TLS would like to start this post off by giving a shout out to each and every one of you that have ever spent hours of your time to grind out a fivestar review for us. WE APPRECIATE YOU. To all of you that review, from all of us that admin the site - Thank you, so much.
TLS FICS OF THE WEEK THIS WEEK:
A Model Marriage by Slambrini-rec'd by Rose Arcadia
Being a sex symbol is tough, just ask supermodel Bella Swan. Her career is driving her and husband Edward apart; will the ultimate betrayal occur and force them apart forever? This is one marriage that ain't model. AH, M. Lemons & some slash. Twilight - Rated M
Reviewed by: Kitty
I have had A Model Marriage on my TBR list for a little while now. After hearing so many people keep raving about how much they were enjoying the story, I couldn’t wait to read it. As the authors’ note warns us in the beginning, there will be rough times ahead, I knew this would be a bumpy ride.
Bella Cullen is at the top of her modeling career, and while to the outside world it seems she has everything she could ever want, her life isn’t as perfect as one would think. She hates her boss Aro Volturi, owner of Volturi Modeling Agency, and really wants to get out of her contract that she has with them so she can concentrate on her family life, most importantly her husband and love of her life, Edward.
Aro shot me a warning look, and Alice looked sympathetic as she stripped to her bikini. We waded into the warm water, as Peter continued to adjust his camera.
I closed my eyes, imagining Edward. Our passion for each other, our love making, the kinky, deviant fucking. He was the only one who made me burn with lust, and I had to go to this place in my head to get the look across.
Normally, the only side effect this would give me would be damp panties, but now… now I growing increasingly melancholy over the fact our sex life had dwindled. I missed my husband, missed our intimacy, missed his touch.
The growing distance between us was making my heart ache.
"I said sexy, not sad!" Peter yelled. I closed my eyes again, and tried to push my feelings away. I concentrated just on the memory of Edward's toned, sculpted abs, his muscular thighs, his big hard cock…
"That's it, Bella! Perfect!" Peter shouted. "Give me even more! Pout for me slightly, sweetheart…brilliant…now pull on the front of the bra as you smoulder."
I continued to follow his instructions and posed for the camera. Between rolls, Alice came over to 'fix' my wet hair and my artfully smeared make up.
"That wasn't so bad, was it?" she asked tentatively. She knew how much I disliked my job. It seems like such a glamorous lifestyle, but it was no longer what I yearned for. I knew how lucky I was to have this opportunity, but I wanted to concentrate on building a life with my husband. We had looked over ways I could possibly get out of it, but I could potentially be sued for breach of contract. I couldn't wait for it to be up.
As we continue to read on, we learn more about her relationship with Edward and how much she truly loves and misses him when she is away. Just as I had stated above, things aren’t always what they seem. Bella reveals that Edward is in fact bisexual (a fact Bella was unaware of until after they were married) and that he harbors a crush on his colleague Riley. This leaves Bella feeling even uneasier while she is away from Edward, especially when she learns that while she is off working, he is out at a club celebrating a hard days work with Riley.
Thankfully, we are provided with an insight into the inner workings of Edwards mind in chapter three. He obviously loves his wife and wants to do whatever it takes to make her happy, but the spark that was there in the beginning of their relationship is slowly vanishing.
I always wanted Bella to do what made her happy and she had decided to pursue her modeling career. It had really taken off after college, and now, almost four years since she graduated, she was an international sex symbol. Occasionally we were followed by the media, but overall we managed to maintain a low profile. I did get used to the attention she attracted over the years we were together, but I was now growing increasingly fed up with the time she spent away on shoots, and we were arguing more and more.
There was another reason for my growing irritation with her career, one that I never admit to because it makes me sound like an ass. Bella has a fantastic body and I understood that photographers and designers wanted to make the most of that. But she was always appearing looking un-fucking-believable on the front of magazines or on billboards, often scantily clad with glamorous hair and make-up. I mean, this trip to Italy had been for FHM for fuck's sake. Don't get me wrong, Bella always looked beautiful, but at home she never bothered anymore. She got in from work wearing some sinful outfit, and immediately changed into sweats and a tee.
See, I sound like an ass, right? I was just fed up with the fact other guys got to lust over my wife in magazines, and I was almost having to do the same thing. She didn't seem to want to make the effort.
Don’t get me wrong, Edward loves Bella immensely, but he also harbors these desires for Riley that are starting to eat away at him. He really does feel guilty about his feelings, but at the same time, you cannot deny what your heart wants. It is obvious that Riley is attracted to Edward as well. Dangerous waters lay ahead for our favorite couple it seems.
