It read like a paint-by-numbers instruction for writing a 1980s bodice ripper. Dumb, weak, subservient female who was pure as driven snow comes to the attention of an asshole, semi-abusive billionaire bad boy and somehow manages to win his heart through incompetence.
Yeah, even modern Harlequin Classic romances didn't require brainless, useless lead females. Modern readers preferred their heroines to have personalities and flaws. That was why she'd decided to come to this meeting of bookish minds. It wasn't a writing group but maybe she could figure out how to write a good romance that someone would want to read while sticking to the paint-by-number guidelines by listening to other people critique books.
She sighed and kept browsing the list as everyone else filed into the room
"The heroine is a modern American woman between the ages of nineteen and
twenty-eight who reflects today’s concerns. The story is told in the third
person from her point of view. She is attractive and nicely dressed but not
glamorous, glitter and sophistication should be reserved for the other
woman (the heroine’s rival for the hero), whose flashiness will compare
unfavorably with the heroine’s modesty."
This was all garbage, Gloria mused. She supposed she could rewrite it to make her heroine no older than twenty-eight, but why? It's not like thirty-two was all that old. It was also more realistic for a real estate mogul to be older than nine-teen to twenty-eight.
"Alright, ladies. Time to get down to business so we can get down to fun. I see we have a new naughty convert with us this evening. Glo, wanna stand up and introduce yourself to the group?"
Gloria froze when she heard Lamar's sardonic voice call her out. All that trepidation she'd swallowed decided to come back up. Oh, no.