Reviews for Consolation Prize
OrangeShipper chapter 9 . 7/21/2011
I feel like I shouldn't (S/B? M/S? WHERE'S THE M/M?), but I loved this chapter!

I'm ridiculously impressed with how well you write S/B - both characters came across so clearly to me!

And, well, M/S.. I loved the swivel chair. I loved the ideas brought across - that Sybil had no idea how to buy lunch! I loved her appreciating Matthew's 'normalcy' (is that a word? Do I care?) and the thought that they'd always tried to change him, but actually what was wrong with the way he does things? I loved that.

Oh, Branson... Why suggest that..! Setting things up so brilliantly...!

Excellently written as always - loved it! Can't wait to see more!
EOlivet chapter 9 . 7/21/2011
Wow! Well, if anyone could make me even slightly tolerate M/S, it's you. :D Actually, I loved the S/B parts of this, as well - how Branson challenged her and was more practical and didn't think all of her ideas were perfectly marvelous. :) Enjoyed that little spark of discourse between them. And Matthew and Sybil were perfectly friendly and polite and...it was such a contrast (even to the S/B scene earlier!) Read entirely too much projection into Matthew's mother pining away for Mary's grandmother and missing their arguments (remove some nouns there ;) But the ending definitely shocked me - that...is certainly a way to keep M/S viable, now that Sybil has *that* idea in her head (gee thanks, Branson! :) Beautifully written and characterized as always. How do you do it? :) Please update soon! :D
vyrastra chapter 7 . 7/11/2011
ah! so much more to love here! I adore the way your write these places. at first I thought-and forgive me-that it would all be so very tedious, but you really make them come alive-but not excessively so, and not in a boring traveloguey way, either. They seem mainly to illuminate Mary. And we all know how we can't ever do enough of that. :)

my one note: "splosh of a gondolier's oar as he emerged noiselessly from under a bridge" sat a little oddly with me-noise or no? "emerged otherwise noiselessly"?

Love that Sybil is all nose-to-grindstone about going to University. May she not run out of steam.
vyrastra chapter 6 . 7/11/2011
oh LORD you write them so well!

Well, you see I did it, I finally caved and started reading Consolation Prize. It's wonderful! And that beginning has given me the faith and courage to continue. Surely you couldn't possibly bear to cast Matthew at Sybil (and leave Branson in the cold!) after such a tense and unrequited opening with Mary-! good luck. Please don't leave this story. I love it. And do update soon.

enthralled,

trieste (vyrastra)
Brandon chapter 8 . 7/11/2011
Whether set at Downton Abbey itself or abroad on the Italian adventure, this story is remarkable. When I’m reading it, it seems like I can actually see these events occurring. The writing of Mary is meticulous—you capture her character so well and (as good writers do) don’t just tell but *show* her conflicted thoughts through your poised and well-crafted writing! The dowager countess truly steals some scenes with her lines (as she should!) I truly wish to see a television version of THIS show (once done) and I hope to be able to read more of it soon!
vyrastra chapter 8 . 7/1/2011
Marvelous. Beautiful balance of scene and flashback, atmosphere and characterization. And yes, Mary would so totally not really be a fan of Austen (but still like it enough inside, as she amply reveals here).

I DO hope this story ends up being a Mary-Matthew, Silvestria! All the Sybil rumblings I heard from the comments on MMMMadness makes me worry and hesitate-I don't want to start this lest it turns out to be other than my OTP... :) Read this chapter because you approved it as M/M safe. Now I so want to read the rest of them, but am so afraid...
bijou156 chapter 8 . 6/28/2011
I enjoyed reading this chapter! Complimenti per questa bellissima storia! :D I'm liking Hettie's characterization! I loved Mary's jealousy and how she secretly yearns for Matthew. xD I loved that you included your idea of the 'Olympians' themed party' in your story! I also love all the literary works references!-it matches the characters' tastes and personalities! I also liked how Matthew rescue Mary from dancing with that ghastly man! xD Her Perseus! I also found it sweet how Matthew said that he had put effort into his costume- modestly but charming! I'll look forward to your next chapters! :D I can't wait to see what happens to Sybil and Matthew or even Branson :D
EOlivet chapter 8 . 6/28/2011
BANTER. ABOUT. BOOKS. (plus dancing? :) Oh, my life is complete! :D I adored the wildly romantic ideas in prior chapters about them being connected through books, but I love it EVEN MORE now that they've had this convo. Oh, and she's the goddess of love! He's Perseus! (Mary reads Henry James... ;) In other non-M/M observations, I'm loving Hettie! :) This chapter actually reminded me of your previous Mary character study about how she's never had a friend. I like that perhaps Hettie dancing with the Italian spurred Mary into doing so...it's nice to see Mary being...well, nice to another girl her age. And the description of "not quite right" in regards to dancing with the Italian was pretty perfect. :) Another dazzling, magical chapter...I think I can be ready for what lies ahead now, plot-wise. ;) Please update soon! :D

