Looking For Henrietta by Christine Columbus

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    Class of 85

    His twenty-fifth high school reunion is in less than thirty days and Henry still has no date. Not willing to be the object of his classmates’ sympathy after his divorce, he turns to an online dating service for help. But things aren't looking good.

    Rita has been there for Henry for a long time, hoping their relationship might change, but he only sees her as his friend the bartender. Now Henry has this crazy notion that the answer to his dilemma is a dating service. After watching several unsuccessful attempts—in her bar, no less—Rita decides it's time to take Henry's love life into her own hands.

    Maybe all Henry needs is a little push in the right direction to fall in love...

    Rating: Sensual
    Page Count: 66
    Word Count: 16450

    Excerpt:

    “Aren’t you from the East Coast? Will you go back? Maybe rekindle a flame withsomeone special?”

    Idecided to tackle her questions with a beer.

    “Soooo.”She placed a napkin down in front of me, but no beer.

    Itore at the corners of the paper napkin. “The twenty-fifth reunion is inSummerville, New York. I’d like to go back, but not alone.”

    Aforced laugh split her lips. “Oh, Henry. You haven’t been hanging out at thedry cleaners or trolling the aisles in the grocery store to find a woman, haveyou?”

    Ishould have never told Rita about the first few months after my divorce when,because it worked for Katrina, I took my clean shirts to the dry cleanershoping I’d meet my soul mate. Her gaze locked with mine, and before I couldblink I blurted, “I placed an ad and—”

    Herelbows jutted out, making her look more roller derby queen than friendlybartender. “Brides from Russia?”

    Ifixed my eyes on the beer tap. Maybe, if I stood and stretched out my arm, Icould reach around the bar and pour my own draft. “No, I figured I’d try onlinedating. Everyone is doing it.”

    “Betterbe careful. Last week a man answered an ad on the list and the wholething was a set-up. When he got to the woman’s apartment, a man with a baseballbat was waiting. He stuffed the guy into his car, drove around to ATMs, andforced him to withdraw all his money.

Reviews

Grade 
05/16/2012

Review

Review by Robin at Romancing the Book.

Ms. Columbus gives brief insight into the world of computer dating. A light hearted search for your soul mate along with the many things that actually could and do happen when setting up dates, only to find the one you want has been there right in front of you all along.

This is a really nice short story that has you laughing at Henry sense of humor as he tries to find a date for his class reunion, so that he isn’t toted as poor Henry. Although there isn’t much romance the story is still entertaining as we follow Henry as he goes on his blind dates.

We find out that Henry’s a sweetheart, down to earth and someone you could find yourself befriending. He has a cat left over from his divorce and co-workers who like to mess with his head. Henry goes to the local bar on his way home from work and tells Rita, the bartender everything. Rita we find is secretly in love with Henry and feels that he should now that. She watches as he sets up these dates and at times she almost seems childish in her actions as she storms off.

I enjoyed how Ms. Columbus made you actually care what happens with the bumbling antics of loveable Henry. It is nice that he ends up with his own happy-ever-after.

    Grade 
    02/20/2012

    Review

    Henry is everyman and no man all wrapped into one over forty and feeling every day of it package. Jilted in his prime and now recently divorced, all Henry wants out of life is someone to love—and look good on his arm at his twenty-fifth high school reunion.
    Rita is Henry’s friend and bartender, in that order, who puts up with his sudden foray into the world of on-line dating.
    As Henry seeks the love of his life Rita only wishes he’d give her more than a passing glance.
    Though Looking for Henrietta isn’t what might be called a pure romance, it is a thoroughly entertaining read. One that will make you smile first, laugh out loud next, and finally cheer for Henry and Rita to find each other at last.

      Grade 
      07/05/2011

      Review

      A terrific story written from the perspective of Henry, a lovable, clueless hero looking in all the wrong places for a date to his high school reunion. You can't help rooting for this man to open his eyes to the woman who's been there all along.

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        Looking For Henrietta

        Looking For Henrietta

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