Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Mari

Jedi Council Member
But nonetheless - enjoy!
wooow I really enjoyed your music!!! This is beautiful!!!! 😍
Thank you for sharing!!!


As for reading, I‘m still on the first book of Bedwyn series; my reading slowed down now that I‘m on vacation and enjoying the sea with my kids; Balogh is fabulous and can’t wait to see what is the issue with this family and how will it develop further.
 

Mililea

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I do have friends that are very feminine but also talented and powerful athletes. For them expressing femininity was natural. Mililea, the impression I have of you is more in line with this. Strong and dynamic but also beautiful and feminine when you choose. (Please let me know if you feel it’s inappropriate to write that.)
I almost blush a little when I read that... :-[ I think the "when you choose" fits best... because yes, when I think about it, I do it if I want to.
And of course it's perfectly fine to write that if you feel that's the case thank you for your view. :hug2:
 

Persej

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Even if you are not into metaphysics, you cannot to not notice that something strange is going on in our global culture. And Dave Cullen is doing a good job in presenting this phenomena:


Perhaps these romance books are sent as a tool from the STO forces to help humanity fight against such stream of entropic energies that are degenerating our culture and minds.
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Have read one half the novellas in one book written jointly together by both Balogh and Burrowes. Did not see it on the list and it was not Kindle available.

The book comes under the cover title 'Once Upon A Dream' - the Balogh story, and the second story is titled 'The Duke of My Dreams' -the Burrowes story.

In the first, it is a continuation of the Bedwyn story, or a side story really. The Bedwyn's are all married, and this involves the sister of the Duchess of Bewcastle (Christine). It is a short story that sees her sister, Miss Eleanor Thompson (from the School in Bath), suddenly involved with the children of a man who had lost his wife. The children are great, melt one's heart - nice little story.

The second book (which I'm still reading) involves the Duke of Sedgemere (Elias) who has children and no wife (not sure what happened), who gets involved with Anne Faraday (she has come up before).
 

Alejo

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
And I just finished Someone to Romance, by Mary Balogh, the last book I wanted to finish before jumping on to the new suggested tittles, though I plan on continuing to dig through Regency and switch back and forth. In the meantime, here's a few ideas that I was left with from this book that I felt were worth sharing.

The story follows Jessica who had placed her life on pause because of the crisis at the beginning of the series, who upon seeing her best friend and cousin Abigail get married and be happy, grew to resent her and decided to find herself a husband. In this process she meets Gabriel Thorne, who has come back from America to claim an inheritance.

He had fled to Bostom as he was accused of rape and murder. The story follows them through getting to know each other and clearing Gabriel's name to then get his inheritance and the ability to help all the people who depended on the running of his state, specially someone named Mary, who is at risk of being thrown on the street.

The story explores ideas of duty and sacrifice, truth and honesty as well as justice and honor. I think it's the first novel I read where a character dies as the story progresses, and bringing to an interesting yet predictable end all the loose ends of the story and illustrating all of the aforementioned concepts.

At some point during the story Gabriel tells Jessica that he intents to marry her, this offends her particularly because she finds him so attractive, however she responds with something like "if you wish to have a chance, you must romance me".

That in itself is not answered by the characters by the time the story ends, however it is answered by the story itself as it progresses. The idea I was left with is that, for Gabriel to romance Jessica, nothing was as effective as the sincere display of himself, as he actually was, to her.

There's a running gesture from him to her that was contrasted to another suitor that she had, Gabriel would send her one single rose with a small note every day in pink or reminding her of the color of the dress she was wearing. While the other suitor, who happened to be his cousin, and the son of the villain who dies by the end, sends entire bouquets of roses.

The single rose was another way to illustrate the need to show one self as one was, as a potential rose thorns included, Gabriel's name was suitable in this instance, he was described as someone with an angelic name and the thorns. As we all are, capable of heavenly gestures but also of painful acts towards others.

It is not in denying the thorns that one can bring oneself to act properly, it is in admitting their presence and placing them where they belong, and offering oneself wholly to the world.

It also reminded me of that book, The Little Prince and his rose, it was the relationship that made the rose unique in the universe and not in the fact that the rose was a rose, as there were millions of them.

Another way to contrast them was with the fact that Gabriel's cousin was constantly looking to dazzle everyone around him with smiles and gestures, being adorable and proper, and lied about who he was and his cousin, whom he presumed dead, while Gabriel was more authentic in his ways.

In the end, truth is what sets everyone free, is what allows the destruction that was necessary and the construction that was possible. And while it is obviously seen through the lens of a romantic relationship, which has its own uses, I do believe that the same is true for almost any walk of life.

There's something to be said about being strategically honest with the world at large, but in truth, it is once one realizes and admits one's thorns, that one can begin to chose one's behavior. It reminded me of that quote by Caesar "Stay true to your own nature, and fear nothing" I always understood it as admitting one's own current state, and not being afraid of choosing a different one.

