Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

placematt

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I have just finished the seduction of Elliot Mcbride. It was a really enjoyable read.

I thoroughly connected with the relationship between Elliot and his servant Mahindar. The devotion from Mahindar in this nurturing, fatherly roll. Understanding Elliots past. His suffering and bouts of manic episodes but accepting him as he was. I can relate to some of this, as my father had episodes also. I could see small elements of a level of devotion in myself even though I was a kid. Mahindar an adult, could distance himself or atleast understand Elliot's trauma and therefore the episodes seemed normal to him, or he didnt take them personally. I had different reactions to seeing my father in these ways but its reassuring to see that as an adult I can be better equipt now. And i have been in recent events.

Towards the end two things stood out for me. After the climax, Elliots wife Juliana was sitting with her mother in law. Juliana has a talent for organisation and lists. It was her mother in law who explained she cant organise Elliot out of his "madness". That she has to accept him for who he was. This really struck a cord with me. Many times in my past, especially with my parents and wanting to somehow get the "childhood" that i think was denied to me. I think in part, spending 3 years working on a movie with my father was some manifestation of trying to get something deep and meaningful between us. But i see now that i cant create the experience I think i have lost. It just never happened and thats ok. And so i really connected with this brief scene in the Seduction of Elliot Mcbride. It was so compelling in that it was put to the audience, that even though Juliana has solved a lot of problems with these talents, you cant solve the deep seated issues of people with the same talents. A different approach is necessary. One of acceptance, patience, understanding, that a human being needs to be treated as a human being.

And following on from this, the chapter were Elliot is standing on the bridge having just been in another episode. really takes me back to the night my father had the same. He becomes someone different, as if lost in his own mind. And it was quite emotional seeing the devotion and love Juliana had for Elliot. Even when he felt they were safer out of his life, ( i too can relate to this as my father talks of suicide during his bouts of severe depression and alcoholism). Juliana's love and with the understanding of seeing him for being a human was enough to pull them together again. It was a touching moment between these two characters.


Im moving onto The Untamed Mckenzie now. Looking forward to continuing on with the reading.
 

Mari

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
"Seven Nights ..." and another book by the same author, and some books by Mary Balogh, Jennifer Ashley, Julia Quine, Eloise James, you can find here:

Anna Campbell i njegova djela - Knjižara Ljevak

Mary Balogh

Julia Quinn i njegova djela - Knjižara Ljevak

Jennifer Ashley - Naklada Neptun


Ok, here is the list of novels above, except from Eloisa James - I haven´t read her books jet so I cannot figure out if those are books from our list or not.
Anna CampbellSons of Sin1Seven Nights in a Rogue's BedSedam noći u olujnom zamku
Anna CampbellSons of Sin1.5Days of Rakes and Roses
Anna CampbellSons of Sin2A Rake's Midnight KissPonoćni poljubac
Anna CampbellSons of Sin3What a Duke Dares
Anna CampbellSons of Sin4A Scoundrel by Moonlight
Anna CampbellSons of Sin4.5Three Proposals and a Scandal: A Sons of Sin Novella
Julia QuinnRokesby Series1Because of Miss Bridgerton
Julia QuinnRokesby Series2The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
Julia QuinnRokesby Series3The Other Miss Bridgerton
Julia QuinnRokesby Series4First Comes Scandal
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series1The Duke and IVojvoda i ja
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series2The Viscount Who Loved MeVikont koji me volio
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series3An Offer From A GentlemanDžentlmenska ponuda
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series4Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series5To Sir Phillip, With Love
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series6When He Was Wicked
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series7It’s In His Kiss
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series8On The Way to the WeddingNa putu do vjenčanja
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series -Extras1The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After,Živjeli su dugo i sretno
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series -Extras2The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown - Novella
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series -Extras3Lady Whistledown Strikes Back - Novella
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides1The Madness of Lord Ian MackenzieLudilo lorda Iana Mackenzieja
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides2Lady Isabella’s Scandalous MarriageSkandalozni brak lady Isabelle
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides3The Many Sins of Lord CameronBrojni grijesi lorda Camerona
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides4The Duke’s Perfect WifeSavršena žena vojvode od Kilmorgana
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides5A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides6The Seduction of Elliot McBride
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides7The Untamed Mackenzie (in print in The Scandalous Mackenzies)
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides8The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides9Scandal and the Duchess (in print in The Scandalous Mackenzies)
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides10Rules for a Proper Governess
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides11A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (in print in A Mackenzie Clan Christmas)
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides12The Stolen Mackenzie Bride
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides13Alec Mackenzie’s Art of Seduction
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides14The Devilish Lord Will
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides15A Rogue Meets a Scandalous Lady
Jennifer AshleyMackenzies & McBrides16A Mackenzie Yuletide (in print in A Mackenzie Clan Christmas)
Mary BaloghSurvivor's Club1The ProposalBračna ponuda
Mary BaloghSurvivor's Club1,5The Suitor—novella
Mary BaloghSurvivor's Club2The ArrangementDogovor
Mary BaloghSurvivor's Club3The Escape
Mary BaloghSurvivor's Club4Only Enchanting
Mary BaloghSurvivor's Club5Only A Promise
Mary BaloghSurvivor's Club6Only A Kiss
Mary BaloghSurvivor's Club7Only Beloved

As you can see - a lot of books from the series are missing.

