Penname: renee aubin [Contact] Real name: Renee Legris
Member Since: 28 May 2011
Membership status: Member
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Reviews by renee aubin
My Viking by she_viking Rated: NC-17 starstarstarstarstar [Reviews - 666]
Summary: Past Featured Story

 

Britain, 9th century:

Bella is captured by Vikings and brought with them to their homeland where her new fate awaits. Will she ever find happiness being a slave? Will it matter that she is given to Edvard, the chieftain of the village, to be his new bed thrall? 

 


Categories: Twilight, Canon Pairings, All Human
Characters: Bella/Edward
Genre: Angst, Erotica, Historical, Romance
Language: English
TWCS Romance Contest: None
Series: My favs past present and future
Chapters: 23 Table of Contents
Completed: No Word count: 137880 Read Count: 232171
[Report This] Published: 14 Dec 2011 Updated: 26 Dec 2019
Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 16 Mar 2020 Title: Chapter 10: Chapter 10

Yummy description of their middle-of-the-night coupling.


 


Smart girl:  ‘I was also of the impression that he loved me but I was not so foolish to think that my future was set. To the best of my knowledge many men were fickle creatures and as long as Edvard had not asked me to marry him I could not rest easy.’


 


She fully appreciates that life with Edvard ‘was beyond anything I had dared to dream for myself. Safety from harm was all I had hoped for …’


 


‘I gazed lovingly at the man beside me who was resting peacefully, naked and beautiful, and the sight made me smile.’


Me, too!


 


A lovely moment in the morning:  


‘"You are here," he simply uttered before tightening his arms around me and burying his face in my hair. "My beauty."


"I am," I whispered and rubbed my cheek against his chest.’ 


 


Wonderful, when Ester and Ro-se bring her new clothing:


‘"If he was not completely inept with a needle and thread I would ask Edvard to mend this himself for this looks to be the handiwork of my impatient son," she said.’


 


Uh-oh, Bella takes this to mean this is something he has done regularly, with many other women.  She could be right.


 


But this is sweet, from Ester:  "I shall happily mend any dresses that require[s] it to see my son smiling as he did just now."


 


Bella is understandably rattled when Edvard gives Jutta as a gift to Miki.  ‘Jutta would now be taken away from all she knew here simply because she had caught the eye of a visiting Viking.’  


I was impressed by Edvard’s insistence on how Jutta was to be treated.  I suppose it would have been unthinkable to ask Jutta what she wanted. 


A jolting reality check:  ‘I suppose I had somehow deluded myself into believing that we were like a large family when in reality we were slaves whose fate was controlled entirely by one man…’


 


I remain amazed at the things Bella has the nerve to ask directly, including why he never considered Jutta as a permanent bed thrall.  Interesting that his answer boiled down to “The gods wanted it that way, I suppose.”


 


True!  ‘After all, if Edvard had not taken a special liking to me I might have been the one who was being given away as a gift.’


 


She’s smart, too, that as delighted as she was to be called “my sister” by Ro-se, 


‘I did not want to tell him of Ro-se's assumption if it was not accurate. I did not want to seem presumptuous and I knew that simply being Edvard's woman was a great privilege…’


 


Good girl!


‘"I shall enjoy coaxing [your secrets] out of you, sweet Bella," he murmured. "I have many ways to persuade you." …


"I…I look forward to it," I whispered boldly, feeling my cheeks flame.’


 


But she could not possibly have expected him to start at the table in public!  


There’s that “heathen magic” again!


‘I found that my absolute mortification and dread that Edvard's ministrations might be discovered was mixing with desire and my mind clouded.’


 


When she admits that part of the reason she would not deny him is that she cares for him,


‘Where his eyes before held mirth and lust, they were now filled with warmth and tenderness. He smiled at me.


"My beauty," he said softly. "You may keep the rest of your secrets. That was all I truly desired to know."’


Wow!


 


Geez, then Edvard all but pisses on her leg over Jacob.  He even wants to know what she’d do if he denied her Jacob’s friendship.  Not his best moment.


 


Hmm, Edvard’s icy calm manner in denying Tonna and Einarr’s wish that he marry their sister is very effective.  Tonna sure does not like being told no!  And yikes, Edvard’s response is entirely misogynistic toward Tonna. 


 


It really is shocking how calmly they discuss the practicality of marrying Kata for the alliance and keeping Bella on the side.  And then how young Kata is - even Bella is shocked at that.


 


What a clash this turns into, neither side giving in.  When they’re alone and Edvard still does not calm down, this is a huge peacemaking concession from Bella:  


"I will still be yours," I whispered. "Even if you marry her."


 


But he doesn’t want to hear it.  “You are mine and I am yours. Is that clear?"


Those have got to be incredibly welcome words to Bella.


 


That was not even “makeup sex”, it seemed like pure “mine” sex.  ‘For the first time he seemed to focus solely on himself.’  At least she managed not to be frightened, and not to resist him.


 


She’s learning a lot about Edvard, or maybe about men:  ‘I understood that this was not the time for affection. His immediate need seemed too strong for something like that. …Surprisingly, I found that I did not mind being taken like this; so roughly and wildly and solely for his pleasure. I was his and he needed me.’


 


Nice:  ‘"I promised you joy each time we lay together and I shall honor it."


I remembered the vow of which he spoke and it made me smile that he did too.’


 


Yeah, he ‘honors it’ all right!  Whew!


 


An interesting situation:   "Einarr has a family of his own and desires peace. It is easy for Tonna to speak of war since she has no children.”


 


A good echo of canon:  "I have waited so long for you and I will not let you go now that I have you."


 


A scary moment at the pond when she thinks someone is watching her from the tree line.  ‘…they would know that I was alone here. Unprotected.


As I will be when Edvard leaves for his journey.’


When Edvard returns, she sees that despite his reassuring words, he too believes someone was there.  


 


A lovely concluding paragraph, showing Bella’s confidence in their growing relationship.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 08 Mar 2020 Title: Chapter 9: Chapter 9

‘I had known for some time that I harbored affection for Edvard and wanted to serve his every need. I wanted to ease his troubled mind, be his friendly harbor and make him smile.'

Aww, if that's not love, it's awfully close.  It's sobering to remember how true this is:

‘The sensation was unfamiliar to me and the notion even more so.' 

 

Nasty memories:  ‘I went into my marriage thinking that if I performed my duties perfectly, my new husband would treat me kindly and feelings might emerge.'  

Ugh, "performed my duties perfectly".  A standard that women of my mother's generation still believed in.  It probably haunts more of us today than we even know.  And it doesn't work now any better than it did in Bella's day.  The person hoping that being "perfect" will draw affection from the person with all the power, has no power.

 

Another layer:  ‘I did not even know the Viking word for love.

Does it exist at all?'

It's probably smart of her not to assume the concept is part of Viking culture.

 

Sigh, she's still ultimately powerless:  ‘Now I could only do my best to please Edvard so that he would follow his brother's example and make me his wife.'

But at least she has reason to be confident in his good character.  Not to mention the stellar sex!

 

Also, of course, she has to convince him that any children she might bear will be his.  How convenient that he had his spy.  And even though my feminist heart squeals in protest, this is sweet:

"Though you please me greatly by telling me this. I know that you are a good and honest woman and I am happy that you want to put my mind at ease now that you are in my bed once more."

 

OK, so she does have some leverage - even while she was not his bed thrall, he couldn't tolerate "the mere thought of another man touching you".   

 

This was chilling, the reason he completely trusted Jakob:

"I know of his wishes for the future and I control them."

 

Well-imagined scene in the main room, when E&B head to the bathroom.  I smiled when Bella saw Miki and Jutta:  ‘I found myself wondering if Edvard and I looked the same when we were together...' 

 

This is so much of what draws Bella to him:

‘I took all of him in with my eyes as I reached him and not too long ago I would have been terrified of the sight in front of me: A strong and powerful naked man with lust burning in his eyes was reaching for me. He could so easily hold me down and violate me should he want to do so, and no one would come to my rescue if he did. I knew this and yet I felt no fear.'

 

Good girl, getting inspired to bring her skills up to Jutta's.  The jealousy doesn't run only in one direction:  ‘I alone would be in Edvard's bed from this day forth. I alone would bring him joy.'

 

Interesting, although she has worked very hard, she has also eaten better than she did in her homeland, and her body has filled out.  ‘Not once had I gone to bed with an empty stomach...'  It makes me wonder how often that happened before.

 

Wonderful, when she asks if she can touch him:  ‘Edvard broke into a grin, lay back on the bed and raised his arms above his head thus giving me complete access to his naked form.  ..."Do with me what you will."'

Such a tempting invitation, and one suited to calm a novice.

 

Very good:  ‘I realized just how passive I had been during our previous encounters. That would change after tonight. He would never be in doubt of my desire for him again.'

 

Oh, poor baby, so frightened of fellatio.  He handles it just right, of course, including staying still.  This was particularly encouraging:  

‘"Do you recall how it felt when I did it to you?"
My eyes snapped up to his and my face flushed.

"Yes, you remember," he chuckled at my reaction.'

 

Re her husband's treatment of her:  ‘"I wish he were still alive that I might have the pleasure of killing him," Edvard said in a low and frightening voice.'

Go, Edvard.  Interesting too that he doesn't understand why she didn't / couldn't leave him.

 

Oh my, and when he talks about being sad about her weeping at night in the communal beds:

"I do miss my family," I admitted. "But mostly I...I longed for you."

Quite an admission.

 

She is so on the right track!

‘I surprised both him and myself when I grasped his wrists, pushed him back on the bed and raised his arms above his head. He surrendered easily and closed his eyes which prompted me to take a moment to admire him.'

 

It's chilling, though, how she keeps looking up to check that his hands are nowhere near her.

 

Ha ha:  ‘His lips sought mine immediately and it did not seem to bother him that I had just had his manhood in my mouth.'

A benefit of being clean!

 

Delightfully playful:

"All night?" I questioned. "Is such a thing possible?"

"Let us find out..."

 

Nicely said:  ‘I felt lost in his mossy gaze; so warm, so tender, and I never wished to be found again.'

 

I enjoy that your Bella can be so literal-minded.  When he asked if she enjoyed her orgasm,

‘I did not know why he asked for I thought it was evident that I did enjoy it very much.'

 

This is an interesting statement of why she feels safe with him:  ‘Edvard would not be careless with me and he would not harm me.'

That conscious carefulness is even more to be valued than lack of intent to harm.

 

Sniffle:  ""Bless her, Freja..."

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 18 Feb 2020 Title: Chapter 7: Chapter 7

It’s a pleasure to watch Bella’s knowledge of the world expand.  Specifically she talks about the Vikings’ industriousness and their personal cleanliness.  (That certainly fits with my Norwegian mother – she wore us out with cleaning and chores!)  And later she learns about their “strange heathen religion”, an oral rather than written tradition.


She also finds that Edvard has many virtues besides being handsome and wielding heathen magic.  I like these specifics:  ‘We ate as well as the family, the children were allowed to play and did not have many chores and never once did I witness violence.’  How many enslaved people throughout history had that much?


What a great moment:  ‘I was sitting on the edge of the bed, combing out my hair while lost in my own thoughts when I had the distinct feeling of being watched. I looked up and nearly dropped my comb when my sleepy eyes met the burning dark gaze which was Edvard's. On some level I knew that he had still wanted me even after I rejected him, but up until that moment I had felt assured that he had moved on, since he still took Jutta to his bed every once in a while.’  


And ‘even though it was no concern of mine, it still pleased me to know that they did not share affection.’  


Smile, after her erotic dreams ‘I always found it extremely difficult to take my eyes off him the following day and if he caught me looking at him I could not hide the blush on my cheeks.’


I’m sure he noticed!


Aww:  ‘But I did miss him, my Viking, and there were some nights when I was so lonesome that I considered running to his bed chamber to beg him to take me back…’


Jacob was kind to think of warning Bella what to expect with the visitors and the feast.  


Once again we run into a limit to Edvard’s power:  "It would be considered an insult if Edvard forbade them to touch his thralls during and after a feast. Not many Vikings treat their serfs as well as Edvard does, and they certainly do not care about consent from female slaves."


Oh geez:  "If you do not struggle they will not harm you," [Jacob] said... "And if you drink plenty of mead it will make you drowsy and not care so much."


Interesting that she thinks about “submitting” to her husband in much the same way.


Surprising – the Vikings treated one another the same as their offshore targets:  ‘Without the alliances we would every day face the risk of being attacked by other Vikings, and if they were victorious we thralls would be snatched up and brought back with the victors…’  I can imagine the “alliances” being carefully maintained from one generation to the next.


Her bafflement made me smile:  ‘I gaped at him. Was Edvard giving me a bath? What would ever possess him to do such a thing?’


Funny that he’s inept at washing her hair.  I suppose his wife always had servants to do it.  He certainly has figured out the pleasure of the bathing part!


Such a vivid image:  ‘The only sounds in the room were the crackling of the fire and our breathing. Mine; shallow and fast with nerves and Edvard's; deep and slightly ragged.’


A particularly well-done exchange, as he instructs her on what he expects at and after the feast:


‘"You will spend the whole night with me!" he growled.


My eyes snapped open in shock and I sat up straight. I was saved! I would not be violated by the strangers!


"Do not fight me on this, woman," Edvard warned, as he mistook my reaction to the news.’


And when he abruptly walks away, ‘I sat in the cooling water with the very distinct feeling that I had somehow displeased Edvard, but I could not for the life of me figure out how.’


I agree – he confuses me too!


The plot thickens:


‘I had thought it enough to merely dwell in Edvard's house to remain unharmed... I needed to be Edvard's woman to feel completely safe and this was what he wanted.


I want it too.’


Considering that she walked away from him mere days after arriving, this must certainly be true:  ‘I now had a slightly better understanding of the ways of this world and I confess that the more I learned, the more I realized how good and noble Edvard was.’


A sweet and hopeful moment, while he’s at the table drinking with his guests:


‘He must have sensed my eyes on him because he suddenly looked straight at me and I found myself lost in his mossy green gaze for a moment or two. Heat rose to my cheeks and my lips curved up in a smile. He regarded me with what seemed like caution at first but then his eyes warmed and he returned the smile that I had given him.’


Great wording:  ‘He was still in there, my Viking.’


I like her resolve:  ‘It would not be an easy feat to let go of my apprehension and fear of being hurt once more, but for my Viking I would try.’


Good for her:  ‘If I was to have even the slightest chance of becoming his wife I needed behave like a grown woman he would want by his side all the time and not merely use for pleasure.’


I wish she could say this to him out loud, although at the moment it’s progress that she even admits it to herself:


Be my Viking once more, Edvard, and I will gladly be your woman. Show me kindness, open your heart to me. Share your thoughts, please, and I will tie myself to you and never leave your side again.


I laughed at your author’s note that ‘We might just get a lemon if these two don't screw things up again.’  So it’s up to them rather than you, is it?  I believe you!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 29 Dec 2019 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Oh, SheViking, it’s so much fun to revisit this story from the beginning!


Your description of Bella’s captors was so interesting.  My favorites were ‘no better than animals walking on hind legs’ and ‘wild eyes that burned with the fires of hell’.  


 


Her thought processes between her capture and landing at the village were well imagined too.  It would be so terrifying not to be able to even understand their speech.


 


That lineup after landing is just one of the horrors of slavery that humans have inflicted on each other in so many places and times.  At least she was reasonably well treated up to that point.  I can understand why she wished ‘Murder me, vile creature!’


 


A good detail:  ‘I did hear both the laughter of children and dogs barking and I tried to hang on to those familiar sounds…’


 


Both surprising and strangely reassuring:  ‘Then I was most startled when a young fair-haired beauty came rushing in and jumped straight into the large man's arms with no fear.’  Whoa, Bella definitely has her own cultural blinders:  ‘could such heathens be capable of love?’


 


Clearly Es-ter has experience with captives, wasting no time arguing with Bella over her clothing or her bath.  There’s also comic relief that Bella’s not the only one repelled:  ‘She regarded my filthy dress with obvious disgust and threw it aside.’


 


Bella doesn’t seem to waste energy hoping to be rescued:  ‘The women back home who were taken by Vikings were never heard from again and I knew that I would not see my parents or my sisters…’ until after death.


An interesting question:


“You are a rare dark beauty," he said pensively. "And yet your skin is the color of fresh milk. Tell me, are you ill?"


This made me smile - she pushes back:


‘”Are you untouched?"


I did not want to answer his rude inquiry and remained silent.’


Edvard’s patience is limited as well:  ‘"You will not deny me what is rightfully mine," he threatened in a low voice.’


 


Truly good news:  ‘I will not be shared with others? Thank you, Lord!


 


Something I wouldn’t even have thought of:  Edvard is glad her husband has been dead for half a year.  "Then you are not with his child and I will welcome any children that you will birth."


Patriarchy is everywhere!  (rolls eyes)


 


Another thing I wouldn’t have thought of, Bella’s rights to her children:  "But what will happen to them?" I asked anxiously. "Will they be taken from me? Will they be mine?"  A little disturbing that Edvard says “they will be free because that is my will”.  Apparently the quality of their lives is entirely up to him.


 


Emundi and Ro-se ‘"have a great deal of affection for one another," he added wistfully.


Was he truly hoping for the same with me? I could not imagine it. Marriage was not something that I associated with mutual affection but rather the continuation of the family line and as a source of business.’


No doubt often true in his world as well.


Oh, good for her!  ‘"Why are you not married?" I asked boldly.’  His explanation of the liberal divorce rules was astonishing compared to the Catholic rules I grew up with!


 


Smile, very canon:  ‘"You have many questions," he observed.’


 


She was even brave enough to call him on having stolen her from her life.  He says “I feel no remorse."  I guess he wouldn’t if he were simply doing what he had seen all around him all his life.


 


Unlike her husband:  "I will not harm you, Bella. I gain no pleasure from witnessing your tears. Why are you so afraid?”  Boy, if he hadn’t had at least rudimentary English, they could not have had this conversation and he would not have understood the reason for her fear.  Wonderful:  “Thor's hammer, woman! Why would I strike you?"


 


Nor surprising that she asks “why do you care”, and I liked his answer:  “I prefer a warm and willing woman in my arms. I want you to smile when you see me and embrace me eagerly when we are alone."


 


There’s a lot of this:  ‘I did not understand the feeling but it was certainly not unpleasant.’  Her husband must have been totally indifferent/incompetent.


Good description:  she ‘chased a feeling that I did not fully comprehend.  I only knew that with each stroke of my Viking's fingers, my body wanted more and more…’


 


This made me laugh out loud:  ‘…everything in my upbringing told me that Vikings were wild and dangerous creatures who used human skulls for drinking mugs and were covered in filth. But Edvard was clean and so far I had only seen ordinary cups and mugs.’