It's one of the last few books of the series so there's a sensation of winding down, which usually makes it a nostalgic read. I will be moving on to Someone to Cherish and further, so as to finish Wescott, but I'll dive into the Billionaire Banker series.
 

France

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I read the "Devil Riders" series by Anne Grace before reading the "Simply Quartet" by Mary Balogh.

I really enjoyed this series by Anne Grace. I found some of the descriptions of abuse a little difficult to read but I took more time between books in this series.

I liked Mary Balogn's romantic series. It's softer than the other one. It gave me a break between the two series.

In this series, it was long in development. The men who were the main actors in the 3rd and 4th books were "column-less", unable to tell it like it was for fear of disappointing their upper "aristocratic society" parents. To endure instead of to go for it like the principal and teacher of the school.

I really liked this last character "multi-talented in many areas of education in her school" who in the role of principal, she gave her heart to her students and teachers. She maintained a discipline in learning while connecting with each child so that they could work through their "inner dragons".

This principal knew how to observe the moods of her teachers, to be friends with them, while being a boss to achieve her goals of giving a good education to the students without judging their past, as well as being an administrator to make the school autonomous, and accepting donations to achieve her goal of autonomy.

She dared to face her fears, forgive herself, and accept to see the events of the past in a different light, to be free before committing to a man.

I feel ready to take on a slightly more challenging series: "Victorian Rebels."
 

Aeneas

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FOTCM Member
After a few weeks breaks from reading in May, I have now finished Balogh's Survivor series, The Bedwyn series and the Simply quartet, which all are follow ons from the starting points in the prequel series. It has been very enriching to step into the shoes of the various characters and reflect on people who have been or are in one's life. I always find it interesting to see the different mask that the characters wear, whether male of female and then how love gently allows small cracks in the masks and for something new to enter. Even if only one series is called the survivor series, it is clear that all the characters are survivors and also that the same applies to all who we see and interact with.
Yes, I really liked the Bedwyn series female characters. All so different. Definitely start with the prequels, One Night for Love and A Summer to Remember. I think my favourite was the very last book telling Wulfrics story. You will have to wait till the end...
If you haven't read them yet, then the Simply quartet is a follow up series where you will meet the Bedwyns again, though not so much in the first one. Then when that is finished, you can read the book/novella, Bedwyn 6.5, which details Eleanor's journey, the sister to Wulfric's wife, Christine.

After Laura having recommended reading the Russian Billionaire series, I think I will start with them and keep some Balogh novels up the sleeve for when a recovery phase is needed for something gentle again.
I just finished the third book, "Simply Magic" about Peter and Susanna. I was really angry with Peter at the end.
Agree. Peter's dual loyalty to such different characters which Susanna and his mother were, seemed strange.
 

gottathink

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
If you haven't read them yet, then the Simply quartet is a follow up series where you will meet the Bedwyns again, though not so much in the first one. Then when that is finished, you can read the book/novella, Bedwyn 6.5, which details Eleanor's journey, the sister to Wulfric's wife, Christine.
Thanks I didn’t know that
 

trytofly

Jedi
I have read a few authors who are not on the recommended list, when several novels are gathered in the same book, without finding their stories sufficiently interesting for my taste or for the reading project, and although I am not the better positioned to determine whether or not they can be.
Until I came across "Gifts of the Season" which brings together three stories all set around Christmas time. I really enjoyed the first two novels, by Miranda Jarrett and Lyn Stone, which fit in perfectly with the project in my opinion, and were very pleasant to read. And the best being saved for last, I was especially won over by the last of the three, "The Virtuous Widow" by Anne Gracie, which moved me to tears on several occasions.

For interested French people, "Gifts of the Season" which brings together the three stories is called "Trois Mariages au Château".
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
If you haven't read them yet, then the Simply quartet is a follow up series where you will meet the Bedwyns again, though not so much in the first one. Then when that is finished, you can read the book/novella, Bedwyn 6.5, which details Eleanor's journey, the sister to Wulfric's wife, Christine.
Though Bedwyn 6.5 is written by both Mary Balogh and Grace Burrowes, I added it under Mary Balogh for display order purposes.


Until I came across "Gifts of the Season" which brings together three stories all set around Christmas time. I really enjoyed the first two novels, by Miranda Jarrett and Lyn Stone, which fit in perfectly with the project in my opinion, and were very pleasant to read. And the best being saved for last, I was especially won over by the last of the three, "The Virtuous Widow" by Anne Gracie, which moved me to tears on several occasions.
Currently we have Virtuous window under Anne gracie like this
269Anne GracieThe Virtuous Widow
I replaced Book Id 269 with the following. It will show under 3 authors list.
269Anne Gracie, Lyn Stone & Miranda JarrettMills & Boon Historical1Gifts of the Season: A Gift Most Rare / Christmas Charade / The Virtuous Widow

seek 10, I tried to submit "Ten Things I Love About You" by Julia Quinn to the list but it didn't show up.
Does that mean this book is below standard or has it just not been submitted so far?

BTW, thank you for creating this database. :-)
I added the Julia Quinn series, as her books are good based on the feedback received as of now.


