Wednesday, July 4, 2012

TLS Fics Of The Week 7/2 - 7/4/2012: The Sexy Six Reviews are up!

TLS Fics Of The Week announcement: In light of summertime we have decided to continue to feature at least five stories per week. However, we will only post a review for the 1st place poll winner. The remaining four or five stories will still be featured with their banners, links and summaries, they just won't have reviews. 

I hope you all understand that during the summer a lot of our staff, as well as our guest reviewers, would like to be out with our families and are spending less time inside and online. It has continued to be a difficult task, over the last two months, to find willing reviewers, as well as gathering five to six of them per week. Our reviewers spill their time and their hearts into the task and we felt that this step was necessary to continue featuring quality material. 

We hope that you all have a safe and happy fourth of July, and we thank you for visiting us each week!

FICS OF THE WEEK 7/2 - 7/8/2012

Withering the Ferns by AngstGoddess003-rec'd by PAWsPeaches
Isabella, infamous rich girl, meets Edward, the dark, mysterious guy from the wrong side of the tracks after an accident. Lost in the dense forest surrounding Forks together, they must survive complete isolation. Written for Gift Exchange. Twilight - Rated: M

Review by:edmazing

It’s great to find a story that passes the re-read test. You know, the “I loved it back then but what would I think of it now” test. Or for those first-time fic loves, the “will I always love this as much as I do now”  test. “Withering the Ferns” was one of my first fanfiction reads and YES, it passed the test.

Looking back, I can see why I was hooked. It has that push and pull, that tension that I can’t get enough of. Honestly, I stayed up past 3 in the morning REREADING this. Yeah, it had me drawn the efffff in.

The characters are bold. Do you like them at first? I don’t know… but do you want to want to get to know them better? Hell. Yes. They give me something that I can identify with and hold on to. It pulls me in and… and… and I need more.

I am a whore.

Not in the sexual sense, of course. I personally detest the usually narrow definition that people give the term when it is actually much broader. Some people call me a socialite. Others like to call me a debutante or priss or spoiled-little-rich-bitch. The real socialites, debutantes, prisses, and spoiled-little-rich-bitches like to call me many things--none of which are repeatable in polite company. It doesn’t really matter what name is granted to them or I, because we’re all the same: whores.

Our job is to look pretty, say all the right things, get really good press, and never, ever, ever go to any social function without underwear snugly covering our vajayjays. It’s a simple concept. And really, the rewards are well worth the effort of wearing heels and dresses and push-up bras that are nearly good enough to convince people I’m not in dire need of an exorbitant boob job. Nearly. I didn’t even have to go to college last year when I graduated from prep school. There was no need to when everything would clearly be given to me. It’s a good life. A privileged life. A life without challenge, full of ease and luxuries without the expectation of intellect or character, just like Renee’s.

In short, I loathe being a whore.

Yes, Bella is a self-entitled snob. Slightly self-aware… but still a whore by her definitions. She’s been drug around the world of San Diego’s socialites, and what’s worse than being forced into the shark tank? Having a mother who doesn’t even let you buy the right shoe size.

Six was perfect, so I strained a smile and agreed, which had pleased her. But I wasn’t a six. I was a seven. I was just one-off from being ideal, in every measure. My boobs are one cup size too low, my waist is one inch too big, my ass is one inch too small, and I’m one inch too short. I only ever cared because I was told to.

Simply put, Bella doesn’t fit and after a string of public disasters she’s crash landed in Forks. More accurately, she’s crashed into a mysterious stranger while driving her own ass home from the airport.

Stranded in the rain with no cell phones leaves few options; stay put or go through the woods with him. Only one choice sounds appealing and he knows it.

I remain still and shivering as the rain batters my head and shoulders. I get that nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that sets off alarms inside of my mind, and I feel as though something isn’t right. The man gazes back at me, and I search his eyes for any predatory gleam but find none. His features, though sharp and tight with impatience and an evident tension, are conflictingly soft and sincere. He can’t be more than a year older than me, I realize, which shouldn’t assuage me any, but for some reason, it does. His stare is still cold but not necessarily frightening. Nevertheless, I know that it isn’t right to let him lead me into isolation.

I glance around while gnawing at my lip and briefly consider staying. I know it’ll be dark soon, and even I can tell that this particular road sees little traffic. Staying here alone seems like an unsettling notion, but going with him doesn’t seem much better.

I turn back to him and ask meekly, “You really know a shortcut?” The thought of getting to a phone in the very near future is just too good to abandon.

