Friday, April 13, 2012

TLS Fics of the Week: The Fab Five reviews are up!

Practice to Deceive by Livie79-rec'd by PAWsPeaches/Cejsmom
I saw her today. I wasn't impressed. But he wanted her, and that was enough for me. He

Reviewed by: Meg Iambeagle

For the two people out there who aren't reading Practice to Deceive, this one's for you.

Where do I start? Perhaps the beginning:

"So I was revenge," she said, the dead monotone pitch of her voice matching her eyes.

"No, Bella, no, no, no," I begged, hot tears stinging my eyes. I couldn't lose her, the thought alone was crushing.

"I love you, Bella, please give me a chance to fix this," I begged. I knew how fucked up it was for me to tell her I loved her for the first time like this, but she needed to know, she needed to understand. She sucked in a sharp breath, her hands tightening in my hair once more before releasing it altogether.

"No you don't. You don't treat people you love the way you've treated me, now let me go Edward."

I loosened my arms slowly before dropping them to my sides. Holding her against her will was not going to solve anything, but she needed to understand that I did love her, so fucking much.

If that prologue isn't killer, I don't know what is.

Now, let's start from the real beginning. Enter Edward, typical frat boy who is looking forward to spending his summer drinking, lazing around and hanging out with friends. Things don't exactly go the way he's planned, and by the end of chapter one he's lost two relationships, one being his best friend and the other, his girlfriend.

Edward ends up spending his summer trying to clear his mind of everything by keeping himself in a drunken stupor. In other words, he's a complete dick. Until one day, he spots Jake with a girl and allows his anger and bitterness to formulate a plan. Of course, any plan that begins with anger and bitterness is going to be revenge.

August 6, 2010
I saw her today. I wasn't impressed. But he wanted her, and that was enough for me. He would feel what I felt. She was just collateral damage. Tomorrow I would find her, and I would prove to him and everyone else that they are all the fucking same. And then I would watch as he crumbled like the fucking pussy he is.

It hurts so good. You can't not chew on your shirt as you think back to the prologue, wondering how Edward is going to allow himself to fall in love with Bella, and how he is going to fix the mess he's created.

Throughout the story, you're presented with Edward's warring inner monologue, as well as bits and pieces of his thoughts which he's written in his notebook. You want to hate him for lying and using Bella. You want him to stub his toe on the corner of the table because he deserves it, and you want him to come clean to Bella before things go any further.

But like any other relationship, things begin to progress and the lies become more and more tangled. The deceit slowly eats at him until he convinces himself that he can't come clean to her because she'd leave him. Of course she'd leave him. He was an epic asshole who lied, and this Bella (oh, you're going to LOVE this Bella) doesn't take shit from anyone.

You'd be lying if you say you don't flail and your skin doesn't break out in goose bumps when Edward decides he doesn't want Bella just for revenge; he just wants her.

 January 2, 2011
I can't think about it anymore. I have to let it go. I'm not ending things with her, the decision has been made. I don't give a fuck how fucking selfish it is. I know what I want, and I'm not giving it up.

So, again, for the two people out there who aren't indulging in this fic, drop everything you're doing right now and go read it. I promise it will not disappoint, and you will want to make out with Livie79 for presenting you with such a captivating story.

Rm w a Vu by AngelGoddess1981
Bella's a struggling student at AZ State who finds her boyfriend in bed with her roomie. Unable to look at them, she moves out. When another dorm room cannot be found, Bella takes to the classifieds. Just how good is the view being advertised? Twilight - Rated: M

Reviewed by: Evilnat

Bella Swan is looking for somewhere to live.  She recently caught her roommate and her boyfriend in bed together; living in a dorm means not being able to find a new room quickly so she opts to move home with her parents.  She soon learns that living with her parents is really uncomfortable; they are kinda frisky, all the time.

