Friday, June 19, 2009

"Restoration" by texbelle

Our Guest Reviewer is WhoKnows?

This week's Perv Pack Recommendation is...

Title: "Restoration"
Author: Texbelle
Chapters: 24
Words: 123,429
Reviews: 654
Summary: Ten years ago, circumstance interrupted their destiny. Now it's time for everyone to go back to Forks for their 10 year high school reunion to face their past with hesitation, hope and maybe even regret. Can they reclaim what was lost? All human.

Guest Reviewer - who knows?
I have been contemplating this review for weeks. (Of course I'm writing at the last minute! Well, I just wouldn't be me without that lovely trait.) I have been trying to think of what could I possibly say to do this story and Texbelle justice. Aside from saying, you must read it, cause it's amazing, der.

I have been following this story since it's baby stage. Sadly,there is no evidence of this fact since; 1.) I was a horrible reviewer in my fanfiction infancy (meaning, I did NOT); 2.) I was none to comfortable breaking up discussions on the thread to say anything; and finally 3.) When I did, I thought I had nothing of value to share. After all of the fact finding I did, or lack there of, I have deemed myself an unworthy reviewer.

Here goes nothing...

I wanted a good solid reminder of all the reasons I love this story. I decided to read from the beginning again after I got the invitation from PPSS to review. I have reviewed every chapter this time, Texbelle will have no question as to how I am feeling at the end of each chapter (btw, I love that you can review more than once on Twilighted!). She thinks I am re-reading cause of her "tortoise like speed" of updating. Truth be told, this story is worth a re-read or twenty.

Texbelle has an amazing ability to tell a story. Simple fact. Her details within each chapter simply astound me. I have told her many times that when I read the updates, I have a movie playing in my head. Each character is moving fluidly, no jerking or jumping within scenes. The reader gets every huff, wince, smile, gasp, tingle and twinge. Treated to funny times, sexy times, sad times, or any time; it's all there and it's amazing. The characters don't shift their weight from one floor to the other on the floor without you reading it.

The story is told from different points of view. Each character is well developed and has their own story to tell. Ten years after High School; Bella, Emmett and Alice consider themselves The Three Musketeers. They are the only ones who remained friends after things went awry in High School. All three, who are living and working in Seattle, have remained very close. Emmett has really looked out for these two and I love the relationship he has with each girl. The three take a trip to Forks for their 10 year reunion. Needless to say, Alice, scheming Alice...

Texbelle paints a very realistic scenario of the how and why of the group dynamics. (What a tight rope I walk! How much can I say without giving too much away and make you want to read it?) Suffice it to say, a lot a has transpired in those ten years. Life experiences have tainted the outlook on life or trust in others. They must all overcome obstacles, physically and emotionally to find the happiness that each desire.

In Restoration, there are a lot of emotions in play. Parts where you may tear up and others where you might need to find your significant other... fast. Texbelle has written it all. Sure, there are great sexy times, cause she doesn't write anything but great scenes! Texbelle has such an amazing story to tell apart from any of that.

I have enjoyed the anticipation for teasers and build-up of the story on the thread. She has built up amazing anticipation of some rule breakage. Rule number 9 has caused quite the stir over at the thread. Date counts are being taken and loop holes have been diligently sought after.

Tex has also included her faithful readers in the Adventures of Restoration Edward and his 19 conquests. This came about with a question after information was revealed in particular chapter. I am proud to say that I am one of the 'lucky 19'.

I believe this Edward is the original 'bedward'. Her description of him with bed head, low slung jeans, form fitting white t-shirt and bare feet sitting on the counter; his hands firmly planted along side of his thighs; leaning forward so his biceps flexed... wait? what? Oh! Oh right, I need to finish the review. *blushes* Sorry 'bout that.

See what I mean though? I can just picture him, right there, on my counter. Feeling him smile against my face as the tip of his nose and his mouth brushed the length of my cheek to my lips; slowly crossing his ankles behind me and pulling me closer. Whoa! Wake up, Who!

See what this Texbelle can do? All the swooning I have been doing over her and Restoration is not for naught. She has a way with words, that one!