And here’s where the story gets bigger … dirtier because she’s just rear-ended Edward Cullen, the man who’s been keeping her police chief father busy. Daily talks with Charlie have kept her filled in on his illegal activities and his family’s fall from grace, but the warnings are no match for the temptation. He knows a way to a phone and doesn’t seem to be hiding any dark secrets.

The sparks between them are instantaneous. Both of them are attractive, but that’s where the similarities appear to end. Add in a couple of days lost alone in the woods and you get a path FILLED with unresolved sexual tension. Yay for UST you want to eat with two spoons!

He releases my wrist, but steps closer, thumbing one corner of his lips as he ducks his chin. His tense and suspicious gaze continuously searches as his palm suddenly flattens against my velour-covered thigh. My eyes widen as they observe his shifty stare, and I’m paralyzed under the feeling of his hand against me. It remains still as his oddly attentive gaze explores the surrounding forest.

He slides it forward, curling his fingers around the back of my thigh and ascending as my muscles clench.

My jaw drops as I realize his intention, his smoldering eyes darting about anxiously. Before I can decide whether or not I want to spur him on or knee him in his nut sack, his hand softly glides up to my ass cheek, palming it gently. I’m utterly speechless as he cups me, rubbing his thumb over my flesh before applying a firmer pressure.

My traitorous hormones flare, tingles and twitches climbing my thighs and settling warmly between my legs as his gentle massaging continues. His eyelids grow heavy as he finally meets my gaze, the green of his eyes darkened as our breathing becomes shallow.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” I intend for this to emerge as sharp, affronted, and angered. Instead, it emerges in a shaky whisper, betraying both my hormones and tension, and my muscles actually loosen with his tender palming.

“I’m proving a point, Juicy,” he answers with a blatant gulp, his eyes falling and scanning my face. Slowly, his hand retreats, sliding softly from my ass to my thigh before falling at his side.

Uhhfff! If you haven’t read this yet, do yourself a favor and read it now. The secrets and suspense will keep you glued to your screen right through to the end. The chemistry is to die for and not gonna lie, it has one of the best dry humps out there. An uncensored version of “Withering the Ferns” and the rest of AngstGoddess003’s works can be found below. In my eyes she really is one of the elders of the fandom and should be read.

Caught Looking by Marvar-rec'd by Nic
Sometimes it's easier to live your life for someone else.  To ignore your mundane days and sleep through your lonely nights.  And then one day, it's not enough.  A story about finding love when you're not even looking. You just get caught. Twilight - Rated: M

Review by: marriedtothecoach

The lovely Marvar is back. She has begun to take us on a romantic journey with “Caught Looking”.

Bella is a TA and Secretary to Dr. Banner in the Chemistry Department with plans on teaching and working on a PhD in the next year along with Jasper Hale. Bella is feeling the aches and pains of a  mundane life. Though she has a man in her life, it is not what you think. She seems to have lost hope.

“We do chores, eat dinner, and go to sleep. Then repeat it all the next day. And the next. We have a tight schedule. I don’t have any wiggle room for extra activities. Like fun. Or having a life.”

“You’d think that I would have hope for myself. That someone out there who wants a science nerd with tons of baggage. And commitments. Right. I’m destined to remain untouched. I mean by something other than my finger vibe.”

As we move forward we start to learn more about Bella. I love this Bella. At 22, she is intelligent, responsible, and selfless. She will crack you up with her mild obsession over the Golden Girls’ Blanche Devereaux and her sexual exploits.

Bella is not the only one concerned for her lack of a social life. Her best friend, Alice also thinks her hermit-like ways are unacceptable; and she’s not afraid to speak her mind about it.

“Your amazing, Bella, but you need to take the lab coat off more often, and get out”

“You’re only 22, but you have the social life of a 47 year-old cat lady.”

“Seriously, the old broads on the stupid show you watch get more action than you do.”

Don’t fret, her life is about to turn around by a simple phone call that is meant for Jasper. She seems to enjoy the change of pace from the usual dorks that call that number.

“He sounds hot, like he could get totally paid for phone sex. But I saw a television show about phone sex operators and they were all fat guys on parole or had goiters or something.”

And there “Goiterward” is born. You will just love her inner musings.

So with a few calls and persistence from “Goiterward”, she finally meets Edward. He proceeds to walk in her office and knocks her off her feet. She feels the magnetic pull towards him immediately. Suddenly, hope is born. A change is in the air.
Marvar makes you want to cheer: “Yes Bella! Go forth and claim your Goiterboy!”

