Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Team Angst: The Give Away Girl

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Team Angst is a constantly changing teams, depending on who can handle the angst levels of the Team Angst pick. Only the bravest (or craziest) Pervs tackle the tears and pain to bring you the best angst and heartfail that fan fic has to offer. Non-canon pairings? No problem. Cheating and Break-ups? No sweat. Character death? Bring it! It’s all in a days work for Team Angst. So if you think you’re tough enough put on your big girl pants, take a seat and join us for the Team Angst Pick.

The Team Angst Pick is...  
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Title: The Give Away Girl
Author: MrsSpaceCowboy
Chapters:25
Words: 171,617
Reviews: 898
Summary: Honor student Bella Swan has mastered the arts...of manipulating her divorced parents, rolling the perfect joint, and faking an orgasm. Who wouldn’t want to keep a girl like her? An unconventional coming of age tale for Gen Xer Bella.

Corie When I first started reading fic I would find myself staying up all night, unable to pull myself away from a story to even complete the most menial of tasks. 3 years later I have found a balance for the most part, until reading this story. I was sucked in, it was like when I couldn’t be bothered, I hid away from my family and denied the kids a day at the pool so I could keep reading. Honestly it got me excited all over again for fic. The characters and time frame (early 90’s) brought me back to my teen years, the way the author tells a love story had me swooning it was just everything combined.

 The attention to detail with the characters and their lives before cell phones and Facebook really took me back and pulled me into the story. What kept me reading was the thought out plot and love story. I was so invested in Edward and Bella and their relationship that by the time the angst began I was broken hearted along with them.

 At the core this isn’t just a love story between a boy and girl, it's a story about relationships, friendships, parent/child relationships and how they ebb and flow and evolve over those tumultuous teen years. It’s layered and complex without losing my interest or confusing the reader.

 The passion and sex between Edward and Bella had me squirming in my seat on quite a few occasions, but its all realistic and lovely. I drop anything when this updates and rush right to my girls to talk about it. I’ll just leave you with a little something to wet your...palate ;)

Seeing the top of his head moving lower and lower is enough to make me desperate. "Please," I whisper. I have no idea what I need, just that I need it now. He kisses the skin just below my navel before inhaling deeply. 
Then he starts the whole process of kissing and licking again, only moving north instead of south this time. He teases me, rubbing against me, but not penetrating. I shift, taking him by surprise as I draw him into my body. 
He sits up on his knees, still inside me and begins to flex his hips. My legs are spread wide and bent at the knees, and both of my feet are flat on the bed. He moans when he looks down, and then places a hand on each of my knees for leverage. 
I let my head fall back onto the pillow, vaguely registering his hands as they move to my waist. Holding. Pulling. He's deep. And I'm close. Instead of chasing the burn, I let it consume me, and for the first time with him inside me, it does. Heat licks at every cell in my body until I quake and whimper. "Fuck," he says, gritting his teeth. "God, that feels good. So fucking good."
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Guest Perv: Edmazing 
Man, when I think about how long I let The Give Away Girl sit on my tbr’s list I could kick myself. Really. I mean, I love high school fics, but more importantly, I love hs stories that actually feel like they’ve got high schoolers in them. Kids who are trying to fit in and figure it out, all while making it look like they don’t give a shit who’s watching. 

Having it set in the 90’s just sweetened the pot for me. It’s filled with pop references and lyrics that will have you smiling and possibly Googling. And that’s perfect. It was back when phones were connected to the wall and if the conversations were worth it, you would stretch out the cord and pull over a chair so you could snuggle in and get comfortable. There were few distractions and time felt like it moved just a little slower.

And like most teenage stories, it starts with friends. Bella has a tight knit crew of pot smoking, boy obsessed besties that she’s run with since elementary. But Charlie and Renee’s divorce has Bella going back and forth between two homes. Forks where everyone she knows and kicks it with is and PA High where her mother, Emmett, and his new-to-town cousin Edward are. With two high school scenes to navigate and two households to grow up in, things are difficult, to say the least.

After getting to know Edward over the summer through late night phone calls and “all age” concerts the sophomore year begins. Yeah, it’s all about growing up and trying things out. Making those choices that you think are right, but sometime still getting it wrong. It only gets harder when you add love to the mix.
"I love you." His voice is quiet, tender. "I know," I tell him, running my thumb along the stubble on his cheek. "I love you, too." He smiles and pulls me closer. "Promise?" The word is a whisper against my lips. Forever may not be a possibility. We're only sixteen. I won't pretend the odds are in our favor. But he's taken over my heart so completely, I can't imagine him ever being gone from it. Always loving him will be the easiest promise I'll ever have to keep.
The story’s about love, yes. But it’s bigger; it’s about everything in those teenage years. To quote Jena Malone, “Adolescence isn't just about prom or wearing sparkly dresses.” It’s about finding out who you are. Where you belong. And if you’re lucky, who you belong with. Do yourself a favor and start this now.

