That's not cheating. That's using resources effectively and working within parameters! :)
Over the past several years I've done varying levels of mentoring. You'll see me supporting great causes like Romance for Reproductive Justice with my usual offering of a 3 chapter critique. I've done some volunteer mentoring for Tessera Editorial clients and had a fun time working with folks there! I'm proud to say that I've had a small role to play in teaching craft and spiffing up the first 3 chapters for several terrific new authors. Some of whom have gotten book deals with television rights. Looking at you, Yas! (I'd love to take credit for any of it, but that was all due to her amazing story.)
What I can bring to the table are all the cautionary lessons of my mistakes in publishing. How NOT to do queries. How NOT to freak out on revisions. How NOT to pick a totally un-marketable genre to write (but wow was it fun!). How NOT to do deep POV. How NOT to create characters and plots. All these mistakes? Two thumbs, right here.
The things I tend to point out for mentees include: finding the right place to start the story, ramping up suspense/tension, and incorporating deep point of view. I like working in digestible chunks of book and time (1-3 chapters at a time with turnaround for thinking through the info and doing a revision).
My schedule can get hectic as I work as a rural doctor, though I try hard to time my writing workshops and mentoring chats on days I'm not on call. It's just ... some weeks (months) I'm on call ... a lot. What I like to see is mentees take the first few chapters of our in-depth lessons and use that to identify areas of their writing to strengthen throughout the entire manuscript. Like, the lessons we dove deeply into in chapter 1 -- deep POV, establishing character traits, tightening the story line, increasing tension -- the mentee should be able to start applying those concepts with more confidence as they go back through their entire manuscript.
Type of romance? I probably need something with paranormal, suspense, or medical elements -- whether we're talking historical, contemporary, or romantic suspense. And funny is fabulous! Cussing is just fine, too -- I mean, I had to de-f%$k an entire manuscript once, so I cannot cast any stones here!
I would probably not be a good mentor for small town relationship contemporaries where there's not a lot of drama, cozy mysteries, procedural type books (law/crime), literary fiction, or procedural historical (regencies where the details create a lot of the drama -- I'm just not an expert in historical manners and social mores at a level needed to do a proper job teaching). Now if you want to bring me a Victorian mystery corpse or phosphorous workers ("The Dress Lodger") then I might bite! Sci-fi and fantasy romances like H. E. Trent's Jekh series? Um, yes please!
I hope this clarifies my mentoring style and types of manuscripts that might be good matches for what I can help with. If there are questions, please let me know!