Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TLS Fics of the Week June 28 - July 4, 2011 : The Fab Four Reviews

Inside Man by Ooza
Summary: With his parole fast approaching, inmate Edward Masen is looking for
a friend. College student Bella Swan stumbles across his profile on a prison
pen-pal website. Their friendship is formed over written words, but will it
last once he rejoins her world?
Review by: La Momo

Joe Wright - awesome director of Pride&Prejudice, Atonement, and a bunch of other epic flicks - maintains that letters are very uncinematic and can slow down the pace of a narration. While this is true for movies, where letters can be burdensome and tricky to render, literature has thrived for centuries on the genre; the main reason being that letters and replies are the most direct way to bring two distinct voices and points of view into a narration, and grant each main character the limelight they deserve.

This latest fanfic effort from Ooza is just an example of that - two characters that live separate lives because of their circumstances come into contact via letters, and their closeness blossoms with every message.
Bella is a psychology major and decides to enrol in a programme that involves corresponding with inmates of various state penitentiaries who have expressed the wish of having outside correspondents by posting their profiles to a website. Her choice falls on one Edward Masen.
A guarded, but frequent correspondence ensues. Bella's letters are light-hearted but supportive and caring. Edward is also guarded, but for a set of wholly different reasons. Their closeness grows and gets more endearing with every letter.
The Inside Man becomes the Inside Friend, who might become the Outside Friend, since Edward will be up for parole soon. As his mind is burdened with material problems such as finding shoes and money and avoiding fights, he slowly opens his heart to Bella, and starts to rely on her more and more with every letter. Bella is still cautious but can't remain unaffected by this man and his troubles. When he finally breaks down, she agrees to visit him.
Monday's update portrayed Bella's visit with Edward at Waterview penitentiary. A very emotional, intense encounter. Both break down - Edward because he can finally reach out and find a supportive shoulder and a loving hug, Bella because, again, she is more affected by this man than she thought she'd be.

It is never easy to achieve in a fanfic a distinct voice for two characters as diverse as Bella and Edward are, but Ooza is doing this to perfection. Bella's writing is more playful, cautious but loving, helpful but not prying, respectful but eager at the same time. She cracks jokes - that lighten up the atmosphere and occasionally send Edward into a tailspin.
Edward holds back all the time - because of his past, because of where he is, because he has learned to live without hope, until...until Bella barges into his life. And there, everything he has denied himself becomes a necessity - writing to her, learning to open up, waiting for her letter, wanting to know everything about her. He keeps most of his emotions in check throughout his letters, and then......his curiosity and his walls just crumble, in the space of a few words. He is, of course, rough around the edges, but wins you immediately over with his.....overwhelming cuteness.
Yes, I called him cute. How else would you define PS's like these?

p.s. What do you do for fun?
p.s. What is your favorite food?
p.s. What do you look like?
p.s. When is your birthday? You don't have to tell me exactly. Maybe just the month or the season it's in.
p.s. Why did you pick me?
p.s. How far did you make it before you read this?
p.s. Do you think someday we could be real friends?
p.s. Will you visit me? I can't do this alone anymore. I need someone.

This makes me thing most forcibly of a Beatles' song that says...."PS I love you".....Wondering how long before we get a PS like that?

Once Upon a Desire by bornonhalloween
Edward's discovery of Bella's hidden cravings changes everything. Will she give up what seems to be the right choice and give in to her heart's true desire? A modern day, twisted D/S Cinderella story told in alternating BPOV and EPOV drabbles. Twilight - Rated: M
Review by: jaimearkin

Do NOT let the chapter count on this story scare you away. The chapters are actually drabbles and at just over 13k words at the time I’m writing this, no longer than a one-shot.  This story was recommended to me and I immediately screamed “I don’t read anything over 25 chapters!” to which I was promptly told to shut up and read it.  I’m so glad I listened.  Now… when I say drabble, I don’t mean “a crummy short chappy that isn't going to satisfy your inner reading demon” (thanks Mzb) I mean short, intense, fulfilling pieces of a story that is as intriguing as hell!

The prologue is the perfect synopsis of this tale:

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful sales executive whose daddy was CEO of Swan Enterprises, making Bella the de facto princess of the realm.

Bella was promised to a handsome and decent man named Jasper Whitlock, who treated her kindly and fulfilled her needs in every single way, except one.
Meanwhile, there was an unfortunate lad of intense personality and copper hair who toiled away in the bowels of the company's IT Department, hoping one day to find a willing flesh and blood girl to share his decadent desires.
One day, during a tedious internet security review, Edward stumbles upon a discovery that changes everything.
This is their tale.

Drabbles, told in alternating points of view pull you in, each day’s posting teasing you about what will come next.  Bella is in a loving relationship where she feels unfulfilled and unhappy.  What happens when Edward, the company’s IT guy finds out about her e-rotica account?  Can Isabella trust Edward who now knows her deepest and darkest secrets?  She is banking on it and so is he.  What makes this story even more unique is that our dear Isabella writes erotic fanfiction where she lives out the fantasies she thinks she can’t in her real life.