"Sure I can't tempt you, Edward?" Riley asked, his voice thick with innuendo as we filed out of the restaurant.
"Very sure," I replied weakly. "Bella will be home tonight."
The grin on his face dropped slightly, but he didn't lose that confident air about him. It made me want him all the more. "The wanderer returns," he muttered. Bella had met Riley and the other guys from work on a night out before, and I got the impression they didn't exactly take a liking to each other. "Let me know if you change your mind, Mr Cullen," he added in a low voice that sent tingles up my spine.
"Have a good weekend," I told him with a cough as I hailed a cab. I jumped in the yellow taxi that pulled up and breathed a sigh of relief that I was out of the situation. I was a married man with a crush on a guy seven years my junior; I was so fucked.
I felt like I was betraying Bella by just feeling such desire someone else.
I cannot wait to continue reading this story to find out just what happens between our favorite couple. Thankfully it is already 20 chapters in and updates regularly. There is also a group on facebook for this story as well! I provided the link below.
Blind Spot by FictionFreak95-rec'd by Nic/Edmazing/Trouble
In the small town of Madisonville, LA, Bella Swan has spent her entire life seeing things before they happen. Until Him. How do you stay out of someone's life when it keeps flashing before your eyes on a daily basis? AH,BxE, slightly supernatural. Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: Suebee Betafairy
Almost immediately after I said I wanted to review Blind Spot, I started kicking myself. How do you review a fic that has burrowed its way into your heart and soul so thoroughly? A Bella and an Edward so complex and wonderful, a “ghost” I’ve fallen in love with, my favorite Alice in the entire fandom… not to mention how much I respect, love, and adore Jo. As many of you know, I beta for her and I’m going to attempt to include some of my margin notes in this review as a little glimpse into how I react every week. The challenge I have all the time is that this story pulls me in so deeply that I often find myself several pages along before realizing I’ve forgotten to beta anything.
Yes, Blind Spot is just that good.
At the start of the story, Edward, drunk and having just quit the police force, moves to Madisonville for no other reason than to try and escape his demons in Chicago. We know something has gone horribly wrong in his life and that his brother, Garrett, died in the line of duty, but that’s all we know. My response to Jo when I got a draft of the first chapter was “This [Edward] just kills me because I know there's nothing I'd be able to do if I came across him like this. He'd resent any hugs or help, so I'd just have to sit back and wait for him to full on hit bottom without knowing if even that would pull him out.”
Our very strong, snarky, and loyal Bella lives in Madisonville and can “see” things in her dreams and in visions when she’s awake. She lives with Gran, who shares her “gift” as did Renee, who died when Bella was young and Charlie just isn’t a part of her life at this point. She has dreams about a mysterious man before Edward gets to town, but much to her surprise, they don’t get along at all once they finally meet. To be quite honest, they annoy the hell out of each other.
"Look, I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to give you the impression that I gave a shit…"
She narrowed her eyes in on me. Ya gotta love the eye narrowing. "You are… so…."
She shook her head at me and I didn't need to hear the next words that were about to come out of her mouth. I'd heard enough of her mouth for the time being, as a matter of fact, so I pushed her out through the open sliders... seeing how she was completely incapable of leaving on her own. "Make sure he takes you to Starbucks. Don't let him off with any of that cheap stuff."
"We don't have a Starbuck's here, for your…"
"Awesome," I said with the most mocking enthusiasm I could muster for her. "Then you won't have to think too hard about where to go."
I slammed the sliders shut and, when she looked like she still had something to say through the glass, I pulled the curtains closed.
Added to this mix is the ever-present Garrett, Edward’s dead brother. And yes, he is very much a presence in this story both in Edward’s memories, which give us the heartbreaking images of the close bond between the two brothers, and in Garrett’s attempts to communicate with Bella to somehow right some wrong and get Edward back to living his life again. I’m not going to lie; I have a huge crush on this Garrett even though he’s a spirit. He’s extraordinarily complex and is such a fully formed and layered character that I feel like he actually existed and is truly trying to do right by his brother. It’s a huge testament to Jo’s writing that I care so deeply about a fictional character who’s not even alive in the story.
As Edward struggles with his demons and Bella tries to interpret what Garrett is trying to tell her, Edward eventually begins to realize the chemistry they have together while Bella has known from her dreams that something would eventually happen between them.
Was she model type material? Maybe not, but she was sexy in her own way. I couldn't quite put a finger on it, but it was there. In every annoyingly insightful thing she said and every assumption she made. Every arched eyebrow and stubborn conversation…
It was like she had wound herself so tightly around my brain that I couldn't untie her. Couldn't quite get the knot started. Even if I wanted to.