Texbelle is about two thirds of the way through so there will be plenty more of this story to come. She has set it up well. Quite a lot of wonderful story left to be told. Go read it, then come play on the thread. Tex shares the music that is inspiring her for every chapter and gives lovely teases. There is plenty of time to catch up and keep the momentum going!

who knows?/yenafer

Bri- I started reading this fic way back when it first started. I think it had like four chapters, and I was completely enthralled with it. I would sit on pins and needles waiting for an update - it was one of those "drop everything you're doing and read right the fuck now" kind of updates for me.

I loved the idea of B/E "lost love" situation and the resulting UST it provided. I am a sucker for some good UST and Restoration provides it beautifully. Never did a make-out session against the Volvo get me so fucking hot. Rawrrr.

And, then we have Bella and her fucking rules. Blarg. Just when she was ready to throw caution to the wind, they cockblock themselves thinking about safe sex. Pfft. Who needs it?

I will say, that while this is definitely one of my favorite updates, I do wish it would happen more often. I generally have to do a re-read to get the gist of what happened by the time the next chapter comes. :(

All in all, I'd give this 4/5 and hopefully bump that sucker up when we get down and dirty.

Emmy- This fic was a new one for me until this week! Durrrrrrrrrrrr! What rock had I been living under..

It was a wee bit different to what I have been reading of late, and I enjoyed the change of pace, scene and the differing characterisations...

I love the idea of Bella & Edward being forced apart and then finding their way back together, but the events that have transpired during the 10years means that things are not as simple, straightforward and A, B, C we are having sex as you might imagine.... This Bella & Edward need to take it slow. Need to be together before they can be together, thanks in part to Bella's rules...
I love the pacing of this story.. I love the unhurried feel to it, yet the building tension and lust.. Its really nice and refreshing to read a fic that makes you understand the characters long before you see them immersed in intimacy.

This way the intimacy means more for everyone - The reader and Bella & Edward... I also like how the supporting cast and their stories are developed. At no point does this story feel like a lets insert some A/J or Em/R action just because. The stories of how they are all trying to find their way home to one another all deserve to be told properly Tex does just that! This story never feels like a cliche or staged or contrite, Its solid writing with beautiful gentle development... I can tell their is much more to come from this delight.

I can't wait to finish off their journey, its so going to be worth the wait! Now go read this fic, don't be a bif bag like me and miss out on quality writing with real characters, and intensifying tension.

A definite 4 innocent (slowly driving Edward wild) boy short style knickers out of 5 from me.

Hope-Hopey is fail and has only read up to chapter 15 (stupid fucking real life), but loved every delicious UST (unresolved sexual tension for those not in the know) filled chapter so far. And FUCK the kiss against the Edward's car in chapter 15 had my panties all atwitter. No Lie.

I do love this story, the whole gang reconnecting after so long, ten years. Finding love again after they had given up hope of every having it. Realizing that the love you had back in high school is the person that you're supposed to be with. Edward & Bella are the main focus, but the secondary storylines of Alice & Jasper and Rosalie & Emmett are just as good. Edward is forced to leave; leave Forks, leave Bella, and leave his life behind. And at the departure of Edward everything else seems to fall apart. Not in an overly dramatic way, but in the way that people grow apart and move on. But at the gangs ten year high school reunion everything comes back together and the three couples reconnect. Bella is hesitant to start things back up with Edward, thinking that he is only going to leave her again. Edward has other plans, he's returning in the hopes of reclaiming what he lost, of reclaiming his relationship with Bella. The love is there between them, not diminishing over the years. They both have changed and grown, they're adults now both wanting a grown-up relationship. They same can be said for the other couples as well.

This story is light and sweet and romantic and fucking hot with just the right amount of angst thrown in. The writing is sublime and all the characters are well rounded and have depth. And this Edward is smoking hot. 4 out 5 panties for moi (and that's just for the UST, as I haven't gotten to the actual sex yet).

So. Jo was a twat this week and read the wrong damned story. I am currently engrossing myself in the deliciousness of Restoration and hoping that my meager Chapter reviews will suffice and make up for my complete blonde moment. I will say this however.... so far? sooo fucking good.

