Happy Friday RA readers and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day ~ March 17th. This week, I’d like to present a special Guest Review Week post for your reading pleasure; it was prepared by the lovely Cared, our Irish friend, who has some beautiful Irishward recs for you today to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day tomorrow! So, a heartfelt thank you to Cared and now please enjoy Irishward…
Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day, so thanks MC for the opportunity to share one of my favourite Wards with you all. Irishward must rank among the most passionate Wards ever written. I’m not just saying that because I’m wearing pink green tinted spectacles. Believe me, you don’t need a single drop of green blood in your veins to take pleasure from Irishward. Allow me to introduce you to a few of these charming boys.
The story starts in Belfast in the 1970’s, a time of great social unrest. We meet Bella as she arrives home was university and sits in the kitchen, companionably drinking tea with her mother. The outside political instability encroaches very little on her life, her quiet, boring, predictable life. I should say her quiet, boring, predictable life, until the moment she finds a gun hidden under her bed. Opening that innocuous looking brown paper bag was equivalent to opening Pandora’s box or falling down the infamous rabbit hole. Everything changes.
Bella has been struggling for years to hide her feelings for and from Edward, the brother of her best friend Alice. Edward, her brother Emmett’s best friend, is a bit of a bucko. Translation – he is popular with the ladies. Ladies, Bella has been forced to endure seeing him with. Is this one more thing that is about to change?
“Why exactly are you here?” I huffed, yanking my hair away.
Edward sat up and maneuvered so that his body aligned with mine, closing the space between us. I felt his fingers, no longer cold, tickle at my chin and when I looked at him he kissed me right away, a brief brush of lips.
I frowned. “Why-” but he kissed me again, longer, lingering.
It took me a moment to pull myself together after our lips had parted. “Why did you do that?” I whispered, my heart clamoring inside my ribs.
“Because you wanted me to,” he answered, his mouth curling up into a crooked grin.
I looked down at my hands, twisting nervously in my lap. Was he toying with me now, amused by my affections? Mortification started creeping in.
“And because I wanted to,” he added, his smile fading as I looked up at him.
I glanced at his mouth, perfect really, wanting so much to feel it on mine again. He ran the back of his hand down my cheek and then curled his fingers around the base of my neck, gently pulling me toward him. This time when our mouths came together I let my lips open. His tongue slid into my mouth and it was warm and sensual and overwhelming and my hands grasped his arms of their own volition.
He made me feel desperate and out of control and I didn’t want him to stop.
He kissed me deeper still, and gently pried my hands off of his forearms. He placed my arms around him instead, and cupped my face with his rough-smooth hands, our tongues moving together as we tasted one other. He broke away and moved to my neck and I heard myself gasp but I couldn’t be embarrassed because I was so aroused it was hard to think.
Just between us, I wasn’t convinced about this Irishward when I first met him. I wondered if Bella was merely a distraction for him, if his passion and love was reserved solely for his country? I worried for Bella. Well shame on me for doubting Edward. He often hints to Bella about his feelings and their future together without ever saying anything concrete. Finally, an impatient Bella demands straight talking. Edward’s confession of the depth of his feelings and his commitment does not disappoint her. Although, I do think it’s lucky for Irishward he’s so good looking and can use his mouth for more than talking, if you know what I mean.
“Thanks for letting me know,” I whispered suddenly, hugging him tightly.
“Well, you dragged it out of me,” he teased, kissing the top of my head. “I’m not a Romeo, so don’t be expecting that shite all the time.”
“God, ye really know how to romance a girl,” I grumbled, giving him a dirty look.
He smiled, kissing my mouth. “I do, actually, but not always with words.”
Bella later discovers that Edward has been secretly lusting after her for years.
“You’ve been starin’ at my tits during mass?” I gaped, although maybe it shouldn’t have been as surprising as much as it was typically male.
All those years of yearning to be near him, dying if he sat next to me in the pew, he was waiting for me to catch a draft so my nipples would poke through the fabric of my dress.
He grinned, turning his face so he could pay attention to the other breast, starting the process all over again. I moaned a little impatiently, pulsing under him.
“Tis a wonder you made it through twelve years of Catholic school, with your mind constantly in the gutter,” I murmured, scratching lazily through his hair.
