Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Team Slash loves a little Southern Comfort

Now it's time for Team Slash to have a go and give you a reach around. We love the man-love and enjoy a little girl on girl on the side.

We are Hopey aka manyafandom, Kathy aka MsKathy, Steph aka purdueliz, and Stephie aka 4theluvofmary.

Southern Comfort

LoveInTheLies & BookBag

Growing up in a Southern life of privilege was never easy for Edward Cullen, his life had always been planned for him. But, when he moves in to the old family estate to oversee the restoration, will he find more than he bargained for? AH, OOC, Slash, ExJ

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the prologue for this before it was posted. I was immediately drawn in by Edward's struggle, the two paths laid out before him without the reader knowing what those paths were.

Edward is a proper privileged Southern Gentlemen. Raised from birth to be the heir apparent to his families empire. His whole life has been planned and mapped out for him, without care or concern for his wants and desires. Edward merely a passenger, with no control of his destiny. Up until the story starts, he was content with that path. Out of a sense of duty and loyalty he stays the course, doing what is expected of him without questioning or rebelling. There is also the approval of his father that he is trying to garner that makes him complacent. He's in a pressure cooker about to pop. But throughout this all there is the nagging feeling of discontent, of something missing from his charmed, if not forced life.

That all changes when he returns to the estate of his ancestors. The estate that will be his and his brides after their wedding in 3 months time. This is time for him, time for him to do what he wants as he waits for the next stage in the plan laid out for him to begin. It's here that everything changes. He meets the enigmatic and brash contractor Jasper that has been hired to restore the family homestead. It's Jasper's presence that makes Edward look at his life; the expectations put upon him, at his relationship with his family and his fiance Bella, at what he wants versus what is expected.

I can't wait for the rest of this story to unfold. To see where the authors are going to take us. To see how all the players react and respond. To see how Edward

Unlike my cohorts, I don't have a major issue with the infidelity. Yes, it's wrong, but Edward is tortured by his feelings. This isn't something he takes lightly and you can tell.

The writing is beautiful, plain and simple. The authors use imagery and prose that add a lushness to the story. It's rich and deep and enhances the story. The writing style is almost poetic in nature, but not overly verbose and weighed down by it.

So far there is a healthy dose of UST (unresolved sexual tension) and I'm loving it personally. It's palpable and I love Edward's thought processes during the first feelings of attraction to Jasper.

Really is there anything better than two Southern boys together, alone at a remote plantation in the sweltering summer heat? Yeah, I didn't think so.

I cannot tell a lie. I really dislike stories where a main character is being cheated on. In fact, when I began this, I closed the tab. Sometimes, I'm a really stupid sensitive petal. After someone essentially yelled at me and promised I would not regret reading, I re-opened the tab. There are so many reasons for my hesitation in reading this, which I will spare you, but I promise, none of them were trite or silly, and that person? They were completely right. I do not regret reading this.

My heart aches for Edward; his whole life is planned for him, mapped out, entirely without his input or opinion. Who wants that?

He takes a summer away, to write, to find himself. He escapes to a family home he will inherit once he's married to Bella. The house is in shambles, however, and Carlisle contracts with the best there is – Jasper. I liked the conflict between Edward and Jasper's internal thoughts, and their lives. Jasper is openly gay, clearly single, and very secure in who he is.

Chapter 4 has a lot of heartpang, from the local townspeople already gossiping about Jasper, to Jasper's own thoughts about his past. There is also a conversation with Bella, and lots of guilt. Edward perhaps realizes he's having feelings for Jasper.

I'm interested to see where this goes, mostly because I feel like you could be listening to someone tell their life story. Nothing rings false, or seems like a Lifetime episode, overly-dramatized or sensationalist. It feels real. I can sense the impending heartache hinted at in the Prologue and I just want to lay my head down and cry for these three. I hope the authors don't kill me too hard with the angst, as this story is labeled.

You are broken. Let me be the one to put you back together.
That line, at the end of the prologue is probably what fully pulled me in. I have a tendency to find and love angsty stories and this one, I have no doubt will not fail to deliver on both counts. Just a few chapters in and I'm already in love. LoveInTheLies and bookbag have an amazing way with words and with emotions. They tell a riveting story.

You can't help but feel for Edward as you realize all that he has been through in his relatively short life. To have everything planned out, to have exceedingly high expectations placed upon you, with no thought given to what you might want for yourself. It's what society expects, therefore you must do it.

So we get this story, where Edward has a chance to escape from all of that as he oversees the renovation of the home he will share with his soon-to-be-wife, Bella. From his thoughts, and Jasper's in a later chapter, we learn that Bella is a truly good and decent person. He is conflicted in his feelings though, for Bella and by increasing thoughts of Jasper.

I, too, have a hard time with the infidelity aspect. But I also see that it's a necessary part of the plot. Edward has had everything planned, down to his marriage to a girl that fits all the necessary requirements. Then suddenly, he has three months to himself, to work on his writing and prepare his home, and he's thrust into a situation that he wasn't prepared for. And this whole thing is obviously going to involve a lot of exploration and coming to terms with everything that will happen.

On the flip side of Edward's privileged upbringing there is Jasper, who at the same time leaves Edward uncomfortable and comfortable with him. The contrast between their two realities is, I think, going to spark a lot of interesting scenarios between them as they learn about one another. And even though I'm sure there's a fair bit of angst to come, I have no doubt the rest will be just as beautifully written, and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out in the end.

I agree with a lot of what Kathy has said. It's hard for me to read a chapter where there is a scenario for infidelity...especially in a situation like this. But it doesn't make this story any less well written and enthralling in its complexity. Because this story already makes my heart ache for Edward and Jasper (and I'm sure Bella who, as of yet, is not actively participating in the story).

Edward, feeling trapped in the life he's been given, uses the renovation of one of the family's houses to escape. This Carlisle is different than most of the caring, appreciative dads you find in the fandom. He is demanding, overbearing, and unfortunately absent for most of Edward's life. And yet Edward still feels a duty to please his dad and do what is expected of a southern gentleman.

When he meets Jasper, the man in charge of fixing up the house, Edward immediately feels something strong; much stronger than anything he's used to. And because Jasper is not one to hide his true self, Edward quickly learns that Jasper is gay. Jasper comes off strong, but you quickly learn he is trying to rile up poor Pretty Boy.

I really enjoy how these two seem to fall into a tentatively easy relationship. Whether they realise it or not, their personalities compliment each other well. Despite each of them claiming a desire to stay as far away from the other as possible, there's something there that draws them together.

Pretty sure, the angst is going to kill me though, I won't lie. From what little has been shared already, you can guess that Jasper has not lived a charmed life. And while Edward has been priviledged in many ways, he still has suffered as well. Throw in the small (read huge) detail that Jasper is fixing up the house for Edward and Bella, who will be married in a few months, and you can guess just how strained things will get.

Very well written and captivating. I totally recommend this for anyone. Just make sure you can handle some angst first...

Gotta a rec for Team Slash send it to me at hopey@pervpackssmutshack.com


bouncy72 said...

Ok Kathy, I'm going with your rec as I also dislike stories where one of the main characters is being cheated on, but you thought it was ok, so...lol