Friday, May 29, 2009

"Shadowboxer" by No Blood No Foul

This week's Perv Pack Recommendation is...

"Shadowboxer "
Author: nobloodnofoul
Chapters: 16
Words: 135,298
Reviews: 2057
Summary: Edward is an underground fighter using the ring as an outlet for his pent-up rage. Bella is a college dropout running from her complicated past. Their paths collide when Edward is beaten and left for dead. Rated M for LEMONS. CANON PAIRINGS. AH. OOC.

Guest Revewier - Cheddah

Wow. So, I'm still a bit stunned that I was asked to be the guest reviewer for Shadowboxer by nobloodnofoul. I hope I can do both the story and author justice.

There are no words to describe my love for this fic. None. I stumbled upon SB while doing a random search for "fighters" on FFN. Being a huge Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fan, the words "underground fighter" to describe Edward were all I needed to give SB a shot. At the time, only 3 chapters had been posted but it was clear to me after reading the first that this fic was going to rock and I was hooked.

Edward, or Fightward as we on the Twilighted thread affectionately refer to him, is a premier fighter in the world of underground boxing. As a teen runaway, Edward turned to the ring as an outlet for his anger and frustrations at the world that surrounds him. Bella is a homeless, college dropout who has run away from her past, hoping never to look back. Bella accepts a position at the gym where Edward trains. Needing a place to sleep, Bella sneaks into the gym the night before her first day of work but instead of finding rest, she finds Edward badly beaten and left for dead.

The number one reason you should read SB is that it is unpredictable. Every time I get a new chapter in my inbox to beta, I am surprised at how the plot thickens. The originality and depth of each character is unparalleled. Nothing is as it seems with this fic, and NBNF has an amazing talent that leaves you craving more of the twists and turns that are Shadowboxer. This story is loaded with witt and dripping in sarcasm; there are so many one-liners, you'll find yourself using them IRL. Not only are the two main characters multifaceted but so are the supporting roles of Jasper, Alice, Emmett and Rose. NBNF amazes me with her attention to detail and ability to draw in the reader and make you feel as though you are right in the middle of all the drama, angst, love and lemons. Oh yes, there is plenty of lemon-lovin’ going on in SB! Who knew that diving board sexin' could be so HAWT?! Or that a kitchen romp with various fruits and yogurt will make you want to make a midnight run to the grocery store? Two words: purple panties.

As this fic is coming to a close, there are so many loose ends to wrap up that even I am left wondering what exactly NBNF has planned for the ending, which is only about three chapters out. I know I am failing to fully describe the awesomeness that makes up SB and it's because the story is so multidimensional. You just have to read it for yourself. Seriously.

I could not be more proud of NBNF for what she has done with Shadowboxer, especially since it is her first attempt at FFN. I am excited and anxious to see what more she has to offer the world of FanFiction.


Emmy- I started off reading Shadowboxer after one of my luscious ladies from the pack said to.. It has BoxerWard (or BruisedWard as I like to call him..) in it - what more do you want? Indeedy.. & that was true of the first few chapters that it was at that point.. But this story has morphed into a very different sexy beast than I first anticipated.... I had assumed it would purely be hot rumbles & tumbles staring BruisedWard with Bella tending to both his wounds and animalistic raw nature! Wrong Emmy. Wrong, wrong wrong! This story is so so so so so much more...

Bella is a very complex character. Secrets are repressed and hidden.. Edward? Edward is HOTTT but again is so much more. Layers of complexity, fear, desire, longing, passion, aggression, failure, need, protectiveness, hunger, possessiveness make up his personality and persona. Together they are quite the pairing, quite the mix.. There is a deep mutual need and hunger for the other, which mixed with their own vulnerabilities and shaky histories create a volatile energy to their intense relationship and bond.

The supporting (canon) characters also have had, as the story has progressed, a much bigger role to play in our progotanists futures than I first anticipated.. I particularly like the complexity that nobloodnofoul has added to Jasper's character and the developing and increasing interplay with landlady Alice...