It made no sense and yet I couldn't take my eyes off of her.
And then she appears in one of his dreams.
I wanted to feel her slick, hot arousal on my fingers… make her legs squirm with anticipation… lick her clit slow and deliberately and then bury myself inside of her, deep… deep inside of her… I wanted to hear her soft moans in my ear as I filled her with all I had, telling me I was good for something.
God… just to fucking feel… something… anything other than the torment I woke up with every day and that followed me into my dreams at night.
My margin note after reading this was “This whole paragraph was so hot and then broke my heart. And I mean that as a huge compliment – you’ve given us so much insight into him right here. What a hot, sexy, tortured man…” Jo truly writes an Edward with an intense backstory like no one else.
And because it’s Jo, you know the lemons are going to be squirm in your seat good.
"I can't wait any more," he rasped, pushing my body downward as he aligned his dick with where I was wet and waiting for him.
Then the hand that had pressed me back against the sheets of his bed moved to my hair again, taking a fistful tightly as he pushed himself into me. My eyes closed as he filled me, then his hand tugged at my hair, pulling my entire body up and flush against him once he was nestled deep within me.
My eyes fluttered open, noticing the mirror attached to the back of his bedroom door. It was directly across from us, reflecting my naked body being guided by his, and when I found Edward's eyes watching us, I felt like my entire being was being set on fire.
And his lips… they were at my ear. "It's like fucking breathing, being inside you like this," he told me, never breaking the eye contact we had with each other through that mirror.
His hand covered my breasts, and his groping was... fantastic.
I followed the movements of the girl across from me as she turned her head and tilted it just so, giving him access to places where he then nipped and licked and sucked and kissed as one hand remained in her hair and the other let fingers pinch themselves tightly around her nipples.
My eyes slowly closed themselves again while he continued to push, and I began to meet each thrust of his with some urgency of my own.
His breaths became hurried, and then he slid his legs outward, spreading mine for him so he could turn his fingers' attentions to my clit. When he circled that cursed swollen nerve ending, he murmured softly against my neck, "God you're wet... so fucking wet, Bella."
As they work together to solve a case of a missing child that is linked to a cold case of Edward’s back in Chicago, they get closer to each other. We get to see the cop Edward once was and he starts to become himself again and see the life he could have with Bella. Then his and Garrett’s past shows up in Madisonville, putting Edward and Bella’s relationship and lives in danger.
I know I’ve left things vague and that’s because unraveling exactly what happened back in Chicago and who was involved is intense and worth reading chapter by chapter to put it all together. All I can tell you is that here are a few of my margin comments from the last two chapters that have been posted. And yes… that is an awful lot of shouty caps. They were fully warranted.
- DUDE. GOING TO FUCKING KILL THIS MOTHERFUCKER. OMG.
- Oh Garrett… smacking some sense into people from the great beyond.
- This is killing me. I hurt so much for him right now.
- OH MY FUCKITY FUCK. I AM FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW. FREAKING RIGHT THE FUCK OUT.
- I can’t even say anything right now. I’m sitting here stunned. I knew he did it, but you made it fucking real. Really fucking real. I just have so many emotions right now that I don’t even know where to turn.
- HOLY FUCK. I was NOT expecting that.
And those are just a few of the f-bombs I dropped. You can see why Jo and I get along so well!
Blind Spot is FictionFreak95 at her very best. It has everything… an engaging mystery… the best damn Alice and Jasper I’ve ever read… a Bella you will adore… an Edward who has you aching for him when he’s hurting and cheering for him when he starts putting his life back together… a Garrett that you wish was looking out for you… It’s Jo fic perfection.
Quite honestly, I’ve never seen anything quite like it in our fandom before and it’s a refreshingly wonderful change of pace. It’s been a real privilege to read it, let alone beta it. If you haven’t already started Blind Spot, I have no idea what you’re waiting for. You’ll be so happy you did.
Crushing by MidnightLove87-rec'd by Kitty Vuitton
She's been crushing on him for years, this year she vows to make sure he sees her as something other than his pseudo little sister. Will he crush her when he shows up to Christmas with his new fiancée or will she crush him in return? AH Olderward. Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: Midnight Cougar
I am honoured to have been asked by the lovely Nic here at TLS to review Crushing for MidnightLove87’s win of Fic of the Week. It’s only the second story of hers that I’ve had the pleasure to beta, but we’ve been having a wonderful time with this captivating but “crushing” story.
He's 29 and she's just 20.
She's been crushing on him for years, this year she vows to make sure he sees her as something other than his pseudo little sister. Will he crush her when he shows up to Christmas with his new fiancée or will she crush him in return? AH Olderward.