So Bella turns to the classifieds: 

The first place I call sounded great when I found it earlier, but as soon as I start talking to the woman, I realize it isn't for me. While the idea of a house with three appliances and access to a personal laundry room sounds great, the fact that the woman was charging close to fifteen hundred dollars a month did not. That is more than my entire month's salary. There's no way I can afford that, even with help from my parents.

I call a couple more, and either they're taken or the person renting it sounds like a total crack addict. Honestly, I don't fancy taking care of some junkie's screaming children while they cook meth in the shared basement and blow us all sky-high. Nah, I'm good.

I'm starting to lose all hope that I'll find a place and contemplate not calling the one ad I have left for fear of being disappointed, yet again. I look at the ad I've circled and read it again:

Rm w/ a Vu 
Looking for roommate 
to share 2 bdrm house in 
Must be tidy. No pets. 
If this is you, please call (480) 555-1367 

Edward owns a house in a really good neighborhood with pretty much every amenity possible and he’s the perfect housemate.  He tells Bella he only wants four hundred dollars a month rent, so Bella quickly moves in.

The metal of my truck groans as Edward stands up, my eyes, naturally, following him. "Come on," he says, holding out a hand to help me up. "Let's take your stuff back to the house."

My cheeks warm, and I bite my lip as I place my hand in his. "That sounds like a good idea." I'm just about to hop into my truck when I turn back to him. "Hey, thanks again for helping me out. I didn't mean to use you like that. I just . . . Everyone else I know is aware of what Jake did, and I didn't want to talk about it. To me, you were, I don't know, safe?"

"It's really not a problem. I was happy to help . . . in whatever capacity I could. Come on, let's go home."

My heart starts fluttering, and I feel like I'm going to pass out. I realize that hearing Edward call his own house "home" shouldn't make me swoon, but the fact that he's referring to the both of us going "home" makes me light-headed. It's been a pretty fabulous couple of days.

Edward makes a great impression on both Bella’s parents and even pretends to be her boyfriend to scare off Jake, her ex.   

Edward shoots me that crooked smile that makes me all tingly. "Thanks. I was actually just telling your dad that it was my agency that helped sign the Cardinals' new quarterback."

Well, that would explain my dad's lack of response; he already knew. Damn, I was hoping to have been around for that.

"In fact, Charlie . . ." I'm stunned by Edward's use of Dad's first name, but neither one of them seems fazed. "The team's manager gave me a few extra tickets to their next game. I don't suppose you and your family would like to join me?"

Dad's eyes practically bug out of his head, and the food he's just scooped onto his fork falls back to his plate with a quiet splat. His astonished reaction makes me feel a little better about not having been around when Edward told him about the sports agent thing.

"You mean the game next weekend? Against the Seahawks?" Dad looks like he's about to pass out; I'm starting to get concerned.

Mom interjects, setting her fork down and placing a hand on Dad's shoulder. "Charlie grew up in Forks, Edward. The Seahawks are his favourite team."

Smirking, Edward swallows the bite he'd just taken, grabs his napkin from his lap, and wipes his mouth. "Well, that's too bad." Dad seems confused. "It's going to be hard to watch them lose, then."

She soon finds herself crushing on him, even when she thinks he has a girlfriend.  He cooks for her and even offers her his fancy car to drive while he’s out of town for work.  As we get into the story, more and more misunderstandings lead Bella to jump to conclusion after wrong, but hilarious, conclusion. 

"I told you to stop calling me that." There's a slight rumble in his voice—like a low growl—and it makes my knees quiver. I quickly slam my legs together to make it stop before anyone, namely Rose, notices. "And yes, six years. Sometimes I wonder how we've survived all this time."

What an odd thing to say.

"Keep making wise-ass comments like that, and I'll be sure to remedy it," she teases.

Something's amiss here, and I'm not sure how to process everything going through my head. Is it possible that after so many years together, the romance fizzles and you become a pair of bantering old hens?

Of course, if that's true, explain my horn-dog parents. I know I sure don't want to.

