"Daniel reluctantly agrees" instead of "he reluctantly agrees"?cheekychook wrote: Daniel Gardner has never understood why women find him attractive---he’s always thought of himself as a bit of a dork. He loves teaching literature at his alma mater, NYU, and his favorite escape is reading. His wife, Justine, is beautiful and brilliant, the kind of woman most men only dream of having, but she’s obsessed with success. When Justine insists they move to Highland Park, New Jersey so she can oversee her new women’s spa, he reluctantly agrees, hoping a house will be the first step toward starting a family.
Indulging in drawing and cooking, if anything, seems too healthy a response. Not doing them to excess, not getting overweight cooking or neglecting her job with the drawing, this minor point detracts from the drama of her predicament. Don't know if anything can be done about this. It just doesn't seem that cooking and drawing instead of intimacy is suffering too much.Marienne Valeti has a history of bad relationships and her marriage to Frank is no exception. Frank only wants what he can’t have, and since he already has her, his interests lie elsewhere. She compensates for his emotional distance by indulging her two passions, drawing and cooking.
Good. I keep wondering if these two paras should be combined, and then I wonder if the second should be combined with the next one below. Basically it reads okay, though.When the two couples meet as neighbors they become fast friends. While Frank and Justine spend hours discussing the stock market, Daniel and Marienne share a penchant for good books, bad movies and homemade brownies.
Daniel and Marienne soon discover they have more significant connections. An intoxicating attraction builds between them, but before either of them gives in to temptation, Marienne learns she’s pregnant.
Good. My only quibble would be about Justine. As written it almost sounds like she's pregnant, too. Any way to make that clearer by saying "...realities of Marienne's pregnancy..." or "...is repulsed by seeing the realities of..."She’s excited, but worried she’ll be a horrible mother, like her own. Frank is turned off by her changing body and spends even less time at home. Justine is repulsed by the realities of pregnancy and decides motherhood isn’t for her. Daniel finds himself even more drawn to Marienne and realizes how desperately he wants children of his own.
Seems they are already gravitatin'. How about saying, "...one another even more."As their marriages unravel, Daniel and Marienne gravitate toward one another.
Good job on the pesky last line. Suggestions:Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, giving in only in the seclusion of their minds. Even when events conspire to make them available, they struggle, terrified to risk the friendship they’ve grown to depend on to discover if they’re truly Meant To Be.
1. Comma after "depend on" so it doesn't sound like they are depending on on the friendship to discover if they're meant to be.
2. Not sure about capitalizing Meant To Be. Just don't know.
Nice. A very solid query.MEANT TO BE is commercial fiction and is complete at 109,000 words.
If there's anything but a nitpick here or there, it might be that these folks seem a bit too well adjusted to the limitations of their marriages. Not as much angst there as there could be, which tends to lessen the drama. If you don't get a stellar response from this well-written letter, you might try amping up the angst, if possible. Otherwise, great job, and don't let my comments to tweak this or that throw you.