New title: Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Chu

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I finished the Marriage of Convenience series - for me it´s the best series so far.
Not hat SOS or 1797 C or Courting Julia were bad - they were excellent too but to me this series had it all; plots, romance, feelings AND humor!

I'm the same. So far, nothing beats Anne Gracie for me, although I did enjoy Heartless and Silent Melody and some others, and I'm now on a third Balogh book (Indiscreet), which seems quite promising and I'm finding even better than the other two. But in general, I felt that the others were sometimes more "intense" in terms of the plot or the characters' pasts, but they didn't generate the same kind of dreams, processing and emotions as Gracie's novels did. Still have a long way to go on the reading list, though! Looking forward to discovering the other authors too. :lkj:
 

Mrs. Peel

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I've got one more of the "Marriage of Convenience" series left. I'll get to Marry in Scarlet after I finish the Duke's Perfect Wife.

I wonder if they will address Lily's reading problem in the last book? Seems she has a form of dyslexia, but I don't know how they would find that out with the limited knowledge of that era. I hope they do find some sort of a resolution, it wouldn't seem right ending the series with that left hanging., but don't tell me! :-D
 

Konstantin

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I finished the Sons of a Sin series from Anna Campbell.
I don't have anything to add. I never thought that I become almost addicted to novels. ;-D
The last in that series ( three proposals and a scandal) was very dynamic. Battle with the expectations or programming from the family and society and the inner voice. A good series that can give a better image of how one true relationship should look like. Love, honor, respect, devotion to the other, and true passion in the relationship and to the life.
A good example of the roles of a man and the woman in a relationship.

Continuing with a new book.
Can somebody recommend with what book ( or the series of books )should I continue?
 

marek760

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I finished the Sons of a Sin series from Anna Campbell.
I don't have anything to add. I never thought that I become almost addicted to novels. ;-D
The last in that series ( three proposals and a scandal) was very dynamic. Battle with the expectations or programming from the family and society and the inner voice. A good series that can give a better image of how one true relationship should look like. Love, honor, respect, devotion to the other, and true passion in the relationship and to the life.
A good example of the roles of a man and the woman in a relationship.

Continuing with a new book.
Can somebody recommend with what book ( or the series of books )should I continue?

I almost finished the Huxtable Quintet series, I am halfway through the last part, and it is just amazing, and I would recommend this series to myself so I think that you will not be disappointed.
I admit that I have never read this kind of literature before, but after reading a few books ( 9 ) recommended by Laura, I became a little addicted to it. :-)
 

Kay Kim

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Can somebody recommend with what book ( or the series of books )should I continue

Thanks to seek 10. All the recommended Romantic Fiction books from Laura, is here!

I created the sheet with author, book series, book name what version (audio, ebook etc.) of the book available in HooplaDigital, Overdrive with hyperlinks. I removed the physical book available as it is specific to my local libraries. I am guessing these service providers have connections to different states and probably country libraries. One can click on the hyperlink and do a one-time setup with their library card, one can see what is available for them to borrow through their library card.

Here it is
 

Adaryn

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I finished the Sons of a Sin series from Anna Campbell.
I don't have anything to add. I never thought that I become almost addicted to novels. ;-D
The last in that series ( three proposals and a scandal) was very dynamic. Battle with the expectations or programming from the family and society and the inner voice. A good series that can give a better image of how one true relationship should look like. Love, honor, respect, devotion to the other, and true passion in the relationship and to the life.
A good example of the roles of a man and the woman in a relationship.

Continuing with a new book.
Can somebody recommend with what book ( or the series of books )should I continue?

The MacKenzie series is really good, I recommend at least the first 4 books (there are like 15!), each are about a MacKenzie brother. Each brother has a particular programming (mainly due to past trauma and hurt) to overcome.
One thing that strikes me about those books is that, though some scenes are rather steamy and sometimes you could say there's something quite primitive about it, the sex is completely clean in the sense that the intent is pure and about giving/receiving in equal measure. There's nothing dirty about it, because the thoughts and the emotions surrounding the act, the way the man thinks about the woman he wants, and vice versa, are clean. So 2 acts / actions (generally speaking) can look similar to external eyes, whereas in reality, one is good / clean / true, while the other is evil / dirty / fake.

Which makes me think of this comment by Laura:

You see, in reading "Women Who Love Psychopaths," I realized that the things that a psychopath does, the things that WORK in baiting, capturing, bonding women are obviously caricatures of things that ought to be manifested in positive ways. For example: a psychopath may use his eyes and words to entrance and bait a woman to his bed where he "bonds" with her via "super sex." He uses tender, romantic words, gestures, promises, etc etc.
On the other hand, normal guys (and I'll talk about guys here since most psychopaths are male) generally do not feel comfortable gazing into the eyes of their beloved, speaking romantic words, performing wildly romantic gestures and certainly, most men are sexually inhibited or downright juvenile in their sexual behavior. They also do not see sex as it ought to be seen, as one of the best opportunities for GIVING they have in their daily lives.
But a psychopath observes his prey, does all the things that he has learned will capture her, and then he bends her to his evil will.
Why don't normal men observe their intended - not as prey, but as the object of devotion and giving? Why don't they learn everything about her, what she is, what she wants, what she needs, and then give it to her as an act of love?
Well, that's one thing that occurs to me. And the reason I bring it up is, as I said, because the interaction between the psychopath and his prey is a caricature of what seems to be an STO practice of great antiquity that we have completely lost.

