Friday, November 13, 2009

Bad Press by HappyWanderer

Bad Press





With the heirs to his hotel completely out of control, Carlisle hires PR pro Bella Swan to do damage control. Will she be able to tame the infamous playboy Edward Cullen? AH, OOC ExB. Rated M for language and lemons.

EJ Santry

At a time that I swore I wasn’t going to pick up any new fics, I am so glad I ignored myself. From the very start, HappyWanderer had me. So far, Bad Press has three of my favorite fic elements: witty banter, a strong Bella, and UST so strong it is palpable. I love that you started it by revealing Edward and Bella’s “true selves”, before icing us down with their public/professional personas. You give us their soft and easy rapport leaving us to think “how easy they fit together”, before just ripping the rug right out from under us with the maelstrom of professional antagonism. These are two clever people who are prodding and testing each other at every turn, just to be outdone by the other in their forms of retribution. The banter and actions only work so brilliantly, because of the characters you have created.

First of all, I love that Bella has a past, and a mysterious one at that. I think out of canon habit, we tend to ignore Bella existed before the start of our stories. From the start, we are aware that Bella is starting a new job, in a new city, but that she didn’t necessarily get there under good circumstances. We know what they are now, but I am not telling you. Go read it. Let me say again, I love a STRONG Bella. She knows her shit. Bella, with Angela as her awesomesauce assistant, completely lays waste at the very first meeting with the executives. You know from the first time you see her in “shrew” mode, that she is good at her job, and is not to be trifled with. Other than being direct and on top of things in her job, we have also have seen a glimpse of the personal side of Bella. She is soft, honest, and funny. She is an open book, and a relaxed individual. Looking forward to seeing more of her as the story unfolds.

Edward has been leading a life without consequences for quite some time now. Though, I feel that he does care what his father has to say, he has long been outside fearing consequences for his actions. He has been living a shallow kind of life that has seemed ideal, until something real crosses his path, in the form of Bella. These two have such an easy rapport. I was hoping for the night to never end just like Edward. His "Stay" at the end of it killed me. My heart jumped right to my throat. Edward admits to having trust issues, and it is made evident by the way he is quickly led to believe the “real” Bella he just met was a ruse. It also makes him quick to see professional Bella as a saboteur. Still the heat is there! The kiss he plants on her after their first meeting lit my soles on fire! Bella has shaken his confidence a bit, and he is dealing with this new found vulnerability while trying to cling to his former self. The tides are shifting for our Mr. Cullen.

Finally, Bad Press had done fabulously is taking the canon versions of our favorite family, and presented them in a way that is familiar, yet not trite. Alice doesn't feel forced or phony. Just someone you would easily like. Her “condition” was an interesting twist that I have never seen before, so it brought a breath of fresh air to her character. Emmett is his usual boisterous man-child, but he also is great at what he does; a job that plays to his strengths of being a real people person and loving a good time. Jasper is at first the visionary behind the future, but we also find that while he is looking to put his friends in check, he is fiercely loyal and protective of those he loves. Finally, I love an Esme and Carlisle that act like a married couple, not only in physical gestures, but in banter that only comes with years of being together.

Fav line, "Leave it to Emmett to be the Sherlock Holmes of pussy." I'm still laughing about that one.

After the great Fic Recommendation Twitter Poll of '09, this was on the list that Kath and I received. And, thank you to whatever wonderful perv suggested this bad boy.

From the start, I loved the characters. The first chapter pulls the readers in immediately, showing the tension and playfulness between Bella and Edward. Their flirtiness is written so well, you can almost feel those first little flutters yourself.

However, what you think might be an easy intro to a relationship quickly corrects itself once Bella and Edward are truly introduced for the first time - in a working environment.

The tension and conflict between these two is palpable and results is crackling sexual tension. While we haven't gotten any pink velvet sausage wallet action, we have gotten a heavy petting/make-out session and loads of coy glances and blatant flirting.

I'm certain that with the charged sexual tension we feel, the sparks between these two are going to fly once they do go horizontal and I, for one, can't wait for that chapter to find itself in my box.

I give this 4 out of 5 mojitos.

