Reviews from

Romancing Mr. Bryce

Fate Keeps Score.

46 total reviews 
Comment from Loren (7)
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

Jay, so sorry this is so late, but I've been away attending to jury duty for the past ten days. I'm so glad to see you writing in this genre. Not to be too sentimental, or soppy, but I do enjoy reading some romance writings. Even have to admit to liking the Hallmark Channel for this very reason -- speaking of which I can see this being produced. Best of luck in the contest - Loren

 Comment Written 15-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 15-Sep-2016
    You, too? I love the Hallmark Channel, especially around the Holidays. So happy you enjoyed reading this.
Comment from Dashjianta
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Excellent story, Jay. Very poignant and believable, the way you've managed to get inside Walter's head and show him struggling to remember to tell Millicent he wouldn't hurt her, and also how his decline has impacted the rest of his family and how detached he's become from it through the loss of his memories. His observations allow the reader to get an understanding of Millie and his wife's characters and how he feels towards them both. He fights so hard to hold onto things only for them to slip away from him like, well, chocolate smoke. A very touching portrayal.

Suggestions:

"I'll swear, Walter, sometimes, even on a bad day
--Should it be "I swear"?

Her eye sockets were pasty and wet(,) and her hazel irises glistened.

That struck him as funny(,) and he put words to it,

She chuckled and then(,) while she was quiet a moment, he thought again she would cry.

When she entered earlier...
--Should this be "When she'd entered..." etc?

Her calves and the backs of her thighs that the hiked-up smock revealed
--Delete 'that'?
Her mouth twisted(,) and then her eyelashes

 Comment Written 15-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 15-Sep-2016
    Good thing you reviewed this when you did. I was about to send out the literary FBI to make sure you were OK. For a while you were "down" and I always hate to hear that in a gifted writer. It didn't have anything to do with your review. I was just concerned I hadn't heard from you.

    I'm thrilled you enjoyed this. I was kinda proud of it. All of your comma concerns I adopted as my own, and made the corrections. I also deleted a "that", master, and changed "I'll swear," to "I swear." Thank you for your detailed review.

    I hope your mood is in an upswing and you're back writing fitfully. I've all but about half of Book III scene-mapped. So far I'm no place near coming up with a satisfying ending.
reply by Dashjianta on 16-Sep-2016
    Thanks, Jay, though I fear the literary FBI might've got lost trying to navigate the maze of British English. ;) I'm feeling better than I was--still a bit not quite right but that's probably the lack of sleep (too hot at night. Gah!) Am planning on taking the rest of the week off from the writing and getting stuck into the editing on Monday.

    Glad the review was helpful. Hopefully once you finish the scene map you'll get a better picture of a way through to the end. And if you're still tangled at that point, send me a message and I'll see if I can help. (Sometimes just the act of summarising and explaining the problem can be enough to let you see the solution as it forces you to look at it from a different angle.)
reply by the author on 16-Sep-2016
    Thank you, Alex. I probably will take you up on that. Careful what you volunteer!
Comment from Walter L. Jones
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Your gift is special, always pulling along the reader, keeping the edge, just a step away, the write is the chase, the structure game, and so easy the smile you give, talent is the script, good writing as always.. Walt

 Comment Written 14-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 15-Sep-2016
    I'm happy you enjoyed this. It's a bit out of the ordinary compared to The Trining, which I'm busy editing.
Comment from Selina Stambi
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Hello Jay,

This story is long, yes, but will stand out in a pile of standard-mush entries!

All the best, Jay. I hope you win.

Very touching.

Sonali



withdrew a handkerchief, (dabbed?) her eyes,

 Comment Written 13-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 15-Sep-2016
    Awwww. thank you, Sonali. I'm thrilled you found it touching.
Comment from Alex Rosel
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

Miss me? Her voice moved, came now from the right side of his bed. - I'd place the Miss me? after the Her voice moved... sentence. This prevents the disconnect from the spoken words from their descriptor.

He tightened his eye muscles... - Do you mean this?

...She turned back and gave him a weary look, like she would a puppy who'd been naughty. - Nice imagery. However, I'd look to tighten it, she turned back and gave him a weary look, like she would a naughty puppy.

The woman was sitting, then. - Nix the comma?

She stopped. I could never hurt you, Millicent. Now she was making wet sounds, little slurps of air. - I'd delineate his thoughts within their own paragraph.

It was warm and full of the joy of remembering... - I'd have started a new paragraph with this sentence; it separates her reminiscences from his.

Conniption - You taught me a new word. That gets a thumbs up.