Recommendation is that when you choose a series you stick to it to the end and read it in order.

Best to go straight through a series. It's easier to remember who is who and what the relationships are.

I think it would be good to stick to the stories I've vetted. Remember, there are quite a few books, even by the authors I have named, that I have NOT recommended because the themes are not what I would consider wholesome for our purposes here (Tempt the Devil being one of those). There's already a huge selection. And it doesn't hurt to finish one series by one author, and then read another series by another author, and then switch back. And since they are all on kindle, it's pretty cheap.

It's better and more satisfying to stick with a series.

Happy reading!
 

Dakota

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
@thorbiorn & @hlat, thank you for took your time to explain to me.

Recently I realized, even more, that when someone (not just anybody) suggest me something (not big things) I'm very obedient. To the point that I think that I must do that. Saying "no" makes me feel very uncomfortable. At my work if my boss said that certain things has to be done in certain way (even do later he realize something different is better) that's for me is law. I will do it every day in the same way as best as I can. Sometimes that's good thing since that shows my consistency (which I really like) but sometimes shows (for me) just a lack of my imagination and creativity. Or my cowardness to try something new and fail.

Since selection of next book to read it's not such a big thing please allow me to practice to say no to both of you;-D. Also, I have already read couple of pages of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie and I already liked it, which wasn't the case with The Perfect Waltz. First, because I really like Beth, she sound like a sensitive and tender woman but with some inner strength. Something that I like in women but also in my self. Ian is very interesting guy and in my RL I didn't get a chance (or I didn't want to give chance) to meat a lot interesting men. And it's weird (I like weird) situation that Ian approach Beth with revelation of Mather's true intention. So, I'm eager to find out how things will develop.

Another thing, my English is really poor but I know enough to feel atmosphere, to have some idea about surroundings and interaction between characters. IMO humble opinion, Jennifer Ashley author of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie already took me way of better in to the story than Anne Gracie with The Perfect Waltz.

Let the next journey begins...
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks marek760. The uptaded list below:

Anna CampbellSons of Sin
1​
Seven Nights in a Rogue's BedSiedem nocy z rozpustnikiem
Anna CampbellSons of Sin
2​
A Rake's Midnight KissPocałunek rozpustnika
Caroline LindenWagers of Sin
1​
My Once and Future DukeMój raz na zawsze książę
Eloisa JamesThe Wildes of Lindow Castle
1​
Wilde in LoveZakochani do szaleństwa
Eloisa JamesThe Wildes of Lindow Castle
2​
Too Wilde to WedZbyt szalony na męża
Eloisa JamesThe Wildes of Lindow Castle
3​
Born to be WildeSzalone pocałunki
Grace BurrowesTrue Gentlemen
1​
The Duke's DisasterPorażka księcia tom1, Porażka księcia tom2
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series
1​
The Duke and IMój książę
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series
2​
The Viscount Who Loved MeKtoś mnie pokochał
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series
3​
An Offer From A GentlemanPropozycja dżentelmena
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series
4​
Romancing Mr. BridgertonMiłosne tajemnice
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series
5​
To Sir Phillip, With LoveOświadczyny
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series
6​
When He Was WickedGrzesznik nawrócony
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series
7​
It’s In His KissMagia pocałunku
Julia QuinnBridgerton Series
8​
On The Way to the WeddingŚlubny skandal
Julia QuinnRokesby Series
1​
Because of Miss BridgertonWszystko o pannie Bridgerton, czyli jeden pocałunek
Julia QuinnSmythe-Smith Quartet
1​
Just Like HeavenJak w niebie
Julia QuinnSmythe-Smith Quartet
2​
A Night Like ThisTylko ta noc
Julia QuinnSmythe-Smith Quartet
3​
The Sum Of All KissesWszystkie nasze pocałunki
Julia QuinnSmythe-Smith Quartet
4​
The Secrets of Sir Richard KenworthySekrety małżeństwa
Mary BaloghBedwyn Prequel
1​
One night for loveNoc miłości
Mary BaloghBedwyn Prequel
2​
A Summer to RememberNiezapomniane lato
Mary BaloghDark Angel Series
1​
Dark Angel/Lord Carew's BrideMroczny anioł
Mary BaloghThe Ideal Wife/Stapleton-Downes
1​
The Ideal WifeIdealna żona
Mary BaloghFour Horsemen trilogy
1​
IndiscreetNiedyskrecje
Mary BaloghFour Horsemen trilogy
2​
UnforgivenNie do przebaczenia
Mary BaloghFour Horsemen trilogy
3​
IrresistableZauroczeni
Mary BaloghSignet Regency Romance
2​
Christmas BelleGwiazdka
Mary BaloghThe Heartless/Silent Melody duo
1​
HeartlessBez serca
Mary BaloghThe Heartless/Silent Melody duo
2​
Silent MelodyPieśń bez słów
Mary BaloghThe Huxtable Quintet
1​
First Comes MarriageNajpierw ślub
Mary BaloghThe Huxtable Quintet
2​
Then Comes SeductionPotem uwodzenie
Mary BaloghThe Huxtable Quintet
3​
At Last Comes LoveW końcu miłość
Mary BaloghThe Huxtable Quintet
4​
Seducing an AngelUwieść anioła
Mary Balogh
1​
The Secret PearlTajemnicza perła
I added Polish title column in Romance novel document and copied the polish name in the sheet. you can directly update the sheet.
If any body wants to add titles for other languages, you can add a column and put the titles in their language.
 

