Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Je viens de terminer "Le Bel Eté de Lauren" de Mary Balogh
Encore une belle histoire que j'ai aimée, j'ai apprécié la façon dont les deux héros se mettent à la place de l'autre et des autres pour mieux les comprendre... Je vais faire davantage attention à écouter les propos des autres pour mieux appréhender ce qu'ils veulent vraiment dire et ce que cela exprime...
Je vais commencer le Tome 1 " l'Affront" de Lorraine HEATH

I just finished "Lauren's Beautiful Summer" by Mary Balogh
Another beautiful story that I liked, I appreciated the way the two heroes put themselves in each other's shoes and others to better understand them... I'm going to pay more attention to listening to what others say to better understand what they really mean and what it expresses...
I am going to start Volume 1 "The Affront" by Lorraine HEATH

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

zim

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
An update of my readings,

I´ve read Huxtable 1, 2,3,4, the more important thing I could read is the Importance of the family in this books, Brotherhood, the love between brothers and sisters, the support they give to each other, when the things are not so right, how they as a poor family without parents keep themselves together, loving each other and making the sacrifice for all the rest, not for themselves.
Vannesa took my attention cause she always felt so ugly compare with their family, but it doesn't make her fall apart and be sad, but to accept as she was and be happy all the time.
Meg with all the situation with Duncan, she trusts in someone despite that all the situation around were so bad, in accord of the social behavior rules, Katherine that was so affected by the rumors of her with Jasper and create a situation where she must to think first in how her family could be affected and also accept the situation and make it right, and finally Stephen that I wrote before I cried a lot with that book.
Each one of the books, make me think that those women have an extraordinary force inside of them, they were not like other ladies that behave in such ridiculous behavior, but they were as normal as I can think a woman is.
When I was a child one of the things I learned was that women must search for a good man to marry, someone like a prince, someone who treats you in the best way, and not only me but many women that I know learned the same thing, like a program insert in our minds, I don't know if it is wrong o right, or if this idea came from so long ago in the history that it is something that we have in our genes, what I do know is that a perfect man, like a prince, doesn't exist as there are no perfect women. We all have our issues and it's not possible to construct it faster and with no bases, it's impossible.
As the books, they decide to create love, to build a relationship which is not easy, but they wanted to do, they try, they become honest and have the honor to each other to support each other too.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
These books (I am reading Mary Balogh) put us in a space where we feel protected from what is happening in this covid situation. We feel with people that have a soul,
have ideas about what is respect, love, friendship and compassion. They are characters who have common sense in their heads. They are also not afraid of touch, of beauty, of simplicity. The small gestures of life are important: taking tea, walking in the parks, being alone and well in a room, on a bed.

They may have programs like us, that's for sure, but they live in accordance with what is right or wrong. They are also very close to nature, gardens, flowers and plants.

We read and enter a safe world, not because there is no danger but because there is no chaos. It is like a world that is protected. A vital space where we ourselves can reflect, think, travel within ourselves.
 

primeaddict

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Well, I read it a bit differently. They
had a "heavy past" together. He harbored a lot of resentment for her lack of forgiveness and the years they had "wasted", plus they both had prejudices about the other's alleged lovers, etc. So, it wasn't so simple as "testosterone", IMO. It wasn't "his" brutish sex (notice the reaction usually came after the act), but more like a manifestation of both their pent up traumas and misunderstandings, combined with a degree of "desperation" after having been separated for so long, and huge amount of stubborness on both sides. Had they been able to express their feelings and talk, things would have been different, but they couldn't at the time.




I don't think we can generalize so much, and say that it's the "testosterone beast", or "women" as a whole. Although, it seems obvious that the "soy boy" and "beta males" aren't most women's favorites (in general). That's not to say that women prefer full blown tyrants or "rakes", but there are many nuances to "assertiveness", and I don't think it's all down to one hormone (or a problem coming exclusively from men). One thing we can see in these books is that not two people are the same.