“With honors,” he bragged. “Right.”
“And anyway it’s not the gutter; if God hadn’t wanted me to be tempted he’d wouldn’t have made women so bleedin’ appealing,” he said.
“Have ya told Father Harrington?” I giggled, urging him up before he drove me out of my mind. “I’m sure he’d be fascinated by your theories.”
I don’t want to give too much of this explosive story away. Take the hint though from the word explosive, their lives become very dangerous. Edward and Bella are forced to travel down a path they never expected or wanted. Bella has no doubts though. She is mature enough to see the bigger picture but she loves her man; nothing can or will change that. After a particularly harrowing experience for Bella, Edward is man enough to check if she still wants to be part of his dramatic and uncertain life. He is also man enough to accept that she is the one entitled to make that decision.
He folded his arms, resuming his position in my doorway. “Are you…sure that this is what you want? I don’t want to keep you from getting what you want out of life.”
My heart slammed in my chest and I swallowed thickly as I took in the meaning behind his words. “You are what I want,” I responded firmly.
He shook his head. “I just don’t want your plans to get all banjaxed because you’re running around with me. You were getting along fine before.”
The feelings that came surging over me just then were much blacker than anything I’d felt all day, and it took a second for me to catch my breath. Tears filled my eyes before I had a chance to push them back down.
Glaring into his fierce green eyes, I yanked his arms down from his chest. “Don’t do that,” I ground out. “Don’t be a fecking martyr, not for me. I made my decision years before you made yours, so save the desperate shite.”
His eyes grew round, surprised. We stared at one another briefly, until I dropped my eyes and moved past him into the hallway. He caught my hand and gave it a sharp tug, stopping me. “Alright.” I stared at his chest. “Alright what?”
“Alright, nothing changes. I don’t want to hurt you, is all.” He spoke quietly, smoothing my probably horrific hair down behind my ears.
“The only way you could really hurt me is by leaving me,” I said, laying it out the way I always did with him.
“I won’t leave you,” he promised, bending to kiss me.
This interesting, exciting, at times heart-stopping story is marked romance and drama. It captures the lives of ordinary people caught up in “The Troubles”, their loves and fears, their conflicts, and somehow the hope among the hopelessness. I have given you just a little taste of the romance. The drama is left hidden, allow it unfold before your eyes, as you read the wonderful story, epilogue and outtakes.
Summary for Volition: “It’s Belfast, N.Ireland and the year is 1972. Bella’s worried about her brother and his best friend, Edward, and their dangerous involvement in the Irish Republican Army. Is it really wise to fall in love with a rebel? Rated M.
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Romance/Drama – Chapters: 31 – Words: 158,381 – Reviews: 4188 – Updated: 8-17-10 – Published: 6-5-09 – Bella & Edward – Complete”
Of all the gin joints in all the world, Bella has to walk into Masen’s Pub. This lovely, independent, modern Bella, wanted a quiet place to write erotic romance; little did she realise that she would soon be starring in her own. Bella is instantly attracted to the smooth, velvety voice and accent of the barman, his broad muscular shoulders covered by a tight, black t-shirt with the hint of a Celtic tattoo barely peeking out. Obviously, it being a handy place to write was not the only reason Bella soon returned to the pub!
There must have been something about this pub … I wrote better when I was sitting here at the bar, and once again I found myself lost in the world I was creating on my laptop.
“Hey there, laptop girl.”
I could have sworn someone was talking to me but with all the thoughts in my head and clicks of my fingers, I couldn’t be sure.
“Earth to laptop girl… anyone home?”
I looked up to Edward’s crooked smile.
“Hey. Sorry I didn’t hear you.”
“Lost again, were ya?”
God, if he only knew. Lost in his voice, lost in his smile, lost in his eyes … take your pick.
“Something like that.”
“So do you actually have a name or should I just continue to call ya laptop girl?”
“I do, but darlin’ works just fine.” I smirked.
“Oh it does, does it?”
“Quite well as a matter of fact.”
From the initial flirting the relationship develops nicely. So nicely in fact, that Bella decides to be prepared for St. Patrick’s Day – well I say Day, but actually, I mean Night. This American girl shows her sense of humour by wearing an emerald green bra and the knickers pictured below, for her sexy Irishman. I’ve got to admire her style. LMAO
That was the first night she slept with Edward Masen.
