Monday, November 29, 2010

Perv Pack Pick: Richteous and Wicked by cherry.blossomz


This Month's Perv Pack Pick is...

Title: Righteous and Wicked
Author: cherry.blossomz
Chapters: 16
Words: 56,270
Reviews: 1,469
Summary: Bella is a reluctant school teacher, stuck stagnant under a looming shadow from her past. Edward is an architect striving to overcome his vices by running from them. Will they strive for a righteous path, or spiral into wicked depths? AH/AU.

Chele - Bella is distressed by Edward’s insistent, rhythmic pounding. Edward is enraged by Bella’s light, airy, subjective tintinnabulation. Hammers and wind chimes: the symbolism is awesome. From the first line, Bella and Edward’s interactions are passionate: frustration, rage, intensity - and they hadn’t even met yet.

Righteous and Wicked is a highly erotic story of attraction and the pursuit of redemption and salvation from self. Edward’s sex addiction, his need to pursue, to reach that high, is conveyed with realism, and is, aptly, similar to a vampire’s compulsion to hunt. Bella, recovering from loss and heartache, stumbles upon Edward’s secret proclivities, and is forced to confront an unbidden desire which contradicts her conservative facade. She likes to watch, and wants to be the subject of his compulsion. He believes, perhaps for the first time, that he can conquer his demons through the preservation of her perceived purity, by resisting his inner beast’s desire to claim her like the faceless women he pursues in the dark of night.

What I find so compelling about this story (aside from the intense provocative eroticism, which is like woah) is that I genuinely believe in the complementary nature of Edward and Bella’s personalities. So often when people write a sexual and dominant Edward, he is without personal remorse for his actions and the effect he creates on others (which is understandable). However when virginal, occasionally pious Bella enters, it changes him, and they come together seamlessly for a less-than-earned HEA. I don’t get it, and am turned off by it.
cherryblossomz goes the complete opposite route, by creating layered characters, whose personalities are both equal and opposite. It is Edward’s desire not to continue on his path, his desire to change, which has me invested in the success of his relationship with Bella, and really believing that they are compatible. Bella’s base sexual awakening, tolerant nature, and life experience convince me that she is going to have the stamina and patience to see him through channeling his dark nature into a healthy relationship with an equal.

Oh yeah, and it’s hot. Scorching hot. Steaming, pounding, blown by the wind of a tornado, hammers hitting wind chimes loud, frenzied, hot.

Intelligence and eroticism is my favorite combination, and Righteous and Wicked has it by truck-load. It is definitely on my drop everything and read list, and will stay there as long as cherryblossomz continues to bring the UST and realism.

Emmy - I wish I could remember for the life of me, how I stumbled upon this fic. I really do. So I could do it again! I very quickly got hooked on this story. The UST is scorching, blistering heat like crisp and melt your marshmallows on a stick over a bonfire melty hot.

They stumble into the foyer of the house, leaving the front door ajar. Their kiss continues as he carries her—unbreakable, hungry and desperate. They only make it as far as the stairs and Edward lays her down. He descends upon her, kissing her neck, rubbing the length of his body against hers. He wants to give himself to her, to replace all her pain with pleasure. He whispers again, "I'm so sorry, please forgive me."

Bella opens her eyes. She can see their reflection in the hallway mirror. What she has only fantasized about is reflected back at her. Edward— craving her, devouring only her. The front door was left open, and anyone could walk in or see them. This public yet private display feeds Bella's inner voyeur, and she is dripping wet. The way he touches her fuels the ache she has for him, and her need to feel him inside of her is all she can think of. She provokes him, fanning the flame, "You are not forgiven," she whispers.

He reluctantly removes his lips from her body and kneels before her. He wants to worship her, to adore her for accepting him as he is. He runs his hands over her bruised and scraped calf; he kisses her knees, and runs his fingers along the unspeakably soft skin of her thighs. He can see that her breathing is uneven. He slowly slides the hem of her dress up, and then his hands are on the lace of her panties.

"Edward, wait…" she tries to stop his hands with hers, but the look he gives her makes her think twice. She doesn't want to stop him, but she knows that this is his drug. She doesn't want to enable his addiction with her own selfish desire.

Edward looks ferocious, a single minded beast. He refutes her plea, "No. No waiting."

I love how it builds up the tension, so slowly, how Bella is initially invisible to him, how their interactions increase and grow in importance to them both. How they both have secrets from one another but how Bella cottons on to Edward’s pretty quick... And its her knowledge of his secret that makes her begin to come back to life and discover who she really really is.

