Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TLS Fics of the Week: 10/26 - 11/1- The Fab Five Reviews are up!

Cracks In the Pavement by VampiresHaveLaws - rec'd by Nic
Life is never perfect, the cracks always appear. "My Polaroid would show the face of a girl who has forgotten how to truly smile." Even the strongest of dreams can fail to become enough.
Twilight - Rated: M

 Review by: Troublefollows Edward

When I read There is a Light (one of the Fics of the Month here on TLS), I thought there would never be another story that would move me as much as that one. One that could stir my emotions just so.

I was wrong.

Cracks in the Pavement by Vampshavelaws is that story. CitP is one of the best stories I have ever read and it is only nine chapters in. I am a VERY picky reader and I don't read very much because it has to be good for me to give up my time. I can honestly say that I have never had such a physical reaction to a story before. I can actually feel my chest tighten and my shoulders tense as I read. If you are a wussperv, this story may not be for you. Angst is high in this one.

Vampshavelaws has created an Edward and Bella who are at a very painful crossroads in their marriage. We readers have no idea what has brought them to this terrible place, and sometimes I get the feeling neither do they. What we do know is that they once were very much in love. Vampshavelaws sends us back in time every chapter, giving us glimpses of what the old Bella and Edward were like. They met in high school when they were fifteen. These two were young and madly in love. Her memories are certainly bittersweet.

"Saturday mornings used to be spent in the best of ways; skin against skin as he moved above me or under me with reverent curses and parted lips. I'd pull him to me so close, fingertips pressed into his back as I met him again and again with eager hips and urgent pleas of, 'don't stop' and repeats of, 'I love you'.

The way he'd gaze down at me with heated expressions—mixed with love and longing—would leave me all the more breathless and enraptured, my heart so full I'd been sure it would burst.

I would plead with silent words as trembles shook my body inside and out, clinging to him as he did the same. We'd lie together in the middle of the bed, our faces just far enough apart to be able to see the other clearly. My fingers would explore his jaw as his hand rested against my heart, feeling just what he did to me.

His expression would let me know he was feeling it just as much, leaving wonder behind in its wake."

I love this Edward a little bit more every time she lets us in on their happier days. She also has written THE BEST marriage proposal ever. EVER. I want to marry this marriage proposal. I’m serious.

But the happy times didn’t last. Bella often looks back and questions why she led with her heart and not her head.

“We married at nineteen without telling anyone. We were young and na├»ve – stupid. But I was in love…so, so in love. My chest had been full with adoration and impatience to start something that perhaps we weren’t ready for. And now, six years later, I know we weren’t.”

The story begins with Bella and Edward attending a party at Edward’s parents’ home around Christmas time. Immediately we are made aware of how isolated and alone Bella feels even in a room full of people. Vampshavelaws’ writing is so beautiful, it is easy to get swept away by the imagery.

“Our communication has become lost, buried beneath the sand or trapped in that bottle floating out to sea. The longer we leave things unsaid, the further it wanders out of our sight until we can no longer spot the early morning light bounce off the glass as it drifts and drifts and drifts.”

Gah! You can see how Bella feels completely helpless as she watches her marriage dissolve slowly, unravel in her hands. It’s easy to want to blame Edward for what is going on in the present, but I think that’s because we are only in Bella’s head. Bella admits she doesn’t say much out loud. She believes that because she feels so much love for him that he knows that’s how she feels, but in the flashbacks, Vampshavelaws lets us know he really does have a hard time knowing what she’s thinking. I think Edward is hurting just as much as Bella and I can’t wait to find out what got them to this point.

Bella is going to make you mad, too. She feels defeated and tries to stand up for herself the only way she knows how. The way Vampshavelaws describes her pain after Bella makes a huge decision makes my heart hurt.