 


Nice:  ‘His enjoyment in taking me should not be any concern of mine, and yet I found that I wanted to bring him pleasure just as he had bestowed it on me.’


Funny how it works that way!


Giggle:  ‘his heathen magic of kisses and touches.’


 


Unexpectedly sweet:  ‘He moved down my body and rested his head on my chest, his arms now around my middle. I weaved my fingers through his long hair and drew a deep breath.’


 


Poor baby:  ‘I felt so lost all of a sudden and my tears finally spilled over into sobs that I could not hide from Edvard.’  At least he has the kindness to hold her and let her cry.  Again, these folks have plenty of experience with captives.


 


Poor baby again:  “Do not leave me out there. Let me sleep here on your floor…”


 


Aww:  ‘I could not make heads or tails of my thoughts anymore. Too much had happened too fast and I started weeping again while I tried to explain myself in between sobs.’


 


Thank you!  ‘Bella's fear of being passed around to all the men is probably much more of an accurate depiction of the life of a slave girl, but I am neither interested in reading nor writing something like that.’  Thanks also for your research!


 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 06 Jan 2020 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2

Boy, Bella’s husband was such a jerk!  And really, she had no more protection in her marriage than the unfortunate slave we encounter later.


 


But with Edvard, ‘rather than feeling terrified that he would have his way with me, I found my body relaxing and enjoying his touch.’  


Yaay!


 


A nice surprise for her:  ‘the thought of me occupying his mind even at night pleased me to no end.’  Also a surprise in that she welcomed his interest.


 


I enjoyed her frequent speculation about his “heathen magic”.  Well, her experience with Edvard was so different from everything she had known, that magic might seem a good explanation.  


 


It’s a little sad that she’s so worried about sin.  ‘I felt as though I had become a stranger to myself, no longer knowing what had happened to the virtuous, good Christian woman that I had been just yesterday…’


 


I like that she’s honest when he asks if she’s OK:  "I do not know what is to become of me.”  It will be a while before she feels any confidence in her new place.


 


Aww, when she intends to get up and help his mother with morning chores: 


"You please me, woman," he said. "You are as kind as you are beautiful. A rare combination, indeed."


 


Interesting:  ‘Grown women did not wear their hair down except for sleep and most kept it covered…’  


 


Chuckle – on the ship ‘In truth all of the men had looked alike to me…’


 


Well said – and dangerous!  ‘Everything was so strange here and I did not like that I had to worry about making the wrong decision at every turn.’


 


Yes, this would be difficult to get used to:  ‘I was beyond mortified when I finally realized that they had heard the sounds of our coupling this morning and my eyes watered.’


 


Sigh:  ‘I had never been prone to weeping but since coming here it seemed that it was all I could do. I felt useless, scared and utterly miserable.’


 


That was startling when Bella didn’t know how to explain to Ester why she was upset, but Edvard wouldn’t let it go:  ‘"You will answer my mother, serf," he said with severity in his voice.’  Yikes.


 


Interesting perspective:  "Your husband gave you no joy and you gave him no children. The gods were not pleased with your union. I give you joy and you will soon give me children.”


 


Apparently he’s not intending to be patient about this:  “But no more talk of your god, understand? That part of your life is over."


 


Well this gives us something to look forward to:  "I do not enjoy your tears. I wish that you would smile for me. I have yet to see that."  Hopefully he WILL be patient on this score.


 


Wow, when they hear a woman being beaten/abused:


"There is nothing I can do," he said without emotion. "She is his property and he can do with her as he pleases. Be thankful that you were not given to him."


 


Seeing Edvard’s son sure brought up a whole host of social lessons, didn’t it?


 


Puzzling indeed:  ‘Who was genuine? The man I spent the night with who was affectionate whenever we were alone together, or the cold master who treated me as a slave when we were in the company of others?’


 


It was interesting (and scary) that if Arndis had been cheating on Edvard with Beni, she would have been severely punished, but because she followed the rules she was released to  marry Beni.  


 


In addition to the rational divorce rules, this is a big improvement over the world Bella came from (and that we are still recovering from):  ‘Illegitimate children were outcasts in the society where I had been raised but here they were revered!’


 


This is bound to eventually cause problems:  ‘I felt a spark of anger towards Edvard for wanting something so utterly indecent.’


 


A fun scene, the race to the tree after Edward strips.  Unfortunately Bella isn’t able to fully enjoy his playfulness.  ‘I am a good Christian woman and I will not fornicate in a field as though I were a beast!’


 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 15 Jan 2020 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 3

I have to admit that just having seen the new Dior Homme commercial, I have a particularly vivid image of this first scene, especially once it gets steamy!


 


Whew, poor girl, and he reacts so perfectly:  


‘Had I been of sound mind I felt certain that I would not have reacted so fiercely but as it were, my only thought was getting him off me. …


His weight was gone instantly…’


 


Wonderful:  ‘…he must be a great practitioner of their lustful heathen magic.’


And ‘He has the gift of words!’  Totally unexpected in a “savage”.


 


But there really is a conundrum:


‘When he gazed upon me with such adoration it was difficult to believe that he contained any coldness or that I could ever be frightened of him, but I knew that side was also in him and I would most likely witness it again when we returned to the village where he was master.’


I imagine if Bella had ever gotten close to the nobility in her own land, she might have found the same paradox.


 


This train of thought makes sense:


Why is he doing this? To humble me? To demonstrate his power over me? Is this a punishment?


But as soon as he began licking me those foolish thoughts vanished instantly.’


 


Smile:  "You do not truly wish for me to stop, do you, Bella?"


And yet this is true, when it’s done:  ‘… trying to catch my breath and filled with equal parts wonder and shame.’


 


I love your Bella:  ‘I knew that it was indecent to speak of such things but I had always been overly inquisitive and seemed to crave knowledge.’


 


I love this too:  “…the innocence in your statement only makes you more appealing to a wild savage such as myself."


 


And he finally gets the smile he has been hoping for!  (Well duh, he sure did earn it!)


 


Regarding Ro-se:


‘"She was a gift?" I asked.


I did not enjoy the thought of women being treated as objects that could be passed around and frowned.’


I wholeheartedly agree!  And yet our disapproval does nothing to change the world she finds herself in.


 


Aww:  ‘He reached for my gown and draped it over me before he spoke again. The small gesture to keep me warm pleased me beyond words. When Edvard did something so caring without even realizing it, I was convinced of the goodness of his heart.’


 


Interesting:  “I need a strong and able woman, as well as a beautiful one.”  And surprising, although no more surprising than it would be in Bella’s homeland:


"I also enjoy speaking with you and I hold your curious mind in high regard.”


 


Creepy, re the man in the village who beat his thrall:


"I am afraid he is most attached," Edvard said. "But he does not show it the way I and other men do by treating our women with kindness.”


And later when they encounter him:  ‘There was something unmistakably sinister about him, much as there had been in my late husband and I found myself wondering if all cruel men were somehow related.’


 


Boy would this be tough:


"If you witness something you must not meddle, do you understand?" he added after a while. "If you do I will be forced to punish you and I do not wish for it to ever come to that."


 


I liked that she’s honest with him about wanting to see his “manhood”.  


 


Sweet:


‘"You are a source of constant joy and wonder," he said and pulled me out into the deeper water.


"As are you," I whispered truthfully.’


 


A well-described transition:


‘We walked hand in hand until the village once again came into view and a look of regret came upon Edvard's face. Slowly, he released my hand and as I placed myself behind him with my head down I could sense a change in the way he carried himself. He walked purposely among his people, ignoring me the entire time as I struggled to keep up.’


 


I was as horrified as Bella by what Edvard said about her to the curious wife-beater.  


‘Tears stung in my eyes and I looked down on the ground, praying that it would swallow me whole. How could my Viking say such a thing?’


 


Sigh.  What a sad end to what was mostly a charming chapter.  Good job conveying Bella’s disappointment and confusion.  He had done so much to build her trust, and then *pouf*.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 25 Jan 2020 Title: Chapter 4: Chapter 4

Poor Bella:  ‘What has become of me?


In such a short time, too.


 


Ouch, her husband ‘had hurt me in the most brutal of ways but he had never made me a sinner. … Now I would burn in Hell and for what? A savage heathen, who brought me pleasure only to betray me, humiliate me and mock me for giving in to him easily?’


I’m skeptical that it would even be possible for Bella to communicate to Edvard how he had hurt her.  (Thinking of the struggles modern women have faced on the same issues over the last 50 years – impossible in her situation.)


 


Uh oh!


‘No more! He could take me daily but I would never again grant him access to my body willingly. ... He admired my bodily strength? Fine, let him feel my struggle against his advances then. He did not want a mindless woman? Good, for he would hear exactly what I thought of him!’


 


Oh, she got a good shot in here:


‘"You said that I was allowed to speak freely when we are alone!" I reminded him.


"If you were respectful about it, yes!" he growled.


"How do you expect a lowly whore such as me to know the difference?" I asked, with venom dripping from my voice.’


 


This is really the bottom line, isn’t it?  “Do not forget your place, Bella!”


She might have gotten very lucky in the master who chose her, but she is far from free.


 


‘And finally my fear overrode my anger. …  My tender and playful Viking with the beautiful smile had vanished and the man who remained was a stranger to me; a livid stranger who looked as though he was more than capable of inflicting bodily harm.’


But when she “cowers” before him, that seem to bother him more than her defiance.  Interesting!


 


A heart-wrenching line:  ‘I felt so alone and frightened that for several minutes I could not stand but merely rocked back and forth on the floor while holding myself because I had no arms but my own to find comfort in.’


OMG, then Ester remarks on not only Edvard’s but also Bella’s temper, and concludes:  "Bad thrall."  …   "You, good wife…"  And then observes that Edvard needs a strong wife, and Bella is strong in body and mind.  Totally unexpected!


I laughed out loud when Ester imitated Edward’s roar.  


 


Ester is remarkably cool-headed:  ‘I was slightly stunned that she trusted me to wield a blade already. Did it not concern her to hand me a weapon?’


She seems to trust her own intuition.


 


I enjoyed the scene of the women gathering for lunch, and commenting on Edvard’s assets.  ‘They all roared with laughter whereas I gasped at their impropriety and hid my face.’


But Bella manages to join in, good for her.


Hmm:  ‘The thought of seeing him every day but never again being alone with him almost brought tears to my eyes and this shocked me greatly. How had I become so attached this quickly?’


Oh shoot, and of course Edvard overheard her comment to the other women.  


Ouch:  ‘"You will spend the rest of the day in my mother's company for you have not earned the right to be in mine," he said without emotion.’


 


Wonderful:  


‘The tiniest of whimpers escaped my throat and he smiled triumphantly against my lips before covering them again with his own. When he finally released me I was panting, my face was flushed and I felt lightheaded as I stumbled away from him as if in a daze.


His magic has grown stronger still! Perhaps he was making a spell in his absence?


Heathen dazzling!


 


I wonder if this was Ester’s decision or Edvard’s?  ‘I was slightly stunned to discover that I was to dress as nicely as them for the feast.’


 


Dang it:  ‘"It is comforting to know that my beauty has no skills in the art of deception," he said with a grin.’


 


Wow, it is SO hard for her to distinguish who the "real" Edvard is, and how to deal with him:


‘I nodded wordlessly and swallowed back my tears. He would no longer see how weak I was, how I longed for his gentler side.’


 


This is Edvard, after all, so I don’t quibble with it – but it makes me think of all the women in lesser positions throughout history, and now:  “You will find life much easier when I am pleased with you.”  How many have felt they had no choice but to yield, and abandon their true selves?


 


Interesting backstory about how her parents had struggled to feed her family.  Downright creepy though:  ‘I had noticed that food had not been lacking this past winter when I had returned to my family's house after my husband's demise and I felt certain that my father had received a pretty penny for me when he gave me away.’


When he sold her, in other words.  Marriage is so romantic...


 


At least he expresses some sympathy for her sadness at the loss of her family.  Even though he and his crew were the ones that took her from them.  Aaarrrgghh!


 


But then, a charming story about Ro-se and Emundi's early days.  She still didn’t have the choice to go home, though.


 


I’m with Bella on her final thoughts:


‘”Let us have a wonderful night."


Yes, master, I thought darkly.’


 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 01 Feb 2020 Title: Chapter 5: Chapter 5

I’m enjoying her regard for Emundi:  ‘I found it beyond difficult to think anything negative about him even though he was the one who had brought me here.’  It no doubt makes it easier for her to be among these strange people, when she likes one of the key men.


 


So let me get this straight, Bella has to sit attendance on Edvard while he’s eating, just in case he wants something, and doesn’t get to eat until he’s finished?  Grrr.  But not that different from my parents’ household, where mom never really settled into her dinner until dad left the table.


(Actually, we ALL enjoyed ourselves more after dad left the table.)


 


When she doesn’t take a big portion for herself, and he asks if she’s OK.  ‘It was not my body that was weary but rather my soul. I wished that I could be perfectly truthful with him and tell him exactly how I felt, but I did not want him to know how badly he had wounded me and how much power he wielded over me.’


Not only that, he’s made it pretty clear he doesn’t want to hear about her weary soul.  


 


No doubt!  ‘… it was also my impression of most men that they were not prone to dwell on emotions, and perhaps he thought that I would forget our altercation.’  


More like, felt entitled to demand that she forget it!


 


Ooh, creepy:  ‘…I made the mistake of raising my eyes to the room. I startled when I realized that almost every man in the room had his eyes fixed on me.’  That would not make her feel safe at all.


 


This seems to be a cultural difference, too:  


"Everyone is looking at me," I said quietly.


"Naturally, my beauty," he said with a smile. "You are a joy to gaze upon and I cannot take my eyes off you myself."


In much Twific we get a ridiculously possessive Edward.  Not that this Edvard would tolerate anyone touching the goods, but he practically enjoys their looking and their envy.


 


That was a nice moment when he feeds her the pear cooked in honey.  ‘I had never enjoyed a meal so much in my life.’  I suspect if he had just given her the bowl and sent her off to eat it in a corner, it would not have tasted nearly as yummy.


 


This would have unnerved any woman, but with Bella’s experience…


‘I looked up into icy blue eyes and immediately I felt an all too familiar sense of dread. It was the same feeling I got every time my late husband returned home and I smelled the drink on him. I was in peril.’


What a time for her to find out that sometimes Edvard will be travelling for a while, leaving her to cope with others who might want her.  


And what a nasty prospect:


“Perhaps he will return from his journey with a new bed thrall for himself and you will be passed on."


 


Sad but true, they’re so new to each other:  ‘I did not know anything about Edvard's character or how loyal he was towards his woman.’


 


A fun light moment when Emundi drags Bella onto the dance floor.  And an abrupt (and potentially hot) end to the dance:


Emundi ‘swung me around one last time when the music came to an end but before he could put my feet on the ground, Edvard appeared out of nowhere and threw me over his shoulder. He walked hastily towards his bedchamber and behind us I heard laughing and cheering as he carried me off.’


 


Aww…  ‘…thankfully he still handled me with care and there was no pain to be found. But there was not much in the way of pleasure either. My mind was too occupied with dismal thoughts and my heart to[o] heavy with hurt to enjoy what he did to me.’


 


Oh, sad:  ‘He genuinely seemed to care and it broke me because I realized that I truly did want him to. .... I wanted to be his adored and cherished woman, but I knew that I was no such thing to him.’


 


Well, at least he stayed in the room with her while she sobbed her heart out.  He could so easily have run off.  But then, though he doesn’t display a temper tantrum, he is quite cold to her.


Uh oh:  "You have said quite enough, Bella.”


 


I was a little surprised that she begged him to let her stay in the household, but what other alternative did she have?  


 


This could have gone worse too:  "Go to bed, Bella," he said. "It is not your place any longer but I will not have you humiliate me in front of my men by going out there to sleep tonight.”  His fear of his own humiliation spares her a worse fate, but he doesn’t even seem to think of that.


 


Quite a moment when she wants to say “one more thing” and he shuts her up.  At least he took out his temper by throwing some innocent object against the wall rather than Bella.


 


‘All I knew was that I was no longer Edvard's bed thrall and my life was only going to get harder now that I was not in his favor.’  Certainly true.  And she doesn’t seem to have realized yet how painful it will be to see him with a new bed thrall.


 


Her character is remarkably consistent, that even at this dire turn of events, she is grateful that she will not be tempted to “sin” again.  


 


Is this really true?  ‘I would have to remind myself that at least I was not being beaten and abused as I undoubtedly would have been by another Viking.’  Of course slaves and serfs the world over had/have precious few (if any) rights, but is Edvard that much of an exception?


 


Sniffle:  "Farewell, my Viking.”


 


So NOW what???


 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 09 Feb 2020 Title: Chapter 6: Chapter 6

We’re on tenterhooks now, wondering what Bella’s post-bed-thrall life will be like.


 


Worrisome:  Ester ‘greeted me with a warm smile which made my insides ache, for I knew that it would most likely be the last one I was ever to receive once she learned that I had rejected her son.’


That’s a good distinction, that it was Bella who rejected him, not the other way around which must have happened before.  I wonder how Edvard will “spin” this with others in the household and town.  But Bella does believe that others in the household know what happened, at least the outcome.


 


I was a little surprised that she was still expected to serve him meals.  Maybe any thrall might be assigned to do that?  


 


I love the way she says this:  "Edvard, I…I am sorry," I whispered and shifted my weight. "That I could not be what you wanted."


 


Interesting way to look at it:  ‘I almost envied these heathens their ignorance that they may fornicate without a care in the world and simply enjoy the pleasure they felt.’  But she would be convinced the “heathens” were destined for hell, so it’s not a simple trade!


 


I liked your making Jacob a countryman of Bella’s, a great reason for a warm friendship.  Good story about his mother refusing to let go of him when she was captured.  


 


Ooh, fun to get a glimpse of Edvard and Emundi’s father!  Nice, Edvard and Jacob "grew up together and were as close to friends as two children of different stations in life can be.”


 


Jacob certainly encapsulates Bella’s dilemma re being Edvard’s woman, and suggests she has misjudged him.  Ah, she is surprised that Jacob describes Edvard as being “lonesome” after his wife’s death.  


 


She really has a puzzle to mull over now, with the paradox of Jacob’s view of how Edvard views his woman – plus her own sweet experience – versus the way he had spoken of her to Jamarr.  ‘But what would be the purpose of Edvard's slander if he did not care about Jamarr's opinion? Why had he felt the need to demean me in such a humiliating way, tainting everything we had done together?’


I’m confused too!  But I bet he has no idea how strongly she reacted to that encounter.


 


She tells Jacob ‘”I wish to remain in Edvard's house."


It was the only steady point in my life, and the mere thought of being married off to a stranger made me quiver with fear. At least here I knew what to expect... And I would still be able to see Edvard every day.’  


