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10/5/2013 c1 26Rachel Smith Cobleigh
Wow, that was MAGNIFICENT. I know it's just the first chapter of an epic :), but as a short story by itself, that chapter was the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time. I've been putting off reading this story for a while, trying to delay the inevitable day when I finally had to face going on in the fandom without Matthew there (I think reading the 20 or so AU Mary/Matthew novels out there was an attempt to deny his death for as long as possible), so when I sat down to read this, I was somewhere in between reality and Mary's pain. I was twisted through her grieving process, recognizing her (and her memories of Matthew) as being so painfully in-character. Her words, her thoughts, her ways of being felt familiar and hurt. You did such a wonderful job with this, and you even made me begin to feel as Mary did...way too far from healed yet, but beginning to feel intrigued in this new man, to feel hope. I sound like such a sap, but what I'm trying to say is WELL DONE. I'm eagerly looking forward to where you go next with this.
9/28/2013 c25 GenuineRisk
uh... oh... ! So much emotion in this chapter!
9/28/2013 c25 Guest
Sequel! Oh I'm worried for MC now

It's perfect how youse story develop
9/27/2013 c25 juicyjools
Well. not my favourite chapter...you have made Mary so needy of a man she has only known for 2 weeks.
Mary is a grownup woman, a widow and a mother but she acted like a love-sick juvenile. Telling her husband that she "adores him" (Charles) on her husband's grave and only visiting his grave when Charles was not around.
So much for a love of her life.
I know one CAN love again after a beloved husband died but I would think that love would be different. She is not that Strong , storm braver that we known Mary to be. She seemed to be helpless when Charles is not around to" caress" her. Her need/desire for Charles seemed to me like an immature, insecure ,confused woman. Is that really what a mature love-again is? I would think it would take longer than 2 weeks to really love another man after a most beloved husband died no matter how much awakening a new man gives her.
Mary seemed to want to escape from reality, to love passionately again like the first time she had with Matthew, to live back that life again, with another man.
Thank G for Isobel. At least she sees things as they are. She is not confused. Cora is different. She wants to protect her daughter, even though she knows Mary is behaving foolishly.
You have lots of wonderful reviews for your story so I hope you will not take too harshly on one critic.
I really like your writing but this Mary/Charles do not sit comfortably for me.
9/27/2013 c25 jmar
The ending aside - I loved the line: 'he's so good with our son'. Mary hasn't gotten the chance to utter 'our son' very often. Something that should have been so joyful, so full of love as 'our son' developed over the years. I cried. And then Isobel; poor Mary, will nothing ever be easy for her? I guess Mary always takes the hard road to every destination. I think no matter what universe or story, Isobel's lot is a hard one. Afterall, she is no longer a mother - she's nothing really (something she herself has said, or something like it). Although she is George's grandmother, I'm sure she feels so very lost.

Wasn't there a character of Roquefort the rat somewhere? Fitting. So you've left us another cliffhanger - I would think that Mary's fingernails and fingertips are in shreds by now! (interesting that you refer to driving off a cliff, when I think we've all had enough of driving disasters...)
9/26/2013 c25 Wivikefan
OMG - you can not leave it like that! You have to post sooner than 2 weeks. Yikes. Loved all the angst in the chapter. Charles going off in a car by himself - whew. The Isobel conversation went like I expected it to go. And the end before dinner. ugh - you torture me. Love it - can't wait for more.
9/26/2013 c25 103847
Uh-oh, what a cliffhanger! I'm so sorry I didn't review the last chapter - I completely forgot before the library closed last week. I loved your insight into Charles' feelings and where they were going to go from there, as well as Mary's hesitation; I didn't expect her to jump into his arms and say "Yes, I'll marry you." That's not Mary's style, and besides, it was a great homage to Matthew's first proposal to her and the consequences of her refusing him then.

And now for this chapter. I'd wondered what would happen if Roquefort found out and confronted Mary, and again, you provided an amazing homage to a moment with Matthew - the Season 2 Christmas special, where Matthew slugged Richard Carlisle, another man who was threatening Mary with ruin. If this isn't proof that Matthew sent Charles to Mary, I don't know what is. You had Robert and Cora react perfectly, and Violet's response to the entire mess - "Well, now that that seems to be settled, do you think we could go through for dinner?" - absolutely priceless and so Maggie Smith! You write her so well, you could also do a story about Violet; I think you'd be awesome. But that cliffhanger, that last question spat out by Roquefort's sister, whom I see bears a striking resemblance to Cruella DeVil... phew, what is going to come of that? Hurt? Rejection? Forgiveness? Lord only knows.