“Dawn breaks, but the electrifying colours don't last. Ashen skies in heavy slate loom through glass; oyster clouds with a sombre undertone, soot choking the heavens. A chiffon sheer coats the windows, flecks of falling tears, morphing into a river of despair... and I follow it. I let myself be carried away—I don't fight it. I float, waiting, cold, but nothing changes.

I sit and hate myself. I sit and hate him. I sit and wonder if I've made a mistake.
I stand and quickly stop myself from making an even bigger one as I reach for my keys.

It hurts being here without him, my insides torn to shreds; confetti in the shape of paper hearts ripped in two. But there's no celebration—no head tilted to the sky with smiles that blind, no ears full with the sound of cheers.

Nothing hits my cheeks or gets stuck in my hair. There's no hand cupped with mine, pulling me forward through a crowd. It's just hit after hit to pumping red muscle. And all I want to do is scream.

I'm all cried out, clear tracks of once tears coating my cheeks, now as dry as the desert, a writhing pathway of hopes dashed.”

The raw emotion of this story will choke you up every chapter. I wait patiently for the next installment. Always wanting more, more, more. Why did this happen to them? Why aren't they both fighting harder? Why won't they talk to one another? Can't he see her pain? Why can't she see his? When are they going to figure each other out and make this right? So many questions. Warning - this is not a once a week updater. I’m happy to let her take her time between updates because I know she’s creating something worthy of my time and my heartache.

Go read Cracks in the Pavement and tell her Trouble sent you. I promise you she will not disappoint. She might put some cracks in your heart but she will never fail to deliver something amazing.

How to Paint a House by Maggie's Gutter - rec'd by Monica NP
Bella Swan is a naive fifteen year old, set to spend another kiss-less summer alone. Edward is new to town, and doesn't know a soul. Watch an unlikely friendship blossom over the simple task of painting a house. But for these two, nothing is simple. Twilight - Rated: M

Review by LaMomo

Do we all remember how it feels like, to be fifteen, going on sixteen, and to be crushing on a guy to the point you're in love, and he's all you see, and yet you have absolutely NO CLUE how to go about it?
There are no clear lines. There are no codes of conduct. Everything is too much. Or too little. Or too soon. Or too late. There is only uncertainty and expectation. There is the thrill of anticipation and agonies of doubt and rejection.
There is the unspeakable limbo of "friendship".
And slowly, you change, things change, he changes…and one day, things fall into place for a brief second. You both become "more" to each other.
And cue a second slew of agony, harrowing doubts, second-guessing and inadequacy in spades.

Still..he is your whole world. You only think and see in absolutes. Meeting him is the best thing that has happened to you. He's the most beautiful, the bravest, the kindest guy you ever met. And he is. Because young love only factors in the absolutes, where feelings are concerned. One moment is misery, the other is bliss.

This is what happens in Maggie's Gutter incredibly sweet and beautifully written tale, How To Paint A House. The usual suspects live in Forks. Charlie Swan wants his house repainted over summer break but he gets his leg broken and is confined indoors for a few weeks. The new addition in town, the doctor's son, Edward Cullen, is recruited for the job. And he shares the task with Charlie's daughter Bella.
Bella is a shy, bookish, socially reclusive teenager on the verge of her 16th birthday, and she's losing her usual footing because her closest friend Angela is going over to the Skank Side.
Edward puts her to work, and lends an ear to her musings. She does the same, because the guy is, after all, the new kid in town, and has no one to talk to. And he has baggage.

Follow these two very closely as they explore their friendship, their companionship, and whatever else is coming their way. Their connection will tug at your heartstrings every single time, and nothing will sound contrived, silly, or overdone. Bella is a faithful portrayal of a 15 year-old girl in love for the first time, and Edward is an adorable tangle of boyish charm going on to a more manly appearance (which doesn't help Bella's plight any), of doubts, guilt over his reckless past, and insecurity about his future.

This is a heartfelt, wonderfully written, evenly paced and emotionally intense journey. It will suck you in, like current while you're going rafting on a nearby river, on a long, hot, end-of-summer day…..