The first chapter is quite jumpy to read, as the POV changes more than it does in subsequent chapters, so this can take a wee minutey to get used to. But IT IS worth it, imho. The style of writing is also quite detached, but this suits the story VERY well. As it gives the fic an intense voyeuristic type feel.

There are religious themes in this story. But more in the sense of what is right and what is wrong. What is the right thing to do morally and how does that fit with what is the right thing to do for the person? I think a particular strength of this fic is how it explores sexuality and the question of what is sexuality?

More than anything I love Edward’s characterization. Its delicious and complex. He’s dangerous and sunk and although his character and actions are far removed from canon he is probably the most canon version of AH Edward I have encountered.... Its a potent mix. One you must read! I order it!

This fic is my current obsession. We have been excitedly emailing with each new update. As the fic is building up something rotten!!! Gah! I love it so!

Edited to add: New chapter. Jesus Christ. I love this fic EVEN MORE!

Jeanne - I’ll admit that I hesitated before I read Righteous and Wicked. I mean it’s Ed/Bella and right off the bat there’s a heavy amount of religious themes in the very first chapter. We all know I’m not Team Ed/Bella and I’m also an atheist. So “hesitated” is an understatement. I was ready to beg the girls to let me out of having to read it all together, but the Pervs know me, and assured me that this story isn’t what it seems. That is an understatement as well.

If I were to sit here and break down the basic summary of this story it would woefully under represent the complexity and artistry put into the characterizations and plot of this spellbinding story, but I will give it my best shot. Righteous and Wicked is a complicated and haunting story of two very lonely and troubled people that find a deep connection. Edward is the portrait of the dark, remorseless sexual predator and Bella is a frail, heartbroken, devout Christan woman. Despite their apparent differences they have a lot in common as they begin to realize as they spend time together.

cherry.blossomz isn’t giving us the same old Ed/Bella star-crossed lovers who’s love will win out over...blah, blah, blah. She has woven a fascinating and intense story about truly flawed people who share a profound connection. Nothing about Righteous and Wicked is simple or predictable, that includes my own addition to it. This story continues to floor me with every new chapter. I’m foaming at the mouth for more, and you will too. Just read the first chapter, get a taste of Edward’s stormy eyes and I guarantee that you’ll be feverishly reading and loving this story.

Jen - Despite the tenacity with which canon Edward clings to his virginity, there are many fics which portray Edward as a man-whore who is either redeemed by Bella or who turns Bella into a nymphomaniac. In Righteous and Wicked, Edward is more than a man-whore, he’s a sex addict. What sets this fic apart from others with a sexually voracious Edward is that cherry.blossomz doesn’t simply use Edward’s lust for sex as an excuse to fill each chapter with a lemon, but to show us his canon characteristics in a new light. And it is damn delicious to read.

I love the way cherry.blossomz uses ideas and vocabulary from canon to describe Edward’s relationship with sex. Edward describes his need for sex as his thirst, and when he trolls a club or bar for sex he considers himself hunting. I love this little bit, especially for the last sentence:

Edward loves that she tries so hard to keep him occupied, to try to keep his mind on things other than quenching his ever present thirst. But sometimes she hurts more than she helps. When she wears a certain color, or touches him, or laughs…or breathes.

Edward is not accustomed to being interested in a woman beyond seducing her and giving himself over to his sexual urges. Bella’s got him rocked back on his heels. He’s wanted to stop succumbing to his desire for anonymous sex, but until he meets Bella he knows his attempts will be futile. There’s something about Bella that truly makes him want to beat his addiction.

Bella is drawn to a beautiful stranger in a club. There’s something magnetic about the way he approaches a woman on the dance floor, the way they move together. Bella cannot keep her eyes off of him, off of the way the woman reacts to him, and she follows them when they leave the dance floor for a quick bathroom fuck. She’s never done anything like this before, and while she knows it is wrong to keep watching and listening to them, it’s unleashed something in her that she can’t put back in the box.

Bella’s had a rough year; she’s been abandoned by her husband, and lives a pretty ascetic life. She goes to work, she goes to confession, and she spends the rest of her time in her home, all alone, to the dismay of her friends. I think that Bella views her life as what she deserves, that as upset as losing her husband is, there’s some part of her that believes she deserves it, and she doesn’t allow herself to fully live and enjoy life.

