Down The Rabbit Hole by amycarey_Down The Rabbit Hole by amycarey is deservedly one of the most bookmarked and liked SwanQueen fanfics in the Once Upon A Time (OUAT) fandom.

In this alternate universe (AU), Emma is a college dropout who moves to the big city with her friend and roommate Mary Margaret and finds employment at a children’s bookstore, The Rabbit Hole. During her busy days of dodging kids and shelving YA bestsellers, she meets a single mother and her young son. Emma and little Henry quickly strike an unlikely friendship, despite his mother being wary of strangers. But there seems to be more to the alluring brunette than meets the eye.

An enigmatic author of diverse and incredibly captivating children books, R.C. Mills, is about to do her first book launch and signing at The Rabbit Hole and the whole publishing world is in upheaval at the big reveal. Who is R. C. Mills? Why is she publishing under such an anonymous moniker? And will her characters – two single women parenting a young girl – ever get to be a family?

But for Emma, there’s only one question to be answered, why has the beautiful mother of the adorable little boy showed up at the R. C. Mills book signing and why does she act like she owns the event?

Pros And My Favourite Parts

I don’t know about you, reader, but I am a total sucker for a bookstore romance. The comfort, the coziness and the atmosphere of such a story are unmatched. The shop comes alive in this story and sets the tone for the whole ride, despite its, at times, angsty twists and turns. It manages to remain cozy and warm.

The chemistry between the main characters is wonderful and keeps growing from their first meeting, with the signature witty repartee and joke insults thrown by Regina in Emma’s direction.

The secondary characters are wonderful and the author does justice to so many OUAT personages.

Cons And Heads Up

No trigger warning for this one, other than Mary Magdalene fangirling all over Regina. But even Emma acknowledges that her roommate is annoying and so all is right in the world.


Milena's FavouriteYou don’t need to watch the show to feel right at home in this cozy AU. The author does a wonderful job of integrating bookshop vibes into the OUAT fandom without getting bogged down by the drama of the show. The characters are amazingly true to themselves, believable and the book R. C. Mills is writing, presented side by side with the main story is a wonderful addition. You get equally invested in both.

Amycarey is a brilliant author and a trusted contributor to the OUAT/SwanQueen fandom. We are truly fortunate they share their work with us fans. The writing is crisp, eloquent and evocative. Despite being just under 54,000 words, the story takes you on a journey that feels much longer than that and is very satisfying. This fanfic is a trusty re-read for me when in need of some comfort and warmth.

Excerpt from Down The Rabbit Hole by amycarey

Then she sees it. The bookshop. It’s adorable, nestled in between a stationery store and the bakery. The sign above the door creaks, reading The Rabbit Hole. A bit twee, Emma thinks, but she’s mostly just impressed that there are still independent bookstores functioning. There’s a sign in the window, yellowed and stuck up with tape that’s curling at the edges: Help wanted. On impulse, Emma enters.

It smells like cinnamon and old books and coffee and there are small children in just about every corner, poring over picture books or reading novels. There’s one girl, glasses perched on the end of her nose, squinting at a ‘Percy Jackson’ novel. She barks out a laugh and tugs on the end of one of her braids. Emma can’t help the reluctant smile that curves across her face.

“Can I help you, hon?” a shop assistant, name badge reading ‘Ruby’, asks. She’s tall and long-limbed with a mane of dark, straight hair, streaked with red. She’s carting a box of books, which she rests on the counter, leaning against the counter. She’s not exactly dressed for working with children, in a midriff baring shirt and shorts that show off an expanse of slim, pale legs.

“Hey,” Emma says, balancing grocery bags and the box of pastries. “I was wondering about the job. Is it still going?”

“Oh,” Ruby says, grinning. There’s something feral about her grin, too wide and teeth too bright. “Yeah, that’s been up for a while. You’ll be wanting Lacey then. She owns this joint.” She leans across the counter, granting Emma a view of her pert ass, and yells, “Oi, Lace.”

Emma’s not sure what to expect but it’s not the woman who enters from what she assumes must be the stockroom. Lacey’s really young to own a business and a little grungy and doesn’t seem particularly interested in resumes or references or anything normal. “You like books?” she asks, pulling her thick dark hair back into something that approximates a bun and securing it with an elastic band.

“Yeah,” Emma says.

Find the full story here

Bits And Bobs

Fandom: OUAT/SwanQueen

Length: 53,687

Author: Amycarey

Rating: M

Rating Guide:  G= General, T = Teen and up, M=Mature, E = explicit

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