As promised, here are the comments Desire editor, Diana V sent to me in a rejection letter just before I headed to the KOD conference:
"Unfortunately you're manuscript is not suitable for us right now.
This was definitely a high drama story. You had some good layers throughout the ms and the characters are quite likeable. My biggest concern with the piece was the plot. Although it is intriguing, there are some holes in the story that make it unbelievable. To begin it doesn't make sense that Nicco wouldn't recognize her. Especially because the reasoning for his hatred is so emotional for him. It's also a bit childish for him to insult her when he discovers who she is ...not to mention the way he does discover the truth. I like that she was blackmailed to leave, and I think you could keep this element in. Perhaps it might be helpful to eliminate the drunk driving incident altogether and have the heroine be blackmailed out of town because his father didn't think she was suitable for Nicco. Her up bringing was not nearly on the level of Nicco's. Maybe Nicco returns for some revenge.
These are some thing to consider if you choose to revise this manuscript."
I certainly didn't expect to sell the very first story I sent out but every once in a while I did day dream about it. Of course, I was a little disappointed but not surprised that I received a rejection. The fact that I received suggestions for revisions is actually a gift. So many times author's receive a 'no thanks, not for us' rejection letter. She told me what she liked, didn't like and what to change. So, I'm furiously working on giving her what she wants.
At first I thought the changes would be massive. However, as I go through my synopsis to change motivation and backstory, it's amazing what still fits. Changing external plot elements doesn't alter who my characters are and how they feel about themselves and each other. So, you see I'm being very mature about the whole thing - kept the whining and chocolate binge to a minimum.
I will let you in on a little secret. I'm not convinced Diana's suggestions make this a better book. I plan to send the original to Presents if Desire ultimately rejects the rewrites.