Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
It appears to me that quite a few people are having their emotional centers opened and balanced along with a whole lot of emotional IQ raising via absorbing learning vicariously. I suspect that there is also quite a bit of past life resolution going on.

With respect to the bold portion, I had an interesting experience this week I wanted to share.

On Monday I did full EE, and ended up feeling rather raw and tender but still serene and relaxed. I had some dreams I couldn't remember that evening. Tuesday morning I still felt the same, relaxed yet open. Later on I read an exchange from Only a Kiss (Survivor's Club Book 6)
between Imogen and Percy, where Imogen was sharing the last few days she had with her husband (they were captives and he was being tortured), and introspecting about the last words her husband said to her before his death,
and I was inexplicably struck and went to pieces crying over that horrible experience. The day after (today) I was called by an old friend of mine. He and I are really close and used to date, but he feels so familiar to me in many ways, just in how easy the conversation is. Anyway, he mentioned in passing that he had a dream about me on Monday night, where I came to him extremely distraught and crying and asking for his help. If it is a coincidence, it is an interesting one, that's for sure.
 

gnosisxsophia

Jedi Council Member
Well, having FINALLY completed the SOS series (minus the novellas) must say I feel like some kind of special needs member that's finally earned a participation ribbon - despite everyone else having packed up and gone home the week before...

Hopefully that's not too un-PC a metaphor and received how its intended.

And although I suspect I'm doing it wrong, thankfully found Book 4 was by far the most palatable of the series with the cheesy, overblown and incoherent 'reactions', of the previous novels, pretty well absent. Which, for mine, made it a lot easier to try and relate to what, still, feel to be pretty clunky characters...

Another plus was that I found sharing a Christian name with the male protagonist proved an interesting addition to the experience, where it was noticed that the commonality strangely caused me to pay extremely close attention to 'his' actions throughout the entire story, also continually recognising that 'I' was constantly preparing to judge, very harshly, any perceived character blemish or deviation from eminently chivalrous behaviour...which was distinctly different to the way the 'other' Dukes / Ladies behaviour had been previously interpreted in that it was simply a matter of "that's ridiculous, no one would ever think / do that...doesn't even make sense - these characters are dumb".

Something else that came to the surface, during this book, was that I also openly recognised that I have absolutely ZERO interest in the the English Georgian / Regency era. Hadn't ever really thought about it before but on deeper consideration realised that I'd also never been attracted to, or engaged by any Movie, TV series or Novel from this particular period other than classics such as 'Gone with the Wind' - which is probably set a little bit later and is also obviously not English. Yet on the other hand I always LOVED the 'Three Musketeers', 'The Man in the Iron Mask' and all that sort of thing from the century prior - but again they weren't English either?

An oddity that then reminded me of a forgotten conversation where the TV Series 'Downton Abbey' had been recommended as excellent, great dialogue etc. and something I might enjoy ages ago. Yet after looking into it and simply seeing a country house and period costume - knew it wasn't for me...

An uncharacteristically illogical decision that made me wonder then if there could be something to 'this' bias (versus just simple preference?) but also brought to mind, rather obliquely, a 'couples' game of Pictionary that we participated in many years ago. Where, in a rather embarrassing turn of events, a curious empathy rapidly developed between one of the other female players and myself. And it was embarrassing (though educational) for many reasons, not least due to it soon becoming apparent that, despite best effort, my partner turned out to be nowhere near as adept at interpreting my attempts (that 'I' thought were actually quite good and that also became open to the table after a period of time) than a young woman sitting directly opposite - therefore also viewing the work up-side down.

Who managed to assert correctly, immediately, over and over again!

That she was attractive (with a super sexy husky lilt) helped matters not at all and neither did the fact that when someone would ask how she picked it so quickly, she would interpret in exactly the same way I would have. To which the guys would, without fail, comment something along the lines of "Oh, of course, that's clever, would never thought of that - well drawn...". Explanations often excruciatingly also followed by a penetrating eye contact that would make your toes curl :-[

As one can probably imagine, a piquant experience that soon had me not wanting to play anymore, carefully modulating input and for the rest of the evening trying to pay the absolute possible, minimum amount of attention to the frustrating creature opposite. Yet despite such honorable efforts, remaining helpless under the withering and (to my way of thinking anyway) undeservedly 'frosty' attention of my partner...

But anyhoo, then I realised that in having experienced this kind of 'synch' only 2 or 3 times in my life (sadly never with a partner). In each case they were either Irish or Scottish, so I wonder if anyone could advise whether there is a series on the list not set in England?

Otherwise, thinking might go with Alana's latest next :flowers:
 
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Laura

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I finished Mary Balogh's The Gilded Web last night, and what can I say... I don't feel like reading another book for a long time. It is my favorite so far, by far. The way Balogh describes her characters and their internal world, what they were going through, their programs and introjects, helped me sympathize and identify so much with their struggles. I really loved Alexandra and Edmund, and their growing connection, which at times felt so very fragile. Their shedding of fears and programming to bring them to see reality, themselves and each other was a worthwhile journey, imo.

All other stories and characters I read before them in these romance novels just went puff... they disappeared in the background as 2-dimensional characters, only these two remained real in my mind.

And though I did get focused on the two main characters, Balogh didn't. She gave a lot of time and depth to her secondary characters as well, which was also refreshing compared to the other novels.

What a writer, what a story! I highly recommend it. With the warning that one might experience tears of pain and tears of joy, and lose some precious sleep.

Well, there's two more in that series... don't get sidelined. More to learn!
 

