Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The dynamic in Christmas Beau, on the other hand, seemed to me to be flawed. It's interesting that some of you sympathized with the marquess (Max). I couldn't...
I agree there is a stark contrast, it took me a fair bit of emotional imagination to put myself into the darkness, even if it is hinted at through the fortune teller on the ice:
"I see much darkness in your life," the fortune-teller told him a few moments later. "And a great deal of light too. A great deal of light. But the darkness threatens it."
Lord Denbigh had never been to a fortune-teller before. He supposed that there were a few fortunes to be told and that each listener could be relied upon to twist the words to suit his own case. One merely had to be clever with vague generalities. He was amused.
"Ah," the fortune-teller said, "but Christmas may save you if you keep in mind that it is a time of peace and goodwill. I see a great battle raging in your soul between light and darkness. But the joy of Christmas will help the light to banish the darkness-if you do not fight too strongly against it."
Recalled later:
He frowned, something fluttering at the edge of his memory. And then he remembered the fortune-teller out on the ice of the River Thames. He remembered her telling him that there was darkness in him as well as a great deal of light and that Christmas might save him from being swamped by the darkness. He shrugged. He had never given heed to such nonsense. But he remembered that afternoon with some pleasure.
... And there. He had done it. He had ruined his afternoon, brought darkness into it.
There was a sudden and unexpected ache in Lord Denbigh's heart. And a reminder of something that had eluded his conscious mind for the moment. So much darknesss. And so much light. Especially at Christmas. Light to dispel the darkness. A single candle to put the darkness to flight. A Christmas candle. Unless the darkness fought against it too stubbornly and snuffed it forever.
And closer to the end of the book:
A Christmas candle. All that was left of Christmas. A single frail light in a dark room. He could snuff it with one movement of his fingers. And then there would be total darkness. No Christmas left at all. Nothing left at all.
This battle of darkness and light exemplified in this story was what made me think of the idea of an angel on each shoulder, one of darkness and one of light. It also made me think of connections to higher realms some of STS and some of STO. One other thought was the English idiom "Charity begins at home".
His home had been lonely, and he had shown charity to children in need. So while the contrast between his outward charity and his inner scheming for revenge against Judith may appear almost outrageously ridiculous, the blinds he has at the time of meeting Judith took some time to become transparent, it took time for him to integrate her into his heart, his home, his charity and embrace her genuinely, just as she also had to be sufficiently open to allow that to happen.
Even if it is a Christmas story, the element of charity has value for the whole year and for many circumstances in life. Several of my reflections on past action relate to charity. What is right, what is wrong, what is truly helpful?

While writing I recalled there was something about the virtues of faith, hope and charity. The Wiki has:
Saints Faith, Hope and Charity (Latin: Fides, Spes et Caritas), are a group of Christian martyred saints, venerated together with their mother, Sophia ("Wisdom").
But there was also:
Theological virtues are virtues associated in Christian theology and philosophy with salvation resulting from the grace of God.[1] Virtues are traits or qualities which dispose one to conduct oneself in a morally good manner. Traditionally they have been named Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love), and can trace their importance in Christian theology to Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 13, who also pointed out that “the greatest of these is love.”
In this story, it appears Charity connects to Love very nicely.


Jedi Master
I have managed to complete the Mackenzies and McBrides series by Jennifer Ashley. Wow what a ride! I did notably stall on book 6 (The Seduction of Elliott McBride) thinking 'oh no, all of this is too much' - perhaps processing something? (i dunno). But coming back to the reading experiment after a few weeks off, I managed to pick up and resume.

