Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

nature

Dagobah Resident
Wow! Thank you very much for your answer, Laura!

If it was not you talking about these books, and seeing their cover art, I would never ordered one! :lol:
I never read romantic books, I was rather in science-fiction, in my teenage.
So, I'm glad to complete with this today :-) and the good ones! :thup:
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Are there Russian authors, women in that case, that write romance of this genre? I would like to read them if the books were translated. I have the impression that Russians are romantic. The most romantic novel is Anna Karenina, right? :-)
In Russian, books in this genre may be called something like "Исторические любовные романы" the expression was found on this page www.litmir.me where they actually listed eight novels by Anna Campbell translated into Russian. In Russian they are also listed as a subgenre of "foreign romance novels", as one can see from the above page in the expression "Зарубежные любовные романы,"

Simona Vilar
Other keywords to look for. I found on the Russian Wiki of Georgette Heyer: "любовный роман эпохи Регентства" which would mean "Regency epoch romance novels". Using such words, one can try to find authors. One writer of historical romance would be Simona Vilar, see also the Wiki: where she is listed in various categories. I went to the category of authors of romance novels, but it turned out that Simona Vilar was possibly the only Russian writer. Really she is Ukrainian, at least by nationality, although coming from Kharkov and considering her age, she will be writing in Russian. There may be more Russian names hiding in the list, but it is a minority for sure. Simona Vilar has a couple of titles on Amazon, but nothing in English.

Marina Struk
One page, I found by using search words was the author Marina Struk. She is apparently Russian, and has written a few titles including historical romance. The author has an official site on VK. Through that, I found a link to one of her books, which is in two volumes, but with the same title, which if translated would be something like. "There is a snowstom in my heart without you". From the cover description, one learns one name of the characters has a Russian style patronym and the year was 1828. Therefore, in all probability, it is a Russian parallel to an English Regency romance. Readers should be 16+.

Other books
There is this list: 10 love stories it is not embarrassing to read. Among them, there is only one Russian and it is by Yulia Zhadovskaya. (On the Wiki (Russian) one reads she was born without a left arm and with fingers on her right missing - in some respects it was a very difficult life.). She wrote several poems and two novels that are considered classics. The Wiki says: "Her novel Aloof From the Social Whirl (1857) and her stories are devoted to the problems of love, marriage, and the emancipation of women." It can be read online in Russian, but if there is a translation, it is not on Amazon, just as her name does not have an English Wiki.

The Regency Era as a period of history and why Russian authors have not done much in this genre
One difficulty with Regency romance (as well as pre regency and post regency) for Russian authors is that the Regency era is particular to British history. Maybe it is easier to tune into for people whose ancestors were connected to this period, just as it is easier for Russians to write Russian historical novels. To explain the peculiarity of the Regency era there was in the Wiki:
The Regency in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a period at the end of the Georgian era, when King George III was deemed unfit to rule due to his illness, and his son ruled as his proxy, as prince regent. Upon George III's death in 1820, the prince regent became King George IV. The term Regency (or Regency era) can refer to various stretches of time; some are longer than the decade of the formal Regency which lasted from 1811 to 1820. The period from 1795 to 1837, which includes the latter part of George III's reign and the reigns of his sons George IV and William IV, is sometimes regarded as the Regency era, characterized by distinctive trends in British architecture, literature, fashions, politics, and culture.

A Russian site with a list of historical romance was more generous with the time frame and has some other details:
The Regency Era This is usually called the first third of the 19th century, but in an expanded sense, the Regency refers to the period from 1785 to 1830. The manners and social life of Regency England were affected by the riotous behavior of the Prince Regent. When king George IV indulged in unthinkable escapades, he often changed mistresses and loved to gamble.
Might it be that a number of the characters in the Regency romance novels have taken some of their traits from the royal example?

A few Russian classics
The same page lists a few Russian classics. "The captain's daughter", A. S. Pushkin. "Doctor Zhivago", Boris Pasternak. "Crime and punishment", F. M. Dostoevsky. "Garnet bracelet", A. Kuprin. "War and peace", by L. N. Tolstoy.