Applying my algorithm to her hard drive, I am rocked back in my chair by the results:

^ 12:30 Google Search- BDSM Photos
The Holy Grail, the intimate yearning of the heiress to the throne, reveals itself to my greedy eyes. My heart beats wildly as entries fill my screen-
^ 12:35 bdsmgallery. com
^ 12:36 Submissive Photo Gallery
^ 12:55 e-rotica. com/ log-in screen/
She's no occasional visitor. "This is almost too easy," I think giddily, planning to retrace her every click.
^ 1:03 Publish_chapter/OnMyKnees/storyid_e638237/04/
"Oh, you dirty, dirty princess."

Enter Black Velvet. 

[BlackVelvet ] omk- First Surrender is a provocative and well-written debut. Being a specialist in initiating newbies, I salute your characters' intelligence, mutual respect, and seductive language. Your dialog poignantly reveals a level of shared trust essential to every worthwhile D/S experience. In a word, you get it. I WILL be back for another taste of your delicious imagination. ~BV

Holy shit- a specialist in initiating newbies? Heat rushes to my lady parts. Giddy with his compliments, I visit BlackVelvet's profile. No stories, what a shame. I reply, then wait on the edge of my seat for his next message.

As a reader, we know Black Velvet and Edward Cullen are one in the same, but Isabella has no clue, and the discussions between the two are riveting, and the guilt and temptation she feels are palpable.  Each drabble pulls you in wondering if she’ll ever put two and two together.  But Edward has a plan…

*PM*BlackVelvet:Attagirl, omk! I must admit, I'm crestfallen not to have a chance at you myself.

*PM*OnMyKnees:Sir: I'll confess the same. Who knows, if this guy disappoints…?
*PM*BlackVelvet:Please believe me when I say this- I truly hope he doesn't. You deserve your HEA. ~BV
*PM*OnMyKnees:Thanks for everything, Sir!
BlackVelvet signs off, understanding full well he's just been effectively dumped for Edward Cullen. BV's momentary setback is eclipsed by EC's enormous gain.

My favorite stories leave me wanting more and more and more... and bornonhalloween does exactly that.  Each drabble leaves me looking for that next button even thought I know it isn’t there yet.  For something creative and well written, head over to Once Upon a Desire now! BOH updates daily… though, I hear she’ll be going on vacation, (I’m dreading not getting anything those days) and it's the perfect time for you to join in.  This story is addicting and like me, you’ll be waiting for each and every update!

Sideline Collision by Nolebucgrl
A cocky QB runs into a snarky band geek. What happens when they collide on and off the field? Rated M for language and lemons. Let The Games Begin public vote winner!
Twilight - Rated: M
Review by: LaMomo and Edmazing Cullen

I might start with a disclaimer in block capital letters that, when it comes to Nolebucgrl and any products of her pen / keyboard, I AM FREAKING BIASED.
So this review should be taken with a pinch of salt. Expect huge quantities of fangirling.

With First&Ten just wrapped up (officially, we still have outtakes) yesterday, Words With Friends progressing nicely, this little ditty with only four chapters in managed, I admit, to fly under my radar for a while, until two words riveted my attention: "CockyBack" and "Nerd".
CockyBack is none other than Edward Cullen, Quarterback of the Seminoles, home team of the University of Florida at Tallahassee.
The Nerd, for a change, is Bella - sassy oboe player of the college marching band. She might be a nerd, but she's not a prude, nor is she afraid of her own shadow.
These two might live on two different galaxies, but after a most victorious game, they literally COLLIDE into each other. Rather, Edward collides against Bella, breaking the reed of her oboe.
Bella insists he replaces it. Edward is having none of that, and he is not complimentary at all of her musical skills. He is the star of the stadium - who gives a rat's ass about the inconspicuous oboe player in the marching band?

Check our a couple of....self-explanatory quotes from CockyBack:

"Fine, then. Nobody is coming to hear your mad oboe playing skills, Reed Girl. I doubt that anyone could pick out the damn oboe amongst all the rest of the instruments, whereas, they can surely pick me out of a crowd."
"Yeah, because you have the biggest head." She smiled in triumph and her whole face lit up with it. I stared at her for a few moments before the insult sank in.
"I have the biggest something, sweetheart, but it isn't my head." I grinned at her, letting that one land.
Her eyes flew to my dick, which made it harden underneath my towel. Her mouth opened in a little 'o' of surprise and I thought about shoving my dick in there. She had a pretty mouth and it would be a very satisfactory way to shut her the fuck up.
"How do you know? Are you gay? Do your teammates know that you're checking them out?" Yeah, she really needed to work on shutting the fuck up. Maybe there was a way.
"This is how I know." I whipped my towel off and dropped it at my feet. Her face turned bright red and she started to breathe heavily. "And I am most certainly not gay, as you can see. Unless you're actually a guy. From the neck down, it's impossible to fucking tell."

