Dear Mrs Sorenson,
Way back in the mists of time when I was a college student, I was part of the Honors Program at UNC-Chapel Hill and one thing we had to do was take one Honors course a semester. My sophomore year, I picked one about Istanbul. Now that was a great class: Interesting, not too much work and an easy A. Not at all like my organic chemistry classes. So, in a roundabout fashion, that’s why when I saw where your book was set, I knew I had to give it a try.
Travel photographer Connor Stark captures the inanimate beauty of Istanbul from behind the safe distance of a camera lens. But it’s the lively tour guide Natasha Plakouris that captures his imagination. He is destined to work alone while she’s tethered to her group of tourists, until a twist of fate changes their itineraries.
Connor has what many would consider a dream job. He can go anywhere he pleases, gets paid to take beautiful pictures of fabulous places and no one is riding him to be here a certain day or go there by such and such a time. But lately, he’s beginning to feel a little left out of life. Traveling alone has its advantages but then there’s no one to share the moment with and when he heads back home to Atlanta, GA, who’s waiting for him at his empty condo? I think you captured Connor’s love of his job yet his desire for there to be a special person in his life as well. Plus we see that although he’s been doing this for over ten years, Connor is still driven to take the best shots he can and send back pictures he’s proud to see with his name on them.
Now Natasha sounds like she’d be a fun person to travel with. Sparkling, bouncy, still able to remain enthusiastic despite making a living herding group tours through the top ten spots of any city. I can see why Connor is attracted to her. I like that you make her kind of short and not willowy. We height challenged and curvaceous women like to fall in love too. I enjoyed reading the nuts and bolts about being a tour guide and appreciate that Natasha loves interacting with the natives as well as just seeing the sites. Traveling isn’t just looking at buildings, it’s meeting the people who live where you’re going and experiencing how they live their lives.
And thank you for not turning Natasha’s blase fiance into a prick. You showed quite clearly how the two of them just wouldn’t have ever worked out in the long run without vilifying him. That was a nice touch. With the short length of the story, I think your decision to end it as you did makes sense. We’re left with wonderful possibilities for two people just starting to know each other. B for this one.
available at Fictionwise