Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I've learned to recognize love and compassion much better even it is not said directly or aloud.
The same here. Love and compassion come in many shapes and forms and I have also noticed that it becomes easier for me to respond to that kind of (perhaps more covert) love and compassion. I can see it in the relationships with my loved ones that are getting better and better, and as a result we all change OSIT.
I remember visiting my Grandma in a suburb of Vancouver when I was small. There are show jets called Snowbirds that were practicing in the area, flying low over the houses in formation. When they flew over her house, she had a panic attack, a flashback form the time when she was a little girl in Holland during WWII - a time when planes flying overheard had a much different meaning.
This may be a bit off topic, but I recently had a conversation with one of my loved ones about WWII and we were discussing the fact that it was not just the Nazis but the allies that bombed parts of Dutch infrastructure, which left quite a few civilians dead, something we don't get to hear often AFAIK. Thank you for mentioning it. To this day I still feel apprehensive when I hear choppers or small planes flying over at low altitude, so that could be a part of war trauma that was passed on to the next generations. An old friend of mine used to say that the Dutch people never processed the war, which makes sense.
In Ellen's scene, and through the recollection of being with my Grandma, I could finally access the horrors of the great changes that may be coming our way. I don't know if any of us will be called on to receive the wounded in the way Ellen was... but may it be so that if we are indeed called to that duty, that we can be worthy of that call, and do what we can in the spirit of her example, her dignity and dedication.
I was thinking the same thing. Reading about the horrors of the war against Napoleon was very informative and harrowing, but at the same time helpful for people whose lives were impacted by war in whatever way, shape or form. I noticed that I was almost literally absorbing that information, like a sponge, as Balogh describes how everyday life and everyone living it is impacted. No ordinary people could close their eyes to the reality any longer, soldiers and civilians. And indeed as you said we may live to see another great change, and we can make a choice as to how we wish to respond to that reality on the ground and get prepared mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
 

Mari

Jedi Council Member
I‘ve finished A Counterfeit Betrothal by M.Balogh.

I liked the book especially because the main characters were closing 40 and not 20.

I missed not knowing Francis and Sophia’s thoughts as they were also main characters.
She was playing hard to get and he was indifferent, so I couldn’t actually guess what’s going on; assumed they actually like each other.

This was a very confusing book; I could understand Olivia (at least in the beginning), but I couldn’t believe words coming out of Marcus after their lovemaking - like he deliberately tried to hurt her.
It was for me an extremely emotionally exhausting book, much like Devils Web.
And I was extremely glad that they manage to pass beyond their mind loops and freed themselves from an emotional self-imposed prison.
 

Mililea

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I finished the 5th book in the McKenzie series yesterday and all I can say is I'm very glad I stuck with it. Thank you @Mari :cool: It is just wonderful to follow this family. And this 5th book about poor, destroyed Mc Bride. I became so aware of what he means by his wife being his home. No matter what, they support each other within their means and give each other support.

It's the same with me, my husband and I have both been through so many horrible and life changing things (not to compare to what happened to McBride of course) that without our positive outlook on life and the support we give each other, we would probably both be in therapy permanently. Sometimes one is more supportive and sometimes the other. We just complement each other and for that I am very grateful. I became very, very aware of this yesterday. I was then lying in bed next to him with transfigured eyes and just stared at him... grateful and in love. :love:
Especially the last 50 pages or so really grabbed me and I could literally grasp that bond.
I must confess, I actually bought it again in German, because I understood relatively much with the English book (4th book of the series), but about half simply became impatient. It is actually easier to read the story fluently in the native language. :halo: (But I will try it again, because the learning effect since the learning effect is undeniable. Thank you for this special reading-project :flowers:
 
Hello,


I have just finished the Mary Balogh Survivors Club.

It was very intensive work. I am happy to have started this work. Honestly, it really helps me.

It's hard to put words to the changes these books are making in me and my reality.

Some of the books were more difficult than others. I think it's because of the characteristics of the male characters.

