Odilon Redon, La Coquille, 1912
Well, I finished putting my site together, and I still had megabytes to burn. So I thought I'd add yet another page of recommendations to the ones that are already out there. I've tried not to duplicate too many of the stories suggested on other sites, so hopefully, you'll find something new here.
I don't know how to sum up how I picked these stories, other than to say they're all Sentinel, all slash, and all particular favorites of mine.
Confession/Apology in advance: I started out writing the authors to ask permission to mention their stories and link to their sites. But then I got caught up in my enthusiasm for all the TS stories I love so much, and the numbers became overwhelming. So if your story is here and you'd like it deleted or the description altered, just let me know.
Stories that recently caught my eye.
Prison by Jack Reuben Darcy. This is quite possibly the best TS story I've ever read. Set in Singapore in 1937, it lovingly and faithfully captures the era and also offers very apt characterizations of Jim and Blair. The two men go through many struggles in this novel-length storywith Jim's senses, the past, society's attitudes about their "perversion," and most of all with each other. It's beautifully written and constructed, a deeply moving and completely satisfying long read...like all of Jack's stories.
Shattered Soul by Montage. While I'm not a huge fan of rape stories, I do admire when someone does one exceptionally well. In Shattered Soul, Montage does a great job of describing the psychological effects of extreme trauma and the healing qualities of love. Her story also has an interesting structure, interweaving events from before, during and after the assault, using dreams and flashbacks to round out the narrative.
Solitary Creatures by Aristide. It starts with a splinter and leads to all sorts of interesting things, including Jim's realization that he and Blair aren't the solitary creatures he thought. This wonderfully offbeat story is sweet and humorous and oh-so sexy.
Imagine My Surprise by Brighid. Something's been bothering Blair. Jim finds out what it is. There are surprises. It's wonderful. For Blair's perspective on the whole thing, check out Plenty of Everything. Actually, check out all Brighid's stories. They're all beautifully written.
The Healer by alyjude. Allison has a real gift for creating situations that show exactly how much Jim and Blair mean to one another, and this is a particularly moving example. After a violent and senseless attack by another law enforcement officer, Blair is left head injured, with the mental capacity and memory of a five year old. The story follows Jim's loving and determined efforts to care for him, and his hope that the grown-up Blair will somehow return to him.
Some of the "veteran" stories that first drew me to TS fandom.
Throwback by MegaRed. Blair is injured in a violent attack, and Jim goes primal trying to defend him, interfering with the rest of the precinct's efforts to help. I love Mega's vision of the primitive Sentinel overtaking the modern man, his instincts driving him to protect his Guide, and the recognition that these instincts can be tragically counter-productive in contemporary life.
Remembrances by M-n-M. On the one year anniversary of Blair's apparent death in a plane crash, Jim struggles to cope with his loss, and miraculously gets a second chance at love. M-n-M have written several other long, engrossing stories, including their wonderful Who Are You? in which Jim gets hurt and loses all memory of Blair not long after they've become lovers.
It's About Trust by Deirdre. The morning after an evening of too much wine and too few inhibitions, Jim and Blair come to an understanding about their relationship. One of the first TS stories I ever read, I've gone back to it again and again. Deirdre's Jim is wonderfully, believably tender, even romantic, without ever being sappy. Her Blair is confused and freaked and touchingly vulnerable. You really feel the love between the two men, and it's very, very sexy.
Whispers of Loss by Dean Warner. Blair is trapped inside a bank during a robbery gone wrong and subsequent hostage situation. Jim is stuck outside, going nuts, worrying about his partner. It's dramatic and action-packed, with a heroic Blair and one frantic Sentinel desperate to rescue his guide.
No Islands Any More by Betsy Tacy Ray-Kelly. Here I go recommending another rape story, although to be accurate, I should probably call this a survival story. When a bust goes bad, the guys are captured, and Jim is forced to watch helplessly as the criminals gang rape Blair. This long and involved story deals primarily with Blair's recovery and the development of the guys' relationship. It very sensitively depicts the after-effects of sexual assault.