Based on what I found, one could conclude that while there are Russian romance novels, the Regency romance as a genre does not really exist; the closest are historical romances relating to the same time period. but taking place in Russia. Since Pushkin lived from 1799 to 1837, any romance he wrote about his own time would be in the same period as the Regency era. While it may be a pity there are few Russian authors writing Regency romances, plenty of authors have been suggested in the first post, in fact, Georgette Heyer's paternal grandfather came from Russia.

Not related so much to the question, but a fruit of the search was that the Sons of Sin Series seems to be entirely translated into Russian according to this page, even if availability may be difficult:
 

Adaryn

The Living Force
mari said:
I don´t know if I should move forward to the next book; not that this was a bad book, but because this really occupied my mind with emotional roller coaster and was quite arousing and I´m not sure if that´s idea of stimulating positive emotional states.
But I´ve sure forgotten about corona and all the bad stuff out there.

Tell me about it. I've started to read The madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie a couple of days ago and I've read 1/3 of the book. I'm dragging my feet, as I am finding it almost painful to read (I'm not talking about the plot, which i'm finding a bit silly, but about the heavy sexual content… Give me a break!). It's no light reading for me, and I can't say I'm enjoying it, as, like you Mari, it takes me to an emotional roller coaster, triggering long-standing programs and negative emotions. I'm feeling kinda drained, and unable to focus on other things. And I've only read 1/3! So not sure I'd be able to stomach Seven nights, since it seems to be so much worse wrt sex scenes. I'll try to finish it over the week-end though, see if I can gain a more positive, broader perspective after reading the whole. It's certainly not the kind of 'literature' I'd naturally choose to read. Perhaps it'll all make sense later, after reading a couple more books from the proposed selection.
 

Neil

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
So I'm on the fence between Marriage of Convenience and Devil Riders. I'm looking for something that has a broader worldview than just two people having a romance, with other things going on in the background which make me really feel immersed in the characters' wider world. Preferably there would be a little bit of action and adventure, with interesting moral or philosophical quandaries to solve to tickle my brain. The romance should be classy but not pretentious, with the characters undergoing believable transformations, even if somewhat idealized. It should be something that doesn't go out of its way to check as many trope boxes as possible in the first 50 pages.

These are things that annoyed me with Seven Nights. There was very little world-building outside of Jonas and Sidonie's whirlwind romance, which over the course of a few days transformed them into almost entirely different people, and the way Sidonie goes from virgin sacrifice to passionate lover, mainly through Jonas' overbearing but paradoxically deferential sexual prowess, was in my opinion straining believability rather thin. I felt as if the whole world revolved around Jonas and Sidonie's emotions and sexuality, with the episode surrounding Roberta's predicament being the only thing to suggest they weren't the center of the universe. The author does manage to kind of make it work and put some redeemable qualities in it, but it wasn't expansive enough for me to really enjoy it, and reading it felt more like a homework project.

Which most closely matches my tastes?
 

nature

Dagobah Resident
Serait-il possible de donner le nom du livre et de l'auteur quand on parle d'un livre car c'est difficile de s'y retrouver... Merci d'avance...

Would it be possible to give the name of the book and the author when talking about a book because it's difficult to find your way around? Thank you in advance...
Here is a francophone site, where you can click on the author, then you have all their books, with tranlated ones (in french).
Voici un site francophone, où tu peux cliquer sur l'auteur, puis tu as la liste de tous ses livres, avec ceux qui ont été traduits en français.

Les Romantiques, le site francophone dédié au roman féminin

Edit: this site is usefull for anglophones too, as one can see all the books by author, in the romantic domain.
 
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loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Here is a francophone site, where you can click on the author, then you have all their books, with tranlated ones (in french).
Voici un site francophone, où tu peux cliquer sur l'auteur, puis tu as la liste de tous ses livres, avec ceux qui ont été traduits en français.

Les Romantiques, le site francophone dédié au roman féminin

Edit: this site is usefull for anglophones too, as one can see all the books by author, in the romantic domain.
I think that Perlou is asking that when we name a title of a book and we talk about it, if it is possible to name also the author. I think it is a good idea, we are talking about few novels and it is a good idea to know who is the author to feel a little less lost.
 

