Friday, June 12, 2009

"Alphabet Weekends" by the-glory-days

Our Guest Reviewer this week is FreakyHazelEyes!!!

This week's Perv Pack Recommendation is...

Title: "Alphabet Weekends"
Author: the-glory-days
Chapters: 18
Words: 66,310
Reviews: 2443
Summary: Bored with their dismal sex lives, best friends Edward and Bella come up with the idea of exploring the world of sex using the alphabet for the next twenty-six weekends. What happens when things go from two friends having fun to something serious? AH OOC

Guest Reviewer - freakyhazeleyes (Kelly)
When I got the alert for a new story from the-glory-days back in March, I read the summary and opened the link with both intrigue and excitement. I’d been following stories written by the-glory-days (Jen) ever since the early posts of her story In Another Life, I’d beta’d her one shot Follow Me, and we’ve tag reviewed each other for months. So when I read the prologue for Alphabet Weekends and the author’s note at the end of it, asking someone to lend their beta skills, I didn’t even have to think about. I left her a review right away, practically begging her to let me beta it.

Why? Part of that was out of selfishness. I wanted to know what was going on in this story and what better way to find out then getting the chapters earlier than everyone else? The other part was because the prologue showed tons of promise to develop into a great story and I wanted to be a part of that.

Alphabet Weekends is a story about best friends and roommates Edward and Bella. They met when they were four, were each other’s first kiss when they were 11, lost their virginities to each other when they were 16, and now, in their mid-twenties, they find themselves incredibly bored. Bored with their sex lives, with their previous sexual partners, with their own wandering hands. Just bored. It’s Edward who first proposes an arrangement that has been seen and done before many times in Twilight fanfiction: “I propose something sort of like ‘friends-with-benefits’. Whenever we really want some, we go to the other person. It doesn’t mean anything. Just two people who need some sort of release,” Edward answered…” But Jen puts a lovely new and creative twist on this plotline, taking a very loose cue from Elizabeth Noble’s novel Alphabet Weekends (a cleaner version then Jen’s X-rated tale but I digress), and the rules that Bella puts in place are simple: they take turns picking a new letter every Sunday, that person has the whole week to choose what it is they want (sex act, sex position, location i.e.: public or private) based on that letter and they will do whatever is decided on the following Saturday. No dipping into the week is allowed. And so the games begin.

26 letters in the alphabet.

26 sex-filled weekends.

And these two certainly use their imaginations. Vampire and Librarian fantasies, Ice cream play, Bella ties Edward up, Edward turns letter C into a sex romp lasting all day.

Of course what’s a game without a little rule breaking? It’s just a little thing at first. One shower taken together on a Sunday morning turns into a regular occurrence, while they act under the guise of conserving water to save the whales… uh huh, sure Edward.

But Alphabet Weekends, and the accompanying outtake Just Do It, is not just about the smut, as hot as it is. Every chapter contains a flashback or memory from their childhood and teenage years. Jen’s attention to establishing their friendship as well as establishing their new sexual relationship is something to take note of. This Edward and Bella have shared so many wonderful and heartbreaking moments together and it’s this aspect, this bond between the two, which makes this story so much more than just smut.

From the very beginning of Alphabet Weekends, it’s made clear that Bella and Edward are best friends and that is put first. I once told Jen early on that I was jealous of the strength of their friendship and all of the memories that are wrapped up in each other. I love that in the beginning of this story it was easy for Bella and Edward to keep their friendship separate from their new sexual relationship. I’ve rarely seen this distinction made as clear as it has been in this story. I love that on every morning after their letter days, they can ease back into their usual banter and inside jokes, the teasing that just seems to fit their personalities.

I love the transition that the characters are now in. The gradual development of feelings is slow and steady and feels very natural. Edward is beginning to occupy Bella’s thoughts more often than she is willing to admit and Edward, though he doesn’t realize at the time, has already verbally acknowledged his feelings for Bella.

With almost 20 chapters completed, Alphabet Weekends is not even close to being done. Only 9 hot, mind blowing letters have been checked off the alphabet so far (my favs being letters R, C, and S) and Edward and Bella are just beginning to enter into unknown emotional territory. Jen definitely has her work cut out for her but as I keep telling her, I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us.

So please read and enjoy AW, stop on by Jen’s Twilighted thread, get stumped by her visual teasers (don’t worry, you’re in good company) and be sure to leave Jen some love for creating this wonderful story.


Bri- I think I stumbled upon AW when I wanted a new smutty story to read. And, fuck if AW didn't deliver. I love the creativity TGD shows in the letter usage for the little game E&B decide to play. But, besides the game, TGD has done a wonderful job setting up a foundation for the relationship between B&E - allowing the readers to see the strong bond they have. I have a soft spot for "friends for life" stories and the path follow towards falling in love.

The preface threatens - YES THREATENS - that things aren't going to stay peachy keen in their little land of fucking. I can only hope and pray that TGD is a HEA kinda girl (and I will hunt you down if you aren't, TGD!!).