This is a long and involved piece. Personally, I'd be looking to tighten it up by reducing the word count by 20% to 30%. However, I enjoyed reading it. Good luck with the competition :-)




 Comment Written 13-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 15-Sep-2016
    Thank you so much for taking so much time with this one. You have some valid points and as soon as the contest is over I will address them. I make nothing but grammar corrections when the window for the contest closes. BELIEVE ME, though, I take your points very seriously. It's the only way to rise above myself.

    Blessings,

    Jay
Comment from Sis Cat
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Jay, never cease to be amazed at the magic that can be crafted upon the page through hard work and creativity. The best I can collect, this is a romance about a stroke victim, Walter, who fell in love with his nurse Millicent and lacks memory of his own wife. The dialogue and actions between Walter and Millicent are playful and flirtatious. This made for an atypical, unexpected romance--one that is not a bodice-ripping potboiler, but more subtle and nuanced. I read it twice and learned more on the second read. I am reminded of a person with disabilities who communicate as much through his eyes as through his mouth.

Thank you for sharing. I wish you success in the contest.

 Comment Written 12-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 13-Sep-2016
    Thank you, Andre for the lovely 6 stars. More than that, the trenchant review. I don't see Walter as having had a stroke but more dementia. I tried, though, to keep it open-ended, though to let the reader wander in, out and about, and form personal conclusions. Thank you for yours.
Comment from Gloria ....
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I guess the subtitle, fate keeps score is really quite a profound prediction. The "other" woman gets fired and Mr. Bryce returns to new memories of old memories that may yet rise again in romance. The brain truly can be putty molded by the present.

As always, Jay, written to perfect detail of every tear drop releasing the long eyelashes back to their original state.

This is a beautiful love story and perfect for people of all ages, or a certain age.

I wish you all the best in the contest.

Gloria

 Comment Written 12-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 13-Sep-2016
    Always so sweet, Gloria, while you dig so deep with your critical claws and emerge with dirt under your nails and a lovely and pertinent exegesis. You da bomb, girl!
Comment from Ric Myworld
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

This is a very different kind of story, and definitely not one that I would be likely to stumble across again any time soon. Great job, and good luck in the contest. :-)

 Comment Written 12-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 12-Sep-2016
    Thank you, Ric. I appreciate your reading this. Yep, different it is, LOL.
Comment from Stephendick24
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I'll start with the more trivial parts of this critique. I thought you developed Millicent's character quickly and vividly. The image of her blushing at the way Walter looks at her endears her to this reader. I liked the interwoven tennis imagery as well.

Perhaps because I am already loyal to Millicent, I was prepared to dislike Walter's wife and found some quick, superficial evidence to confirm that prejudice. But she is more complex than I expected, so I end up shamefaced for my too hasty reaction. I saw what I wanted to see as long as I could, and then you pulled the rug out from under me.

So, let me see if I have this straight, a man with a diminishing memory pinches a young nurse and gets her fired. Then, despite his own forgetting of it, he inspires his wife to warm memories of their time together. Both women like him, and I like both women. And all three of us excuse him, even like him for his lechery. And, in what to me is a gem of character development, the younger woman puts herself gently in the shoes of the older one. And all this is not depressing at all. In fact, if you will forgive my word choice, the story is perversely uplifting. And there's more, the above story has been entered in a fanstory contest for romance fiction. Surely that can't all be true. Great job.




 Comment Written 12-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 12-Sep-2016
    Thanks, Stephen. I appreciate that you spent the time to dig deeply into the novel. I purposely left it open-ended for all the characters. The one think I would correct is that she was given her notice before he pinched her waist, so the latter wasn't the cause of the former, LOL. Unless you are privy to information I don't have that another patient pinched her. Judging from her character, that would seem likely.
reply by Stephendick24 on 12-Sep-2016
Comment from write hand blue
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I didn't really notice that it was long. A sort of last minute love story before senility completely claims yet another intellect.

You get into his mind and we see his limited function and poor communication as it would be. Well described and realistically put across.

You mention the thirty seven years they were together. I feel overdue to the knackers yard as we total some forty five, and I'm still standing. LOL.

Good luck in the contest...

~Mel~

 Comment Written 12-Sep-2016


reply by the author on 12-Sep-2016
    Thanks, Mel for your great review. I was married to my wife for 47 years before we split. I don't feel any mental slippage, either, but my muse lately has been a little slow on the uptake. She used to have that perfect word at the ready. Now she just says, "Use the freakin' Thesaurus.

    Jay

    Jay