"Okay, you know what?" Rosalie proclaims, slapping her hands on the counter and standing up.

"As much fun as this little visit has been, I need to head home."

My eyes snap to hers. "Y-you're not staying?"

Rosalie winks at me. "And eat his cooking? I think I'll pass."

I let my gaze fall to my hands—and the uneaten protein bar—and I whisper, "I think his cooking's just fine."

With a delicate laugh, she places her hand on my bare bicep. "Of course you do, sweetie. Edward?" He looks back to acknowledge her. "Don't forget to finalize your itinerary. You don't want to get caught in a room with another single. Emmett won't stand for it."


Rm w a Vu by AngelGoddess1981 is a great read, there’s practically no drama and some of the situations Bella finds herself in are hilarious.  She jumps to conclusions so many times that her idea of what is going on is so skewed that is just funny.  It’s fun and not too long, so you can get through it pretty quickly.

Give it a go!


Snapdragon by PrettyKittyArtist
Once upon a time, a girl fell in love with a boy. He gave her a ring and promised her forever. No one told her there'd be an expiration date on her glass slippers. What's a girl to do when she stands to lose everything? She fights. Hard. EXB AH AU Twilight - Rated:

Reviewed by: Les Sharpe

Have you ever found a story that touches you so deeply, that as you read, you find yourself shaking your head or nodding as the words flow, or worse ... you yell and scream at Edward and Bella as if they can hear you? How about when you talk to yourself and go, "Oh, God, the same thing happened to me!" Or when there's an event - happy, sad, or painful - that brings you right back to the moment in your own life and you relive it all over again … for better or worse.

If a true-to-life, real, raw, story is what you're looking for, stop right now and read Snapdragon by prettykittyartist.

I am not lying when I say you have never, ever seen Edward and Bella portrayed in the light prettykittyartist has painted them in. They are flawed, both of them. At times, almost painfully so, but they are real people with real problems. Problems that face the majority of us at times … and for some, it's the reality in which we live.

Edward and Bella are married … and have been for over 20 years. How's that for starters? They have kids … a lot of them … 4 in fact - 3 girls and 1 boy - ranging in ages from 6 to 17 Again, different, yes? They're happy, or they were up until recently. Like any marriage it's had its ups and downs: a miscarriage for Bella early on, money troubles, issues with extended family, arguments, hurt feelings - the stuff that every husband and wife must go through over time.

But, things have changed.

Big time.

Edward's not the same man Bella married and she has no idea why. He's not talking, in what seems like typical male behavior and maybe it is and maybe it's not. She tries to reach him, but can't. She tries to talk to him, but is unsuccessful. Through some brilliant and well-timed chapters told from Edward's point of view, prettykitty let's us see that he's still madly in love with Bella, adores his family, and only wants to do right by them.

Moving over to the other side of the bed, my heart dropped. She looked so broken—I didn't even recognize the woman lying there. How had I missed how sad she was? She was so unhappy, and I'd caused it. I wanted to change, but I didn't know how, or what, to change. It just didn't seem like Lauren was the issue. It was me. I was the one making her unhappy, and it'd been that way for longer than I thought.

I lay down next to her, far enough away so that she wouldn't wake up. I had a feeling that if she woke up and found me lying there, she'd kill me. I'd never seen her so mad—ever. She was enraged and the things she'd said to me… they cut deep. Not only was she angry, she hated me… she said she hated me…

Problem is, he has no idea how, and continues to act the same.

Yeah, like that has EVER worked for any of us, right?

He's a jerk, plain and simple. There are hints of the man we're all sure Bella knew at one point in time, but if he's still there, he's buried down deep inside. Bluntly, he's an asshole. You will want to string him up by his balls and beat him with a stick, I guarantee it.

