Query Critique #23

This query looks at an erotic romance and asks what details are important in a query and what can be left out. 

Submitted Query:

Seraphina Worth lives in a bubble of her own design. At twenty-one she is an assistant event planner. She may be confident on the outside but when it comes to love she lacks self-esteem. How could she be self-confident when her own mother- (delete hyphen) calls her hideous? (I think you could combine your intro to tighten it: At twenty-one, Seraphina Worth is an assistant event planner living in a bubble of her own design. It would be nice if you could reword this to show that she’s awesomesauce with work, but totally lacking in her personal life.) 

On a rare night out with her sister, Seraphina meets, Gabriel Alexander, a handsome man with chiseled features and an intensity that intrigues Seraphina’s usual shy nature. She is a natural submissive although she doesn’t know it yet, and is drawn to his powerful magnetism. (Unless this novel is told from Gabriel’s perspective as well, I wouldn’t include this detail. Doesn’t really feel like it fits.) Over coffee and after a bit of flirtation. (This sentence disrupts the flow to me and feels incomplete.) When she reveals she is a virgin, (now that’s an awkward conversation to have over coffee and a detail I’m not sure needs to be included). Gabriel steps aside, and she is left thinking the worst. That her mother was right. (I feel like you are giving us the wrong details here and could combine some of the details from this paragraph with the paragraph above.) 

Gabriel hires her to plan his event, (What kind of event? – the devil is in the details as they say) and tries to rekindle the sparks from that first night, revealing his desire to have her as his submissive. Shocked by the revelation, Seraphina is taken aback but the attraction for him is so strong she agrees to think about his proposal. (This immediately makes me think Fifty Shades and while I’m sure it’s 1000% different, be careful it doesn’t sound too similar.) But there is something dark and mysterious he is keeping from her. (Cut this sentence. This detail comes out of nowhere and doesn’t fit with what he’s originally proposed.)

He leaves the city to take care of business and, once he is back, Gabriel shows up at the event with another woman. Devastated, Seraphina confronts him. With her heart broken, she cuts him loose. Now she is not just alone, now her life is in danger. (Double now’s in one sentence make it awkward. But her life being in danger comes out of nowhere, even with the previous sentence I told you to cut. We need to see what makes her realize her life is in danger. When X happens, Gabriel realizes his enemies have their sights on Seraphina…or something like that…just an idea) Gabriel’s enemies are watching and want to destroy anything he holds dear. Will Gabriel come to her aid in the final moments? Will Seraphina forgive him for leaving her? (These two last questions make me think of a soap opera preview and just doesn’t fit the tone of what I think you are going for. And didn’t Seraphina break it off with Gabriel? Why would she need to forgive him then when she was the one who left? You need to up these stakes by explaining what is going on with Seraphina.)

GABRIEL’S WORTH is a (standalone) 60,000 word Erotic Romance Novel (novel) with series potential. This book would appeal to fans of Sylvia Day and E.L. James. (I always use the formula: Fans of X and Y will enjoy Book Title). 

What Are Your Thoughts?

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