Just when we have hope, she shocks us when she turns him down flat after finding out about an important piece of who he is. She instantly makes a lot of assumptions about him. Then, through her inner musings, we find out why she believes what she does. You start to understand her; after looking through her eyes.

Marvar loves to shake things up and carries Edward back into her life; in the darndest places. She intertwines friends and family so they will be together often.

We think she is finally breaking.

“ ‘Hi, Edward’, I say, all breathy. I think its me speaking, but I’ve never heard myself sound like this. Its not attractive. Edward probably thinks I have emphysema.”

He grins and says, ‘Hi, Bella.’ I swear that breath contains nitrous oxide because I feel absolutely giddy. I should take a sample to the lab for analysis. Or to sniff. Whatever.”

You can see her starting to fall.

“ ‘Your eyes are like copper aluminum phosphate,’ I blurt out. ‘At first observation, I thought hydrated copper carbonate…but I was wrong.’”

“ ‘They’re like turquoise?’ He asks, reaching out to brush a fly off my shoulder. He does it slowly, like his hand wants to stay here and keep rubbing me. I’m not sure what turns me on more, the touching, or the fact he knows the chemical composition of turquoise.”

We find Bella realizing that there is more to Edward. Bella begins to change her assumptions of Edward and ignites her love of track pants.

Be she surprises us once again and does the unexpected.

Ahh! Marvar! You had me at the element table!
So, come on, Beaker Geeks!

The party is just beginning with lots more goodness to come. You will be swooning over turquoise; it will become your new favorite mineral.

Just follow me over to “Caught Looking”!

Ignore your children. Its summer, they’re home driving you crazy anyway.
Ignore your house work and laundry. Cleaning is no fun so make your kids do it!
Ignore work. You are entitled to breaks.
Ignore your husband. Seriously, just tell him the truth: that Fan Fiction helps your sex life. And when its “lemon time”, Marvar will not disappoint.

Go, read “Caught Looking” by the lovely Marvar, NOW!

Just remember to put some “love in her box”. (hehehe, I couldn’t re

Hiding In Plain Sight by Limona-rec'd byPAWsPeaches/Nicffwhisperer/LivieLiv
Bella is a witness in peril. Emmett Cullen is the deputy assigned to protect her. When the witness protection program isn't safe, Emmett asks Bella to pose as his brother Edward's fiancĂ©e until the trial. AU, AH, ExB.  Twilight - Rated: M
Have you ever read a story that just sticks with you? The kind that worms its way into your brain so deeply―no matter how long it's been since you’ve read it―you can recall the most insignificant detail with vivid clarity?

Review by: Livie79

Well, Hiding in Plain Sight is one of those stories.

As the summary states, Bella is in the witness protection program, and it's deputy Emmett Cullen’s job to keep her safe until she can testify. But with dirty cops and determined bad guys that feat is easier said than done. Emmett’s at his wit’s end―having gone so far as to hide her in jail―in an attempt to keep her safe.

Enter Edward. Our first glimpse of him we see an indifferent, aloof man who seems like he can’t be bothered with, well... anything. That is until his brother, Emmett tells him a story of a twenty-four year old womanl risking her life to rid the streets of bad guys, and the lengths he’s gone to protect her.

Appalled at the thought of an innocent woman being kept in a jail to keep her safe, Edward makes a snap decision to take Bella into his home and hide his fiance.

And then we’re off.

This is no love at first sight story. While they both immediately find one another attractive, Edward doesn’t gaze into Bella’s eyes and realize she’s the missing puzzle piece of his soul, and she doesn’t fall all over herself swooning. No, their first meeting and subsequent relationship is awkward, slow and completely real.

Bella is convinced she’s going to die, and Edward is determined to prove her wrong. Over the course of the story we watch them slowly grow closer, stumbling along the way with miscommunications and bullheaded beliefs that each know what’s best for the other.

But Hiding in Plain Sight isn’t about watching Edward and Bella ride off into the sunset, and Limona never lets you forget that. There’s an underlying tension that coats every interaction and every scen that causes a constant tightening in your chest, because the bottom line is―there are people who want Bella dead and will stop at nothing to make it happen.

I added another name to the list, bringing the number to almost fifty.

Why hadn't Emmett warned me? Maybe he hadn't known. I sure as hell hadn't known.