Shadowboxer has an increasing mysterious air hanging over its chapters... There are secrets waiting to be revealed and unearthed, these make me uneasy (in a this fic is ripe with tension, foreshadowing and twists kind of good way) and I now read each new chapter anxious for the end to make sure nothing poop happens to Bella & Edward.. Their relationship is so strong and intense yet so fragile ~ it blazes so bright I worry about what could engulf it... They are each others anchors from their past and their hope for the future...

So you know that their situation and dynamics and events have thrust them together into an intense blazing bond. And you know that as a boxer Edward is in great shape and is a very physical, animalistic, hands on kind of bloke... So how do you think the physical aspect of their relationship is?....... Hell yeah! I am telling you - extremely scrumptious sexing.. I cannot get enough of this BruisedWard and thankfully neither can Bella, ergo we get lots of scrummy sexing.. HOT. DELICIOUS. SWEATY. INTENSE. CANTGETENOUGH DON'STOPDON'TYOUDARESTOP SEXING!

So BruisedWard fulfills all my expectations in terms of yummy hotness, but Shadowboxer exceeds it in terms of emotional complexity, characterisation and intriguing plot. I am sure you are reading this. But if you ain't? Get your sexy arse over there now!

A sweaty 4 boxer shorts out of 5 from me..

Emily- I am currently away spending time with family and old friends from my slutty high school days! So if you are anywhere near Santa Cruz, CA look me up!

Beks- I fucking loved this story. This is what I would call a complete work of fanfiction. NoBlood did a FANTASTIC job of working in all of the relationships from the series, from Royce and Rosalie's abusive relationship to Jasper and Maria's demise. I did not know it was possible to make the Cullen boys any sexier than they already are, but hot damn, Edward as a boxer, JESUS CHRIST, his temper alone was enough to melt my butter.

I also love this version of Bella, just as stubborn and headstrong as in the series, but not some emotional mess that needs Edward to hold her together. The spin of her being homeless and too prideful to admit it or take anyone's handouts was fantastic. I could go on and on, but I will finish by saying the boys were sexy, the sexin' was delicious and the story itself is amazing. I am anxiously awaiting the next update.

5 dripping panties out of 5!

Hope- So I guess I need to be in full disclosure mode and say that I haven't read the entire story yet. I only made it through chapter 7 by the deadline. I am fail. But what I read, I loved. I really loved. This fic was rec’d to me about 2 months ago and was added to my seemingly never ending list of fics “To Be Read” and now I am kicking my ass for not reading it sooner. It’s that fucking good. When one of my PPmates rec’s something from now on I’m going to get right on it. No more waiting for me.

Bruiseward as this Edward is called is one fine “Smokin’ Hot” piece of Man-Meat. Yes “Smokin Hot” as this Bella calls him. Bella who is homeless gets a job cleaning up at “The Ring” a somewhat seedy gym specializing in boxing. Sneaking into the gym in the middle of the night to actually get some sleep on a surface other than the seat of her truck she finds a man beat up and semi-conscious. Even through the swollen eye, cut brow, busted lips and myriad of bruises across his body she sees that he is beyond gorgeous and is instantly attracted to him, uglyed up and all. Wanting to help the beautiful mess in front of her she takes him back to his apartment where she cleans him up and cares for him. He comes to and is weary of the beautiful stranger in his house. Edward as we find out his name is, is an underground fighter. He calms and is instantly taken with the Bella, asking her to come back after her shift at the gym. Some ugliness happens at the gym forcing Bella to leave work early. She goes back to Edwards with the pretense of checking up on him, not admitting to herself that she wants him and want to be near him. Arguments are had, the tension rises and the two tumble into bed. And what a time they have. Woah!! Things happen, relationships are formed and sexy times DON’T happen again for awhile, not from lack of want mind you. Eventually they admit to themselves that the other owns them. They just haven’t admitted it to each other. So that is the story or the beginning of the story in a little Hopey nutshell.

