Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Neil

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I finished A Rake's Midnight Kiss and the companion novella Days of Rakes and Roses, and I continue to have mixed reactions to these books. I'll start out with the negatives.

In the context of Jonas' story, I could somewhat see the motivation Richard had to get the family jewel, but it seemed weak sauce to me to justify toying with Genevieve's heart. Richard comes across as a more cosmopolitan and metrosexual version of Jonas, and I would personally consider a lot of his behavior to be sexual harassment. Like Jonas, he mixes in a few gentlemanly charms to keep things ambiguous and her on the hook while also becoming enthralled by her voluptuous virility. His often lascivious remarks marked him in my mind as another rich highborn playboy with nothing better to do, and broke my immersion with the story early on, sending me into a purely analytical reading mode. This was mildly offset on Genevieve's side because her outlook on life, at least in regard to more mundane things, was similar to mine, and I could identify with her character a bit and imagine how I would respond to Richard's advances. She is a type of woman I would find interesting, and half the time I was hoping she would just slap Richard in the face, although I can appreciate that being kind of hard to do when you have the hots for someone. Still, watching him slowly reeling her in with his peacock routine became a bit tedious. The first steamy scene in the park was the nadir of the book for me. I didn't really understand what the attraction between the two of them was, and it just seemed like he was good at playing her and exploiting her curiosity in his cultured mannerisms and stunning good looks so that he could make a conquest out of this superficial thing dressed up as a romance. The real turning point occurred when Richard played hero during the rape incident, and the whole romance finally started to coalesce in a way that made sense to me from then on. Their sexual relationship developed in a more organic and less contrived way than in the first book, I thought. The book became more readable as it took on some action/adventure aspects, and I actually couldn't decide whether the scene in the crypt was romantic or just plain crazy. It was somewhat arousing, and I finally concluded that it was just crazily romantic. It seemed a bit nonsensical to me why Genevieve was so upset to find out that Richard was actually a lord considering she already knew he was lying to her about himself and she seemed to accept it, recognizing that they definitely had a connection and that he was an actually an honorable man. She seemed really convinced that a lord would never stoop to her level despite all that had transpired. Fortunately this was resolved quickly enough that it did not become an annoyance. The rest of the book proceeds to a reasonable conclusion. Overall I found this story marginally better than the first one, although there was a still copious amount of eye-rolling in the early parts and it took me quite a long time until I actually cared about what was going on. The romance felt more well-rounded, but was really carried on just a handful of chapters.

The novella is actually my favorite so far because it had at least some relevance to me, and the reunification with the childhood sweetheart was a much more endearing story line. We seemed to be starting on a higher level than the seducer/manipulator who is somehow transformed into Mr. Right through an unlikely combination of circumstances and realizations. The fact that he wasn't a lord was also a plus; finally something a little more realistic. The stereotypical roles of power/wealth/prestige were inverted with this couple, which I found refreshing. Simon's decision to travel the world as a way to bury his feelings about his first (and only true) love was also loosely related to my decision to do the same. I wouldn't quite call it a page-turner, but I was curious to see what would happen throughout and I didn't have any issues at all with the steamy parts. The main drawback to this one was that it was never intended to be a real book, it's sort of a "romance snack" between the Sons of Sin books, and it's too short to really get into the details of their relationship and what drew them together other than their magnetic sexuality. The plot basically revolves around Cam using Simon's sexuality to save his sister from entering into a marriage of convenience which would've become hell for her. If it had been fully developed, this book probably would've earned a solid B from me.

While my mental reactions to these books have been somewhat muted, they seem to take on an entirely different character while I'm sleeping. Someone a few pages back described it as a sort of reawakening of their teenage sexuality, and I have to concur that this does seem to be the case. The first thing that happened was I had another "morning wood" occurrence similar to what was discussed in my previous post, however the sensate was not just confined to the genitals, but was more of a whole body thing spiraling almost all the way up into my head. I hadn't experienced anything like that in quite a long time. There was a sensation of existing inside a large organic capacitor that was being charged up for some purpose. Thoughts of love and romantic situations from the books applied to a more contemporary setting fluttered around in my head for the next couple of days and made it hard to focus on anything at work. My "inner voice" was going on and on about none of this being really important, that I needed to think more about love, to which my general response was that bills need to be paid and money makes the world go round, and even love requires some money in order to function, sad to say. I then had some compulsion to listen to some love songs on YouTube I hadn't listened to in about 10 years because I had convinced myself that they were just "stupid fantasies." After this phase, I woke up one morning midway through some frenetic thought process going on concerning "holding my beloved in my arms." The "romance bug" had made it into my intellectual center. "Next you're going to be drawing little hearts on everything," I told myself sarcastically. I hadn't been so open regarding relationships and sexuality since my teens/very early 20s. I remembered how I let my head climb into the clouds regarding the possibilities and then came crashing back down to Earth when the reality did not meet the expectations. "Well, we're definitely not going to feel that again," I declared, "that was miserable." Night before last I had a dream which seemed very loosely based on A Rake's Midnight Kiss, which involved stealing a powerful crystalline device from a trio of witches. I had pretended to be some kind of warlock/voodoo master in order to gain access to it so I could take it back to this angelic-nymph-spirit-lady who had originally given me the quest. I eventually got found out, one of the witches captured me, and was taking me to see her "lord" when the dream ended. Apparently the witches and the angel-nymphs were having some type of covert war. While I don't put any stock in that silly dream, I have returned to a more neutral state since.