All in all a wonderful series. I loved the Mackenzies in particular as I loved getting into the characters and understanding their thought processes. Such a delight! Right off to look for another series 📚


FOTCM Member
While reading 'Web of love', with Lord Eden and Ellen and the battle at Waterloo, I looked up the battle to get a mental picture of what was going on in the novel. In the process I encountered some of the leaders of the armies mentioned and how fate played a big role in their careers. One was Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), about whom his mother worried as he had difficulty finding his path in life:

Until his early twenties, Arthur showed little sign of distinction and his mother grew increasingly concerned at his idleness, stating, "I don't know what I shall do with my awkward son Arthur."[17]

A year later, Arthur enrolled in the French Royal Academy of Equitation in Angers, where he progressed significantly, becoming a good horseman and learning French, which later proved very useful.[18] Upon returning to England in late 1786, he astonished his mother with his improvement.

Duke Wellington (Painted after the battle of Waterloo)

Yet he found his path:
Wellington is famous for his adaptive defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against numerically superior forces while minimising his own losses. He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, and many of his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world.
This thing of being concerned about minimising losses, might have to do with him valuing his men, in which case the following is not surprising:
After the victory, the Duke supported proposals that a medal be awarded to all British soldiers who participated in the Waterloo campaign, and on 28 June 1815 he wrote to the Duke of York suggesting:

... the expediency of giving to the non-commissioned officers and soldiers engaged in the Battle of Waterloo a medal. I am convinced it would have the best effect in the army, and if the battle should settle our concerns, they will well deserve it.

The Waterloo Medal was duly authorised and distributed to all ranks in 1816.[164]

Another character also mentioned in the romance novel is Blücher (1742-1819) or rather Blücher's army, who Eden in the novel along with the rest of the Wellington army was waiting for to create a second front.

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher​

Nicknames: Marschall Vorwärts (Marshal Forwards)
It is mentioned in the novel that Blücher got injured. Wiki has more about this:
At the outset of the Waterloo Campaign of 1815, the Prussians sustained a serious defeat at Ligny (16 June), in the course of which the old field marshal lay trapped under his dead horse for several hours and was repeatedly ridden over by cavalry, his life saved only by the devotion of his aide-de-camp Count Nostitz, who threw a greatcoat over his commander to obscure Blücher's rank and identity from the passing French. As Blücher was unable to resume command for some hours, Gneisenau took command, drew off the defeated army, and rallied it.[3] In spite of Gneisenau's distrust of Wellington, he obeyed Blücher's last orders to direct the army's retreat towards Wavre, rather than Liège, to keep alive the possibility of joining the Prussian and Wellington's Anglo-allied armies together.[15]
Blücher was at this stage close to 73 years old and despite the above ordeal, the next day he was ready again:
After bathing his wounds in a liniment of rhubarb and garlic, and fortified by a liberal internal dose of schnapps, Blücher rejoined his army. Gneisenau feared that the British had reneged on their earlier agreements and favored a withdrawal, but Blücher convinced him to send two corps to join Wellington at Waterloo.[16][17] He then led his army on a tortuous march along muddy paths, arriving on the field of Waterloo in the late afternoon. In spite of his age, the pain of his wounds, and the effort it must have taken for him to remain on horseback, Bernard Cornwell states that several soldiers attested to Blücher's high spirits and his determination to defeat Napoleon:

