Friday, November 29, 2013

(23) Contemporary Romance: MAN MAID

TITLE: Man Maid
GENRE: Contemporary Romance

She runs the most successful cleaning service in town. He's a PI hired to find some dirt. It's going to get messy.

Friday should not start with a dead cat. That seemed more of a Monday sort of problem. Sadie Martin ended the call and slumped back in her desk chair. Her black and white mutt, Jack, came over to sniff the phone dangling from her hand. “Seriously?” she asked the ceiling. “For real? This is happening?”

The ceiling didn’t answer and when Jack found no treat in her hand, he went back to his doggy bed with an aggrieved sigh. Sadie hauled herself out of the chair with her own sigh. Dead cat. Even worse, it was a client’s dead cat. She picked up her purse and pointed at Jack.


He obeyed. Mostly because he was already back to sleep. Sadie shook her head as she headed down the hall while digging in the purse for her keys. Dog never listens to a word I say anyway.

“Hey, Molly?” she called. “Rosie’s dead and Heidi is flipping the freak out so I’ve got to get over there and . . .”

The words stuttered to a stop as her mouth fell open. There was an honest to God freaking angel sitting in the small reception area. She glanced in the direction of her receptionist’s desk but it was empty. “Who are you?”

The man stood. “Wyatt Anderson. I have a nine thirty interview.”

“Oh shit! I mean, sorry. Hold on. I’ve got a bit of a situation.”

She turned and backtracked to the kitchen where she spotted Molly coming out of the supply room with a package of copy paper. “There’s a man out there!” Sadie whispered.

“Must be your interview. Is he cute?”

“No, he is not cute. He’s freaking gorgeous.”


  1. I really enjoyed the voice in this (dead cat is a Monday sort of problem--great line!). A male PI working undercover as a maid is a unique premise, too. I'd keep reading.

  2. Not sure the logline is really a logline. More like a jacket hook.

    I liked this entry.

    But when she says she saw an honest to God angel in reception, I pictured wings, halo, maybe a tutu. So when she describes him as gorgeous I am left in confusion.

    Does she mean he's as gorgeous as she pictures angels to look? Does he actually have wings, halo? This quandary pulled me out of the story while I noodled around the meaning.

    I don't think you want that kind of confusion right at the beginning. Consider clarifying what you really mean.

  3. first, I really LOVED your logline. Hooked me immediately.

    And I thought everything else was great too. Since this was labeled as romance, I knew the angel bit was hyperbole and it worked for me. There was tons of humor and the writing was clean. I don't read romance but I would keep reading here.

    Great job and good luck!

  4. This is really cute--I just love the first two lines, and the voice is very effective.

    Although I didn't get any picture in my mind of who Sadie was seeing when she uses the word 'angel', I'm not sure it's really a problem since it becomes quite clear what she means as you read on. You might consider actually describing Wyatt very briefly, if you could do it in an equally entertaining way that's consistent with Sadie's voice.

    Just a couple of picky details: I think you could replace 'glanced in the direction of her receptionist's desk' to simply 'glanced toward' or 'glanced at'. Also, instead of 'she turned and backtracked to the kitchen', you could just say 'she backtracked to the kitchen'. (Those are some of the things I try to clean out of my own writing as I'm revising, because they don't really add meaning.)

    Good luck with this--if the voice is this charming all the way through the book, I think it would definitely be a fun read. :)

  5. The pitch is cute and quippy, though it doesn't give us quite enough; I would say for a twitter pitch, it's awesome. If you have to do a pitch for anything else, I'd suggest working in more detail. As a romance reader, I immediately get the friction and the hook, so nice job!

    I read this nice and smooth until I hit the word angel. This is not paranormal so not an actual angel, and he's not dressed like one so...not quite getting the reference. She has a successful business, so it's not as if him being there for an appointment is saving her...I've read this over four times and I'm sorry I'm just not getting the angel part! Everything but that word, I'm on board with. Good luck!

