiled and leaned closer. “I thought maybe you’d like to go virgin on this drink without him knowing.”

“Thanks, but I don’t want the drink at all,” she said. “And he’s not my boyfriend.”

“Just kidding.” He winked. “But whatever the guy is, he’s working damn hard to get lucky tonight.”

Ginny shrugged. “I know that. I’m not a moron. I’ve been trying to politely discourage him.”

“Great. I hate to see slime sneak up on nice girls.”

He wiped a small towel across the bar in front of her, but still held her gaze. Even in the dim lighting, his eyes twinkled an amazing teal blue like the water over the coral reefs.

“How do you know I’m a ‘nice girl’?”

Thoughtfully, he stroked his chin. “Let me count the ways. One, you know when you’ve had enough to drink. Two, you flinch every time that guy touches you, which means you recognize the jerk for the player he is. Three, and most important, if that type appealed to you, you would’ve left with him already.” A cocky grin lit the man’s face. “Definitely a nice girl.” With another wink, he moved down the bar to take a couple’s order.


  1. I'm on the fence. I like the dialogue but I feel dropped into a scene without any set-up at all.

  2. I actually like the lack of set-up. I feel as though you'll tell us the essential information we need to know soon enough, and the dialogue was well written and realistic. I'd keep reading.

  3. I like it. But, I also like to be dropped into easily-explainable situations without any setup. ;)

    The whole dialogue made me smile (especially the reasons Ginny's a "good girl"), and I'd definitely want to read on.

  4. Dialogue doesn't normally work well to start a story, but in this case I liked the humor. Avoid some cliches on the server's appearance and try reading the dialogue out loud. It's a little strained. Otherwise, it's fun. Would read more

  5. Though normally not a fan of starting with dialog, your punchy first couple of lines work for me. In fact, I like ALL the dialog bits a lot more than when you get into narrative because of your tendency to over-explain – things like telling us about the bartender “cocky” grin and that he was behaving ‘thoughtfully’ – rather than letting the reader make her own assumptions from the pieces you show.

  6. I liked this! The "virgin" line was intriguing and made me want to continue reading. Now I'm wondering why she's staying in the bar if she doesn't like the guy--does she have a meeting? Does she not have anything better to do?

    Unless the bartender is an important character, I would suggest cutting down his description.

  7. This catches my attention right away. I like the tempo of the dialogue and can build the scene around them easily. Thre characters introduced and developing in a short amount of writing. Well done and I'd like to keep reading.

  8. I like this. I agree that the bartender is getting a lot of time in this excerpt, but I assumed he was important and possibly the love interest.

  9. Got to read more after the funny "Virgin" opener. What a great double meaning. I am intrigued by what happens next! Good entry.

  10. Form rejection. What's not working for me is all the data dumping you're doing via the (very perceptive) bartender's dialogue. Though it's interesting to see how others perceive a character through his or her actions, we haven't learned enough about Ginny yet to know how we should feel about what the bartender says.

  11. I like the dialogue here but I'd like to know about the character a little more. I feel like it's getting there - and I know not everything can be thrown in this early - but a little more grounding into who this is would help.

    Also, this may be me, but the slang "john" for the bathroom feels outdated; if the bartender is an old salty guy sure (and maybe he is?). I would suggest a different word.

  12. I like lots of dialogue. Shows me a scene and keeps me intrigued. Also, "lack of set-up" is a good thing. Any good writer knows how important it is to inject a little ambiguity for a decent tease. Isn't that the point of an entry??

    Well done. I want to read more!