The sighs and smiles come with the link.

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Guest Rec: Dragonfly336 
I want to start off with saying that I am absolutely in love with The Give Away Girl by MrsSpaceCowboy. It is one of those stories that sucked me in and I couldn’t stop reading it, which I find in my three years of reading fic, happens rarely anymore. It is also one of those stories that whenever someone asks me what story to read, that is one of my first recs and I am surprised to see that this still hasn’t reached 1,000 reviews.

One of the things that pulls me in about the story is that it is set in the 90’s and the years coincide with the time that I was in high school, so it is very nostalgic to me. MrsSpaceCowboy excellently adds in pop culture references from this time. I also like the fact that it has a different back story than most of the stories out there, so it isn’t like you have read the same thing over and over again.

Bella grew up in Forks, but leaves in eighth grade to live with Renee in Port Angeles. She has her close knit group of girls in Forks that she remains close with. In Port Angeles, Emmett is one of her close friends and the summer before sophomore year, his cousin, Edward, moves there. I love how their friendship starts; he calls her to talk because he doesn’t know anybody and I love his characterization, long bangs with the back shaved close and wire rimmed glasses... *sigh* Their transition from friends to boyfriend/girlfriend comes pretty quick, as it happens in high school, and their first kiss is so sweet.
"Bella," he whispers, looking right back at me. "Tell me what you're thinking. Please." I don't want to. We've both said enough. I'm tired of talking. I shift onto my knees and then slowly climb across the console and the gear shift, until I am hovering with a knee settled on each side of his lap. "I think you should kiss me." I look him right in the eye as I say it. I'll give up every single birthday wish for the next thirty years… if he'll just do it. I swear. He leans forward as I lower myself. Our chests are flush. His eyes are on my mouth as I lower my face to his. His lips catch mine gently, brushing lightly before sucking gently. He tastes like chocolate and weed and every other favorite thing I have in the world. He caresses my neck with both hands as he slides his fingers into my hair, tilting my head. His tongue is soft against my bottom lip. I've never really been kissed. Not like this. I realize it the moment our tongues touch for the first time. He is soft lips and gentle tongue. Nips and pecks. Every part of me wants to be closer. I grip his shoulders tightly, shifting my weight, trying to ease some of the ache that is blooming in my chest and every other part of me.
Their relationship progresses throughout the school year and then the angst comes in. But it isn’t angst for angst’s sake. The transition is so believable and real, that you almost feel like the author experienced this same thing. And it is high school, where people grow and change and stuff just happens, and you don’t know how to communicate with your significant other because you just aren’t at that maturity level yet.

This is actually a great time to start since we are coming through to the other side of the angst. I know you’ll love it, so go start it. Right now! Go!

 Teal When I began ready this story, having been told it was an angst fic, I did so holding my breath. As the stage was set, with Bella a high school student in the 90s, a child of divorce, and splitting her time between her parents in Forks and Port Angeles, it felt like there was bound to be a mess. In many ways, that setting had plenty of rough patches, but Bella wasn’t some unrealistically damaged basketcase. She was pretty much a normal teenage girl with shitty circumstances and a core group of really great friends.

And so it began. She’d had her shit-vs.-fan moments, but overall, she was just living her life. Edward came into the picture in a really cute way, and their budding relationship was actually kind of adorable.

Again, there I was, dreading the angst, but this one proved to be a slow burn. That’s right, MrsSpaceCowboy builds up the sweet, fun, sexy, chaotic, hot teenage romance between these two, making it good and strong so that when the tidal wave hits, it’s a killer.

My poor heart.

Though I know this is an Edward/Bella story, and I have every reason to believe they’ll end up back together in the end, their separation may have been one of the hurtiest I’ve read in any fic. After a series of misunderstandings, insecurities, and mistakes on both ends, it was fairly inevitable. But the growth they both experience and their eventual, slow return to friendship has a natural feel to it.

