|Reviews for Sins|
| JamesLuver chapter 6 . 10/10/2013
What a perfect way to end this story. I loved seeing so many insights into their happy life together, seeing what they've built up from their decision to leave England.
The beginning was quite sad, though I didn't expect anything more really with Anna's mother and brothers. While it's heartbreaking and I wish that they could have been happy for her, it makes much more sense for that particular line not to have ended any other way. It fits in completely with the time, and there has to be some heartbreak along with the good times. It's nice that she was able to build up a new family with John. Also glad to see that John and Robert's relationship lasted right the way through.
I adored the glimpses at them as a twosome. John with the eggs was just too funny. Bless him. The flirting always makes me smile. And the next section was just too adorable for words. I loved the image of them pouring over the catalogue together and marking out the things that they wanted. It was nice to see them buying the crib that they both wanted - and then being able to use it!
And their married life was just lovely. I liked how you focused on the more irritating aspects of their life together here. It gave it a real air of domesticity with real problems. I especially had to smile at the coffee section. John ought to know that consulting Anna on everything is always the best bet! But I loved the way that you contrasted all of this with "They loved each other more every day" right at the very end. It just helps to highlight that even though domestic life is never perfect, that love still stays real and true.
I liked how you also highlighted that their life wasn't perfect in an economical sense too (which obviously makes sense with the depression). Poor John, still holding those niggling doubts that it was his fault. That fits in with who he is. Loved seeing Anna reassuring John that she wouldn't change a thing. Especially liked the detail of her still being thrilled by his possessive touch even after all these years, just because they had been denied it for so long. And them disgusting their children in the process...haha, love it.
Also nice to see John and Anna raising their children so well. Obviously I wasn't expecting anything differently. The conversation between John and Edward just shows what a good father that John is.
And then the ending. It was so nice to see that even though they've been "married" for so many years, they could finally make their marriage official. It's not as if they need it now after so many years, but the fact that he can take her to the altar, and that she can become Mrs. Bates for real...yeah, it did make me tear up a little.
I've loved reading this story, and I'm sad to see the end of it. I'm also sad because now I've read everything that you've posted. I've no doubt that I'll be going back to re-read all of your stuff. And maybe you'll write something else one day if the inspiration strikes. I hope so, anyway.
| JamesLuver chapter 5 . 10/10/2013
This chapter flowed so seamlessly. I enjoyed the beginning, with the insight into the regulations of what checks would be made when someone travelled out of the country/into America. Those kinds of details always add more authenticity.
It seems only natural to me that John would have crippling self-doubts again, especially when something as momentous as this has happened. I liked the contrast of their personalities, with Anna being ready to become John's in the most intimate sense while John was still fighting against his own morals. I liked that bit of conflict, and that John had to realise on his own that this was what he wanted, and even if it wasn't how he would have wanted it. The following conversation with Anna was great, and very much needed. It was nice to see John opening up to her about why he'd run, and Anna in turn having her say. He needed to be made aware that he has to think of Anna now, that he can't just run off when things overwhelm him. The love scene was as beautiful as always, and I liked how you focused on the touching and the discovering rather than the act itself. And the aftermath was beautiful too. Loved the image of John cradling Anna's head against his shoulder and wondering whether it was the start of their family.
I liked the more lighthearted tone of the rest of the chapter, and of course I approve of the behind doors shenanigans! Especially Anna being unable to resist John when he's shaving. Personal kink of mine, if you can call it that.
You captured the overwhelming hustle and bustle of life in a completely different place so wonderfully too. I felt like Anna and John would in a situation like that. Their journey to Sheboygan was insanely long! Imagine having to travel all that way on a train. But it was nice to see them being able to sleep together and laughing together over silly little things. And I agree, all the names do sound a little strange to someone from England.
I loved the sentiments of the final two lines. They rounded off the chapter beautifully and were really poignant, and contrasted so nicely with the idea of how anything so right could be a sin. I'm looking forward to read how you tie it all off in the final chapter.
| JamesLuver chapter 4 . 10/9/2013
So glad we got a scene of John and his mother and Anna and Mrs. Hughes. Two relationships that I love so (even if we never did get any John/old Mrs. Bates scenes), and you captured them both wonderfully.