Bella’s a Washington State University student who hasn’t had an easy personal life, having an estranged and distant relationship with her parents for many years, she once again finds herself on her way to spend Christmas break with her ‘pseudo’ family, the Cullen’s. This loving family encompasses her ideal family unit, including her best friend and WSU roommate, Rose; Rose’s brother, Edward, and their parents, Esme and Carlisle. The storyline twist is that Bella has been crushing on Edward, a free-lance photographer, who now lives in New York, for many years, and had now, as a mature young woman in her own right, planned to make her move. There is only one special present the lovely, young Bella wants under the tree this Christmas…
BPOV I slung my bag into the back of Rose's black jeep.
I let out a deep breath; it was hard to believe it was that time of the year again.
Of course, we all knew it was coming. All that cramming and sweating out tireless exams. Yep, it shouldn't be a surprise that it was the end of another semester; time flew when you were studying your ass off.
I hopped in and tried not to shiver as the cold from the leather seats beneath me seeped through my three layers of clothes.
The Jeep rumbled to life when Rose flicked the key and I quickly blasted the heat.
"Cold?" Rose asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Uh yeah, WSU radio said it was supposed to be like ten below today."
She chuckled, "Yeah it's a tit nipply out."
I laughed at her stupid joke, while shaking my head.
Rose didn't waste time, she knew it was a long haul back home to Forks and we needed to move to make good time.
The rush of white flew past as Rose drawled on and on about how excited she was about the holidays.
A younger version of me probably would've scowled at her over her jubilance, but I just smiled and pretended to be listening. Not because I didn't want to listen to my best friend talk about Christmas, no, because my parents were spending the holidays in St. Tropez. I wasn't jealous of them at all. Honestly, I could've cared less about seeing them this Christmas or what they were doing, considering the fact that it had been over a year since I had actually seen them at all.
I decided to concentrate on something much better and definitely more appealing.
I wondered if he would be there. Who was I kidding? He'd never missed a year before, why would he start now?
"What do you think you'll get for Christmas?" she asked as she plugged in her iPod and skimmed it for something good to listen to while driving.
All I wanted for Christmas was one thing. I wondered if this would be the year I got what I truly wanted…
Ah, that’s a very earnest question and the answer becomes increasingly ambiguous when Edward arrives with a Christmas surprise of his own…
Rose came running in.
"What's up?" I wondered.
"Edward's gonna be here in a minute," she said. I glanced at the clock and she was right.
"So?" I asked wondering what her fuss was about.
Her hands twisted and she sighed.
I narrowed my eyes at her wanting her to just spit it out. It had been a long enough day as it was;, I didn't need her messing with me over trivial shit just for the hell of it.
"He's bringing someone."
Her words silenced the room. Everything from the low hum of the TV, to the warm breeze blowing up from the vent seemed like it had fallen on deaf ears.
I gulped. She'd been trying to be a good friend and not hurt me.
Rose knew deep down that I maybe, sorta, kinda had a thing for Edward, but she also knew there was no way in hell I was going to ever act on it. For one, he was twenty-nine. If the nine year age difference wasn't cringe worthy enough, let's go with the fact that I grew up with him, meaning not only was he Rose's older brother, but he was also like one to me too. Weird huh? Yeah well that was me, crushing on my kinda, sorta older brother.
Rose was cool though, she found out a few years ago and other than a little teasing as to why I was putting mascara on to open up Christmas gifts, she was pretty understanding. She even encouraged me to do something about it once I was eighteen, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
"Like a girlfriend?" I hedged.
If it was anything more serious I didn't think I could handle it...
Rose nodded, popping her gum.
I breathed a sigh of relief, for a minute there I wondered if Edward had finally caved and gave into Esme's wishes for him to settle down.
A girlfriend was nothing to Edward. A dime a dozen. But not many had made it home, which was why Esme was constantly after him about growing up and finding a decent woman. Usually they were long gone by the time the holidays rolled around. I figured this one must still be new.
"What's she like?"
Rose shrugged. "He said she's Irish, that's all I know."
I nodded and in my head I pictured a homely frizzy haired redhead, with pasty white skin marred with ugly brown freckles everywhere.
"You okay?" Rose asked.
She was so sweet when she was concerned, but really I wasn't worried.
I nodded and gave her my best smile.
Nothing to really worry about there.