The author calls this a Come of Age fic, and I honestly can’t think of a better description. I’m enamored with the story, and if you’re an Edward/Bella lover, this is one you absolutely shouldn't miss.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pervy Picspirations - 7/27/12

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Emmy wants your words. (amongst other things...) Every week Emmy will post a pic or 2 - containing phwoarrrr-worthy blokes from across the seas, some hunks from closer to home and sometimes some dangerously delish knickers and lingerie. What do we want from you in return? Well...... We want you to be inspired by these pics and to leave Emmy a delish drabble or longer story, or even a new chapter of an existing WIP, inspired by the pic(s). Remember it can be from ANY fandom you wish...

Leave a link to your story offering in the comments section and post it to your FF or LJ, AO3 or other host account (pm the link to Emmy at http://www.fanfiction.net/~pippapear or ememmyem on LJ or AO3 ) and make sure you mention the PPSS and that it was inspired by a Pervy Picspiration, by the following Thursday morning. (If you need more time, please don’t hesitate in still sending it to Emmy when you are done! We will still read and feature it!)

Each Friday Emmy will reveal her faves and at the same time post the next pervy picspiration for your pleasure. Non-Canon writers don’t despair - Emmy might be tragically WussPerv©, but there are plenty of equal opportunity pervs in the pack longing to read those if Emmy turp’s out.And remember how much she loves slash!

Emmy is DYING to see what dirty delights you are going to come up with...

*Please make sure your story offering is in line with our mission statement

So remember you STILL have another WEEK to get writing and get any entries in to me. As we have extended our Pervy Picspirations submission times for you! So there is no excuse now to not get writing for me! And as a wee brucey bonus, here are two new HOT pics on the of diamonds and pearls to inspire you TO WRITE FOR ME, FOR ANY FANDOM!


So get writing!!

Our joint contest with TwiFicPics each month to create pervtastic banners is going from strength to strength! Read more about it here Pervy Banner TwiFicPics Competition. Make sure you go look and ADOPT HERE! There are AMAZING entries yet again. The last fabbio winner was here



So this week? Lets get lickity split this week folks! Get lippy! Use those pouts, time to lick, nibble, suck and bite. Oh and kiss! But as always it is about whatever these yummy pics of buff blokes and bonny birds with amazing mouths do for you!. How do they make you feel? What fandom do you want to write for? Really it is all about sexy pictures to get your writing sexy scenes... SO remember ANYTHING in the pics can inspire you to write for me. Go on... Do they do anything for you? What do the pics make you feel? Write it! It is whatever you wish! As always it is your call! Completely up to you....

What fandom do you prefer to read or write? Twilight? Merlin? Harry Potter? Teen Wolf? Spartacus? Game of Thrones? 1D? The Eagle? Hunger Games? Transformers? DC Comics? GOT? Sherlock? Inception? TSN? Or one I haven’t mentioned? NO matter the fandom, we want you to write it, and we WILL read it! We love all fandoms, and especially love discovering new fandoms....

Remember you can take the prompt anyway and get writing - any character or fandom! Or you can be inspired in ANY way by the pics and write something tasty - it doesn’t matter! Just write me something.

Whatever the pics below do to you - write it... No matter what smutty delights they unlock.
SO what do these pics do for you, do to you? Just go for it and WRITE anything for ANY FANDOM and any pairing that the pics or prompt inspires..!

Write me anything - be it Slash, FemmeSlash, AU or AH, canon or even OOC... AND remember for any fandom... Perhaps one of the pics inspires you to write a new chapter in a work-in-progress, or try something new. Be it a drabble, be it a one-shot or be it a WIP, just write for me. Make it sexy, make it sweet and tender, make it sensuous, erotic or downright naughty. Your call. Just let the inspiration take you - be you a BNA or an innocent virgin, wanting your Pervy Picspiration cherry popped for fun. Write whatever the pics inspire in you.....










I’m waiting.........

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy - Intro to BDSM

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Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy is an advice column that addresses reader’s most burning questions on sexual health/relationships. STDs, birth control, is it real or is it fic, sexual positions--you name it. There are no stupid questions, only ones that are too embarrassing to ask someone you know. If Naughty Nurse Kimpy doesn’t know the answer, she’ll find an expert who does!




DISCLAIMER:

The information and advice from Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy is for entertainment/educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as expert medical advice. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician. All medical advice and information should be considered to be incomplete without a physical exam, which is not possible without a visit to your doctor.


Given the current climate of rampant misinformation regarding BDSM, the Girls at The Shack thought that there'd never been a better time to revisit this post. Our thanks go out, again, to MsKathy for sharing her wisdom and experience.

