Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TLS Fics of the Week 11/12-11/18/2012

Rise by Rochelle Allison
Bella is a bad boy's girl, living a life she no longer wants. She's trapped, until one of the things that keeps her confined - her bodyguard - becomes the very thing that could set her free.

Review by Melissa Duncan Jones

“Bella is a bad boy's girl, living a life she no longer wants. She's trapped, until one of the things that keeps her confined - her bodyguard - becomes the very thing that could set her free.”

Oooo, with a summary like this, plus knowing it’s by Rochelle Allison, I was intrigued right away. Is Edward the bad boy? Because if so, then yes, please.  I always love a good “bad boy” Edward.  Or, is Edward the bodyguard? Then even more “yes please!”  I mean, who didn’t love Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard? Put Edward in that role, with Ro’s writing, and yowza!  So, my thoughts when this alert hit my inbox? Let’s get started, immediately!

As we quickly discover, our bad boy is not Edward. Alec is, and thank God, because the “bad boy” in this story is not a “bad boy” in the traditional FF sense of the word. You know what I mean, how sometimes Edward is a “bad boy” but still has redeeming qualities -- on top of being hot, of course. Welp, not this “bad boy.” Alec is a complete asshole. He’s a nasty piece of work who deserves everything he gets. He’s lives an unappealing life of crime, he’s a controlling douche, and he hits girls. So yeah, you get the picture.

Anyway, with the epicness of Alec’s assholeishness, how could it be believable that Bella is his girl?  Well, that brings us to one of the many great attributes of this story, and about Ro - - it IS believable, because Ro does not write one-dimensional characters.  She gives us characters who are real, with flaws as well as gifts, and that’s what makes her, and her stories, amongst the “greats” in our fandom.  The same holds true for Alec and Bella - - he may be a “bad boy” now, but wasn’t always.  He and Bella share a long history, and they once were very much in love.  And Ro gives us the depth of that background which hooks us readers, line and sinker.

But enough of Alec.  Let’s get onto the main attraction:  Edward.  Although Edward isn’t Edward here.  Instead, he’s Masen, and he is the bodyguard Alec hires for Bella.  I mentioned Alec lives on the fringe of society, right?  Well, Bella is his girl, so by extension, his nefarious activities put her in danger.  And because of the potential danger, and because Alec is a possessive prick, he all but imprisons Bella in their home, only giving her permission to leave when escorted by said Masen/Edward.  And as you can imagine, with words like ‘imprison,” “asshole Alec” and “once in love,” Bella is one unhappy girl.

But, in true Edward (or here, Masen) fashion, it’s Masen/Edward to the rescue.  Of course, the attraction between Masen/Edward and Bella is immediate, but they neither do, nor can they do, anything about it, in fear for their lives (insert “Alec is a controlling bastard” here).  But, in true Masen/Edward & Bella fashion, and in Ro’s magical and realistic way, the attraction blossoms into a force neither can indefinitely ignore. 

And, because this is Ro we are talking about, the story of these two falling in love is compelling and lovely.  As we get to know Masen/Edward, we find ourselves wondering if he really is what he claims to be, or is there more to him?  If there is more, how much more, and how will “more” that affect the future we are dying for Bella to have with him?  How can they even have a future, with Alec in the picture?  As a reader, you can’t help but hope for the very best, but fear for the worst.
But, this is exactly what is so exciting about Rise - - this fic contains all the things we love about Ro, but it adds a sense of intrigue, fear and danger that is reminiscent of Volition.  We also feel the despair and hopelessness of Bella, and how, through her growing friendship-turned-secret relationship with Masen/Edward, complete with (you know it) smoldering lemons, Bella starts to feel, and eventually live, again.  And this, my dear friends, is exactly what I love about Ro - - her message of hope, the journeys and ultimate happiness of her characters, and how we feel every emotion of her characters along the way- - you feel as if you are actually there, living the drama as it unfolds in print in front of you.  And believe me, you will feel everything in Rise.

If I could sum up this story in one blip from this fic, this is it:  “I'm understanding, also, how hard it was for him to tell me the truth. How dangerous, and maybe how foolish. Love makes fools of us all, though.”  I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been made fools by love, which is why we all connect to Ro so well.  So if this blip doesn’t grab you, well, there just isn’t any hope for you and you need to leave, immediately.