"Forwards!" he was quoted as saying. "I hear you say it's impossible, but it has to be done! I have given my promise to Wellington, and you surely don't want me to break it? Push yourselves, my children, and we'll have victory!" It is impossible not to like Blücher. He was 74 years (sic) old,[18] still in pain and discomfort from his adventures at Ligny, still stinking of schnapps and of rhubarb liniment, yet he is all enthusiasm and energy. If Napoleon's demeanour that day was one of sullen disdain for an enemy he underestimated, and Wellington's a cold, calculating calmness that hid concern, then Blücher is all passion.[19]
With the battle hanging in the balance, Blücher's army intervened with decisive and crushing effect, his vanguard drawing off Napoleon's badly needed reserves, and his main body being instrumental in crushing French resistance. This victory led the way to a decisive victory through the relentless pursuit of the French by the Prussians. The two Coalition armies entered Paris on 7 July.[3]
Like Duke Wellington, Blücher also appears to have been very charismatic and liked by the troops (and you are only really liked by your troops if you care for them):
More generally, Blücher was a courageous and popular general who "had much to be proud of: energy, controlled aggression and a commitment to defeating the enemy army." [23]
No doubt, Wellington and Blücher would have become role models for a number of men at the time.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A minor note, but since I suffer from a slight fascination with the archaic words that pop up, I learned that A Dictionary of English Language from 1755 by Samuel Johnson apparently remained the most prestigious until the completion of the Oxford Dictionary 173 years later. This means that an author of a Regency romance novel might resort to Johnson's Dictionary in search of words with which to decorate their writing, whereas a reader may do a similar exercise, but with a view to understanding what is written. For online versions check out Dr Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language – Index which has a link to Johnson's Dictionary Online This last book also has a random function. Of course not words all was contained in this learned dictionary. Someone wrote a blog post about Regency-era slang but with only a few words, just like this Regency Era Lexicon – Crossing Our “T’s” even if it added an understanding to the word tenants:
tenants – prosperous farmers who rent land; not necessarily the poor
Finally, Regency Slang - Elegance of History has a link to the 1811 Dictionary in the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose. A brief look at some of the words reveals much about the social conditions.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Je viens de terminer "Le Captif" de Grace Burrowes qui m'a captivée...
J'ai toujours du mal à quitter les héros des romans et à entrer dans le suivant...
Y aurait il une similitude avec le fait de quitter une incarnation dans la vie réelle et de se réincarner dans la vie suivante ?...
Je viens de commencer "Le Bel Eté de Lauren" de Mary Balogh.

I just finished "The Captive" by Grace Burrowes which captivated me...
I always have trouble leaving the heroes of novels and entering the next one...
Is there a similarity with leaving one incarnation in real life and being reincarnated in the next?
I just started "Lauren's Beautiful Summer" by Mary Balogh.


FOTCM Member
An interesting book to add to the list: "The Sins of Lord Easterbrook" by Madeline Hunter.

The hero of this story is a powerful empath - to the point that he has had to learn to meditate to control the stress and anxiety that he experiences as a result of being bombarded by other people's feelings. It's an interesting plot device and is instrumental in a lot of plot developments. There is murder and mayhem in the background, opium smuggling, and high drama. The best part is that the book is very well written and I only noticed one misuse of a word: "infer" when it should have been "imply."

Madeline Hunter also has a trilogy that is quite good and, again, there is crime detection and a variety of dangerous plots across this three book series. The main crime that the first book begins with is not solved until the third book and everything in the three books moves in that direction to one extent or another, so best to read the three in order. They are: "His Wicked Reputation", "Tall, Dark and Wicked," and "The Wicked Duke". And, again, very well written and will probably be liked by all who are looking for a bit of action in the stories.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member


FOTCM Member
The books were are added to the list.

Note: I only added one book of Rothwell Brothers. If the expectation is to add all the 4 books in the series, please let me know.

Well, I haven't read the other Rothwell Brothers books but I'm guessing it is safe to add them. The first was just excellent. (Even if it was apparently the 4th in the series.)


Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Laura said:
It might be helpful for some to re-read chapter 12 of Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous" on this topic, especially the second half of that chapter. The whole chapter, though, is revelatory; a lot to think about.

Here is just a small excerpt for those who don't have the book at hand, but like Laura said, try to read the whole chapter!

"There are," he said, "two lines along which man's development proceeds, the line of
and the line of being. In right evolution the line of knowledge and the line
of being develop simultaneously, parallel to, and helping one another. But if the line of
knowledge gets too far ahead of the line of being, or if the line of being gets ahead of
the line of knowledge, man's development goes wrong
, and sooner or later it must
come to a standstill.