I felt ill. The Volturi were everywhere. When Emmett told me that putting Bella in my house would be 'hiding her in plain sight,' I thought it was a figure of speech.


She was in plain sight, all right. She would be in plain sight of the Volturi almost any time we went out together in public. I had a list of almost fifty people who were obviously or not-so-obviously connected to the Volturi, and I knew every one of them.

As the story progresses Limona gives us flashbacks of Bella’s life; what she went through that eventually lead her to where she is now. Events begin to spiral and spin out of control, and as the chapters pick up pace so does your heart― the bad guys are closing in and Bella is forced to make tough decisions. Decisions that will break your heart even though you completely understand.

I can’t think of a single emotion this story hasn't invoked in me, and I’m pretty sure Limona isn’t done with us yet. It’s a heart pounding tale that will have you on the edge of your seat.

It warms your heart,

"Tell me about yourself, Bella." He leaned back into the sofa and put his feet up on the coffee table as he regarded me.

"Which version?"

"The real one."

"There's not much to tell. My parents divorced when I was small. I grew up with my mom and then moved in with my dad for high school. I went to college and then the Volturi hired me out of college. It seemed like a really good job at the time."

"That's not the real one, that's the watered-down version. Tell me something real."

"I'm afraid to go out in public with you because I think nobody will believe you would ever look twice at me," I blurted. I put my hand over my mouth in embarrassment.

Edward hesitated, and for a moment I was afraid he was going to agree with me. Instead, he leaned in and touched my cheek. The contact was electric and it jolted my nerve endings in the most delightful way. "Have you looked in a mirror lately? You're beautiful, Isabella."

I watched his lips move as he said the words, and never in my life had I wanted to kiss someone as badly as I wanted to kiss Edward at that moment.

twists your stomach,

I closed my eyes and tried to pretend I was somewhere else. I don't know how long I waited there, curled into a little ball at the bottom of the stairwell, on the verge of puking. I waited until my eyesight cleared, my breathing evened out, and I couldn't hear any noises. When I finally chanced another look through the window by the door, nobody was out there. The bodies were gone.

and decimates your nerves.

I was careful.

I kept a low profile.

I wore a hat and sunglasses at all times when outside during the day.

I did as little as possible that was traceable.

Despite my best efforts, I was driving through town on my out to the highway, and someone was following me.

Breathe, Bella.

What would Rosalie do?

Rosalie would lose them, dummy.

I considered letting my pursuer follow me out to the highway, but my car didn't go all that fast. I needed to lose the pursuer while I was in town. I cranked the steering wheel to make a sudden right turn. I weaved through traffic for a while, keeping to a strict series of unpredictable turns.

I moved through the traffic so much that I couldn't figure out if I was still being followed. It seemed like I was in the clear, so I pulled into an alley to hide.

I was on my own this time. There was no Emmett coming to save me, a fact that was apparent when I realized this was a dead-end alley, and a car had pulled in behind me, cutting off my escape.

Hiding in Plain Sight is one of the best stories I’ve ever read and will forever be considered “a classic” to me. If there's anyone out there who hasn’t read it, please drop everything you’re doing and rectify that situation immediately, you won’t be disappointed.

Washed Up by  xrxdanixrx-rec'd by Nic
She washed up along the river near his secluded log cabin with no memories. He couldn't just leave her to fend for herself, could he? Twilight - Rated: M

 Review by: Fates-Love-Queen

So ah, I’ve never really written a story review before, but when I was approached to write a review for this story, I just couldn’t say no.

I was kind of late to the Washed Up party. I saw it rec’d on Fb a couple of weeks ago and was immediately drawn in by the summary, so I went to check it out. Hours later, I had devoured it entirely and was begging for more.

Everything was numb. My toes…I couldn’t feel them. My head…it was killing me. Pounding. Pounding harder.
I tried to suck in air, but my lungs were blocked. Coughing a few times helped, and suddenly, my lungs were free, and I could breathe.
My body was weak. I couldn’t even open my heavy eyes. But I could feel something…on my face. It was wet, warm, and soft, moving over my cheek slowly and rhythmically. I tried to crack open an eye to see what it was, but my strength was non-existent.
I was also aware that I was soaked, cold, and lying on my stomach.
“Stop,” I heard a deep voice say quietly somewhere above me, and whatever movement there was on my face suddenly halted. “What do we got here?”
I was too exhausted to open my eyes. Was someone here? Was I imagining things?
Unable to find out the answers to my questions, I dipped back out of consciousness.