“Tá tú álainn, and yeh have me heart.”
That was the last thing I remembered Edward saying to me before I fell asleep in his arms. Tonight had been so amazing. I never imagined I’d spend part of the evening dancing in his arms and the rest in his bed. The sexual tension hummed around us as we made our way up the stairs to Edward’s loft. We hurriedly shed our clothing and the anticipation of having him inside of me was nearly unbearable. While he was quick to take me, he was so gentle with me. His weight on me was amazing, and then he tucked us into the covers and wrapped me in his embrace.
I had never experienced anything like this before. Sure, I’d written about it in my books, but the actual act of being held by someone is so different and so intimate. I couldn’t help the few tears that escaped when he asked if he could make love to me, and I definitely couldn’t help them when he told me I had his heart.
Time moves on; Bella publishes her book and launches into a round of book signings and interviews. I laughed when Bella considered writing other genres, as she felt a major newspaper would never interview an erotic romance author. Very topical indeed. (FYI, a certain famous real life erotic romance author has an Irish husband.) I just love Edward’s thoughts on Bella’s writing.
“Darlin’ … what ye write isn’t smut. It’s sexy. I’m sure there are housewives all over the world who read yer books and their husbands are a lot happier because of it.”
Who knew? LOL
While the appearance of the creepy Alec brings moments of drama, this is really a light and fun story so far. There are lemons galore and not just in the drinks. I hope they remember to disinfect the bar counter, js.
Summary for What Fills The Eye Fills the Heart: “Bella is an erotic romance novelist who finds herself in a pub to escape her roommate’s animalistic “romps”. While at the pub, she meets sexy, Irish Edward. On St. Patrick’s Day she gets a romp of her own but can she make the romance last longer?
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Romance/Humor – Chapters: 13 – Words: 68,588 – Reviews: 438 – Updated: 2-13-12 – Published: 5-1-11 – Bella & Edward”
*http://twotwimoms.blogspot.com/ for more delicious pictures of Irishward and the story.*
The outtake, What Fills The Eyes Fills My Heart is the EPOV of their initial meeting. He may appear cool and suave, but Edward is just as captivated by Bella from the first glance.
DeltaDawn’sDreams says, “The Songs of Angels is, above all, a story of love in all its glorious facets”. I say it’s a lovely, pure and simple, old-fashioned tale of love, friendship and romance. It warms the heart. The story focuses on a popular but lonely Bella and an equally lonely, unpopular Edward. Both have been badly hurt in their previous relationships. Bella is scared to love again, while Edward is just plain cynical and bitter. When Edward reluctantly plays the role of Guardian Angel to an injured Bella, his frozen ‘heart of a lion’ instantly starts to thaw. Once Bella recovers, she is determined to track down and thank the mysterious MC. In the meantime, Edward returns to his busy life in New York and purely by chance, while stuck in traffic, hears a request on his car radio.
“…Now, a few days ago in her home town this lady came within inches of losing her life. When, out of the shadows of her semi-conscious state came her knight in shining armor…”
“Gimme a break!” Edward snorted. “I suppose he was riding a white horse and waving his trusty sword in the air, too! Someone’s been watching way too many Julia Roberts movies,” Edward thought.
“…Due to an unseasonable heat wave, this lady passed out and hit her head, rendering her unconscious. Her gallant stranger may very well have saved her life by keeping her cooled off enough to prevent a heat stroke…”
Edward’s head shot up and his eyes snapped open. That last bit got his full, undivided attention. He didn’t have a wisecrack this time – he was too stunned at the story. “It couldn’t be – it just couldn’t be Bella,” he thought.
Due to a bizarre twist of fate and meddling by Cupid, in the guise of Alice, Edward and Bella meet again. Edward quickly realises that they are meant to be together and not just as friends; all he has to do now is convince a reticent Bella. Edward may not have kissed the Blarney Stone but he has the gift of the gab, and unleashes his Irish charm on Bella.
