FUGITIVE HEART HiDee Ekstrom Contemporary romance
Hi HiDee, We’re starting right off deep in trouble here in your opening. Fun stuff! But we have some issues, some of which have already been noted.
1. You have too much backstory, too much angst which is all INTERNAL conflict and not enough external conflict. For most of the opening, the MC is simply sitting and whining about his past, mentally beating himself up as he reviews his sins.
2. I’m unclear as to what a “fugitive investigator” is (FIST, formerly part of the US Marshall’s office but now disbanded?) as there’s a mention of his law enforcement training but he’s in his own vehicle. Is he ex-LEO and now a private investigator?
3. He’s far too self-aware of his shortcomings. Humans (and alien characters crafted by humans) row merrily down that river of Denial.
The section that does work fine (but needs some tightening) is:
Old feelings of inadequacy accompanied him across the street, beating in time with his pounding heart. Tall, thick hedges lining her yard warned him to “Keep out”, much as they had when he was a 17-year-old kid coming to pick up his date. He’d ignored the warning, but his father’s words had been harder to shake. You’re not good enough for her.
Damn his father for making him doubt Dana’s love, and for making him doubt himself, even now. For God’s sake, he was a successful investigator. He could do this.
To have the specter of his father’s disapproval hang in his thoughts feels somewhat natural BECAUSE this is a house he’s familiar with and seeing it would remind him of a previous time. This is an emotional trigger for him, unlike the previous litany of problems he was reviewing which, yes, is internal conflict backstory and, yes, is valid but need to be SHOWN not told.
Clear up for me what his occupation is and how it brings him to sit outside Dana’s house.
PS I do like the Miles character–the classic mentor/window character. Nicely done.
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//