The story starts out giving us not much to go on. It’s mysterious and raises so many questions:
Who is the main character?
What’s happened to them?
Where are they?

So much happens in the first chapter, but through all of the information we don’t actually get a lot of answers. All we know is that the character, as the title suggests, washed up near an unknown property, wakes in an unknown house and meets an unknown man.  Said man is incredibly abrupt and doesn’t give a great first impression…

The front door slammed shut, causing my eyes to fly open. Standing at the front door was a tall, lean man with unkempt dark hair, wearing an olive green field jacket. The fire caused shadows to dance across his face, which was covered by a beard. He was staring directly at me, his hard expression sending unwelcome chills throughout my now warm body.
Who was he? He didn’t look familiar to me. Was this his home?
The man hadn’t moved from his spot, his narrowed eyes assessing me. He crossed his arms in front of him. “Finally awake,” he spoke, his bass voice having a touch of hardness that made me feel uncomfortable.
I merely stared at him, not able to voice a response due to shock, fear, and unfamiliarity.
“Do you talk or are you just gonna sit there?” he asked, appearing impatient.
This man scared me, though I didn’t feel he would hurt me…I hoped. I needed to communicate with him, however, in order to answer my questions. “Why am I here?” I asked, my voice a rasp, sounding unused.
A crease lined his forehead. “You tell me,” he replied.
I didn’t understand him. I woke up in a weird bed, unsure of my surroundings, and he wanted me to tell him why I was here? I was sure my expression mirrored my bewilderment.
He dropped his arms, and his nostrils flared, a darkness crossing his features. “You washed up along the river this morning near my property,” he revealed indignantly. “You’ve been out cold for nine hours.”
I’d washed up along a river? That couldn’t be. That just wasn’t normal. Though, I did have a faint recollection of coughing up water. But wasn’t that just a dream?
“Oh…,” I said, deep in thought as I tried to figure out the purpose for my being in a river in the first place. “Um…do you know why?”
He gave me a look as if I was the craziest person in the world.
Bit of an a**hole, yeah?

Again, we don’t know who the man is either. He proceeds to give his guest some bread before quickly ushering her out the front door as soon as possible. He gives her her wet running shoes back and basically tells her to get lost.

"You're going to go left out here, then straight down the path until you see a large boulder," he began instructing quickly, causing me to furrow my brow in confusion. "From there, go right until you reach the road. Make a left again, and you'll hit where you need to go. There's a phone there and everything." With that, he pulled the door open wide and made a gesture with his hand for me to leave.
He was sending me out…alone? My head was still hurting, and I couldn't seem to think straight, but it wasn't like I wanted his company, anyway. He'd made it blatantly clear that I wasn't welcome.
Somewhere deep down, I felt like I could take care of myself, even though I was frightened and wasn't exactly sure what had happened to me. No, I didn't need anyone to take care of me, and I could feel that confirmed right down to my core.
I took a step out onto the front porch of the cabin, but immediately remembered that, technically, he'd saved me. He may have been a jerk, but it was a kind gesture to anyone's standards. I should thank him.
But as I spun around to do just that, the door slammed directly in my face. A second later, several locks turned, followed by heavy footsteps walking away.
Well…never mind, then…
I walked off the porch and glanced around. More giant trees. A dark green, slightly rusty truck parked around the side of the porch was his, I guessed.
With a heavy sigh, I did exactly what the man had said. I went right.

Yeah, preeeety sure he said left…
She takes the wrong route and luckily for her, rude mystery man comes to her rescue. Again. And he’s not exactly happy about it. But, we do find out that her savior’s name is Masen.

Masen proceeds to take her to a local establishment so she can call home and have someone pick her up. An easy task, right? Well, not if you don’t remember who you are…

I swallowed thickly, not feeling comfortable here by myself. I could feel the heat from the quarters in my palm and remembered what Masen said. A payphone was right next to the door, so I went to it, picked up the handle, and pushed my quarters into the coin slot.
Who am I calling? 
What was the use of a phone if I didn't know who I needed to talk to? I tried to rack my brain for any sort of familiar number combination, but nothing came to mind, except a few essential digits that anyone would know.
My finger pressed down on the numbers, and I waited patiently as it rang, trying to avoid looking over my shoulder at the many eyes that I could feel staring at my back.
An automated service came on, causing me to frown. A robotic voice asked me what city and state I was in. I didn't know the answer to that, so I stayed silent. It told me to repeat it. I couldn't; I didn't know! It clearly got annoyed with me, because it said I was being transferred to an actual person. Thank God.
"City and state, please?" a real woman asked.
My nostrils flared angrily. If I didn't know the answer before, then how was I going to know it now?
"I don't know," I replied, more than a little annoyed, but then sighed. Maybe she could help me. "I'm somewhere where there are a lot of trees...and..." Try to be more specific! "They're, um…really big."
"Excuse me?" the woman asked dryly.
I pinched my eyebrows together. "I'm not exactly sure where I am. Do you know?"
I could hear her mumble something, and then the line went dead.
"No, no! Wait!" I exclaimed frantically, but it was no use.