Aha!


 


Smile:  ‘…a handsome man who knew the wickedness of my flesh before even I did.’


That’s the best kind!


 


Hmm, interesting opportunity for a private conversation after she “swoons” out of exhaustion while cooking and burns her hand.  This was a great line:  ‘"What happened?" I whispered and closed my eyes, not wanting to see the cold amidst all the beautiful mossy green.’


 


I have to hand it to Bella, she takes advantage of every chance to tell Edward what’s on her mind.  What a relief, being reassured that he has reconsidered his initial words:  "I spoke too soon when I said that you did not have a place here in my house.”


 


On the other hand, she learns ‘I must not touch Edvard again.


I felt a pang of sadness at the thought of never feeling his arms around me but it could be no other way with us.’


 


A nice moment:  ‘…the women began to sew and make wool into yarn. I could not help but smile a little when I settled among them with a needle and thread of my own. This was familiar to me. This I could do without worry or fear.’


 


Oh, he has heard from someone about Jamarr’s approach to Bella during the feast.


‘I raised my face carefully and fought the urge to wince for I felt certain that I would be struck.


Edvard had a most foul temper and no matter what I did, I ended up displeasing and disobeying him.’


Hard to argue about that.


 


Oh my, when she questions his intentions with Jutta, 


‘He was out of his chair immediately and pinned me against the door with his large firm body.


"What I do with her or any other woman is no concern of yours!" he hissed angrily. "You are but a serf! You…you do not mean anything to me!"’


Huh, just a moment before I would have sworn something different…  And then I laughed out loud when the door closed behind Bella and he ‘let out an angry roar which caused me to flinch followed by the sound of furniture breaking’.  


 


Ugh, so much more consequential than all the boys swarming around at Forks High:


‘…when I saw a few of the other male thralls give me hopeful looks and make room next to them, I found myself moving towards Jacob with a thundering heart.’


 


Good to know:  "Edvard only allows fornication among the thralls so long as both are willing."


 


Sigh:  ‘I could certainly not obtain rest with such impropriety going on all around me and attempted to think of something else.’  


 


Aggravating to think about:  Jutta ‘would never think to reject [Edvard] and would gladly lie with him without feeling so much as a shred of guilt.’


But it’s not as bad as it could have been, when Jutta returns to the common room to sleep:  ‘Edvard slept alone tonight and I could not stop myself from foolishly hoping that perhaps he would think of me a little while before falling asleep.’


 


Oh my gosh what a lovely moment when Edvard comes by her bed:  ‘I felt his eyes on me and next my cover being pulled up around my shoulder to better keep me warm. His hand stroked my hair gently for a moment before I heard him stand up and walk away.’


 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 26 Feb 2020 Title: Chapter 8: Chapter 8

Hmm, I wonder if Edvard was showing off a little, or at least taking some pride, by speaking to Bella in his language in front of his guests.  This is reassuring too:  He spoke to her slowly because ‘He did not want me to appear incompetent in front of his guests…’


Wow that would be a shock that one of the presumed warriors turns out to be female!  I hope you will comment in your notes on whether this really happened.


I guess she has to get used to this:  ‘He began stroking my side again and I stood awkwardly by as they continued to speak of me, almost as though I was not there.’  At least he doesn’t repeat the sort of crude comments he exchanged with Jamarr.


Interesting, her observation of the sense of community among the visiting thralls and Edvard’s.  Yes, who would your friends be except people who shared a life similar to yours.


Aww, so sweet:  ‘He looked so handsome in his new tunic which matched the exact color of his eyes. I was the one who had made it for him and this was the first night he had ever worn it.’


 


Wow, she’s solving some of the mystery:  


‘I had spent enough nights around the fire watching Edvard interact with both his family and the other thralls to know that he was at heart a good and kind man. The powerful chief in front of me was not the genuine Edvard but rather one he had to portray in front of his guests and I would help him keep up his deception this night because it mattered to him.’


Wise choice, for a wise reason.


 


An interesting puzzle:  ‘Each time he would stroke my hair or touch my hand affectionately I wondered if he did it because he enjoyed it or because he knew that we were under observation [from his guests].’


Lovely that he chooses to comfort her about her sadness from missing her sisters, rather than lecturing her about her life being here now.


 


This was a fun exchange with Emundi:


“Will you bring my brother enjoyment this night?"


…I blushed furiously at the implication but nodded just the same since Emundi was my master as well and I would not offend him by not answering his query.


"Freja be praised!" he grinned. "Then you make me happy as well."


Also just a bit startling, as it’s easy to forget Emundi is also Bella’s master.


 


OK, so what the heck was that conversation with Tonna and her companion?  “I trust that you will value our friendship higher.”  Higher than what, exactly??


This might be dangerously willful for Bella:  ‘I knew that something was the matter which he was not sharing with me. I vowed to make him talk to me once we were alone…’  Make him talk?


Yes, thank goodness for this, as the evening’s carousing ratchets up:  ‘I was happy to see that none of my fellow thralls seemed distressed…’


The strictures from Bella’s homeland seem to be loosening:  ‘I knew that the way into his heart went through his bed…’  This makes sense too:  ‘Perhaps not being surrounded by people who were constantly telling me that my body was sinful had also changed my outlook on the matter.’


She seems to be reconciled to keeping her true religious convictions and practices to herself, as well.


Definitely not good:  ‘Edvard simply took off his tunic and slumped down in his chair in front of the fire, looking as though all the burdens of the world were on his shoulders.’  It’s delightful that Bella takes the initiative to do what she can to soothe him.


Oh!  Edvard’s wife had been the sister of Tonna and Einarr.  That explains some of their familiarity with him.  So he’s being pressured to marry again to strengthen their alliance.  Makes sense, a single man of his rank would be quite a prize.


 


This would have been such good news before tonight:  


"Why will you not leave me be? Why do you visit my dreams at night? Why are you in my thoughts before I sleep?"


But now:  "Will you continue to vex me when I am married?”  Yikes!


 


Well finally, Bella gets to say exactly what she’s been feeling.  That’s a relief.  Some excellent dialog:


“Can you not see how you wounded me that day? I have only rejected you because I fear that you will hurt me again if I confess that I want you still and that you are in my thoughts and dreams as well! I desire you and it terrifies me!"


 


Wow she gets straight to the point:


‘There was but one thing I needed to know before surrendering myself to our mutual desire.


"You will not marry another?"’


 


This made me chuckle, her use of such a formal word:  ‘I had never done this standing up and gasped in surprise that it was even possible to fornicate in this manner.’


Perfect make-up sex!


 


Uh, Bella, you might be getting ahead of yourself just a bit:  ‘This is why the good Lord brought me here. To be with Edvard, for both of us to have a happy second marriage and have children with one another.’  


He only said he wouldn’t marry someone else, not that he would marry Bella.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 27 Mar 2020 Title: Chapter 11: Chapter 11

Oh yes, I remember this chart from the first time I read this story, long ago.  It’s still just as hard to read.


 


What a nice, and unexpected, apology from Emundi to Bella.  The recognition from him and from Ro-se lends a different kind of solidity to E&B’s relationship.


 


I laughed out loud at Emundi’s fear that Ro-se might hex him.  


 


Unexpected parallel with Bella’s homeland:  ‘I shivered lightly at the thought of the kinds of dark magic that might dwell in this land for I did believe in it.’


 


What a relief that Bella is finally confident of the difference between the behavior between them in public and in private.  I actually liked that she said “As you wish”, to acknowledge Edvard’s public status.  It sure didn’t fool Emundi, though!


 


Smile:  ‘… my new favorite task of warming our bed and pleasing my Viking.’  She even begins to take pride in her place in Edvard's house.


 


I like too that she is deferential with Ester, asking for permission to go talk to Jakob.  


 


Whoa, I guess Edvard has been very successful at maintaining his fearsome public image, if the other thrall (who turns out to be Jamarr’s) is grateful she’s not in Bella’s position.  She thinks of Edvard as ‘a terrible beast with his large muscles and cold eyes’.  I wonder if her shock at Bella being on her own out of the house, is partly due to Bella using Edvard’s given name.


 


Ah, yes:  "Do not speak his name!" she hissed. "He does not allow it!"


 


What an evil dude, implying a threat toward Ester or Ro-se to distract Emundi, while Edvard is travelling.  Bella surprises even herself:  ‘Never before had I encountered such a craving for violence, and though it startled me greatly, I did not regret my harsh words.’


 


I imagine this is sadly true of a slave:  “I could kill you this instant and all your master could do was demand payment."


 


This could have been over very quickly if Bella hadn’t fought so hard.  Sad but useful that ‘I had grown accustomed to pain from the hands of my cruel husband’.  Ugh:  ‘My husband always spared my face during his abuse but Jamarr had no such reservations.’


 


I liked that when Ro-se jumped on Jamarr, Bella wondered if she might be Freja.  But after he injures Ro-se he knows he has made a fatal error.  I loved that in Ro-se’s reply to him, she doesn’t back down one bit.  


 


Do not mess with Ester!  "No!" Ester said with authority. "You will find the one who did this to my daughters and you will bring him back here, preferably alive that I might witness as you claim his worthless life."


Of course it’s great that she says “daughters”.


 


Amazing scenes between Edvard and Bella after the brothers rescue the women from Jamarr’s house.  

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 04 Apr 2020 Title: Chapter 12: Chapter 12

Oh my gosh, starting the chapter with Bella’s nightmare scared me!  I thought maybe we missed something that Jamarr did.


 


That was a touching detail, that the whole household was still up, but silent, upset over what had happened to Ro-se and Bella.


 


As much as I hate to think of women being cooped up in their houses in order to be safe, Bella may at least need to be more cautious:  ‘Had I not acted foolishly and left the safety of Edvard's house none of this would have come to pass. … I had always thought myself a clever girl but clearly that was not the case, after all.’


When I think about it, she’s only been out of the house with Edvard or Jacob, and who’s going to cross either of them?


 


This was affecting too:  "She is in pain," Ester said to Edvard. "Sit her down gently and have Lina fetch a remedy for your Bella."


Your Bella, indeed.


 


Oh, good for Ester:  "Bella," Ester said, following my gaze. "I do not deny that my son has a strong need for female company, but you are his chosen woman. Behave as such."


Oh dear, Ester’s story:  "I was not a maiden, and for a free woman that is of the utmost importance when entering a marriage," Ester explained. "It was not my choice to lie with the man who took me first, and while all were sympathetic it did not change the fact that my options were limited.”


So fracking unfair, then and not so long ago here!


 


Ah, that explains the house rules that we heard earlier:  “Still, I do not tolerate such actions in this house and I make sure the thralls and my sons know this."


 


Sigh, wonderful description of Edvard’s personal care, helping her clean up after the assault.  


Her reactions are not going to be rational for a while:


‘"You…you must not fear me, Bella. I could never…"


"I know," I nodded and blinked back the tears in my eyes.’


Aww:  ‘I slipped off the dresses myself, desperate for Edvard to leave and equally desperate for him to stay.’


 


What suspense when he asks whether Jamarr actually managed to rape her.  Very well written.


 


Sniffle:  "My brave woman," Edvard whispered. "You possess such strength in both mind and body."


 


OMG, and then he gets in the bath with her!  He’s such a stunning blend of tough guy and sweetness.


 


Can’t even think of the right word – sad? Terrifying?  Hopeless? when she realizes ‘I was property, through and through; a favored pet.’    And ‘Even if I birthed Edvard’s children I would still only be a glorified whore in the eyes of Viking society.’


Edvard wants her not to say these things, but it’s true!


 


Uh oh, so what does Edvard blame himself for?   


“Gods, what have I done?” I heard him whisper. “Forgive me, my Bella. Forgive me.”


 


Shudder:  ‘Any free man could force himself upon me and would suffer no consequences so long as he had silver to pay my master for lending me a short while.’


 


Interesting, when Lina brings her breakfast in the morning:  ‘…I immediately felt guilty for having felt jealous that she had smiled when Edvard spoke to her the night before. She lived for pleasing her master, same as me…’


 


A wonderful portrayal of Emundi’s devotion to Ro-se.  And his continued kindness to Bella.


 


Ester hits the nail on the head:  "There is nothing to forgive," Ester said. "Ro-se made the decision to rescue you and while it has cost her dearly I very much doubt she regrets it."


 


Interesting that the herbal remedies are the province of women.  It gives them some power, anyway.


 


Ominous when Edvard returns home and is obviously tense about talking to Bella.  ‘All I wanted was to run to him, to embrace him now that we were alone, but his stance told me that I should not.’ 


 


What a twist, Bella’s change of home and of status!  Not at all surprising that she’s confused about Edvard’s intent.  So because she will now be free, the consequences if Jamarr or anyone else should come after her are drastically different.  I’m not clear why she had to leave Edvard’s house, though.  She couldn’t live in his house as a free woman because … she’s not a relative?  He thinks she’d be safer while he’s gone?  And no longer being his bed thrall – what an exchange.  


 


And as with Jutta, no one asked her, or even explained it to her till after it was done!  Good intentions, I’m sure, but arrrgghh!   

Summary: Past Featured Story

A change in the past makes an early intervention necessary for the Cullens. This story is complete and I will upload one or two chapters each week.

fs


Categories: Twilight, Canon Pairings
Characters: Bella/Edward
Genre: Supernatural
Language: English
TWCS Romance Contest: None
Series: None
Chapters: 59 Table of Contents
Completed: Yes Word count: 253021 Read Count: 125952
[Report This] Published: 12 Oct 2013 Updated: 06 Oct 2014
Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 12 Feb 2014 Title: Chapter 21: Chapter 21

Good summary of Bella's view of Edward's actions that appear pushy to her. 

And then when he wants to spend some time with her ‘Why was he bothering her? He had been parted from his family for over 50 years; didn't they deserve some of his attention? It wasn't that she didn't wish to spend time with him; it was more that she felt she was the butt of a joke. There was no way someone like him would be interested in someone like her.' 

Uh oh.  Then she thinks it isn't just Edward's joke:  ‘She had done everything she could to help the Cullen's and now they just made fun of her. She wasn't a friend, she was more a pet...'

Well imagined:  ‘...she struggled and twisted until he had no choice but to let her go or hurt her.'  She may not be able to overpower a vampire, but she's not helpless.  I like that she manages to get away to the beach, to have some time to herself.

This thought has to occur to all the Cullens from time to time:  ‘It would look strange in the cold weather if he was seen standing at the roadside for any length of time without a heavy coat. Sometimes blending in was just too much trouble.'

I wonder if you intended a parallel between the Cullens' inabililty years ago to understand why Edward left after the arrival of Alice and Jasper, and their inability to understand now what happened to upset Bella. 

Interesting where Esme's mind goes as she's surveying the cottage for renovation:  ‘If Bella stayed human she could decide to try artificial insemination. How Edward would react to that, his mate pregnant with another man's baby, was anyone's guess. ... Vampires weren't known for sharing when it came to their mates...'

Ah, this time it's Esme that has the insight about what's bothering Bella.  ‘Unlike Esme, she hadn't just suffered 4 years of that sort of treatment, she had never known anything else, it was little wonder that she was overwhelmed by the attention of, not only Edward, but the Cullen family on the whole.'

I'm enjoying the friendly/brotherly relationship with Jacob.  Unfortunately SM managed to spoil all my affection for Jacob as he had no clue about boundaries.

Great quote:  "I used to think that it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

This is Bella all right: "You are so unlucky; there are very few tides a year that cover that barrier."

Nice insight:  ‘Jacob didn't look ashamed of his room as she would have... She had never realised how ungrateful she had been to Charlie for everything he had done to make her comfortable, she had just seen what was missing, not what was there!'  It's harder to keep that perspective when the ridiculously wealthy Cullens are in your face all the time.

Funny:  ‘The day before she had woken in her bed with a relative stranger beside her, today she was sleeping in a relative stranger's bed, and not even the same stranger!'

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 20 Jul 2014 Title: Chapter 51: Chapter 51

I love your Charlie.  He's so unflappable in the midst of all these excitable mythical creatures.  My favorite line:  ‘"When's the wedding?" Charlie asked, taking another swig of beer.'

 

Snicker:  ‘It was like a tennis match as so many people turned to the gorgeous woman, then the wolf then back again.'

 

Good for you for directly addressing the issue that imprinting can't be explained as "improving the bloodlines" if it can happen with a vampire.  Which makes Leah's situation all the sadder.  I sure hope she gets an HEA for a change in this story!

 

Also, this is so typical of ruling bodies of every kind:  ‘Of the whole council who attended only Uncle Quil was ever a wolf...' 

 

A good detail:  ‘Carlisle stepped towards the wolf, accidently getting in the path of his gaze, the huge wolf stepped sideways to keep his imprint in view.'  And funny that Jacob doesn't phase back until a particular part of him calms down.

 

I like that Carlisle steps in to slow down Jake and Tanya, so they both have a moment to think about how this will change their futures.

 

Thank you for this:  ‘If he was honest, during her human life she could not have been termed a true beauty by anyone but himself...'  It's so boring when plain Bella Swan somehow morphs into a supermodel when she arrives in Forks.

 

This made me smile:  ‘It was going to be hard enough on her to wake to her new life when she wasn't expecting the change yet, without him behaving like a horn dog.' 

 

Good use of the wolf pack, blocking the newborn's path toward the town.

 

Excellent:  ‘Bella took the opportunity of his mouth being open to kiss him fully for the first time, no worries about his sharp teeth now! So much for her being disorientated or not remembering him!'

 

I enjoyed Emmett being immediately bounced out of the room due to his usual excess of enthusiasm.  Cool too that her shield is selective enough to push away Tanya but not Jake.

 

‘Bella should have gone on alert at the presence of a strange vampire, never mind a werewolf, Edward was as confused as Jasper when she waved at the tall blonde.'  Me too!

 

‘"Is that really me?" she asked, moving to touch the glass with one finger.'  Lovely echo of the dream from New Moon.

 

Another thoughtful detail:  Edward ‘was more and more impressed, and more and more confused. Though actually that could have been Jasper. The civil war veteran had seen thousands of newborn[s] ... and never had he seen anything like Bella's control.'  Over the years they must all have become accustomed to questioning whether a particular emotion actually belonged to them, whenever Jasper was around.

 

Thank goodness:  ‘Esme had dressed her in her favourite pair of jeans and a plain white T-shirt when she had been changing.'  Alice and her designer dress in canon was just ridiculous.  Good for Bella, demanding another pair of the same jeans if they got damaged hunting.

 

I liked this moment:  ‘The next second she was stood upright again, a shocked look on her face. "Was that me?" she asked, he looked at her puzzled. "Did I just GROWL?" she asked, and giggled.'