After that night in the club, Bella keeps seeing Edward around Forks, and even secretly watches or listens to more of his sexual encounters. Suddenly, sex with Edward--mysterious, powerful, self-assured--is about all she can think of. Though they get off on the wrong foot when they meet, Edward quickly becomes as drawn to her as she is to him. He wants her, but thinks the monster inside should leave her alone. She desperately wants to be consumed, as he consumes his other conquests.

The lemons in this fic are so unbelievably hot. Although she doesn’t have very much sexual experience, Bella completely gives herself over to the physical pleasure that Edward’s body gives her. And it’s fascinating to hear Edward fight his demon while still getting what he needs from the encounter.

I’ll leave you with one of my absolute favorite parts of this fic.

He takes his mouth away from her wetness and moves up her body. He kisses her neck again, and his immensely hard cock presses against her through his black jeans. He whispers, "Bella, I want to give that to you, but not now. I can't now. I just want to make you feel good. Bella, I want you to forgive me. I need you to. I need you to save me, Bella. Você não sabe quanto tempo eu esperei por você.

And that, ladies, is how you say ‘You don’t know how long I’ve waited for you’ in Portuguese. Unf!

RaW posters made by Jadalulu.

Jess - After reading through my fellow Pervs’ thoughts, I find there isn’t really much more to say or add. They have captured every element of this story and why I love it - the Portuguese (secret foreign fantasies abound), the very canon elements wrapped around a very OOC story, the juxtaposition of purity and depravity, the meddling friends, to name a few.

I stand in awe of cherry.blossomz ability to create such amazing, panty-soaking, heart-clenching UST. Awe.

Do yourself a favor and read this rare gem. It’s simply too good to miss.

Kimpy - I feel like I need to start my comments by stating that I am agnostic, so themes of righteousness and depravity make me naturally suspicious. When I first started to read, I felt the weightiness of Bella’s religious conviction, and I was worried it would be an angel versus whore story. My fellow Pervs prodded me to continue on, that it would be worth my while, and as usual, they were completely correct. I am so engaged in this story now, I was frustrated when I got to the most recent chapter. Suddenly, I’ve become Veruca Salt, stomping my foot in protest—I WANT MORE! I WANT IT NOW!!

I’ve come to recognize that, in the Fandom, many readers are looking for the equivalent of romance novels. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I’m admittedly a bit different. I want a good, engaging fic that’s laced with eroticism. Righteous and the Wicked does that for me. I found it to be deep, challenging, and incredibly erotic.

cherry.blossomz sets the tone for each chapter with some rather philosophical quotes. In chapter 4, she starts with one from Milan Kundera, and Righteous and Wicked instantly struck me as a parallel of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" (which Edward is also reading in this story). I can totally see Edward and Tomasz and Bella as Tereza. To say that Kundera’s book, and the subsequent movie, were erotic is an understatement. I absolutely love that she uses the same types of issues as does Kundera. You get a perfect mix of complexity and hotness, and it is akin to Kimpy Kryptonite. UNF.

Righteous and Wicked deals with a Bella who is very virtuous but wronged, and an Edward who is attempting to escape his past, who is the opposite of Bella in nearly every way. He is a sexual addict, constantly circling his environs for his next victim. At first, I was unsure of whether or not this was a vamp/AU or AH Edward, because he talks about his hunger and his need to satisfy himself. It isn’t immediately clear whether he is talking about blood or sex. The compulsions he has force him to troll for victims. I realized that, in the end, the reasons for needing a victim hardly matter—they’re both so similar, really; it’s the same kind of hunt.

Bella and Edward are brought together via a wind chime that Bella has hanging on her porch. As Edward tries to fall asleep at night, he is intensely distracted by its noise. Bella, on the other hand, is awakened on Saturday mornings by Edward’s bulldozer. I was intrigued by all the subtle ways cherry.blossomz works canon into the story, and this was a stellar example. Edward cannot sleep, and Bella cannot sleep in. Brilliant.

The interesting thing about Edward’s addiction is that, while cherry.blossomz describes his anonymous hook ups in detail (OMG, muy caliente alert!!), they do not provide the most intense heat in the story. No, that is reserved for Bella’s encounters with Edward. All they have to do is look at each other and my lappie monitor melts. He is resolved that he won’t touch her purity. She is resolved to touch his depravity. Thus, they arrive at an impasse. It’s as though there is music playing for them as they stare at each other—they are separate from one another, not touching, but somehow, cherry.blossomz still creates an intricate dance between them.