So, maybe read those parts with an eye for the underlying dynamics, not just the sex scenes in isolation, and I think it depicts quite well (in most instances) natural differences between men and women, albeit a bit stereotyped. The shape each relationship takes is different, but some of those scenes are representative of a desire for nurturing and caring, for protection, being understood and not judged (even for one's "human" desires, less than impeccable behavior, etc.) OSIT. Notice that a lot of the characters are high in neuroticism, so all the above can bring them to heal in many cases.

I thought book 2 of Elisa Braden's series Rescued from Ruin series (The Truth about Cads and Dukes) was very good at showing this. The amount of programming and guilt associated with desire is quite big for many people. Hardly anyone is taught to not go into extremes, and the result is usually less than optimal. OSIT.
Very good points and excellent analysis.

My observation of the testosterone beast comes from my own self analysis of brutish behavior. Had I checked the hormonal surge and toke a breather I would have behaved better. I bring this point up because it is a part of us that can control us unless we take the time to observe it. Sex hormones have a primitive function and was well established in the animal DNA before the development of the human let alone the divine mind. This is why it is so difficult to control and often is the cause of our troubles.

Your analysis is more focused on their emotional turmoils and I can see you are far better at understanding that aspect than me. I am impressed and thanks for such insight.
 

jess

Jedi
I have finished with the second novel in The Heartless/Silent Melody duo series, "Silent Melody" by Mary Balogh, before starting Julia Quinn.
I quite enjoyed the story; Emily's character and especially her strong sense of intuition to understand and know how to read the situations around her, despite her hearing impairment. I just felt that maybe I didn't find the author's words in the story, Emily's inner self when rejecting Ashley's proposal after their first intimate encounter, took me out of the story a little bit, I felt that something was lost in the continuity.
I was also very happy that Emily escaped her predator, running, unlike her sister in the previous book who was either totally oblivious or too naive of the predator's true danger.
Part of the work here is not only getting into the head of a character with whom you can identify to help sort out your own issues, but also to have an inside view of the thought processes of individuals who are very different from you so as to develop empathy.
A little bit on the other hand, and in what Laura comments about having an inside view of the thought processes of individuals who are very different from you, it makes me think of something that I feel a strong and total rejection for, is about psychopathy, and how in stories or novels, you find those villains, in different degrees. But which is vitally important to know, if at least as general knowledge and in real life not only in stories, they can save your life.
These stories have made me think a lot about courage, being brave and facing what you have to learn in life.

A slightly more superficial comment that shocks me is why within the dress etiquette men wore "powders" on their heads, it sounds quite bizarre. Attached is a video of the dressing up process, I think it's easier and more adorable to watch a woman dress up, but I was wondering about the guys,

I also found a slightly more realistic and sad video about victorian times, I think that today the advancement of science allows a better quality of health, too bad that as it is quite obvious in this thread the quality of human values was on the contrary in decline today.
Lead poisoning was a common killer in Victorian children. Dr Suzannah Lipscomb shows us just how serious they were and why no one had a clue what was happening.
 

Windmill knight

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Since the last time I wrote on this thread I've read Heartless, Silent Melody, The Stolen Princess and Gilded Web. This last one is probably my favorite so far. There are some great reflections about the nature of love, freedom and what is right and wrong in love, as well as characters with a complex psychology. Furthermore, it managed to move me deeper on a personal level. It's not just that the story is touching, but that certain stories have certain themes that somehow relate to us more personally because of our past experiences or some other reason - psychology, personality or past life, who knows. Perhaps it's related to the idea of releasing karma through these novels, as has been suggested. Gilded Web had some such themes for me (as well as preciously Tempting Harriet, thought that one, funny enough, I did like but not as much as others - in fact I kind of suffered through most of that one).

