Reviews for Competition
JamesLuver chapter 1 . 8/4/2013
I love speculation fanfics and seeing how close they get to the official version, and this was wonderful.

Your Ethel, while being irritating, also possessed the innocence and loneliness that made me sympathise with her too. This is something that Fellowes didn't manage to do for me right away at the same time (I liked her much more in series three, and the ridiculous number of re-watches of series two have mellowed me towards her too, but initially she just annoyed me).

I definitely liked the premise of this, too. I have a soft spot for a bit of jealousy on both parts, and it was interesting to see how Ethel's advances made her reflect on Anna, who is always kind to everyone. I really liked the fact that it did make her a little more uncharitable - after all, she is only human, and it made it much more realistic. The detail about her giving Ethel's clothes to Betty was hilarious.

John's bewilderment over the entire thing made me laugh. Bless him for being caught in the middle. I loved that it actually spurred him on to do something about his situation with Anna though. He spoke so beautifully - I adored the line about even if he wasn't married, his affections wouldn't be free to claim. I melted right there. And the kiss was lovely too. I liked the detail of him being surpringly shy, and then being caught by Ethel. It's nice that Anna realised her mistake in not making enough time for Ethel, and that John's confession showed her that she'd had nothing to worry about really.
fanficfan71 chapter 1 . 7/19/2011
Really well written, great story.
FirstDraft chapter 1 . 6/8/2011
What a great little piece with an ingenious premise. You managed to make us feel both Anna's annoyance but also sympathy for poor Ethel. Some lovely little tidbits:

[These days he could barely fathom that one young woman would show any interest in him. Two seemed nearly laughable. Where was this phenomenon when he was free and naïve enough to enjoy it?]

That made me laugh - and I was glad to see that he's wise enough to know it's not actually a great place to find yourself.

["I'm not sure that you do, and I realize it's my fault. I'm trying to resolve my situation, but even if I weren't married my affections are not available to be claimed." He paused to brush back a strand of her hair that had worked itself out of her cap. "I lost my heart two and a half years ago, when a pretty housemaid was kind to me for no other reason than the innate goodness of her character. There will never be a place for anyone else."]

Awwww - how sweet. He really does know exactly what to say when he puts his mind to it (although he is equally able to put his foot in it, as you so aptly have him do in your next story).
Praetorian Productions chapter 1 . 5/29/2011
Well done. The idea was new, the characterizations were spot on, and...well...it's Anna/Bates done right, so I'm inclined to like it anyway.
jjbird chapter 1 . 5/29/2011
Damn, I liked that! The spin on the characters was really, really well done. Very enjoyable and quite believable. I look forward to more stories from you.
TheShippyQueen chapter 1 . 5/29/2011
Ooh what a really interesting idea! I read the same thing about Ethel but I'd never thought of this!

I loved Anna's jealousy and how that provoked a response from Bates. I loved how Anna was afraid she had acted the same way as Ethel in the early days and of course I loved Bates' assurances that the only space in his heart was for Anna.

Darling, it was wonderful!

Xxx
augrah chapter 1 . 5/29/2011
Oh, you complete and utter genius! This was brilliant, m'dear, and so perfect. I loved how you introduced Ethel and made her have a crush on Bates - what a perfect foil to explore Anna's own relationship with him. I loved Anna's jealousy, and the way they spoke outside, and for finally letting them kiss (listening, season 2?). I loved Anna's worries about how she appeared when Bates arrived, and Bates' gentle words of affection and reassurance. And I am thrilled at the little ambiguous ending so we can fill in the blanks with out own imaginatio. And, as you well now, my imagination always leads to more Anna/Bate goodness. ;)
Ravenclaw-Rose chapter 1 . 5/29/2011
I adored that! Great take on Ethel's arrival and Anna and Bates were so in character!