The Port Angeles Players by WriteOnTime - rec'd by Graymatters Fanfiction
New in the town of Forks and eager to please her boss at the university, Bella auditions for a local production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing". Her co-star is a handsome but confusing local doctor. Is it curtains-up on love? AU/AH Canon pairing Twilight - Rated: M

Review by OneBraveLamb

The Port Angeles Players is a wonderfully written story by WriteOnTime. It’s witty, charming and sucks the reader in almost instantaneously. At least it did for me.

The story starts off with Bella making a big move with her best friend Alice after a terrible break-up. Bella has been put through the ringer by a younger man and her confidence is severely lacking. Jacob, the younger man in question, was hot and heavy with Bella for a while before abruptly turning on the deep freeze and ignoring Bella completely. Bella ends up feeling like she’s not good enough and is afraid of being hurt again when another man realizes that she’s not worth his time.

So after a while of Bella’s moping and with much persuasion, Alice convinces her that she needs a fresh start and the girls pack up and move to Alice’s home state of Washington. Bella quickly finds a job at a local university where she meets Jasper. They strike up a friendship due to Jasper’s gentlemanly southern manners and laidback personality and things seem to be going well. After dinner with Alice’s mother one evening and agreeing to take leftovers to her father, hilarious hijinks ensue when Bella spots Edward for the first time and nearly gives herself whiplash.

Edward doesn’t hurt himself or anything, but he definitely notices Bella too. But like Bella, Edward is leery of relationships. Only, he’s the jackass that treated his previous girlfriend callously. Before you write him off, you must understand that it wasn’t his intention. With his friend Eric’s help, Edward had no problem with finding a flavor of the week and the women he was with weren’t really interested in commitment either. Edward even started imagining the ladies as famous women and played his role accordingly.

But when Eric decided to settle down with Lauren, Edward panicked. He was accustomed to his flavor of the week sexcapades and if Eric wasn’t going to be there to toss women in his direction, he’d be sorely lacking in that department. When Lauren offered to set Edward up with her friend Tanya, he jumped at the chance. He played his role of Tom Hanks to Tanya’s Darryl Hannah perfectly. So perfectly that Tanya actually fell for him. And by him, I mean Tom Hanks. After asking Tanya to move in, since that was what Eric had done with Lauren, Edward realized that he may have gotten himself into a bit of a mess.

After a pretty horrendous break-up that Edward admits was all his fault, he packed up and moved from Chicago to Washington vowing to become ‘a real boy’ and leave his playboy and asshole ways behind him.

Add in a comical twist of fate, that has Bella auditioning for a production ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ and being offered the role of Beatrice alongside Edward as Benedick, while Edward is struggling to be real and worthy of a person like Bella and you have a cute and funny glimpse into the minds of our favorite couple as they traverse the path of getting to know one another, figuring out how to not only trust each other -but how to trust themselves and ultimately falling in love.

The Port Angeles Players is complete and one of my go to fics if I’ve had a bad day and need a little cheering up. So go on now, read it and fall in love with this story like I did. You won’t regret it.

Thief of Hearts by PattyRose - rec'd by Kitty
FBI Agent Edward Cullen knows the assignment: Go undercover & infiltrate the ring. Bring them down. He doesn't bargain on the mysterious thief who turns the case upside down, or on the mortal danger protecting her will put them both in. E&B OOC  Twilight - Rated: M

Review by Kitty Vuitton

Thief of Hearts by Pattyrose is an action/suspense type story with a romantic twist that has me on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what will happen next. The first chapter is a prologue set in the future and it captivated my attention with the first paragraph. I am instantly pulled into plotline, wondering what the hell has is going on with Edward and what has happened to Bella that makes him so scared that she may not survive.

