Wednesday, August 24, 2011

TLS Fics of the Week Aug 23 - 29, 2011: The Fab Four Reviews


Speak Now by Saritadreaming
One Bride, One Groom... One Huge Lie. When Bella learns the truth about their long ago past, can she stop Edward from making the biggest mistake of his life? Can they survive the aftermath? AH Edward/Bella/Tanya. Collab between SaritaDreaming and wmr1601
Twilight - Rated: M
Review By: Kitty Vuitton

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend a wedding where when the priest asks "If anyone knows a reason why this couple should not be wed, speak now... or forever hold your peace”? Well, think no further, as we dive into the wedding of Tanya and Edward, and the interruption that will change their lives forever.

Speak Now is a love story through and through. Not only is it about getting a second chance to be with your one true love, but it is about being brave enough to conquer your fears and stand up for what you know in your heart is right.

Through flashbacks, we see Bella and Edward as close friends, both wanting more, but too afraid to take the risk. At a party one evening, their timing is perfect and they admit their feelings to each other, unfortunately, their chance at love is short lived as Tanya and Mike interfere with their evening, putting a rift between Edward and Bella that would never be mended. Tanya and Edward become a couple as do Mike and Bella.

Rolling my eyes, I remember why I can't stand her; she's so fake and surfacey. If I was marrying a man like Edward, I wouldn't give a shit if it was at City Hall, just as long as I knew he was mine–that I could take him home and make love to him all night. I feel a twinge in my abdomen at that thought, and memories roll over me slowly, taking me back in time...

Fast forward to the present day, we find Bella has arrived back in Forks after 4 years away, having just broken up with Mike once he shared with her the horrible truth about what happened the night of the party back in high school. She is determined to share the truth with Edward before it is too late. Will she be able to stop the wedding in time, and does she have the proof she needs to shed light on just how horrible Tanya really is?

My mind drifts back to the brown glimmer I saw from the window just a moment ago. I wonder what I would do if Bella really were here today. I know that it's a long shot—beyond a long shot, really—it's an impossibility. The thought remains, though. And then, as if I needed a reason to forget about Bella once and for all, another memory from high school invades my brain…

This story is written in both Bella and Edwards POV’s, which allows us to get a full understanding of their true desires for one another. It is a wonderful, feel good story, with some great laugh out loud moments and while each chapter leaves us wanting more, we are left feeling satisfied with how the future of this couple has progressed into a beautiful relationship.

"Want to tell me why, honey?" Charlie asks gently. "I know you're not an impulsive girl, so there must be a good reason."
I realize that the real 'truth' wouldn't have gotten around town because very few people knew the whole story. All my dad would have heard is that I interrupted the wedding but not why. I can only imagine the rumors that are floating around, the speculation that must arise to fill in the empty space left by unsatisfied curiosity.
"I did have a good reason, Dad. Wow, this is going to be harder than I expected—I've never had to tell you something like this before."
"Honey, whatever it is, we can deal with it together," Charlie assures me. "When's the baby due?"
"The what?" I choke out. Of all the things my dad could have said, that isn't what I was expecting.

But Edward and Bella are not in the clear yet, Tanya is always lurking around the corner, for she is never truly happy unless she can have Edward all to her self.

The author continues to keep us up to date with teasers and information related to the story with her blog. Check it out!

Outbound by AftrnoonDlight
Two beautiful souls humbly traveling life's lonely path, until fate suddenly shows her hand. Will Edward and Bella surrender willingly... A tender, romantic tale of love and life in the clouds. Twilight - Rated: M

At times I find myself at a loss for words when it comes to a certain story. As of this very moment, there are over 186, 000 Twilight fanfictions posted on FFN. And that’s just the ones that are still standing.

Amongst that ridiculously large number, I am reading less than five...

So, imagine how excited I was to see that one of them was up for Fic of the Week. I jumped at the chance to do a review, and then realized that there might not be an adequate way for me to describe this story.

I could start with something witty, like, “Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Bella Swan walks into a bar...” But that would take away from the beauty of this fic. Because, in the first chapter of this collaboration between Jaime Arkin and PhoebesPromise, Bella does  walk into a bar. With a new haircut and a wary smile, she meets some friends for a drink. But the man behind the counter won’t stop staring at her, so she can’t help but notice him. And his smile. And his watch. And the fact that he’s not exactly giving up on getting her alone after her friends depart for the evening.

