I’ve only glanced at your comments, but I wanted to thank you for the detailed and honest feedback. I will certainly consider every one of your comments/suggestions. I am a little hesitant to start making major changes, however, because I think there may have been two or three of my two-chapter submissions where you may have missed the second chapter–or maybe you didn’t find anything to comment on, but that seems unlikely. It’s one of the reasons I stopped posting two chapters at a time, even though they were well below the 4,000 word threshold–because I value your feedback.
Before I do go through looking for things to adjust, I’m curious to know if you read Elise’s backstory about how her father was killed in a plane crash leaving Jamaica, cocaine was found in the hold and the DEA seized their plane. She ended up leaving home, rather than deal with the revelations that her father was running drugs for a Jamaican gang. This is why the story opens with her in Denver and the rest of her family in Florida. In addition, she has lived her whole life believing her mother abandoned her when she was four years old, i.e. abandonment issues. On top of that, she discovers her father created fake identities for himself, Elise and her brothers, while her mother fled to South America when the stuff between Papi (her grandfather) and Vincenzo hit the fan.
My original intent with her anger toward Eric was for her to react to the fact that here was another man who lied–who wasn’t who he said he was. I’d originally played up the Elise-feels-betrayed angle to a greater degree, but tried to temper the reaction (without eliminating it entirely) based on feedback from a critique partner who thought it made her seem immature and said, “Surely she has to realize he was only doing his job.” I suspect that is where some of the wishy-washy comes from.
One change I know I will make is regarding your suggestion about Eric not being restrained. I want him to have some freedom once they are at the compound, however, I agree it makes sense for him to be handcuffed or something while he is in Sergio’s custody.
Thanks again for your time and feedback.