May 1 2006
Dear. Mrs. Devon,
Short stories are an art form in themselves. Some authors can pull them off and some just flounder around leaving the reader to wish for what might have been . Also, I’m often left wondering just how much in love two characters can be after only 80-100 pages. Since your story is marketed as a historical romance short story and not just a quickie erotica encounter, I was curious to see how you’d do. The answer, very well for a 60 page story. You do have to paint in broad strokes yet all the information I needed about the characters, their backgrounds, hopes and plans is there.
Eliot Stevens is the brash, self made American millionaire who has traveled to England to find a bride. He wants the social cache a high born English woman can bring him since his own background could use a little – no, make that a lot – of polishing. But he’s basically a good guy. After a late night of cigars, cards and male conversation about sex, he’s left wondering if his future will involve a staid marriage to a repressed woman with him left to find sexual relief and risk the pox by going to brothels. But after learning that there’s a fallen high society woman working as a whore, he figures he can go to her and find out if it’s possible that a lady can enjoy sex.
Miss Charity Vincent now goes by the name of Cherry. After her parent’s death, she was left with the horrifying prospect of becoming her disgusting uncle’s mistress. His whispered rumors have destroyed her reputation and the only job she can get is at a brothel. After a month on the job, she’s developed the knack of disassociating herself while she services a customer but this strange American with his questions about her private feelings and his desire that she enjoy their encounters threatens to undo her.
I like the motivation you give Eliot to seduce Cherry. Part male satisfaction at getting his partner to enjoy sex and partly due to
I like how you work the sex into acts of caring and closeness instead of just throwing them in for titillation and how you use them to break down the final restraints between these two. I could have wished for a little more show and less tell as they get to know each other through conversation but I realize you had a page constraint. Where your story really shines is in the resolution. As I said before, I generally have trouble believing a novella couple is really in love for the long haul and you nicely sidestepped that problem