#76 Crapometer

Single Title Romance

WALK THIS WAY/synopsis

Nora Linnet catches men who cheat--starting with her fiancé. She spies on men from Milwaukee to Chicago, in bars, strip clubs, and pool halls. So she won’t get hit on, she dresses like a man, with helpful advice from her blogging friends on how to talk, walk, and sit.

I’m hoping Nosy Nora is at least a private investigator of some kind. Spying on guys just to spy is creepy.

In P.I. Tony Gallaghers marriage, his wife slept around. (active voice: PI Tony Gallaghers’s wife slept around) The last thing he wants is to hook up with a woman, but his dead partner’s ghost plays matchmaker. So why does the ghost steer him to a woman who mistrusts men as much as he mistrusts women?

ghost? he gets instructions from a ghost?

Someone tries to kill the multi-millionaire industrialist who Tony’s partner was working for when he was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Now the industrialist requires a couple to spy for him on a ten-day Caribbean cruise. He suspects his cousin wants to kill him because he’s in love with his wife.

He’s in love with whose wife? His? the cousin’s. Those pronouns get tricky.

This has now devolved into a smorgasbord of plot elements. There’s too much going on for this to be anything but farce. There’s nothing wrong with farce, but you told me this was a romance.

When an angry client’s boyfriend threatens Nora, she agrees to pretend to be Tony’s lover. (those two clauses have no logical connection) On the yacht, Nora gets cozy with the industrialist’s wife and her longtime friend, who is married to the industrialist’s cousin.

And how exactly do Tony and Nora know each other? By failing to identify Nora above (I think you mean Nora anyway when you say “the ghost steers him toward a woman who mistrusts men) you leave us in the dark about how they know each other.

I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone referred to as an industrialist since ...Ayn Rand? Andrew Carnegie?

Tony is drawn to Nora, but he convinces himself it’s a chemical reaction. Why not take advantage of the enforced intimacy and have a fling? He can tell she wants him too.

So, he’s a hound. And a hypocrite. Nice qualities in a hero.

Rebuffing Tony gets harder for Nora with each nautical mile, but she fights it down, priding herself on thinking with her brain instead of her vagina. Nora grew up with a mother who attracted cheaters like fresh blood attracted sharks. Then Nora’s fiancé cheated too. How can she trust any man? (you already set up her character as untrusting, you don’t need to repeat it)

Tony discovers Nora’s blog and understands why she’s wary of men. He signs in under his partner’s name. They begin a cyber correspondence, sharing pieces of themselves.

The industrialist docks the yacht on an island, renting a villa. Another murder attempt follows--on the cousin. Tony wonders if his partner’s hit-and-run death was connected to the case. He was following the wife at the time. What if she’s the killer? Or her friend?

the wife? whose wife?

At dinner, someone spikes Tony’s drink with the cousin’s Cialis pills. Tony gets a boner he can’t lose. Feeling sympathy and excitement, Nora invites him to her bed. Their lovemaking is hot, steamy, and glorious. Tony tells her he loves her, but Nora can’t let down her defenses.

This is ludicrous.

Tony confides his suspicions to the industrialist, who arranges a trap. He announces he’s changing his will when they return home, leaving his money to Save the Children. At an island festival that night, fireworks go off, people surge toward the seashore, and their group is separated. (from what? reality?) Tony tells Nora to stay put and he rushes off. When he finds the two women (what two women??) with the drugged industrialist, the women try to shoot him. (I hope they get him) Nora follows and saves him. The women are lovers and can’t stand having sex with their husbands. Because of the pre-nups, divorce isn’t an option. Murder is.

While Tony is at the police station, Nora Googles him and finds out his dead partner is her e-mail correspondent. Tony deceived her. She packs and boards a cruise ship about to return to Florida, leaving Tony a good-bye e-mail.

Two days later, she reads an e-mail from Tony, who says he’ll be alone and lonely without her. She admits she’s alone and lonely without him too. The person keeping her from happiness isn’t Tony but her own distrust. She replies that she loves him...and trusts him.

Twenty minutes later, Nora’s doorbell rings. Instead of Tony, it’s the cheating husband who threatened her life before she left for the cruise. He aims a gun at her heart. (her least vulnerable spot I bet)

Nora throws her laptop at him (yea I answer the door holding my laptop all the time too) just as Tony tackles him through the open doorway. Tony tells Nora they make a good pair. Why not make it official? As his business partner she can still cross-dress; as his life partner she can be all woman.

is there any device you don’t use? This might work on the page but what you have here is a mess. Nothing makes any kind of logical sense. You throw in blogging, and email and google as plot devices, not to mention ghosts, and cross dressing but they seem thrown in for your convenience rather than rising from the plot naturally. The plot seems to hinge on women, unnamed or identified, who are lesbians, and murderers.
That is the stuff of farce, or noir, not romance.


Anonymous said...

quote: Tony gets a boner he can’t lose

ROTFLMAO! If this is meant to be funny, you hit the mark, if only on this one line. I read romance, but I've never seen this particular euphemism used.

Edie said...

Miss Snark, thanks for your critique. You're telling me what I suspected about my plots.