Now let’s talk about the writing. This story has funny inner monologue, which I happen to be a HUGE fan of and use myself. And the inner thoughts/talking in SB are some the funniest and best I have ever effin’ read. So to begin with, that endears this story to me. The background of the main characters are revealed in little bits and sips and we get an idea of what went on before they meet, but never the whole picture. I like that, the mystery of it, the plot thickening. It keeps us the reader enthralled and wanting to know more and more. It’s obvious that these two are damaged, but how damaged is the question. Wow, I am making this sound uber-angsty and really it isn’t. It’s not all light and fluffy either though. Somewhere in between I think. I love NBNF’s narrative is funny and intense and she has a way of making you really feel what these characters are feeling. I personally love that.

Smut; yes what you all really want to know about…the smut. Up through chapter 7 there are only two smut scenes, but both are phenomenal. I will never ever look at a black wife-beater or purple panties the same way again. Edward doesn’t want to hurt her the first time they’re together, but the primal warrior side that Bella brings out in him and that she wants from him overrides everything else and he literally pounds into her…and it is awesome. During their second encounter he tries to show her how much he wants her “girly bits” and completely succeeds. There is some over the shoulder and teasing oral action as well. But it’s not just sex; there is a deep connection or bond between these two. They let go, letting their instincts and lust take over when they are together. It’s rough, yet tender and sweet at the same time.

I can’t wait to devour the rest of this fantabulous story. 4 purple panties out of 5 from me.

Nina- I believe our Naughty Librarian was the one that sent out the initial email asking if any of us had read Shadowboxer yet. We answered no and she insisted that we stop what we were doing and read it. Me being afraid of NL and her Southern methods of cohersion decided that I better listen, so I read the first three chapters and wanted to die because NBNF didn't have any more posted! I then ordered two Pay-Per-View fights because I was suddenly dying to watch two men beat the living pulp out of each other and be all nice and hot and sweaty and....*thud*.

Now, take said scenario above and input hunky Edward Masen as the fighter at "The Ring" a gym run by ultra meaty Emmett and trainer Jasper. The story begins with Bella finding him bloodied, bruised and broken after a vicious attack thanks to King and his minions. She nurses him back to health but there isn't anything cliche about it at all. I promise you that. There starts their relationship. He initially feels grateful to her for all she has done for him by way of his health but it grows exponentially into more.

There are mistakes made throughout their journey, there wouldn't be much of a story if there weren't ups and downs. At one point she's living in her truck in the parking lot of "The Ring" which just about killed me, there is a truly horrible altercation with someone unexpected that sends Bella fleeing away and in turn coming full circle bloodied and bruised (though thankfully not nearly to the extent that poor Fightward endured.)

They each have their hidden secrets and not-so-pretty pasts that are (soon I think) going to come out and need to be dealt with before they can truly move forward. I'm actually dying to hear Bella's history as it's been vaguely mentioned but no gory details have been explained yet.

Now for the sexing. First of all, holy hell is it scrumptious. Not just because of Fightward being so epically toned and his stamina being so... Sorry off track there for a second. It's hot. NBNF pays great attention to even the most subtle of details and each one of their horizontal encounters is somehow hotter than the next.

So besides Bella's backstory and finding out wtf is up with Eddie's parents. In last night's update he finally verbalized his love and it was fucking perfect. Holy shit I loved it!

My only request to NBNF is that she writes a Shadowboxer out-take just for me that is based on the barn scene in Rocky IV where Rocky is lifting the wheelbarrow full of people, and the upside down hanging situps...*thud*

4.5/5 from me!

