Lyrical Ballads by Damnation

I have a number of pet peeves when it comes to online fiction. I wont bore you with a list though as others have already written up well covering inventories of these, even some rather funny ones. If you want to view one of those go and browse the “20 deadly (fan) fiction sins” at Verne’s Review Site.

One of my pet peeves concerns song lyrics – don’t put that in my fiction please! First of all it’s properly a copyright infringement and furthermore, what I want is the story that the writer can tell with her talent or skill. If I wanted the words of the songwriter – I would go listen to the music.

Well I found a story that include the lyrics of a song and a rather long one at that – and surprise – I actually did like both the story, the lyrics and how the two were woven together in the short story. This only proves that it’s necessary to treat your pet peeves with a bit of distance otherwise you might miss out on a good experience.

“Eyes on me” is the first part of “Lyrical Ballads” a string of three short stories all written around a song, Damnation call’s it a written form of music video. This caught my eye as I sometimes find myself thinking about the things – not – told in the lyrics of a song. So I gave “The Lyrical ballads” a go, and I found the stories to be well written with a refreshingly darkish tone – it’s not the light hearted romance that I usually go for.

The Lyrical ballads is really just about a journey – a journey travelled by a young woman – a writer – not just by going from one place to another in terms of geography, but also by overcoming past hurt with the help of a singer she meets in a bar.

The Lyrical ballads are words, words spoken, written or sung to express feelings and perhaps bridge a gap, make a path to walk towards healing. I know I sound all mushy here – perhaps I’m overdoing it a bit, but as I told you that the story has a darkish tone. I guess it rubbed off on me tonight.

I found the story strangely catching even if it seemed to have a rather unfinished or open end, but I think that the three stories in The Lyrical ballads make a perfect circle as it is – starting and ending with a song. The tone of the story would be disturbed if the suggestion of love was answered with a kiss or if it turned out that the love was one-sided.

So if you need a short brake from the classic romance storylines you could look up “The Lyrical ballads” it won’t take much time.

As for my pet peeve about song lyrics in fiction, I’ll just say that the lyrics to the song “Eyes on me” were well integrated in the storyline of the first part of “The Lyrical ballades”, but that was not the case with the lyrics used in the second part “Hero” or the third part “Fragile”. Actually the lyrics of the songs Hero and Fragile seemed to be superfluous as the story did come over quiet well just by the words of the writer – so if you don’t need a walking stick – why carry one around? Maybe the writer was just trying to stick with the idea of doing the written music video “thing” and didn’t realise that the song wasn’t needed to tell the story ?

The Day Lucy Broke Down by Damnation

Do you ever linger between sleep and wakefulness slowly realising that you are waking up, but not wanting to let go of the warm soft feelings that are filling all your senses, and are you sometimes lucky enough to will your self back to sleep and continue the dream ?

Well the day Lucy broke down was not Kelly’s lucky day, she lost her lovely dream by the sound of a blaring clock radio, almost tripped over her cat going to the bathroom, her best friend Lucy broke down, and she got persuaded by a friend to take part in a little competition with an outcome that she definitely hadn’t bargained for.

On the other hand almost any day can turn around like a flip of a coin, so why worry about a few unlucky happenings ? Who knows perhaps Kelly’s day will pick up when she literally collide with a rather rude mouth Mach and lands herself an invitation to dinner with the attractive Jordan.

“The Day Lucy Broke Down” is romance with a twist of humour and its great dialogue. I like the teasing, bantering and the bit of rough mouthing between Kelly and Mach – it’s fun and entertaining.

I think that I’m putting this story on my list of top “romance with humour” or maybe I should just call the list – my favourite Larisa stories as they are all from her pen! But I’m afraid that the story “The Day Lucy Broke Down” is too short to make it to the top of the list. It helps though that Damnation wrote a sequel.

In the sequel “Love Struck” we are getting a peek at Kelly and Mach a few months down the line. And oh how time has flown, the ladies have not only fallen in love and had a relationship, they have also broken up – or more precisely – Mach has decided to leave Kelly just to make sure that Kelly won’t get the chance to leave her first. A warped kind of logic perhaps, but for the character of Mach, a fitting one.

I urge you to sail off with Kelly and Mach while they unexpectedly gets to try out Mach’s “we can only be friends” thing – it’s great fun and romantic as well.

Burnt Sugar by Damnation

Burnt Sugar” could be just another word for fudge gone wrong. In fudge making there only a short distance between absolutely right and horribly wrong, and in Damnations latest story there seems to be just that short distance between a “living happily ever after” and a dramatic ending. As you might know by now I’m not too keen on having a romantic storyline mixed with drama, but for Damnation I’ll make an exception as I do like her style of writing. She has a way of putting the romantic bits and pieces together to my liking.

In “Burnt Sugar” we get acquainted with Kristen chef at the restaurant Taters, who has a little something to hide about her past – not that I think the “something” needs hiding – and Frances the daughter of the head chef and owner Russell. Frances has just returned to her father’s house after spending time abroad putting distance between herself, her father and their shared memories of her recently deceased mother. On her return home she finds that Kristen now occupies the “granny house” out back.

In the world of romance the first meeting between potential lovers often draws a lot of sparks and that’s also the case of not only the first but a number of meetings between the egocentric chef and the witty mouthed Frances. This sets the scene for a number of funny episodes and a witty dialogue.

As you might expect all the sparks that fly between the Kristen and Frances do more than just keep the reader happy, it also set fire to a slow burning flame of attraction that lead to a first kiss and from there to less fighting and more time spend exploring a possible friendship and then a bit more than just friendship…..

Damnation doesn’t use the standard recipe of mixing a fair bit of angst into the romantic storyline but give us a “straight” and believable progression from friends to lovers and I think that this works just fine. If I should complain about something it’s the fact that the originally straight Kristen doesn’t seem to take much time to process the fact of her sudden attraction to a woman – this is perhaps a little unlikely, but who cares it’s a romance.

Most of the storyline is focused on the interaction between Kristen and Frances including a fair bit of hot s.., but the story also includes a surrounding cast of family and friends that lend substance to the tale. The characters of Kristen and Frances are well developed, sweet and lovable in contrast to their “opponents” connected to a new restaurant in the neighbourhood, who are rather sketchy and dark characters. I get the feeling that maybe the dramatic bits of the storyline – build around a number of dirty tricks played on the crew at Taters – are a sort of “add on” to the storyline, which was not planed from the start. As I’m really not too hot on mixing romance and drama I could have done with a less spectacular bit of drama, but it didn’t ruin the fun of reading for me – and I did read all of “Burnt Sugar”, which is a rather long story, without any fast scrolling involved!

I’ve been looking in on a number of stories written by Damnation and I think that she has a well developed talent for putting together an entertaining romance. Should you find that you agree with me, you could also look up her story “A Place Called Home”.

If you find yourself interested in the cooking theme you could look up “Cooking on High” by another favourite writer of mine Crème Brulee this story also has a fair mix of romance and drama that I found entertaining.