Oh Bella, I love her attempt to maintain a positive attitude, as she pines away for her swoon-worthy Edward. He’s a thought-provoking character in this story; creative, intelligent, successful, albeit a bit misdirected in his personal life right now, so it can’t be all that bad, right? Well, it may be to Bella when Edward introduces his girlfriend *cough* fiancée *cough* to his family, while Bella is sitting on the floor after she fell off her stool from shock and her reality is crushed, because Siobhan is nothing like Bella had hoped for or expected …
My breath caught in my chest as I fully took him in. His plaid shirt was rumpled and his white undershirt that clung to his chest made my insides clench. Edward was the same old, same old. Which still didn't explain why he was suddenly toting around Ms. Model. Sure, he brought in beautiful women, but they just never were quite this drop dead gorgeous. They were never quite so... above and beyond. Something told me this wasn't just about her being a sure thing...
"Hey Bella, it's good to see you're still just as clumsy as ever," he greeted with a warm smile that made my knees weak. They protested a great deal when his hand shot out and he wanted to help me up off the floor.
I couldn't say that I was content to stay on the floor, but I didn't think I was quite ready to get up. His chilly hand was demanding though, lifting me completely up and holding me steady until I back on my feet. It was so weird to have his hands on me. I had dreamt about many times, but actually having them all over me, in front of everyone, was really something.
And when I was standing, I could finally see those green eyes that I loved so much.
The moment was short lived though, when Esme's voice broke through.
"You must be Siobhan, did I pronounce that right?" she asked, focusing on the beautiful woman still standing at the door.
"Oh yeah, you nailed it!" Ms. Model replied, with a bright and cheery smile that made me want to gag.
She was five foot seven with long, slender legs that poked out of a tight gray wool skirt. She had on a deep violet silk shirt that perfectly matched her eyes. Yeah, you heard me right, violet eyes. And to make matters worse, the frizzy haired redhead I was expecting was in fact a smooth and straight brunette with deep red highlights. I swear, other than the slight smattering of freckles across her nose, I would never have called her Irish.
Crushing is an E & B fic, but we also have some original and attention-grabbing secondary characters to make the canon-like story, ever more absorbing. There are a few unusual pairings to enhance to the romance element, such as Rose and Paul; Rose as the best kick-ass friend Bella could ask for; Esme a cool and supportive mother figure, and Carlisle even has his sweet, cute Dad moments. Also, as Bella says, we have, “Paul, Ryan, Emmett, Jackson, and Devin. Yep, I knew them all because when I was growing up around here, I probably hung out with them as much as Edward did.” Devin is the sweetest original character I’ve read in a long time, he adores Bella and is the most hesitant about Siobhan. He agrees to help Bella by being her fake-dating friend to see if Edward may have more than “brotherly love” for Bella. Oh, and ladies, we get to see some entertaining and hot Possessiveward and Jealousward actions as a result!
We now have 9 chapters posted, and as the story progresses to this point, we revel in some quality time spent between Edward and Bella, but also experience that being around Siobhan, isn’t all sunshine and roses for Edward, Bella or his family; she may just be a “fire crotch” – Bella’s word not mine. lol I love Bella’s snark in this story, her spunky, sassy attitude will make you laugh and keep you entertained as you journey through her plan to have her Christmas wish come true. But, will that be as easy as she had originally thought? Will Bella be able to make Edward see her as more than his ‘pseudo’ little sister? And, will Ms. Model, a.k.a ‘Cinabun’ or ‘Cinabitch’ realize what’s going on around her, and how will she retaliate if she does? You will just have to read this gripping story to discover the answers to these questions and more! Please enjoy reading this Olderward tale that is well-written and updates weekly, to experience the turbulent, and at times ‘crushing’, journey of Edward and Bella toward their HEA… together?
Ethan Church by Dryler-rec'd by Edmazing
When Bella accepts an offer to write the biography of a severely reclusive author, the old, dying man she's presented with and the young, too perfect man she meets while there convince her she's missing some very important parts of the story. E/B, AU. Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: OnebraveLamb Fanfic
I was extremely excited to see Ethan Church won on the Fic of the Week poll. I’m a big fan. I think I’ve read it at least three times, but writing a review for it this week gave me an excuse to dive into it again.
So thank you to the voters for giving me an excuse to lose myself in a great story.
Ethan Church is one of those fics that’s easy to get sucked into. It has mystery and suspense, with a heavy dose of lust and romance. Seriously, what more could a girl ask for?
Dryler definitely has a way with words and part of my goal this week, aside from hopefully tickling your curiosity with my review, is to make you a fan of this author, just like I am.
The story starts out with Bella, a translator, receiving letters from a very well known, but highly reclusive author, Ethan Church.
Bella isn’t familiar with EC’s work, nor does she want to be. Bella isn’t an author. Or a biographer. She doesn’t want the job and responds with a definitive no.
However, she is curious. And as fate would have it, the next time she goes to her local bookstore, there are five Ethan Church novels just waiting for her to flip their pages.