My boyfriend and I have only been together for six months. I guess I have a fetish or something but I always wanted to try bondage with someone (in all my 27 years of life I want to finally try it) and I trust him more than any other of my previous boyfriend/lovers. How would I bring it up to him, I don't want to sound like a crazy woman saying "get the rope and tie my arms together". And warnings/precautions should I take if we take it to that level?


There is a statement in the Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy description that says, "If Naughty Nurse Kimpy doesn't know the answer, she'll find an expert who does!" This is one of those times. The lovely, knowledgeable, and wise MsKathy kindly agreed to handle your question. While MsKathy is incredibly well-versed in BDSM, this is not intended to take the place of expert advice. Remember, never play without a safe word, ever.

Now, I turn the podium over to MsKathy:

If you think your proclivities (I am careful of the word "fetish" - just a personal preference of mine) may extend beyond bondage, I would suggest that you take time to explore those in your head. Make sure you have a clear understanding of how you feel about things -- how will you react if he is vehemently opposed? Is this something you need to turn into a reality, or can you live with it just in your head as a fantasy?

I recommend a great book called When Someone You Love is Kinky -- unfortunately, it's out of print. If you can find an older copy, it can be a great ice-breaker and way to bring up the topic. A newer book, which I previewed online but have not read the entire contents of, is How to Be Kinky: A Beginner's Guide to BDSM . I can't entirely vouch for the book, but what I read from the preview section seemed great. I have it on order to add to my library.

I also recommend Screw the Roses. Just preview the table of contents and you can see how in-depth it is. It may be too much for what you want/need right now.

I love Jay Wiseman, and so anything he writes gets my personal recommendation. He has a book called SM101 that you might find useful.

Are there warnings/precautions you should take? Of course. I could spend all day telling you about them, literally. Think about it like this: you are doing something that has the potential to end in great bodily (and mental) harm. You should take every precaution available to you. Of course, every time you get in a car, you take the same risks, so follow the same guidelines: get educated, make informed risk choices, and be with a partner (driver) that you are confident in. If you don't trust your partner, DON'T DO IT. I'm not saying you will have 110% "natural submissive" trust the first time you get tied up, that would be unrealistic, but you should have an essential foundation in your relationship of trust, otherwise, it's my opinion that you shouldn't travel down the paths where extra trust is required.

How do you get informed? You read, you talk, you research, and (imho, the most important), join a local group. Most of my knowledge was picked up by doing, practicing, and absorbing from/watching those smarter and more educated about the topics than I was/am. Yes, book knowledge helps, but there are so many nuances that you would really be missing. Going to a local group/meetup isn't nearly as nerve-wracking as it seems (okay, after the first time it isn't!) -- trust me, the people are nice, and warm, and lovely, and they will WANT to help you learn. They won't (all) be obvious practitioners, some will be just like me, your average-looking mom-type that has a dirty private life.

If you're just TOO nervous and you just CAN'T POSSIBLY join a local group (I've been there, and sometimes there are legitimate privacy concerns), then read as much as you can. Have your boyfriend read the books with you. Maybe read them to him. Talk about it. Talk about bondage techniques, rope types, the benefits of different kinds of rope, buy rope together, play with it, test it, but please, please please be safe about it. Keep safety scissors on hand AT ALL TIMES when using rope - even when you think you're an expert. Why this kind? The end is blunt and can be used quickly, without much thought, and won't stab your partner.

If you're not all about rope, you can get something as quick and simple as this--under the bed restraint system-- that works with your mattress and such. PLEASE still keep the scissors handy!

If you play with handcuffs that are leather/fabric, scissors are a must. If you play with metal, make sure you have more than one key, and keep your spare someplace easy to find/access. Many of the smaller locks use the same key, so if you buy multiples, you can have them tucked away discreetly in several spots, in case of emergency. I keep a set on my keyring and no one has ever asked me what they're for, but I KNOW if I panic, I can get them easily. If you get into heavy metal / handcuff / chain bondage, keep bolt cutters handy (I'm totally not kidding).

You can use a variety of materials to bind someone, all with varying degrees of safety and efficacy. Off the top of my head, I can think of rope, cuffs, tape (animal vet tape is my fav, medical tape, duct/packing tape if you like pain, depending on placement), saran/plastic wrap, cat5 cables (mhm, I went there, NERD ALERT), chain, etc.

