Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Hair of the Dog" by @incog_ninja

*rubs hands together and grins evilly* I am so excited to share this fic. Although it may be considered short in length—being complete at twelve chapters, plus one outtake—Hair of the Dog is unique in its pairing, steamy and tangible in its descriptive sensuality, and compelling as you read both POVs of the hauntingly beautiful and the frustratingly blind—and I do mean that in a good way. I really fucking do.

So, what's the pairing you ask? Well, Edward and ... Leah. *laughs* Yeah, yeah, I know. I thought the same thing—"Really?! How does that work?" Well. Let. Me. Tell. You. The pairing not only keeps things interesting, but REAL—believable and true to the challenge called a "relationship" and daunting in the concept of life and responsibility as well.

After having read the first two chapters of Hair of the Dog, I questioned why Edward and Leah aren't written together more often. The author, Incog_Ninja (formerly known as mjinaspen), amazingly kept the characters' canon personalities. Edward—the man of ease, yet tortured because of it. He holds a facade of self-assurance, but he's essentially thirsting for confirmation of one's thoughts. And Leah ... the angry and distrusting woman because of a past she can't escape. She longs to be wanted—needed—but still desires to be self-sufficient. Incog_Ninja has taken what appears to be complete opposites, who are contradictory themselves, and made them cling and repel like static—rubbing each way and that to create a shockingly beautiful current of passion.

Do I dare say it? *snickers and looks around* Do Leah and Edward ever! The intensity of the smut can make you feel voyeuristic as your read it—to the point where you look around, panting and wondering if anyone is actually watching you (I sure as hell did while reading Chapter Two). Still, tenderness can be found there as well. Despite the fact that Edward is accused of his need for control, he gives Leah exactly what she asks for in that chapter. Sometimes, he yields more to Leah than she ever realized ... or was even looking for. What she was hoping and expecting to be a quick lay with a womanizer, was also one of reverence.

He brought his knees up between my legs, and I rested my ass against his thighs. His lips were hot and soft and persistent and he whispered "kiss, kiss, kiss" as we did just that. His hands were warm in my hair, cradling my head and jaw, thumbing the shells of my ears. His tongue slowly twisted with mine, and his lips held us together. He trailed his fingers from my skull around to my chin, resting his palms on my collarbones. He took my breath away.

As you've just read, the heat and admiration is there. Beauty. Stunning Beauty.

Be that as it may, like real life, relationships don't only consist of fuckhot quickies and unspoken lovemaking. Incog_Ninja brilliantly starts this fic with a soul-splitting break-up. As this story unfolds and shuffles backwards, you learn what drew this couple together and what drove them apart. As a reader of both POVs, you catch everything the characters don't—the hypocrisy in the form of cats ;D, the expectations never uttered, and the affection that isn't always transparent, or rather, is snuffed out by antagonism. Take Edward here:

"I bought those boots you wanted. They're on the table. I don't know why you like them so much; they're fucking ugly. But the consumer reports all say they're the warmest boots you can buy," he had told me after I got frostbite from not having decent winter boots.

It is with flashbacks of this non-canon couple that you're reminded of your own bouts of nostalgia, because we've all been there—agonizing heartbreak. We've all said and heard hateful words. Each of us have patted ourselves on the back for a decision, only to regret making it down the line. Lessons to be learned and self-realizations are abound in every relationship. At times, dangling space and temptation is what makes us see more, to drop the walls we've built ourselves and act passionately, or even stupidly. And to this day, we still reflect on them. So maybe I should correct myself—it's not the "hauntingly beautiful and frustratingly blind," but the frustrating beautiful and hauntingly blind. Okay...maybe not. I don't know! I can't make up my mind! *laughs*

Incog_Ninja was ingenious, as she not only captures Edward and Leah, relationship and life, but also the reader's emotion. For as you read her fic, you're transported to those times of contradictions and indecisiveness, of your own personal growth along with the characters'. It's just as you decide what you want to see of the couple, that Edward and Leah do as well.

What's the answer—the treatment—for hanging, head-throbbing passion?

I decided more passion ... in the form of a Hair of the Dog. ;)

Stop by and read Incog_Ninja's fic. I like to think she left it short and ... sweet because relationships are hard enough. Is more drama really necessary? Show her how hungover and parched you are for unconventional pairings by leaving her a review. And also give her a huge round of applause for Hair of the Dog's nomination in the Golden Lemon Awards'—"Lemon with the Pairing that Made Your Jaw Drop." You deserved it, babe!

Voting for the Golden Lemon Awards end tomorrow at Midnight PST. Vote!

"Hair of the Dog" by Incog_Ninja
Rated LS18+ — Edward & Leah — AH — Complete
Summary: "I need a ride. She's throwing baked goods." Sometimes personal growth is the best HEA. Take a few peeks into the volatile, passionate, and occasionally sweet love affair between Edward Cullen and Leah Clearwater.