Now, what letter is my fave, you ask? Top fave is - hands down - #9 Chapter 8, O for Orgasm (holy fucking hell). I have only seen a handful of fics that have ventured into squirting territory, but fuck me if it isn't hot as hell. Next up is #17 Chapter 16, S for Sorry because really, I'm just a huge softy. #11 Chapter 10, C for Control was also a fave - love me some dominating, dirty-talking Edward. Rawrrr.

I'd give this ditty 4/5 panties.

Emily- Now that my life is slowing down I have time to indulge in well written smut and thank fuck this weeks rec was Alphabet Weekends. I dove right in and was instantly wrapped up in Edward and Bella's relationship. Their dialogue and interaction feels genuine and never forced. It makes me want a best friend like Edward.

Now as for the smut, well TGD delivers the goods! From sexy Vampire Edward in their first encounter to my favorite chapters like Bri "O for Orgasm" holy.squirting.hell! I loved it. And "C for Control" which of course speaks to me with a dominating Edward.

Yes the preface worries me some but I am crossing my fingers for a HEA and I love that TGD rolls the dice to choose the next letter, it makes it seem much more genuine and I am on pins and needles waiting for the next letter. I don't know how Bella and Edward wait to find out. Now how can I trade places with Bella?

4/5 from me!

Emmy- Like FreakyHazelEyes I had been reading Jen's stuff since her brill fic In Another Life (very different to Alpha's Wk'nds, Edward & Bella might go to high school together, but neither acts like they are aware of the existence of the other, they certainly don't speak or hang out, they don't that is until Edward dies....). When the new story alert popped for this, I thought oh ok. Another friends with sex fic, I always enjoy sexing stories by authors who I know can really write & didn't really think anymore of it ... Then I read more and realised that this is not just another 'let's fuck as we are friends' fic... "How come Emmy, you ask?" Well settle in dear pervlings and I'll fill you in! *snarf*...

First off, the possibilities this fic opens itself up to! Their arrangement starts with them agreeing to let the other dictate the weekend's activities as long as it starts with a pre-drawn letter.. This means that ANYTHING goes... Anything.. They can explore their fantasies, act out their deepest desires and explore new avenue's within the security and trust of their long and solid friendship.. This means for us lucky readers that we get dominance, role-play, sensuality, sensory deprivation, prompts, props and passion! Always good in my book! Good times indeed... But what is revealed through these sexual explorations is really the feelings for the other person....

Bella chooses a librarian scene for her & Edward to act out, in main because she knows he has a secret pash for naughty librarian's.... Much of the role-play and special events are chosen with maximum care to bring the other maximum pleasure.... Sexually, Bella & Edward seem to be instinctively putting the needs of each other before themselves...

Secondly, Jen manages to make their confusion about their feelings for one another seem very real & very outwith their control. It builds in each chapter and creeps up on our protagonists, so that we are aware of it long before it is kissing on the periphery of their consciousness..... Too many of the friends with benefits (fuck buddy) stories are contrite in their we-should-be-more-than-lovers,-I love-you reveal! And the reader is left feeling cheated and a bit like someone finished before you and you never got your release... Not in alphabet weekends... (although we are not at that point & we might never reach a point where they realise how they feel for one another..).. The pacing of the awakening/realisation of their burgeoning feelings is spot on: gradual and delicate.. Bella's dreams, Edward's funny feelings deep within his chest., the gradual dissolution of their pre-agreed rules.... Something tells me things are going to spin wildly & passionately out of control! I for one cannot wait! (I say that as a total sap so not too angsty please Jen!!!)

As Edward seems to prefer Bella in this fic sans Knickers, 4 missing knickers out of 5 from me (once the story finishes up I hope to increase the knicker allocation!) ;]

Hope-For starters this story may look like smut for the sake of smut, and we all know I hate that shit. But trust me this is NOT the case here. Alphabet Weekends is NOT smut for the sake of smut. The smut is awesome, but the story is what kills me. I’m a sucker for Edward and Bella grew up together and are best friends and are finally realizing that they love and belong with each other. That had honestly got to me my favorite type of fanfic. I’m a sap like that.

The 3rd person pov is very well done, I’m not a fan of fics written in that perspective but TGD’s pulls it off in an abso-fucking-lutely stellar way. And I really don’t think it would work in the 1st person pov. The E & B are completely comfortable around each other, to the point that Edward uses Bella’s toothbrush; one to annoy her and two because he likes her better. Both are up and coming in their careers and focusing on that instead of their stagnant love life. Or at least that’s what they’re telling themselves. I really like that TGD’s inserts stories and events from their childhood and adolescence into the story; it adds a depth to the characters and helps to understand them better. I also enjoy the afterward/recovery chapters. After each weekend/letter chapter there is a regrouping and analyze chapter that tells how E & B felt about the experience/session and how it has changed their feelings and thoughts on the situation.