 

Hilarious:  ‘Edward watched, puzzled at the way she held the beast until he realised that she was holding the cat's spine against her front in order to spare her clothes!'  Amusing that then she really doesn't know what to do with the cougar she captured! 

 

I particularly liked that she only wanted a few mouthfuls and then turned him over to Edward.  I can't remember anyone ever suggesting a vampire would stop before draining a kill.  (Other than Carlisle or Edward, of course, in order to turn someone.)  Nice:  ‘...being offered food from his mate was too much to resist.'

 

Good cliffie!  Somehow I think this Bella will be fine.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 19 Jan 2014 Title: Chapter 15: Chapter 15

Good reminder of the difference from canon:  ‘More than half of his life he had been separated from them, but still the Denali's consider him a Cullen.'

Interesting:  ‘he didn't want to be touched by anyone if he could avoid it.'  So he's not just avoiding Tanya's come-ons this is a more general habit.  We also learn that Bella was dead-on about the reason he left them.

Aww, ‘He had thought that he was lonely when he had been the only singleton in the family, but recent years have shown him what lonely really meant.'

Clever detail, re J. Jenks' forged papers:  "You just have to attach photos after, Jasper doesn't want him knowing what any of you look like."

Unexpected progress re Alice:  ‘...the person he most blamed for the split with his family was the one who tried to look out for him most... Unlike the first time it happened, when he had thrown the gift away in a temper, this time he mouthed a silent thank you, knowing she would have already seen it.'

Wonderful scene of Edward using his gift to try to figure out what's going on at the baseball field by reading his family's minds.  Frightening that Alice sees such dire outcomes if he doesn't arrive quickly.  I enjoyed his first view of Bella in their thoughts, and his surprise that she's human.

Yaay, it makes so much more sense that the Cullens would destroy the nomads immediately, given Edward and Alice's evidence of the threat they presented.  I especially like that Carlisle trusts Edward's judgment and simply asks for an explanation.

Good job describing how Bella's scent affects him, and how the family helped him cope with it.  A good detail, re Bella's "strawberry" shampoo:  ‘...vampire senses were too keen for that to work and he could smell each chemical in the mix.' 

This is a good interpretation of Edward's and Jasper's gifts, and how they could set up an ever-escalating spiral:  ‘Edward read [Jasper's] thirst, which added to his own, which Jasper felt added to his.'  Good thing Jasper realized he had to get out of range, and quickly.  This makes sense, too, when Emmett remembers his own singer:  ‘Edward shied away from reading his brother's thoughts; he didn't need any additional thirst on top of what the girl was sending his way.'

Of course this would be Edward's reaction:  ‘"What the hell?" he asked, shaking his head to clear it, looking at the girl, trying to read her mind and find out how she had affected him.'

And ‘"Help me." He turned to his father, "I'm sorry I have to get away, I'll kill her if I stay."'

Bella's intention to leave, to avoid stressing out Edward, is perfectly consistent with her character. ‘"I thought I was supposed to help bring Edward back, not drive him away." The girl was almost in tears...'  Sniffle.

Helpful that he's able to read memories of Bella's lifetime from Alice, thus getting to know her quickly.

Nice:  when they reach the house ‘he was relieved, but at the same time strangely disappointed, to see her head straight for a rather dilapidated truck.'  Sweet that he's the one to ask her to stay.

 



Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review. I hope the story continues to please!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 12 Mar 2014 Title: Chapter 25: Chapter 25

I'm enjoying Charlie's amusement at Edward's struggles to understand Bella:  ‘Her father had been no help at all, he had just grinned and patted him on the shoulder as he left for his shift.'

Perhaps this realization led to the slow changes we see this chapter, that Edward thought ‘nothing in life was stronger than the mating bond'.  So he assumed that acting ‘the way others act' was the right thing to do, rather than seeing Bella clearly, as an individual with very specific needs.

Fun:  'Emmett had a LOT of practise at grovelling.' 

Oh, very interesting, Jasper detects a feeling of shame from Bella.  His advice about going slow is excellent.  And Emmett agrees that "You HAVE to let her make the first move!"

I like your respect for Emmett, too.  He can be so much more than comic relief!

Oops:  ‘After all, what could [Edward] have done in the few hours since she had last seen him to piss her off?'

Nice:  ‘strange how his conscience sounded like Alice'.  At least he figures out that he needs to just start over.

Smart tactic to help her realize how lucky they were to have met at all. 

This was charming:  He finds himself daydreaming, watching Bella's mouth move instead of hearing her words.  ‘...he shook his head, what was she doing to him? A vampire's mind was complex and vast...'  I'm glad she's not the only one to be derailed by his presence.

Good job with their first kiss, and the conversation where they're both clearly confused about how to move forward.  Hmm, I wonder if being affected by Jasper's "sexual haze" will ultimately hurt them or help them?

A nice turn of phrase:  ‘She touched the purple bruise-like shadows under his eyes with fingers so gentle he could almost think he was dreaming her.'

Good choice, Edward:  ‘It was obvious she didn't want the family to hear what she was saying, so to maintain the illusion of privacy he whispered back, right into her ear.'

This surprised me:  he tells her he stopped before "we did something you would regret later", and she replies "Who says I would have regretted it?"  Promising!

But it turns out that, typical Bella, she's definitely not ready for the M-word.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 08 Jul 2014 Title: Chapter 49: Chapter 49

Wow, if Alice's vision or Edward's speed had been a few seconds later, it could have been over for Bella.

So this nomad pursued Bella for no other reason than the scent of her blood?  We didn't even get any clues about who he is.

Sniffle: "I'm sorry my love, I know you wanted more time."  Good for him:  ‘but he refused to drink'.

Interesting idea:  ‘...hoping that she didn't go into cardiac arrest because of the shock. That was how most attempted transformations failed.'

Well said:  ‘There wasn't much of the human Edward there at that moment, the beast inside had taken over and was fully capable of attacking him if he thought his mate was in any danger.'

I never thought of this, but it makes sense:  ‘Of all the transformations Carlisle had seen, and there were many from his time in Italy...'

‘[Carlisle] was still slightly out of practise at hiding his thoughts.'  Why - because Edward was away from the family for so long?

Yeah, this is very likely:  ‘"Ok, look can't you just tell me now?" [Charlie] asked, sounding rather annoyed.'

I really like your idea that Charlie was allowed to see his daughter while she was transforming.   Aww, ‘The man wiped a tired hand across his face, and if Carlisle saw tears fall, he didn't mention it.'

Your Charlie is remarkably strong and adaptable:  ‘"She'll be better than fine. She will never have to worry about being hurt again!" Charlie said stoutly, all the while gritting his teeth.'

Yikes!  ‘Carlisle watched Edward carefully, hopefully he could jump in before anything could happen if he turned on his father-in-law.'  But given how he has already reacted with Carlisle and then Esme...

Good description:  "It feels like the skin is being burnt from your body, but you keep healing so it keeps burning."  Ugh!

 

A welcome moment of lightness: 

"...we don't have hormones or anything." Carlisle told [Charlie], grinning.

"I'm not so sure, Rose has had PMT since 1935." Edward said, smiling slightly at his sister.

"I have not!" she snapped, then smiled too, "I'm just bitchy, I don't need hormones to give ME an excuse."

(I assume PMT = pre menstrual tension?  In the States we call it PMS, S for syndrome)

 

I am grateful that Bella got as much human time with her father and husband as she did in your story.  And that she and Edward were already in agreement about her change.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 08 Feb 2014 Title: Chapter 20: Chapter 20

Yes, this would be a definite shock, especially when Edward is still so new to her.  ‘She opened one eye and looked down at her 'pillow' She recognised the shirt, of course she did, she had spent quite a bit of time looking at it earlier... or rather at the vampire wearing it.'

I enjoyed this lightheartedness that we don't often see in Edward, when she asks "Why are you in my bed?"  ‘You grabbed me and dragged me here." He grinned down at her as she looked at him indignantly.'

I smiled at her comparing Edward to the statue of David:  ‘She forced her eyes to stop before they went any lower, she cursed as her cheeks reddened and she tried her hardest not to visualise the rest of the statue.'

Nice detail:  ‘He was amazed, the clumsy girl who couldn't walk without tripping over thin air moved around the kitchen with an unconscious grace that astounded him.'  It was fun how the other Cullen siblings (minus Rosalie) gathered at Charlie's too. 

I was kind of surprised by Edward's apology to Alice and Jasper, admitting that his reaction years ago was as much to another mated pair as to being shoved out of his room.  Good for him for being honest with himself as well as them.

Rosalie makes a good point about his resistance to changing Bella: "You would put Esme through losing both of you?"  And "You are taking away her choice the same way Carlisle did for me...", just in the opposite way.  And wow, Esme:  "...if you insist on this course, that Bella isn't changed even if she wants to be, I will ask your father to do it." 

Nice conclusion:  ‘he had every intention of showing the girl what she had missed being brought up by her mother. ... for now he could shower her with affection, attention and gifts, just as she deserved.'

This is promising:  ‘Courtship rules had changed dramatically since he was alive; he would have to do some research on teen habit in this day and age.'  SM's rule was that vampires "froze" as they were when they changed, but it always seemed to me that creatures as intelligent as the Cullens couldn't live among humans as they did without adapting to changes in the society around them.

It made me smile that when she keeps trying to step away from Edward's arm over her shoulder at school, ‘"Behave," he whispered right in her ear...'  Yeah, good luck with that.  You did a good job with Edward's puzzlement about why she was so resistant to his mild PDA if they were truly mates.  And of course she has no idea that he is partly reacting to the threatening thoughts of the other boy.

I also liked the way she didn't appreciate his engineering himself into all her classes, replacing the other Cullens who had been her friends for a long time. 

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 19 Mar 2014 Title: Chapter 27: Chapter 27

Excellent observation by Carlisle:  ‘Edward and Alice shared a fault, their talent gave them an inflated sense of their ability to handle trouble.' 

‘Alice had already had a couple of rounds of vampire v human with the girl and she had lost each time.'  Interesting to think that Bella had such a hard time coping with her mother (and some others) but managed to hold her own against Alice.  Perhaps because Alice actually cares about Bella, and wouldn't want to "win" at her expense.

 

Oh, Edward is in trouble:  ‘She held all the power in her tiny fragile hands and it was driving his son crazy.'  But later, progress:  ‘he didn't do humble well but he did his best...'

 

Pretty funny, re Emmett:  ‘"HE bought her chocolate?" Edward's jealousy raged, Carlisle didn't even try and suppress the grin this time.'

 

Well done, Bella:  "It isn't that I object to sitting next to you, it's that you came along and just re-arranged my life without even asking me... you didn't like it when Alice did it to you, did you?"

 

Nice:  ‘{Well done!} Alice congratulated him. {you see she isn't unreasonable when you aren't ordering her about.}'  Sigh, if only someone had reined in canon Edward this way.

 

Fun moment, while sitting in the Volvo before school ‘She was biting her lip again, he groaned softly as he watched her. Jasper was shouting in his mind for Edward to calm down before he accidently 'echoed' and they ended up with a car full of teenage lust.'

 

Sweet:  ‘He felt her warm small hand on his shoulder, the heat of her penetrated his clothing no matter what he wore. He felt himself calm as if Jasper had used his talent.'

 

Well done, Edward:

"Spoken for?" her voice rose an octave. ...

"Aren't you?" he breathed.'

It's about time she admitted - to herself as well as him - that she's involved with Edward.

 

I'm glad she's beginning to give little signs of accepting physical closeness with him.  Poor guy needs some encouragement.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 19 Mar 2014 Title: Chapter 26: Chapter 26

Smart guy:  he ‘knew that deep down she did not think marriage was a piece of paper or she wouldn't be so scared of it.'

Clever of Alice to share her thoughts about Renee so that Bella doesn't have to trot out all those painful memories.  That couldn't possibly help!

What a good  job  Charlie did of explaining the deal with Phil.  Interesting explanation that Renee "only took you because she thought I would follow her."

 

This made me smile - at least she's talking to him:

"I'm still angry with you over what you did at school." She told him as she slipped into sleep.

"I know."

"And the chocolates."

"I know that too."

 

Hmm, very plausible that Esme's husband "guessed that I loved someone else and he got jealous."  Unfortunate that this horrid man was tough enough that he "had even survived a bout of the Spanish Influenza that killed Edward's family."  I regret to tell you, though, that I'm just not that interested in the level of detail in Esme's story.  But I did enjoy the idea that after the traumas of her marriage, she had a hard time adjusting to having Carlisle in her life.  Definitely something Bella can relate to.

Esme's appeal for Bella to be patient with Edward was sweet - after all, he is her son.  And hopefully it will help.

 

 

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 07 Mar 2014 Title: Chapter 24: Chapter 24

How disorienting to wake up from a high fever in a different place than where you remember going to sleep.  Oh, she snaps right back to what she was thinking when she fled to the res, believing that the Cullens were making fun of her. 

It made me smile when she pointedly ignores Edward but accepts the drink and pills from Charlie.  ‘It was petty but she had no other way to show her displeasure.'  Yup.  What a good twist that it's Charlie who convinces her that Edward is indeed serious.

This gets her attention: "The Cullen's have told me everything ... from the moment they first met you back in Phoenix, to killing the nomads."  Just the word "nomad" would do it!

Clever:  "Billy, Quil and I were always together, and when Billy and Quil were told the tribes secrets the elders just seemed to accept that I would find out too so they told me."  Makes sense.  I like his observation, too, that the Cullens made brief appearances over the years, but he only now puts it together that it was always when Bella was visiting.

A nice father-daughter moment: ‘"I cracked a couple of ribs ... I tried to stop Edward from helping you and he may have pushed a little too hard." He smiled at her as she narrowed her eyes at him, "now don't go giving the boy a hard time." ... Was this the same man who last year had told her she shouldn't be thinking of boys until she was at least 30?'

Wow, she really does stay "grumpy", pushing Charlie to take her home when he'd rather she stay with the Cullens.  And then she plans to walk home after Charlie leaves!  As if the vampires will let that happen!

Interesting thought: ‘She shouldn't take her anger at Edward out on the rest of the family, for all she knew they didn't even agree with what he had done.'  And it turns out that's right, at least as far as his manipulation of her class schedule.

I like how Alice is so calm about the pain Bella feels due to deciding to move away.  Eventually that connection will become clear to Bella, too.  Good thing Charlie was there to help convince her this time.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 20 Jul 2014 Title: Chapter 50: Chapter 50

Interesting how the physical shield progresses, seeming to expand a little more every time someone new shows up, and yet limited by physical barriers like walls and doors.  Fun that the human cop is the one who directs everyone to get out safely while they still can.  And ‘there was no way [Edward] was leaving, just in case he couldn't get back in.‘

 

Funny moment when Emmett carries Charlie down from the balcony - without warning him first.

 

Good backstory on Eleazar and Carmen.  So they met while Carmen was human too!  And ugh, she was part of a group shepherded into the "feeding room".  Good thing that Eleazar recognized her as quickly as he did.  Ah, the Denali sisters who helped solidify their vegetarian diet.  I liked your contrast to the extra drama it costs the Cullens to interact with humans as they do, so Carlisle can be a doctor.

 

Clever:  ‘Tanya was the first to figure out a way to have her cake and NOT eat it.'

 

Good distinction:  ‘Eleazar had thought it best as they expected to be busy for the next few days, guarding the newborn... or rather the town.'

 

Hmm:  ‘I have never seen anyone with both mental and physical shields, especially not unconscious ones and as a human!"  So our Bella is already something special.

 

Ooh, creepy:  "[Another shield] allowed Aro to touch him once when he wasn't shielded, Aro had him destroyed immediately, I never found out what he read in his thoughts to have him condemned so quickly."

 

Kate notices an intriguing anomaly: "I can usually absorb electric, say from a power outlet, I can store it in my body, but I can't drain this."

Well you've certainly built up some suspense about how Bella's gift will function once she wakes up.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 06 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hello, Ms. Matriarch (like the pen name, btw)!  I found this story while fic diving on TWCS, something I hardly ever do.  So I think it was meant to be - I've read all the posted chapters, and been totally absorbed.  I love variations on canon, and your story is an intriguing twist.

You created such empathy for Bella, enlarging on what life with a casually "scatterbrained" mother might have been really like.  You have fleshed out some disturbing phrases from canon, particularly since you started at such an early age.  It makes me wonder, for one thing, how they managed before Bella was old enough to take on managing the household.  Perhaps as soon as Renee saw that Bella took up any "slack" at all, she took that as permission to abandon one more responsibility.  Shudder.  Reminds me, too, of Cinderella's stepsisters, treating her like a maid!

I have to say you also made me think about all the real people out there who struggle to scrape by on much less money than it takes to live at all comfortably.   I think you've done a service there. 

Sigh, at the beginning poor Bella is so alone in the world.  Nobody should feel that isolated.  And abandoned.  It's amazing how she has already learned how to get by without electricity, like camping in their apartment.  

I like that you explored Bella's intelligence too.  I always felt that SM dropped that ball in canon.  Of course for your girl, being promoted ahead a grade or two inevitably adds to the social isolation.  A year or two difference is huge at that age.

It was kind of shocking to think that at this point Renee would only be in her mid-20s, but that's right!  It still doesn't excuse her irresponsible behavior, but it does shed more light on their situation.

 



Author's Response: Thanks for the wonderful review!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 07 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2

Oh, what a treat to have Carlisle show up in the midst of all this gloom.  A nice little twist to have him playing substitute science teacher instead of doctor this time.  And yay, he stands up to the school bully on her behalf.  

I can just picture the warmth of Carlisle’s smile after he checks Bella’s work.  Like a ray of sunshine.   Oh, fun, he even finds something interesting for her to study.

Yes, “something just wasn’t right” about Mrs. Vaughn’s sudden absence, but in a good way.  The cavalry has just come over the hill!

  



Author's Response: Well he wouldn't be able to interact with her as a doctor, so it had to be a teacher.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 07 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 3

Amusing:  ‘”She is so CUTE!" Alice's voice pierced through the small speaker, if he wasn't a vampire, he figured that it was totally possible that that last word could have only been heard by dogs.’

Hmm, intriguing, Alice’s plan will take nine years to come to fruition!  Good thing they have a lot of time.  What an awful thought:  “if things continue the way they are Bella will end up in foster care soon, bad things will happen to her and she will never get to meet Edward!” 

And what did Alice do that drove Edward away??

Sad that Bella has kept her peers away from her home, so no one will see how she lives.

Nice little scene with not only Carlisle helping Bella with her heavy bags, but Alice greeting him as "Dad" with her usual enthusiasm.

Ah, ‘The Cullen[‘]s … had got an apartment in a block overlooking the small house Bella lived in…’  Good way to keep an eye on her.  Slightly less stalkerish than canon Edward. 

Oh my gosh, so that’s why Mr. Blain was so nasty with Bella! 