What could essentially be a cliche story line is anything but as we read of these two, aptly described, beautiful souls, who have a chance encounter at the right place and right time. Even when the doubt creeps in, we are left with a feeling of ease between the two. It settles deeply inside of your soul as you read, because the characters that have been created are not inherently broken beings, but rather the only things that aren’t falling apart in their respective worlds. They are both the sturdy foundation of those around them, and it makes it all that more beautiful to see them collide.

She’s a flight attendant. He’s a bar owner. But there’s more to it, you see. They have these intricate layers and blossoming backstories that leave you craving more with each new chapter. They appear as real people in your head. Their lives are unfolding right before you.

The thing I love the most about this story is that I don’t feel like I am reading it at all. The flow of writing and dialogue isn’t straight storytelling. It’s descriptions and feelings and small little intricacies that end up leaving the reader wrapped up in this world being built by these two masterful storytellers. Its experiencing instead ofreading simple words strung along. In a time where fic has turned to gimmicks, in some cases, this is just a beautifully told tale of sweet people who meet and fall for one another.

From their first encounter:

Heart soaring, clumsy, embarrassed and more, I left it and urged him on. Our mouths connected, fevered and wild as we found the next door. The moment it closed behind, I was trapped against by his pulsing frame. A large hand on either side, just above my head, he pressed, we moaned. The dark space filled with urgent, frenzied breathing and want.

The feel, I needed to touch, I grabbed and worked the shirt free from his jeans. My fingertips smoothed over his bare stomach, his muscles contracted as he sighed, reveling. Gently rolling his forehead against mine, he ran the silk tie of my dress over his palm. "I don't think I'm dressed for this…" Mumbling and thinking aloud of my white cotton underneath the modern, sexy dress I wore.

He smirked, almost a snicker. "You're kind of… adorable."

"Adorable isn't exactly one night stand material," I said quietly, biting my lip. Feather light touches eased down by the back of his slightly trembling hand.

"Is that what this is?"

"I don't… I don't know what this is. But fuck, I want you to touch me, Edward," I breathed, he gasped quietly, wide eyed. "It's all I've thought of for the past four and half hours… and I don't usually do this sort of thing… but god I want to feel you."

I teased my hands further up and around. He held my head firmly between his hands, studying. "I never do this either, but you're so goddamn…"

"I mean I guess this is pretty reckless… But…" I rambled, heat spreading. "If you… I mean if I disappeared…" He tasted, warm lips brushed my throat. "You were the last person I was… oh…" His hard cock, his tongue, my thoughts were fading. "It wouldn't… be good PR for… mmmm… your restaurant."

"Shhh… this isn't reckless and you won't disappear and…" His thumbs teased sensitive places… behind my ear, soft kisses along heated skin along my jaw. "…I won't hurt you, Bella." My knees weakened at his whisper. Words were done, nothing more to say… only to feel.

 The introductions of their families will leave you scrambling for more answers. More truth. More interaction between the two because its NOT just fire and heat, it’s sweetness and a like-ability that is sorely lacking in a lot of places these days. It’s gentle words and sweet caresses between these two adults, who act like adults,along with a realness in their words. Whether awkward and hurried, or teasing and unsure...these two leave me breathless. Both Bella and Edward....and the ladies known as Aftrnoondlight.

With smut that’s not too graphic, and a story told with heart and humor, amidst some serious subject matter, I wholeheartedly hope that you give this story a chance. And leave them some love while you’re at it?

Restless by RandomCran
Bella's monochrome existence has left her feeling apprehensive. When the circumstances of tragedy introduce her to Edward, she feels emboldened. What will happen when her life begins to intensify? AU/AH/OOC Twilight - Rated: M
Review By: Amy Morgan (ffn profile

It's not your ordinary romance!
In the first chapter, Bella Swan gets the very worst news a daughter can get:

Dr. Cullen grimaced slightly before continuing."We did our best to stabilize your father in the ER but we knew he had to be taken to the operating room as soon as possible. Unfortunately, your father suffered cardiac arrest during surgery and, despite our efforts, we were unable to save him. I'm so sorry, Bella.''

