Reviews for A Flame of Desire
Themagicmastere1 chapter 1 . 10/21/2013
I liked the story.
gone from this website chapter 1 . 11/16/2012
Wow, Cole is such a player! But I totally agree with Regina, he is cute! :D
Lady Wesker chapter 1 . 8/2/2012
sounds interesting. can't wait to read more. please update soon :)
CowboyHat chapter 1 . 4/1/2012
We all know that high school girl who makes the world around her a stage, standing with her legs stanced at a jaunty angle, hips cocked boldly to one side, and lips pursed in a gloriously modelesque pout that is both designed to be "sexy" and "commanding". When we see this girl, do we see a strong, admirable young woman beneath the superficiality? Or do we see an agitating, overblown parody of what some people believe a strong woman should be? Sadly, this image and the nasty stereotype that goes along with it enters my mind from the very first chapter of this story with the introduction of the character Regina Charles.

From the tone and mood of the writing itself, Regina comes across as uppitidy with a huge chip of her shoulder. Specifically, I felt a strong Mary-Sue vibe emanating from her that I fear will get worse once she has a chance to actually do something other than snark. And I reserve this fear for several good reasons. For starters, - just a little pet peeve of mine - I have an issue when a character describes themself, especially from a first-person perspective, because it comes across to me as an odd way to present information; why would character constantly notice facts about their appearance that would be every-day to them? Why would a character go through the trouble of detailing specific things about them, particularly in such a stylized way? Do normal people do this to themselves? Stop and think to themselves at odd moments: "Hi, my name is _. I have lovely _ color hair, beautiful _ eyes and I am approximately _ feet and _ inches tall."? I understand the functionality of this device as a way for the author to introduce the character to the reader, but good intentions aside, it presents itself as self-centered and snobby - and nobody likes a self-centered and snobby protagonist. We care less about her having "long brown hair with a tint of blonde" and "lavender irises that were very unique", and more about who she is as a character and how this will make the story interesting. And this is because if the reader does not like the main character, then the reader mine as well stop reading. And as an author, you don't want to lose readers. Readers stick around for how interesting the character is, and looks are a very superficial part of that, especially considering that books are more about development and character complexity, whereas the media - movies and shows - NEED to focus on that along with everything else, because television is made for eyes, whereas a book is made for the senses of the imagination. Little details can be revealed gradually, if the character's appearance is so gosh-darn important that it absolutely HAS to be included, but I take exception to the introductionary way the details were presented. Strategically making your readers' imagination come into play can actually be a very clever use of storytelling, because nothing is ever as powerful as your readers' imaginations.

Splitting hairs and pet peeves aside, nothing is more important than the fact that, as is, your character herself is not very likeable. The portrayal of Regina personality-wise is most likely designed to make her seem like the untouchable bombshell of a gun-slinging, genius sleuth, but let's be honest: reading this, she sounds arrogant and entirely too disrespectful to a man that is her absolute superior. It's not alluring, and its not sexy. Also taking into account the time period... well, most women just didn't mouth off to men like that in the workplace. There's a lot of things women of today get away with that there predecessors didn't, and it's got little to do with sexism, but with the social acceptability of certain time periods. I can tell that, maybe, the idea was to make Regina seem witty; but when there's no real wit present, it strays from humor to just plain bitchiness.

So, aside from unrealistic looks and a snobby disposition, what else makes her a Mary-Sue? Ah yes - the time period. Women may have been involved with law enforcement since even before the turn of the twentieth century, but they simply did not get promoted to high-ranking positions of authority. Study the facts. Even in the 1970s, after waves of reform, women only held two percent of the law enforcement population and it took until 1985 for a woman to even make it to the rank of chief (Penny Harrington). L.A. Noire, I remind you, is set in the 40s. I find it highly unlikely that a woman, no matter how talented a detective, would be considered on par with the "Golden Boy" as for her to be promoted to his partner. Women simply didn't have that opportunity back then. And that, most of all, is what struck me as "Mary-Sue." Please, please, please, don't compromise historical accuracy to glorify your character! It will only backfire when someone gets tired of using suspension of disbelief. I think it's a common misconception that characters can only be interesting if they're the first at something, or all-powerful, or high-ranked. The truth is, personality is really the key. Regina can be interesting WITHOUT being the first woman detective. And, oh, by the way: the first female detective, I believe, was Kate Warn (1856), although women like her were few and far in-between, and it really can't create a sound argument for women in the work force prior to the twenty-first century.

As for the storyline itself... I find it extremely hard to believe that Cole would throw himself at a girl that the literally just met: compliments, banter, and even the kiss scene, really? It was just too predictable for a fic gone wrong, and the "obvious" attraction to each other was just so quickly and unrealistically developed. Cole's characterization is fairly serious, by-the-book, and straight-laced. So, even if by some miracle he'd go against the 'don't-date-your-coworker' grain (which I don't see happening, as he's a very ethical man as well as a moral one), it certainly wouldn't happen so fast. Especially not after looking over a mutilated dead body, either. Throughout the game Cole encounters many women, and shows absolutely no sign of attraction to them whatsoever. I don't see the whole "cheating on his wife" thing as a common occurence for him. He's simply not characterized that way. Despite his affair with the German girl, that was due to a deep emotional connection stemming from a shared feeling of anguish that they both had; his relationship with Regina is superficial and unrealistic. It reminds me uncomfortably of a little girl forcing two of her dolls together and forcing them to tell them they love each other, to kiss, to get married, to have thirteen children, and... well, you get the point. Consider me unhappy. Everything felt rushed.

Rant aside: I like L.A. Noire, and I'd like to see more fics for it. I think it certainly deserves a myriad of good stories. And certainly, I'm glad you like the show enough to write fanfiction for it. Just take a little more time to do the right research and to devote yourself to developing the characters and the storyline into something more believable and intruiging. For what it's worth, I think the build-up of a relationship, the prolonged tension, the suspense of the "when-are-they-gonna-hook-up-dammit!" feelings you give your readers is story is really what a romance story should be all about.
catknight chapter 1 . 3/28/2012
so far this is pretty good. can you please update soon