Same Old Lang Syne by Lyn27

Anybody that is familiar with the Dan Fogelberg song “Same Old Lang Syne” (and if you’re not I would suggest seeking out a version on You Tube) will know it tells a story in the lyrics of regret when two ex-lovers meet many years later. Remembering what once was, what could have been and, maybe, what should have been. How things don’t always turn out how you expected. It’s emotionally poignant in an almost understated way, and Lyn27 uses the song’s premise as a backdrop to great effect in this Nikki and Helen Bad Girls story.Same Old Lang Syne is about regret, sacrifice and, above all, hope. Hope given to one ex-con, by the woman she had loved, who still keeps that hope alive every Christmas, birthday and other significant ‘anniversaries’. Nikki holds on to that hope like a life raft.

But why would she, if she has Helen in her life? The answer is simple. She doesn’t have Helen.

That’s because in Lyn27’s story, Helen married Thomas Waugh. A man who didn’t turn out to be the man she thought and a man she didn’t really love. So why did Helen marry him? We already know that Helen Stewart was a very principled character and couldn’t marry Sean for the same reason, so why would she even consider this path? Why would she be so willing to sacrifice her love for Nikki and walk away?

I’m not going to give the plot away! That’s for you to find out. But suffice it to say, a chance meeting Christmas Eve between Nikki and Helen sets in motion a glimmer of hope for Helen, that the biggest regret she has, can finally be mended.

Lyn27’s characterizations of Nikki and Helen are wonderfully executed, and this story feels like a play; one you could imagine sitting in a theatre watching, as the acts are played out. It’s not a long story, only 9 (longish) chapters in all, but it feels ‘big’. The dialogue is excellent and the emotional level is just right. As always with Lyn27, it’s evident she loves writing for these two characters and with every story she pens, her ability to do so gets stronger, and she delivers a very polished piece here.

A highly recommended read, in my opinion! You can read Same Old Lang Syne, on the Bad Girls Riot board, under the Chateau Larkhall section. You need to register for the board but it’s well worth it!

The Garden by Lyn27

This Bad Girls story starts off as a continuation from the end of series three, with Nikki into her fifth day of freedom…..but with no Helen in sight. The joyous ending we all remember didn’t happen.

So Nikki, with support from Trish (their relationship is purely as friends,) sets about starting a new life for herself and Lyn27 sets in motion the reunion we know must be coming.

Finding herself in a quaint village, Nikki rescues a local estate agent after the woman has a mishap in her car and drives her to large house in the middle of renovation, about to be inhabited by the person it was inherited to. This person is unknown.

As Nikki scouts the nearby village, she sees a local business for sale and takes the plunge in buying it, keeping the original staff. Before long, Trish is helping out in between running their old club and Barbara Hunt, now released herself, tracks Nikki down and Nikki employs her also.

All seems fine until Nikki takes a nosedive emotionally and physically, becoming very sick, and her friends start to fear for her life. It’s Barbara that has the obvious solution. If she and Trish can find her.

And to their great joy and relief, they do!

From here on in, Lyn27 starts an emotional journey of reconnection for Nikki and Helen, amidst a fight to save Nikki from her inner nightmares.

It’s a hard road for both of them, but Lyn27 keeps up the emotion and angst as they each battle their own feelings. Nikki, too proud to let Helen know the reason for the state she’s in, and Helen not about to give up on Nikki again.

Of course, we eventually have the reunion we all expect, but it doesn’t stop there. There is a mystery to solve as well. An old family secret starts to unravel. And on top of that, Helen and Nikki must face their own families, too.

Just when you think Lyn27 is about to wrap everything up, she throws a spanner in the works with another cliff hanger and a surprise and you’re left wondering where this will lead and eager to find out.

One of the remarkable things about The Garden is that this is Lyn27’s first Nikki and Helen story. The amount of energy and enthusiasm she maintains over the chapters has to be admired and it’s infectious, keeping the reader invested in these characters.

Lyn27’s descriptive passages of places is very detailed, giving the reader a written ‘visual’ of the scene she sets. The dialogue is great and the banter among the characters is highly humourous. Its obvious Lyn27 has a great love of the characters she is writing about and there is a lovingly portrayed relationship that develops between Trish and a young woman, Emily, who works for Nikki.

This is great storytelling in my opinion. So, I would highly recommend a nice comfy armchair, a glass of your favourite tipple, turning off the TV, leaving the phone of the hook and indulging yourself. You’re in for a treat!

The Garden can be found at the Bad Girls Riot site (per the link) under the “Chateau Larkhall” section of the board.