Sentinel Envy by P.B. This is one of the first TS stories I ever read, and although I forgot the title there for a while, I've always remembered I liked it. Another guide shows up, a female cop, and claims to be Jim's true guide. Jim and Blair, each trying to protect the other, go along with her, with unfortunate consequences. In this story, individual Sentinels and Guides are destined for each other. I just love that!
Ghosts, past lives, magic and other stories of the supernatural.
Bonds Broken, Bonds Begun by Lori. In this very well done AU, Blair must rescue Jim from a freak show in which he's being exploited. There's wonderful tenderness between the two men, along with magic, treachery, drama, and a sweet friendship between Jim and a little boy who comes to see him in the circus. This is the first part of a continuing series.
I like the WB show Charmed, the story of the Halliwell sisters, three good witches. So I really enjoyed Brak's A Charmed Life, a TS/Charmed crossover. A young witch dies in Blair's arms, leading to all kinds of problems for the guys, and it's up to the three sisters to help them sort it out. Brak does a great job describing the magical elements, creating suspense and integrating the characters from the two shows.
Bid Him Come, Bid Him Go by Legion is an imaginative, eerily beautiful tale. According to the author's notes, she took inspiration from a ballad called "Lammas Night" by Mercedes Lackey. In her version, Jim Ellison, retired from the army for medical reasons, moves into the loft. Its owner Blair Sandburg, lost for over a year in the jungle, is presumed dead. However, Jim quickly discovers that he's not alone in the apartment. Legion provides two different endings, so you're sure to go away satisfied.
Russet McMillan has written several of my favorite stories, including Sugar is Sweet and her sprawling, magnificent Time Heals series. But Tales of the Body Thief is quite possibly my favorite. Jim is critically injured, nearly killed and wakes up in the body of a young woman, who had been in a coma. Russet's description of Jim experiencing life in a female body just blows me away, as does her ability to get across the emotional complexity of the characters and situation.
There's nothing I love more than Jim and Blair in eternal love, and that's exactly what you get in blarney stone's TS/Xena crossover Beyond the Setting Sun. The author deftly interweaves plotlines from Xena into her story, captures Jim and Blair's voices quite nicely, and gives us a very interesting possibility for who the guys were in another lifetime.
Love and Curses by Sorka. This may not be everyone's cup of tea. Some people just will insist on being turned off by bestiality. But for those who are not, this story and all its sequels are chocked full of action, drama, magic, romance, suspense and some very, very sexy moments.
Legend or Dream and Dream or Memory by Merri-Todd Webster. I love all Merri-Todd's writing, but this story and follow-up are my favorites. In another time, the sentinel Walks Alone takes the beautiful stranger Farwalker for his mate and guide. In present day Cascade, a matching bracelet and necklace bring Jim and Blair dreams, or is it memories, of another, distant life.
Sentinel stories from other times and other places.
There's just something so sweet and tender about Slave of My Heart by Gillian Middleton. Set in ancient Rome, Blair is a philosopher, and Jim is a slave whom Blair buys and frees. Gillian does a wonderful job preserving the essence of the characters, and she makes their coming together both believable and memorable.
There is No Gene, T'Mar's TS takeoff on the sci-fi thriller Gattaca, portrays Jim and Blair as people who end up on the wrong side of the DNA patrol, both for individual reasons and for their love of each other. It's a great action-packed adventure that shows Sentinel and Guide working together to escape the draconian government that would destroy them.
Guided Voyage by saraid. This TS/Voyager crossover does a great job integrating the characters from the two shows. I really like the way saraid explains how Sentinels came to be and the personal history she gives Blair. This story asks the question: what would happen if one of the guys, in this case Jim, resisted the profound, mystical bond between Sentinel and Guide. Saraid's answer makes for a dramatic, emotionally gripping read.