Jones

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
These are things that annoyed me with Seven Nights. There was very little world-building outside of Jonas and Sidonie's whirlwind romance, which over the course of a few days transformed them into almost entirely different people, and the way Sidonie goes from virgin sacrifice to passionate lover, mainly through Jonas' overbearing but paradoxically deferential sexual prowess, was in my opinion straining believability rather thin. I felt as if the whole world revolved around Jonas and Sidonie's emotions and sexuality, with the episode surrounding Roberta's predicament being the only thing to suggest they weren't the center of the universe. The author does manage to kind of make it work and put some redeemable qualities in it, but it wasn't expansive enough for me to really enjoy it, and reading it felt more like a homework project.

Which most closely matches my tastes?

Perhaps what you're looking for are fictional novels that include the elements of chivalry and striving to develop the qualities associated with it.

HONESTY/HONORABILITY
Honor is about observing things the way things really are. You bring honor when you recognize, respect, and respond to what you see in yourself and others; and you then allow that to matter to you.

LOYALTY
To be loyal is to develop a code of conduct (principles) that expresses your best self, and then to live by that code. Get to know your strengths and weaknesses and make them a part of your code. That’s what reveals your strength of character, as well as your integrity and morality.

NOBILITY
Look for your grand purpose. You discover what is noble about you by having high ideals and making them a part of your code of conduct. You develop character and a sense of morality by adhering to your code of conduct.

VIRTUE
How strong are your ability and willingness to stick to your code of conduct? Virtue comes from the word virility, meaning strength. You demonstrate your virtue through the strength and power of your character, integrity, and morality. Virtue is doing the right thing, because it is the right thing.

GRACE
Our grace is what comes to us naturally—like flight is to an eagle. Grace is about giving of what you’re good at and giving it generously from the heart. Give so that the one who receives what you give is inspired to be and do their best.

TRUTH
Truth is a living, breathing quality that reveals more of itself the more closely you look at it. It is the more real in everything we call life. Truth is more than facts, so it helps to approach truth with an open mind and heart. Be willing to see the truth even when it’s unpleasant. This helps build your sense of self and expands your world.

COURAGE
The courageous ones hold truth as their standard, and are willing to take action even though they may not have all the right answers. Courage is being willing to be wrong in the pursuit of what’s right and refusing to live the life that does not reflect one’s goodness, truth, and beauty.

COURTESY
The courteous friend is a loving, kind and caring friend who pays attention to details. Courtesy opens the door to understanding and wisdom, and presents truth in a courteous way, so that the lessons need not be harsh.

GALLANTRY
The heroic voice speaks up even when afraid. Facing fear with a brave heart, the gallant one willingly goes through the fear. As the champion, this one is willing to be what others need him or her to be, when they cannot or will not be that for themselves. Bravely leading the way, this one exposes the truth and puts courage into action.

AUTHORITY
You are the author of your life, so pay attention to your thoughts and actions. Take responsibility for who you are and for what happens to you. Power comes from being responsible. Give yourself the permission to be powerful.

SERVICE
Service is about graciously giving of your love and your bounty. Service is much more about giving of who you are, than about what you have. Look at service as a hand up, more than a handout.

HUMILITY
With humility, you allow for the unexpected. Set aside attitudes of superiority and insignificance. Get the facts, be aware of the truth, and pay attention to the details. Just because something has always been a certain way does not mean it will be that way this time. Live in the moment, but don’t forget your vision of the future.


Those elements are in many genre's of fiction where there's a battle between good and evil, though they don't always explore those elements in personal romantic relationships where we can be at our most vulnerable and therefore have much more difficulty maintaining chivalrous aims - the battle in and through ourselves. There's that old oft repeated saying about the person who is considered great at work but can't take it 15 minutes down the road to a home environment with a partner.

The above said without yet having started on the books - so big FWIW.
 

mkrnhr

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Those elements are in many genre's of fiction where there's a battle between good and evil, though they don't always explore those elements in personal romantic relationships where we can be at our most vulnerable and therefore have much more difficulty maintaining chivalrous aims - the battle in and through ourselves.
Looks to me that the romance genre is about romance. Its world building is about the inner world, that of emotions etc. The historical setting with castles, horses, candles is all what one needs to imagine the surronding. Anything superfluous would be useless distraction. Other genres have different focuses so their setting is different, all according to what the authors wish to convey.
 