"People understand what 'knowledge' means. And they understand the possibility of
different levels of knowledge. They understand that knowledge may be lesser or
greater, that is to say, of one quality or of another quality. But they do not understand
this in relation to 'being.' 'Being,' for them, means simply 'existence' to which is
opposed just 'non-existence.' They do not understand that being or existence may be of
very different levels and categories.


And they do not understand that knowledge depends on being.
Not only do they not understand this latter but they
definitely do not wish to understand it. And especially in Western culture it is
considered that a man may possess great knowledge, for example he may be an able
scientist, make discoveries, advance science, and at the same time he may be, and has
the right to be, a petty, egoistic, caviling, mean, envious, vain, naive, and absent
minded man. It seems to be considered here that a professor must always forget his
umbrella everywhere.

"And yet it is his being. And people think that his knowledge does not depend on
his being. People of Western culture put great value on the level of a man's knowledge
but they do not value the level of a man's being and are not ashamed of the low level
of their own being. They do not even understand what it means. And they do not
understand that a man's knowledge depends on the level of his being.

"If knowledge gets far ahead of being, it becomes theoretical and abstract and
inapplicable to life, or actually harmful, because instead of serving life and helping
people the better to struggle with the difficulties they meet, it begins to complicate
man's life, brings new difficulties into it, new troubles and calamities which were not
there before.

"The reason for this is that knowledge which is not in accordance with being cannot
be large enough for, or sufficiently suited to, man's real needs. It will always be a
knowledge of one thing together with ignorance of another thing; a knowledge of the
detail without a knowledge of the whole
; a knowledge of the form without a
knowledge of the essence.

"Such preponderance of knowledge over being is observed in present-day culture.
The idea of the value and importance of the level of being is completely forgotten.
And it is forgotten that the level of knowledge is determined by the level of being.
Actually at a given level of being the possibilities of knowledge are limited and finite.
Within the limits of a given being the quality of knowledge cannot be changed, and
the accumulation of information of one and the same nature, within already
known limits, alone is possible. A change in the nature of knowledge is possible only
with a change in the nature of being.

"Taken in itself, a man's being has many different sides. The most characteristic
feature of a modem man is the absence of unity in him and, further, the absence in him
of even traces of those properties which he most likes to ascribe to himself, that is,
'lucid consciousness,' 'free will,' a 'permanent ego or I,' and the 'ability to do.' It may
surprise you if I say that the chief feature of a modem man's being which explains
everything else that is lacking in him is sleep.

"A modern man lives in sleep, in sleep he is born and in sleep he dies. About sleep,
its significance and its role in life, we will speak later. But at present just think of one
thing, what knowledge can a sleeping man have? And if you think about it and at the
same time remember that sleep is the chief feature of our being, it will at once become
clear to you that if a man really wants knowledge, he must first of all think about how
to wake, that is, about how to change his being.

"Exteriorly man's being has many different sides: activity or passivity;
truthfulness or a tendency to lie; sincerity or insincerity; courage, cowardice; self
control, profligacy; irritability, egoism, readiness for self-sacrifice, pride, vanity,
conceit, industry, laziness, morality, depravity; all these and much more besides make
up the being of man.

"But all this is entirely mechanical in man. If he lies it means that he cannot help
lying. If he tells the truth it means that he cannot help telling the truth, and so it is
with everything. Everything happens, a man can do nothing either in himself or
outside himself.

"But of course there are limits and bounds. Generally speaking, the being of a
modem man is of very inferior quality. But it can be of such bad quality that no
change is possible. This must always be remembered. People whose being can still be
changed are very lucky. But there are people who are definitely diseased, broken
machines with whom nothing can be done. And such people are in the majority.
you think of this you will understand why only few can receive real knowledge. Their
being prevents it.