I'm thinking about all of the possible warnings I want to give, and they are vast -- more than I could cover here. Some people will disagree with these rules, but they are mine and I stick by them. Don't use rope alone. You shouldn't leave someone tied up alone, or out of earshot. Buy a copy of Gray's Anatomy (not the TV show, the medical guide) -- yes, it's expensive (I got mine at a used bookstore), and maybe boring, however, the more intricate you(r partner) plan to get with the ropework, the more important it becomes to understand muscle placement and nerve locations. One of the most important things is to pay attention to your partner, or for your partner to pay attention to you. Do I ask "what color are we?" 90 times an hour, like in fic? No. I use my eyes, and my ears, and I pay attention. I expect my partner to tell me if they are in distress, unless I've forbidden speaking, but then I do check in slightly more than usual. Always have a safeword, and if it makes you feel better, you can use the color system (green=go, yellow=caution, red=stop), but I find that doesn't work for me, for various reasons. Use what works for you.

There is a lot of responsibility in all areas of topping/bottoming/subbing/dominating, even if you're just going to be a casual participant. Please do not allow the "casual" to lull you into less research and taking it less seriously.

On to the fun topics -- here are some other great books about bondage specifically. You could wrap one of these and give to your boyfriend as a hint and/or to open the topic of discussion.
Erotic Bondage Handbook
101 Step-by-Step Knots
Dare... to Try Bondage

Above all, even with my cautions and red flags and begging you to be safe, have fun. If you're not having fun, there's absolutely no point in doing it!

I hope your boyfriend is open to hear about your fantasies. I know what it's like from the other side, so if he's resistant at first, please give him time and space to try and absorb and assimilate what you say. People are always surprised when I tell them that I wasn't the one to dive into the world of kink first, my husband was! I was scared at first, nervous about what it meant for us, for our relationship, how we would change, would we ever have "normal" sex? and about 900 other questions went through my mind. However, we talked. Then we talked more. The rest is history!


Do you have a question for Naughty Nurse Kimpy? Click the banner below, fill out the form, and get your answer in the next installment of Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy.

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Lemon Report 26 July 2012


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The Lemon Report - Fancy finding out what is on the FF bookshelves of the Pervy Girls of the PPSS? The lemon report lets you know our personal favourite updates of the week, and why you should give the fic a try.... It’s a great place to trawl for new recc’s and don’t forget to share your favourite update with us by leaving us a comment. In some cases, the Lemon Report may contain spoilers. Please read with caution.
Acronym Guide AU - Alternate Universe AH - All Human WIP - Work in Progress O/S - One Shot OOC - Out of Character WP - Wussperv Slash/Femslash - Features homosexual characters and romance.

Twilight, AH, E/B, WIP

Nico -Edward is a rich successful businessman, Bella a freshman college student, does Bella really know what she’s getting into? Is she ready for it? Edward is delicious in a take charge, goes all in sort of way, looking forward to seeing how things keep going. :)

Twilight, AH, E/B, WIP

Nico - There is just something about a bad boy tatted up Edward that sends my lady parts a singing. Then add to it that really he’s a great guy under it all and you’ve won me over. Edward catches Bella trying to steal his car and things just go from there. This last chapter things jumped into overdrive and I can’t wait for more. :)

Twilight, O/S, Angela, masturbation, voyeurism

Jen - A very hot little o/s written for a PTB Smut University assignment. I wish the author would expand it, bc I want to know what happens the next time Rosalie visits. Never enough Angela fic. Unf!

by Anon
Merlin, WIP, Magical AU, Slash, Gwain/Merlin, voyeurism, sharing

Jen - Fantastic WIP from kinkme-merlin. The sex is so hot. I love the way the plot is unfolding; each section is another piece of the puzzle. The emotions involved are hard hitting, and I just really can’t say enough good things about it.

by Anon
Merlin, Complete, Merlin/Mithian

Jen - Yet another amazing fic from kinkme-merlin. I have not seen Season 4 yet, so I know zilch about Mithian, but I’ve completely fallen in love with Anon’s characterisation of her here. Both Merlin and Mithian are so in love, so adoring of one another, yet circumstances keep them apart. The LONGING. The glances, innocent touches, and omfg. The KISS. Really, give it a try, just a gorgeous story.