Bella's not without blame either, so don't think this is a story that has a picture perfect Bella, because she's not. Far from it really. She's been a good wife, a great one even, and an even better mother, but she's babied Edward and now all of a sudden when things are tough, she resents that. She's hot-tempered and says things in the heat of the moment that only fan the flames instead of douse them.

Bella's dealing with a lot, so it's not hard to imagine she's almost at the end of her rope. A husband with mood swings so brutal it's a wonder she doesn't have whiplash. A mother-in-law that would drive even a saint to commit murder. (Oh yes, this Esme is one for the record books, let me tell you!) A brother-in-law that is a whole other set of problems in and of itself. An ex-girlfriend of Edward's hellbent on the destruction of his family, no matter the casualties she leaves in her wake. A teenage daughter testing the boundaries Bella and Edward have diligently set for her. Friends, work … money, all of it adds up to the point where Bella's going to have to make some hard decisions.

I was the last to get ready, but finally I was in a clean t-shirt and climbing in next to them. I let Riley stay in the middle, not really wanting to be near Edward. It was the perfect excuse. That was until my son decided that something was wrong with the sleeping arrangements.

"Daddy," he whispered, louder than a normal person, but perfectly Riley.

"What, bud?" Edward answered sleepily.

"You didn't give Mama a kiss g'night."

I clenched my eyes tightly and dragged the blanket tighter around my shoulders.

"Guess I forgot, Ri. Move over, bud, so I can reach her."

I could hear, and feel, them rustling behind me, and then I felt the weight of Edward behind me. "Lift up," he said softly in my ear.

I did, letting his arm slip underneath me while the other went around my torso and brought me against his chest. His lips were at my ear, his breath heavy and warm. "Is this okay?"

The question gave me a knot in my stomach. It should have been okay. It should have been normal. But, it wasn't. It hadn't been, but it felt too good. I hated that it felt like home in his arms, but he felt like an invader, a stranger next to me.

I nodded, and his lips were on my ear, soft and uncertain. Once, twice, and then his fingers were rubbing my stomach. "Night, Cookie. Love you."

I couldn't have stopped the tears if I tried. They were silent, only for me, but he knew. His lips were apologizing, his hands were telling me he was sorry, and the thud of his heart against my back told me that he was. He was trying. He didn't know how, but he didn't want to be the way we were anymore than I did.

At least, this is what I made myself believe, because I wanted it. I wanted his arms, his lips, and his heart.

Does she stay and fight for what's hers, for what she's always wanted, or has everything just gone too far that there's no hope left?

If you're not reading Snapdragon, you MUST start it now. We're hitting the climax, people, and when I tell you it's going to knock your socks off, I'm not lying. Yes, I'm a pre-reader so I have the inside scoop, so just trust me, okay!! This story will make you mad. It WILL make you cry. It will make you cheer and hope, though, too, and that's what a great story does.

It's real. It's brutally honest. It's a look at marriage in a way that makes you stop and think.

Read Snapdragon, you won't be sorry.

No Holds Barred by Jayhawkbb-rec'd by Nic
When Bella opens her dance studio right next to Edward's bar, will Edward hate her...or will he fall for the girl next door? BxE, AH, OOC, rated M for naughty language and behavior.
Twilight - Rated: M

Reviewed by: Memphis Lamb & Edmazing

Kathy Jawhawkbb is a women of many talents. She can spin a gold out of straw, leap tall buildings in a single bound, and toss one helluva sorrie. Better yet, she can write and Edward and Bella love story that is so original yet maintain the undertone of the characters we love so much. Even though I would classify her stories as romance, I still get the feeling that they are just a bit smarter than me. I think it was my second pass through NHB that I even caught her play on words with the title referring to bar-owner Edward and barre dancer Bella, or Bellerina as she is so appropriately dubbed.