  6. This is a very enjoyable read that would definitely make me want to keep going.

    Writer's voice very strong. I love the first graph, about cat being a Monday problem. That plunges me into a housekeeper's mindset in a fun way.

    Two nitpicks: We see a dog settling into a dogbed and it feels as if this is her home. But then it's her office as she walks down a hall. That confused me. And then she seems like a different person in the use of dialogue concerning the handsome guy in the office. Very girly and gushy. But in the beginning she seemed sassy. But these things are easy to finesse.

    Nancy Bilyeau

  7. I did like the dog, did not like the dead cat. She seemed sort of cold about that.
    And the "honest to God freaking angel" made me look to see if this was paranormal and I'd missed it. Also made her sound REALLY young.
    Could be a cute story though!

  8. The log-line made me laugh and want to read more!!
    I got confused at the "Dog never listens" line because he WAS listening.

    Also she seemed to get quite excited about a dead cat. It's sad, but she owns a cleaning company -- I would think she's dealt with LOTS of strange stuff. To that end, the "oh shit" makes her look easily stressed, a little odd for a business owner.

    Still, I'd read more - sounds like a fun book!

  9. This isn't my usual genre, but your logline was so slick I read on, and then the first line made me burst out laughing, as did the second. This is very smoothly written and well-polished, with great voice and tempo, well done!

    One small nitpick - I think you could compress the beginning and mentions of the dog a little to move onto the next scene (though I loved the ceiling line) a touch quicker.

    One larger nitpick - when you say 'honest to God angel' I really thought it was an actual angel, or someone dressed up as one, not just a very good-looking guy. Ok that may just ge my fault for reading too much fantasy, but given the comic tone and the dead cat, someone dressed as an angel wouldn't be out of place in her weird morning. So i 'd suggest changing that slightly.

    This is so much fun, good luck!

  10. Great first line. This one sounds like a lot of fun.

    This line stumped me though: There was an honest to God freaking angel sitting in the small reception area.
    Does he have wings? Is he really an angel or just a cute man angel?

  11. Okay, I actually laughed at the logline. Nicely done.

    And again with the opening line (not that I should find dead cats amusing, but the voice here is great). And the second line. Okay, so I pretty much thought the whole thing was fantastic.

    My one quibble (if I were to quibble) is that we get a lot of names tossed at us in a very short space. I'd see about dropping any that aren't absolutely necessary.

    But overall, very entertaining.

    Best of luck with it!

  12. I don't generally read romance, but your logline pulled me in.

    I *loved* the "dead cat seemed more of a Monday sort of problem" line, but then felt confused as to where she was in relation to the cat. And then when you mentioned her dog, I wondered if he had killed the cat. Maybe it's just me, but I wanted the line about her having to go out and help with the cat sonner, to clear things up.

    Also, like the other critiquers, I was confused by the angel. Maybe I just read too much paranormal, but I pictured a real angel - or at least a guy wearing a dress and wings. Perhaps, as someone above suggested, you could describe him -blond curly hair and a face straight out of a Botticelli painting? something to clue us in that he's just gorgeous, not a literal angel.

    Anyway, that's my two cents. Good luck tomorrow!

  13. You already know how much I enjoy this story! :D

  14. I am SO SORRY--I blew this. I saw the first comment and thought it was a bid. If I lose because of this, I accept it.

  15. If Josh loses this I want the full.

  16. Actually, neither one of you has won.

    Bid 149 was the third bid. The next bid has to be at least 20 pages more. That will be the 4th bid.

    Then there needs to be a 5th, then the full can be bid.

    So let's resume with Pam's bid of 149. :)


    The full goes to Pam van H. V.!

    (Josh? If you would've bid instead of saying NOOOOOO, you would've won. You definitely needed more coffee this morning! xoxo)

  18. LOL! I was thinking that but I didn't say it.