This is one fic that hooked me straight from the get-go. The premise of Bella and Edward having been teenage lovers, torn apart by circumstance beyond their control (typical, at that age), and yet still hanging onto those 1st love feelings, 10 years later, really appealed to me. I mean, maybe I'm wrong, but I'm willing to be that most of us girls wouldn't mind having a run-in with our 1st love, right? Well, imagine that 1st love being none other than Edward himself!

Hell, I too would be pining for him 10 years later! *LOL*This is one fic that makes me do a little dance, each time that an update hits my mailbox. It's got the tension-building down pat (a bit o' angst in the mix, Pervlings) but if you get into it, the smut will fact I found myself saying, "Damn it, Bella, sleep with him already!"

But alas, she's protecting her heart and all. With that said, the story as a whole is made of win and Tex has done a terrific job in painting a picture for us with her words and making us fall for her characters easily. Plus, the story isn't just about E&B's romance. It's about J&A's as well as Em&R's...all of whom have lost and found love amongst each other once again. Sure, some can say that it's predictable and cliche, but the way Tex develops the story draws you in and makes you feel invested, so definitely give this one a shot. I'm certain that you'll love it.

This reader gives it a solid 4 out of 5 panty dropper.

Kathy- Chapter 1 of Restoration is everything a good first chapter should be, imho – it sets you up, makes you ask questions and wonder, and gives you just enough juicy detail to have you begging for more. So, we learn that Bella, Alice and Emmett are BFFs, and Alice and Emmett are cookin' up a plan. They're going back to Forks for the high school reunion, and will be seeing Edward for the first time in 10 years. Little does Emmett know, Alice has plans for him as well.

The next few chapters build-up to our moment. In chapter 2, we hear from Jasper and find out about Rosalie. A few more Edward details are sprinkled in and we find out that he seems just as anxious to reconnect with Bella as she is with him. Chapter 3 gives us more background, we find out more about why Edward left, with a very beautiful and UST-filled night-before-leaving goodbye.

The big reunions are in chapter 6, and they're worth the wait. They are sweet, funny, sexy and there is a lot of hope there, for everyone. I like that texbelle didn't make either E/B married and/or dating someone and creating a huge big dramatic conflict that way. Edward is completely up front with Bella that he's missed her and still has feelings for her. I completely laughed hysterically at 27-year-old Edward climbing in the tree through her window, “aww”ed at the conversation that followed and “mmm”ed at the kiss.

Chapter 9 is full of hysterical hijinks and some smexy good A/J times. Some mysteries come in along the way (who is James?) and we find out about some of Bella's strange dating rules (wtf is rule #9?). We get some answers and progress is made between the couples. You gain new perspective on North Dakota and Ohio. There seems to be a lot of ground to be covered still, E/B were in an odd place when last the story was updated, with Jake being thrown into the story, but I am hopeful for an update soon on these six!

4/5 panties

God damn Rule #9!!! Blarg. If you don't know what it is, trust me you'll quickly garner a love/hate relationship with it. Sigh. This story was one of my first ventures into AH and holy shit what a venture it was! There are few stories that I truly love that flip POV's in a non-annoying way, here is one of them.

10 years after graduating high school, the gang is back together, sort of. Due to a unfortunate twist of fate, Edward has to leave his dear Bella and move to jolly ole' England to finish school but returns for the ultimate reunion.

The relationship between Emmett, Bella and Alice is probably my favorite next to Edward and Bella (of course). Emmett in Restoration is the ultimate protector of the ladies and they in turn of him. Alice manages to get Edward to the reunion to surprise Bella, but the rest get surprised in the process. Emmett and Rose reconnect as to Alice and Jasper. The beauty of it is that it's all done in such a realistic way it's fantastic. That's the heart of the story, in all honesty.

Bringing everyone back together may have been the easy part, keeping them together is a completely different story! While, Em/A/B live, work and play in Seattle with Edward is just moving back but Rose and Jasper aren't close at all. In fact they're a thousand miles away (or something far, fuck off, I don't do math).

Let's talk about UST, broken record again I know but damn. Tex can write the pants of of UST. Her Edward kills me when he talks, hell he thinks sexy for fuck's sake, but he's just a man. Flawed, hot, sincere, hot, horny, hot you get the point. He knows that she's had issues since he left and his road wasn't exactly sans bumps, so again it's a truly realistic portrayal of two people trying to find their way back together.

