Monday, May 16, 2016

Are You Hooked? Adult Genre Fiction #6

GENRE: Adult - Contemporary Romance

Single mom Valentina is determined to give her son the life he deserves. When she loses the lease on her home, she breaks down over her latte, in front of the intimidating-as-hell stranger she’s admired from her coffee shop seat.

Right on time. Mr. Quad Americano rounded the corner across the street at a trot, then stopped. Lips parted, broad chest rising and falling, he placed two fingers on his neck to check his pulse. I took a sip of my latte, and let out a slow breath.

Every morning before E-Comm class, I sat by the bay window at Cafe Triste and waited for him. The man never disappointed.

God, he was hot.

Just then, he looked in my direction. I didn’t flinch or anything, simply darted my eyes to my laptop screen.


I’d been doing this for a while. Ever since he first barged into my coffee shop six months ago.

The man had been out running in the pouring rain.

Why anyone would want to work out in that kind of weather was beyond me.

Looking angry and intimidating, he’d stood at the intersection as if trying to decide which way to go. This went on for a while, until a particularly scary thunderclap decided for him.

He’d rushed into the shop. Rainwater dripping from his hair down to his strong jaw and arms. All manly and handsome as heck. He’d ordered a Quad Americano and an iced water, then plopped himself at the table next to mine. I hadn’t been too happy about sharing my window at seven in the morning, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. I didn’t actually own Cafe Triste.

The next day, he’d come back, and then the next, and the next. Same time. Same order. Same table.


  1. I definitely like your heroine and your writing style is clear and easy to read. Nice job there!

    I will say that this first page feels a little slow to me, though. I think it's the flashback, starting at "I'd been doing this for a while." That's good info, but on the front page, when you're trying to draw me in further, I'm more interested in the "now" of the story. Also, if I hadn't read that this was about a single mom, I'd have thought the heroine was a young college student, rather than a mom with a kid.

    So, as-is, I probably wouldn't turn the page, but my guess is the story starts sometime in the next page or two, and I like your voice, so I'd read along. Good luck!

  2. I also thought it read a bit younger than 'single mom,' but I guess we don't know how old she is, so she might be a young single mom? The logline also seems to be a description of a scene, not the entire book. I'm assuming the breakdown and consolation sets off a chain of events that form the main plot, but we probably need more of a summary of the plot itself in the logline. The voice is great, and it's a quick, fun read. I'd read on.

  3. Awesome title! Hope “LOL” is somewhere on your book cover.

    The first sentence of your logline does an excellent job of conveying your MC and internal goal. Losing “the lease on her home” could be a great inciting incident and stakes if losing the lease means they’ll lose their home. But can you clarify for us why Valentina can’t just go rent another place? We need to know as that lays the foundation for her external goal (the means of achieving her internal goal). E.g., saying she lost the lease on “the only rent-controlled apartment in town” or the “only one she could afford” points to money as her external goal.

    We also need to know what conflict/obstacle Valentina must overcome to achieve her goals. Also, show us how the stranger plays into Valentina’s goal, conflict, stakes. Does he offer her a way to make money in a way that jeopardizes her and/or her goal to care for her son? This raises the stakes. E.g., Valentina must spend all her time caring for a rich man’s daughter in order to make enough money to put a roof over her son’s head.

    You have a beautiful voice and your excerpt is wonderfully written. But it starts too early and needs more of a hook. You need to show us the one day that something changes (the catalyst), not a day like all the days before. (E.g., the stranger spills his coffee on V’s laptop, forcing them to talk for the first time or whatever. Plus this would give a chance for some external dialogue, which your opening lacks and which would complement the lovely narration/internal monologue that you have.) I’m gonna leave this right here:

    Your opening could also benefit from a bit more scene-setting, giving us the ambience of the coffee shop, and more sensory detail from the narrator’s POV. We’re in a coffee shop. Let us sink into the chair and smell and taste and feel the burn of the coffee on our tongues and hear the espresso machine shriek.

    Also maybe this is just me, but I would rather that the stranger gets his coffee when he’s in his skin-tight work-out gear but BEFORE he goes running and gets all sweaty. Or else that he runs past Valentina and comes back for his coffee AFTER he’s showered and dressed . . .in an expensive suit (Okay, right, maybe this is just me).

    I’d like to order some more of your writing. Good luck!

  4. Strong logline, and the first few paragraphs of the opening are great. Good voice, and I love the description of the runner. It let up a bit for me when she explains that she's been doing this awhile. I was hoping for interaction when he comes into the shop.

    I was also a little confused about how she felt about this guy. She's admiring him, but when she states he barged into her coffee shop, there seems to be animosity. I'm not sure if they're meant to start off disliking each other, or if it's just her mood. Another page might clue me in, though. Based on the strength of your voice on the page, I'd read further.