When I pull my hand away from my head it's coated with bright red blood; slippery and warm. For about five seconds I stare blankly at it before wiping my hand off on my pants and transferring my weapon to my other hand. My head is pounding; I've got a thousand heavy jackhammers digging into my brain insistently. Still, I force myself to keep going. I'm dazed and unsteady on my feet. My vision blurs. I drip blood as I go. But I don't stop. I'll drag myself along on my stomach, slide and slither like a goddamned snake if I have to until I find him. He can't be allowed to leave this place alive. Not if she's to survive.
And she will survive.

The prologue also provides with the fact that Edward is an undercover FBI agent posing as Dr. Anthony Masen. As he is fighting for his life with an unknown assailant, he continues to think about Bella and how he must keep her safe, even if it means losing his life to do so.

No, he never knew her the way I did. No one has ever known her the way I have.
I promised her I'd keep her safe.
"For you Bella," I murmur as I hold the gun with both hands and cock the trigger. "Always for you."
Those are my final thoughts; my final words; just as the gun gets kicked out of my hands…

The next chapter moves us back to the past as we start from the beginning of this adventure. We learn that Edward is going undercover to get to the bottom of what Dr. James Penn and his team are doing. It seems they are testing non-FDA approved drugs on terminally ill patients without letting them know and in the process, draining the patients’ bank accounts as well for their own personal gain. Edward’s job is to become Dr. James’s right hand man, so he can expose and eventually shut down this operation. Bella is a snarky thief who has a run in with Edward while both are breaking into the same hotel room. I love this Bella because she has an attitude and is not afraid to put Edward in his place.

She smirks. The amusement's back. She pretends to look at a non-existent watch on her wrist.

"Doc, doc, doc," – the fine hairs on my arms stand on end at the casual way she addresses me, the way her brown eyes take me in as if they've looked into mine a thousand times before – "while I'd love to stick around and play shrink while you confess all your life's transgressions, I really do have to get out of here. You see, your soon-to-be fuck buddy Kate will be back soon, and while all you have to do to distract her is whip out your bulging manhood and show her that lovely six-pack you've got going on there," – she waves an arm towards my stomach – "I'm afraid I don't have a cock, and my presence in this room would be a bit harder to explain away." She taps her foot lightly on the carpet, as if I'm keeping her from some pressing engagement.

"So if you'll excuse me," she says. Her eyes move to the door and she makes to move past me.

I block her way and without thinking, as I've lacked to do throughout this entire exchange, my hand shoots out to stop her, because there's not a chance in hell I'm letting her out of my sight yet. I grab her just below the elbow and wrap my fingers around her arm.
A thousand sparks flow through my hand, up my arm and into the rest of my body. I look down to where I've touched her to see if I've been shocked by a live-wire. I shudder, and I can swear I feel her do the same. My eyes open wide and I trail them back up to hers, sure I'll see the same shock in them that I'm feeling now. Sure enough, she looks beyond shocked.

She's pissed off.

Of course, Bella runs off after their brief encounter, leaving Edward to wonder who she is exactly, and why does he have this pull to be close to her again. With sexual tension this high, I cannot wait to see just how hot the lemons turn out. The story is only 5 chapters in so far, and Pattyrose is setting up the plotline beautifully, with many twists and turns along the way. I know that I have tried coming up with a few theories on what may happen, and so far each one has failed once a new update has been posted. Thief of Hearts changes POV’s often as well, to provide the readers with a look inside each of the characters minds. I highly recommend starting this story soon as it’s going to be a great ride.

Then he walked out of that bathroom shirtless and with his pants unbuttoned. Out of all the people in that fucking hotel that could've walked in on me, it had to be a half-naked Dr. Masen. I hadn't known whether to run away or help him finish taking the pants off. So I'd just remained frozen to my spot.

And dropped the fucking necklace.

I close my eyes and groan quietly. Even three days later the fact that I didn't get the bitch's necklace still irks me no end. None of the other pieces make up for having lost that one. Well, except for maybe…
I turn and stare emptily at the backs of the first class passengers, remembering the feel of Dr. Masen's mouth on mine. A warm tingle goes up my spine.

