Genre: Short Story, Contemporary
Smashwords Rating: 5/5 stars
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
A man finds the love of his life in a beautiful and brilliant librarian named Camilla. While he's endearingly awkward, she's charming and charismatic. He thinks he's the luckiest man in the world when she says yes to a date with him. But will the happy times last?
I don't like stories with flowery language. They're usually melodramatic and pretentious sounding. But Autumn Leaves is an exception because there's a lot of action and great conversations between the man and Camilla and plenty of humor. While it was at some parts still too flowery for me, the writing was mostly well done and powerful:
It was late Autumn; breathtakingly fresh and charmingly warm, and just like Camilla, rejuvenatingly pure. It was her.
No! It really was her! There she was, sitting pretty in the park, dazing into a space which I dearly wished I could fill.
I walked towards her, still unnoticed. The stage was set. The Council had taken away the romantic touch of fallen leaves but the backdrop was otherwise perfect. All was perfect, but for my thoughts of opening lines fleeing the scene with every nearing step.
She looked towards me and smiled: a picture my wallet would have gave its leather skin for. I took a deep breath and struck a deal with God.
The protagonist is so awkward, I wonder if them getting together was Camilla's plan all along and she just let the man think it was his idea. Which works just fine for me. I love it when awkward guys are the love interest. There aren't enough of them in romance and I'm always happy to read their stories.
I can also see this man and Camilla as a real couple. His romantic side complemented Camilla's love of medieval romance literature perfectly. Their chemistry is very real as well, and nothing feels forced between them, like it does in plenty of romance novels.
The only complaint I have is near the end of the story, when Camilla gets the bad news. It's in the last couple of paragraphs in the story, and I wanted more. I wanted to see the aftermath of getting the news instead of a very sudden ending. Because of that, this story only gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.
But if you want a short, quick and charming read, I recommend Autumn Leaves.
(review of free book)