I liked the bit of humour at the beginning, with Mrs. Bates being able to hide her shock well after having four boys. Classic! I also really appreciated the little details of John struggling to maintain eye contact with his mother, and despite her earlier reservations, Mrs. Bates being able to accept her son's decision, just wanting him to be happy. I liked that she could see past what society would think to what was best for both her son and for Anna. I'm glad that they could part on good terms.
Same with Mrs. Hughes. I enjoyed seeing this scene from her perspective, and how shrewd she is. Of course she'd notice that something was amiss in Anna. I liked the way that you narrated that, too, with the certain kind of energy coming off Anna that wasn't quite as it should be. I also liked the details of her looking at the paintings and things as if it was for the first time. It's no surprise that Mrs. Hughes was able to work the truth out, and I'm so glad that she chose to support them in their decision rather than protest against it. She's a practical woman and more in touch with human nature than Mr. Carson is, and I think that this makes sense.
And now they're finally off to America! Yay! Looking forward to what the final two chapters have in store!
| JamesLuver chapter 3 . 10/9/2013
Very interesting chapter. I enjoyed seeing them tell the most important people in their lives of their plans - or at least part of their plans. I really enjoyed the scene between John and Lord Grantham. The sense of their friendship and loyalty to each other really came through, and I think you captured everything about it very nicely indeed - that awkward line somewhere between friendship and propriety, and the idea of their differences in class. But I'm so glad that Robert asked John to keep in touch with him properly when he arrived in America. I believe their relationship does have the potential to cross that line properly, and it was nice to see it happen here. And it was completely understandable why John wouldn't want to tell Robert all of his plans. Society would frown down on it, and the fewer people who know the truth, the better.
I liked how you contrasted John's scene with Anna and her sister's. The tension in that part was well drawn out, and my fear was growing alongside Anna's that her brothers might well come up and cause trouble. I felt sorry that Anna's sister was so angry at her, but at the same time it was expected too, so it was good to see you keeping the realism. Also, nice way of getting Vera out of the picture!
I'm sure that John won't change his mind even with the time apart, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next!
| JamesLuver chapter 2 . 10/7/2013
I really liked how you bookmarked this chapter with the present while taking us into the past.
It was nice to see Anna putting her foot down and calling the shots. She had to at some point, and it's wonderful to see it in a situation like this. Of course John would stumble at something like this, especially since it goes directly against his moral code, but I loved how Anna was able to make him see that this was make or break, and he had a choice to make either way.
And then the flashbacks were just completely wonderful. I absolutely adored the way that their first kiss came about. I've never read one like this before, and it was so refreshing to see it come so unexpectedly, in the middle of an argument. I absolutely melted at that point, and I really liked how you used the argument as a catalyst for more to come from it. The argument itself was wonderfully presented and really showed both Anna and John's frustration at the situation so well. I also really liked how the kiss was the start of an unspoken promise, but nothing more for the time being.
And then the next flashback! God, I love your Anna for putting her foot down again and forcing him to see just how unfair he was being. It was most definitely unfair for John to make excuses for himself but not to give Anna the same, and I liked that he did realise this quickly. Anna's optimism and ability to see the best of every situation (possibly not anymore, *sobs*) is presented so nicely here. Her middle ground was very fair and sweet, and I melted again at them kissing out their in the lane, and John surprising her by pulling her back immediately. I also loved the little details of John not taking any notice of the church services, but being able to pinpoint every tiny thing about Anna perfectly.
The image of homeliness at the end was just so lovely, especially contrasted with his admission that he's never had a home since he was a boy, which was very sad indeed. So glad that it pushed John into making the right decision. Cannot wait to read how things progress from here now that he's made his choice.
| JamesLuver chapter 1 . 10/7/2013
I need fanfiction more than ever to try to help me forget about the devastation of last night.
