Title: Letters To My Mother
Author: Rebecca Heath
Word Count: 99,800
“You know, I never eat young ladies on Fridays. Only on Tuesdays.”
I couldn’t help laughing. “Do I look that apprehensive?”
“Yes, rather.” He opened the door for me. “But I have just the cure for you. It’s David Rosenau’s patented shyness remedy, strawberry shortcake garnished with whipped cream, to be taken at least once weekly in charming company. Doctor’s orders.”
Kate is a college junior, a gifted student who skipped two grades in school, a naval officer's daughter who's lived in more places than she can remember. Shy and bookish, she's never had a boyfriend, let alone been kissed or gone on a date. Kate thinks falling in love is something that only happens to other girls.
David is a college professor, a sailor, a renowned biochemist who’s trapped in a failed marriage; aloof and reclusive, he buries himself in teaching and research. David's convinced he'll go through life with an empty heart.
When Kate gets a campus job as David's typist, they discover they're both mistaken.
Set in 1950s Seattle, Letters To My Mother is a May-December romance novel.
The Good: Romance never goes out of style, and the May-December aspect and the time setting add unique twists that make this stand out.
Suggestions: Starting with a quote from the dialogue is risky; some people may love it, but others may not. Personally, I think that it's a good taste of your style, but it's not a strong enough hook for your opening. Also, the romance genre has a wide range, from chaste/Christian stories to things that cross the border into erotica. Give your reader more of a sense of where this falls. I've got to admit, I read the opening line as a racy double-entendre that didn't get backed up by the rest of the pitch.
BOTTOM LINE: I don't see this as a good fit for ABNA, but I think it sounds VERY publishable. I suspect you'll be able to land an agent or a contract with a romance imprint with this if the MS has the same level of quality.