I thank God that Season 4 hasn't yet started in the US, because it still gives me time to dream and dwell on this enchanting story, which never fails to leave me riveted and dying for more. God bless you, girl, and keep up the amazing work!
9/26/2013 c25 4viscountessmary
How many chapters did I manage to read without crying? Two, maybe? Because, allow me to say it, I read this one this morning in class (shhh don't tell anyone, I was really bored) and I must admit that I teared up during a class that talks about weapons and war strategies... And now my friends are pretty sure I am insane (thanks to you ha ha).
I adored it, as usual. Your handling this whole situation amazes me every time. It always feels so real and relatable, and not many authors have an ability like this. Mary going to Matthew's grave and seeking his approval was such a brilliant touch! I never gave it much thought as to wether she would go to his grave or not, but her need to tell him all about what's happened was absolutely spot on, I think. Her conversation with Isobel was equally enjoyable and so touching... In a way, as much as Isobel would like for Mary to move on, it must be quite hard for her to see that happening; somehow I feel like it must mean that Matthew is really gone, you know?
Oh and Mary finally realizing that Charles was worth the risk brightened my day enormously! I gotta tell you, this was quite a rough day, so having this new chapter to read was such a joy.
And a new cliffhanger (and the threat of a new scandal)! I cannot tell you how much I love all of this. Love me some drama ha ha you just need to promise me, though, that the next chapter will be updated soon and I won't need to wait two weeks again... I honestly don't know if ai can survive the wait.
Can't wait for more! X
9/26/2013 c25 Audrey C
Wow, another nail biter Two in the same week! Blake, the badass protector! The cat's out of the bag now. I hope the family handle it the right way. Kick those evil people out!
9/26/2013 c25 8trinadeckers
Because of you I am having to invest in waterproof makeup. I also want to throw my phone (I am resisting, but just barely). The conversation between Mary and Isobel was bitter sweet. Mary actually going to the grave and telling Matthew she was moving on reduced me to tears. Then Isobel overhearing was so well done and beautiful. It isn't that isobel expects Mary to mourn Matthew forever and not move one but still when she actually is able to pick up the pieces it shocks her. I need a moment like that in canon.

The ending. You are living up to your title of Evil Southerner. It was so masterfully done and will have my mind in a stir until the next update. So so wonderful! Amazing job as always!
9/26/2013 c25 agatefleurII
The nerve of Roquefort! ###$$$$
My anger with him overwhelmed the rest of the really well written chapter, especially the graveside conversation Mary had Matthew's tombstone, and the encounter with Isobel.
9/26/2013 c25 Nenski
What a way to leave a reader hanging! I literally wanted to tear my hair out in frustration after reading the last paragraph of the chapter. But I guess that's what makes you a good writer :)

Excellent progression of the story! That brother-sister tandem is truly evil. Hate them! But can't wait to see what happens next!
Any chance for an update sooner? Have a good week!
9/26/2013 c25 Guest
Dear God in Heaven. THE HOUSE GUESTS FROM HELL! And I'll bet they're not quite done yet - Pamuk will be brought up again, right? We can certainly count on these "Noble" guests NOT keeping their mouths shut after leaving Downton. How in the world will the Crawleys and Blakes handle the fallout from such a brouhaha? Will they need to hurriedly leave England, maybe permanently? Will Violet save the day by threatening to tell the world about even worse indiscretions that she knows have been committed by these Nobles? And of which she alone has proof? My mind is spinning with thoughts! How will I survive the two weeks before your next update without driving myself insane? If I don't survive intact, I will be sending you my psychiatric bills, Lala Kate! But, seriously, thank you for the beautiful agony you've been bringing to my life! :) :) :)
9/26/2013 c25 Eviedee
What a horrid man Roquefort truly is - wish he would fall under a c-r, but then they were not around much at that time! Very well done not sure if I can wait another two weeks for the next fix.

The dialogue between Roquefort and Mary is excellent and the narrative before into Mary's thoughts engaging. I truly adore your storytelling and cannot imagine where you are taking this but excited nonetheless, I also hope that Isobel comes round - bravo
9/20/2013 c22 Kaitsy
What a beautiful, inspiring story.
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