Wednesday, May 16, 2012

TLS Fics of the Week: 5/6 - 5/12/2012The Fab Five Reviews are up!

This weeks feature is a few days late due to the Mother's Day weekend. We hope that all of you mommies out there had a wonderful weekend and we apologize for the late post.

5/6 - 5/12/2012

Collared by IrishChicka1-rec'd by Jaime Arkin
The Volturi brothers have their hands in everything bad...Drugs, Murder & Sexual Perversion. FBI Spec. Agent Edward Masen joins DEA Spec. Agent Isabella Swan in a dangerous undercover operation of BDSM and their own unspoken desires. Twilight - Rated: M

Reviewed by: Jaime Arkin, Obsmama and Dragonfly336

Dragonfly336: Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting my friend Obsmama. After we caught up for a bit, she told me of a story that JaimeArkin rec'd her and that she was a few chapters in and really enjoying it. I asked her about it and she read the summary of Collared by irishchicka1 to me. I haven’t read a BDSM story in awhile and one with an undercover Edward and Bella? I was immediately intrigued! I started reading that weekend and can I just say how much I love these characters?

My outburst seemed to break the dam of stunned silence. The sound of Bella's voice raising a couple of octaves higher than normal as she asked, "What exactly does that mean?" Emmett, being Emmett was all too happy to provide answers in near litany of perverse terms. 

 "Paddles, hair pulling, kneeling, ball gags, anal plugs…." 

"Anal plugs….BEN!" Bella shrieked as her boss tried to calmly reassure her, his voice rising with each word to out-talk my idiot partner who never paused in his Wikipedia of BDSM terms. 

"Handcuffs, ropes, canes, sensory deprivation, orgasm control…." 

I pinched the bridge of my nose between my fingers as I felt my blood pressure rise dangerously. Carlisle, ever the observant one, spoke calmly yet firmly rising above the chatter. 

"Edward, I know this is unorthodox…." 

The voices swirled like a tornado inside my head….Bella's fear, Emmett's humor (or attempt at it), Ben's comforting tone and Carlisle's voice of reason. I took a deep breath and centered myself before yelling. 

"Everyone stop for a goddamn minute!" 

To continue reading more about this amazing story, please check out the link below to our sister site, the Indie Fic Pimp Blog Site.

My Biggest Mistake, My Greatest Salvation by LyricalKris
Edward Cullen woke up married in Vegas to a scared, pregnant stranger. This is one mistake he won't leave in Vegas. Twilight - Rated: M

Reviewed by: Twilover 76

Whenever LyricalKris puts out a new story, I sit up and take notice.  She has authored some of my favorites including The Butterfly Effect, A Certain Point of View, and Parenthetical Love.  Her newest fic, My Biggest Mistake, My Greatest Salvation has quickly become one of my must-reads as soon as it updates. 

Edward is an upstanding, successful, but very lonely businessman who happened across a crying, hopeless girl while he was in Vegas for a meeting.  After convincing her to let him treat her to dinner, he learned part of the reason for her grief was that she was pregnant. 

He woke up the next morning hungover and no longer lonely.  In fact, he woke up married.  Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

"We're married."

Edward blinked, beginning to wonder if he'd done some hardcore drug the night before and he just didn't remember. "Can you... say that again?" His voice was raw with sleep and a mother of a hangover.

Wordlessly, Bella lifted her left hand. Sure enough, there was a cheesy looking gold band on her ring finger. Bewildered, Edward mimicked her movement and found a matching band on his finger. "Huh," he chuffed, staring at the thing dumbly.

As he looked up, the girl lowered her head to her knees, her breath hitching in that way that told him she was about to start crying again. "Yeah. I'd cry if I woke up married to me, too," he thought out loud. Apparently, his filter was hiding from the throb, throb, throbbing of his head.
"It's not that," she said, raising her head. "I'm so, so sorry. This is all my fault."

Edward decided that the first order of business, before he could consider this whole Holy Matrimony thing, was to figure out if he could sit up. He tried. The room only spun lackadaisically. "It takes two to tango," he pointed out almost conversationally, digging his fists into his eyes. A thought occurred to him and he glanced at the side of the bed he wasn't occupying. It was rumpled. "Did we?" he asked, vaguely horrified. "Tango, I mean..."