Merlin, Complete, Modern AU, Incest, Reincarnation? SLASH, MERTHUR

Emmy - I was reading this fic as a WIP on the Kinkmeme. And woah, was it a fave of mine. Such a heartbreaky, amazing, dangerous fic. Written with such beauty and grace and power and such a delicate touch. Never heavy handed and cloying with its delicate subject matter. Instead it is perfect. These boys. Oh my god these boys.
"We've shared everything," Arthur said, his voice going indistinct as he fought to stay awake. "It was only a question of time before we shared the same blood." His breath was warm on Merlin's skin.
***flails***

Harry Potter, O/S, Harry / Severus

Chele - This is a wonderful Harry / Severus time-turner fic. Beautifully written, a crisp yet dreamlike narrative as we move back and forth along the timeline Harry alters by going back in time to prevent one death from the war that he’s just not able to leave be. The characters are as in canon as they can be with a Snape!Lives scenario, which makes it all the more intense. The emotion-laden smut made me ache. Love.

1D, O/S, Harry/Louis, Slash, RPF

Jen - Wow. Not even sure what to say about this fic. It’s epic. The feels are off the charts. But there’s lots of laughter. Angry sex is hot, but sex with more loving emotion is even hotter. Just read it.

1D, Complete, Harry/Louis, Slash, RPF

Jen - This gorgeous story was inspired by the movie Weekend. Though not exactly the same story, this is so evocative of the movie. It’s got an ethereal quality to it and it only enhances the heartache of meeting the right person at the wrong time. Gorgeous writing.

1D, Complete, Liam/Louis, Slash

Jen - The cutest, sweetest high-school au. Really. Liam feels abound.

by Anon
1D, Complete, Liam/Louis, crossdressing

Jen - Louis is in a corset, which is hot in and of itself. What’s even hotter is how fucking crazy turned on it makes Liam. OMFG.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Magical Meanderings July 24 Easy There


In our ongoing quest to seek out new smut fic to entertain and delight our readers the pervs have created the Magical Meanderings. Here we will spotlight sexy fics with a magical theme, from any number of fandoms. Fairies, dragons, wizards, shape shifters and even knights will take center stage in these magical and sometimes even mystical tales. Bring your imagination and prepare to be enchanted by some enchanting, erotic fan fiction.

Our latest Magical Meanderings pick is...


Title: Easy There
Author:Syllic
Words: 49, 826
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin aka Merthur
Summary: Arthur is an Oxford Blue. Merlin is an Oxford cox. Lancelot is Merlin's romantic-dalliance-loving friend. Morgana is horribly clever; Gwen is cleverly waiting for Lancelot to grow up. Merlin and Arthur rub each other the wrong way, at first, but it soon becomes clear that Arthur is a university-class rower with a world-class heart (yes, I typed that). Clich├ęs ensue.


Guest reccer: BeckyBrit1
Firstly, let me just say that I know absolutely nothing about rowing. Nothing at all. So when I read the summary for this story, I was more than a little dubious about reading, but, since it was recc’d to me by someone with excellent taste, I thought - what the hell, right? 

After the first paragraph I was totally hooked. Even with my lack of knowledge of all things rowing related, (the author has a series of fabulous notes, explaining all the terms and more, which I highly recommend reading, btw), this story is so beautifully written that it didn’t take me long to immerse myself in Oxford college life and Blue’s training. The image of Merlin, Lancelot and Arthur all dressed in lycra had absolutely nothing to do with this. Nope.

Merlin and Arthur don’t get off to the best of starts, and Merlin has to watch Arthur flirting with the deliciously slutty (but still sensitive and charming) Lancelot.
When they were finished and the bill had come, Morgana picked up her coat from the floor and pinched Arthur on the arm, hard, before putting it on. Merlin contemplated the possibility of asking Arthur and Lancelot back to the Oriel bar for a drink they weren't supposed to have before tomorrow's outings, but Lancelot beat him to the punch and said, "Arthur, want to come over and play on the Wii?" Arthur nodded and Lancelot wiggled his eyebrows comically at Merlin, as if expecting Merlin to share his joy at the imminent seduction of Arthur through the ages-old, losing-at-videogames trick. Said trick had worked shamefully well on Merlin, and Merlin gave Lancelot a wan smile as he and Arthur wrapped their scarves around their necks and the two of them departed.
Merlin has the most wonderful, and often very funny dreams and daydreams, (getting increasingly filthier as the story progresses), all centering around Arthur in some way. He also has just a little magic, and while it’s not the main focus of the story, it is delightful part of it as Merlin struggles with the idea of telling people, particularly Arthur as it seems to have a mind of its own around him, about it.