Steph- What is it they say about the best-laid plans? Yeah. I'm good at planning, not-so-good at the follow through. I started this story when it was in the early stages and fell in love with it. Fighter Edward?? What the hell is not to love? But as I always do, I got behind. (Y'all, I've got over 80 story alerts waiting to be read, many of those stories with multiple chapters waiting on me.) So I have not ready the entirety of what's published with this gem of a story. What I have read, I love, hard. I'm not going to rehash the plot, when everyone else has done a fabulous job with that. If you haven't read this story, you need to. Period.

I give SB a hearty 4.5/5 sweaty pairs of silky boxing shorts.

In addition to our Round Table Review above, we've also asked the author to share a bit about herself...

nobloodnofoul, or NBNF if you're pressed for time, is a slightly yellow (half Asian/half Scottish) 21 year old who lives in the middle of bum fuck nowhere.

She usually gets through the day by kicking ass, but not taking names. She's got no time for that, she's got Fightward to write. Oh, did I mention that she's Fightward's baby momma, too? Yeah. It's a hard (-insert eyebrow waggle here- wtf is an eyebrow waggle, btw?) job, but somebody's gotta do it. She don't have any rugrats, but she does have an almost husband and a child-like dog which is kind of the same thing.

She ventured into the world of fanfiction after reading Twilight on a whim (Breaking Dawn pissed her off and she needed a re-write). When she isn't making fun of reality television, walking her child, crocheting a god-awful throw, or cooking she is obsessively checking her e-mail for updates, lurking around the T'd threads, writing up outlines for fics, reading rec'd fics, and taking a peek at the PPSS blog when the almost Mr.NBNF isn't looking.

One rainy day as she was reading fanfiction she looked up at the television to see a commercial for UFC. This started her daydream of a sweaty, ripped Edward who was a ring fighter...and Shadowboxer was born. After writing up two chapters she dropped a set of balls and posted them. The rest as they say is history...or will be once SB is done.

She is horrible at punctuating sentences and is generally grammatically incorrect but that's where her awesome beta Cheddah comes in.

She likes Ben and Jerry's Karamel Sutra, googling pictures of Rpats smoking cigs, and getting advice from her homeslice Dawn on how to write bio's of herself in the third person.
One can often find her holed up in the office of her tiny apartment blazing her way through packs of Marlboro Red 100's and typing like a banshee on crack - muttering things about fighting, the FBI, and phone sex. (Mr.NBNF has learned to steer clear of this area in such cases). Her awesome support team consists of the SB thread on T'd and her close MSN messenger bizzles: Cheddah, Lucy, and Dawn. She is obsessive about her story outlines and will cut you if you try to mess with them.

She has a long standing love for Edward but would settle for Jasper if Edward remained hung up on Bella. (She believes she could take Alice). NBNF is not ashamed to admitting that she is emotionally cheating on her fiance with two fictional characters. She's also waiting for the day she accidentally calls out the wrong name during sex.

When NBNF was a little girl she enjoyed reading the literary greats such as Dumas, Austen, Poe, and Frost. She's been writing since a little tot and just recently developed the balls to post something of her own (as much as borrowing someone else's characters can be considered her own) and has plans to write more after Shadowboxer.


nobloodnofoul said...

First of all - you all rock hardcore and my face hurts from the huge gay ass grin on my face srsly. In the words of my grandfather - "Stop grinnin' like a possum shittin' a peach pit."

Cheddah lied to me. I asked her if you guys were going to have her as the guest reviewer and she LIED and her review made me kinda misty eyed. But shhhh don't tell.

Well, you have sufficiently blown my ego into the next century (it's now the size of Canada). My head is so big right now I'm having trouble balancing it.

All your kind words and thoughts on SB are taken to heart and I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. I am humbled by this blog and all the wonderful people in it who think my fic is worth reading. I was obsessed with the PPSS blog when I saw a banner for it on the T'd forum months ago and the actually be reviewed on here feels so surreal.

I look up to all of you and your opinions and am honored that you though SB was good enough to mention, must less review.

Thank you so much!


PS - Cheddah, we shall have words over your review. words and kisses and hugs and washing of feet. possibly some gauze and tape action as well.