“I’ve spent what seems like my whole life suspended in a black hole of despair. I was drowning in a world of darkness and I never realized it. Not until you came along to rescue me…an angel of light and mercy. You brought me safely into a world of warmth, light and beauty. You took a cold, heartless lion of a man and changed him into a human being capable of loving and caring. There is nothing on God’s green earth that could ever tear me away from the arms of my angel.”
As though that speech alone is not romantic enough, picture this, they have just returned from a ball and Edward is still dressed in costume as Rhett Butler. Cue swoon!
It’s not all plain sailing though. Just as Bella decides to put her trust in Edward and their relationship, a truly slimy and totally deranged figure from her past comes back to trouble them. This is where Bella shows what she is made of. Bella doesn’t crumble nor does she hesitate; she does what needs to be done in order to protect those she loves. You know that saying about what doesn’t kill you making you stronger, well it can certainly be said about this couple.
Bella had never been afraid of being alone before, but ever since Edward left for New York, strange things had been happening. The phone often rang persistently but, when she picked up the receiver, no one spoke, although someone was definitely on the other end listening. Sometimes, she would hear shuffling and faint breathing. Even when she let the answering machine pick up the call, there were no messages, just a long stretch of heavy silence. It was very creepy listening to these empty messages. It felt as if someone was in her home…watching…waiting.
Now, for the third time in as many days, a small blue car seemed to be following her. The car always turned off about three blocks from her street, or sped past her at an alarming speed. It always passed her by so dangerously fast that she could never get a look at the driver, or make a note of the license plate number. No matter how many times she told herself she was just being silly, or paranoid, the fear kept growing in her chest. By now, she was convinced the driver in the blue car was trying to make her panic, or do something to endanger her own life.
This time, the blue car sped by so fast, and then cut in front of her so close, that she had to swerve to the side of the road to keep from being side-swiped. She couldn’t wait to get home now. Even though the car was no longer following her, she still felt like she was being watched. She had an eerie feeling that, at any moment, someone was going to reach out and grab her.
“Stop it, Bella! You’re making yourself a nervous wreck!” she told herself out loud.
When she finally pulled into the driveway, she forced herself to take a couple of bags of groceries from the back seat and walk calmly to her front door instead of running inside and locking it behind her, which was what she really wanted to do. Once inside, she quickly shut and locked the door, falling against it with a sigh of relief. She’d get the rest of the groceries from the car later but, for now, she was safe.
Bella put the bags down to hang her coat up, then picked them back up and headed for the kitchen. Halfway across the living room, someone grabbed her from behind.
Without thinking, she instantly dropped the bags, elbowed her attacker in the stomach, grabbed his arm from around her shoulders, and flung him over her shoulder onto the floor. Still holding his arm by the wrist, Bella twisted it around so that it was immobilized, then put her foot firmly against his throat. She was prepared to crush the man’s throat, if necessary, and was in a perfect position to break his arm with a well-placed kick to the elbow.
The whole thing took only a matter of seconds and the man never had a chance to fight back. Finally getting a good look at her attacker, Bella very nearly fainted.
The 17th of March is going to be a special day for Edward and Bella and I’m not talking about them watching the parade!
“Tá tú mo shaol anois!” “You are my life now, Bella.
Summary for The Songs Of Angels: “Edward is known as “The Heartless Lion” He is ruthless to anyone fool enough to try and befriend him. But can a woman’s near fatal accident in a parking lot Warm his frozen heart? Can Bella Trust another Hard man after having suffered James’ cruelty?
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Romance/Drama – Chapters: 18 – Words: 108,458 – Reviews: 206 – Updated: 3-6-12 – Published: 4-11-11 – Edward & Bella”
Visit http://thesongsofangels.wordpress.com/ where you will find the story, pictures, video and music.
I could try to explain the alternative world that This Life is set in but CaraNo herself puts it best in the story Prologue.
The world is a bit different.
Do we still have Britney Spears showing her girly bits in the tabloids? Why yes, of course. We have all that in this world. We have Twitter, Facebook, and all that shit, too.
It is the year 2010, and the world is modern… but, there are still those who embrace old traditions. You will find these people in small towns. Towns as… Forks.
In the United States, it’s illegal for a girl to do much of anything without the consent of her father.
There is courting. There are arranged marriages.