The main story follows the team’s preparations for the Oxford/Cambridge boat race and the growing, if somewhat awkward, friendship between Merlin and Arthur, while also introducing the other characters - Lancelot, Gwen, Morgana and briefly Hunith and Will. Morgana is one of my favourite characters and is fabulous in this, with her biting wit and quiet understanding of everything going on around her.
"This is Arthur," said Merlin, widening his eyes at Gwen significantly. "Morgana's brother." 
"Stepbrother," said Morgana and Arthur in unison. 
"Sorry; stepbrother," corrected Merlin. Lancelot walked around the table and plopped down next to Gwen, wrenching his wooden chopsticks apart with a sort of feral anticipation, and Merlin stood behind Morgana's coat, unsure whether it would be appropriate to touch it and move it aside. Morgana was running a finger down the list of rice noodle dishes and seemed unaware of Merlin's plight, but Arthur scoffed disgustedly behind him before picking up the coat by its hood and dropping it unceremoniously on the floor behind Morgana's part of the bench. 
"Well, that's ugly," said Arthur, gesturing to the coat. "Yes; I heard you were coming, and coordinated my outfit to match your face," said Morgana, eyes on the menu. 
Arthur's mouth opened as if he were about to say something, but in the end he seemed unable to think of a quick enough reply, and he sat down next to Morgana, eyebrows drawn together as if he were still trying to think of something scathing to say. 
"So what's the thesis going to be about?" asked Morgana distractedly. 
Morgana asked most things distractedly--she always gave the impression that her conversation with you was not the only thing occupying her brain at the time. She could be simultaneously focussed, though, making you feel as if she had nothing but time for you; like Arthur, she could seem proud and distant one moment and warm and friendly the next.

I loved this story from start to finish, it’s funny, exciting, hot, has a few heart-clenchy moments and while I would love nothing better than to list all of my favourite things about it, I’m not going go. Firstly, because that would seriously take forever and secondly, I don’t want to spoil it by giving away all its secrets. I will just say that the unfolding relationships between Merlin and Arthur, which is not without its difficulties, and between Merlin and the rest of his friends are a pleasure to read and the ending left me feeling all warm and fuzzy for the rest of the day.










I absolutely adore this story. But I will say here my only gripe with the story, the darling Merlin, complicated and stuffy Arthur and roguish Lancelot all row(& study) for ruddy Oxford. I’m a lifelong Cambridge supporter come every boat race!!! So once I swallowed that up, it was all hunky dory!

Digital Art by emrysdragonlord
Watching the boat race everyear is such a key event in Blighty. Or it is for my family, and although we don’t have any family members who have graced the hallowed halls of Oxbridge it is a tradition we all enjoy. The boat race seems as British as the weather, or pimms or well Bradley James.

Saying all that, if you don’t know rowing or the boat race you can still get caught up in the brilliance that is this fic. As Becks says above there are great links to help explain some technical terms, but even without those, the story stands as being a brilliant tale of two competitive blokes falling in love and not really knowing what to do with it! So much of this fic is so ruddy real. Merlin’s POV works brilliantly. He’s confused, out-of-his-depth and at times a bit scared. He can’t help but fall for Arthur. Brilliant and confusing as he is. But he also doesn’t believe Arthur would ever truly accept him or be with him. Or his magic. As poor Merlin was majorly let down in the past by someone close to him over a magic reveal. It doesn’t help that Arthur seems to have a special connection to both Merlin AND his magic. ….. …

And what comes across as the realesty-real thing to me is how ..well.. awkward poor Merlin and Arthur’s sexual chemistry is. Plus how real the aftermath is. Do you ever read fics and think, gosh I wish I knew a bloke as eloquent and wordy as that after a shag? Yep! Me too! Well embrace the realness of this fic.
They wriggled down until they were lying on the bed, parallel to each other, and Merlin pulled at the bottom of Arthur's jumper, pulling it over his head. He tried to do the same with Arthur's polo shirt, but it was buttoned too high and caught on Arthur's nose, which prompted a pained sound and some very graceless fumbling as Merlin undid the button and eventually pulled the shirt free. He sat back on his knees and just looked, because this was how he'd first seen Arthur in the boathouse two terms ago, laughing with Lancelot but half-undressed in Merlin's mind's eye. His skin was golden, turned even more so by the lamplight from Arthur's dusky-shaded bedside light, and Merlin said, before he could help himself, 
"You're perfect." 
Arthur brayed out a laugh that sounded half-derisive, and Merlin drew back, hurt. 
"I'm just nervous," Arthur said, but he didn't apologise and somehow, Merlin wasn't able to say, Me too. Maybe we can just lie here for a minute.
I’ve talked about Merlin as its his POV, but this Arthur is brilliant too. The betrayal with the magic reveal is handled brilliantly. His charm, bluster and fears are so canon. As Becky says Lancelot in this fic is very very very well used. As are all the others.