When you first start reading this story, I think it starts out quite different from where it heads in the next chapters. The Bella, the Edward, and indeed the supporting cast we see in Chapter 1 are actually quite common amongst the fandom. In chapter 2 and beyond however, we start seeing more facets to their characters and the story proper kicks off.

Straight off the bat I really like the wee twist that emerges re: Alice and the way that makes Jasper respond/approach Bella. I think it makes a nice change to some of the stories I have read where there is an explosive dynamic between Bella & Edward. And what an explosive chemistry there is between Bella and Edward.

I have to be honest and say the chemistry/UST is what I love most about this story. HW pulls off amazing banter and back and forth's frothing with sparkle, desire and pretty deep emotions. I absolutely adore the push-me-pull-me tricks they have going on. We the reader gets to see both sides of the story so we know there is more going on, on each side, than the characters do. The characters themselves are just starting to get their heads around the fact that there is an awful lot going on behind the eyes of the other - but they still cannot figure out just who the other is. That is what makes this story fun. They know what they hope, they know what they used to think, but they cannot say who the other actually is. They get glittering glimpses of suggestions but can't allow themselves or each other to see the reality or whole truth. This means for us lucky readers that its going to be more sparky, snarky, burning UST for us to gorge ourselves on... :)

I mentioned above that there are shades to Alice's character which make her interesting, but its not just Alice were HW has tried something a wee bit different. Her use of Jessica and her hinted at characterisations add an interesting element. As does the depths hidden to Edward and Bella's past experiences. I love interesting characters - they always add extra dimensions and increases the steam in the ever-increasing sexual tension exchanges!

Four limey mojito's out of 5, god I really want a mojito now.... (I'm saving 1 mojito btw for when the epic sexing happens!)

So i'm a fan of UST (unresolved sexual tension). It's like my thing. It's what keeps me reading and makes me beg for more. It frustrates me, in the good way. Heightens the reading experience, makes it more real.

Boy was I a happy little Hopey when I finished reading Bad Press. This is by far one of the most USTful stories I have ever read. But the UST isn't torturous, oh no my friend it is not. It's delicious and yummy and has the reader on pins and needles waiting for Edward and Bella's next encounter. Like Kathy said it's witty banter, clever barbs and the sly and not so sly looks that make Bad Press's UST so wonderful.

Both Edward and Bella have strong personalities (well Work Bella at least) that clash and cause them to rub each other the wrong way. But there is a delicious friction between them in the form of their overwhelming attraction to each other. Emmett called it like he say it when he said that Edward and Bella don't get along because they are to much a like. And I agree with him.

There's no real smut yet, but there's a helluva first kiss. Damn, just damn. I have a feeling when these two finally do the deed it's going to be explosive, to say the very least. I for one can't wait!

4 out of 5 tart yet refreshing Mojitos from moi.

I very much enjoyed the beginning of this, and the friendship and camaraderie between Rose and Bella. The first two chapters are builder chapters, where we see Bella on a blind date from Hell. Edward rescues her in chapter 3 and we get some steamy banter.

My favorite kind of UST is the bantery kind. You know, where there's smart humor, cheeky looks exchanged, and a clever setup?

This story has all of those.

I really loved chapter 5 and the insight into Edward's character it gave. I'm not going to spoil anything, just ... who knew? And why? That's one mystery I can't wait to solve.

Chapter 6? Oh, I love you chapter 6. More UST, more, more, more. More banter. Loved the conversation between Bella and Emmett and the conversation between Alice and Edward.

NGL, chapter 7 made me giggle. Then, it made my heart clench.

One of the strengths of this story, imho, is the way she's woven miscommunication and mistakes. They aren't cliche and I can genuinely see them happening the way the author describes. Kudos to her for that.

I really loved the two most recent chapters and I am so excited to see where this story goes.

4.5 out of 5 mojitos!

I was skeptical about "Bad Press" I'm not even going to bullshit you. Reading the summary, 'playboy' is usually a no-no for a wussperv. Bri insisted that it was safe, so on her word, I dove right in. Wow that sounds bad.

I liked Bella from the start which is a very odd occurrence for me. She's sharp, witty, a bit self-deprecating and smart. The story starts off with Bella agreeing to an awful blind date with an uber douche but saved by the hunky bartender and ebullient waitress. Guess who! It could have gone down the path of overused cliches but alas, HW artfully manages to weave them into the story without coming off stale.

