Happy Friday! Today I have two recs for you, as the lovely AllyVera has graciously offered to review a complete fic that has owned her this week, and then I, MC, will mention a WIP by the same author that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying as well. Please enjoy…
Review by AllyVera
A Hope Renewed: A misunderstanding leads to a forced marriage between Bella who is caring for her ailing father after losing their home, and Edward who has recently inherited his uncle’s estate and has no intention of taking a wife. All Human/Regency era fic.
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Romance/Hurt/Comfort – Chapters: 39 – Words: 141,088 – Reviews: 2445 – Updated: 5-8-12 – Published: 11-26-11 – Edward & Bella – Complete.
The one thing I really love about this fandom, is finding the most precious gems of stories when it was all an accident. I stumbled upon A Hope Renewed (AHR) written by the wonderful Hopesparkles one day while browsing FFN for another story, the summary caught me and I popped it on my never-ending “to be read” list. Earlier this week I was in the mood for a complete period story and it just jumped out at me. I read and read and read until I finished and “Oh My Edward” it owned me from the first chapter!
Hopesparkles has done a fabulous job of making this story feel like the era it was set in – the Regency era. As an avid reader of period stories, I often find they can be lost a bit if the author uses modern terms and phrases – not so here – Hopesparkles has kept it very authentic.
AHR is told from both BPOV and EPOV, however we meet Bella first. Circumstances out of her control finds Bella (once a lady of high social standing) struggling to make ends meet for herself and her father, who is suffering from what I am assuming is Alzheimer’s Disease. (Hopesparkles doesn’t say that’s what it is, but back then, of course, they would not have known what caused Charles’ loss of who he was). Life is very difficult for Bella, but she endures. In chapter one, we find Bella in a rare weak moment where she reveals what she misses most of all from her previous life:
Excerpt from Chapter 1
“It was in these moments alone before bed that I missed my old life. I missed the parties, the rides in carriages, the beautiful dresses, hats and ribbons, the possibility of a future with a husband and household of my own. Now, with none of these things and certainly no dowry, there was no hope for that future. It was that hope that I missed most of all.”
We meet Edward in the first chapter as well, and we learn he is the new master of Collingsworth, which incidentally is Bella’s old family estate they lost. He has inherited it from his uncle and he has high hopes for his future. As the reader, we can tell that Edward has all the qualities we have come to love in our Edwards, a bottomless love for his family, intelligent, protective, successful and just a tiny bit possessive when it comes to Bella.
Bella’s first sight of Edward has to be shared – I often judge a story on how the author sees Edward for the first time (yes, I can be “Edwardcentric” at times… LOL)
Excerpt from Chapter Two
“I took a deep breath to clear my head and looked up to cross the street. However, the breath left my body in a rush as I looked up and saw a gentleman exit his carriage in front of me. He was the most handsome man I had ever seen. Stunning green eyes scanned the street in front of him and as he looked my way, I turned my head slightly to watch him in the window. He had a strong jaw and the most beautiful bronze colored hair that was in a windblown disarray. He was tall and had broad shoulders.
I was immediately embarrassed and I am certain I flushed bright red. I had the irrational fear that he would somehow learn my thoughts and know of my attraction to him. It was then that a profound sadness washed over me. He was completely unattainable to me, socially. It would not have been so only a few short years ago, but now, there was no hope that I would ever have a husband, or that it would be someone like this beautiful stranger.”
I will unequivocally say, I love this Bella – she is everything Bella should be, loyal, caring, selfless, strong, brave and she loves Edward with the fire of 1000 suns. She has her moments of self-doubt and she doesn’t feel worthy of him, but that endears me to her even more.
I won’t reveal how these two end up married, but needless to say it is a misunderstanding of epic proportions. Once they are married though, you need to strap in for the exciting ride, as so much happens in the story after this – honestly there is never a dull moment. Hopesparkles has created a story with beautiful characters, excellent plot and wonderful writing. If you like period stories – you are sure to love this one! – AllyVera
Review by MC
I have to tell you that I smiled when AllyVera sent me her above rec because I had been planning to rec the same author’s WIP at some point in the near future, and Ally had no idea; we were definitely on the same wavelength! lol Thus, I decided to quickly mention From This Day Forward by Hopesparkles today as well, because I have been avidly following this lovely story since close to when it first started posting.