And that's basically a big part of what those stories are about, I think. Ant22 made a comment in that vein earlier on. I think that what makes these stories so powerful is that they're - possibly - reawakening, in people's psyche, the memory "of an STO practice of great antiquity that we have completely lost."
But the psychopath/the "foreign entity" entered the stage and desecrated/corrupted it all.
 
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YoYa

Jedi
I had to tear down some walls inside me to read these books.
Especially this intimacy between the lovers was a real obstacle.
Hey, I even opened my own Amazon account so my partner wouldn't ask me any questions. :cool2:

I had a hard time. It was like a self-therapy.

So, to cut a long story short, the first four books were big hurdles. Afterward, when I accepted it, as it is, it got lighter. I could now tell my partner about my adventure. I mean, the stories are really exciting and intelligently constructed. You could think the author knows a few laws of the family constellation. ... And, I like happy endings.

In the meantime, I have been through the MacKenzies. Yesterday I started with, The Merridrew Ladies series - we will see.
 

Harmony99

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I have just knocked over the Courting Julia Trilogy .Dancing with Clara was simple the best but all three are connected so all must be read.
Great to see another womanizer working on himself to remove those cultural blockages which has prevented men form exercising external consideration in their relationship.
Devil riders Series next in line. Hope to see what Anne Gracie have in store.
Enjoying the school project so far. Hope to get some good grades before graduation.
Cheers!
 

thorbiorn

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I completed the trilogy by Mary Balogh Courting Julia, Dancing with Clara and Tempting Harriet. After falling asleep upon having completed the last volume, there was a dream where I was a part of a choire. As far as I could judge there were many men, and it was in the open, a hilly green landscape. The dream music had a semblance to music from the Romantic period about 1800-1910, perhaps even music one could dance to. I was standing next to my father, he was holding the tone better than I, not surprising as he is a much better singer, but I managed to keep going. We were not holding hands but had very light finger contact. The music was beautiful, and because of that and the scenery, somehow I dreamt I had tears in my eyes. Later, when I woke up, I wondered, if it had been some kind of emotional release? What I liked a about Tempting Harriet was that there are several minor characters that took decisions that assisted the outcome of redemption, just as some of them also became more free.

Thinking today about the dream music, and the books I had read, I began to search for music, dances, and dress in the Regency era. With this background I understand a few more details in the novels. I was not too successful getting into the details of the music, perhaps because I understood that part of the music was meant for dances.

Here are some links to videos with dances:
Passeggio: Duke of Kent's Waltz (1801)
Napoleonic Ball - Regency Dances: Cotillion and Reel
Hampshire Regency Dancers - Beaux and Belles of Beaulieu Ball
Regency Ball, Bath, 29th June 2019 - Haste to the Wedding (final dance)
Hampshire Regency Dancers - A Ball for Jane Austen

Lady Gresham's Ball - The Hole in the Wall (Hornpipe from Henry Purcell's 'Abdelazer')
Becoming Jane | ‘The Country Dance’ (HD) - Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy | MIRAMAX
Love and Friendship
Auretti's Dutch Skipper
Early 19th Century Waltzing I noticed in Tempting Harriet, that the waltz was of importance in the story. I did not really know why it was special. The video gives some background for why that might be so. Before the waltz people danced in big groups only occasionally touching each other. With the waltz that all changed. It was a duo and gave the new opportunities to converse.

Regency dances - the techniques and the steps
"Regency Era" Volume I - DVD Preview The whole set contains four dances, but the DVD is not in stock on Amazon. An alternative may be Dancetime DVD! 500 Years of Social Dance, Volume I
RegencyDances.org has more details the dances. And there are so many, just check
this list by year: For each dance there is a short video that shows the step sequence, but the basic steps are found on https://www.regencydances.org/steps.php

Regency dress of ladies and men

Several stories leave one with the impression that the ladies of the age were well covered. They did not have central heating or well-insulated houses, and there were customs too. The next videos shows what it took to dress:
Dressing up a regency lady (1815)

Dressing up a 1830 lady
Dressing up a Regency Gentleman this looks easier than for ladies.

See also https://www.regencydances.org/costume1.php which for ladies mentions, and this appears less than in the videos above: Gown (cotton for day or silk for evening), Shift / Petticoat, Long white gloves (evening), Short gloves (day), Reticule (small bag for necessaries), White stockings, Shoes (pumps)

For men, they mention: Regency Shirt, White Stockings, Knee breeches, Cravat, Waistcoat, Cut-away coat, Shoes (pumps) not lace-up, White gloves - dark for day wear

The life of the servants
In the stories, one the servants often have a retired role. There is a video that may explain what the situation was: Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs. Part 1 of 3 - Knowing Your Place.