"Oh! Oh, no. No. You..." She flushed furiously, blowing out a breath in a huff before she tried again. "Last night, you held me," she admitted shyly. "It was so sweet." Her small smile fell almost as soon as it appeared. "Actually, you've just been so nice to me." She took a shuddering breath. "And I took advantage of that real quick, didn't I..."

"Maybe it would be best if you filled in the blanks," Edward suggested mildly. "I remember you said you were pregnant."

She bit her lip and nodded. "That's... I... Yes." She sniffled. "I told you my sob story." Her smile was wane but seemed genuine. "And then, you offered to marry me, and even though I knew you were drunk... I knew better, I still said yes."

It’s easy to be sympathetic for both Edward and Bella in this story.  Edward was raised by his rigid, closed-minded grandfather, often deprived of the warmth and affection his brothers received from his real parents.  Bella is on the run from her possessive, controlling, and abusive ex, who is also the father of her unborn child.  While they each have doubts about their spontaneous and impulsive marriage, they decide to stick it out.  Edward gains a companion and Bella gains a protector. 

"I half expected to find you'd run off," Edward said softly, closing the door and walking slowly to the bed. He sat down, his eyes steady on her.

"I thought about it," she admitted.

"What else did you think about?" he asked, his voice unassuming.

"Well," she hedged. This was such an awkward conversation. "I was just curious. If you're in a suite, you obviously don't live here, right?"

He blinked at her and then laughed. "Of course. No, I don't live here. I live in Chicago."

Bella blew out a long breath, thinking about that. It had occurred to her that if he was just going to flit her away to a town as small as Forks, she might never get on her feet. She needed resources - job opportunities, that kind of thing.

Her heart started to race. She felt inexplicably shy about what she was about to say. "In that case, I was thinking that, unless you've reconsidered, I would like to take you up on your offer. But I want to pay you back," she said this last sentence quickly, tripping over her words. "I'll find a way to pay you back for all of it. Everything."

He raised an eyebrow, looking as though he was about to dismiss the need to repay him, but he must have seen something in her face and thought better of it. "If you prefer," he said easily.
Bella stared at him, feeling strangely calm about having just agreed to follow a near complete stranger back home. "You're sure this is okay?" she asked, wondering if she was asking him or herself.

"Mmhmm," he hummed affirmatively. The answer seemed oddly evasive, but his smile a moment later was genuine. "Good then. That's settled."

Edward even convinces Bella it would be best to tell everyone that he is the father of her child.  Their unexpected union, and the news that Edward is going to be a “father”, does not go down easily with Edward’s family.  Despite the hardships, Edward and Bella muddle their way through the unconventional relationship they’ve started.  It’s a fun ride to read how these two learn from and support each other…and how they will hopefully grow to love each other.  If you haven’t begun this work in progress, go start reading it now!

My Esteemed Colleague by Betty Smith
Members of Congress, Edward Cullen R-IL & Isabella Swan D-WA , have nothing in common and everything to lose. Despite divergent politics, they can't contain their feelings. Yet one issue remains that hopelessly divides their relationship & the country. Twilight - Rated: M

Reviewed by: Lisa A. Hollett

The first thing to know about Betty Smith is that, for the most part, she writes about adults. Edward and Bella aren’t clueless teenagers navigating the crazy landscape of high school and first kisses. They are grown-ups who’ve done things, seen things, lived through things. In this story, her third, Edward and Bella are both members of Congress. Edward is in the middle of a very messy divorce, and Bella is a widow.

As Betty mentions in the disclaimer in Chapter One, this story will deal with abortion and the emotional, religious, legal and political controversy surrounding it. Full disclosure here, both Betty and I are Pro-Choice Democrats, but that should not keep you away from this story if you feel differently. She does an excellent job of presenting this issue in a way that will not incite anyone to riot. (And don’t worry that it’s an “abortion” story, it’s just important to mention it to those who may be sensitive to it.)