Sorry, I just had a déjà vu moment there. Oh Twilight. Right, back to the review.
After reading straight through one EC novel, poor Bella is hooked. She buys all five novels and races home, where she can do nothing but read, eat and sleep for days. She plays hooky with work. She simply can’t ignore the call of EC’s words. Or the feeling that she’s left with from it all.
When she receives another letter from the prestigious author, assuring her that he’s made no mistake and has included all the means needed to travel to Washington state, Bella can’t deny herself or him and takes off on an incredible and mystifying adventure.
“I take another deep breath, attempting to find comfort in the stale, too warm air inside the car. It doesn't help. I need real air. I need oxygen, but the rain pouring down the darkly tinted windows makes fresh air an impossibility. It also means all I can see of the world flying by outside is the indistinct shapes and shadows of trees by the side of the road.
The sporadic twinges in my chest only seem to increase my anxiety the further we drive.
I glance briefly at my carry-on bag resting on the seat next to me and contemplate pulling out a book to distract myself, but I know there's really no point. I'd been optimistic when I packed it. I'd put in a variety of novels from the To Be Read shelf on my bookcase, and of course, a few choice selections from the stack of books that lives on my bedside table, the ones I can read over and over without them losing their appeal, the literary equivalents of a security blanket. It wasn't until I got to the airport that I truly accepted the futility of bringing them.
There in the airport kiosk, between a wall of personalized key chains and a display of shot glasses with Arizona written across them in yellow block letters, on a spinning rack of books was The Last Days of Summer with Ethan Church printed across the glossy new covers. I didn't stand a chance.
I started reading it as I waited for my flight to board, and I became so absorbed in it that I nearly missed my plane. I don't know who I sat with or what the inside of the plane looked like. I finished before we landed, but it left me mentally exhausted and thoroughly distracted by the slowly ebbing pulse of energy in my chest. By the time I met with the driver that had been sent, I could barely respond properly to his polite pleasantries.
The driver makes another turn, and suddenly the previous pounding of heavy water droplets assaulting the roof gives way to an occasional light spattering. I angle my head to look around the empty passenger seat out the front window. We're on a relatively dry dirt road barely wider than the car, flanked on both sides by impenetrable rows of tall trees. The treetops must be blocking out the rain.
With a sudden desperation, I open the window next to me. Cool damp air swirls in, ruffling my hair against my neck. My eyes slide shut as I take a series of deep breaths. It smells like rot, and earth, and rain. I let my head fall back against the back of the seat as the anxiety retreats 'til it's just a mild fluttering in the pit of my stomach.”
Once Bella arrives at Ferndale, Ethan Church’s home, and meets the elusive author, you get the sense that all is not as it seems. The man is charming, with a dry wit and very old. But the call of his words does not translate to the dying, elderly man sitting in front of our heroine.
Any guesses as to why that is?
Bella doesn’t know either. But she’ll soon find out.
“As I walk out the washroom door, another crack of thunder sounds; the window glass shakes in its frame at the end of the hall. I take a few steps in the dark towards my bedroom door before the thing in my chest starts pounding like a frightened heartbeat, but the sensation is almost completely drowned out by the panic that starts coursing through me.
I have the feeling of being watched again, but this time it's not a passive gaze, waiting patiently for the inevitable. It isn't until I hear the quiet rumbling noise that I realize the feeling is predatory. I flatten my back against the wall, staring into the dark corner by the window where the noise seems to be coming from. I stand perfectly still, my heart thumping in my chest, echoed by the thing lodged next to it.
Lightning flashes outside the window, briefly illuminating the end of the hall. The light spreads partway into the corner, and for a second I see a hard jaw-line, long neck, and, lower, a clenched fist all stark white and tense, but it's gone in an instant, even before the blinding light gives way to the country dark.
My hand frantically searches the wall for the light switch somewhere behind me, never taking my eyes off the corner, even though I can't see anything now. The lights flick on seconds later. The corner and the rest of the hallway are completely empty. If there's nothing there now, there mustn't have been anything there in the first place. Clearly staying in this house, in this storm, at this time of night is causing me to imagine things. My mind flashes to the nightmares and waking dreams Adelaide said she used to have when she first moved here as a little girl.
An awkward chuckle escapes my lips, and the slightly hysterical edge prompts me to pull myself away from the wall and continue on to my room. Even with my dismissal of whatever just happened I still don't take my eyes off the corner until my bedroom door is firmly shut.”
The next morning, Bella speaks with Mr. Church and as he begins to tell her his story, that feeling that has settled in her chest returns, though it’s not as strong. Almost as if she’s getting the story, but not in the right way. Not from the right person. It feels somewhat false, and empty.