No Holds Barred is like a big muffuletta sandwich from Central Grocery in New Orleans. Just like you wouldn't call a muffuletta a sandwich, NHB is not just another fanfic. It's layers and layers of finger licking, lip smacking characters, plot twists, and UST to bring you to your knees. The bread is still soft white, but definitely not what I'd call fluff. Without question, Edward is the hard salami. He's best balance of cocky and unsure, sexy and thoughtful, and frustratingly impulsive and questionably patient. Bella would be the tangy olive tapenade, simple but yet so complex. She like the younger sister that is smarter and more successful than you but then painfully naive with some of her choices.

Edward's bar shares a parking lot with Bella's dance studio, both owned by the menacing Aro. We know enough about these two that it won't be the only space they share but like any parking lot, there are some close calls, some door dings, and maybe a minor fender bender. The property brings them together, but the attraction is all them. And they’re both trying to fight it.

He narrows his eyes at me as he continues his tirade. "Yes. I've been holding all kinds of shit in lately where you're concerned. Fucking up my business is just the latest way you've completely infiltrated and screwed up my life," he spits. He tugs his hand roughly through his hair.

"Tell me what you want fixed and I'll fix it," I yell, refusing to cower even though I feel like I could burst into tears at any second. He laughs humorlessly and shakes his head before I've even finished speaking.

"Really? Can you fix it? Can you make me stop wanting to do this?" he yells.

He grabs me around the waist with both hands and pulls me toward him, crashing his lips down onto mine harshly. I stumble as he crushes my body to his chest, and he slides his arms all the way around me to stop me from falling. Once I'm steady, he moves one hand up to cup the side and back of my neck and opens his lips, pushing mine apart, too. I cling tightly to his shoulders and kiss him back desperately as a tingly warmth spreads like wildfire through my body and settles in between my legs.

His tongue strokes roughly over my lips before moving into my mouth to meet mine. Our tongues move against each other, warring with each other, each of us fighting to get the upper hand. I reach one hand up into his hair and tug on it the way I've seen him do several times. He grunts softly and grips my hair with his fingers, pulling gently in retaliation. No one's ever kissed me this passionately before, and at this moment, I don't even care if it's only because he's pissed at me.

Without warning, the underlying tone of the kiss changes when he grabs and holds my bottom lip gently with his teeth, gliding his tongue over it slowly before letting go and moving his tongue back into my mouth. The kiss turns softer, our lips and tongues moving together, asking instead of demanding, giving instead of taking. It seems to go on forever, even though I know it couldn't have been more than a couple of minutes since he came in the door.

He groans and abruptly pulls away. He lets go of me and steps away so unexpectedly that I stumble backwards and hit the wall of the hallway, staying propped against it because I don't think my legs will support me right now. We're both breathing hard as our eyes meet and hold for a few seconds before he lowers his eyes to the floor.

"Fuck. I'm sorry, Bella. I shouldn't have done that," he says quietly, rubbing a hand across his face. "If we could just work something out with the parking lot for next week that would be cool."

Without waiting for me to answer, he turns and goes back out the side door, shutting it gently behind him.

These two manage to navigate their initial obstacles and nail the tango, but quickly start trip over their own feet. Throw in a meddling and pole curious Rose, and it’s a wonder if these two will ever make it out of this parking lot. And, oh. Believe us. You’re really going to want them to.

Undoubtedly, Mrs. Jayhawkbb will have these two waltzing into the sunset soon. Or at least dirty dancing in the bar and delivering the HEA she does so well. Read it, and once you’re all caught up, entertain yourself with her other stories. Kathy is one of the best authors in the fandom with a library of stories for you to keep you happily entertained for a good long while.

The Blessing & The Curse by The Black Arrow
By pretending she is falling for Edward, Bella is fulfilling Esme's dying wish. But sexy, possessive Edward can read her mind. Will she ever get into his? Can Bella forget the pain of her teenage years, and can she resist his relentless seduction? AH. Twilight –

Reviewed by: DiamondHeart78

Every once in a while, there’s a story that completely knocks you off your ass. All of us have that one fic that took us to another level and opened the door to fandom. We can sit here and discuss the legends in-depth for hours and everyone will have their favorites. I’m going to talk about one in particular. Not only because this story is one of the best-written stories out there. No. It’s also because after months of waiting, and waiting...and waiting, it’s COMPLETE.