I'm convinced he hypnotized me with those unbelievably green eyes of his. They must be learning some voodoo on top of everything else in that medical team. That's the only explanation for why I'm dreaming about him day and night for the past few days.

I still don't know where I found the strength to pull away from that kiss.
That goddamned kiss. What the fuck was I thinking? I wasn't thinking, that was the problem.

World's Most Dangerous Dad by Denverpopcorn - rec'd by Ryden Dirtay / Nic
Edward Cullen leads a double life: Doting dad and devoted husband by day, special-op Navy SEAL by night. What happens when the government's number one gun is forced to balance work and diapers? Life's a bitch and then you kill someone. E/B, vignettes.
Twilight - Rated: M

Review by Shahula

Let’s face it we all love a good lemon. We want them hot, tangy, and often. We want our B&E going at it often and with vigor, as soon as we can get it. And then we want more lemons in each succeeding chapter.
I love reading lemons just like the rest of you, but nothing can spoil a good lemon faster for me than being interrupted mid, ahem, squeeze. Imagine the frustration the characters must feel when it’s happening to them every time they attempt to get down and dirty in a story.
This is what is happening to Edward and Bella when we first meet them in WMMD. And sadly, keeps happening.
The phone rings again and he can't help curse out another, "Fucking, Renee." But in his state it comes out breathy, like it would be a pleasure to fuck his...
"Stop...saying...that," gasps the voice under the pillow. He uncovers a smile under the ponytail stuck to her cheek with sweat. He kisses the side of her mouth.
A few more passes, he thinks.
There's stirring in his belly, and there's stirring from the other side of the baby monitor.
Oh no. Not now.
"The baby," she says, rising.
Don't get up, my honeypot. Don't...
"Edward, the baby's waking up."
A few more grunts; his eyes are closed. When he was younger, he'd have been done and in the other room with the baby by now, but he's older, he found a gray hair on his chest the other day telling him so. He wants to blame work, but maybe he's simply getting old.
Edward," she pushes her ass up, forcing him to lift on his forearms.
Ass up, just like on his birthday.
But it's too late, she's pushed him off completely, mid-coitus, and it hurts like a son of a bitch.
If you’re looking for a blend of intrigue, humor, real life, and a dash of mystery, WMDD is right up your alley. It’s sexy and dangerous, but frustrating and hilarious at the same time
Denverpopcorn has created a lovely collection of vignettes of our favorite couple, giving us a taste of their life in each chapter. She has an incredible gift with words, and uses it brilliantly in this story. Weaving together the daily life of a dad devoted to his wife and kids, along with the dangerous, thrilling life of a Navy SEAL. The kicker is Edward’s life as a deadly assassin is a total secret from his family. They think he is a salesman! I can just picture Edward ready to explode with piss and vinegar when other men try to ‘show him up’ with incredible work stories and he has to remain passive and talk about insurance.
Edward even struggles to remember this himself at times when he’s feeling less assassin-like and more like a bumbling father.
"You don't take shit from anyone. You're classified, you're a Navy Seal, a top-secret agent. You've shot to kill. And you've taken a shot at a lot of assholes."
For the next five minutes he keeps up the inner-rally, reminding himself that he's not just an insurance salesman. He is an undercover agent that his wife knows nothing about. He's living two lives, both honorable, both noteworthy.
When he isn't asked to pick paint chips, that is.
He hangs his head. "Sometimes, I wish I could just tell her."
For what? How would that change anything?
The history of the couple is touched on but you understand that what Denverpopcorn is trying to do here isn’t give an elaborate story filled with angst and drama but a glance at life, and all that goes with it. She hasn’t ignored building mystery (she is a master at that, after all) but we aren’t focused on the who, what, where, and why. Instead, we are much more interested in seeing if this hot, older Edward is ever going to get to finish his lemon treat with his wife.
Personally, I can’t wait to see it happen. Or almost happen again.
Happy Reading,

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