We are totally looking forward to the rest of the Web series, especially because there's a couple of characters there (James and Madeline) whose story is already developing and it's obviously going to be super-interesting to see how that's going to turn out. But first we must get through Web of Love, which we've already started. I do appreciate that this one includes some more direct references to the Napoleonic wars, because I do like my historical fiction when it's properly done. To reflect on how people lived, loved, survived and saw the world in the past is fascinating on its own right.
 

Redrock12

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
These books (I am reading Mary Balogh) put us in a space where we feel protected from what is happening in this covid situation. We feel with people that have a soul,
have ideas about what is respect, love, friendship and compassion. They are characters who have common sense in their heads. They are also not afraid of touch, of beauty, of simplicity. The small gestures of life are important: taking tea, walking in the parks, being alone and well in a room, on a bed.

They may have programs like us, that's for sure, but they live in accordance with what is right or wrong. They are also very close to nature, gardens, flowers and plants.

We read and enter a safe world, not because there is no danger but because there is no chaos. It is like a world that is protected. A vital space where we ourselves can reflect, think, travel within ourselves.
This has gotta be one of the best, if not the best, description of MB's Regency Romance world. A soothing balm of sanity in a contemporary world gone mad.
Way to go Loreta!
 
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PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Je viens de terminer " L'Affront " Tome1 de la série " Les Amants de Londres " de Lorraine Heath
Une histoire qui vous tient en haleine, quelques larmes aussi...
Je commencerai le tome 2 " Le Pardon " du même auteur demain matin...

I have just finished " The Affront " Volume 1 of the series " The London Lovers " by Lorraine Heath
A story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, some tears too...
I will start volume 2 " The Pardon " by the same author tomorrow morning...
 

Lan8r

Jedi Master
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.
A Wonderful metaphor, indeed!

I am not sure if reading these romance novels is growing being in me, one can only hope. But, I can say that being 'in them' has affected me. Maybe even infected me. I cannot stop reading, or listening to audio books for my bedtime stories. I have even thought to do an internet search for a Regency Romance Readers Anonymous group, it's that bad!

I've always thought of these stories, even as I read some similar in my younger years, as the tales of the Tall, Dark, Handsome Knight in Shining armor, who saves the damsel in distress. Those never existed in my day. Nor did the Damsels in distress. We were "Women, Hear us Roar".

I suffered after a terribly misguided marriage, thinking that I lacked as a wife. That I lacked in a way that these courageous women, who I now see when reading these books, who maybe I did see, but was too focused on the Knight, brought out from the hidden depths of their husbands the 'knowledge' into 'being'. Never the less, I failed in inspiring my husband to be the best he could be. You know, the 'you bring out the best in me' thing.

Well, there is much more that these books have brought to me. I've cried, and laughed and have gone to places inside myself that I've yet to fathom and come to terms with. Sometimes I even think how grand it would be to be in those times, until the lack of indoor plumbing and hours long carriage rides (I'd rather be astride a horse, scandalously in breeches!) dawns on me. I have no groom, no ladies' maid, no footman. Dang it, I have too cook and bathe my dog and clean my house!! I have to stop reading now...

But, I'm loving every minute of this. Every introspection, every realization. And I really like your metaphor. Sir Knowledge and Lady Being. The Masculine and the Feminine becoming aware of each other. Waltzing together....
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Well, just so y'all know we won't soon run out of reading material (though I do think I'm getting to the end of vetting and there is a LOT of trash that will not pass muster), there is another series.

Mary Lancaster is the author and the series is: "The Unmarriageable" :

The Deserted Heart
The Sinister Heart
The Vulgar Heart
The Broken Heart
 

Andrian

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I just finished reading Just wicked enough, the second and the last book from Rogues and Roses series by Lorraine Heath.

The novel touched me deeply, not only the relationship dynamics between the main characters but also their relationships with their families, especially with their mothers who played a great role in shaping their life experiences. While reading the story one is able to dwell very deep inside the characters lives and observe a lot of valuable knowledge about us as human beings, about our actions and their consequences on others and on ourselves as well.