So yes - we're in a locker room. Again. With a half-naked, sweaty quarterback. Again. With a sassy, slightly nerdy, fly-under-the-radar Bella. Again.
Does it means it's a repeat performance of another locker room scene? HELL NO!
Does this mean this actually could get old? HELL NO! AGAIN.

Bella does put out on the first date - only, this isn't technically a date. This is a one-locker room stand. And she's quite adamant about it.
What does she get out of it? Well, CockyBack for once, and replacement reeds as compensating damages.

CockyBack may think he's got her number.....BUT....Bella is not a nerd for nothing. She outsmarts him. And he wants her again. She runs and hides. He runs and finds her.

Until...the plot thickens, because her roommate is Rosalie Hale, and she is especially rude to CockyBack and protective towards Bella - and CockyBack has his own misguided theory about this:

Maybe I should be fucking insulted that she didn't want me, but since she was Reed Girl's roommate, there was probably some rule about not fucking the same guy or some damn thing. She'd want me otherwise, no doubt about it.

He is baffled. Confused. Crazed with lust. And at odds with his brother. And he thinks stealing Bella's oboe (cue the saucy puns and punch lines) might force Reed Girl (as he's dubbed her) into a corner, namely, his corner. Too bad that, once again, she outsmarts him - here are her own words:

"Because you want to see me again. So, I'll see you when you decide to return it. Goodnight, Edward." And just like that, she was gone. How the fuck had she managed to turn the tables on me again? And more importantly, how was I going to get her back? Wednesday night, it was on.

CockyBack is baffled. And speechless.

Three words: WE. WANT. MORE. (and probably even CockyBack does, but he still doesn't quite know of "what" he wants more...)

We Were Here by Lola Pops
Upon waking, there's a brief, blissful period in which you don't yet recall the sins of the night before, but eventually, you have to open your eyes. I'm Bella Swan, seventeen years old, cheerleader. This morning I woke up in the wrong bed. Twilight - Rated: M

Review by: MzB

Regardless of if you know anything about tagging or the lifestyle that revolves around it…. You NEED to read We Were Here.

Now we all know that I am the happy go lucky, unable to read a word of angst, spunky kid. But this story stole my heart… and maybe even my soul.

Lola-pops has a way with words and an all around amazing knack for writing that I can’t even do justice of describing.

The story starts with BPOV:

I know by the t-shirt hanging from the desk chair whose room this is. Whose bed this is.
Oh, fuck.
The images start to slow and linger in my vision, which is so much worse, because I have a chance to process the alternating waves of arousal, confusion and guilt. Mostly guilt.
"Oh, fuck." I whisper it out loud this time.
He shifts behind me, sitting up. Rolling cautiously onto my back, I peek up at him. He rubs his eyes, elbows resting on his knees, the sheet barely covering parts of him that I've now seen...touched...kissed. I want to reach over and run my hands down his taut stomach, over the muscles in his arms.
It doesn't escape my notice that he doesn't smile when he looks down at me.
I sit up, leaning back against the exposed brick next to him and clutching the sheet to my chest. We don't speak. Early morning light begins to hit the building tops outside of his window.
I try to orient myself in the present, like I've just been momentarily waylaid from my set path. I have to cheer at a game tonight, my uniform is at home and I have a Chemistry test third period.
And I fucked Edward Cullen.
Then, even though I'm thinking of that thing he did with his tongue, I'm also thinking of holding his face in my hands as I look into his eyes, inches apart while I move on top of him, his breath hitting my lips. Barely touching. The kisses...fuck. I need to stop.

Now honestly… who wouldn’t want to wake up in Edward Cullen’s bed? Well, If you read on you find out why neither one of them is smiling or going for round 2.

Yes, this is a high school/college story but that doesn’t hinder the maturity of the story. These characters go through hell and back and still manage to come out okay on the other side (or so I hope since I’m still patiently awaiting an update *cough cough*)

His shoulders slump. We both know too well what this means. For the group of cops that make up the graffiti squad, finding a well-known writer's sketchbook is a rare gift. It's like a murder investigator finding a serial killer's diary. The thought of them poring over it like they can understand me through those pages makes me feel sick…naked. At least I didn't drop my wallet. I took the time to check for that while we ran. It's a small comfort now, though. It's only a matter of time until they have a name.
I know Jake won't talk. He would rather do time than rat any of us out. I would do the same for him, or any of these guys. I have. The thought makes my jaw set, and I've never felt more criminal than in that moment. I would put this first. Fuck, I do put this first. My breath stutters when I think of Esme...and Bella.

You find a back story for Edward that literally made me cry, but it still doesn’t excuse his life choices.

I think what I love most about this story is how Rose and Emmett are more important to the story line than Alice or Jasper… Yet both Alice and Jasper are required to understand why everything is happening the way it is.
I know I’m not making much sense but I don’t want to give away the amazing plot and back stories that this fic has running through it.

I give this story 32728094578904270 thumbs up. If you’re not reading it, you better be running to do so now!

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