Without knowing who or where she is, the only choice but to go back home with her unlikely savior. They begrudgingly fall into a routine of sorts, which includes Masen dragging her with him to the local tavern every Friday, where we meet Alice, who runs the place with her husband, Jasper. The Alice in this story is one of my favourites. She’s witty and sarcastic with a ball-busting attitude and quickly becomes a fast friend for our unknown girl.

Our two main characters continue to live together, though not without drama. Every little thing she does seems to piss him off and we’re left to wonder why Masen is such an insufferable individual. But, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t give as good as she gets…

I let out a frustrated sigh and looked down at the mess I made. A smirk began to cross my lips as I thought of a way to mess with him. I ripped the flower petals in halves, then quarters, and spread them over the expanse of the small table, knowing it would aggravate him. And it definitely was, 'cause I could feel his eyes observing me.
"Take that stuff outside," he demanded through clenched teeth.
My smirk grew, giving my motives away, but I didn't care. I wanted to anger him even more and knew just how. "I've been thinking," I began. "It's pretty awkward you can't call me by my name, since I can't remember it. I figured I'd make one up. From now on, you can call me Petal."
His eyebrows slowly pinched together. "I'm not calling you that," he shot back.
I shrugged. "Well, sorry, but that's my name."
"If you don't take that shit outside…," he warned.
"I don't obey orders of those that don't use my name—which is Petal."
He hated it. His reaction was just what I wanted. Maybe now he'd see how frustrating he was.
"If you just say, 'Petal, throw the flower petals outside,' I might do it," I informed, a hint of mirth in my tone.
He brought his book back up to his face angrily, choosing to disregard anything I'd said. It sort of upset me that he didn't want to call me Petal, because it sure beat him calling me mouth or you, but at least now I knew how to press his buttons, since he certainly knew how to press mine.

They continue to banter and argue over everything, but the fact that Masen is not only letting her stay in his house, but sleep in the only bedroom leads us to believe that he might just be all bark and no bite.

As the story progressed, I actually fell in love with Masen. I won’t spoil it but although he's rough and abrupt on the surface, underneath is a sweet man who is afraid to open himself to people and risk his heart. 

As Petal tries to unravel what happened to her and who she is, she might just find out that the past doesn’t compare to the present. But what happens when the past, along with the outside world comes to find you?

This story sucks you in from the very beginning and has quickly become one of my favourite fanfic stories. With its drama, romance and mystery, it will keep you intrigued and begging for more.
Washed up is part one of a two-part series. Part one is 16 chapters and is complete and I cannot wait for part two to start posting! J

Willow by Aftrnoondlight-rec'd by Nic
A quaint small town. A horse named Willow. Two lonely lovers. These are the ingredients of a DIVINE holiday romance. Twilight - Rated: M

Christmas In July - A Review of Willow by aftrnoondlight
By btwnthestacks

"Her laughter was the music my life was missing."

Is it possible to perfect the already perfect Edward Cullen?  Your response is most likely an immediate, "no way!"  I don't blame you.  After all, that would have been mine too, had I not been introduced to the new veterinarian at Forks Farm & Fur.  Dr. Edward Cullen is preparing a particularly feisty patient for the old clip and snip when the clinic receives a frantic phone call from a local farm.  A newborn foal named Willow isn't eating.  It's snowing outside and it's Christmas to boot.  This is a case that can possibly wait until the next day.  But this isn't just anyone on the other end of the line.  It's Bella Swan - the subject of his high school fantasies.  Suddenly, the good doctor's sense of urgency has just doubled.  After handing his delightful assistant a plate of his famous cornflake cookies, he rushes out the door.

Upon arriving at the Swan farm, Dr. Cullen discovers that unbelievably, Bella is even more beautiful than he remembers.  Even better, she remembers him.  Working together to nurse baby Willow back to health, Edward and Bella reminisce about their past and share their hopes and dreams for the future.  As the sun rises, the attraction between these two former classmates can no longer be denied.  