I can only describe the feelings I experienced in my readings.

It was my right side that was the most demanding.

At times I had to stop reading because it was too intensive. I had a little cough. I felt sensations in my spine and in my left and right side of my brain. A kind of inner marriage.

I was less dizzy than the first novels I read. Probably because the process has begun. I think at the beginning I had more resistance.

With each new novel, it's a new facet of my masculine and feminine that I encounter internally. I think this work helps me to disidentify myself from my beliefs.

Thank you for the suggestion of this work. I would never have thought of it.

Marc.
 

France

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
It's better and more satisfying to stick with a series.
I started with Anna Campbell "Les fils du péché". I liked that serie. The reflections that followed took me along the way.

I wanted to change authors so I took May Balogh's series "The Huxtable Family" which I loved.This author describes the characters well, she makes "alive" the characters of each person in the book as if they were played in a theater. She mentions the non-verbal by writing the thoughts, the unspoken questions... I really loved it.

So I continued with the same author Mary Balogh in the series "The Survivors' Club". I was having trouble sleeping. I woke up in the middle of the night to continue reading. She has a hand of writing that brings out the colors, the images, the mimics and at the same time the emotional aspect is well described.

It's a beautiful serie. Book after book, it has allowed me to reflect, to put to the conscious in my daily life certain attitudes or mode of "emotional" thoughts that were retained and expressed.

I wanted to continue with another author Julia Quinn with the series "Bridgerton". I read the first one. I let it work within me.
So I continued with the same author Mary Balogh in the series "The Survivors' Club". I was having trouble sleeping. I woke up at night to continue reading. She has a hand of writing that brings out the colors, the images, the mimics and at the same time the emotional aspect is well described.

It's a beautiful series. Book after book, it has allowed me to reflect, to put to the conscious in my daily life certain attitudes or mode of "emotional" thoughts that were retained and expressed.

I wanted to continue with another author Julia Quinn with the series "Bridgerton". I read a book, I let it work within me.I can say that I was holding myself back so as not to pursue the other volume right away. I do my best to give an interval of two days or more before starting the other volume. I am at my 7th of 9 volumes.

I like this series because the author makes us live surprises, unexpected moments, humor.... and it is a loving family that knows how to reach us inside with the mother's personality. She loves their 8 children. Respecting their character, intervenes differently for each one according to their difference.... Julia Quinn knows how to make us love to discover the "opposites" (strength behind a weakness or a wound in childhood) in the couple... as well as certain virtues so that the couple recognizes their love for each other.

Indeed, I prefer to finish a serie. There is really a work that is done in itself throughout the series.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Is there anything by Grace Burrowes I can read? Like A Rogue of Her Own?
Here is a post with the spreadsheet of the recommended books.

There are 3 books by Burrowes on the list: The Laird, Tremaine's True Love, and The Duke's Disaster.
 

Redrock12

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Here is a post with the spreadsheet of the recommended books.

There are 3 books by Burrowes on the list: The Laird, Tremaine's True Love, and The Duke's Disaster.
Thanks Hlat.
 

Tauriel

Jedi Master
I've just finished "One Night for Love" by M.Balogh and it has been an emotion packed ride.

The main characters are Lily and Neville who are also mentioned in the Survivor's Club series. Neville is Gwendoline's brother while Gwendoline is the heroine in 'The Proposal'.
It's interesting how Balogh keeps a thread of connection between the different stories. And whereas Gwendoline is the very nice and appropriate heroine in her story another darker side of her is displayed in this book.

Lily is some kind of force of nature. She grew up in the army train, is illiterate, brave and smart and endowed with a huge heart.
What happens to her in her life is almost too much to believe but Balogh stilll manages to keep the story including the traumas credible.

After having read a bunch of these romance novels I realize that some stories just disappear in a blur of memory whereas some stick out.
"One Night for Love" is one of those that will stick...at least for me.
 

placematt

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I just finished the sons of sin trilogy. I found that i identified with each of the male characters in all three. Jonas, Richard and Camden.