All I’ll say is that Bella and her feelings are really observant.
Ethan Church is filled with mystery, drama and yes, a lot of romance. It’s one of those stories that will keep you hitting the next button like an addict in need of a fix, simply because you just have to know what happens next.
And no worries, my loves. This is, of course, a Bella and Edward story.
But that is all you’ll get from me. I want you to see for yourself, just how amazing the world of Ethan Church. Dryler has written a fantastic story, with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very end.
I sincerely hope you love it as much as I did.
Masen Days by PurelyAmuse-rec'd by Nic
3rd Place Winner in the Boys on Boards contest! Now an EXPANDED multi-chap! Bella meets Masen at the local skate park. He's a quiet, mysterious loner. She wants to help him, love him even. Will he let her? Or will he skate away like he always does? AH Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: Perry Maxwell
I'd love to use this space to gush about the author of Masen Days, Purelyamuse. She’s super talented. We found each other through the Fic My Fanfic contest. I was assigned as her beta, and we’ve been a team ever since. Her work is almost flawless, but more importantly, the way she writes has you feeling the emotions of her characters and leaves you wanting more. But enough about that, let’s talk about Masen Days!
Almost every girl has a memory of wanting the broody, good-looking boy in high school. The one who averts everyone’s stare, but when he looks at you, it pierces through your soul. The one who doesn’t say much, but when he talks to you, it’s all you ever wanted to hear. If you’re looking to experience those adolescent feelings that accompany young love and to experience the growing pains associated with getting older, then Masen Days is the story for you.
The story is told from Bella’s point of view, and we’re brought in just as Bella has moved from Seattle to Phoenix. She’s made a quick friend in Angela, who helps introduce her to everyone, including one Edward Masen. Quickly, Bella begins to notice idiosyncrasies about Masen that set him apart from others.
I have a lot of friends in English class, which is nice. I end up sitting next to Masen – Edward Masen. Who knew? He looks like an Edward but seems to prefer Masen, so that's what I call him. He visibly cringes when any teacher or student calls him by his first name. I wonder why.
But the thing that fascinates me most is his silence. Curiosity burns inside me, but I don't pry – not for his sake. I've seen him pull away from those who ask him too many questions. I don't want that, so I stay fairly quiet too.
As the story unfolds, we discover exactly why Masen cringes at his first name.
Using both hands, he tucks his shaggy hair behind his ears, breaking my concentration. That's when I notice something odd – the top of his right forearm is bruised and scabbed over.
Then we get to see the beginnings of a juvenile love.
"You have beautiful eyes," I say, and he makes no move to show me that he cares about my compliment.
I'm cleaning the clippers when his hands grip my hips again. He twists slightly, forcing me to angle myself toward him. When I do, I'm met with a fierce expression and a gruff whisper, "You can see right through them, can't you?"
Even though Masen doesn’t speak much, he does have a way of communicating.
He writes in his notebook beside me. I've noticed the act so many times but have never seen his words close enough to know what it says. Part of me wishes I were sly enough to steal it, so I could read his deep thoughts. And, truly, they must be deep considering how quiet he is. Maybe that's where he keeps his heart – in his notebook.
When I return home and toe my shoes off, I remember that Masen had them in his hands. I hold them up and try to make out his work. There are a lot of pictures of eyes, decorative curly cues and dots leading to nowhere, but, mostly, there are words. Lots of words.
One passage, in particular, catches my eye. I read it slowly, taking it in.
Open, authentic, debilitating. On my board, in my head, in my hands. Will she? Will I? Maybe never. Wanting.
I don’t want to give too much away, but to find the answers to Masen’s questions: Will she? Will he?, you have to continue reading. I promise it’s worth it.
One Night by Mamasutra-rec'd by Rose Arcadia
One night of confusion. One night of blissful wantoness. One night of illicit love. One night that makes you feel alive again from the risks taken Twilight - Rated: M
Reviewed by: InsertfangsHere
I have always been a big fan of Mamasutra’s work, but One Night drew me in just from the summary alone. It sounded sexy, dangerous and forbidden and I was hooked.
“I noticed the thin gold band on her left hand. It was dainty and matched mine perfectly.”
The opening scene sets it up with the two characters meeting in a bar. The mention of their rings led me to believe they were married to one another and maybe decided to spice up their love life with a little role playing. A great way to do that was to pretend that they were strangers. The lemon that follows the bar scene is one of the hottest one I’ve had the privilege of reading. It needs a warning label.
But things are not as they appear, and it’s shortly after that the reader finds out Bella and Edward are in fact married and have children with other people.