Edward, Emmett & Alice are the progeny of Carlisle, owner of Hotel Esme. The swanky hot spot where Bella just landed a juicy PR job. Each character has their own set of flaws that for the most part are inherently unique to an AH fic. At least I've never seen Alice with this particular predilection.

From the moment they meet in the bar and they're giving off a heavy dose of UST but it's not until the next day, her first day of work, that the juices really start flowing. Hot sex in suits, these two verbally spar across the boardroom table like a Wimbledon match, giving the Cullen clan and Hotel Esme staff quite the earful.

It's still early in their relationship, if you can even call it that. Right now it's a interesting game of one upmanship, and awkward getting to know yous while still trying to do their jobs effectively. It's a great dynamic and I look forward to seeing how she melds the fiery banter into something more.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that while their first kiss was hot, I was hoping for something more. I can't get it out of my head that I wish she slapped him, but then kissed him back, then maybe slapped him again. Not many couples could pull off that level of sexy aggression, but HW has written a Bella that I'd like to see take charge and knock this Edward down a few pegs with her feminine wiles. She's a smart chick and he's obviously very interested, so why not let them have some fun, and maybe give him a black eye.

4 out of 5 mojitos from me

I think she had me from the very beginning, watching Bella and Rose banter. I adore a story with a fabulous Rose/Bella relationship. But I knew she had me when I got to this part:
...and through the crowd came a man that appeared to be an extra on an episode of Miami Vice.

He looked like he was ready to offer anyone that asked a great deal on life insurance or zero financing on a used Hyundai. His gray suit jacket was slightly wrinkled and his black hair was oiled to the point of looking completely wet. With determination he was making his way to my table.

Oh God no. Please don’t be Erik.

And because God has a sense of humor he walked right up to me and said, “Hi, I’m Erik.”
Then comes Bella meeting both Alice and Edward. I instant attraction on both their parts is incredible and the UST is already through the roof. I like that HW really helps us get to know them a little bit, outside of their jobs, so we see more of the true them before things hit the fan.

And hit the fan it does when the two meet under work conditions. Bella knew coming in that she had her work cut out for her, but add to that, that the man she'd been attracted to the night before was now an antagonistic "enemy", things really start flying.

I love what HW has done with so many of the characters. Little things that are unexpected but that give them a kind of depth we don't often see. Not to mention, as we learn more about Bella and Edward's backstories, it helps to explain so much.

The UST between them is simply phenomenal and I have no doubts that once we get to the sex, it's gonna blow us all away. I very much look forward to it. As well as to the rest of the story and how Bella will balance her job, her identity, and whatever sort of relationship is brewing with Edward.

4 out of 5 mojitos from me

I am totally digging on Bad Press. From the very first chapter, the blind date from hell, I knew that I'd enjoy it. Erik is classy. And by classy I really mean classless. There is one terrifyingly hilarious comment he makes about body fat and Bella. Hello? Wow. Good thing Edward the bartender is there to save the day. Or is he just a bartender?

You find out quickly what both character's parts are in the story. That is to say, what their careers are and how that brings Edward and Bella together. I'm sure you can get a good idea based off the title. Either way, their first meeting leaves a lasting impression. Enough so that when they meet again sparks definitely fly. Good sparks or bad? Is it possible for both?


There is tension of the sexual and the professional kind. And let's just say that a certain encounter in Bella's office is definitely, um, yeah. Good. Plus all the banter helps keep things steamy. I find myself simultaneously wishing for more while hoping they wait it out, just to see what happens between them.

Plus there's Jake. And he's just fabulous. Seriously.

Definitely read this. 4/5 mojitos, especially if Edward is serving.


bouncy72 said...

hehehe, great another story to add to my totally unmanageable reading list. Looks good, thanks for the rec ladies

Bri said...

She had me hooked from the first chapter too and I'm glad to see she's finally getting the attention her awesome fic deserves! I'm so sad to see (The Office) coming to a close, but dare I say this story will definitely help fill the void in our hearts.

Eagles17 said...

Thanks so much for the rec! What an amazing, HOT, UST-filled story. It actually reminds me of vjgm's TIA - epic! - but has its unique and surprising twists. I can't wait to find out what happens next!

Thanks, again! =)