Horses and horse breeds in the Regency Era
The wealthy, the servants, - and the horses. In the stories, the people travel and their horses are important. This article shows how horses contributed to life. A Grim Reality: The Life of a Coach Horse in the Regency Era

I tried to look up horse breeds of the Regency Era and found The Regency Horse World and
Cold-blood, Hot-blood, Thoroughbred . . . Do you know your Regency horses? A mini-primer by Sharon Lathan
 

Anthony

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I finished "the wicked deeds of Daniel Mackenzie" from Jennifer Ashley and wow! This was the best so far IMO. I even thought, while I was at work "if I ever have a son, I'll just un plug the wifi one day and give him that book to read. The kid will thank me later".

I agree, it's excellent.

I think this book can be really helpful to those that exhibit traits of Connection Survival Style (described in Healing Developmental Trauma book), though the heroine in the story seems to exhibit traits from all 5 survival styles. The way Daniel behaves towards Violet could maybe be seen as a way to break through that particular survival style, and a template for what thinking and behavior needs to be awakened in ourselves to overcome such problems.
 

loreta

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Since many years I am in love with this painting. I want to share it here because it is a very romantic one where you can feel: love, desire, respect, and friendship between this couple. The title of this painting is "The meeting of the Turret Stairs" by Frederick William Burton. The story of this painting is


he Meeting on the Turret Stairs (or Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs) is an 1864 watercolor painting by Frederic William Burton. The painting is in the National Gallery of Ireland.

The subject of painting is the history of love of Hellelil, who fell in love with her personal guard Hildebrand, Prince of Engelland. The story was taken from a medieval Danish ballad translated by painter's friend Whitley Stokes[1][2] and published in Fraser's Magazine, 1855, No.1, p. 89. Poet's sister Margaret Stokes later presented it to the museum.


What a romantic situation!


1600855135466.png
 

Jenn

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I haven't read many of the posts here since I didn't want to see any spoilers! I am five books into the Mackenzie series and have almost finished the Sons of Sin series. The experience so far has been profoundly useful and enjoyable. I wanted to post before I put it off any more! I'm not sure where to start really, maybe on the things that had the most impact on me...

First of all, I noted that I was initially scoffing at the "spicy scenes", after checking in here to read a couple of comments, I realized that I was probably feeling uncomfortable and I was trying to keep (emotional?) distance from them. After this realization, it became a lot easier just to read them and try to appreciate them for what they are, two people who felt the desire to be with each other completely, forming a union and giving to each other unconditionally in the most intimate way possible.

Another thing that struck me how beautiful it was to witness was the transformations that the couples made individually and together- Luc put it really well! They got to a place where they seemed to love each other for who they were, while simultaneously supporting the other person to become better, to overcome their emotional hang-ups. This desire for the other to become better didn't seem to be because they despised the other person's faults, but rather, because they could see the diamond in the rough and they wanted to help bring it out for the benefit of the other person- if the other person was willing. And even in some cases if they were initially unwilling eg. 7 Nights in a Rogue's Bed where Sidonie helping Jonas to overcome his violent past and self-hatred/shame.

Then there is the idea of sensuality and desire. To see the strong female characters admit to themselves the mutual attraction for the other character with honesty and little to no shame had quite an impact on me. It is very difficult in this life not to have some form of sexual neuroses. For my generation, having grown up with oversexualized images of women and being surrounded by people watching porn it leaves one having very skewed and mixed up ideas about sexuality. On one hand, you are told those things are desirable, yet society still condemns and labels overt sexuality as "slutty" and "shameful" - not without cause in some cases :whistle: . It's very confusing to a teenager lacking role models and easy to develop lots of shame and embarrassment around those topics. Plus modern society and the education system show little connection between sex, love, and sensuality. Ironically I had no religious upbringing but those types of beliefs still filtered down into my psyche. I found this article which is quite interesting although it is from the religious angle: Overcoming Religious Sexual Shame

It is only when a person accepts their sexuality as an aspect of themselves, and not something that is external to them, that a person can truly begin to heal from sexual shame. Then, and only then, can they evaluate their sexuality from a position that supports their own health, in a way that promotes healthy sexual values, in their lives, relationships, and even their soul.

So anyway, after reading a few more of the books, I came to see that the "spicy stuff" was only a small part of their relationships together, but it was also integral and a way for the couples to overcome issues and develop stronger bonds with each other.

I guess I am no intellectual snob since I have thoroughly enjoyed this reading list so far :lol: . I also noticed that throughout this exercise, I have felt the desire to be kinder to those around me and improve my relationships with loved ones. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but it's like a battery being charged when I read the books. I have been trying to take more time to keep my house in order, make more fulfilling meals, and even wanted to take more care of my appearance. Although these may seem like quite superficial things, I thought that they weren't necessarily a waste of time, since it seems to be a way for me to outwardly align with the values and ideals laid out in the books.
 
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