"Edward, Tanya, you do remember my sister Bella and her husband, Jacob, right?"
Jasper and Edward are business partners, and Bella is Jasper’s sister. This is one of many pivotal twists in this story. I was flabbergasted, but loved this story and it was indeed shaping up to be unique and intriguing.
There are cracks in their own marriages and you can see that Bella and Edward both do everything possible to be with one another, but the real question is why.
"He's happily married, Bella. That's plain as day to me and I barely know him," she said in a low whisper as she squeezed my hand while my blood ran cold. I had seen his happiness that afternoon as well, but wanted to refuse to believe that it was true.
"Oh, sweetheart," she whispered to me as she pulled me into a hug just like she used to when I was child and was hurting, except this time the hurt was too big for her to heal.
"He may be with you, but he loves his wife. That was clear as day to me," she whispered to me as I felt the sloshing of my stomach threatening to throw up the glass of wine I had just drank to ease my frayed nerves.
"He said he loves me," I said quietly as I felt stupid over his confession spoken between the red sheets that covered us after an afternoon of lovemaking.
This is when I began to feel that maybe the affair, and the “I love you’s” that they shared were one sided. That maybe Edward was stringing Bella along. I know they are both at fault for cheating on their spouses, but my heart went out to her.
Bella starts trying to do the right thing. She knows she can’t stay married to a man she no longer loves and decides to leave him. This news does not make Edward happy at all. My feelings for Edward start to darken and I feel as if he blames her for changing things and it makes him nervous.
"I love Jacob. I do, but we want different things and I just… I just need to move on before he gets hurt," she said as she tried to explain her motives, not that she owed me an explanation.
"He's a good man, Edward. He loves me, but I want more. I deserve more and so does he so I'm leaving," she said as she looked at me with a pointed look. I knew that look. It was the look she had given me in the past when she asked about us being together. "I hope you didn't leave him for me, because I never asked you to do that," I said as I watched her face fall over my words. "No you didn't, did you?" she asked me as I sat there looking at her, unsure of what to say. "And I'm not leaving Tanya now. It's too soon. I need time. Lillie is just a baby and I need to be there with her. I have a child with her and I…" I stammered as I tried to find the words that would keep Bella with me.
Even though the ball is in motion and it appears Bella is ready to leave both men, it is too late. Tanya walks in on their heated discussion.
“Don't do this," I whispered to her, looking into her chocolate colored eyes as she wiped at the tears that down her cheeks.
"I have to because you won't," she whispered to me in a throat voice, thick with tears as I held her to me, refusing to let her go since I knew once I did she was gone.
"Don't do this to me baby," I pleaded again softly before kissing her red lips as she stood there clutching me as tightly as what I held her. Our lips had barely met when I heard the shattering of glass causing us both to jump in fright as we turned to find Tanya standing at the end of hallway with a bag of what appeared to groceries at her feet watching as I held another woman in my arms. Her blue eyes were wide with shock as she stood there still as stone watching me with Bella. "Tanya," I said softly as if I was speaking to a scared child, while I slowly untangled myself from Bella who continued to hold on to me as I watched Tanya turn and leave the building. I broke free of Bella's embrace and chased after her barefoot while calling her name.
When I finished reading this chapter, I hated Edward, felt it in my chest. I do believe I may have told Mamasuta that he was unredeemable in my eyes. I have been reading for good while and you have to be an unbelievable writer to make me hate an Edward, and that has only happened a few times. I was devoted to this story and desperately wanted to see how these two panned out.
"Do you love her?" she asked me in a broken voice, a voice that showed her insecurity, an insecurity that I had created in her. I wanted to lie to her. I needed to lie to her. I needed to lie to her and tell her that no, my heart only belongs to her if I wanted to save my marriage, but looking into bright blue eyes that were blood red from her tears I couldn't. I couldn't lie. "Yeah, I do," I said softly.
I may have given Edward small kudos for being truthful and admitted that he loved Bella, but the damage has been done. Jasper and Edward’s friendship suffers and Mamasutra does an amazing job showing that cheating not only affects the two people involved but the people closest to them.
My feelings for Edward varied throughout the story, and this is huge for me. I am stubborn and when I dislike something I usually don’t change my mind, but I felt my heart soften for him. Bella isn’t easily as swayed as I was. It is a painful story that will keep you glued to your screen with the twists and complications from their affair, and hoping that things will work out for everyone involved. But especially for Edward and Bella.
I am very grateful for the honor of being able to review this story, and look forward to what happens with Bella and Edward next. If you’ve ever read any of Mamasutra’s work you know we are in for an amazing ride.