"Generally speaking, the balance between knowledge and being is even more
important than a separate development of either one or the other. And a separate
development of knowledge or of being is not desirable in any way. Although it is
precisely this one-sided development that often seems particularly attractive to

"If knowledge outweighs being a man knows but has no power to do. It is useless
knowledge. On the other hand if being outweighs knowledge a man has the power to
do, but does not know, that is, he can do something but does not know what to do.

The being he has acquired becomes aimless and efforts made to attain it prove to be


"In order to understand this and, in general, the nature of knowledge and the nature
of being, as well as their interrelation, it is necessary to understand the relation of
knowledge and being to 'understanding.'

"Knowledge is one thing, understanding is another thing.

"People often confuse these concepts and do not clearly grasp what is the difference
between them.

"Knowledge by itself does not give understanding. Nor is understanding increased
by an increase of knowledge alone. Understanding depends upon the relation of
knowledge to being. Understanding is the resultant of knowledge and being. And
knowledge and being must not diverge too far, otherwise understanding will prove to
be far removed from either. At the same time the relation of knowledge to being does
not change with a mere growth of knowledge. It changes only when being grows
simultaneously with knowledge. In other words, understanding grows only with the
growth of being.

"In ordinary thinking, people do not distinguish understanding from knowledge.
They think that greater understanding depends on greater knowledge. Therefore they
accumulate knowledge, or that which they call knowledge, but they do not know how
to accumulate understanding and do not bother about it.

"And yet a person accustomed to self-observation knows for certain that at different
periods of his life he has understood one and the same idea, one and the same thought,
in totally different ways. It often seems strange to him that he could have understood
so wrongly that which, in his opinion, he now understands rightly. And he realizes, at
the same time, that his knowledge has not changed, and that he knew as much about the given
subject before as he knows now. What, then, has changed? His being has changed.
And once being has changed understanding must change also.

One thing I've noticed about myself is that abstract esoteric discussions (like the above ISOTM excerpt on Being) often leave me wondering about the practical application of these kinda discourses. In past days I'd just kinda hang out in the abstract wonderment state, but to paraphrase the C's, Knowledge ain't nothin' if not applied. The application of Knowledge seems indispensable to developing Being.

It's suggested that Understanding signifies the 'right relationship' between Knowledge and Being. So how does application fit in here? Application (or doing) would be the process of experimentation, failure, effort and learning that leads to Understanding.

So application, to make use of a Regency metaphor, is like the 'courtship' that leads to the 'right relationship'. I picture Sir Knowledge and Lady Being, who were once quite distant aspects of our interiority, suddenly are aware of each other's existence. There is an attraction. They can't stop thinking about each other. Before you know it, they're waltzing together, going to Gunter's for ices, etc., and eventually, through trial and tribulation, harmonize into a miraculous marriage, no doubt at St. George's in Hanover Square with half the ton in attendance.

Okay, fun metaphor, but a question remained for me. It's clear enough to me that reading these romance novels is one way of growing in Being. One read through this thread and that's clear enough. But the question is this - just like it's important to know the specifics of what's going on in the body when taking iodine, for instance, I also thought it would be important to see if I can find out the specifics of what's going on in the self when reading romance novels.

So the question would be, what are the Soul mechanics leading to the growth of Being in reading these romance novels? Obviously a huge question, with many pieces to the answer - and some gems of insight have already been shared so far. To add to the growing pile, I watched a Jordan Petersen video yesterday (starting at 15:55), quoted at length below. It may be familiar stuff to many of you, but I thought to post it, because even if you've already seen it, it may be seen in a new light under the influence of this romance novel exercise. To my eye, he is describing both the psychological process of the characters in these novels, as well as the psychological process of us as readers.

There’s this old idea that you have to rescue your father from the belly of the whale, right? From some monster that’s deep in the abyss. You see that in Pinocchio, for example, but it’s a very common idea. And I figured out why that is, I think, so imagine that we already know from a clinical perspective that if you set out a path towards a goal, which you want to do because you need a goal and you need a path because that provides you with positive emotion, right? So you set up something as valuable, so that implies a hierarchy.