Andrian

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just finished Jess Michael's 1797 Club series, I've found the stories interesting, light and heartwarming a beautiful little universe where where one's heart dreams can become true. Now I'm reading Anne Gracie's Marriage of Convenience series which i find intriguing and nicely written (i like very much Anne Gracie style of writing), will be glad to write more after finishing the series.

Well, there's two more in that series... don't get sidelined. More to learn!
Thank Laura and Alana, that will be my next series of the books to read, it sounds very interesting.
 

Mariama

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I finished Jennifer Ashley's The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie. Although I thought it was a bit long-winded, by pondering a bit more I think that Ashley again describes (sexual) trauma very well. The male protagonist deals with this admirably OSIT by giving his beloved the time and space to explore his body, her sexual desire and to allow her to take the initiative only when she is ready, which enables her to get over her fears.

Together they also go on quite dangerous adventures which probably also helps her get rid of the fears that are still stored in her body. I was a bit disappointed however, that this book was more about Daniel's beloved and less about him, he was the only child of a crazy and violent woman after all, although his father protected him from harm when he was a baby.

But perhaps by focusing on his woman he could get rid of some of his wounds as well, simply by giving himself to her. Or perhaps he was just a stronger person and had different character traits?

I am now reading Caroline Linden's Wagers of Sin series. I enjoy it and understand its lessons, but I miss Mary Balogh's wise observations and insights, so I am not done with her yet!
 

gottathink

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I have just finished Someone to Honour in Baloghs Westcott series.
What just dawned on me is the journey of self discovery all the women embark on after rejecting society’s expectations of them. They all rebel in some way, but the beautiful part of these romances is how they bring their unique gifts to their partners and family enhanced by their femininity not “feminist” ideals.
In quotation marks as I feel the feminist movement has become corrupted in recent times.
 

gnosisxsophia

Jedi Council Member
Ummm...silly question but I just noticed that @lilies detailed post from yesterday - that followed Laura's- discussing Anna Campbells' 'Highlander' series and my reply are no longer present in the thread.

Just wondering if they were removed for some reason?
 
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Voyageur

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After coming back to Anne Gracie and finishing The Devil Riders, these books differed in that the last two books took place in different countries (Egypt and Spain) and the intrigue was heightened. As many books go, though, the focus is on building of families that are in themselves defective before and after the boys come back from war (in this case), and also their shedding of wild oats, and finding love in not ton'ish ways. Each of the boys are in struggle, as are each of the ladies who must overcome so much - their individual hurts, and their fears of society.

In the series, there was something about Lady Gosforth that I really liked, and she too had suffered - she cared deeply in her ways. Also in the series there is even an appearance by The Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna Romanova, and it was rather touching, and there was even mention of St Petersburg, the Vienna of the North, it was said.
 

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Finished The Duke's Disaster by Grace Burrowes, which is quite enjoyable. It's a bit slow paced and dry but manages to bring home some points about establishing trust, honesty and intimacy in relationships. The main character is quite interesting; very responsible, cautious, noble, strong and at the same time kind-hearted.
 

Laura

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Ummm...silly question but I just noticed that @lilies detailed post from yesterday - that followed Laura's- discussing Anna Campbells' 'Highlander' series and my reply are no longer present in the thread.

Just wondering if they were removed for some reason?
Lilies post was nothing more than schizoid rambling. My response was made before I realized it had not been approved. Even though the decision had been made not to approve it - to conserve energy - it was thought that my response indicated it should be approved. It was, in error. You responded, which didn't help the situation - schizoid rambling should never be encouraged or supported. Thus, decision was made to remove all three. As I noted in my post, lilies had completely lost the plot and purpose. There is no point in wasting energy on such thinking in these days when all energy is needed to maintain and grow.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I finished the Duke of Nothing, book 5 of Jess Michaels' 1797 Club series. I cried a couple times. These books are going to affect people in different ways, depending on personal experiences. I can see why it is necessary to complete several series by different authors, to increase the odds that a few of them will hit a particular person.
 

Laura

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Finished The Duke's Disaster by Grace Burrowes, which is quite enjoyable. It's a bit slow paced and dry but manages to bring home some points about establishing trust, honesty and intimacy in relationships. The main character is quite interesting; very responsible, cautious, noble, strong and at the same time kind-hearted.

I agree. Burrowe's writing style is irritating at worst and less than engaging at best. But the story itself - though executed poorly - was quite interesting. And, yes, the main character was just an all-around great guy. As I said, he reminded me a lot of Ark.
 

Laurs

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I finished Mary Balogh's The Gilded Web last night, and what can I say..
What a writer, what a story! I highly recommend it. With the warning that one might experience tears of pain and tears of joy, and lose some precious sleep.

I completely agree, Alana! I just finished the whole Web of Love series and absolutely love it. Each love story brought up something different and the lessons everyone deals with are described by Mary Balogh so beautifully and somehow so real, that it was quite easy to draw parallels to my own life and ponder and integrate the lessons and learn. Some 'simple and karmic understandings' revealed themselves I think. So, this truly is such a priceless endeavour.
Loved these gems:

'It was not easy to laugh at oneself, but it was doubtless good for the soul';

'But the problems would never be insurmountable unless they chose to make them so';

And there could be no thought of denying him, for love can only give. As soon as it began to demand something in return, even if only a promise, then it was no longer love';

'But because you do not have the character to cope with those changes. Because you have allowed yourself to crumble beneath adversity'.


Of course there are many more to draw inspiration, strength and knowledge about self from, and it is so interesting to see that we ourselves can do so much about our state of emotional and mental sanity precisely because of such knowledge, realizations and insights.

Have now started the Caroline Linden 'Wagers of Sin' series. So far really enjoy this one too!
 
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