First Page Feedback – Cassie’s Story

Here’s another title aimed at Presents! Lexxi Callahan (@CallahanLexxie) has a dynamic opening!
Cassie watched the floral staff load giant flower arrangements and greenery back into their service vans. Some ferns were so large it took two men to lift them.

Her fingers touched her face. Shouldn’t she be crying?

Shouldn’t she be feeling something?

The marquee was lowered while undisturbed stacks of chairs and tables waited to be loaded. Several hundred chairs and brocade chair covers still in shrink wrap. Three hundred people had expected to sit in those chairs in just a few hours. What if they were already at the church? She didn’t know how she could face them. What should she even say?

Leo had changed his mind. He couldn’t go through with it. He didn’t want her after all.


She closed her eyes, willing the owner of that hateful voice to leave. He’d won. There was no reason for him to still be here. Other than to gloat. She heard him bark her name again but still didn’t turn away from the window. She didn’t know how to face him either.

Humiliation still sizzled over her skin. She crossed her arms and pretended not to hear the wisp of the tulle skirt that floated around her. The beautiful dress she’d put on early for photographs was something out of a fairy tale. She’d known better than believing in fairy tales. Happily Ever afters were for children.

The dress had to go.

Cassie clawed at the strapless bodice. The dress ripped, falling away, but when she stepped out, her knees gave way and she nearly drowned in tulle. Rough hands gripped her upper arms, lifting her free of the beautiful mess.

He ignored her protests, swung her up in his arms, then carried her right out of the guest room she’d been using in his home despite her struggles to get free of him.

“Stop.” The harshness of voice didn’t surprise her. Jake was never anything but rude to her.

“I hate you.” She choked out, not understanding why he held her even closer.

“Whatever gets you through today.” His voice gruff, probably to mask his arrogant triumph.

It took forever to get wherever they were going. Not that she cared where he was taking her. She just wanted away from that dress and all the smashed hopes and dreams still lingering in that borrowed guest suite. She heard lowered voices and turned her face into the hard male chest she was crushed against. How was she going to face anyone?

“They’ll all be gone soon,” he rumbled, laying her down on a silk covered bed. “Ten minutes and it’s all gone.”

“All those people.” Her eyes squeezed shut. “How could you?”

“It’s done.”

Then rough hands were in her hair, tugging out the hundreds of pins that made the intricate up do a real work of art. When her blonde hair spilled around her shoulders, those fingers swept down her cheek, shocking her eyes open, forcing her to face the man who had just destroyed her life.


And here’s the feedback from the Presents Team!

You’ve got a fantastically gripping set-up here and the reader is instantly thrown into the heart of the action. This is exactly the kind of thing we want to see from a first page! The reader instantly feels engaged and involved in the situation. There’s a real sense of drama and tension and our interest was piqued. What happened to make the wedding be called off? Why is it the hero’s fault? What’s going to happen next? We know we’re eager to see!

Thank you, Lexxie, for volunteering your story!