Monday, June 05, 2006

Beaten to the Punch


"Stranded" by Ann Russell, from the June 6th issue of Woman's World

Tagline: Jim was in a fix, all right, but help was on the way...

Jimmy Meiss recently rejected my story "Tire Trouble" because someone had already sent her one about a female mechanic, and here it is! Grrr! Unfortunately, I can't razz it, because it's pretty solid.

Written in first person, we see this through the guy's point of view. As usual, Jim is a beta hero, the kind of guy you want to cuddle up to because he just brought you a cup of tea and told you how beautiful you are. We even get an explanation of his beta-ness when he explains why he has no idea how to fix his car.

Another Woman's World standard device that Russell employs is the matchmaker. Usually the story revolves around the matchmaking, but this one doesn't. It's a "man in distress" story that has a matchmaker at the end. The characters are likable. We don't see too much of the heroine, but Jim is as well-developed as 1,100 words allow.

Best Part: "When was the last time I'd paid attention to the magic of an evening landscape? I felt a stab of loneliness. Instead of sitting here by myself in an empty parking lot, I should be headed hometo somebody special." Aww. Poor guy. This made me want to hug him.

Worst Part: I thought it was an odd coincidence that both sisters worked late night jobs.

Overall rating: 3
Originality: 3.5

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