Clever way to get some cash to Bella, and neither of her parents will ever know.  So frustrating, though, that there’s still another obstacle to getting the electric bill paid.  Understandable that ‘She wasn't used to being able to rely on other people, it felt nice having someone who acted on her behalf. She burst into tears in relief.’ 

 



Author's Response: I know... I'm a comma and apostrophe nightmare!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 07 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 4: Chapter 4

‘...she never used the dryer any more than she had to, it just ate money!'  Something most of us never have to think about.

She used the smaller iron so ‘she didn't burn herself half so much'.  I wonder if Renee even noticed that her daughter burned herself.

How aggravating for Alice!  ‘... Renée just decided on things out of the blue. There was no trail that led to these stupid ideas, she just thought them up on the spot, so there was no way of working in advance to stop her.'

Interesting thoughts about how Alice's gift works:  ‘She hadn't realized at first that the future she saw was not just the near future as usual, but more like her first vision of Jasper, long term.'  And a key piece is for Alice to establish a lasting connection with Bella.

‘Bella's danger though was not just from her mother's neglect and frequent bad tempers, but from a lack of self esteem and growing depression making her unable to connect to anyone..'  what a shame.

Nice take on Emmett:  ‘Emmett was, as usual, fascinated by anything human, his sense of humour was strange... to say the least... but his loyalty and compassion were second to none.' 

Satisfying:  ‘...by 4am Rose would have given [the pedophile] every reason to regret ever being born and Emmett would make sure that the pieces of him that could be identified would be in the stomachs of carnivores two States apart.'

Good use of the canon line, from a different Cullen:  ‘Alice slumped, she had never had to work so hard just to keep someone alive!'

Ah, so whatever Alice did that drove Edward away happened in 1950!  Another clue.

Creepy:  ‘In fact the nebulous swirling of the future now showed Bella, aged in her 20's STILL at home looking after her mother, she had met Edward, the bond had formed, but Renée had demanded that Bella not leave her...'

Ah, so that's how Phil comes into the story.  Hurry up, Phil!

Well at least someone sees Bella's situation clearly; Bella ‘caught a sad look on Mrs. Vaughn's face that changed quickly into a smile and a wave.' 

 



Author's Response: I had to explain why the Cullens couldn't work everything out at once but knew enough to step in. Alices visions had to be both specific and nebulous for it to work.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 07 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 5: Chapter 5

How handy to have some human employees to help look after Bella.  She needs a whole crew!

Clever thought that it would be challenging for Alice to come up with appropriate things to chat with Bella about.   Snicker:  “I have no idea what to say for once.

Also clever that they disguised getting computer access for Bella with a gift for the whole school.

Again, since you’ve started when Bella is quite young, we get to see what her regular summer visits to Forks were like.  And even though there would be no active shapeshifters at this time, the treaty still gets in the way of the Cullens keeping an eye on her.

 



Author's Response: Time speeds up a bit soon, after all you don't want every detail of her life for such a long period of time.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 12 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 6: Chapter 6

‘It wasn't a surprise that Esme had to be held back from visiting Renée to have a small chat after these emails...'  Ooh, wouldn't that get her attention!  Well, for about five minutes.

It's a nice idea that the Cullen couples took turns rotating through the apartment that overlooked Bella's home.  It's satisfying to see Rosalie getting involved.  Her overheard 911 phone call did the job, but I bet she'd have fun with a more direct method of scaring the bad guys.

Renee's ‘latest boyfriend was actually a drinking buddy of the 2 would-be burglars.'  Sounds very plausible.  Oh, and then Rosalie does get some creative revenge for Renee's neglect.  But how evil:  ‘She sold the books.'

Yes, this would be dangerous:  ‘Any time blood was involved the damage could increase exponentially as she would grow faint and drop to the floor like a brick.'  At least it's good that some of the adults around her took notice of her unusual frequency of injuries, and investigated.

This made me chuckle, re Phil:  ‘It is strange. First because even though Renée is her usual self, he is still here!'  I like how you have made Phil a sympathetic character, someone who looks out for his girlfriend's neglected daughter.  Canon Phil certainly seemed to be a good guy.  It's interesting how you've made Bella so resistant to Phil's attempts to look after her - she's so accustomed to managing everything on her own that it feels like interference.

‘...once more foster homes loomed in the visions.'  Ugh.  Another very believable possibility:  ‘If Bella was established in Forks too early she would start seeing the blond idiot from the camping store, and that would NOT go down well with Edward once he found her.'  Let alone the baby thing!

Amusing, but then really not:  ‘Alice fantasized getting her hands on Renée's neck, the roiling twisted future that fantasy produced made her ill and she stopped quickly.'

Also a sweet idea:  ‘at least one Cullen always caught the flight with her...'  But if they can be patient, 'Bella would be happy for a very, very long time...'

 



Author's Response: Thank you so much for your reviews! It's nice when people pick up on the little asides I add to the story!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 12 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 7: Chapter 7

Wow, this was a surprise:  Carlisle ‘was shocked to find out that the shrewd old lady knew who he was the second he arrived on her doorstep.'  I wonder where Mrs. Vaughn learned about their world?  What a relief that ‘by the time he left the protective old lady she was satisfied that her young friend would be fine.' 

An interesting twist:  ‘I'm dreading baseball season next year though! It was bad enough this year when Phil had to go on the road for 2 months...'

This explanation for why Charlie picked Bella up in the cruiser made me smile:  ‘However taking the truck meant unhitching the trailer with the boat on...'  A true fisherman!

Bella gets her first clues about the Cullens ... Alice asks her not to tell her father they know each other, and Bella notices that Alice's emails haven't changed at all over the years. 

Charlie:  "...it's MY job to look after you not the other way around."  How refreshing, compared to your Renee and even compared to canon.

Thank goodness:  ‘the only path that would bring Bella around in the two weeks they had was to be totally honest.'   I'm glad you had Bella faint when confronted with two people who hadn't aged at all in nine years - makes sense!

 



Author's Response: Mrs. Vaughn didn't know about the Vampire world, she just knew someone, somewhere was watching over Bella and after her sudden trip had looked into the substitute teacher when Bella let slip she was keeping in touch with his daughter. Let's be right Carlisle does rather stand out amongst mere mortals!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 19 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 8: Chapter 8

A good recounting of the various Cullens' back stories.  Some favorite details:

Carlisle ‘nodded and sat down on the recliner that Charlie sat in to watch baseball on TV.'  There's something so disorienting about picturing this!

‘Elizabeth Masen had also contracted the illness, when the porters removed her husband from the ward, the nurses immediately put her into the bed he had just died in, there was no room for sentiment.'  Don't remember whether this was specified in canon, but it's chillingly realistic.

Bella ‘didn't remember Alice mentioning an Edward though; Bella wondered what happened to him.'  This effectively highlights his absence - shivery.

‘...only the fact that [Esme] had been so young had stopped me trying to turn her back then. I had left her behind to live a normal life; the decision was not without pain.'  I don't think it ever occurred to me that Carlisle had made a decision similar to Edward's in New Moon.

Rosalie and Edward:  "loathing at first sight!"  Snicker.

Good job building the case of how each new mated couple in the family made Edward feel more and more isolated and freakish.

I liked your explanation of how Alice came to understand her gift.  Then, on the way to Philadelphia ‘I hunted along the way and even paused to steal a few clothes as mine were, by this time, just rags. It took me just over six weeks to walk there.'  But how else was she to get there?  No hardship for a vampire, I guess.

This made me smile - after Alice and Jasper's story, ‘Alice sighed and Bella joined her, it was so romantic! Though Bella was practical to a fault she was also a teenage girl.'

Clever idea, expanding on a tiny throw-away canon detail of Alice evicting Edward from his room, presumably ‘seeing' that it would work out OK.  Only a series of small accidents in Edward's day made that - plus yet another new couple - a last straw instead.  I remember thinking that was awful and unacceptable behavior in the book, and I'm glad you called her on it. 

Edward ‘...looked at everyone in turn then without saying a single word he got into his car and just... left.'  Heart wrenching.  And understandable.  Also consistent with Edward's history of coping with being overwhelmed by walking away.  Interesting that it persisted, too:  ‘We have tried to find him over the years, but every time we get close he 'hears' us coming and vanishes.'  He really seems to be done with the Cullens!

Kind of sad, but I can see why she looks at it this way:  ‘It made a lot of sense to Bella; they had looked after her because they needed her for something. After all it was the only time Renée ever seemed to want her around, when she wanted something. Bella didn't feel used or angry at the Cullen's for wanting to use her, she just accepted that that was the way things worked...'  She can't conceive of them looking after her because they valued her for herself as well.

Hmm, so Edward's about to come into the picture!  Bring it on!

 



Author's Response: They never went into details about Elizabeth and the 'Flu but I've read accounts from nurses who worked through the epidemic in the UK and that situation actually happened on more than one occasion :-( The first time I realised about Edward/Carlisle both leaving their 'mates' (for lack of a better word) I wondered if it was to do with their personality. However in canon as well as in my story, Carlisle had not allowed himself to get too close to Esme, though the relationship in canon was longer than in mine. As to New Moon... To my mind Edward's actions were far worse because he walked away from her when he knew she loved him, though both B&E deserved a kick up the arse for the way they reacted in the books, one thing for definite, I wouldn't have just taken him back when he returned! He would have had to PAY! To be honest when I first read the books and got to the bit about Alice joining the Cullens I was appalled that they allowed it, that she would ever think it was acceptable and shocked that Edward hadn't taken a fit about it! Thanks once again for your review and for taking the time to go into so much detail! I know at least one person has picked up on the bits I was so eager to get across!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 24 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 9: Chapter 9

From Jasper:  ‘"I can feel how uncomfortable you are Bella, but we have all waited so long for this day, you'll have to forgive us."'  A nice marker of the difference from canon.  They've all known about her for years.

Aww, nice that she recognizes that one or other of the Cullens used to accompany her on plane trips between Phoenix and Forks.  Fun remark from Rosalie re her upgrades to first class: "I don't see why you had to sit with the cattle."

‘...as someone who had struggled all her life to find enough money to do the food shopping she had a natural reluctance towards waste and extravagance.'  I bet.  I wonder how many other readers were irritated by the books' over-the-top emphasis on money and luxury.  It would have been interesting to see a story with the Cullens living an ordinary middle class existence - I would like to think there was so much more to their appeal than fat bank accounts and lavish spending.

Oh, sad when Esme is bothered by hearing "Claire de Lune". 

Hmm, interesting that Bella's new wardrobe is already sharing space with Edward's (presumably updated) clothes.

‘"I don't NEED them!" Bella was angry, at Renée, at herself; but it came out as angry at the Cullen's. She hated anyone knowing about her life with Renée, about he struggles.'  Understandable.  I applaud her standing up to Alice!  At least Carlisle attempts to be practical about her clothing needs.

"‘...we donate all our 'old' clothing to charity, in a way it helps the local communities that we live in."  Which brings up an interesting problem.  Such high-volume, expensive donations to local charities would certainly be noticed and commented upon in a small place like Forks.  I'm guessing Alice must have made frequent runs to places like Seattle for this.

A good detail:  ‘Bella still jumped slightly when anyone touched her, not through fear but rather still not used to physical contact.'

Kind of amusing that Bella feels as stuck repeating school as the Cullens!  I also enjoyed the detail you went into about both why they bothered enrolling in school, and how they pretended to age.  Yes:  ‘Wow, there was a lot more to this living forever and blending in with humans than Bella would have ever guessed.'

"...several times people have tried to interfere with the family, citing the fact that it is obvious that Alice and Jasper, and Emmett and Rose are together, yet living as supposed siblings."  Logical.  Jessica can't be the only one who ever noticed!

 



Author's Response: Thanks again for the wonderfully comprehensive review! "Such high-volume, expensive donations to local charities would certainly be noticed and commented upon in a small place like Forks." As will be pointed out in a chapter soon, Local is subjective!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 24 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 10: Chapter 10

Refreshing:  ‘Charlie wasn't going to make the mistake of forcing people onto his rather introverted daughter. If she made friends with them, fine, but he felt she was old enough to make this kind of decision herself.'

Ominous:  ‘The worst of the secrets they held from Bella was soon going to come to light, Alice just hoped she would forgive them or everything was in vain.' Hopefully it's just a financial issue.

Oh, the mystery garment is a baseball uniform.  Fun - we know what's coming!

I liked the fatherly moment with Charlie showing her how to use the snow chains.  And this: "Here, you shouldn't spend your own money on essential clothing."  Of course Bella's not used to having a responsible parent.

A charming picture, Rose and Alice each supporting one of Bella's arms to escort her over the ice, while ‘The boys fell in behind as they made their way to the edge of the car park.'  Nice twist on the canon van-on-ice.

Amusing that Mrs. Cope's too-tight purple Tshirt ‘made even Bella feel as if she was overdressed.'

I guess I'll have to look up Gracie Fields, I'm not familiar with that name.

Good planning, to have at least one Cullen in each class.  I like the variation that from the beginning, Forks High students resent Bella's friendship with the whole family.  I have to say, though, that Alice and Rosalie could have done better than to be equally nasty as the girls in the bathroom.

Hilarious:  ‘Emmett didn't help as he was constantly trying to bait Jasper by offering alternate, stupid, and just as incorrect 'facts' to the mix and making the Civil War Veteran angrier.'

Oh, poor Jasper, driven out of the classroom by Bella's excessive blushing.

And as in canon, at least there's Angela, one compassionate student.

 



Author's Response: Gracie Fields was an opera singer from Lancashire. Known as "Our Gracie" by a lot of the UK she did a lot of comedic songs during the war era as moral boosters, one of her best known is "The Biggest Aspidistra in the World" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XROMw3Z4e0 As to the secret... well, I would tell you... but it's a secret!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 31 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 11: Chapter 11

Amusing image, Bella eating a little bit off each Cullen’s lunch tray.   Certainly makes things easier for them!  Like kids feeding a dog under the table.

‘it was not only hard, but dangerous to rely on anyone other than herself.’  Sigh.

‘She was going to have to put her foot down, even if it caused an argument, if she didn't she could end up being bullied the whole time she was in Washington, a sort of benign dictatorship, but a dictatorship nonetheless.’  Good for Bella - she’s smart enough to realize that she’d better stop it right away.  But I wonder exactly what future Alice saw!

Pretty funny, that Bella thinks dissecting a worm might bother Jasper.

Even though Charlie was angry with Renee, not Bella, it had to be a difficult evening for Bella, being unused to being around angry men.  Still way better than being around Renee.  And yes, she’s right, the theft will be all over the Forks grapevine.

I like this detail:  ‘"I don't want to talk about it." She said as she pulled into the car park and saw them waiting. Even over the noise of the engine and 200 yards, she knew they heard her.’  Convenient for Bella, almost like not having to confront them at all.

Interesting:  ‘She had been shown more compassion by this family than by anyone else in her life. Charlie tried but it was obvious that up to yesterday he still had feelings for Renée that she brought to the surface.’

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 31 Dec 2013 Title: Chapter 12: Chapter 12

Wow, this was a surprise:

"I can't imagine Renée ever bothered to look after you much," he said blushing guiltily.

"Then maybe you should have fought for custody."

‘But all the things the woman had done had hardened her daughter to feeling much of anything, for anyone.'  Uh oh.  Yeah, Bella has never had a reason to trust anyone.

The stubbornly reappearing new phone is pretty funny. 

Interesting twist that at this point Bella knows nothing about the enmity between the Cullens and the Quileutes. 

Well done conversation between Bella and Jacob.  I like that your Jacob has some sense of boundaries. 

The best thing in your story so far, Bella to Esme:  "I can see why Edward left. It must have been unendurable to have someone come in and re-arrange everything to suit them and realise from reading all of your minds that none of you were going to stand up for him." 

‘Somehow the family had thought he would be fine with this, being displaced and in a way dismissed.'  Yes, exactly dismissed, as if he's less important than the new couple that just arrived.  He should have MORE seniority than anyone else, not less.  And yaay Bella:  ‘this young girl had seen through all the points of view to the heart of the problem when the Cullen's had spent years trying to figure out just what was the one thing too far that had tipped Edward over the edge.'

And thank goodness for this:  ‘Alice just wore you down until you gave in. Esme determined not to allow the girl free rein with Bella.'

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 12 Jan 2014 Title: Chapter 13: Chapter 13

This wasn't what I expected - the Cullens were surrounded by three wolves and a dozen warriors, so I figured everyone was "lucky" to get out of it alive.  But no, it's because "Rose and Emmett weren't that old at that time and may have killed them all if provoked."  Oh.

Nice detail: "Because when they came upon us we had been hunting animals rather than humans they listened to us when we told them that we were unlike others of our kind..."  The Quileutes saw for themselves.

Snicker:  ‘Bella would have protested the 'young girl' title, if the person saying it hadn't been born before her grandmother.'

Yay, Bella is the one to realize that other family members' thirst affects Jasper.  A number of writers have theorized, for instance, that the canon attack at Bella's birthday party was actually triggered because of Edward's thirst.

Cute:  Mike ‘had moved from 'annoying' to 'exasperating' and would soon be on the 'where can I find a hit-man' list.'

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 12 Jan 2014 Title: Chapter 14: Chapter 14

Funny:  ‘"Plus they will want to bring the XBox and use the flatscreen to play games." Charlie looked at her in horror. A house full of teens and no TV?'  An easy way to get permission to visit at the Cullen house.

I loved this line from Emmett: "You have to promise not to faint when you see me in the sun!" he told her, "I look fabulous!"

Poignant that Bella is so sure she'll part company with the Cullens once Edward returns.

‘"Just leave [Lauren] alone." Bella was feeling guilty for the girl's embarrassment.'  Rightly so - the immature campaign of getting back at Lauren went too far.  It's not hard, though, to imagine each of the Cullens cooking up their own form of revenge.

Interesting puzzle:  ‘Bella dropped it, it was obvious that Alice was hiding something, and maybe it was for the best? Maybe if Bella knew she would act differently? Maybe it could cause the meeting the family had waited so long for not to happen?'

Believable:  ‘When they reached the clearing Bella's muscles wouldn't release and it took both Rose and Alice to free their mother from her grip. Bella sank to the ground and felt like kissing it.'

A good description of the nomads:  ‘Both were beautiful of course, but it was a cold beauty. Like a mannequin or waxworks, too perfect. Little things like blinking and shifting their weight on their feet were missing, making an unnatural aura spread around them.'

What a fun way to bring Edward into the scene (at least I assume it's Edward):  ‘The Cullens formed a tight wall between Bella and the Nomads, when suddenly a blur passed between the two groups and like magic there was yet another vampire there!'