genero81

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I finished Part 1 of Mary Balogh's 'The First Snowdrop.' The set up is a 'well to do' regent named Merrick has found himself in a compromised situation where a perceived dishonorable situation has prompted him to marry a girl he just met and who is nowhere close to his standards. In fact, he mistakes her for a maid when he first meets her. In order to appease her brother and a vicar, he agrees to offer his hand in marriage thinking she will understand the situation for what it is and refuse. Especially since they just met when he was only seeking shelter from a snowstorm the night before. Well, she says yes. So now he starts thinking it was somehow all planned. He acts coldly to her on the ride back to his family estate, hardly speaking to her. He knows he must consummate the marriage and dutifully heads to the bedroom thinking somehow he will behave in such a way as to punish her. But passion gets the better of him once things get underway and he forgets himself in accordance to his plan. The woman thinks her misgivings (the cold shoulder) up to this point were unfounded!

The next morning all is beyond her wildest dreams good, or so she thinks. He request she come to the 'morning room' for a talk. He then announces his plan to leave her there while he goes to London and not come back for some time.

"I don't understand," Anne said at last. "I am your wife."

"Precisely," Merrick said. "I would say you have gained what you set out to achieve, ma'am. Now you may enjoy your triumph at your leisure."

More words are exchanged and she asks about the night before. To which he says; "I compliment you, ma'am. You're eagerness would put a barmaid to shame. You certainly helped pass what would have been a dull night."

She offers to go back to her brother but he forbids her to leave.

My guess is he will fall in love with her. We shall see!
 

Candice

Jedi
I have not yet read any of these books from the list, though I intend to as soon as possible to be part of the discussion. However as a teenager I did read very similar books due to my mum buying them and I would read them because I was bored.

From what I remember, the issues most characters had from both sides was a lack of communication and trust which go hand in hand, due to this there were many misunderstandings, assumptions or wishful thinking.

Characters also tend to project a false image to another of themselves, either because that’s what they think the other will prefer, they’re hiding something they perceive to be a flaw, inability to be vulnerable or due to some program they’re unaware of. It takes a lot of trust to be vulnerable and reveal your true self, flaws and all to another and something beautiful develops when both individuals do this.

There is also often the projecting of your biases and expectations onto the other, this creates a further barrier to true authentic interaction. These expectations could be anything from the physical, to wealth and status or sexual (usually male) or security (usually female). Some expectations you wouldn’t assume are “bad” but the nature of expectations has a restricting or limiting effect on another (STS). They can cause resentment or false assumptions that one is not good enough. When they start to allow the other to just be, without expectations or wishful thinking, they allow the other to choose on their own to blossom. This sometimes comes about by one of the characters realizing this for themselves. They make a change for the better for themselves and this inspires the other to also do the same, or it allows them to see the other in a “new light”. Or it could be the result of a shock, some tragedy etc that shocks them out of their lies, delusions and having to face true reality.

I look forward to reading The Merridew Sisters by Anne Gracie.
 

Neil

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
mkrnhr said:
Jones said:
Those elements are in many genre's of fiction where there's a battle between good and evil, though they don't always explore those elements in personal romantic relationships where we can be at our most vulnerable and therefore have much more difficulty maintaining chivalrous aims - the battle in and through ourselves.
Looks to me that the romance genre is about romance. Its world building is about the inner world, that of emotions etc. The historical setting with castles, horses, candles is all what one needs to imagine the surronding. Anything superfluous would be useless distraction. Other genres have different focuses so their setting is different, all according to what the authors wish to convey.
I think the story takes on greater meaning when it does not occur in a bubble and is contrasted against a bigger picture, or at least doesn't have such a laser focus on two people and maybe a small family. This brings me back to the Ken Follett books which I thought were great historical fiction, but I digress...yes, that is moving away from a purebred romance into something else, and I'll be frank, regency romance as a genre is not for me. Most likely it will never completely fulfill my expectations. I'm not the type of person who is going to read dozens of these things. That's not to say that there aren't certain stories that push the envelope a bit and excel and are deeply moving. I'm looking for those cream of the crop stories that have the broadest spectrum of experiences to offer, taking into consideration my "intellectual snobbishness." The series that Chu recommended seemed to be going more in the direction I was hoping for when I first decided I would experiment with this project, which is probably why she recommended it. Laura said the Devil Riders series was excellent, so I guess the question I was really asking is, what attributes made it excellent? Quite possibly I will read both series, however I'm just trying to get an idea of what's out there so I'm actually engaged with what I'm reading instead of just going through the motions writing book reports.
 