The bottom line?  Rise is a must read.  Absolutely.  Completely.  And while you are at it, you must read everything, and I mean everything, that Ro has ever written.  She’s an amazingly talented writer, but, even more importantly, she’s an amazingly beautiful person.  The first Ro story I read, after months of lurking anonymously in TwiFicLand, was Air.  I was so blown away, I created a profile on FFN simply so I could send her a review (which was, obviously, my first FF review).  And you know what?  She responded back!  I was giddy, because my fangirl-writer-crush communicated with me!  And she was so humble, gracious and genuinely thankful.  And as I gradually get to know her more, my suspicions that she is the “real deal” have been confirmed.   In one word, Ro is . . . fantastic.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of coming into contact with Ro knows exactly what I mean.  And for those of you who haven’t, well, I suggest you remedy that immediately.  She’s Rochelle Allison on Facebook and @roglows on Twitter, and she’s (in her own words) really chatty.  Get on that, because she will enrich your life.   Indeed, both her fellow writers, and her fans, are all in agreement about how beloved she is:

YellowGlue:  “I love glowbaby.  She's open and honest, and has been such a good friend to me. She's one of my favorite people in the fandom.  She's a dearheart and a friend.”

Counselor:  Rochelle understands the man/woman thing so well. Her heroes are always warrior types who know how to love. Her heroines are feminine but with distinctive identity. She has an authority in her scenes in her ability to put you there and keep you there. You're never jarred out due to faulty research or something that doesn't ring true. In addition to being one of the great talents in the fanfiction world, she is a generous soul. She is an amazing encourager to those tip-toeing into the writing scene in this world of ours. That same generosity anchors her writing. The really amazing writers with the indefinable something manage to put their own substance in what they write, in such a way the reader recognizes their willingness to be vulnerable and their honesty. The readers can relate to writing like that and Rochelle delivers on all layers.”

TheFicChick:  “I think she’s brilliant. I spent quite a bit of time lurking in the "Twilight" fanfiction world before I threw my hat into the ring, and one of the first stories I remember reading and being really struck by was Rochelle Allison's "Curtains." Her language drew me in first and her story was close behind, sucking me in entirely with its complex yet so humanly simple and honest plot. "Rise" has been no different, and I am completely in awe of the vivid pictures she is able to paint with just a few words. The line "I'm thawing, and it hurts" absolutely crushed me in the best possible way, as do her stories on the whole. I am in awe of her writing, her talent, and the yarns she weaves.

BelieveItOrNot:  “Rochelle consistently creates such strong, well-rounded characters whose introspection will make you think. They feel very real, like people I could know or have known, and I always continue reading, not only to find out "what happens next," but because I care about the characters and I want to see how they grow. Never heavy-handed or self-indulgent, her prose flows from sentence to sentence so smoothly I often forget I'm reading. On top of being a beautiful writer, she's also a beautiful, kind-hearted, supportive person. She has a ton of positivity inside her that becomes more and more apparent as you get to know her. Sometimes I wonder how she keeps it so positive. Thank you, Ro, for being an active part of this fandom, sharing your stories, and inviting us into your mind.”

NicFFWhisperer:  “Ro is amazing and good and kind and one of the rare gems in this fandom. All her writing is quality, ya know? You just can't go wrong with her. She was one of my first author crushes and I was super stoked when she came to FB and I was able to get to know her. She's genuine and sweet and amazing and I just love her. She ALWAYS has a positive thought, saying, etc to give too. Just a sacred soul and I love that about her.  She leaves the best love [on fics written by others].”

Runtagua:  “Rochelle's work makes you feel like you are in it, like you're a part of it. Her characters are so real, so genuine, that it's easy to imagine that they're your best friends. With Bellas that are never too fussy and whiny, and Edwards that are always so real, just the right amount of swoony and cocky, these never-over-the-top characters grip you and draw you in so fully that you never want the adventure to end.  In real life, Rochelle is genuine and warm, witty and silly, caring and sweet - the kind of person we all aspire to be. ILY, girl. You know this. xx runtagua~”

So Ro:  WE FREAKIN’ LOVE YOU!!!   Thank you for being a part of our lives.  xoxoxoxo

The Weight of Words by georgeygirl
Bella is finishing her undergraduate English degree at U of T. PhD candidate Edward is her new TA. Shakespeare brings them together while a strict anti-fraternizing policy keeps them apart. Recommended for readers who enjoy the Bard, love a romantic Edward and appreciate UST. Rated M for language, literature and lemons.

Finding Sunshine by anhanninen 
Surrounded by darkness after a vicious attack almost ended her life, Bella starts over, hoping to find the sunshine she so desperately misses. She finds it when she least expects in a young, carefree doctor. Life isn't a fairytale, though, and to get to where they belong, obstacles have to be climbed and fears have to be faced.

OPERATION:Break the Dawn by Katinki
An experimental weapon, one of the most lethal chemicals ever created, has been stolen. Its final destination is unknown, but there's no doubt the powerful faction behind the theft is intent on one thing: War. But they didn't count on a fight. A team of Marines, led by Capt. Edward Cullen and accompanied by Spec. Dr. Isabella Swan, isn't about to let the world go up in flames. AH.

When You Least Expect It by Kare831
A broken man hires a broken single mother as his personal chef. As time wears on, she becomes so much more. A tale of what happens when you least expect it.

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