In the next few moments, Bella's shock wears off and her dam breaks, brought on simply by
overhearing a handsome young man address Dr. Cullen as “Dad”.

The very first chapter ends with a pallbearer dilemma. You should read RandomCran's remarkable narrative and dialogue yourself. Her elegance in describing a numb, yet relieved Bella is simply amazing. Some of Bella's giddy, nervous dialogue rings true. I buried both my parents nine days apart, and was brought to my knees by an all-encompassing awareness of “being an orphan”, and isolative grief. My older brother totally failed at providing any comfort.

Bella, however, immediately enters the anger stage of grief. She loses her temper at work, provoked by a careless, passive-aggressive superior. You will root for Bella's grim, hilarious revenge fantasies in this passage.

"The personal wound of losing my father so suddenly had now festered into my professional world. I had never fought with anyone at work...''

And yet, the actual funeral for Charlie is almost more than Bella can bear:

''It was only when a young man, dressed impeccably in his military uniform began performing 'Taps' on his bugle that it became very difficult for me. I couldn't look at Charlie's flag covered casket. I couldn't look at my mother because I could hear her quiet sobs increasing with intensity. But I needed to look somewhere, to distract myself somehow and when I lifted my head, I made eye contact with Edward Cullen for the first time. For some reason, he was watching me intently.”

Bella and Edward meet and talk, and Bella impulsively asks him to take her back to Charlie's house, so she can take a nap alone. On the way, Bella fears her severe allergy may overtake her. As you read Bella's account of her allergy, note the odd similarity to Twilight the book (or should I say Midnight Sun?). Bella reacts just as much, and as strangely to Edward, as Vampire Edward reacted to her in the biology lab....after which he fled to Denali, terrified by his murderous attraction.

I wonder if RandomCran made Bella's reaction similar on purpose, or unconsciously? Rest assured, there are no vampires in this tale. Strictly AH, AU. But Bella covering her mouth and then leaning toward the window, gasping for fresh air was too reminiscent of Edward's attempts to resist the siren call of her blood.

I shall not want to spoil this story for those of you who have not started it. Things progress startingly fast in Chapter Three. RandomCran has just four chapters posted thus far. You will be pleased with the emotional as well as the physical citrus:

''For the first time in my life, I felt truly comfortable in my skin." 

I have to say that this is an astonishing first effort. I have been a devotee of RandomCran's husband Morgan Locklear's Bella Voce and Brutte Parole. In this case, I believe talent chose talent as life partners.

RandomCran has taken a “plot bunny” and grown it into a living, breathing hopping hare of a story.

If you have not read the first four chapters of Restless by RandomCran, get on fanfiction and find it. You will find character development, plot and personal emotional risk, all elements of exceptional fiction.

Royal Rebellions by xNimC
Bella Swan is no stranger to hard work, but everything changes when she is forced to work in Cullen Manor, the home of America's royal family. Her encounters with a certain prince cause her to wonder if the rules are worth following. MODERN DAY. AH, OOC
Twilight - Rated: M
Review By: EvilNat <--- she's up for an Emerging Swan award, vote for her here

Royal Rebellions by xNimC is set in modern times where there is an American royal family.  Bella is the daughter of a cook who is hired to work at Cullen Manor and as such Bella is employed too.

From the beginning we see that Bella is a little quirky.  She has a hard time conforming to being a servant for a royal family where there are lots of rules.  She often finds herself in trouble due to her nonexistent verbal filter.

Her first meeting with the Prince is a scream, literally, she accidently slips into bed with him after getting lost in the dark cavernous hallways of the manor.

Sleepily, I crawl onto the bed and get under the covers.

The blankets are very warm and smell different, better, but I can't place how. I don't care; the sleep is catching up with me.

I am on the brink of unconsciousness when I hear the snoring.

Right. Next. To. My. Ear.

My eyes spring open and my head whips to the side as I see the contours of a male face in the darkness.

What the fuck! 

Then, I scream.

I'm totally freaked out and I shove the blankets off of me just as the guy in my bed lets out a startled cry of his own and bolts upright.

I get all tangled up in the covers and fall off the bed, scrambling towards the door on my hands and knees.

"Stop," he orders, and the sound of his voice makes me freeze.