What follows this initial reunion is a sweet, funny and sumptuously sexy story that features some hilarious moments with these lovable characters - including a smack-talking group of "punks" from the local chapter of the Future Farmers of America, a drunken Bella, and a sassy Sue Clearwater.  And if listening to Edward talk to his furry patients doesn't make your heart skip several beats, I don't know what will.

All good stories come with a helping of conflict, though, and this one is no exception.  Bella is biding her time in Forks as the features editor for the local newsletter while she waits for a call from her dream job - a spot on the Heidi Hale Show - Twi fiction's answer to Martha Stewart.  However, what seemed like a easy decision has now become infinitely more complicated.  The job is in New York.  But new love exists in Forks.  Should Bella follow her dreams or build her life back in her old hometown?  And if she says yes, will Edward fight for her to stay?

Willow is the first collaboration between the writing dream team of jaimearkin and phoebespromise, whose other works include the beautiful and emotional Outbound and Beneath the Undertow.  Their writing will make you laugh and make you sigh.  Willow is four chapters long - one for each season.  It's Christmas in July...literally.  But don't expect this story to be a break from the summer heat.  In fact, I recommend sitting in front of the air conditioner as you read.  And bring along your smelling'll need them.

So - is it possible to perfect the already perfect Edward Cullen?  After meeting the gorgeous, compassionate, animal-loving, cookie-baking veterinarian at Forks Farm & Fur, I can answer that question with a very confident YES.

The Viking's Woman by  LifeInkognito-rec'd by Agrutle/Obsmama
When her Irish Kingdom is attacked, Isabella is left with no choice but to marry the barbaric Viking Chieftain in order to protect her people. Age of Edward 2012 EXPANDED.
Twilight - Rated: M

Review by: Mountainlion718

My father's face remains expressionless, but I can feel his hand grow hot against my shoulder, his fingers digging sharply into my skin. "Stand down," he announces. "Let them pass through the gates."

"My Lord, they mean to attack!"

I flinch at the man's panicked tone. War has destroyed my home. When the Viking warriors invaded the shores of Ireland, they offered our people no mercy. Now our land is plagued with death and destruction. Our kingdom has been turned to ruins. If the Viking Chieftain means to resume the battle, there is no hope. We've neither the troops nor the weapons left to hold them off any longer.

"Let them pass," my father repeats harshly. "Do not question me."

"Yes, Milord." The watchman bows meekly and leaves the room to give the appropriate orders.
As King, my father did what he must to protect our people. A truce with the Viking Chieftain did not come easily. There was nothing the barbarian could want from us that he could not take by force. But there was one thing he was willing to accept. It was the only way to save us, the only one way to protect the lives of our people….

Our union will create a treaty of peace, if the Chieftain chooses to accept me. The kingdom will be his by inheritance rather than by force. Our people will be safe. If he does not accept me, I do not expect I will live much longer.

Suddenly, a commotion begins behind the large wooden doors that protect the Great Hall. I can hear the sounds of hoof steps, and the shouts of guards as they struggle for order. The Chieftain has come.

"Father…" The word escapes me without my consent, a desperate plea for what I know I can't have.

But the sound of my voice is drowned away by the groaning of the heavy wooden doors as they're pushed open. Light pours into the large room, illuminating the figures standing in the archway.

It's as the watchman said. Thirty or so men, all armed with axes, swords, or bows, have come to the castle. And leading them is a man so frightening that the sight of him makes me inhale sharply. I turn my face away quickly, clenching my fingers into fists at my sides.

He's brought his stallion into the palace. It's a magnificent creature, pure black and menacingly large. As he rides forward, the horse's feet clop loudly against the stone floor. My father grunts, appalled at this horrendous lack of respect, but doesn't speak. We both keep silent as the Chieftain approaches, his large shadow encroaching upon us.

"It is an honor," my father greets nobly, playing the part of a welcoming King, despite our circumstances.

"I've no wish for pleasantries," speaks the Viking. His voice is strong, his Norse accent thick and strange. It sends shivers up my spine. "The girl."

My father's hand slips away from my shoulder. He clears his throat. "I present to you, my Isabella."