My absolute favorite erotic scene involves nothing more than Bella and Edward sharing a plum. They are riding their bikes, and stop to have a snack. Bella bites into the ripe plum, then offers some to Edward. He reaches over, and instead of taking it from Bella and biting into it, he merely grabs her wrist and bites into it while it is still in her hands. Bella then bites it again, and it is the sexiest thing in the world.

I would do you an incredible disservice to give more potent details here; do yourself a favor, and discover the story’s many gems. They are so good, and you will find yourself just as compelled to read as Edward is to troll for sexual encounters. I promise.

Teal - My fellow Pervs have been talking this story for weeks, and while I completely trusted their judgment in the high level of UNFnacity that cherry.blossomz has created, I simply didn’t have time to dig into a brand new multi-chap. When my opportunity finally came around, I found myself glued to my BlackBerry and/or computer, depending on where I was and what I had to do. During my moments of freedom at home, I was sitting at my desk, enraptured by the intensity and deep complications of this story. When it was time to make dinner, I pulled up the chapter I was currently on and stood at the stove with my phone in one hand and a spatula in the other. Waiting in line at the grocery store? I was reading Righteous and Wicked. Those ten minutes between laying down in bed and actually falling asleep? Yup, I would read until my eyelids sagged and I passed out.

Basically, I was obsessed.

While I was skeptical at first about the way the third person POV flip flopped, I quickly realized how well cherry.blossomz made it work for her story. Not everyone could pull that off, so I see it as a sign of a top notch author. Oh, and the fuckhotness of each and every encounter between Edward and Bella, even when they sort of kind of hated each other. The heat and passion between them, despite the way they appear to be living on opposite sides of the spectrum, builds to a twitch-inducing peak, and somehow, it stays there throughout the entire story.

The thing that really gets me about this story is that the way Edward and Bella finally get together intimately (AKA when then finally fuck) has the potential to be a little upsetting to the hopeless romantic in all of us . . . and yet it is so fucking sexy and works for them.

In this most recent update, just posted on Sunday, cherry.blossomz has KILLED. ME. DED.

There is a distinct juxtaposition between Bella’s meddling friends, scheming to “protect” her from Edward, and the absolute most intense love scene of the story thus far. As Edward and Bella descend deeper and deeper into their tangled game, Edward battling between his addiction and his developing feelings for Bella, the side-shots of Rosalie and Alice’s conversation creates worry for that side of the situation. It’s clear that shit is about to hit the fan, and the question is posed as to whether all these newly emerging feelings between the lovers will withstand an attack, or if it will all implode with Bella’s friends’ plan.

If you have any doubts about this story, let me just leave you with this little taste of the UNF...

He releases her lips, and then he rises up slightly to watch his cock moving in and out of her, and Bella watches too.
The image is so erotic, and intimate, and dirty. She feels herself reaching a peak. It's like something inside of her needs to break free. Her skin vibrates, and she comes. She comes so hard she whimpers, and digs her nails deeply into Edward's shoulder.
He doesn't give her any respite; he leans back and pulls her body on top of him into his lap. He kisses and sucks at her neck, and whispers, "This is me you're with, I'm here, I'm with you…"
And she knows what he means.

Trin - I think I am going to have to send Emmy a big box of chocolates for turning us onto such a delicious story. As many of the others of the Pack have said this story has UST so hot you literally will stay up much later than what would be considered appropriate for a responsible adult just to read more. The character development cherry.blossomz delivers with this story is fantastic and you don’t feel as if it is all just leading up to a lemon (though the lemons are AMAZING)!

I loved that cherry.blossomz wrote an AH Edward that reminded me so much of a Vampward due to his sexual addiction. The talk of his thirst and need is so reminiscent of Meyer’s Twilight that it added another layer entirely to the story. With the cold weather upon us, I’d say hunker down with Righteous and Wicked because it is guaranteed to make you hot. Very hot.


miss tejota said...

You all really have me wanting to read this story. To get over the fact that is it Bella and Edward ff and just accept that it might actually be good and I might find themes within the story interesting. This story is now on my to read list. Thank you!

cherry.blossomz said...

*cries* I have no words. This was so well done and I am beyond flattered. Thank you!

jadalulu said...

Awesome review for a VERY unforgettable fic....cherry.blossomz owns me. (well, RaWard might have a *teensy* part in that


StAngelS said...

Utterly and completely one of my favorite must drop everything must reads.