The light comes on when I stand, and I blink in the bright light, anxiously trying to make out what the hell is going on.

I look around the room, realizing for the first time that the room is not mine.

I look at the guy in the bed and I am filled with absolute horror.

It's Prince Edward.

Edward is the Prince.  He is commanding and good looking, and Bella through her nervousness spills soup in his lap, among other things.  She finds him attractive and it seems he likes her for her frankness and they begin to write each other notes.  Unfortunately for Bella he is engaged to Tanya, who is really only interested in Edward for his ‘position’, knowing she will eventually be Queen one day.

The reporters are all firing questions at her and she stops just outside of her waiting car to speak to them.

The biggest grin is on her face as she answers questions, "Why, yes, yes, I am very happy. Any regrets?" – Insert super fake laugh here - "Of course not! Well, other than the fact that my darling Edward proposed in a restaurant of all places. What are we, common?" –Insert gasp of shock from reporters and another fake laugh from Tanya - "Yes, of course you can see the ring. Here it is. Too small for my tastes, but it's very beautiful, no? I might have to make him get me a bigger one." – Insert laugh - "I can't wait to be queen."

Alice is shaking her head in disbelief. "I don't know if I should be excited that there's gonna be a wedding, or disgusted with his choice in wife."

Alice is a cute character; she is Bella’s roommate and is also employed at the Manor.  She helps Bella settle in to life as a servant in Cullen Manor.

We also meet Jake when Bella moves to the Manor, he doesn’t play a huge part but he does have a lot to do with Bella’s settling in.

The Royal Family consists of a lot of familiar names, and as the story continues they get introduced.  Lady Rosalie, Sir Jasper’s sister, is one of my favorite characters; she is a little reserved but ends up becoming a loyal friend to Bella, even through the class division.

"That's not what I meant," she says quickly. "I just meant that Bella is, well, special. She's a friend, and she knows me better than most other workers."

"Thanks," I mutter, a little taken aback and embarrassed. That's as close to a compliment as I'm ever going to get from her.

Another interesting character is Edward’s Uncle Rick, he’s a friendly, well travelled playboy, who returns to the manor every once in a while between travelling to exotic places.  He’s the epitome of the ‘cool uncle’.

Rick, the stranger I kinda-sorta met that same morning, is in the middle of telling a story.

Apparently, he's been in India for a while, but not before spending six months in Brazil, two months in Iceland, and four months in Ireland.

"… couldn't find a damn rickshaw," he's saying animatedly. "Had to walk until I figured out where the hell I was, only to find out that, hey! I'm almost in Bangladesh! I guess that trip was over, eh?"

The queen giggles, covering her mouth daintily as Edward and Jasper chuckle.

The king just looks mildly amused.

"Did you stay in Bangladesh, then?" Jasper asks.

"Not that easy, kid," Rick says, taking a huge forkful of his pasta. "Got confronted by some officials, couldn't speak a word of Bengali, tried out my Hindi, but that didn't go over too well, either." He takes another forkful and then talks with his mouth full. "Long story short, I found myself in Sri Lanka a few days later. Ha!"

"Rick, please," Esme says in a chiding tone.

Rick swallows and gives the queen a sheepish grin.

"Sorry, Es," he says. "Talking with your mouth full is good manners in some of the places I've been. You'll have to forgive me."

Royal Rebellions is written from Bella’s POV, but there is a companion piece called Royal Encounters which is in Edward’s POV, and currently has 4 chapters.  Royal Rebellions is interesting, there’s a little bit of heart fail and angst but it’s mainly a nice fluffy read.  The UST between Edward and Bella makes it exciting and the supporting cast helps to round it out.  We find as the story develops there are a few twists and turns, keeping us hanging but not for too long.  With only one more chapter to go it is almost complete.  


  1. Thank you PAW'sPeaches, great recs...

  2. I'm so happy that you rec RandomCran's Restless. I'm in love with this story and I hope that others read your rec and decide to give it a try. It's beautifully done so far and I always finish a chapter wanting more...especially of the heat, which seems to be getting hotter with every chapter. *fans face* A little at a time, Bella is emotionally growing and branching out in so many compelling ways. It's one of my favorite stories. I'm so glad to see it mentioned here!