The application is updated to reflect these changes.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
There are a few things about these books that I've noticed:

1) The authors talk about scents, smells quite a bit. It's very noticeable. The scent of perfume, hair, soap, bodies, etc.

2) A LOT of attention is given to reactions that are read from eyes.

It's this last thing that has me thinking. How many people can actually read such emotions in the eyes of another? And how many people are actually any good at that when encountering a stranger or someone they do not know really well? ARE they reading emotions from eyes, or is it more likely that the author is trying to find a way to describe the unconscious reading of micro-expressions? You would have to be a highly trained psychological expert to do the kind of reading that many of the characters in these books are said to do.

Anybody have any ideas on this? Any experiences?
 

Charade

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
There are a few things about these books that I've noticed:

1) The authors talk about scents, smells quite a bit. It's very noticeable. The scent of perfume, hair, soap, bodies, etc.

2) A LOT of attention is given to reactions that are read from eyes.

It's this last thing that has me thinking. How many people can actually read such emotions in the eyes of another? And how many people are actually any good at that when encountering a stranger or someone they do not know really well? ARE they reading emotions from eyes, or is it more likely that the author is trying to find a way to describe the unconscious reading of micro-expressions? You would have to be a highly trained psychological expert to do the kind of reading that many of the characters in these books are said to do.

Anybody have any ideas on this? Any experiences?
Just off the top of my head, with mask wearing you are only left with seeing the eyes. Major points have been made that babies and youngsters do not get the full benefit of learning to read the expressions of parents or strangers. It seems to me that strongly felt expressions ‘reach’ the eyes and can be seen and the impression received. Or is it that the eyes are a point of origination for emotions as in the ‘windows of the soul’ expression?
 

unkl brws

Jedi Master
There are a few things about these books that I've noticed:

1) The authors talk about scents, smells quite a bit. It's very noticeable. The scent of perfume, hair, soap, bodies, etc.

2) A LOT of attention is given to reactions that are read from eyes.

It's this last thing that has me thinking. How many people can actually read such emotions in the eyes of another? And how many people are actually any good at that when encountering a stranger or someone they do not know really well? ARE they reading emotions from eyes, or is it more likely that the author is trying to find a way to describe the unconscious reading of micro-expressions? You would have to be a highly trained psychological expert to do the kind of reading that many of the characters in these books are said to do.

Anybody have any ideas on this? Any experiences?
It's funny but I noticed this yesterday as I'm reading the Billionaire Banker Series. Blake Barrington was admiring a pair of white shorts that Lana was wearing and she said it has the "scent of Lana Bloom". Also mentioned is the smell of the other person's breath quite a bit.

I don't know if this helps but I wear hearing aids and have had a hearing loss since I was a kid so a lot of my interpretation of someone else's speech is visual based. I've noticed this more as I got older that I'm watching people's eyes as I'm talking to them. If they're relaxed and calm then their gaze never leaves mine. But if there is a hint of preoccupation, or stress, then they are picking out some other part of my face or upper body and are looking at that part then looking back at me. This happens in a fraction of a second but I notice it and it tells me there is something else running through this person's mind in addition to talking to me. I can't tell what they're thinking, but I know there is something else happening and I try to stay aware of that.
 

Andrian

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
There are a few things about these books that I've noticed:

1) The authors talk about scents, smells quite a bit. It's very noticeable. The scent of perfume, hair, soap, bodies, etc.

2) A LOT of attention is given to reactions that are read from eyes.

It's this last thing that has me thinking. How many people can actually read such emotions in the eyes of another? And how many people are actually any good at that when encountering a stranger or someone they do not know really well? ARE they reading emotions from eyes, or is it more likely that the author is trying to find a way to describe the unconscious reading of micro-expressions? You would have to be a highly trained psychological expert to do the kind of reading that many of the characters in these books are said to do.

Anybody have any ideas on this? Any experiences?
From my own experience I'd say one can learn a lot how to read other people's body language and facial expressions from abuse or traumatic experiences as a way of self preservation and survival against those who are trying to harm you.

Since me and my little brothers grew with an abusive and violent father, in order to avoid his violent outbursts and wrath I've learned subconsciously to read his body language and facial expressions thus avoiding to be beaten up or yelled at. Throughout my childhood, teenage years and adulthood I kind of improved my reading skills of other people's body language and facial expressions though I still have a long way to go in order to be able to see more there is to see behind one's behavior, body language and facial expressions. That's where growth in knowledge plays a key point me thinks , by gaining more knowledge + hard learned life experiences one is able to see more deeply and more clearly the surrounding reality one inhabits.

Lately I've noticed that since starting to read the novels I've come to learn to see more deeply while watching a movie, listening to a song, interacting with other people.

I have a long way to go since there is always something new to learn but still when I'm blessed to have these glimpses of "seeing more" in my daily life I realize how amazing the entire existence is, me being a part of all there is, feeling myself closer to the DCM, feeling the constant presence of the divine everywhere i look.
 
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