And this was the perfect place to start. I really enjoyed your opening, and how you set up the premise for the whole story. I loved the little insight into Anna's past, and her own experiences with sin compared with John's. It really helped to highlight the differences in their life experiences, while making Anna's innocence all the more adorable. It was also interesting to see your interpretation of how John and Vera met, and how they wound up married. I especially liked the section of John mulling over what his life had become after the war, and the contrast between Anna desperately wanting John, and John believing that he had nothing to give her. I also liked Anna's resentment of the Crawley girls when comparing it with her own chances of having what she wanted. As lovely as Anna is, I'm sure that there must have been times when she was envious, and you captured that very nicely here.
Vera is as nasty as ever, I see. You captured her personality very well, with that greed and horrible desire to see her husband unhappy for the rest of his life. I liked their meeting, and how Anna was present for it all, even if she was standing to the side. And I cheered when she didn't back down and rammed Vera out of the way as she passed. You go, Anna!
I was so excited by the last section. I've often thought about it if they'd run off together to start afresh, and I know this will shape up to be something wonderful. I'm excited to read the rest (and thank you for writing something that took my mind off yesterday's soul-destroying events, even if only for a short while!).
| luvinx chapter 6 . 6/20/2013
Another great story! And now I am sad because there are no more to read. Please consider coming back and writing more. You are very talented and have A/B down. Thank you!
| abigailc chapter 6 . 1/19/2013
Great story as always. You write them so well. I can hear their voices in my head as I read your words. I know I have said it before but it is true. You have their characters down pat.
| FirstDraft chapter 6 . 3/4/2012
Belated review but better than never, I hope! Like the preceding chapter, the best things here are all the details: not just the historical and 'local' details but those of their relationship, such as his love of gadgets and hers of hats - and everything about the other that annoys them from time to time. It's just so well thought-out - it gives great depth to the story and therefore makes it that much more believable and enjoyable. And just having thought of them shows real imagination and understanding of behaviour. There's the consistency, too - sad that Anna and her family couldn't be reconciled but it rings all too true. So to sum up - really enjoyed this, which as usual with your writing takes a simple premise and makes so much more out of it than a lot of us could manage.
| augrah chapter 6 . 2/29/2012
Oh my goodness I completely love you. LOVE YOU! I know I say it a lot but I absolutely adore the comfort and intimacy you can write for these two in such everyday moments. It fills me with such happiness that I just sit and smile like an idiot. Thank you so much for creating this wonderful journey for them, for their comfort and strength and humanity through adversity, for letting them be not perfect but still willing to try.
So sorry this review took forever but know that I loved this from the very moment I read it. *hugs forever*
| poma14 chapter 6 . 2/27/2012
Argh! I've been wanting to read this all night-but had to wait until I finally got the kids to bed, so I wouldn't be disturbed-lol!
I have SO much love for this chapter (the whole story for that matter). It made me chuckle and smile, and the end just made my heart flip flop.
I absolutely adore the vignettes of John looking for eggs and the perusing of the Sears catalog! The annoyances with each other are classic and show what they've become, a happily married couple albeit without the licence.
Which brings us to the ending. It's simply perfect, brilliantly crafted. They've lived a perfectly wonderful married-less life for the past 20 years, they don't really need to do it, but it so sweet that John can finally make Anna his wife "good and proper". Awww! Love it!
Thanks for a beautiful tale!
| E.Phoard chapter 6 . 2/27/2012
John the city boy and the eggs. Brilliant. I can see his total befuddlement. And I love how they discover the still sometimes totally mind-boggling enchantment of the Sears catalogue. And football. They are on their way to being very convincing Americans! I'm so happy for them that they were finally able to make it legal. What a wonderful conclusion.
| Rosie Loye chapter 6 . 2/27/2012
This is such a beautiful story. The style of your writing is effortless and so emotive. Thank you for writing this story. It's the best Downton Abbey story I've ever read. You're an excellent talent and should be very proud of your work.
| Maddiex chapter 6 . 2/27/2012
Lovely, lovely story - the ending was particularly adorable. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us!
| Duchess Isadorra chapter 6 . 2/27/2012
Thank you for such a wonderful story!