|As noted here, I’m commenting daily on the WMG Holiday Spectacular—which is a great project that releases a story every day. These might be reviews. Or not. They might be interesting. Or … um … not. They will be fun, though. For me, at least.
Here’s the next story.
Since I’ve already professed my admiration for Brenda Carre’s work earlier in this series, I’ll skip such adulation (at least a little bit) and just say that I was elated to have a second piece by her show up as today’s story. This one is lighter fare, a contemporary romance that worked for me in several dimensions—the largest of which is setting (which then, of course, leads to character, which is good in all genre’s but is particularly urgent when reading romance).
This is a thing about Brenda Carre, though. She knows her setting. I mean. She really knows where the characters are, what they see, and why they see it that way. Her prose is so clean and so interesting in itself that rolling from line to line is like riding on butter. My eyes just move from word to word, sentence to sentence. This is true of pretty much everything I’ve read of hers regardless of whether it’s other world fantasy or the world around us today, and it’s true here. I loved just being in this story—seeing the characters reveal themselves this way is a treat. As in most romances, we feel from the beginning that the two will be together in the end, but the joy is in finding out how it happens. In the case of “French Armoire” I found it just as enjoyable to discover where it happens, too.
Beyond that, I enjoyed the use of the armoire, which carries weight through the story (ha!) in several different ways—which I won’t really get into here for fear of spoiling the read. I haven’t read thousands of romance short stories at this point of my life, but I have probably read hundreds. I found Brenda’s use of the armoire itself to be inventive, or at least clever. The impact it has on essentially every character who makes an appearance in the manuscript is a little bit of story magic in itself. It made me happy.
And, of course, also like any good romance, you pretty much have to love the two…um…combatants, which is easy in “French Armoire” because these are interesting people. A fun surprise, though, is a third character, Winnie, who I’m willing to bet will steal your heart away. So, for my read, I was happy that the two lovers find themselves together in the end I’d vote Winnie as the character I’d most like to have dinner with.
Anyway, this was another nice read.