Reviews for The Art Of Living
theoofoof chapter 42 . 9/30/2010
Wow! This has got to be one of the most well written sophisticated stories I have ever read. I loved the way their relationship developed, the ups and downs and of course the sex (lol). Fantastic work - I really must take time to check out your other stuff.
theoofoof chapter 11 . 9/30/2010
I've only just found this story (it was recommended by a friend) and am loving it so much - it's just the thing to cheer me up when I'm off sick. The way you're building up the slow shift in their relationship is fantastic and has really drawn me in. I got so engrossed at one point that I forgot I'd put the oven on to warm! Luckily I hadn't put any food in it or it might have been burnt to a crisp. Going to read the rest now, but this site has been a pain the last couple of days so apolgies if I don't get to review more or it take me a while to get through.

I think this has become my new fave!
Perfect Soldier 01 chapter 42 . 5/29/2010
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. This has, quite simply, been one of the best stories I've ever read. I know I said the same thing for Enduring Hope, but this really is, without any exaggeration, the most accomplished story I've read here.

The McKellen story was gripping and very well structured, and I loved the parallels you drew with Alex and Gene's relationship, and the way it fostered them and brought them together was definitely the strongest element of the story.

That said, I felt that the middle-ish chapters where the plot got forgotten about slightly weren't so strong as the others where their relationship was so tightly woven around the crime. As beautifully written, emotionally raw and brilliant as they were (I was tearing up over Gene's mother's death - probably one of my favourite chapters!), I felt something lacking there. It sort of lapsed out of its unique story hooks (if that makes the slightest bit of sense), and lost sight of what made it so special initially. While I completely appreciate their importance to the overall development of Gene and Alex, I think perhaps they might be stronger if the plot was just kept on the horizon a bit more.

However, I loved all their arguments and how they inevitably made up afterwards. Rather than merely have it continuously descent into sex and have that make everything better, you gave us a reason to really believe that they had overcome their differences because you had developed their personalities to such an extent that we could see and understand every little piece of body language and facial expression.

I've taken away so many lessons from reading this - it's definitely been much more memorable than anything I've been trying to revise for this week (law exams this coming week - eek!), and it's defintiely been my lifeline through the boredom of having my head crammed with case names!

Really looking forward to reading its sequel now, and also reading more of Enduring Hope :D. Great, great work!

xstarsx chapter 42 . 5/28/2010
Have just finished reading all of your fantastic story, can't believe I hadn't before! I really couldn't stop reading, you're a great writer. Thanks so much! :)
cazzers chapter 42 . 5/27/2010
Thank you Mage!

I've just finished this after mourning the loss of our dear Bolly and Gene and it's wonderful. A fantastic plot, just like a book that I just can't put down - I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Please never stop writing!

Thanks! Cazz x
Hel101 chapter 42 . 5/18/2010
I started reading this a long time ago (when you posting around chapter 30, I think) and really enjoyed it; but school and everything got in the way, and this slipped to the back of my mind. Point is, much later, I remembered, and was thrilled to see you'd finished it! So this is how I've spent the past five days, re-reading, then reading, the remainder of this story, and can I just say WOW.

This is amazing, you've got both Gene and Alex down so perfectly- their relationship just worked so well, with its all up and downs (and not to mention some fairly hot sex), and just so true to the original characters. Your Gene especially, is brilliant, I love how you've characterised his vulnerability beneath all the brashness.

But on top of that, you've got such a strong plot working its way through the story, with clues and suspect. The Rosa plot kept me hooked, and I love how you managed to so perfectly interweave it with Gene and Alex's relationship, showing how each affected the other.

This is just wonderful, and I have to congratulate you on finishing it. While short stories/PWP is all well and good, I absolutely loved sinking my teeth into this one. It's just amazing
scribe4hire chapter 14 . 5/15/2010
This is one of the most intelligent, sophisticated pieces of writing I have read in a long time. The way you wrote the emotions of Rosa's mother...WOW! And to be able to do this at 19 or 20 as you may be now. I am in awe and jealous as hell I really am. I think you said in your profile you were thinking of a career in writing, don't think...DO! Keep writing fan fic's, maybe even get something together and send it off. Yes I am serious. The worst they can say is no and as much as it stings, it all helps you learn. Patronising rant over. Sorry. Right, off to read the rest of this great story now, because as well as the drama, you do great humour, tenderness and smut. What more can you ask for in a story. Scribex
theHuntgoeson chapter 42 . 3/27/2010
Yes, the finish DOES work! The poignancy of Ciaran's fate is a bittersweet contrast to the deep and blossoming happiness of Gene and Alex, and I'm so glad that Gene had the courage to propose - and that Alex didn't let him get a new ring. His awkward confession of his love is so very touching. And his final looking back on how Alex, and their love, have changed his life, sums up everything that this story is about. I am going to miss this story so much, so please do a sequel if you feel that you can!
theHuntgoeson chapter 41 . 3/27/2010
Yes, you did catch me out with what the thin blue line was, but as soon as Alex started feeling ill I guessed she was pregnant. Their gradual realisation of it, and the deep, tender complex emotions which it awakens in both of them, is so beautifully written and contrasts so well with the sizzlin, ice cream and dog-laden smut which has gone before. Good old Fitz, always defusing the tense moment. Only an epilogue to go? Waah...
theHuntgoeson chapter 40 . 3/27/2010
Gene may have been changed by love but he is still Gene, and his prejudice, frustration, anger and intransigence are tellingly portrayed in this chapter, as is the constant danger that their constant differences over their work could tear the lovers apart. But Alex's promise not to get a transfer at the end gives us firm hope that their love will survive, and the fact that, amid all the turmoil, Gene remembered to feed Fitz is oddly comforting. As is his lowering of his defences to beg her not to transfer.
MarriedToTheRealGene chapter 42 . 3/24/2010
Mage, this is superb, you know that! Love the way you write the characters, dialect, conversation, everything. Write more, so much more, please.
Tigressa 1 chapter 42 . 3/24/2010
amazing fic hun really enjoyed it I cant wait for the sequal and find out what sproggy gets up to huggles you rule x
Triple Integral chapter 42 . 3/23/2010
Fantastic all the way through! Loved every bit - the seriousness was upsetting but gripping at the same time and it's good to see a positive outcome. ]

A sequel wouldn't be a bad thing in my opinion. :D
sillygenie chapter 42 . 3/22/2010
Lovely sweet and hot ending to this fic. Liked that you brought it full circle with the mention of the ring: )
SalamanderusRex chapter 42 . 3/22/2010
*happy sigh*

I guess if it had to end that was one of the best finishing chapters I've ever read :)

I can't wait for the sequel! :D

I hope you write it soon!
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