(P.S. Anyone who has not read The Change in the Game? GO. NOW. READ. :D )
mandapanda2 chapter 8 . 6/28/2011
I loved the 95% fluff chapter! The waltz is a beautiful piece of music that served as one of the most beautiful backdrops for a story. I heard it in my head the moment I read the chapter title. :) Your use of Venice is great too. It's as much a character as Mary. I was amused by the DC's suggestion that Matthew marry the American and Mary's reaction. So looking forward to the next part!
AriadneO chapter 8 . 6/28/2011
Hehehe, such a fun chapter to read! (Did I mention how excited I was to see an update?) I really enjoyed the subtle insults dished out at dinner with the Bowens and their obliviousness that some fun is being had at their expense. I don't know how big of a role you plan for them, but was I the only one to be slightly alarmed at the mention of Arnold and perhaps the foreign office?

I also adored the picture you painted of the ball, especially with the use of the Merry Widow Waltz (which I'm especially fond of having been in the pit for one production). I was amused, though a little saddened, by Mary's experience, with her dwindling yet aging group of admirers. I loved how Matthew confused everyone simply by asking those he admired to dance. And of course I loved that he saved her and that they discussed literature while dancing because he really most likely is the first person to care for her opinion of such. (Oh, and I'm not surprised by Mary's indifference to Austen and I fully support her opinion of Gaskell, especially since it's North and South [wives and daughters being more to my taste at least]. Sorry Mancunians!)
silverducks chapter 8 . 6/28/2011
Brilliant chapter and I guess it's not a surprise that my favourite part was Mary remembering her dance with Matthew. Ahhh, I love how she's sort of missing him but not allowing herself to think to deeply on it.
TheSingingGirl chapter 7 . 6/28/2011
Lei abitava a Venezia! Capisco adesso perché mi ha scritto in italiano - e proverò a scrivere le mie recensioni cosi d'ora in poi. Tuttavia, e questo non piace a Lei, può sempre dirmi di non farlo.

Ho visitato la Serenissima anch'io tre mesi fa, e sono d'accordo con Mary - le viste più belle sono le vie dimenticate con il bucato sopra i canali. Comunque non potrei mai sedermi nella Piazza San Marco per bere qualcosa a causa dei prezzi! Erano tali che mi hanno fatto paura.

Allora, la storia. Mi piace bene come sempre; Lei capisce perfettamente Mary, Matthew e anche Sybil, credo. Sono felice che la vediamo molto, malgrado che Mary sia partita.

Al prossimo capitolo, allora!

TSG
wantobekate chapter 8 . 6/28/2011
This was a delight to read! I think I'll be dreaming of attending a ball with Matthew tonight :)
OrangeShipper chapter 8 . 6/27/2011
Heehee oh I just LOVE Matthew at a ball. He's so cute. You really write banter superbly, you've an absolute gift for dialogue in general! It's all so IC and so believeable.

I love slightly dominant Matthew (naturally!) and I love them dancing.. They need to do more of that! They have such a lovely tone of relationship here.

And of course... Matthew and Ermintrude Crawley... Lol! (Watch out, Mary!)

:)
WhiteCamellia chapter 8 . 6/27/2011
:) Excellent chapter...not that I expected anything less from you, as you always deliver. Great job!
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