Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love on a Wire by Jo Barrett

TITLE: Love on a Wire
AUTHOR: Jo Barrett
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 10k)
GENRE: Contemporary romance
COST: $2.00

Casey is divorced and lonely, stuck in a job she hates, wishing for a life she doesn’t have. When her aunt “introduces” her to Daniel, a man working with her in Japan, Casey decides impulsively to correspond with him. His shyness and her loneliness melt away in their emails, but how far can they really take this without meeting?

I fear it might be time to stop auto-buying this author’s stories. While I loved her two time travel stories enough to both buy them in print and put her on my auto-buy list, everything I’ve read of hers since has left me cold. I have one more I’ve already purchased, but I can’t say I’m excited about reading it.

In this short story, Casey and Daniel are two lonely people, trying to find a connection in a lonelier world. The characters themselves are all right for a short, romantic piece, though I find most characterizations in short romances a little flat anyway. But the two major problems I had with this come from a more technical level. The author has always been a headhopper – I’ve known this since the first book – so I buy the book knowing I’ll have to grit my teeth and hope it doesn’t bug me as much as normal. This time, it bugged me even more. Not in the first half, but beginning in the section where Casey and Daniel start chatting. It goes back and forth from line to line, and when each line is literally a message and maybe a thought, the ping-pong effect just gets far too tedious.

The other part that pulled me out of it actually happened at the same time. Casey is in some unknown American city, while Daniel is working on a project in Japan. It’s said more than once they’re on opposite sides of the planet. So how can Casey come home from a fundraiser, email him after midnight, and it be four a.m. in Japan? It can’t. That would place Casey either in the middle of the Pacific or somewhere in the middle of Asia. And knowing this discrepancy erased what little world-building the author had actually achieved in this. The story is too short for such a glaring error not to affect it, and as a result, lowers any enjoyment I might have had in it. Another miss, and I’m afraid, probably the last one for a while.


5/10 – The headhopping was just too bad, going from line to line during their chat, for me to get into


5/10 – A little flat, though it’s a nice try


5/10 – Though considering she’s a little flat, too, maybe they’re a good match after all

Entertainment value

5/10 – Diverting but hardly memorable

World building

4/10 – There’s little sense of time or place and the time zone issue really doesn’t help it



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