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Tell me about it. I've started to read The madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie a couple of days ago and I've read 1/3 of the book. I'm dragging my feet, as I am finding it almost painful to read (I'm not talking about the plot, which i'm finding a bit silly, but about the heavy sexual content… Give me a break!). It's no light reading for me, and I can't say I'm enjoying it, as, like you Mari, it takes me to an emotional roller coaster, triggering long-standing programs and negative emotions. I'm feeling kinda drained, and unable to focus on other things. And I've only read 1/3! So not sure I'd be able to stomach Seven nights, since it seems to be so much worse wrt sex scenes. I'll try to finish it over the week-end though, see if I can gain a more positive, broader perspective after reading the whole. It's certainly not the kind of 'literature' I'd naturally choose to read. Perhaps it'll all make sense later, after reading a couple more books from the proposed selection.

It gets better towards the end of the book, but yeah, the first part is filled with a lot of sexual content, and it gets to a point where you wonder whether it's worth reading. As the plot progresses one can discern some positive things about it:

-Both the male (Ian) and the female (Beth) protagonist had a rough upbringing, and had other tragic things happen to them in life, but learned how not to succumb to self pitying and other negative emotions, in fact they both turned up to be strong willed, kind, caring and wish to protect those around them, despite the harsh upbringing.
-There is an emphasis on openness and honesty in interpersonal relationships instead of holding onto petty grievances and closing yourself off.
-The resentment between the Mackenzie brothers (Ian and Hart) gets cleared up towards the end of the book since Beth insists on getting the facts straight about the murders that are a large part of the plot, and she nearly dies to uncover the truth. The brothers just made a lot of assumptions about what happened, and about one another, instead of seeking to understand what really happened. So emphasis is also placed on the value of truth.
- I think Peterson would approve of how the Mackenzies are portrayed in the book, they are strong masculine characters that are also capable of aggression when needed (when it comes to protecting people they care about), but who also have a softer side to them.
 

nature

Dagobah Resident
I think that Perlou is asking that when we name a title of a book and we talk about it, if it is possible to name also the author. I think it is a good idea, we are talking about few novels and it is a good idea to know who is the author to feel a little less lost.
It's good to not expect everything on a plate. Just having the infos we get here is a gold mine. What do you want more, feeding you directly in your mouth?
Take a paper, write authors and titles everytime you read Laura's posts, complete the infos you find yourself. Maat gave a french website about books' referencing, but it's not complete sometimes. Then I came to the website I indicated to PERLOU. With that under my eyes, I easily see the author and if the book has a french translation or not.
Example: if someone mentions "silent melody", I can see who is the author and if the book exists in french.
Make your list, it's not hard and it makes your neurons work :-)
 

Konstantin

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I read about 2/3 of the book "Seven Nights in a Rogue's bad ( Sons of Sin Book 1) "

Never in my life, I thought that I would read something like this. I can say that reading is going pretty ok for now. I have to finish this one and then I will do my best to read the other book from this series. I will need at least one more if I want to notice to be aware of some pattern that is going on in the background, in the dynamics of the books.

Now I can tell that characters are developed very well. If I try to look deeper into the content of the book and peel off the pornographic parts of it I can say that the story is ok.
I can notice some STO characteristics in the main characters Jonas and Sidonie.
While they are together and their romance is going on they are having internal battles with their fears with their own demons, but at the same time, they care about the other.
Sidonie cares about her sister, and she even decides to go to the "demon" Jonas so she could help her sister. On the other hand Jonas tries to make an image of him as a distant and untouchable person, but under that public image is a person who is hurt. A person who has a lot of traumas while he was a little child and that. The image is just a protection that he developed to protect himself. A psychological drama goes on in Jonas and in Sidonie while they are having their romance in the Castle. The both of them are fighting their programs, their demons, their fears.
His STO side is visible. Besides all the problems and traumas that he has in his life, he is trying to respect the Sidoni free will and not hurt her in any way. He is not obligated to do that but his love for Sidonie gives him the power to fight with himself and bring those STO characteristics up to the surface.

I will have to finish this book and continue with the next one so I can see the bigger picture in the background.
 
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