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 27 Jan 2014 Title: Chapter 16: Chapter 16

How fun, Bella's first sight of Edward.  ‘The newest vampire on the field crouched low and actually growled at the nomads, a shudder went through her at the sound. She wasn't frightened by it... strangely she wanted to hear it again, it gave her warm tingles throughout her body. ... Oh and he had a great looking ass.'  Hmm, I wonder if Bella has ever noticed anyone's ass before...

And ‘With him being a mind reader she didn't want him to have any reason to be thinking about her because she had to admit the main thought in her head was that he was the most beautiful man she had ever seen.'

Aww, sad how she interprets Edward's initial reaction to her. 

Well said:  Alice ‘searched for a future that would tell her what was happening in the present.'

Cute detail:  ‘...at that moment, her blush grew, both Jasper and Edward took a step back, almost bumping into each other in their quest for Bella-free air.'

Nice:  ‘She wasn't beautiful in a classical sense, it was true, not like Rose had been when she was human, but her face was interesting, which was even more fascinating. ... His mind was stuck on her, like a scratched record.'

Interesting:  ‘He looked guiltily at the family. He hadn't really given much thought to how they had all felt back then; he just knew he wasn't ready to rejoin them.'  Still feeling too much of his own pain.

Hmm, Maria?  That could be trouble!

 



Author's Response: Thanks again for your reviews. I know for certain at least one person picks up on my small points! :)

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 27 Jan 2014 Title: Chapter 17: Chapter 17

Ohmigosh, James and Victoria killed not only the 1900 year old vampire, but also David?   Creepy fate for Laurent.

 

Aww, nice:

‘"You are staying?" Esme asked, her voice small, dreading the possible answer.

"If you will forgive me." .... He was humbled and overwhelmed, after all these years of what could basically be termed sulking; they were welcoming him back with open arms.'

 

Ah, so Edward hadn't heard of singers...

{It's what the Volturi call a human whose blood is so powerful to a certain vampire that it is impossible to resist.}

{Hate to burst your bubble but I am resisting!} Edward pointed out. Alice raised an eyebrow, and he conceded. If it hadn't been for his family befriending the girl and helping to hold him back in the first few minutes, she wouldn't be alive now.'

Wow, that was a narrow escape! 

 

Well done argument between Edward and Alice about the possible timelines of Bella becoming a vampire.   Good point:  ‘It wasn't as if Alice was picking the worst case scenarios, he was seeing them as soon as she was.'

Nice family moment:  ‘He grinned. He had forgotten how much fun he could have winding Emmett up. The teasing had never been only one way between them, something he had forgotten after he left the family.'  Funny to imagine:  ‘Emmett hated to be left out of any conversation and many a time in the past [Edward] had pretended to be reading someone's mind and answering them just to rile him.'

Oh, Bella figures out how Alice is picking up Edward's thoughts!  Clever girl.

Nice detail:  ‘he looked down at his wallet, she was right, [his credit cards] were in the name of Edward Masen, he ... crushed the old ones into unrecognisable lumps of plastic before Esme could see the name and get upset.'

I snickered at your description of Bella thinking back over how much she had enjoyed watching Edward as the four males play-fought. 

 

This makes perfect sense:

‘"What aren't you telling me?" Bella wanted to know.

"Oh LOTS!" Alice grinned.'

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 01 Feb 2014 Title: Chapter 18: Chapter 18

Amusing how Bella messes with Alice by visualizing wearing clothing that would horrify the fashionista.  Clever.

Aww, I wonder how long it will be before Bella gets over this:  ‘She grinned and almost hugged [Alice], but at the last minute her aversion to being 'touchy feely' kicked in and she stopped before she made contact.'

This made me smile:  when Alice arrived despite the snow ‘Bella sighed; she actually missed having time to herself.' 

 

And later:

‘"Why don't you go back and join the others Jasper, Bella and I are going to be fine."

"We are?" Bella asked again, not sure when she lost control of her life.'

 

Edward accepted Bella's status very quickly:

‘"Why are you torturing yourself?" she asked.

"You are a part of the family, I have to get used to you being around." [Edward] told her.'

 

Good one, Bella: "As far as I recollect I have a pulse, something no one in your family has."

I enjoyed Edward's reminiscing about how much fun it was to go sledding as a human child.

Nice insight into Charlie:  ‘Charlie's thought was sad, he had lost his father when he was 14 and felt deeply for any child who lost a parent young. He spared a thought for Carlisle losing both his brothers and being willing to take on the kids.'

Oh, shoot, what a slip in Alice's thoughts:  ‘We didn't just look after you so Edward would return!" {we did it because we knew you two were mates! SHIT!!}'

Good job on Edward's thoughts on the "mate" theory, how he refused to take seriously the idea of a human mate, and criticized the Cullens for bringing her into their world.  In summary, ‘She deserved more than to be mated to one of his kind.' 


 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 01 Feb 2014 Title: Chapter 19: Chapter 19

Creepy - Deputy Mark discovering the nomads' victim.  ‘It was so suspicious that [Carlisle] believed it had been done deliberately to cause trouble for the family.'

I like Edward being "aghast" at the choices the Cullens have made about Bella's life.  It takes a lot of convincing for him to understand and agree with their interference.  Good for him.

Good conversation between Carlisle and Edward about being mated.  "Will you condemn Bella to grow old and weak while she knows you are out in the world, young and strong? If it is Bella's wish NOT to turn, we will respect it, but if she decides to, the two of you will find your lives worth living... TOGETHER."

An interesting point:  ‘She fascinated him, it was true, but would she turn out to be as shallow as all the other teenage girls he had ever met? The silence of her mind, was it covering beauty and depth or pettiness and spite?‘

That's an intriguing twist on SM's vampire mythology, that even contemplating leaving Bella behind to go to Alaska, triggers pain in the mate bond that was finalized by Bella casually touching his arm earlier.  Also that neither Carlisle nor Edward himself understood what was happening. 

Thank goodness for Alice! "Change your mind!" Alice shouted. "NOW!"

 

Good detail:  ‘He hadn't touched a human in decades and he was amazed at how she felt.'  And I like this variation on canon:  ‘As before, her being in contact with him lessened his thirst...' 

This was amusing, Edward panics when Bella's heart stutters, and Alice tells him ‘{Try smiling at her, I bet you get the same reaction.}'  And of course she's right.

Sweet:  ‘"I'm not leaving." He said softly as he gingerly sat on the edge of the bed and took her hand. ... Bella, still asleep, grabbed his hand with both of hers and cuddled around his arm. He looked helplessly at Alice, who was doing her best not to laugh and wake Bella up.'

Charming, too, when he worries that sleeping next to him ‘would be like laying on a slab of marble', and Bella clearly doesn't mind.

Personally, I could have done with a little less sleep chatter from Bella.  Her physical reactions, grasping onto him at every opportunity, painted the story very well. 

This made me smile:  ‘...he groaned as she threw her leg over him, her thigh contacting just where he needed, or didn't need... the pressure.'

I like this variation on canon rules:  ‘As before, her being in contact with him lessened his thirst...' 

He believes ‘He couldn't count on her wanting to touch him once she was awake', but I think he's wrong about that!  But maybe not since she hesitated to even hug Alice.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 20 Feb 2014 Title: Chapter 22: Chapter 22

I enjoyed this brotherly interation: ‘"You two can go home, I'll be fine here. I promise I won't do anything stupid." He told them. Both of them ignored him and leant against the side of the car watching him pace.'

Yay, Charlie, taking Bella directly to the Cullen house.  I bet he was furious at the Blacks for letting her get worse.

Oh, no, awful memories for Edward:  ‘Bella's condition reminded him strongly of how his mother had looked the last time he had seen her just before she died.'  What a dramatic scene, trying to get her temperature down.  Poor baby, she can't stop shivering.

Oops.  ‘"Want to explain what I just saw?" [Charlie] asked. Edward actually groaned out loud.'

Interesting:  when Charlie first came for Bella at the Blacks' house, ‘He had briefly wondered at her calling for the boy who had just moved into the neighbourhood...'  I liked your Charlie's thought that there was definitely something weird about the whole family, but as long as they were helping Bella, that was the important thing.  He doesn't even complain about his broken rib!

A good idea:  ‘That explained why Charlie had so many friends on the reservation, he was related to a lot of them through marriage.' 

Wow he DOES know an awful lot:  "As there has only been one suspicious death since you arrived here, and that was this week, I'm going to guess that as you all still have gold eyes, it wasn't one of you feeding on that camper anyway."  I like that he even figures out the Cullens have been helping Bella for years.

Go, Charlie, getting Alice to put the brakes on her shopping:  "[Bella] will work herself into an early grave to pay you back every penny you spent." He knows his daughter.

Excellent:  ‘"What is Bella to you!" [Charlie] looked pointedly at Edward...'  This could get awkward, especially since Bella doesn't altogether accept it herself yet.

Well done:

"Are you trying to tell me he and Bella are mated?" Charlie's face reddened and Edward jumped in.

"Not like that! Well, not yet, I swear!"

I imagine Charlie won't be so easy convince how old-fashioned Edward is.

 

Hmm.  "I didn't want to change Bella until she had lived a full human life, but after today I have to say I am seeing it as inevitable."  At least your Edward is capable of changing his mind!

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 27 Feb 2014 Title: Chapter 23: Chapter 23

Nice:  Edward was ‘amazed at the complexity of Charlie's mind as he processed everything he had seen since the Cullen's came to town. The man missed nothing, even if he routinely and willingly turned a blind eye to anomalies.'  I like that he notices what's going on with the wolves as well as the vampires.

Good detail:  ‘the way Esme always bought exactly the same goods when shopping...'   I bet if Charlie mentions this to her, she'll change her habits.

Excellent:  ‘...in olden times when the change came over the youngsters of the tribe, the new wolves would be banished to a set of caves in a cliff face on the edge of the Quileute lands with the old Alpha until they learnt how to control the change...'  Of course they would!  What an extra burden on the boys phasing now, with no experienced elders to help them.  No wonder Sam was such a hero.

Go Charlie! "It is up to Bella. ...If she says yes, then you have my blessing ... however if she says no, you leave her alone, you get me son?"  And later:  "...so if she does join your family..." he looked at Edward sternly, "and I mean IF... then I guess she will be well looked after."

I chuckled that Edward doesn't fool Alice:  ‘{Oh yes whatever she wants, as long as it doesn't contradict what YOU want} ' This actually becomes a serious (and important) discussion.  I at least HOPE this Edward does better than in canon at letting Bella make her own choices.

Ha ha, Edward catching Carlisle and Esme in flagrante delicto, prompting his decision to be on his own for a while. 

Interesting visions about what Renee will do next.  I'm betting on getting herself in deeper trouble with the judge with her big mouth.

Funny outcome of Emmett's bet with Jasper: "NOOO! You idiot! My grandpa could have hit that, and he would be 147 this year!"

Good conversation where Edward gets to tell Charlie that he didn't have any choice about becoming a vampire.  I always think that's such a key point. 

This is realistic:  Bella ‘opened her eyes and burst into tears, neither Charlie nor Edward knew what to do, neither of them were practised in comforting crying girls.'

Lovely description of Edward's piano playing, with Alice harmonizing, especially when it begins to turn into a new composition.  True:  ‘This was exposing his feelings more than just a declaration of finding his mate.'

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 29 Apr 2014 Title: Chapter 37: Chapter 37

Well said:  ‘He knew this man... well not this exact man, but during the 1920's he had made it his mission in life to rid the world of men like this.'

‘The man crossed himself in a pious gesture that just infuriated Edward even more...'  Yes, it certainly would.  Oh my gosh and then the guy has the nerve to ‘turned to speak to Bella, sensing that his fate rested his her hands.‘

 

A good example of how less can be more:  ‘She kissed him. He exploded.'

 

A nice touch:  ‘Their hands became frantic as she pulled at his clothing, not even realising that he had already removed all of hers.'

 

Hmm, you've created such a distinct split between Edward and "the beast".  Interesting reasoning:  ‘But he also knew that if he allowed things to progress as he planned, Bella, his mate, may not survive. He looked at her, so delicate and fragile in her humanity. The choices were clear, stay as he was and risk hurting, or even killing her as her virgin blood spilt or allow the weak one to take over again, and preserve his mate...'

This was convincing:  ‘At first his wishes and the beasts had been so close that he had not even realised that he had lost control.'

 

I thought the sex scene was well done, very vampire. But I did NOT expect him to bite her!  So damn, they only get to have human/vampire sex once.  

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 27 Mar 2014 Title: Chapter 28: Chapter 28

This is a nice solution:  ‘She ate a little off everyone's tray as usual...'  And at last, Edward gets the scale right, buying her a Snickers bar instead of a $100 box of chocolates.

Well finally, Edward sees that good things can happen when he allows a little space:  ‘In the afternoon she felt more than comfortable with Edward near her, she actually found herself moving to be close to him if they drifted apart at all.'

This makes good sense:  ‘She pulled over in the car park of a store and turned to Jasper. "I need you to tell me what I'm feeling." She stated.'  If you don't understand how to interpret the emotions running through you, ask an empath!

A good thought:  ‘[Jasper's] voice was soft with the Texan accent that was heavier than usually heard nowadays as he had got it before radio and Television made people start to speak a more standardised language.'

Nice: 

    ‘...she remembered back, the very second he touched her and the warm feeling flooded back into her, "I felt..."

    "Safe." [Jasper] said.'  Something new for her.

 

A good explanation:  "Charlie loves you enormously, but he is rather unable to show it... for the same reason you are, long before Renée hurt you she destroyed your father."  From what we've seen of her, she's more than capable of doing serious damage to an idealistic young man.

Snicker:  ‘She got a couple of steaks out of the freezer, pleased that for once there was something in there that didn't spend its whole life in water.'

Charming:  ‘She came to the realisation that Edward Cullen was dangerous to her. Even if he just looked in her direction her brain dribbled out of her ears and she found herself saying things she didn't really mean... things like... yes.'

An interesting reaction, when the van is approaching (again):  ‘Her eyes lifted to where Edward was stood, at the top of the steps, she tried to apologise to him with her glance.'  Because she knows how hard this will be for him, I'm guessing.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 27 Mar 2014 Title: Chapter 29: Chapter 29

Well said:  ‘...her eyes had a look in them he had hoped never to see again, a human accepting their death.'

Wow this is serious:  ‘...he realised that the skull his fingers were cradling was soft. She had more than a concussion this time, he could feel and hear the bones grate against each other, he stopped moving his hand immediately.'  A good detail:  ‘though he would have sworn it was impossible for someone like him, he actually felt sick.'

It was more serious too, in that Edward was trapped between the vehicles and had to choose between the chance of someone realizing what he had done, and having to leave Bella alone while injured.

It's definitely useful to have Charlie as an ally in managing the accident scene!

A difficult moment for Edward:  ‘{Edward? I know you are listening, one of us needs to stay close for the next day or so, at any second we may have to step in and change her.} Edward closed his eyes in grief... He had expected that if Bella wasn't changed that he would have 60 or 70 years with her, not less than a week!'

Interesting observation, about parents burying their children.  ‘His grandparents had had seven children and only his father and Aunt Molly survived to adulthood.'  True.  Clever surgical use of a bit of venom.

Very good:  ‘In fact the only time they moved was when the nurses came into the room to take her vitals, it was like watching a sculpture park suddenly come to life, and then freeze again when the human left, Charlie said.'

Vivid:  ‘It was amazing that the room hadn't seemed crowded before when all 7 Cullen's and Charlie were in there with her, but add just Renée and the room suddenly wasn't big enough. There didn't seem to be enough oxygen.'

Yaay:  ‘Emmett, Jasper and Rose moved between the hospital bed and the visitor, blocking her line of sight and making it quite clear that they would not allow Renée near to her again.'  It made me smile when Esme calmly and firmly removed Renee's hand from Carlisle. 

Poor Bella, the last thing she needs is her high-maintenance mother at a time like this.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 02 Apr 2014 Title: Chapter 30: Chapter 30

Boy, how obnoxious did Renee have to be to get to this point:  ‘Charlie could tell her lawyer wasn't impressed by his client's attitude either.'

Hmm, well I guess that's as good a reason as any to choose to marry right away.  Bella's getting better at thinking through her first emotional reactions.  (And at least she doesn't have to deal with an Alice-organized wedding circus.) 

What a tough position for Charlie:  ‘How much he regretted pushing his daughter into marriage at 17, just to save her from her mother...'  Interesting that as Edward speaks about Renee, ‘...to protect Bella from the sheer hatred in his voice he spoke to his father in a pitch she couldn't hear.'

Nice:  ‘At last she could recognise it, the warm glow Edward put into her life wasn't just safety, it was love and happiness.'

A good way to describe her sleepiness:  ‘Her head nodded as her blinks were harder and harder to recover from.'

Lovely use of a canon line from a similar setting:  ‘"Where would I go?" he asked.'

Oh my gosh the arrogance of this woman!  ‘Renée looked at the [restraining order] papers in disbelief and tore them in half without giving them a second glance.'  Very selfless of Charlie to allow her to assault him, getting her locked up where she can't get to Bella.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 02 Apr 2014 Title: Chapter 31: Chapter 31

Wow, very perceptive of Edward to notice that when Bella was awake ‘her life had given her a guarded expression most of the time' and ‘you could see the burden she carried'.  ‘...but when she slept the weight lifted off her...'  So few people have ever gotten close enough to Bella to see this difference.

Entirely believable that Renee would have had her lawyer looking closely at the Cullens. 

A new experience for Bella, having someone to help when Charlie needs care.

It's a little worrying that Bella keeps noticing reactions that might be related to the mating bond, but doesn't talk to Edward about it because she's ‘afraid to worry him'.  What if it's something important?

The nurse turns out to be an unexpected source of sound advice for Bella.  I imagine Bella sees her as a neutral party, and will listen to her more than she would one of the Cullens.

Nicely said:  What would it be like? She wondered, to know that no matter how much time you spent doing something, you had still infinite time to do everything else.'

Hmm, a honeymoon on Isle Esme - I wonder how that will go...  Lots of time to get used to one another.

 

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 28 Apr 2014 Title: Chapter 36: Chapter 36

What a shame that Bella had to put up with this:  ‘Often [Renee] would invite men back to the house that she had only met hours earlier. Bella had learnt to be out of sight before they arrived, if the man found out about her and left before Renée got what she wanted Bella's life wasn't worth living for days, or weeks.'

No wonder Bella's a little vague about how to tell when "it's time".

 

Fun:  ‘She unconsciously licked her lips as she stared at him, only realising what she had done as she tasted the salt that had dried there on their walk on the beach.'

 

I kind of liked the similarity to canon of Bella getting worn out by the day's activities, but not because Edward was withholding sex from her, but because she was still recovering and he wanted her to rest.