Mari

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Jennifer Ashley author of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie already took me way of better in to the story than Anne Gracie with The Perfect Waltz.

I haven´t read "The Perfect Waltz" (because Merridew is the last series in the list from Anne Gracie that I haven´t read, and I´m saving it :-D ) so I cannot say anything about the book.
But I can give you an example of my own, when I was reading Laura Kinsale "My Sweet Folly".
It was really hard.
The author writing didn´t sit with me. She used some strange sentence structures and gazillion new words/phrases that I didn´t understand.
The story itself was really interesting! The characters as well and I wanted to know what will happen to the poor guy and what´s the deal with the woman and it was a really good story, but the whole novel structure was simply put - weird.
But I made it to the end and learned about the big importance trust and how people wear their big fat masks to hide their feelings so they are not hurt.


Also:

my English is really poor but I know enough to feel atmosphere, to have some idea about surroundings and interaction between characters.

For those who do not have English as a first language, but DO manage to communicate pretty well, I would recommend reading the English versions if possible. If you read them on kindle, you have the advantage of the dictionary for any word you do not know. I rather suspect this approach will manifest a huge boost in English proficiency. PLUS, all the books are available in English, but not all of them are available in other languages.

One cannot compare reading this books in English with i.e. reading The Wave in English. And since there is no Croatian translation of all the Wave Books and you´ve managed to read that, then this will be a walk in the park.
;-)
 

KristinLynne

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Somewhere I saw the idea of listing the books one has read in a spreadsheet, or alternatively write them down. Like that it is easier to know when one after a year or two is about to read the same novel again.

When I downloaded Seek10's spreadsheet, I found that I could highlight the titles I have read and that makes it easier to keep up when I order new ones. Ebay has many books at a good deal since I don't have a kindle and get tired of staring at screens often.

I have just completed my first Mary Balogh series the Survivors Club and agree that she has a wonderful insight to the human condition that I haven't really encountered with other writers. Through those 7 books I could feel that a lot of characters had closed themselves off from living or emotions, usually the males and some of them had accepted their lot on life, usually the females of the series. That resonated with me a great deal and I have been aware of that for some time.

How each character worked through that even without really understanding how they did was what I found profound for lack of a better word. It took the right person and the desire to make that person feel cherished for them to open up and let go of the the things that had tormented them for years. The lessons for external considerations were many throughout each book and by doing so they opened up many possibilities that may have not been available to them before.

With my heart being closed off for so many years because of being afraid of hurting any more that I already have been, I can see that I didn't give LIFE a chance when I could have. It also highlight many mistakes I made, some that I was aware of and others I wasn't. While each book was and eye opener, the 6th one in the series with Imogen and Percy caused me to have dreams about them which was surprising because I had related to the others more in daylight.

There is so much to learn and practice when it comes to opening up and I thank each of you for the insights that have been posted!
 

genero81

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I find it incredulous that the men love these women so deeply. I feel like it is the most foreign thing to me. Intellectually I understand men as being capable of loving but my lived experience is not this.

That's interesting and I bet you're not the only one to feel that way. I too have thought that this world doesn't have too many real examples of what's depicted in these books. And what is that longing to be cherished as the other's true love? Whatever it is, it's powerful! And the lack of it in this world has created the need to portray it by women through these books. And the talent, the imagination, and creativity of these women who have done so I find astonishing! What would drive such an outpouring if not for some incredible yearning?

I sometimes almost feel bad for the forces trying to control humanity for their own purposes. Whatever they do to try and seal off our potential ends having the opposite effect. So now we have in our hands an incredible tool for processing our "karmic and simple understandings."
 