A plan is concocted and the ‘Alphabet Weekends’ begin. At first the ‘sessions’ are strictly on Saturday evening, but soon they start to bleed over into all day Saturday and eventually the rest of the week. It touches every part of their lives and they find themselves thinking and obsessing about it constantly. The boundaries and rules that they set start to be crossed and neither wants to go back to following the rules, but they’re too afraid to tell the other. As the weeks go on and the weekends become more elaborate the lines get blurrier and blurrier and both start to realize that this isn’t just sex and a release, it’s something more. They just happen to be keeping it to themselves. At the point where the story is both are on the verge of thinking the big “L” word, but haven’t quite resigned themselves to it. They know once that word is thought or said nothing will ever be the same.

No let’s talk about the weekends/letters themselves. Personally I like Edward’s weekends better, Bella’s role-play fantasies are fun and kinky. But Edward is inventive and cleaver with his letters, I think in part because he is already partially aware of his feelings for Bella. My fav weekend/letter so far “O” hands down, with “S” a very close second. I’m not gonna spoil it for you but damn, just damn. All the weekends are smutty and steamy and flat-out a turn on. I wouldn’t mind partaking in any of the scenario’s that have come up so far. And we’ve only been through 9 letters so far. I can’t wait to see what TGD’s comes up with for the rest of the alphabet. But, since I’m being completely honest I was a little squiged out by something that Bella did at the end of the latest chapter. That is my only complaint with the whole damn story. Other than that it’s rockawesome.

4.5/5 panties for moi.

Kathy- Alphabet Weekends, how do I love thee? Honestly, I wasn't sure about this one. I started reading it a while ago after a friend rec'ed it to me. I applied my usual 3-5 chapter rule and was hooked by Chapter 3. Seriously. I know, you're thinking, MsKathy, it's the vampire chapter... cliché. Totally. Right up until, “I can’t wait to taste you everywhere,” Edward growled, firmly biting her collarbone. YOU TRY TO STOP READING THERE, I dare you.

What's interesting is, in the very first smutty chapter, they're putting on costumes and getting into roles to be together. I think the theme of disguising their true feeling and selves carries through several chapters. They mask emotion with sarcasm and banter after each lovely romp together. Slowly, they each start to concede feelings for each other. Never to each other, mind you, but we the reader are privy to bits and pieces, thanks to the third-person omniscient narration. My favorite chapter so far is Chapter 9 "O".

Their shared history and childhood unwraps like a scroll, as we read and learn more about them. You can see the love is evident between them, and the rules are being broken... the last chapter ended with a major cliffhanger, to say the least. I am completely clueless as to how this will get wrapped up, but I can tell you one thing – I am eagerly, anxiously, delightfully waiting for the next update.

4 out of 5 panties (Chapter 19, you had me right up until the end - sorry, it earned a half point deduction).

Nina- You know how people say, "Fuck, I wish I thought of that." Yeah, that is pretty much how I feel about this story. First of all, I love stories where E/B have grown up together, it just adds another fantastic (if well done) level to an already perfect love story. It's especially well received by me, if while growing up they don't automatically fall in love, get married, yadda, yadda, yadda. I like when they see other people, screw other people, live their fucking lives like young people trying to find their way. It's realistic to me. That's not to say that finding your one true love at 4 and getting together straight away isn't good too, but I prefer when they've had experiences outside of each other. Ultimately in the end, it makes them appreciate that perfect person that much more.

So here you've got Alphabet Weekends. They met, they kissed, they lost their V-cards, they agreed to just be friends. Until they get bored. What better way to handle boredom but to stick twenty six letters in a hat and get to bone the ever loving shit out of Edward Cullen. Yeah, sign me the fuck up.

But, as Hope stated. This isn't smut for the sake of it. They may 'think' it is, just a means to scratch the proverbial itch but honey. The train gets derailed and lines are crossed and there is no turning back for them. Edward in this is unbelievable, yes, I'm stating it that matter-of-factly. Truly I love him. I prefer his 'weekends' more than hers, not that hers aren't hot but his. Jesus Christ it's a fucking four alarm fire.

He's the first to blur the lines of their agreement of sex and fantasy with one of the truly hottest and most emotional lemons I've read in a while. It's not even the lemon itself but the build-up to it. Apologies, melted chocolate on strawberries, a blindfold and a feather. All the makings of some hot lovin'.

I think the letter "O" is my second favorite. Well maybe not second, "S" and "O" are two very different unions but equally ridiculously hot in their own ways. "O" will make sure that everytime I hear Grape-seed oil or think about yoga I will think about a kitchen table and squirting. Yeah "O" and "O's" are fucking great in this story.

Regardless of the amount of sex, smut, love, whatever. Each letter brings them closer to what (I hope) they'll ultimately discover. That no matter what, they're supposed to be together. Everyone else sees it, I can't wait for them too as well.

The sappy romantic in me (almost) hoped that "L" was used for love, now I'm holding out for "K" being KISS (and no not dressing up like Gene Simmons though a tongue chapter sounds good) but them finally giving in and spending an entire chapter making out is fine by me. (I also wouldn't mind if "M" was for Marry Me.) Fuck off, I'm a sap damn it!

P.S. There is a great o/s accompaniment about their virgin voyage. Definitely worth the read.

4/5 out of 5. (Half a point off because I'm not going to lie, the spunk dessert thing squicked me out a bit)