Also while reading i was wondering, a rather wild thought, who knows maybe such mental illnesses such as Alzheimer's in some cases is "the price" a struggling soul has to pay when by his own actions acts against his own true nature thus causing pain and suffering to people he cares and loves a lot and to himself as well.

Like at some level one realizes the pain he caused to people he loves the most by his actions and consequently the remorse, the sense of guilt, regret, self-pity and other strong emotions act as poison to the mind eating alive one's memories, good and bad as well. Since said emotions if one allows oneself to wallow into them instead of taking action in favor of his own true nature sooner than later will invite in one's life an ever increasing manifestation of the entropy in every way possible including the ailing of the body. Just a few thoughts.

Tomorrow I'm planning to start reading the Merridew sisters series by Anne Gracie.
 

Pat

Padawan Learner
I just finished reading Just wicked enough, the second and the last book from Rogues and Roses series by Lorraine Heath.

The novel touched me deeply, not only the relationship dynamics between the main characters but also their relationships with their families, especially with their mothers who played a great role in shaping their life experiences. While reading the story one is able to dwell very deep inside the characters lives and observe a lot of valuable knowledge about us as human beings, about our actions and their consequences on others and on ourselves as well.

Also while reading i was wondering, a rather wild thought, who knows maybe such mental illnesses such as Alzheimer's in some cases is "the price" a struggling soul has to pay when by his own actions acts against his own true nature thus causing pain and suffering to people he cares and loves a lot and to himself as well.

Like at some level one realizes the pain he caused to people he loves the most by his actions and consequently the remorse, the sense of guilt, regret, self-pity and other strong emotions act as poison to the mind eating alive one's memories, good and bad as well. Since said emotions if one allows oneself to wallow into them instead of taking action in favor of his own true nature sooner than later will invite in one's life an ever increasing manifestation of the entropy in every way possible including the ailing of the body. Just a few thoughts.


Tomorrow I'm planning to start reading the Merridew sisters series by Anne Gracie.
Very interesting thoughts, I believe that might be true. 🤔
 

Ageeva

Jedi
I've just finished four books in the Mackenzie series by Jennifer Ashley and I've just started on book no. 5. My reading is a bit slow since I went back to the project a month ago, so I'm managing about one book a week. I understand better why it's a good idea to read the whole series, even with half of the series read you get a better insight into the events, traumas and emotions which influence the behaviour and internal dialogues of the main characters, the MacKenzie brothers. And the remarkable women, also wounded, who helped the brothers to overcome their traumatic childhood at the hands of a tyrant. To this point in reading the series I've been emotionally moved by the special relationship between two of the brothers in particular, Ian and Hart, and the bond between them.
Hart has so much responsibility for his brothers from a young age, but he looked after Ian more than anyone. He struggles to understand Ian's inner mind and his behaviour but following a shocking event which almost costs him his life he has time to understand he no longer needs to be in control of everything and can let go. It's quite a reversal by the end of book 4 that it is the most vulnerable of the Mackenzies, Ian, who saves Hart in several ways. Not just physically but also guiding him to the key action that Hart must take to fully give himself to Eleanor, that is, 'Tell her everything'. I was definitely struck by those three words and how much it took for Hart to come to a state of mind for that level of honesty and vulnerability. Ian is a very intriguing character, the one that supposedly struggles to fit into society is the one who better understands with his logical mind what humans need to do to get along in that same society. A man who only speaks when it is necessary, acts decisively when it's necessary and willing to sacrifice himself out of love for the one brother who did more than most to protect him.
I've also got a better understanding of the physical intimacy in the novels, that is the role sex plays in healing the mind of psychological and physical traumas, this is particularly true of Ian and Cameron, one who couldn't stand physical touch and the other who couldn't share a bed. In the end they were able to let go and trust because of the love of Beth and Ainsley. It's these moments of intimacy which resonate the most with me, the point where a physical act of possession becomes making love beyond the physical.
I'll keep reading this series and hopefully start with Mary Balogh before too long. :-)
 
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