Korzik18

Jedi
FOTCM Member
One study came out a month ago where scientists showed how fiction affects the human brain. After reading this news, I immediately remembered the importance of reading romantic books.

The results of a study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience showed that people who associate themselves with fictional characters activate a part of the brain called the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vMPFC), which usually becomes most active when a person thinks about himself. This means that people who are keen on the heroes of the book evaluate and perceive them the same way as themselves.
I found another interesting study about the impact of reading. It's quite an old one from 2013. Scientists also tried to find biological traces of the effects of reading. Here's a quote:

Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain

Gregory S. Berns, Kristina Blaine, Michael J. Prietula, and Brandon E. Pye
We sought to determine whether reading a novel causes measurable changes in resting-state connectivity of the brain and how long these changes persist. Incorporating a within-subjects design, participants received resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans on 19 consecutive days.
First, baseline resting state data for a “washin” period were taken for each participant for 5 days. For the next 9 days, participants read 1/9th of a novel during the evening and resting-state data were taken the next morning. Finally, resting-state data for a “wash-out” period were taken for 5 days after the conclusion of the novel.
On the days after the reading, significant increases in connectivity were centered on hubs in the left angular/supramarginal gyri and right posterior temporal gyri. These hubs corresponded to regions previously associated with perspective taking and story comprehension, and the changes exhibited a timecourse that decayed rapidly after the completion of the novel. Long-term changes in connectivity, which persisted for several days after the reading, were observed in bilateral somatosensory cortex, suggesting a potential mechanism for “embodied semantics.”
What caught my attention the most. The neural changes were not just immediate reactions. Berns says, they persisted the morning after the readings, and for the five days after the participants completed the novel.
“It remains an open question how long these neural changes might last,” Berns says. “But the fact that we’re detecting them over a few days for a randomly assigned novel suggests that your favorite novels could certainly have a bigger and longer-lasting effect on the biology of your brain.
“Even though the participants were not actually reading the novel while they were in the scanner, they retained this heightened connectivity,” Berns says. “We call that a ‘shadow activity,’ almost like a muscle memory.”

Heightened connectivity was also seen in the central sulcus of the brain, the primary sensory motor region of the brain. Neurons of this region have been associated with making representations of sensation for the body, a phenomenon known as grounded cognition. Just thinking about running, for instance, can activate the neurons associated with the physical act of running.

“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,” Berns says. “We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”

A novel look at how stories may change the brain
I don't know how much of this research is true, but it is quite interesting. I'm reading a Romance books today📖
 

mrtn

Dagobah Resident
I don't know where I read this, possibly in this thread, but when you read, you tongue muscles move minimally with the words as if spoken (at least for some people that's the case, and it's the case for me). So I think some parts of you brain actually work in a mode of formulation/phrasing which is some kind of creative 'making' act, bringing something out, doing. Maybe that helps the psyche to connect to the stories/lives as if they are your own, like you 'made' them, and so maybe that facilitates an ego-perspective for the mind within the characters? I don't think that would be the case if listening or watching.
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Having decided to read the Bible in preparation for Laura's book, the romance novels are a great respite from all the smiting, death and destruction which Yahweh and his stiff-necked people wreck on all the other people in their foundation myth.
And eventually, you may find that reading the books of the Bible and the Romance novels will complement each other. In the early 19th century quite a number among the wealthy and the educated classes were familiar with the contents of the Bible. Some of the minor characters in the novels were parsons, some of the main protagonists had wanted to join the church, the families went regularly to church, at least if they stayed in the countryside, ladies often participated in church activities, they all married at a church just as the decisions and opinions of the church and its people weighed in on the choices made by some of the characters.

On a BBC online learning platform Bitesize for stage KS3 (11-14 years old) the page Religion in the 19th-century mentions:

The Protestant church of England was very powerful
  • The parson dominated the village. Until 1836 he received a tithe from villagers.
  • Social life for ordinary people revolved around choir and Sunday School outings.
  • Many employers insisted that their employees go to church.
  • Most people were members of the Anglican or Presbyterian Church, although there were some Catholics and increasing numbers of Non-conformists for example, Quakers and Methodists.
  • Until 1829, anybody holding public office had to make a public oath denying Catholic doctrines, which meant that Catholics could not be civil servants, Justices of the Peace or judges.
 

Obi

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Prompted by the recent C's session I started to read my first book from the supplied list.

I went with the Sins and Scoundrels Series Book 1 Duke of Depravity. I am 3 chapters in and I love it. It reads like a romance, but with a good dose of erotic vocabulary. Seems to be quite spicy for a romance novel, but I like the interactions of the main characters and their truthfully depicted reactions. Let's see how the story develops :-)
 
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