A girl from… let’s say… Forks; she’s expected to be respectful towards her father. She cooks. She cleans.
She would never curse or raise her voice.
The world is however changing, and though it is still the law for a girl to obey her father, many choose to give their children the liberty to do as they please. Britney Spears’ father obviously gave her daughter way too much liberty, don’t you think?
You won’t find this type of girl in Forks, though.
So, if you’re a girl from a town like Forks, you better keep potty mouth, your sass, your snarky remarks… away from daddy dearest. Oh, and you better treat your future husband with the respect he deserves.
The respect he deserves… yes… but what happens if Rose and Bella don’t think their future husbands deserve respect?
Alice, always first with the town gossip, breaks the news of the Cullen boys coming to town. Coming to hunt – hunt for wives. Bella and Rosalie are not impressed, with the news or the family. The soon to be 18, very stubborn Rosalie, has no desire to be married off to anyone. 17 year old Bella, whilst not against marriage, as the daughter of the Police Chief, believes herself to be safe and off the Cullen radar.
We all knew of the Cullen Family, of course.
Carlisle and Esme Cullen, him being a respected surgeon, and her being a devoted housewife… and of course their two sons, Emmett and Edward.
On the outside, they were one of the finest people you could ever encounter; educated, rich, polite, church goers. Even the boys in their twenty-four and twenty-five year old glory – with Emmett being the oldest – went to mass every Sunday, being the good Catholics they pretended to be.
There were tea parties and benefits. Jackie O suits and large hats, the whole shebang.
But like I said, this was on the outside.
Behind closed doors, they were all linked to the Masen Family in Chicago.
Organized crime hailing from Ireland.
I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that the Cullen brothers set their sights on our Rosalie and Bella. Both fathers give their approval, even though neither girl is interested in joining such a suspect family. As daughters, they have no choice but to follow along with the usual courtship ritual. Bella decides on a plan to show Edward her true self, the self she hides from her father. She presumes this will be a turn off for Edward and he lose interest in her, leaving her free for a more preferable suitor. She shows Edward her sass, her potty mouth, her snarky remarks, her under-age drinking and her smoking. Oops Bella, big mistake – Edward likes it and becomes even more determined to make her his woman.
I love their banter as the courtship continues. No topic is taboo as they get to know each other. While on the subject of virginity, Bella thinks - My virtue is for my future husband, but fuck me six ways to Sunday if I thought that that applied to the criminal Cullens. What a fabulous sentence! LOL
This devilishly handsome Edward has the middle name of Ryan. Edward Ryan Cullen has a nice ring to it, but perhaps Edward Oxymoron Cullen would be more fitting. He is tough as nails on the outside, soft as butter on the inside. He believes in following the old fashioned traditions when it comes to finding a wife, yet is thrilled to find that his chosen future wife has a mind of her own. This career criminal is also a perfect gentleman.
Bella finally accepts that she has no choice; she just has to make the best of her new life. Of one thing she is certain – she will never fall for Irishward’s charms. Yeah, that one didn’t work out too well either. Who can blame her? Let’s have a look at their engagement party.
“You and your brother… are complete bastards for doing what you do,” I muttered, shaking my head at the stuff Esme had told us… “But there’s more to you than that… What you work with… that’s not all you are…”………
………”I don’t respect what you do… and a part of me doesn’t understand it… but… there’s much more to you than that,” I repeated. “We all have flaws, and I suppose… I’m ready to look passed yours.”
There. I’ve said it.
“I’m being honest,” I finished, squeezing his thigh slightly for emphasis.
Shuddering out a large breath, he seemed to still process what I’ve told him, but I could see… literally, how he started to relax. And his shoulders didn’t slump, but… I could see tension leave them, him… and his posture became less stiff.
“You don’t… hate me, then?” he asked very quietly.
Leaning my head against his arm, I replied truthfully. “No… you and your goddamn personality sorta made that impossible.”
Your godly looks and lopsided smile sure helped, too. Seriously, damn smile. Making me all gooey and shit.
Didn’t say that, though. No need to stroke his ego with that. Yet, at least.
“Thank you,” he whispered, and then I felt him drop a kiss at the top of my head.
It felt good. Really good.