Destiny's Bond by Wolfling. In this TS/Stargate SG-14 crossover, anthropologist Blair Sandburg unwittingly becomes partner to the Sentinel Enqueri when his previous guide Incacha is killed during a Jaffa attack. Wolfling skillfully interweaves the two shows, vividly describes the growing bond between Sentinel and Guide, as well as the isolation Enqueri feels estranged from his own culture.
Free to Love You by N'Wanda is set amidst the intrigue of sixteenth century England. Jim is a prominent duke, and Blair is a French servant to the imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots. It's a tender and romantic story that shows how love can cross the barriers of culture, class, politics, and even time itself.
Heroes by Yvonne McCool. This futuristic series is one of my favorite AUs of all times. Yvonne includes pretty much the entire TS cast and creates original characters that you care about. It's a wonderfully imaginative universe with plenty of adventure, danger and emotional turmoil for our heroes to overcomeplus a strong dose of sensuality to keep things really interesting. A rip roaring good time!
Stories in which Jim and Blair bust the bad guys or at least try to.
True Minds and its sequel Little Company by Lanning Cook. In True Minds, Jim and Blair help the battered wife of an organized crime boss and end up in the most dangerous situation of their lives. In Little Company, the guys desperately search for an innocent child before her deranged father can kill her. Both stories are fast-paced, with original and interesting cases and a sensitive treatment of domestic violence, as well as nice J/B interaction.
Those Who Can Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 by Sihaya Black. I cannot say enough good things about this intricate and fascinating story. A shadowy scientific organization linked to Jim's past is bent on knowing what makes a Sentinel tick, and they'll use any means necessary to get the information they want. There's lots of suspense and surprises, but best of all is the depiction of the relationship between the two men, a vulnerable Jim and a protective Blair, beautifully interdependent.
Time Does Not Bring Relief by Kadru. This is part of Kadru's long, involved, fabulous Project 57 series, along with Loving You Less Than Life. I won't try to sum it up. I wouldn't want to ruin any of the suprises. But I will say that I truly admire what a finely wrought story Kadru has created. It has a fascinating plot, original characters I really cared about, and a heart-wrenchingly bumpy ride for our boys on the road to true love. I envy everyone who's reading it for the first time, although I can promise you it's just as good the second and third times too.
Mosaic and A Fragile Peace by Russet McMillan. These two stories are part of the wonderful Time Heals series, but they can also be read as stand-alones. I'm constantly amazed by how many things Russet can accomplish in a single story. In both of these, she intertwines strands from TS episodes, solid characterizations of Jim and Blair, a complicated, confusing, rocky relationship between the guys, and original and involving cases to solve. Compelling and emotionally gripping reading.
It never really occurred to me to wonder how Jim could continue going undercover when he's such a high profile cop until I read Skinsgame by Barb G. In her story, Jim must infiltrate a group of vicious skinheads by pretending to be a closet racist and bad cop. Barb does a great job showing the toll this takes on Jim's sense of self and his relationship with Blair, not to mention how freakin' dangerous it is.
Sentinel stories that sizzle.
The Haunted Grove by Emma Woodhouse. I like the idea of Sentinels as a throwback to a more primitive breed of man. I like a primal Jim Ellison. I especially like a primal and lusty Jim Ellison, putting the moves on his Guide. In this story, something comes over Jim at a crime scene, and he finds himself reliving the experience of another Sentinel who died a long time ago. In the process, he discovers something very interesting about the relationship between Sentinel and Guide. Steamy!
Need by Sammy. Okay, so I also enjoy it when the Guide is driven by sexual desire for his Sentinel. In this story, Blair really needs it, and he convinces Jim to give it to him. Then Blair realizes it was Jim he needed all along.
The Tears of Hlin by Cerise. I've long had my suspicions about what goes on in the locker room before and after the big game. I guess I've always been at least a little slashy at heart. Cerise also seems to have wondered about such things. While there's not a lot of Jim and Blair together in The Tears of Hlin, there are kinky football rituals, plus an interesting look at Jim's past. Odd, but riveting.