I look up, and a numbing horror washes over me. The Chieftain is large and well muscled, his skin tanned from years of labor beneath the sun and littered with a thousand scars. He wears a crudely sewn tunic, heavy boots, a mantle of thick animal skins, and a long sword sheathed at his waist. His jaw is sharp, his brows thick and narrowed, his hair an odd reddish color. And his eyes… they're as green as the woodlands and as piercing as a dagger. I'm trapped under his hard, callous stare, helpless to look away. My pulse quickens, my heart pounding almost painfully in my chest.

"Isabella," my father hisses, but I don't turn to look at him. I've stopped breathing; it's as if the Viking's gaze has turned me to ice.

The Chieftain turns down his lips, displeased with me. It breaks me out of my daze. I breathe in sharply, not having realized the lack of air was making me lightheaded.

"Isabella," my father says again, his impatience growing. "Go forth."

My legs move forward on their own accord. I slowly move one foot in front of the other, drifting across the room to close the space between the Chieftain and I. His eyes remain on mine, stony and unfathomable. With every step, I can feel my breaths growing shorter, my throat turning dry.
I'm almost directly in front of his horse when he moves. My steps falter and I shrink back, watching as he lithely dismounts his horse and steps foot on the ground. He's so tall, so frighteningly huge. His large hands could squeeze the life from me without any effort at all. And that could very well be what he plans to do.

"There is not a more beautiful woman in the land," says my father. "I tear out a piece of my heart to offer her to you."

The Chieftain reaches forward and, ignoring the startled gasp that escapes my lips, takes my arm in his calloused hand, holding up my wrist for inspection. He's appraising me like an animal for sale! I wait for my father to interject and save me from this humiliation, but he stays back, letting the Viking continue.

Seemingly satisfied with the state of my fingers, the Chieftain drops my hand, only to grab a lock of dark hair off of my shoulder. I force myself not to flinch away from him as he lifts it to his nose and inhales deeply. Still sniffing, his nose follows the length of the strand, his face bending closer to mine, until he's touching the side of my neck. He exhales slowly, the warmth of his breath washing over my skin. Humiliated, I close my eyes, willing my heart to slow its frantic pace. I will not cry, not before the barbarian that slayed my men and destroyed my world.

At last, I feel the Chieftain take a step back, but I do not open my eyes again. I cannot bear to look at him.

"I will take her as my wife," he says, speaking to my father.

My eyes snap open. The Viking's mouth is a hard line, his gaze as hard as iron. I realize with a searing dread that this cruel man has sealed my fate. He is to be my husband. My life will be his to take. I know nothing of what will become of me.

"Come," he says, looking into my eyes.

Engulfed with terror, I take another step back.

"Isabella!" my father interjects angrily. "You will obey the Chieftain."

Adrenaline is coursing through my veins, and suddenly I feel bold. This man has done unspeakable things. He's fought in battles, destroyed villages, taken the lives of innocents. He wishes for me to fear him, but I won't give him the satisfaction. He cannot own me.

"I'm not a horse you can summon whenever you please," I whisper fervently.

The Chieftain gives me a chilling smile. "My horse is mine, as are you. And you, too, will learn to come when I call."

I'm a sucker for AOE stories and this one drew me right in. From the get go there is action, as you will see in this brief summary I've put together:

Bella is an Irish princess whose kingdom is invaded by Vikings. To stop death and destruction, the King gives Eidard, the Chieftain, Bella- to be his wife. Eidard is very rough around the edges and tries to take her forcefully but Bella calms him. He ends up showing his softer side, but only in front of Bella. 

After a confrontation, with a few young Irish boys, ends in bloodshed, Bella wants nothing to do with Eidard. However,once they speak and Bella sees Eidard's side, she takes back her hurtful words and they make love. On their way back to his home they must travel by boat. Bella has never been on a boat and Eidard fears she will become ill, so he gives her herbs to sleep thru the journey and promises to watch over her the whole time.

Once she wakes, she has to deal with a very judgmental Eseme who implies that their marriage is not valid. Eidard needs to speak with the elders. Bella meets Ales, who brings her food, and when Eidard sees that Bella is fond of Ales, he offers her as a wedding gift. That night, Eidard appears to be affected by something that happened with the elders because he is needy of Bella in their bed, but we have yet to find out what the elders have said.

I can't wait, until the next chapter, to find out how Eidard's meeting with the elders went and what will happen next. You should all give this story a chance, you'll be glad you did!

1 comment:

  1. I'm already reading Hiding In Plain Sight and am nearly upto chapter 10 and am loving it!! I can't wait to read the rest of it!! :D