But on to the story! Edward and Bella meet at a Congressional mixer, but it’s not a love-at-first-sight starry-eyed encounter…

Taken with her easy-going demeanor and sweet face, Harry wondered, "Now why haven't I met you yet? I'm a big talker. I've tried to get to know everyone in the caucus."

"That's because she's not in the Republican caucus," interrupted Edward.

Bella looked over to Edward, at once warily recognizing him, but forcing a smile. She offered her hand, as she agreed with him. "You're right. I'm a Democrat. Bella Swan. Nice to meet you."

Other than that he was the youngest member of a blueblood political dynasty, Bella knew very little of Edward Cullen. The Cullen name was synonymous with the term Country Club Republican. Anyone involved in politics had heard of the Cullens. Seeing him in real life confirmed the one other thing that she knew about the Cullen family – they were all very attractive. Wow. He really is gorgeous.

Edward shook Bella's hand, as his mind tallied everything he could remember previously about her and what he'd learned in the last two minutes. He kept up with the national election news enough to know that one of the few House seats the Democrats had won that year was in Washington State. The race was a fierce battle, with the young, scrappy state legislator beating a corrupt Republican incumbent by less than 20 votes. He faintly recalled the victor's name – Isabella Swan.

Being close friends with someone across the aisle is not common, even now in 2012, and partisan politics complicates the burgeoning relationship between Edward and Bella. Her best friend and chief of staff, Rosalie, is completely caught off guard by Bella’s interest in spending time, in any capacity, with someone from “the other side”.

"Exactly when were you going to tell me?" Rosalie asked as she sauntered into Bella's office on Friday morning.

Bella looked up from her laptop and chuckled, "Morning to you, too, Rose."

"I'll say good morning after you answer my question." She sat on the sofa and rested her feet on the coffee table. With her spiked heels pointed at Bella like daggers, she arched an eyebrow, "Or maybe you were never going to tell me… "

"Tell you what?" She sat back in her chair, pretending to be unaware of Rosalie's silent accusation.

"You know what," Rosalie answered and crossed her arms over her chest. "Fucking Edward Cullen is coming over to my house this afternoon, and you didn't tell me. What's up with that?"

It is important to know that Betty Smith’s stories are not solely focused on sexy times and romantic declarations, to the exclusion of plot. This story of Edward and Bella is woven into a tapestry of family dynamics and political maneuvering. They do not exist solely for each other’s pleasure; they are professional individuals who have come across each other during their parallel rises to power within their chosen career. The growing affection they feel for each other is complicated by outside obligations from the beginning.

"And Isabella?" Carlisle asked as he narrowed his eyes. "Obviously, you talk politics with her."

"Of course."

"Yet, you're still friends?" His father asked the question as if to inquire both about the status of their friendship and what kind of friends they actually were.

"Just friends," Edward said flatly.

"Your mother says she's very pretty." He arched an eyebrow. "I was curious so I read up a little about her. She's had quite a life so far. She must be interesting."

"She is."

"Edward," Carlisle said in admonishment. "Why aren't you talking about her? What's going on?"

"What did Mom say?" Edward asked as his mouth went into a hard line. It wasn't like his mother to tell his father about their private conversations. He wondered if she thought this was an altogether different circumstance.

Carlisle shook his head and then smiled. "Nothing other than what I said. But it's obvious you must be interested in her. You're acting the way you always have since you were five when you don't want to lie to me."

"I'm not lying to you. I said we're friends."

I’ve been a reader of Betty’s since her first story, and I’m pleased to say we’ve become friends. As a resident of the DC area since college when I was a White House intern (yes, during the Clinton years…), I know that she knows her stuff. She used to kick around these parts, so her stories are intelligent and accurate and a pleasure to read. The story she is telling in My Esteemed Colleague is rich and many-layered and filled with characters that you care about. They’re not perfect, but they are realistic. Give it a read. Not only will you enjoy it, you’ll learn something!