You set up something as valuable. You decide that you’re going to do that instead of other things. So that’s kind of a sacrifice, because you’re sacrificing everything else to pursue that. And then you experience a fair bit of positive emotion and meaning as you watch yourself move towards the goal.

And so the implication of that is that the better the goal, the more full and rich your experience is going to be when you pursue it, so that’s one of the reasons for developing a vision and for fleshing yourself out philosophically, because you want to aim at the highest goal that you can manage. Okay, so you do that.

Then what you’ll find is that as you move towards the goal, there are certain things that you have to accomplish that frighten you. Maybe you have to learn to be a better speaker, a better writer, a better thinker. You have to better to people around you, you have to learn some new skills and you’re afraid of that, whatever. Because it’s going to stretch you if you pursue a goal. And so that’ll put you up against challenges.

Okay, so all the clinical data indicates the opposite of safe spaces as Jonathan Haidt has been pointing out that what you want to do when you identify something that someone is avoiding that they need to do, because they’re afraid, you have them voluntarily confronted, and so you break it down. What you try to do, if you’re a behaviour therapist, is you break down the thing they’re avoiding into smaller and smaller pieces until you find a piece that’s small enough so they’ll do it. And it doesn’t really matter, so long as they start it, and they can put the next piece on, and the next piece.

What happens is that they don’t get less afraid exactly, they get braver. It’s like there’s more of them. And then here’s why. So imagine you do something new, and that’s informative, right? There’s information in the action. And then you can incorporate that information and turn it into a skill and turn it into a transformation of your perceptions. So there’s more to you because you’ve tried something new. So that’s one thing.

But the second thing is, and there’s good biological evidence for this now, if you put yourself in a new situation, then new genes code for new proteins and build new neural structures and new nervous system structures. Same thing happens to some degree when you work out, right? Because your muscles are responding to the load, but your nervous system does that, too. So you imagine that there’s a lot of potential YOU locked in your genetic code. And then if you put yourself in a new situation, then the stress, that’s the situational stress that’s produced by that particular situation unlocks those genes and then builds new parts of you.

And so that’s very cool because who knows how much there is locked inside of you. Okay, so now here’s the idea. So let’s assume that that scales as you take on heavier and heavier loads, that more and more of you – you get more and more informed because you’re doing more and more difficult things, but more and more of you gets unlocked. And so then, what would imply is that if you got to the point where you could look at the darkest thing, so that would be the abyss, right? That would be the deepest abyss. If you could look at the harshest things like the like the most brutal parts of the suffering of the world and the malevolence of people in society, if you could look at that straight and directly that that would turn you on maximally.

And so that’s the idea of rescuing your father, because imagine that you’re the potential composite of all the ancestral wisdom that’s locked inside of you biologically, but that’s not going to come out at all unless you stress yourself, unless you challenge yourself. And the bigger the challenge you take on, the more that’s going to turn on. And so that as you take on a broader and broader range of challenges, and you push yourself harder, then more and more of what you could BE turns on. And that’s equivalent to transforming yourself into the ancestral father, because you’re like the consequence of all these living beings that have come before you, and that’s all part of your biological potentiality.

And then if you can push yourself, then all of that clicks on and that turns you into who you could BE.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
How lovely. Balogh gives a sweet example of this is her introduction to the novella 'Someone to Remember' which comes between the sixth and seventh instalment of the 'Someone' series. Throughout most of the books Lady Matilda was not exactly a stock figure of the fussy maiden aunt, but certainly in the background of the goings on. Then one day, Lady Matilda made it clear she had her own story to be told and Balogh obliged. It was lovely, and in perfect accord with everything that had come before. One of my favourites!
I have SOR from the public library but waiting on book six. Snuck a look at it. Read the intro. God but it would be tempting just to dive right in. But nope, gotta play by the rules.


Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Testosterone demon? Angel or demon, does not much depend on how energy is put to use? If I added up the risks of diseases, the possibility of messing up the life of a woman which in the case of pregnancy would carry the greater burden in a very literal way, the risks of becoming messed up myself due to a wrong association with the wrong partner, the problems posed by traditional moral injunctions in general along with the risks of passing on a fraction of the suffering I soon realized human life was, then the temptations seemed less tempting. So while the expression "testosterone demon" is a nicely coined expression, I suspect it also contains the risk if applied too generally of simplifying some issues, including the plots of the romance novels and thus suppress what might otherwise deserve an open and nuanced approach.
The testosterone demon was the cause of many troubles throughout my sexual behavior. I recognized this fact when my daughters were in their late teens/early 20's and saw how their hormones were cause so much drama. Seeing how they were suffering caused me to reflect on my hormonal driven behavior. From that perspective I was able to see that against my better judgement the testosterone demon had played me for the fool. At which I had discussed this revelation with my daughters saying that "all my troubles were caused by testosterone!" It toke them a few minutes before they rolled their eyes and said "Oh dad!" :-D:cool2:

These stories have only increased my internal observation that we males have to wrestle against our hormones and maintain a clear head when relating to women. If our hormones are subjugated by our objective intellect then we will see and hear more clearly and avoid stupid hormonal behavior. When I read the internal dialog of rakes/rouges I recall how I too had such cringe worthy thoughts. My observations about this aspect of these stories are about the internal struggles that the male character goes through not about how they behave. The rakes/rouges do slowly pull themselves out of the hormonal storm. I do know that the stories are about the transformations of lesser man into the greater man by the help of a loving struggle with a women.

My observations about the testosterone demon in these stories has helped me to see deeper into my past. It helped with the personal struggle against it and to understand what I have to do to balance that karma. Still striving towards the greater man.

Thanks Torbion for your insight.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I finished the last of the Merridew series the other week. I think after some time, The Perfect Stranger was in fact the best. At least it stuck with me after some time. It seemed like it could have been a fantasy novel in any time period. The part that really got me emotionally while I was doing dishes or making some distilled water was when Nicholas looked at the old lady and thought it could have been himself that was in the grave. I felt like I was punched in the gut and could have cried right there, but it was bad timing. I suppose it was processed later in dreams or EE.

I have a hard time relating to the females, and they seem sort of formulaic. But Estrellita was a memorable character, and quite a firecracker! MacTavish (sp?) was also an interesting character. And I like when the characters play music, because it makes me want to play my guitar. :headbanger:The last book, The Perfect Kiss, was just ok and seemed a lot about estate management.

I started the series London's Greatest Lovers by Lorraine Heath and am almost done the first audiobook. The narrator's voice took some getting used to, since the Merridew narrator I thought did a great job and I had gotten used to her voice. The main character in Passions of a Wicked Earl is quite stubborn and easily angered. But I'm near the end so the resolution and happy ending are soon to come.


Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I have SOR from the public library but waiting on book six. Snuck a look at it. Read the intro. God but it would be tempting just to dive right in. But nope, gotta play by the rules.
I feel the same way after every MacKenzie book. ;-)I am very interested in the Mary Balogh books because of all your comments. But I'm hanging in there and will get through the last 3.5 books.:cool2::lol:


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Pour les livres de Madeline Hunter j'ai trouvé en Français la série "Les Séducteurs"
Tome 1 Le maitre de la séduction,
Tome 2 "Le pire des adversaires"
et Tome 3 "Une si jolie Fleur
The Sins of Lord Easterbrook n'existerait pas en Français...

For Madeline Hunter's books I found in French the series "Les Séducteurs" (The Seducers)
Volume 1 The master of seduction,
Volume 2 "The worst of the adversaries"
and Tome 3 "Une si jolie Fleur
The Sins of Lord Easterbrook would not exist in French...
Top Bottom