 

Excellent vampire moments:  ‘She practised snorkelling while Edward coolly walked along the sea bed below her...', and later Edward swimming to the mainland because it's quieter and no one will notice him.

 

I'm glad she finally got this:  ‘She didn't think she could ever be as happy again as she was on the island, no matter how long she may live.'

 

Nice use of "I'm not going to let you starve!"

 

Good for her:  ‘She had never been a good liar... But if it was to protect Edward she suddenly realised she could tell people the moon was made of green cheese and sound convincing.'

 

Clever variation on the Port Angeles story, although perhaps because it's a single assailant Bella does better at defending herself.  Just as creepy, though, that Edward knows what the man's intentions were.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 09 Apr 2014 Title: Chapter 32: Chapter 32

Good detail:  ‘Only long practise at blending in with the humans gave the Cullen's and their ilk a reason to sit, lay or move at all.'

Yup, this is Carlisle all right:  ‘the light of new discovery in his eyes'.  A little later ‘his father's mind was moving so fast that even Edward was having trouble following his thoughts.'  Impressive!

Funny moment when Jasper says "Bella is... uncomfortable", and Edward panics thinking it's physical pain, but it turns out to be that "Alice has got to the underwear."  (And then Edward is uncomfortable too...)

Hmm, Jasper is dissatisfied with Jenks' response to Renee's lawyer:  ‘he should have acted normal and pretended to do the search and just not found anything instead of almost screaming in fear at the mention of their names.'  I wonder if Jasper's "well chosen words" might just reinforce that reaction!

Good job on Bella's sleep talking.  Especially on Emmett playing with her.

I like that this time, Alice's visions of Bella as a vampire get through Edward's hard head.  After multiple brushes with disaster, ‘the sight of her so vital and alive, even though dead, was just the push he needed to truly consider it.'  Smart of Alice to wait until he's a little bit receptive before choosing to share more of them. 

‘{If she wants it, I will turn her.} he promised.'  Yaay!

And after Bella's dream "dry humping", ‘He had never in his life felt anything approaching how he felt at that moment. If asked to describe it he wouldn't have been able to.'  Nice.  Between the discussions with Carlisle about the mate bond, Alice's visions, and now a shared orgasm, this has been quite an evening for him!  I like too that Alice, Esme, and Carlisle discreetly say nothing about it, or even more difficult, think nothing. 

Arrrgh, of course she doesn't want to leave until she sees Charlie settled in his new situation!  Thank goodness Edward has the sense not to protest (even though Charlie agrees with him).

Aww:  ‘...everyone she loved was in that room with her. The bonds that tied the family together now included her, and her father.' 

Interesting:  ‘Jasper touched her shoulder, allowing his talent to penetrate whatever barrier she had...' 

Charming:  ‘For some reason she felt disappointed, did this mean they wouldn't...do IT? Even though she had been reluctant to do... IT... only ten minutes before suddenly she wanted to know why they couldn't.'

What!?  She wants to bring Charlie on their honeymoon?  Wow is he ever thoughtful, bringing up  Jasper and Alice as an alternative.  Edward ‘looked hurt even as he suggested it. She had done that! She didn't mean to...'   Maybe she's slowly learning to think about his feelings too.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 14 Apr 2014 Title: Chapter 33: Chapter 33

How nice:  ‘...the land that Carlisle had signed over to the couple to go with their new house.'  And thank goodness she's actually excited about it!  Aww, sweet moment at the threshhold.

Snicker:  Bella ‘...dismissed it all from her mind as she turned and firmly closed the door on the horror she had seen.'  (the huge closet stocked by Alice)

How lovely that someone took the time to select just the right personal photos for their new home.

Wow, Bella has made up her mind to be changed!  Good for Charlie: "I knew this was coming the day you caught the fever at first beach."  Yeah, he got an eyeful that day.

"We can keep in touch until you get past that awkward phase..."  That awkward phase?  Understatement of the year, giggle.  Oh my gosh, Charlie intervened with the wolves!

Good detail: "That is why we take so long hunting, we scout the area first to make sure there's no humans about before we actually start to hunt."

It was thoughtful of Alice to provide some "research" that might actually be useful to Bella.  And Emmett, sharing from his experience with Rose, about not only physical issues but also emotional.  "...no matter how much she wasn't ready, emotionally, for a physical connection, the bond would not be denied. It is going to happen."  Good to know.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 19 Apr 2014 Title: Chapter 34: Chapter 34

Charming recreation of the Rio street scene from the movie.  Without mention of Edward's slightly sheer blue shirt, though :).

Oh my gosh, the limo was ‘still in the middle of the street when they got back to it, the driver totally oblivious to the other commuters who frequently honked their horns for him to move...'  In this country we get annoyed enough at the arrogance of money, this sounds even more outrageous.

After around 30 hours of traveling, she definitely needed to sleep!  Sweet:  ‘He was amazed. She had the softest of soft mattresses to sleep on but seemed to prefer lying on his marble body.'

 

A fun moment:

‘"I told Charlie I wanted to be changed." She said casually as she ate her breakfast. ... Edward had been putting the milk back in the fridge when she said it and he almost dropped it in shock.'

 

"There are a lot of disadvantages to being so young, you know."  He would certainly know!

Hmm, this is getting more like canon, where Edward is having to put the brakes on Bella's libido.  But thank goodness, he's only slowing them down to make sure she's ready, not crashing to a dead halt.

Snicker:  ‘Bella gasped and slapped him, making her fingers tingle, either from the bond or the fact that she had just slapped rock.'

Never thought of this:  "I guess [the caretakers] were surprised, in all the years we have been coming we have never asked for human food before."  That would definitely get Kaure's radar going.

What a delightful start to their time on the island.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 21 Apr 2014 Title: Chapter 35: Chapter 35

This made me smile, at Edward's early 20th century frame of reference:  ‘...did women get randy? Was there another term?'

Interesting:  ‘If things didn't progress soon he would have to resort to masturbation. It wasn't as if he thought it was evil or wrong...he had just never seen the need before.'  To me it seems pretty obvious that masturbation (we have to come up with less ugly / pejorative word)  would take some of the pressure off, since he IS determined to let her go at her own speed.  Kind of a no-brainer (although not to SM).

Sobering, although they are alone on this beautiful island, ‘it hadn't been that long since the accident. The skull fractures had only just started healing, really she should not be so far from a hospital...'

Snicker, ‘every dirty thought Emmett had ever had in his presence came to the fore.'  So not helping!

Intriguing:  ‘The electric tingle every time they touched should have been so common now that he was used to it, but it seemed the voltage was increasing.'

This situation is getting serious, maybe even risky:  ‘'Distract yourself! NOW!' [Alice] said, he realised that he was at the bedroom door. He had headed there without even thinking about it.'

Nice that he realizes this:  ‘Thank God for Alice. ... If it wasn't for her he would probably have killed Bella on their first meeting.'  True enough.

And yet it's still humorous that ‘She was definitely trying to kill him!' Of course knowing Bella, she didn't have that intention, though she did seem to be enjoying the effect she has on him.

Unexpectedly affecting, "Mrs. Esme" and "Mrs. Bella".  Makes their marriage very real.

Good one:  ‘Kaure mumbled under her breath a warning that Mrs. Bella had better be alive and undamaged when they returned or she would bring matches.'  Another good one:  ‘Gustavo, with the instincts of an animal in peril, seemed to sense that his wife was in danger and he hurried her out with hardly a goodbye.'

Fun idea, that Jasper carved all those chess sets.  But I'm with her on the ivory:  ‘the taint of decades dead elephants'.

A startling thought:  ‘When Carlisle was young, men could be tortured on the rack and burnt at the stake for nothing more than speaking out against the king!'

Hmm, so did he find a way to affect the dice so she won at backgammon?

I like this version of Bella choosing to shave "everything" better than the manic honeymoon night grooming from the book.  Your Bella seems to be enjoying herself, getting ready for her day in the sun with her husband.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 05 May 2014 Title: Chapter 38: Chapter 38

You scared me!  Even early in this chapter I was wondering how he could be so relaxed when he had just bit her!  But then the feathers, and ...oh, I get it.  Sneaky author.

Fun:  ‘It was strange, he thought, he remembered that as they had started making love he had thought proper words for everything, but as the exercise continued the colloquialisms that were in use of late took over, the dry clinical names were just inadequate for how he felt.'

Your Bella is delightful: "Are you saying we are tame?" Sometimes I think she doesn't have a filter at all.

Thank you for being honest that for some of us, sex hurts in the beginning, and the lingering soreness can be significant.  Not that it isn't totally worth it!  This is true too:  ‘Not that she would not have welcomed the relief of him leaving her body...'  And she would surely have worried about whether he'd want to "do it" again soon.

At least she eventually lets herself relax and enjoy their closeness.  You gave us some lovely moments afterwards.

Nice:  ‘What was she doing to him? He had never in his entire existence lost focus the way he did around her.'

Snicker:  ‘...her hands trying to cover all the bits he most wished to see.'

Sweet:  ‘She put her head onto his chest, marvelling at the fact that there was no heartbeat but she knew he had one of the largest hearts of anyone she had ever met.'

Amusing that she can't stand that Gustavo and Kaure would know how B&E had wrecked the bedroom...

Funny:  ‘He rushed into the bathroom to help her, she growled at him and he raised his hands and retreated, leaving her to her privacy for the first time in days.'  Yes, she needs at least a little space!

A charming moment:  ‘She allowed the current to push her under and went to sit on the bottom with him, and for a minute or so they sat there, holding hands, the only noise the roar of the water...'

Just as in canon, he's totally unprepared and baffled that she's so hurt by his refusal to make love again.  But it's hard for your Bella, especially, she's only beginning to build any self-confidence.  Stupid vampire! 

At least she gets angry, not just weepy.  ‘Well two of them could be stubborn!'  Oh, definitely. 

OK, now Bella, plan B or not, don't make any threats you're not willing to carry out: "You won't touch me! ...So I'll go find someone who will."  As if!

 

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 05 May 2014 Title: Chapter 39: Chapter 39

Yikes:  ‘Alice had told her that if Edward continued being stubborn that eventually his inner beast would take control again, and this time she would not survive it. It was even doubtful if she would live long enough to be turned according to the vision Alice had recently had.'  A little too risky if you ask me!  Maybe there should be a Plan C?

Ah, finally she gets to enjoy this: ‘the closeness, the electricity, made her body hum immediately.'  This time, some real vampire sex!  And she lives to tell the tale.

‘"I bruise easily." She reminded him. Still, he lowered himself to each bruise in turn, and kissed it gently, apologising to each and every blemish.'  So much better than going all emo.

Progress:  ‘Never would she have imagined that she would be willing to sunbathe without clothes on...'

Aww, good for Gustavo:  ‘The terrified man before him had risked his displeasure to tell him that there was a tropical storm brewing off the coast...'

A good sign:  ‘Charlie looked slightly out of place as he stood with the rest, but the grin on his face as he saw her showed that he felt quite comfortable in their close company.'  And later ‘Bella was amazed that he had actually unhooked his boat from the back [of his truck] to come and pick her up.'

Hmm:  ‘Charlie looked well, better than he had ever looked, if she was honest.'  He probably hadn't ever been looked after as carefully as he was at the Cullen house.

My favorite part of the family greetings:  ‘Jasper put a hand on her shoulder and she felt warmth flood her, she met his eyes and tears filled hers as he transmitted how happy they all were to see her.'  This was fun too:  ‘Emmett wasn't exactly ignorable.'

Giggle:  ‘...Charlie set off first. It would probably be the first time in history that the Cullen family travelled any distance and kept to the speed limit.'

That's a good point that Bella could be taking a job away from someone who really needs it.

Aww, ‘She really would miss Charlie through her newborn phase. He was the first person who she had ever known for certain loved her.'

I totally agree with Bella's tantrum at Alice - it's hard to imagine how else she would ever get Alice's attention, to be taken seriously.  Nobody else even tries any more. I especially enjoyed her throwing the D&G jeans into the fire.  Hopefully Edward will listen to her enough to understand how she feels.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 14 May 2014 Title: Chapter 40: Chapter 40

You've really done a good job outlining Bella's desperate tantrum, and how it realigns the whole family system.  I found it ironic that Edward, who had himself been a victim of Alice's steamrolling ways, still somehow bought into the family's blithe tolerance of her.  It took some courageous pushback from Bella to open his eyes, that what Alice had done to Bella was no more acceptable than what she had done to him all those years ago.  Apparently Alice has some growing up to do.  And thank goodness for Esme's clear sight and staunch support!

For starters, it's lucky Edward had the sense not to push Bella any further while they're running around in the truck. 

Good explanation for how it came about that Bella was in the position of having to finish high school a second time, ultimately because Charlie had to be seen to uphold the rules of the community, however arbitrary they might be.  Interesting that "I'm no longer your legal guardian, I signed over the right to that when I allowed you to marry underage."

This made me smile, at the police station:  ‘She ignored Edward, even though she could feel him watching her every move as he sat at her side. She did notice her father looking at them both a couple of times, and was almost sure she caught Edward giving him a shrug out of the corner of her eye.'

Good one:  ‘She didn't know which was worse, vampires or men! And vampire men... well!'

Well said:  "The courts say I'm legally an adult and well able to care for myself, which by the way I have been doing for almost 10 years! But still you don't trust me enough to allow me out of your sight."

Oh, and here's the turning point:  "if you try and stop me I may not come back!"  A threat / intention like that fires up the sense of losing the bond, strongly enough to threaten her health and certainly enough to scare Edward. 

Good dad, Charlie, insisting on carrying unconscious Bella himself instead of letting Edward take over, because clearly she wouldn't have wanted that.

Geez, I want to throttle Edward, although I guess he is honestly puzzled:  "Why though? They are just clothes."  Esme sets him straight, doesn't she?  ‘...his mother filled her voice with a 'give me strength' tone.'  She totally gets it. 

Excellent point:  "If being sensible wasn't getting your attention is it any wonder that she tried the method her mother used to such good effect for so many years and threw a tantrum?"

Another terrific insight:  "[Bella's clothes] were chosen, if you consider it, for her to fade into the background. Nondescript, and plain. ... They hid her shape so she didn't get the attention of any boys and the girls wouldn't feel jealous of her. Alice, basically, took away her armour and planned to put her into the spotlight."

Clever having Edward think about his mother and father, and how he retained the attitudes he grew up with.  I like your idea that Carlisle had lived long enough to recognize how arbitrary any given era's attitudes can be, and Jasper had lived in a time when the social fabric had come apart because of the war.  This made me smile:  ‘Edward groaned and leant his head against the car window. He was his father! The trouble was, Bella was not his mother.'

Yaay!  ‘He had asked why she fought him several times, maybe Esme was right and he should be asking why he was trying to control her every move instead?'

Oh, I didn't see that coming, Edward considering that he and Bella might be better off separating from the family.  It gave me the creeps when he and Esme questioned whether Alice had entirely pure intentions in leaving Bella with Renee as long as they did.  I did enjoy that he was pissed enough at Alice to crush his phone rather than check her text.

And since he is now insisting on consulting with Bella before making any further decisions, Alice won't be able to see how this turns out.  It will drive her crazy!

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 16 May 2014 Title: Chapter 41: Chapter 41

Hmm, interesting question, re the pain from a strained mate bond:  ‘...it pulsed in her body, keeping pace with her heartbeat. Every nerve ending was on fire with it. Was this what she would suffer in the change?'

It's brave of you to say that Bella feels smothered by Edward:  ‘She loved him so much that it hurt sometimes... But it wasn't enough, she was suffocating.'  And ‘It was too late for her to retreat into childhood now.'  That's right, all of the Cullens need to learn this.

Oh yaay, she has gotten through to him:  "I won't force you into anything or stop you from doing anything you want, just come back to me. Alice isn't allowed anywhere near you unless you say you want to see her!"

Snicker, ‘Having the same argument every 7 days for the rest of eternity didn't appeal to her.'

 

Well said:

"I didn't promise, I said it would be a long time before it happened and then distracted you. I would not promise Bella, I can't live in a world where you don't exist."

Whoa, they're definitely taking her seriously. "Bella, you have to think about yourself. If living with us is as bad as Renée was, then you MUST leave. Edward will take you anywhere you want to go, for as long as you need."  I'm impressed that Carlisle even offers to move the rest of the family away so she can be alone with Edward but near Charlie!

Nice:  ‘He held up the plaid shirt that had started the argument earlier and when she smiled slightly at him he beamed broadly as if she had given him the world.'  I was surprised she wasn't more excited to have her own clothes back - that was quite a victory.  Great idea:  ‘maybe Rose and Esme would like to go shopping with her? To buy the sort of clothes SHE liked?'

This made me smile:  ‘She didn't remember deciding to stay with Edward, but the mating bond seemed to think she had and the pain was no longer present.'

I enjoyed your Jacob, playful and light hearted, and a good representative of his tribe.  Very interesting: "Most of the tribe still think that the spirit warriors are just myth, we don't want them to know any different."

I liked Jacob's reaction to her question about resisting the imprint: "NO!" he almost gasped in shock, "Why on earth would anyone try and refuse true love? Total love?"  And he's smart enough to figure out she's struggling with her own "imprint". 

Aww, even sadder than canon: "The thing is, no one in Leah's family has phased, and her father wouldn't allow us to tell her what happened, so she was one bitter woman!" 

This made me laugh out loud, but it makes sense:  "Sam is whipped, I mean REALLY whipped."  So Emily's the alpha over the alpha wolf!

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 23 May 2014 Title: Chapter 42: Chapter 42

Very well done conversation between Bella and Jacob!

Huh, I never thought about the long-term outcome of the wolves not aging while actively phasing - the reason Taha Aki may have had a "third wife" is that he outlived the first two!  Since wolves don't have the option to "turn" their imprints, it's practically a guarantee of a very sad ending.

Ooh, very legend-y:  Taha Aki ‘left the tribe and returned to the forest home of the wolves. His young sons would occasionally report to the tribe that they had seen him...'   

The story about the whole pack going mad with grief when one member accidentally killed another's imprint - so tragic, but the consequence makes sense.

More good wolf backstory: "The pack that went mad was my grandfather's. They were the last to phase until Sam, we had been 27 years without guardians..."  While the Cullens were gone, of course.

Now this makes good sense: "Yeah, that's why we all decided to allow you to be changed. No one wants a vampire mad with grief in the area..."  Not so much out of compassion, but fear for the tribe and other humans.

Excellent line for Jacob: "Myths or legends please! Not fairies!"

This is a good point too:  "Can you imagine what would happen around here if the story of giant wolves got out? The farmers already try and kill all the normal wolves they can find so they don't prey on their livestock."

Hah, a Rosalie-Emmett moment among the pack:  ‘"She's the leech's lover?" Sam, a step in front paused and turned to slap him around the back of his head.'