Pinky Swear by Kharizzmatik - Rec'd by Jaime Arkin
Bella always knew she loved her best friend, but it isn't until she finds out he's engaged that she remembers just how much. How far will she go to make him see he's marrying the wrong woman? A story about finding your heart and losing your head. AH E/B Twilight - Rated: M

Reviewed by: evilnat

The first thing you think of when you think of Pinky Swear is that it’s written by kharizzmatik.  That’s kind of an advertisement in itself.  Although, it’s nothing like EP, in fact it’s almost the complete opposite, so don’t expect to see The Mob or even Edward speaking Italian.  You can, however, expect a quirky, funny, Bella, a gay friend (and work colleague) in Jake, a strong cast of supporting characters and a hot Edward who seems to lurk around the edges, amping up the UST and causing Bella to get herself into some crazy situations.

Based loosely on the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding, the story starts off with a drunken Bella in the prologue and then skips straight into a flashback chapter, which then weaves its way back into the present with snippets of flashbacks dotted randomly throughout.

When Bella hears from Edward that he is getting married, she practically races back to Forks without a second thought. She plans on stopping him from ‘making the biggest mistake of his life’ by stopping the wedding.  So she enlists Jake’s help, and probably takes more of his advice than she should. 

Different. A simple word, not necessarily even a compliment, but what I really heard was, "She's nothing like you."

"And you plan to marry her?" I asked, regretting the question immediately. I wanted to plug my fingers in my ears and run away before he could answer, but instead I just stood there and waited. My mind ran through different scenarios, potential futures where they broke up before it ever got that far. I figured there would be time to change his mind, time to show him a different way, but what he said next changed it all.

"Yep, in less than a month."

Before I could even really comprehend his answer and consider finding a response to it, there was a flash of headlights that briefly illuminated the room. Edward and I looked at each other, speaking at the same time.


He chuckled and headed toward the window. "I'll catch you tomorrow, Swan."

"Wait, you're going to climb down?" I asked, surprised. "Why don't you just go out the door?"

He looked at me incredulously. "And let your father catch me up here?"

"We're not kids anymore, Edward," I said, laughing.

"True, but Charlie is still Charlie," he replied.

Edward quickly disappeared out the window, leaving me alone in the room, and my smile immediately fell.

Less than a month. I only had a few weeks to stop a wedding and save my best friend from making the biggest mistake of his life…

But I had absolutely no idea how the hell to do it.

In between we get to witness some classic conversations.

Jake suddenly got eerily quiet and stared at me, his expression unreadable. Seconds steadily ticked away, my anxiety growing as the moments passed. Jake was never quiet. If there was something - anything - to be said, he would say it. It didn't matter how crass, he never held back, so the fact that he wasn't speaking at all put me on edge.

After practically an eternity passed and my nerves were running rampant, Jake's hard expression finally relaxed. "You're in love with him," he said matter-of-factly.

I rolled my eyes. "I am not."

"Yes, you are. You love that man. It all makes sense now, you know. I can't believe I didn't see it sooner. That look you always get on your face when you talk about him... I thought you just suffered from some wild ass indigestion or something but no, babe, you're in love."

"You're completely out of your mind."

"Maybe so, but that doesn't change the facts. The very thought of this man marrying someone else has you going all Girl, Interrupted up in here. So don't bullshit me, Bella. Are you forgetting who you're talking to? I spend my life advising people on these things, so I'm gonna tell you what I tell everyone else: you're not fooling anyone. Love may make you blind, but the rest of us can still fucking see. It's written all over your face. The sooner you accept it, the better off you'll be."

I groaned, aggravated. "He's my best friend, Jake. We've known each other forever! Of course I care about him."

"Oh no, you don't get off that easily," he said, shaking his head. "You know exactly what I mean and it isn't the brotherly love I'm talking about. It's the bumping uglies, fittin' in your kitten kind of love."

My brow furrowed. "What?"

"Don't what me. Admit it."

"I just did!"

He narrowed his eyes. "Admit it!"

"Fine, I admit it!" I yelled. "Are you happy now?"

