Anticipation
by Patrice Michelle, contemporary (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-782-1


Our heroine, Deidre Nelson, returns to her hometown of Ventura, Texas after ten years of living it up in heathen places like Manhattan in order to take over her parents' B&B business. Also in Ventura is Jonas Mendez, the guy who she had a crush on all those years back. Nothing really came out from that infatuation of hers as he eventually went ahead and marry someone else. He's now the sheriff of Ventura. Because some vandals had struck her parents' place before, he's hangs around, concerned about her living all alone in that place. You can predict what will happen between them, I'm sure. It also helps, I suppose, that some other folks in town can't wait to see Jonas get settled down with Deidre and aren't subtle even a little bit in telegraphing the message to Deidre.

Anticipation is a short story and it's a pretty readable one as the author wisely avoids putting in unnecessary subplots or secondary characters to clutter up the story. The focus is on Deidre and Jonas. The bit about Jonas marrying someone else in the past only to be betrayed by this floozy is one that I can see coming a mile away, which makes the background story of Jonas and Deidre more familiar than I'd have liked. But on the whole, the characters are sensible, likable, and come off pretty well-matched in this story.

This story is well-paced with decent build-up and closure. Unlike too many other short stories, in this one I never get the feeling that there are too many gratuitous sex scenes that cause the non-sexual aspects of the story to be compressed in a most unsatisfying manner. Therefore, for a short story, Anticipation is pretty good.

Rating: 80


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