In particular, the main themes of each of their stories. For jonas, his issue with his looks, the scarring he received as a kid and not feeling as if he could be loved due to this. I really connected with this issue. Having issues with my looks and not measuring up to the beauty standards of our pop culture. Which indicates to me i have a materialistic sense of beauty.

With Richard i really felt the emotional impact of when his mother finally felt she could communicate to him the secrets of his father. That she waited to he himself had fallen in love in the hopes of him being able to understand why or how it could have possibly happened the way it did. I really felt this. I myself can be often opinionated and self important in my view of things. This was a great moment to understand that i cant grasp the concept of love because i have never experienced it. Not in a romantic partner anyhow. I can have healthy ideas of what this would entail and i have love for friends and family in my life but still without the experience of romantic love, I'm ignorant on this topic and need to be patient and understanding with the potential for future experiences in this arena.

Thirdly, cam. He never believed in love and i think it's because he was ignorant of what it meant. By the end of the story he understands that he was in love because he realised he would feel a certain end to his own life if Pen would die. This also brought some interesting feelings of my own to the forefront. I haven't experienced something like this so once again, I'm seeing a lot of the cultural information i have in regards to these dynamics are either incomplete or downright unhealthy. Reading through the wave series and seeing the relationship between Laura and Ark, i have come to see a mirror with a lot of the healthier aspects in these books. The same healthy dynamic of communication and building each other up. One of the big take aways from the final in the series was that many of the issues could have been cleared up with communication between Cam and Penn.

I'm getting a lot out of these books and its becoming apparent to me the difference in healthy, functioning relationships and the cultural information we have been informed with, or i have been informed with.
 

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have just finished reading A Christmas Bride by Mary Balogh. The main female character was quite different from Balogh’s main characters in the 4 Horsemen/Marriage of Convenience series (which I loved).

Helena’s self-loathing made her a really unpleasant partner to be around. I felt really sorry for Edgar, thank goodness he managed to see through all her meanness and that he had the patience to persevere. I was almost shouting at her while reading “for goodness sake just give it up already!” I didn’t really get the nice happy ending feeling that I did with the other books, it was more like a “finally!” feeling.

I’m part ways (they have just gone to the market on the frozen Thames) into A Christmas Beau, and I feel really sorry for the poor Marquess of Denbigh! I’ll be interested to see how it ends because I’m hoping there was a really good reason for Judith having run off on the poor chap. At least with Rose (Marry in Secret) Thomas was literally a slave in another continent so there was no way he could have gotten back to her, Judith better had been forced at gunpoint or something.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I have just finished reading A Christmas Bride by Mary Balogh. The main female character was quite different from Balogh’s main characters in the 4 Horsemen/Marriage of Convenience series (which I loved).

Helena’s self-loathing made her a really unpleasant partner to be around. I felt really sorry for Edgar, thank goodness he managed to see through all her meanness and that he had the patience to persevere. I was almost shouting at her while reading “for goodness sake just give it up already!” I didn’t really get the nice happy ending feeling that I did with the other books, it was more like a “finally!” feeling.

I’m part ways (they have just gone to the market on the frozen Thames) into A Christmas Beau, and I feel really sorry for the poor Marquess of Denbigh! I’ll be interested to see how it ends because I’m hoping there was a really good reason for Judith having run off on the poor chap. At least with Rose (Marry in Secret) Thomas was literally a slave in another continent so there was no way he could have gotten back to her, Judith better had been forced at gunpoint or something.

I felt exactly the same about "A Christmas Bride." Whew! What a mess! It was a wonder that it worked out as well as it did. But habits of behavior such as that woman had are hard to break.

