Reviews for My Heart Beguiled
Solo Lady chapter 3 . 9/3/2012
May I say that this story took such a different turn from what I expected? From the first chapter I thought we'd see the more involving Tom and Sybil. But the turn to Tom and Thomas, sitting and drinking and lamenting lost love. Thomas knowing that the one he cared for was truly gone and not able to tell anyone how he's grieving. Tom feeling that his love for Sybil could never be fulfilled. It was an unexpected story of camaraderie, however short-lived. I think that's what makes this such a wonderful and beautifully written story. For while the mutual feeling of loss was there, neither man could really express why he was hurting.

Of course, I must mention two of my favorites things in this last chapter. One is the inclusion of The Parting Glass. The other is this sentence: "Enough! That's enough!" the second shape was crying out with the authority of God Himself, though Tom had to wonder at God having a Scottish accent, as well as the voice of a woman. That line had me laughing out loud! You know, I do love the idea of God being like Mrs. Hughes.
Guest chapter 1 . 9/3/2012
Tom/Thomas/Irish songs/whiskey/love/fighting. It's like the perfect English/Country song. Awesome.
shino716 chapter 3 . 9/3/2012
Oh, I liked this story. I can well imagine that Branson would have had more than a glass of whiskey over all those years of pursuing and squabbling with Sybil! I can completely see Thomas getting melancholy and weepy about Courtenay were he to start swigging whiskey directly from the bottle. And the image of Thomas, Bates and O'Brien all tumbling over at once - priceless! I also liked Mrs. Hughes patching them up and making sure they ate something the following morning, like a good mother hen.

The thing is, Rob James-Collier and Allen Leech are so hilarious in interviews that the idea of Thomas and Branson getting drunk together is pure gold. What I wouldn't give to see it on screen, but your story is wonderful. Thank you!
sakurasencha chapter 3 . 9/3/2012
Really liked this concluding chapter. You've showed Thomas and Branson bonding in a very realistic way, and I loved the oblique references to Edward Courteney.
GeneHuntress chapter 3 . 9/3/2012
I really enjoyed that, KDN - hopefully the next series will furnish you with further inspiration! :)
shana.rose chapter 3 . 9/3/2012
I loved reading Tom and Thomas drinking interactions, they were rather amusing. Great story! Hope you write another story soon.
Scoutlet chapter 2 . 8/12/2012
This is great! It's a new voice for Tom and Thomas, and I like it.
shana.rose chapter 2 . 8/12/2012
Oh thank god. When you write in the summary that he would be first bad company for some reason I thought it was going to be another girl and that Sybil would find out!
Bristol Fashion chapter 2 . 8/11/2012
I'm really enjoying this. I hope the next chapter comes soon!
Guest chapter 2 . 8/11/2012
Deliriously happy to see an update; very well done and hope to read more, soon. Thanks for sharing!
Guest chapter 1 . 8/1/2012
I really hope you decide to continue this story, the beginning is fantastic.
Miss Laurentia chapter 1 . 6/6/2012
KDN, I do not come to your story already knowing the characters as well as I know those in your ‘Ashes to Ashes’ stories. But I have seen enough of ‘Downton Abbey’ and read enough of your other writing KDN, to know that your Tom and Sybil ring true to the originals.

On the surface, this starts off as a lovely story about the teasing and flirting between two young people, each attracted to the other at some level. But I like how you subtly, slowly, yet effectively change the mood and bring in the unavoidable and heart-hurting issue of Class and Position; Upstairs versus Downstairs.

Tom starts off happily dreaming about changing the world – one day. And he dreams of the beautiful Sybil. But then he peels off his ‘shroud’. A shroud that reminds him of the limits of his present position and his status in relation to Sybil, the daughter of the Manor.

Then there’s Tom’s occasional, but telling defensiveness – and sense of inferiority - when he thinks Sybil is patronising him and is assuming a lack of sophistication in Tom. But he gives as good as he gets and Tom’s defensiveness becomes a weapon to wound:

“Understand what? The posh words of a dead woman?”

Sybil’s reaction, shows us that despite her socially superior position, she is just as vunerable to the cuts of this charming, exciting, Downstairs man, as he is to her perceived barbs.

KDN, I particularly like how your last sentence once and for all, leaves us in no doubt of the gap between them:

“Then she was gone, and there he stood in his shirtsleeves, and with enough grease still beneath his nails to make him unfit to serve at table like old Carson, or even the greenest of the young footmen.”

It is one seemingly simple sentence. Yet it is stuffed full of meaning. But for all their Class differences, Tom and Sybil are two of a kind and clearly relish the frequent challenges in their friendship, despite the stings those challenges can inflict.

I look forward to seeing how they each work toward dealing with those challenges and what exciting sparks flint off from their conflicts!
ch0sen0ne chapter 1 . 6/5/2012
I can't believe he's tuning her out! WTF! I want to see where this goes. I love your characterization- I think it is very accurate. It seems to me they'd have a lot of early misunderstandings like this. Continue, please!
shana.rose chapter 1 . 5/30/2012
Please please tell me that Branson doesn't seek comfort in the send of another women.
GeneHuntress chapter 1 . 5/29/2012
What an excellent opening chapter, KDN. Loved the way they seemed to be finding common ground only to rediscover the class distinctions that threaten to keep them apart.

And not only have you quoted my favourite Yeats poem, I'm a big fan of EBB also. More soon, please? :)
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