Jake smirked and my hands shook, itching to knock the smug look off of his face. "Well, you still didn't say the word, but it's better than nothing. And now that we've cleared that up, tell me something," he said, crossing his arms over his chest. "What exactly are you going to do about it?"

As we get deeper into the story we discover a lot about Bella and Edward’s past.  They have grown apart over the years and there are a lot of unspoken issues that were never really sorted out.

"Who's the envelope from?" Charlie asked, changing the subject as soon as he swallowed. He motioned toward the invitation lying on the table, the one I'd found stuck to the door earlier.

"Tanya," I said. "She invited me to dinner tomorrow night. Or us, rather."

"Ah, are you accepting?"

I shrugged. "I don't see the harm. It's just dinner. As long as I don't have to sit beside her it should be fine."

"And what if you do have to sit beside her?"

"I'll probably stab her with my fork."

Charlie looked at me with shock. "You better not."

I was surprised he took me serious. "You know I wouldn't really. I'd hate to have to get arrested."

"I'd hate to have to arrest you," he said, shaking his head. "And I'm sure attempted murder isn't the way to win Edward over."

I stared at him for a moment. "What makes you think I'm trying to win him over?"

"I'm not ignorant, Bells. I've always known there was more between you kids," he replied. "I remember that summer."

My face heated at the thought of it. "That was a long time ago, Charlie."

"Yeah, it was," he muttered. "Doesn't mean it didn't happen, though. Just be careful, alright? Don't do anything you'll regret..." He paused, sighing. "...this time."

I just nodded. I didn't have the heart to tell him I had no regrets about what had happened back then.

Pinky Swear is a funny, snarky, witty story, with a slightly melancholic feel about it.  The writing is flawless, and the dialogue is as though it’s taken straight from a movie.  Being complete you won’t be left hanging, waiting to see what is going to happen next either, which is a bonus.  There is so much detail and the story is filled with such great dialogue that one review could not do it justice, its best you check it out for yourself.


Unravel Me by 107YrOldVirgin
Edward doesn't know who is writing him the letters, but he knows that his secret could be revealed at any minute. Finding who the writer is could be his fantasy come to life. Or his worst nightmare come true. Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: Jezza Belle

I have been a pre-reader for 107yearoldvirgin for over 2 years now, but I still get ridiculously excited when I see her updates come through my inbox.  Never was I more excited than I was about a month ago when an update came to my email of a chapter that I had never read before.  The very first chapter of a story called Unravel Me was posted and I couldn’t wait to see what Amber was up to now.  I looked and saw that she had marked it as a mystery/drama which may seem like a huge departure from what you typically think of when you think of Amber’s stories.  However, she and I had been having conversations about the types of stories that she likes to read and that she would like to do something different.

I was hooked upon reading the first words

Dear Edward,
I was in your room Saturday night.
Does that bother you? That I was in there without you knowing? That I touched your things?
It should bother you.
Because I found your collection.

Edward, an anxious boy with a touch of OCD, receives a series of anonymous letters and he begins narrowing down the possible senders.  Edward is a list maker.  Lists keep him calm, so he scans crowds and follows clues and begins make a list of girls who had access to his room and who could possibly be sending him such arousing letters.

I watched your video again last night. You went to great lengths to get it, I bet. Brown paper packaging and a P.O. Box. Do you have a secondary bank account that your parents don't have access to? I wonder. Because it was incredible. I pictured you and came twice within the first fifteen minutes, imagining that it was us instead.
Three fingers deep.
I'm prepping myself for you, when you figure it out. When you find me. If I'm to believe the rumors about you, then I'll need to.

Edward finally settles on Bella being the one behind the provocative letters and he approaches her.  He offers her a ride home.  Once there, Bella invites him in. 

Bella and Edward begin a stimulating relationship, thick with sexual tension as Edward tries to imitate what he has seen on his video collection.  One particular encounter happens in the music theater, behind a curtain.  I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that Bella had forgotten her panties and there was a yellow highlighter involved.

As the story progresses we begin to see that these two kids may have gotten themselves involved in something they really know nothing about.  The mystery remains, was it really Bella who sent those erotic letters, or is there someone else out there who knows Edward’s secret?

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