You know, brain, this could have been a sweet little awkward hilarious romance that you're writing.
Yes, there are blast-resistant trash cans. Yes, the guys are on edge in the crowd, and the mall security is checking vehicles entering the parking garage and shoppers coming in for bombs and non-permitted weapons, but it's still fish out of water about two high-speed low-drag guys trying desperately to do overwatch on one's wife while she's shopping for maternity dresses, and the woman they rope in to help interpret "the ten million illusory shades of colour and the whimsical notations assigned haphazardly to each."
Yes, even said gal they roped in is grumbling about the threats terrorists have been sending in to the news.
But I got 5 chapters in without any boom! I had high hopes!
And then, brain, you had to go and type the phrase "the nice, quiet shop."
It could have been just a nice little romantic novella. But you had to go and use the Q-word, and now things are going to go boom.
And resolving that boom probably is likely going to take a novel. Arrrgh!