Tonight’s review is one that has been several weeks in the making – I’ve had to re-read this story as I read it several years ago, it was one of my first Fanfiction’s that introduced me to the wonderful world that is Fanfiction…before I get started though, I need to post this video – the trailer for Queen Latifah’s movie “Beauty Shop” as there is a lot of cross over between the movie and this story – the two are near parallel, so to get the references I make in the review, you really should watch the trailer and even the movie if you can:
Onto our review: Tapas at Twilight, byMelobel.
Tapas at Twilight, An all human, canon pairing, love story written by Melobel, is an interesting one, while compelling to read is also slightly stagnate and predictable. Our story begins with one Isabella Swan, widowed mother to 11-yr old Reneesme (Nessie), her biological child born during her brief marriage to Erik Yorkie from donated Sperm. From Chapter 12 of our story “He was diagnosed with cancer when he was a teenager. They operated, did radiation treatment and everything was fine for a while. Shortly after we married, the cancer came back and they did another operation and more radiation and we thought he was finally in remission. When Nessie was a year and a half old, he went in for a routine check up and they discovered cancer in his lymph nodes this time. It had metastasized and spread throughout his body.” Bella works as a Sous Chef under James Beaufort, a man that if I had to equate him to any other fictional character I’d put him against Kevin Bacon’s Jorge’ in Beauty Shop fake as they come and yet quite vindictive and feels like he’s ‘made’ Bella who she is, nevermind any innate talent. James is the Head Chef at the Prestigious Le Provencale in Chicago, IL whom at times is semi-similar in outburst format to Gordon Ramsey in Hell’s Kitchen. He’s Bella’s boss who crosses the line deeply when he takes credit for a dish Bella prepares for the Le Provencale customers – it is this move that pushes Bella over the edge and she quits her job immediately (gee sound like Beauty Shop again?!?!)
In order for Bella to pursue her dream of opening her own restaurant she seeks out a loan from a local bank, and after being denied the first time she returns with a suggested recipe for the loan agent to try in order to win over another handsome employee’s attentions – it is this trick that gets her a loan, albeit a small one she gains the loan (oh gee Gina did something similar didn’t she?) It is with these proceeds she is able to rent a rundown space of a restaurant in a dilapidated building – key in one Edward Cullen, The House Doctor one hot, well cut contractor extraordinaire. (oh wow the description is along the same terms of Joe!) The two have what is termed a ‘meet cute’ when Edward first walks into the restaurant after being called by Bella – it is at this point when she’s doing some preliminary cosmetic work bent over something with one of those velour running suits with ‘Juicy’ on her butt does Edward see her for the first time – or rather he sees her rear for the first time. It is from this semi-awkward meeting that their interaction begins and both are doing their very best not to trip over their own selves and their crushes – it is from here and several other meetings that their relationship begins to bloom,
Edwards character is very similar to Joe’s – handsome, charismatic, musical, all the while being attracted to Bella aka Gina in the movie – it is Renesmee like Gina’s daughter who bridges the gap – one she figures out that it’s Edward whose been playing the piano all this time – she is the one who asks him for tutoring in preparation for her recital (Joe does the same thing for Gina’s daughter)…fast forward several weeks, Bella and Edward are finally over themselves enough to begin dating, eventually going out on family like day outings – and it is during one of these outings that a freak accident sends Renesmee to the hospital and Edward requesting medical information on her father does Bella hand him a sheet of paper with questions and answers just like how he’d answer – 0h gee how easy is this – Edward donated sperm to help cover some spending money in college – Belle and Erik just HAPPENED to go to same clinic and buy all the samples Edward donated (not know he’s the donor father until after she gets out of the hospital – this is a 1:1,000,000 chance – these things are generally kept anonymous, yes?) and bam you have one Renesmee – it is from this that their relationship is set into high gear.
Like Beauty Shop Bella has someone who is trying to destroy her restaurant, first by tampering with the deliveries and then on opening night they try to vandalize their health code by bringing in roaches – in her case, like Gina’s, is was obvious who that person was, James and Victoria (another chef at Le Provencale) – however with any good romance, comedy, drama, there’s a happy ending and like Gina did with Jorge, played by Kevin Bacon, Bella is able to turn the tables, out him and win over the critic James brought in to bring her down and show him just what a sleeze he truly is.
Honestly, again this was one of the very first Fanfiction pieces I ever read along with 8 Years Later and they introduced me to this wonderful world of fanfiction -that being said – this story, while well written, and compelling, mirrors “Beauty Shop” near perfectly. I enjoyed the story itself, but it lacks solid character development and the way the story plays out is almost too perfect. While we all enjoy a good well written love story with actual content behind the characters, this one was way too simplified. The author relied heavily on Stephanie Meyer’s description of personalities and played off of that – she didn’t redevelop our characters enough. The build-up, resist, fall in love, BAM Renesmee is Edward’s, Propose, Get Married, Happily Ever After seemed rushed. Yes the story is 28 Chapters she could have pulled the character development out more vs. spending so much time discussing their wardrobe and seemingly minor details – like all stories this one had some slow spots, the rest of the story is BAM, BAM, BAM, end!
“Beauty Shop” is one of my favorite movies of all time. I just love Queen Latifah,
@IAMQUEENLATIFAH, and to see it played out with Bella and Edward in a slightly different scenario is semi-upsetting. I feel short-changed, the author didn’t take the time to completely develop the story instead she chose to mimic Gina’s story near to a tee. Honestly, with all the similarities this one would never be able to be written into a stand alone book.