From This Day Forward: Betrayed just days before her wedding, Bella’s personal and professional life hang in the balance. When one of her closest friends offers to be the stand-in groom, Bella will find that sometimes the best things in life really aren’t what you planned.
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Romance/Hurt/Comfort – Chapters: 18 – Words: 63,937 – Reviews: 1628 – Updated: 9-19-12 – Published: 6-25-12 – Edward & Bella.
The is a modern day story that begins with Bella anxiously trying to prepare for, and finalize all the details of, her wedding…but not to Edward…to Jake. 😉 But during the flurry of excitement, something dramatic happens, and all Bella has known as a romantic relationship for years is shattered with one phone conversation with her fiance…
Excerpt from chapter 1
Once she was out of the tub, she called Jacob one last time and when she didn’t reach him, she left another message and crawled into bed.
Some time later, Bella awoke to a buzzing sound. Turning over and lifting her head, she noted the time – 2:17 a.m. Picking up her phone and accepting the call, she cleared her throat to answer.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Bella sat up as she felt her shoulders tense with the anger and frustration she knew was coming. She worked hard to keep it from her voice as she spoke.
“Jake, why on earth are you calling in the middle of the night? I called you all day and you never answered and I’ve been worried and nervous.” The line was silent. “Jake, are you there?”
There was silence on the line for a long time. Bella knew he was there because she could hear him breathing.
“Jake? You’re scaring me. Are you alright?”
Finally, she heard him take a deep breath. “Yes, I’m okay. Bella, I…” His words trailed off and Bella waited, knowing something was wrong. She didn’t have to wait long.
“Bella, I’m so sorry. I don’t know how to make this right.”
“What is it? Jake, please, tell me what’s wrong.” She could feel the panic rising and stood from the bed as she turned on the bedside lamp.
“Are you alone?” Alone? What did it matter?
“Yes, now please tell me what is going on.”
“Do you remember Leah Clearwater?”
“Bella, I – I don’t know how to do this.”
Feeling the fear and panic in his voice, Bella began to shake. Whatever it was he was trying to say, it was going to be bad.
“Just say it, Jake. You can tell me anything. Just, please, you’re really scaring me.”
In the minutes that followed, Bella would wish she had not begged him to speak.
“Leah and I have known each other for a long time, Bella. We’ve been close since we were kids. I love her. I think I have always loved her. We tried to fight it, but it was just too much. I can’t marry you, Bella. I’m so sorry.”
The words began to tumble from Bella’s lips before she could stop them.
“You’re just scared, Jake. We can figure this out. The wedding is in two days and everything is ready. You won’t have to worry about anything and we can figure all this out – “
“Bella! I love her. We’re – Bella, she’s pregnant. We flew to Vegas last night and got married.”
Bella felt like someone had sucker punched her.
But all is not lost because her life-long best-friend, Edward, comes to her rescue, and the wedding goes on as planned…only with a change of groom. Edward marries Bella to save her career as a well-known published author, among other romantic reasons which you will learn about when you read all 18 chapters. From This Day Forward is a Romance/Hurt/Comfort story centered around the adventurous, unplanned journey taken by Edward and Bella Cullen, as husband and wife.
I can honestly say I was captivated right from the first chapter of this story, and anxiously await updates, which come regularly. It’s so romantic, starts out with a unique dramatic scenario, and again, Edward is such a sweetie. *swoon* He really is truly devoted to Bella and making her life the best it can be within his power. *sigh* I know you will enjoy reading as Edward and Bella strive to find their HEA from their wedding day forward. – Midnight Cougar
Thank you to AllyVera for her wonderful review, I haven’t read this story and I love period fics, so I am excited to start this. Now, please share what’s been owning you in the fanfiction world, we’d love to hear from you.
Have a lovely week, Midnight Cougar