So do you want some fit blokes? In lycra? Being all pally pally and homoerotic? Yep?! Me too. Plus want a great and REAL love story??! Yep me too! PLUS adorable boys being adorable and a bit stupid re love? YEP ME TOO! Which is why I loved this modern AU magic fic. And why I know you will too!

C
Easy There is a perfectly blended story of fierce sports competition and friendship turned romance. Syllic does a brilliant job of putting the reader into the action of a modern day AU, while playing each character loyally within their canon personalities. Arthur is obliviously snobbish but remarkably likable. Merlin is sweet and sensitive and amazingly loyal. Together, they are like watching Cupid’s trainwreck - messy, but covered in hearts, flowers, and earnest declarations.

Be prepared for an avalanche of Britishisms. There’s a veritable boatload of terminology that I simply didn’t understand, but smiled and let myself flow with the cadence the same way I do when Emmy gets on a lovely rant. Even when I’m not sure what we’re talking about any more, it sounds so lovely that the emotion is clearly understood even when the words are not. I swiftly found even the narrative had developed an accent in my head, which is a sure sign of competent writing.

I never get enough of the self-deprecating acknowledgement of the irony the characters express when they discover they all bear the names of figures from Arthurian legend - this is no exception, and Merlin’s belief that Arthur must be fucking with him is the first sign of their sparks to come.

"Your name really is Arthur?" asked Merlin.
"Yes," apparently-actually-called-Arthur answered tightly. "Is that a problem?"
"Well, no," said Merlin, conciliatory, before Lancelot jumped in,
"Mate. Mate. Your name is Arthur? Jesus fucking Christ. I'm Lancelot," he said, holding his hand out.
Arthur shook it as Merlin barrelled on, irrationally impolite but not really caring, because it was cold and he'd been up ludicrously early that morning to do some last-minute revision for a collection,
"--and I'm Merlin," he said. "Welcome to training with what will no doubt be known for the next seven months as the Knights of the Round Table. Again. Thanks for that, really. We weren't doing fine on our own, Lancelot and I, what with the stupid names and the cruel parents and the odd serendipity of our making the Blue boat together last year."

This light hearted exchange is a perfect example of the tone which carries through the work - even the angst hold the promise of giving you a reason to laugh about it all later.

I’m in love with the smut, because it’s so very real. Though undeniably sexy because if its intensity, it’s also awkward, fumbling, and poorly timed. It felt authentic, which can be so rare.

For my sports loving girls - this fic will feed your desire for intensity, and for romance lovers - you’ll be captivated by Merlin and Arthur’s unavoidable draw to eachother. A must read for everyone, really.


Emmy said ‘rowing fic’ and I jumped. I mean, hello, fit blokes, muscles working hard, bodies glistening with sweat and on display in well fitted lycra uniforms. On top of that it’s Merthur and soooo easy to picture Bradley and Colin (especially new and improved muscular Colin!) in your mind’s eye. Yeah, I’m there. And there’s no need to have prior knowledge of rowing.

At first, Arthur and Merlin’s interactions are kind of like when the teeth of a zipper don’t match up correctly. Just horribly awkward and grating and not approaching anything that could be called smooth. Yet somehow they start spending time together outside of training, and the fact that they’d become friends snuck up on Merlin.

The secondary characters, Lancelot, Gwen, and Morgana, are all wonderful and serve different purposes in the story. Gwen is Merlin’s inner zen, Lancelot is comic relief, and Morgana offers insight into Arthur. There’s a particularly fun scene where Merlin and Morgana spend an afternoon together, getting drunk as they wait for a special event at her college.

I love how Syllic wrote the boat race. You can hear the cadence of Merlin’s calls, and it’s absolutely as tense and exciting as a sporting event on tv. I could read this portion of the story over and over, it’s just that good.

Like Emmy, I absolutely love that their first sexual encounter is as awkward as their initial clothed interactions are. It’s just so real. It takes them a little bit to overcome that night, as well as the magic reveal, but these two are destiny, baby, and eventually everything and everyone *cough* comes together. In all seriousness, when they are firmly on the same page, they’re just adorable. Without being shmoopy, there are little things they each say or do that show how they feel about one another--very understated romance. Just lovely.

Easy There is a fun, rich, compelling story. So put your feet up, click that link, and enjoy yourself!