Lastly, I told him, “Though I don’t ever want to be a part of what you and Emmett do… I still want to know what it is that you do… because I want to know what you’re getting yourselves into… okay?”………….
…………God, the grin he gave me… I swear it made me hotter than the sun.
It… also made me aware of our close proximity… and as I watched him… watching me so lovingly, and my eyes flickered slightly down… to there… yes, I wanted it-… that… I wanted him to…
He did the same, his eyes flickering down… and the tension shifted.
Became heavy. His smile was gone. Replaced by… well, for him it was… want, apprehension… restraint, but he was also resigned, never thinking that I would actually want it.
But I did. I do.
“Edward,” I whispered. Swallowing hard before… nodding… once. To give him permission. Because I wanted it badly. I could feel it with every fiber of me.
I was ready for that.
He shivered as he understood what I meant, and tried desperately to read me, a deep crease between his brows, as he… God, licked his lips… and I did the same… out of reflex, watching him do it.
“Yes,” I breathed out as he watched my mouth.
Slowly, he leaned down, bringing his mouth closer, and I closed my eyes, feeling my entire being just… set on fire… and then, then ever so gently, I felt his lips on mine. First just slight pressure… no moving, but… I still wanted it, him. I wanted him. So, I added pressure, feeling my lips tingle something fiercely, and I think we both felt it… and I felt us both breathe heavier as our mouths began moving against each other, carefully, slowly…
It wasn’t enough.
Reaching up, I placed my hand on the side of his neck… and he shivered, and so did I, and I parted my lips… desperate to wet my lip, and to… feel him. And he understood, parting his lips, too, and God, there was no describing… that feeling, that I felt… when our tongues met. First just the tips, softly and slowly, then more… It was intense. So goddamn intense, and it made me shiver… over and over. Even more as he finally grew bold and began kissing me properly, leaving his apprehension behind, understanding that I actually wanted this… and Jesus, when his hand, arm went around my waist… I thought I was going to combust.
He tasted delicious, and it was all him. Whiskey, smoke, mint.
Do you recall Bella stating vehemently, she never wanted to be involved in criminal activity? Yeah well, that’s just one more thing that didn’t work out as Bella planned. This story starts out as an interesting romantic tale but then takes off as a fascinating ride with hot car sex, an international family feud, plots of revenge, subterfuge, hot car sex, grand theft auto, a shoot-out, a car chase and did I mention hot car sex? And it isn’t just hot because the car is stolen! Fasten your seat belt.
“Mo anam cara, so beautiful,” he breathed against my lips……..
“A ghrá mo chroí,” he whispered as his lips ghosted over my jaw.
Summary for This Life: “There’s no choice for Bella and Rose when the infamous Cullen brothers choose them as wives. It’s called arranged marriages and it’s reality. Another thing very real is Cullens lifestyle. Meet Irish Mobward and his beloved hellcat, Bella. No heavy angst.
My Life gives a snippet of interesting background from EPOV. There is much more to this 24-year-old ex-convict than meets the eye.
Edward is a multi-talented and multi-faceted man. One of the many things that made Bella fall for Edward was his mad fingering skill. What? Let me finish – I’m talking about Edward fingering the tin whistle to make sweet, beautiful music. Early on, Bella takes pleasure from discovering the real Edward, her Whistler, through his music. Later on, Edward uses those same talented fingers, agile and dexterous from years of playing the tin whistle, to bring Bella pleasure in other ways. “And my lord, he’s got some skilled fingers.”
*Note to self – buy a tin whistle for DH.
Summary for My Life: Outtakes from This Life. Mainly from Whistler’s point of view.
Rated: Fiction M - English – Romance/Crime – Edward & Bella – Chapters: 2 – Words: 4,323 – Reviews: 396 - Favs: 581 – Follows: 730 – Updated: 03-16-13 – Published: 01-03-12 – id: 7705819
Fabulous Fan Made Video by VampireGirl9705
For the story, pictures and more see CaraNo’s blog: http://caranofiction.wordpress.com/fan-art/
So Ladies, please share your experiences of Irishward with us. Tell us the Ward that you cannot resist and who has been making you dream of Edward Cullen this week.
Lá ‘le Pádraig sona daoibh. Sláinte.