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Review:nott theodore says:
I'm going to confess...I was hoping you would tell us what orange blossoms mean in your author's note, and when you didn't, I looked it up myself. And yes, now I understand! :P

As usual, I adore all the intricate details that you include in this story; something as simple as the flowers that Venn gives to Helena has a symbolic meaning, and that is something I really love in stories, and something that a lot of my favourite authors do.

Your portrayal and characterisation of Venn and Helena in particular was really interesting in this chapter. Both of them seem to feel constrained by the conventions of the time they live in, and in that way it would seem that they're a good match and can understand each other. Helena's rebellious streak was especially enjoyable to see, and this desire to annoy her mother seems to signal further deterioration in their relationship.

One thing that really strikes me here is the fact that, although on the surface of things Venn and Helena seem a perfect couple, they barely know each other. I wonder if in a different time the two would have been able to have a successful relationship. It was lovely to see the two of them making an effort with each other, and having some unsupervised time together.

Venn was especially sweet in this chapter. Even though he shares some of the family traits with his uncle, he also seems to have much nicer characteristics that I don't believe Salazar has.

This was a really lovely chapter to read. It's just a pity that even though there was an 'abundance of fluff' (as you put it in your author's note), the signs foreshadowing the tragic ending are already here.

nott theodore :)

Author's Response: I'm happy you like the details! Sometimes I worry that they'll be too overwhelming, but so far everyone seems to really enjoy them. I like trying to find new ways to fold symbolism and canon information into the story where I can.

Venn is starting to develop real feelings for Helena, which scares him to death because it's not his modus operandi. As for Helena, she is moving from seeing Venn as just another way to get under Rowena's skin to seeing a real future with him, which is exciting but also quite frightening in that it brings constraints.

Yeah, I don't really see an arrangement like this working in a modern day setting. Venn and Helena basically have to keep seeing each other at some frequency due to the family and societal pressure, and if they didn't do that, they may not have time to get to know each other. As you pointed out, though, they're now starting to see each other because they want to rather than being forced to do so.

Venn... haha. I feel like I need to play up his not-so-villainous side, because many people start this story and immediately take Helena's side. I take any chance I get to introduce murkiness into a character, so that by the end, you don't quite know who to root for. But yeah, I want him to have a charming streak (perhaps influenced by his face claim) and to not just be a carbon copy of his uncle.

Thank you for another fabulous review :)

-Amanda


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