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4/24/23 - Ace of Hearts - Bond of Wildflowers v2 sub 12, 4644 words, VG

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Hi everyone,
Thanks for the feedback last week! It's given me a lot of ideas about how to expand on the dynamic between W and H. If the tags weren't enough of a clue, we're getting back into the characters being flung into danger this submission, so I'm curious to see how that lands.
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Sorry I haven't kept up with the previous installments of this, I can jump in blind if you don't mind. Please ignore or correct if some of these points would have been answered in the rest of the prose.

"Not my most alert" feels a little awkward. Maybe 'I'm not at my most alert' or something similar. Is it an Irish phrase? I'm assuming this is set in Ireland or at very least inspired by Ireland with the character names, or are they more for a 'celtic fae' vibe? The use of 'mom' is confusing the origin a little.

N is talking about texting his mum, but if he's fae and F is having phone troubles why isn't N?

I like how you're keeping the language in the dialogue closer to what might be actually spoken than written, which is a pet peeve of mine. I think you might be able to get a little more descriptive and delve into a little more of an internal monologue in the non-dialogue parts, but the fact you're using first-person narration could potentially limit you to the same issues that believable dialogue has.


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Really great to see N and W back together. I have some notes below on the romance scene. I think it could definitely be expanded a little, just to give some more detail past simply kissing. It would be good to know what N's thoughts are on how far he's willing to go, maybe earlier in the book?

The next chapter is mostly setup for the big reveal at the end, but I'm eager to see what happens next!


Notes while reading:

pg 2: "We think the Aegis killed your aunt"
--I'm wondering if we should know a little more about them by now? All we know is they're some shadowy government-associated organization.

pg 3: "But is it selfish of me to hold N back?"
--hold him back from what? Is there something in the Fey realm for him?

pg 6: there's a bit of a question here whether W is deliberately using sex (or physical contact in some form) as a bargaining tool to keep N here. I guess I don't really know where N falls in that range, and if this is an effective strategy, but it can get into questionable morals.

pg 8: "I’m ready to make you happy again"
--this phrase is used several times. I'm not sure of the target age group for this book, but that can be taken...er...several ways. But that's in contrast as all they seem to be doing is kissing and touching each other's hair. Basically being "good" with their hands and not going anywhere else. It seems at least like one of them might ask about or confirm that's what they're doing.

pg 12: “That’s the spirit. We’ll be stronger by working together.”
--great conversation through here. One of the themes I really like about this book is that they characters talk to each other about their problems and actually come to resolutions.

pg 13: "F catches up to us"
--I was a little confused through here. I thought they were talking with F at first, and wondering why she was catching up. I think just a little clarity on the blocking.

pg 14: "We don’t want to draw any more Aegis attention with violence"
--but they're planning to kill of of it's members?

pg 16: Aha! Great swticheroo. Sorry to see F go, though...

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  • 1 month later...

P1 “…it looks like they need help getting S into the house.” Was surprised that it was N being asked and not W, given that it’s W’s parent.

               Edit: If the goal is to have F talk to W alone, maybe just hang a lantern on the request?

P3 “It was easier… when I had nothing to lose.” Nice bit of characterization here.

P6 “…all the kisses I’ve been saving up.”  This line stuck out a little bit – I know that they did have a chance to finally discuss their feelings a couple chapters ago, but this line still feels abrupt. It’s flirty in a way that they really haven’t been so far since this is really the first time they’ve expressed physical affection for one another.

I’m actually feeling kind of uneasy with this scene as I read through it. I’m having a hard time pointing to what is causing this reaction, but it almost feels like W is currently manipulating N to get him to stay. I wonder if it’s just that she’s not actually lingering on F’s request – It doesn’t seem to be weighing on her at all – so this scene feels at least in part almost calculated.

               Edit: That said, the endcap of the scene worked much better for me and felt genuine (not that the earlier parts of the scene felt fake, but maybe “genuine with an ulterior motive”).

P9: Uh, wow, cavalierly “attacking” the village seems like an alarming escalation. And I still don’t understand why B is bothering to keep W apprised of her movements.

“Maybe I don’t even need to tell N about staying here…” Obviously withholding information isn’t the same thing as lying, but this did remind me that N and W had made a promise to be honest with each other, so I’m curious if that’s going to play a role in what’s to come…

               Edit: ah, okay, there it is.

P10 “I imagine that wasn’t easy. Telling me the truth knowing…” not often, but occasionally, N and W’s almost radical openness (which I generally enjoy!) strays into what feels almost like “as you know, Bob” dialogue, like the story is reminding me the reader of the consequences rather than N saying a thing.

P11/12 “Where did your confidence come from?” Lines like this make me feel like we’re almost missing a breakthrough moment from the previous chapters.

“…making a plan before charging out” this might just be WRS, but their objective is… to stop the attack? This line made me realize I’m unclear.

“once we’re about halfway there…” was surprised they gave F this much time to catch up, which seemed like a bad idea, but from the conversation that follows I see that’s the point. My confusion as that I originally thought they did not intend F to catch up until they were already in the fey world, I think because of the “it’s harder to send us back” comment.

I’m confused at the mention of the ritual. I thought this was the one that needed an emotional bond to work – so just kidnapping C or N seems like it shouldn’t be sufficient? Or is this a different ritual?

“Why do you think I told you we were coming?” I mean, I want to know that too – but as a piece of dialogue that clues us into what’s actually going on (or at least who this actually is, since I definitely don’t feel like I know what’s going on!) this was very nicely done.

Overall: I know I've made this comment before, but this is another chapter where I think more emotional signposting would help - there is a lot of dialogue without a lot of overt discussion of what the characters were actually feeling, I think that contributed to my uneasiness in the N/W scene and I am definitely curious how N is reacting to the actions at the end of the chapter. Other than that... I'm still struggling a bit to keep track of who's who but I think that's mostly a holdover of everything that's come before. In general things seem to be ticking along nicely. 

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On 5/8/2023 at 6:15 PM, Mandamon said:


pg 2: "We think the Aegis killed your aunt"
--I'm wondering if we should know a little more about them by now? All we know is they're some shadowy government-associated organization.

Second this!

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