Lie Perdue by Sihaya Black. Jim filled with longing for Blair. Mmmm, shiver. Jim so desperate for his Guide that he sleeps with someone else and tries to pretend it's him. Big, big shiver. Jim all tied up, at Blair's sensual mercy. Dead faint.
In the Eye of the Beholder: Keyhole by Francesca. I really do like the theme of Jim going out looking for a Blair stand-in, only to find that there is no substitute. And what could be better than this plotline in the hands of a truly fabulous writer like Francesca?
The Morning After by Marag. Someone slips Blair a "mickey" while he and Jim are undercover. The morning after, Jim fills him in on all the interesting things that happened while he was under the influence. Most of the sex happens offstage, but there's still something wonderfully erotic about it. I love how hard Jim tries to be a gentleman and that it's Blair's confession of love that undoes all his good intentions.
Sentinel stories with a humorous bent.
Weddings Can Be A Bitch and its companion piece Wedding Rituals, Virgin Sacrifices and a $12.00 bag of peanuts by Deana Jamroz made me laugh out loud and go awwww at the same time! I really appreciate that in a story. Jim and Blair go to a wedding and basically get hitched. The stories are from Jim's and Blair's POVs respectively.
Josephine Darcy's stories are among my all-time favorites. Her first story, The Bond, her SenToo story The Bridge Back, her angsty Without Love all fabulous. But her story Partners had me laughing out loud. Rafe and Brown "borrow" Sandburg for an afternoon. Mishaps and hilarity ensue. Her depiction of how the guys stumble across their romantic feelings for one another struck me as very realistic.
In the Air by Sandy K. Herrold. This story has a great premise: What happens when Blair ends up in the emergency room with a stab wound to his rear and the hospital staff think Jim did it? In the Air has a humorous narrative style and some truly comical touches. At the same time, though, it's really quite endearing, with some very sweet, not to mention sexy, moments.
Well, actually, this title is pretty self-explanatory.
Price of Love, Please Come Home For Christmas, and I Cross My Heart by JR. Price of Love is another of the stories I read when I first discovered the Sentinel. In it, Blair has received his degree and is moving across the country to take his first teaching position. The night before he is to go, he and Jim make love for the first time. But the next morning, Jim completely freaks out and closes off. The rest of the story and its sequels deal with how the guys work out this change in their relationship and deal with the distance between them. I thought this story was very realistic in portraying how Jim might react under such circumstances, and the way JR writes their relationship well, it really does just say love to me.
Pesach by Brighid. I don't read death stories, but there is definitely something to be said for one partner keeping vigil when the other nearly dies. Brighid's offering on this theme has to be one of the most touching stories I've ever read. The way she interweaves the Jewish holiday Passover into her tale of Blair keeping watch over a fallen Jim left me feeling a little weepy and deeply moved. This story is a true testament to the enduring love between these two men.
Sacred Space by Justine. In the aftermath of danger, Jim and Blair celebrate being alive. This is one of my absolute favorite TS stories of all time. It's insightful, tender, funny, sensual. The characterizations are spot on, and Justine's vision of the guys' relationship is incredibly intimate and tender.
I love stories that show how unbreakable the bond is between Jim and Blair. I love well-done hurt/comfort. And so, I love Time Marches On by Barbara Nice-Miller. While trying to save his Sentinel, Blair is critically head injured and spends two years in a coma. Jim waits by his side. In addition to having wonderful emotional development, this story also has a cool structure, interweaving events from past and present.
Angel of Death by cmshaw. This is another author whose writing I always enjoy and recommend whole-heartedly, all of it. Of all her stories, this probably has the most serious theme. In it, a sorrowful Blair keeps vigil by the bedside of a critically injured Jim, refusing to let him die. A good theme, a lovely story.
Farraday Cage by Gloria Lancaster. To me, this is one of the best characterizations of Blair, ever. When an old friend of Jim's comes to town, Blair is forced to rethink their relationship and grows up a little. The last two paragraphs of this story really encapsulate what's so special about these two men together.
Are there other stories I ought to be reading and recommending?
Pen me a note.
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