I like your observation that there isn't much money to be had on the reservation, especially since Sam's alpha responsibilities preclude holding down a job.  Very evocative that ‘She had supposed [their truck] was an abandoned wreck'.  Great idea that ‘she had a new project for the Cullen millions.'  After her childhood struggles to make ends meet, she can definitely empathize.

This Jacob is so reasonable:  "If what Charlie told us is right then the Cullens killed a pair of leeches a few months ago that could have wiped us all out ... back then there was only Sam, not even Paul and Jared had phased, he would have been slaughtered."  I liked that he's so impressed that Bella was there that day, when Edward first arrived.

 

Excellent that she thinks about her reaction to the wolves' truck:  ‘She guessed Edward felt the same way about her in her truck as she did about them in that one. Even more, because she was his mate. She sighed. She really had been a brat.'  Good girl.

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 23 May 2014 Title: Chapter 43: Chapter 43

A nice observation:  ‘She guessed that in floor space [the cottage] wasn't much larger than the Black house, but the difference was astounding.'

Impressive that B&E can have a pleasant conversation after she spends time with Jacob, so unlike canon.  Sweet that he has a fire and a hot cup of tea waiting for her, equally sweet that she wants to take HIS car to go see the family.

Hmm, Edward makes a good point that they have to be careful how they offer to help out the res financially.

A good resolution re Alice - Edward is wise to clearly choose his wife over his sister.  Good answer: "We need her, she will have to organise everything. As long as she doesn't try and organise me I'm ok."

Well thought out discussion about how to help the tribe.  ‘...with the secrets the tribe was keeping the one thing they could not afford was more people in the area.'  And duh - Jasper figures out that "We need Charlie" for ideas.  Funny observation about the strict male/female division re the crafts.  Aww, touching that Charlie is proud of Bella for wanting to help.

Yaay, no more school for E&B.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 23 May 2014 Title: Chapter 44: Chapter 44

Yaay, ‘Emmett was angry that Bella had been pushed to such an extreme and hoped he could help make her decide to stay.'  Nice touch that ‘she reminded him of his youngest and favourite sister from his human family'.

Interesting:  ‘Bella was more of a daughter to [Esme] than either Alice or Rose, who had both come to her when full grown.'  It makes good sense too that Carlisle wants to take a more active role in the family's decisions ‘rather than allow the visions to dictate the family's every move.'

 I like that Alice ‘was genuinely upset that she had made Bella cry and truly hadn't realised just how domineering she was.'  I'm glad you didn't paint her as a self-centered control freak.  Actually, with her gift it would be hard to avoid the tendency to try to control everything. 

Oh, intriguing that ‘though [Alice] had known that Mike Newton was never really a threat, she knew that someone WAS. She just had never been able to see who it was... Now, with her knowing about the wolves interfering with her vision she wondered whether it was one of them that Bella would have gotten attached to so much that she would avoid the Cullens entirely, making the mating bond not form.'  Please don't make me want to murder Jacob again!

Interesting idea that "we can stand being a bit further apart now, [the bond] sort of knows we aren't going to part."  That's a relief.  Fun that Bella actually flirts with Edward: "Maybe we should try strengthening it again?"  The effect of her unintentionally slow striptease was good, too.  Makes sense that she doesn't want her wardrobe destroyed.

A surprising reminder:  ‘It was only a couple of days ago that she hadn't wanted him to see her naked in the shower.'  Delicious description of their lovemaking.  ‘The deeper he went the more he needed to get even deeper.'  A uniquely human experience for him, ‘If he did not know better he would say that he was exhausted too.' 

Sweet that Alice provided the electric blanket for them.

 

Yes, certainly someone who appears to be 17 would be treated exactly like that by car salesmen.  I like your description that ‘Edward just stared at the salesman until he broke out into a sweat...'  (Hmm, were there any saleswomen?  That would present a whole different problem.)

I laughed out loud at Bella's answer when Rosalie asks her what car they chose:  ‘"Erm, you know, I can't remember, except it's black?" She shrugged apologetically.'  Hilarious how that sole detail gets passed onto Alice and then Esme.  Another good Rosalie line: "What, like the Model T?"  And then "Ok, Pixie, I give up, what the hell has he bought?"  Wonderful!  How fun that she teases Rosalie by only specifying that for her "after" car "I was thinking of a red one."

I like Alice's description of how they hide their connections to all that money.  Good job.

Oh damn, I hated that stupid Guardian car in canon.  Somehow it's a little less obnoxious here, I imagine if this Bella really didn't want it she'd make that stick.

Sad but true:  ‘She clearly remembered the girls at her old school in Phoenix. The better the car they drove the nastier they were.'

And yaay, the Cullen women catch on that Bella gets bored by researching cars on-line!  Good for her, being honest about it.

 

This made me smile:  ‘If Emmett mentioned anything [about her period] when he got back she would die!'  I wouldn't put it past him, either.

Amusing that ‘she didn't want to know how many movie companies they owned.'  And I loved the Fassbender/Wasikowska version of Jane Eyre!  Have you ever seen the 4-hour Timothy Dalton one?  Yumm!

Hmm, surely Edward will get back before the movie is over, so she can cuddle with him too!

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 04 Jun 2014 Title: Chapter 45: Chapter 45

Oh dear, Renee just keeps making things worse for herself.  I agree with Edward, "I don't even want to remind Bella she exists."

Hmm, I like that the Cullens have to dig a little to find out if the latest "animal" victim was really killed by a vampire. They can't possibly know everything that happens in the area the second it happens.

Sweet moment for Esme:  ‘They found her sat on the sofa, a peaceful smile on her face as she regarded the sleeping girl with her head on her lap.'

This made me smile:  ‘Edward grimaced. Just because he didn't want to discuss [their sex life], didn't mean his family didn't.'

Good explanation for Bella's aversion to shopping:  "at the moment she feels guilty because she sees it as us running down the way she has lived so far, and she is trying not to be offended with our generosity."

I always thought it was sort of ridiculous that canon never mentioned the issue of menstruation around vampires, especially with a school full of young women.

Fun bit of banter when he's about to drive her home - they really are learning each other.

A cute way of expressing Bella's cluelessness about sports:  ‘She frowned as Jacob gave a loud cheer, evidently someone had scored a goal, or a run, or something.'  This was fun, too, from Emily, re the infamous "flat screen": "Anyone would think we didn't have a TV anywhere on the reservation..."

A sad idea, re Sam and Emily:  "Leah just went postal, she kicked me out of the house and Uncle Harry won't let us tell her what happened." Not only does Emily get the blame, but Leah must feel even worse.

Yikes, so both Emily and Bella were hurt?   The nomad indirectly causes terrible damage without even being in the room - and without even the advantage of Alice being able to see that Carlisle and Edward are needed!

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 08 Jun 2014 Title: Chapter 46: Chapter 46

Good job describing Edward's panic when he hears Bella has been injured but has no details.

Excellent description, too, of how Emily's injury affected the whole pack - of course it would.  Scary warning from Charlie to Edward:  ‘be careful Sam is just outside, he may be dangerous in that state.'  And poor Sam: He could not find the calm he needed to change back into a human...'

Interesting:  ‘...the rather lupine tainted smell of Emily's [blood]'.  And later ‘Carlisle briefly considered whether [a transfusion] was safe, as the girl wasn't actually 100% human any more.'

Funny but not:  Carlisle's ‘study is set up as a small hospital." They hadn't changed it back since Bella was last in need, just in case she ever needed it again, with her track record it was almost certain she would at some time.'  Turns out to be lucky for Emily.  Jasper would be proud of how Edward took charge to solve the puzzle of how to get Emily to Carlisle. 

Aww, sweet scene of Edward comforting Bella when they get back to the Cullen house. 

Nicely phrased:  ‘the huge wolf that was sometimes a 14 year old boy'.  And I like that Esme is concerned for the newest wolves: "You are just all so young."

Wow, Jacob has manners!  ‘"May we come in?" Jacob asked, one of his hands firmly holding Sam's shoulder to stop him barging through the Cullen house.'  And then "Paul! If you can't stop yourself being rude, leave!"

What a dramatic moment when Leah shows up, unrecognized by the rest of the pack.  Poor baby:  ‘...this is the first time she has phased and she doesn't know what is happening to her. One of you needs to go out there and change and calm her down before she injures herself.'

This made me smile, when Jacob strips and transforms to help Leah:  ‘[Bella] smiled to herself when she realised Edward's shoes were there, meaning he had stood in the way so she couldn't see anything.'

Good one:  ‘"I don't understand." [Sam] said as he came in, "whoever she is she doesn't like me much!"

"The trouble is that she actually loves you." Edward said sadly.'

Of course poor Leah will know all about Sam injuring Emily from the pack mind.  And Seth reacts like a typical little brother!

And in all of this the nomad got away, and we don't even know who he is!

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 25 Jun 2014 Title: Chapter 47: Chapter 47

Uh oh:  ‘Harry looked to have aged a decade since Charlie had last seen him, which was only a few days before... Charlie worried for his friend, his health wasn't the best. ... if the man lived out the year he would be lucky.'  Having his son AND daughter phase had to be traumatic.

Yeah, the tribe must have wondered this, as Harry did:  ‘Why [Leah] had phased and what that meant to the tribe. ...Was the whole tribe going to end up as wolves? ... would there BE a next generation if no one aged and so couldn't carry a child to term?'

Ouch:  ‘[Leah] didn't yet realise that if Emily died, Sam would soon follow. As soon as they all phased at the same time, she would though.'  That's only going to make Leah feel worse.

Well said:  ‘...the joint mind especially gave Edward what could be described as a mix between a headache and strained eyesight.' 

I snickered that Bella remembers leaving the oven on.  They really don't need another problem right about now.  Not at all amusing though that the kitchen is covered in Emily's blood.

Clever thought, to have the wolves take a photo of any unidentified nomad and check with the Cullens.  I wonder if the wolves were a little surprised at Bella's knowledge about "burning the pieces".

Interesting thoughts from Paul:  ‘"I mean this house is great and all, but hardly a palace, and they all go to school, why is that?" Edward could tell that the others all agreed, the tribe had long been trying to figure out why the Cullen's acted as they did.'

Good point:  ‘The fact that Jacob had been unable to understand Bella's attitude before and was suddenly confronted with his own reluctance to accept [cell phones] allowed Edward to understand even better than if he just had been able to read Bella to start with.'  As out of touch with "normal" humans as the Cullens are, it's also good for them to see that someone else thinks like Bella does.

I like that Edward has really learned his lesson about not making decisions for Bella.  For instance, ‘Edward was uneasy the whole time [Sam] was close to her, this was... after all... the wolf who had hurt his own imprint through losing his temper.'  But he keeps his mouth shut.

I love Charlie's idea of paying the pack for their peacekeeping duties.  And that ‘It was the longest speech anyone except Bella had ever heard Charlie make... ever.'

Good thing Jacob was there to talk Bella out of feeling guilty for Emily's injury.  She wouldn't have listened to Edward.  And this is certainly true:  "Emily could have got hurt miles away from any help. At least as it was she got to a doctor fast."  And a doctor who wouldn't report her odd injuries.

 

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 06 Jul 2014 Title: Chapter 48: Chapter 48

Interesting point:  ‘Unlike his family he had not had over 50 years to make him depend on Alice's visions.'

 

Wow, for Charlie to say this about Renee:  "She would have been held at Olympic while awaiting trial if she wasn't so well known around here, there is such a prejudice against her in Forks."  It's easy to imagine her offending everyone who knew her in a small town.

 

A nice moment, from Charlie: "You know, my life used to be boring?" Charlie laughed shortly. ... "Then Bella came back, she sure makes life interesting."

 

Encouraging thoughts by Edward, re how Bella has grown and would now fight for herself against Renee.

 

Aww, "You will be magnificent, Bella, and I already watch you every minute."

 

A good description of the difficulties of human-vampire sex:  ‘His face was screwed up in concentration as he tried to rein in his power at the same time as he tried to allow release.'

 

A rather startling summary of Jacob's home situation:  ‘Even after his mother died and the twins both moved out, leaving him to cope with his disabled father on his own, he had never seemed to let it get him down.'

 

Enjoyed the banter:

"I'll look after her, Sam." Bella promised...

"Yeah, but who will look after you?" he asked.

 

Fun sense of humor from Emily, too.  She tells Sam that she and Bella will compare notes:  ‘"Well we both have supernatural lovers!" Sam blushed madly and was out of the door in a split second.'

 

Ooh, good cliffie!

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 11 Aug 2014 Title: Chapter 52: Chapter 52

Now THIS was unexpected.  Bella runs after the human and then ‘"Are you ok?" she asked as she came to a sudden halt, almost breaking the laws of mass and inertia.'  She was attracted by the smell of spilled blood, but wanted to help rather than eat him!  Carlisle will be so proud.  Good point that with her shield, there's nothing any of the others could have done to stop her, either.

Funny:  ‘{Typical, here I am in the middle of nowhere and a goddess just appears out of the trees, and she's MARRIED!}'

Oh, interesting twist that Edward was involved in Rosalie's revenge on her attackers.  Makes very good sense, with his vigilante background.

Snicker, yeah, between Edward's gift and the pack mind, who needs a satellite phone?

Excellent:  "This is annoying." Irina said from the trees, "any one of us could pick him up and run with him and get him to hospital in less than half an hour, but because you all want to live amongst humans you have to go through this charade."

Oh, good for Charlie:  ‘Charlie was waiting for them on the doorstep, thinking silently that it may be easier for her if they were out in the open, the smell of human blood being diluted in the air rather than concentrated in a small room.'  Aww, ‘Charlie's thoughts were muddled with happiness.'

A well-thought out variation on canon, that Bella's human revulsion for blood morphs into a lack of appetite for it after her change.  Could be a problem, eh?  Is she going to be a "real" vegetarian?  Poor girl, "I'm a freak. I was when I was human and nothing has changed."  Hmm, and human food doesn't smell awful?

Good explanation:  "...we can assimilate [human] blood better. Maybe metabolise would be a better term, there are factors in animal blood that do not feed us as well as they should..." 

Also "The human blood lingering in the tissues is better than anything we can feed on, after all you cannot reject your own blood. It's also why Vampires tend to kill close family members first ... the closer the person is to them, the more compatible their blood is."

I've always enjoyed that your Charlie is a real dad:  ‘{Look after her.} Charlie told him in his thoughts, {I don't like the fact that she isn't eating.}'

Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 11 Aug 2014 Title: Chapter 53: Chapter 53

I smiled that Bella is objecting to being "grounded" at the main house: "And I don't mean to be disrespectful Esme, but how do any of you expect to stop me?"

 

I like Edward's attitude about going home too:

‘Edward put his arm around her and gave her a wicked grin.

"I don't think sleep is what Bella is thinking of." He said.'

 

I enjoyed Edward's method of reassuring Bella that their lovemaking would be at least as pleasurable as before: "I can do this."  Very direct.

Nice:  ‘Electricity sped over their skin, almost feeling like her shield, but this time instead of pushing him away it drew him closer...'

 

Wonderful:  ‘He collapsed on top of her and once again experienced a momentary blackout, if he was human he would have said he was totally exhausted. ...

"Is this OK?" he mumbled into the pillow his face was pressed against.'

 

Oh, and Bella's shield must have something to do with blocking Emmett's and Rosalie's thoughts from Edward?

 

Of course:

‘"I haven't left the cottage." Bella insisted.

"I can see that!" Emmett wiggled his eyebrows...'

 

Yeah, after all it IS rural Washington:  ‘There was a large gathering of people in the parking lot of Newton's Outfitters, guns of all shapes and sizes very much visible in the crowd...'

 

Groan:

"I could do without the visual Seth!" [Edward] protested.

"Can't help it man, you should be inside our heads!"

"I AM! ... I thought there weren't any secrets in our family, that is just... worse!" 

 

Hmm, I wonder where you're going with the two nomads...

Summary: Past Featured Story

mdd

Bella is a divorced English teacher, who doesn't know she has a vampire in her class.

"Please don't push me away, Bella. Isn't it my choice if I want to be with you? I'm not a child in the way I feel."

"I'm not the older woman who's going to spend a season educating a teenage boy so he can go off and remember me fondly. I'm looking for forever."

"How do you know I couldn't..."

" Because you're a boy, Edward, a beautiful, sweet, confused, boy! You've got your whole life ahead of you. This kind of thing doesn't work out."

fs


Categories: Twilight, Canon Pairings
Characters: Bella/Edward
Genre: Romance
Language: English
TWCS Romance Contest: None
Series: Stories I've Already read
Chapters: 83 Table of Contents
Completed: Yes Word count: 453800 Read Count: 79100
[Report This] Published: 18 Nov 2013 Updated: 30 May 2014
Reviewer: renee aubin Signed
Date: 02 Jan 2014 Title: Chapter 30: Chapter 30 Subterfuge

Hey, Corinne!  I was going to PM you, but apparently that feature has been disabled on this site, so a review is the only way to say hello.

A couple of months ago I had the urge to reread May December Divide, and was completely shocked that it had been pulled from FFn for TOS violation.  THIS story - seriously?  With all the PWP out there, I would think yours would be about the last one they would go after.  Your sex scenes are so character-driven and character-revealing, all about the relationship. Shaking my head, what a weird world we live in.

I was intrigued too that you have been doing some re-editing as you post on TWCS.  Of course I don't have the original version, but I'm finding it very smooth to read.  

I have the story on alert so I'm picking up each chapter as it posts, and enjoying it every bit as much as I did the first time through.  Thanks for going to all the trouble of reposting!

   Renée



Author's Response:

I do miss the PMs.

What happened on ffnet had very little to do with my story content.  I said something on a forum, and one of the lurkers decided to "teach me a lesson," so she reported two of my stories.  That didn't get enough of a response, so she ran to a critics group and whined for them to get this story banned.  They decided that sex, no matter how it's written, is something only adults should see, and their members reported the story, based only on one chapter this whiner showed them.  Not a one of them actually read the story.  We all know there are stories out there much worse than this one, many of them written by the very kids the rating pretends to protect.  This story wasn't deleted for content, it was deleted for excessive whining.  Proof is that the other story she reported is still up, though its content is more explicit.  

It feels good to get away from ffnet and its unresponsive admins and indecipherable rules.  I plan to eventually move all my stories over here, then take them off that site.  Maybe if enough readers and writers leave, they won't be so quick to listen to those who only criticize.  I know that sounds like sour grapes, but I don't like the Big Brother mentality.  

I've been editing out those numerous I-bombs, and other wordiness.  I've got enough needless exclamation points here I could paper my walls--thanks again for telling me.  I'm also going to do a bit of a rewrite and split this beast into two stories.  I'll have to do some changing to make it work, but the overall story should be the same.  

Thanks again for the hello.  I'm glad you still like the story.  

Corinne