 Anyone who’s read The Blessing and The Curse by The Black Arrow will always tell you the same thing: It’s so beautifully written, Edward’s so amazingly dark, it’s so sexy. All of that is true. My first impression was that I was reading a gothic novel, like Bronte. The sensory descriptions do exactly what they’re meant to do-- the reader can see, smell, taste, and feel everything that the characters do. Whenever a story manages to that so perfectly, the reader is immersed in that fictional world. 

Bella returns to the home of her childhood, where she’s practically raised by her mother’s best friend, who is now facing terminal illness. But Bella is reluctant to return because she’ll have to face Edward: her brooding, possessive childhood friend. but ‘friend’ is such a superficial word for what Edward and Bella really are. After being born hours apart, they are inseparable through life, and Edward’s gift of hearing her thoughts through touch only manages to deepen their connection. 
Now as an adult, with a life back home and a ring on her finger, Bella forces herself to deny what she truly feels for Edward. He doesn’t help at all either-- always trying to regain control by knowing what she’s thinking. He’s manipulative: he makes Bella promise to pretend they’re together for his dying mother’s sake, since Esme always believed they were true soul mates. She reluctantly agrees, which allows Edward to get closer to her. 

Their past is revealed slowly through the progression of the story, and we learn that Edward is hiding much more than he’s leading on.

TB&TC is not lemon-heavy. But it does not mean it’s not one of the most passionate and emotional stories in fandom. Here’s just one of the many moments that give me goosebumps every time I read it:

He had kissed her several times during their teenage years, experimentally, and she had almost forgotten what it was like. Like every atom in her body had simultaneously vibrated. She pulled back.

"No, Edward, I'm engaged to Michael. I have made a commitment to Michael." 

Her voice shook with conviction, and Edward's eyes darkened. He wrapped an arm around her waist, dragged her across his body and rolled smoothly to pin her on her back. She was alarmed to feel his hard erection pressing against her thigh, and she struggled, imprisoned under his heavy, muscled body.

"Stop saying shit like that. You know it makes me mad." He growled roughly against her neck.

"It's always made me mad. You're not for anyone else; you're for me. And you're not going to be able to remember that jerkoff's name by the time I get through with you." As his velvet tongue slid down her neck, and Bella felt her nipples tighten in response, alarm bells began to sound. She was in trouble.

"You sure are," he agreed, sucking lightly on her collarbone, his soft, full lips dropping open mouthed kisses.

Um....yeah....I told you.

Actually, all I have to say is one phrase-- Chapter 14, “Alchemy,” and most TB&TC readers will moan and squeal and sigh. It’s utter perfection.

As if it couldn’t get any better, any hotter, any more romantic, Edward says one of the best lines in fanfic history after discovering that after everything, Bella might very well stay engaged to a man she doesn’t love:

She felt the hot burn of his stubble against her jaw, and knew he would use the weapon she could not resist. The kiss was coming, building, like the wave that would knock her under. As she heard him taking a deep breath, she pushed him away ineffectually.

She braced herself. "Don't. Please don't. I can't now."When it came, it was a soft chaste kiss at the base of her throat, before he surprised her by sinking to his knees between her feet.

"He wants a wife." He pressed his face to her stomach, putting his hands on the door either side of her, his body momentarily going slack and heavy against her.

"I want my soul back." His breath was hot, right through to her skin.
Wow. Just reading that again after so long, and I still get misty-eyed.

The chemistry between Edward and Bella is electric, magnetic, and when Bella can no longer deny her feelings she must make a choice between the safe, and the risky. What will she choose? You’ll have to read the story to find out. You will not regret it.
xoxo -DH78

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