nancy amazon presents...  
by bard
by title
the speed of the beat of my heart

euphemism hall of fame

ewok's picks
nancy's picks

email us
Nancy Amazon the speed of the beat of my heart
by michal salat and joann muscolo

OK, so the first time I read the title I thought it said "The Speed of the Boat of My Heart" and I thought it was a comedy about speedboats..!
But seriously, this is how the writers themselves summarize their story (terribly nice of them to provide this service!):
"A brawling, womanizing tattoo artist with a seductive smile and a shady past. A promising young poet and scholar who harbors a secret of her own. When the fates knock these two together, can anything but trouble and heartache lie ahead?"

EWOK is taking the night off, so it's left to me to struggle on alone. (Mommy, it's dark in here...*trembling*)

OK! *deep breath*

Following the trail blazed by Penumbra in her Kink series, this story attempts to dig out dark obsessions and secrets that people keep, and explore the depths of their sexual fantasies.

The initial scenes were undeniably fast paced and interesting. After some wonderful repartee to introduce the characters (including one of the funniest bar scenes I think I've ever read) they become attracted, and Harper (Uber-G) becomes one of the first women to spend more than one night in Adrian's (Uber-X) bed. It seems she captures the attention of the older woman by being a natural when it comes to being the submissive partner in BDSM sex.

Unfortunately, I feel like there is too much sex in this story, and if you have a problem with things that seem almost like abuse, a lot of it makes you feel downright uncomfortable. Harper is sometimes too submissive, and the bedroom inequality seems to conflict too much with the characterisations being set up in the rest of the story. BUT, having said that, this story is far from finished, and I feel sure that Harper is not going to let herself be trodden on for much longer...

It's like there are two stories being written here, in and out of the bedroom, and I feel that there is a lack of characterisation continuity between them (even though both stories could be said to be pretty damn good!). After about the third encounter of mindblowing sex I was really pining for the wit and originality of the beginning of the story, where everything was a little less clear cut and sordid.

As with all great pieces of work, it seems that opinions are staunchly divided on this story. Some love the sex but not the story, others love the story but not the sex, still others claim it's the best all round piece of fanfic they've ever read! (Just general comments picked up on various lists) All seem to agree - myself included - that the writing is a cut above your everyday fanfic out there.

Where this story really shines I think is with the supporting characters. We've all read five million sympathetic bartenders, but this one has a wit that outclasses them all. (Inventing a fabulous new concept called the blonde rule! But you'll have to read to figure that one out *g*).

The best friend character we've seen so often is actually three dimensional, even the sidekick behind the bar who is obviously just comic relief performs in style. Adrian's best friend Timothy is a riot (Queensryche CD? *shudder*), even the cars they drive are interesting to read about! It is the fresh and interesting attention to detail that keeps us hooked.

All in all a great first couple of instalments, with loads of promise, if the writers can get control of their character's raging libidos!

8 out of 10 if you're after a great story, 9 out of 10 if you really love the sex. Extra points for the fabulous accompanying page with explanations behind the genesis of the story and how the writers met.