Sigh. This story is such a great tale. I love it. I am EAGERLY anticipating the smut, not gonna lie, BUT, when it does happen, it will be A) purposeful B) plot progressing and C) fucking smoking hot.

4/5 from moi.

Stephie- Like emmy, I somehow missed this fic entirely until it was brought up for our weekly rec. I didn't even have much of an idea what it was all about. But as soon as I began reading it, I knew I would enjoy myself. Bella and Edward as high school sweethearts is done pretty often in fics. What I love about this story is that they were forced apart, from circumstances out of their control. Edward's dad got a job that took his family away from not just Bella, but their mutual friends as well. And for both of them, that first love was so important and vital to one another that they held onto those feelings closely. It was that relationship that they compared all else to.

And then when Bella and Edward finally see each other again after ten long years? Good lord, the emotions are pretty damn strong. I am not ashamed to admit that the entire time during the reunion, I kept mentally chanting "hook up, hook up, hook up." If it were me, I would've jumped Edward's bones right then and there. Obviously, I am not Bella, and no such thing happened (damn it). Their rekindled relationship is written very realistically. Bella has gone through certain situations to make her a little hesitant and whatnot, and so the two of them need to move slowly. The UST kills me. Just straight up kills me. It's great. I mean, I want those two to just get naked already, don't get me wrong. But what's so great is that the lead up to the schmexy isn't just for the pure pleasure of it all, it serves a purpose. I agree with Nina; when it happens it will be all very purposeful.

Another great aspect of the fic: the relationships between Alice/Jasper and Emmett/Rosalie. I love when an author can include the other characters into the mix, weave in their own unique stories to enhance the entire thing.

Don't wait as long as I did to read this. 4/5 panties

Steph- I had hoped to have time to do a reread of this before the review. I started reading this last August and fell completely head over heels for it. I was a terrible reviewer (I went back and checked).

I absolutely adore how Tex has brought everyone back together as a surprise, but it doesn't feel contrived. The UST between Edward and Bella is thick, like you could cut it with a knife thick. But it's completely essential to the story. Bella's rules. Argh. I just want her to chuck them out the window, but she's got her reasons.

I adore the relationships that she has created with everyone else as well. This story is so amazing, you just can't go wrong.

4 out of 5 for me, which will undoubtedly go to 5 once we get to the sex that we've ALL been waiting for.

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

Texbelle is a native Texan that has lived in Colorado for almost 12 years. She still has the accent, so no need to fret. It's pure hillbilly but only moderately irritating. Every man she loves is married, dead, gay, a fictional character or an international superstar. Suffice it to say she’s single and has come to terms with that. Tex has 2 dogs and is the MIMI to countless friends’ children.

In her real life she is a senior marketing specialist and event planner for a consulting firm. In the great, big, wonderful world of fanfic, she writes Restoration and is a validation beta on staff at

Tex stumbled into to fanfic during the painful wait between finishing Eclipse and the release of Breaking Dawn, cutting her teeth on some of the greats: Boycotts and Barflies, Passion Fish, Stranger than Fiction, and News to Me. All these great stories and storytellers inspired her to get back to the creative writing she had always loved. She started out writing Twilight fanfic because she missed the characters, not to mention she had an obnoxious little plot bunny, which turned out to be Resto, that wouldn’t shut up. She had no choice. A stupid bunny running circles in her head and six colorful, chatty, loud voices demanded that tex write. So she did.

Being on staff at requires a lot of fic reading, so good, bad, or indifferent, she reads it. Since reading recreationally isn’t really a possibility right now, favorites that she currently validates are Poughkeepsie, by MrsTheKing, The Lost Boys, by hwimsey, Dirty Dancing with the Devil Herself, by JayJayHale, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by HMonster and ProfMom and the little known, Paved with Good Intentions, by Jace. Sometimes I get asked to validate for Feathers_mmmm, so I get to read I Love L.A. before it goes public, which is sa-weet!!

In addition work, family, Twilighted, and her own writing, texbelle is also the co-founder of WeBook Apparel. They design and make fun, smart message tees for book lovers, and they have a soft spot in the bottom of their hearts for the vamps.