As to "A Christmas Beau", responding to your spoiler comment without saying too much, yeah, that was my feeling. Wait until you finish it!
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I watched the first 2 episodes of Netflix's Bridgerton. It was not as bad as I expected. Sure, it has some historically incorrect stuff like blacks as duke's and Queen looks more Woke etc. The costumes, scenes, colors are very good.
I finished watched remaining episodes. I thought that series is good to the end. They seems to have stuck to the typical style of wounds, conflicts, resolutions etc. There is some sex stuff in the episodes though. It looks Netflix sanctioned for 2nd season based on second book in the series.

I read Dark Angel/Lord Carew's Bride volume last week.
Finished with Mary Balogh, Dark Angel Lord Carew's Bride. I disagreed with the fight at the end. The writer must have ran out of story telling. Mr. Wade character should just have left with his new Bride back to the estate at Highmor. There would have been maturity and the right ending instead of a cheap ending like a 1980's film. Well, the author attempts to make up for this at the end with overly affectionate feel good touch me I'll touch you. That energy spent on physical tousling with his cousin Lionel. Mr. Wade love would have developed if he would have went back with his love as Samantha implored, there would have been more of a story in keeping in touch with all that past between them. Instead, we get an immature ending. No one wins in a fight one just lose sooner than the other. Or lose something that could have been gained. Like precious time with his wife. Loss his compassion?. let he lose meaning amongst the others whom relish in the mere movement of contrôle customs , conventions out of habit fine words and beautiful things appealing to the senses. Lionel disgruntled will be on Mr. Wade. Was the relationship between him and his cousin or the young beautiful bride whom became a wife? I didn't expect the Miss Newmann to care after she received her husband into her arms rested assured no more harm would come. Woman don't usually see past there men at that young age there eyes are glimmering with emotions veiled by passion and lust or the hopeful well and spring of perfected love to be continued.
I too wondered by Mr. Wade's what seemed like impulsive challenge. But, that is how some quarrels are settled at that time and place even with the fallen friends too. I have seen similar temperaments in other cultures. I think when we consider the factors involved, it was not a surprise -
death is common even at young age in those days, 2 decades of suffering from Lionel's machinations( looked psychopathic to me), repeated deceptions/insults, now his wife became victim in this and he has the confidence of training.
I am in a little burnout mode and will pick up the books soon.
 

Lys

Jedi
I am on the "Sons of Sins" series from Anna Campbell, I am less engrossed by her books than by Balogh or Gracies.

"Seven nights in a Rogue's Bed" was quite steamy for the first half, but I think that two of the sex scenes are very important and realistic for the understanding of the characters.
I was quite sad for Sidonie as I found that Jonas was very hard on her, although I could understand what he's been through in childhood. I easily moved on to what would happen next and forgave him for his faux pas. Much of contradiction on what I felt for those characters.

I really liked "Days of Rakes and Roses", it was a short and nice story where I saw Simon like Lydia's savior and at the same time this is something that could have looked like opportunism, but the same here, I quickly forgot this point and was happy for them.

"A Rake's Midnight Kiss" is my favorite so far as there is in this story more intrigue. Richard can be irritating with his seducers mask but still funny.

I am currently reading "What a Duke Dares" and what I can say for this series is that it is much about the characters controlling their feelings and keeping silent about them.
So much suffering before giving up their shields and telling the truth ! It can be really frustrating !

Still, I think there is something missing in Campbell's books or maybe her stories don't resonate with me because I don't identify with the characters. I have to say that I'm waiting for quickly go back to Balogh or discover another author.
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I took a 2.5 week break recently, I suppose to due to romance fatigue or blocked emotions. I had read Balogh's Horsemen series and didn't get very much out of it. I think my break was a little too long. I just picked up Gracie's Merridew series and so far I am pleasantly enjoying it. The first novel starts out pretty quickly and even has a sort of comedy like situation going on.

When selecting my next series I had to skip some I wanted to listen to as audiobooks because they weren't available from the apps, or simply had no audiobook version. I have 5 Audible credits so I need to use them up, so I may just pause my subscription. At some point I will have to actually choose a text version once all audiobooks are completed. I bought an E-Ink reader for that purpose.
 
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