PW #418: Adult Women’s Fiction: THE LOVE TEST
Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: Scarlett Cole
Mentee Name: Leah Collum
Title: THE LOVE TEST
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 78,000
Immigration officer Sarah Wright’s chance encounter with a handsome Greek man leaves her hoping he could be the one to turn her lousy romantic luck around—until he shows up for his green card interview with a wife on his arm.
“What’s the first thing your husband does when he wakes up in the morning?”
“He uses the restroom.” The applicant seated across the desk from me bites her bottom lip and studies her hands. “He’s very regular.”
Eww. Too much information. I scribble a note on the interview form. “And you?”
“Me? I’m not as regular. I mean, it’s not like I have any serious digestive issues or anything. Miguel says I should get more fiber in my diet, but the truth is—”
I swallow my sigh and struggle to keep my face arranged in a neutral mask of perfect professionalism. “It’s all right, Mrs. Vasquez. I don’t need to know the details of your, err, digestive schedule. What I meant was, what’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?”
“Oh.” The color rises in her cheeks. “Make coffee, I guess?”
I check off the last box on the interview form. Her answers match her husband’s point for point, minus the bathroom insights. Time to wrap this one up. “Okay, Mrs. Vasquez, I’ve heard enough. Let’s bring your husband back in now.”
Miguel Vasquez tries to hide his nervousness behind a smile as he enters my closet-like office, but the tiny beads of sweat dotting his forehead give him away. I stiffen, searching my brain for any overlooked signs of deception. But then the newlyweds lock hands, an unmistakable energy coursing between them, and all traces of doubt evaporate.
Sometimes it’s so strong in a newly married couple it charges the air.