I decided to download the third book in the series since the consensus seems to be that it's the best. The 4th one might be a no go, we'll see how I feel about it later. Balogh's quintet seems more up my alley as it seems to have little bits to engage me mentally instead of just emotionally, which would make the story more comprehensive and interesting to me, but stuff seems to be happening regardless...
 

trytofly

Jedi
Curiously I also look for tenderness in touch (just someone I can hold in my arms ! and yet I tell myself that this simple thing is too much to ask for). But here we are in our world and with all the knowledge and the application of it that we have on the forum, I tell myself that hoping to meet someone open to the nature of the wave, the keto, the conspiracies etc... is literally wishful thinking. This feeling of loneliness naturally deepens even more. You can be very well surrounded and have good friends but if nobody is there so that you can share your journey with total intimacy, it's still a shame to be 7 billion on the planet and not find one person ?
Keep in mind that those are novels/fictions, and not necessarily realistic – though, from other members' accounts (for ie, MK Scarlett), and from reading some real life testimonies on the Internet, that kind of "love at first sight" phenomenon does exist. Of course, it's not the be all and end all. It's what you do with those feelings of attraction that counts: say the attraction is mutual. OK: but what is your intent? And what is the other person's intent? I'm not sure just "riding out into the sunset" is gonna lead to something productive for either of you.
I'm certainly not going to talk about love at first sight, and an obvious spontaneous attraction doesn't obligatorily have to be sexual or physical. Perhaps more psychological, when two people sincerely seek the same thing. The real problem is trust. And sometimes you have to take risks to gain mutual trust. Instinct probably plays a big role in deciding whether to take that risk or not when you think you are finding the right person.
Nor is it necessary that the ideal person, in my humble opinion, be necessarily involved in the same inner work that one does on one's own. Everyone is at their own level at their own pace. It suffices, it seems to me, that the person is sufficiently awake not to swallow all the lies of the system, and totally respects your vision of things and your actions.

I speak on a personal basis of course, and each has their own lessons, but I just want to remind everyone to always be hopeful.
I felt lonely for a very long time when I was young, and I was desperate to find a soul mate. I was not willing to have a good time with someone while waiting for the gem.
But deep inside, without realizing it, I wasn't really ready yet.
Without going into details, I decided to change my life, and I met the woman of my life soon after.
Without paying too much attention to her the first time, I just drove her home in the car when all the "friends" refused to make the effort.
I saw her a second time shortly after by chance. We had a long discussion. I went back to pick her up the next day to bring her home. And we haven't left each other since. 22 years of marriage, 23 years together, 2 children.
Needless to say, no one around us believed that such a quick relationship could last.
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Well, there is ’love at first sight’ - as I painfully made the experience.

First time I saw this particular lady, she didn’t really strike a chord - she was just another student sitting somewhere far away in the auditorium. A few years later I met her at work - and this is when it hit me, like a ton of bricks. The next 18 months were agonizing, I was like a drowning sailor clinging to a wooden plank after the boat sank. But it was also exhilarating, not sure if in a good way, though. Looking back, it had something unhealthy about it - or maybe not?

To make a long story short, she eventually left me. I was totally devastated, and it took many years for me to come to some resemblance of closure. But I also think that I learned a few lessons from that - I suspect that she left me partially because I was too ‘needy’, not mature enough. Not ‘manly’ like the characters described in the novels. And definitely desperately to hide any perceived ‘weakness’ or vulnerability.

While these times were super-exciting and I felt totally alive and my creativity was overflowing, I am not sure I would ever want to be in such a relationship again. Looking back it seems like I was caught in a particular form of madness - and I can somehow relate to the characters described in the Campbell novels that I am currently reading, how every thought in any direction always finds a way back to THAT person. And you feel like a drug addict waiting for his next shot.

So to sum it up, looking back to this relationship is a mixture of excitement, longing, loss, regret and pain. Who’d have thought that reading the novels would bring back those long buried memories ...
 

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Yes, I must say I'm fascinated by and almost in love with some of the male protagonists. It's not, IMO, about "discovering your feminine side" for them, rather about finding the courage to open up, and to love. And they actually keep their male characteristics, but learn how to channel them into something positive and creative, as in "love can move mountains". It's kind of an archetypical story: Before love, they use their wit, intelligence, recklessness, carelessness etc. for spiritual self-destruction, hurting everyone in their way in the process. After love and transformation, they are still witty, intelligent, reckless and careless - but they use these characteristics in LOVE for the benefit of others, for truth, justice and true honor and nobility.
I also don´t think that men in these novels lost something by falling in love, or that they "discovered their feminine side" - I think that that phrase itself is feminist garbage.
Feelings are natural part of every human being, but due to the fact that for centuries men were told that they have to hide their feelings and "be a man", this phrase came in recent times from women who were raising their children alone, divorced, with hate for men and rising their "mamma´s boys" on soy milk who then became over-feminist.

My father was a lot of things, but he (nor my mother) never failed to show me or my brother that he loves us. Today my brother is not afraid to either hug and kiss me or my mother or my father and I don´t look at him as less of a man for doing that.

I have 2 boys, who are so much different in both appearance and inner selves that sometimes I cannot believe they came from the same mother and father.
My younger son comes to me with hugs and kisses, and sometimes he kiss me so hard that it actually hurt my face.
My older son was never a child that would run to my arms or hug me and I found that peculiar. He did cuddle himself by my or my man´s side and that was it. Until he started to talk - then I saw how deep his feelings were. And that reminded me of myself and how my mother used to told me that I never came to her for a kiss, while my brother came for a kiss and a cuddle. So, since I didn´t come to them, my mother and my father came to me and gave me hugs and kisses.
And I remembered how nice and cozy and safe that felt.
And I´m doing exactly that - I never forget every day to kiss and hug them both and to tell them that I love them.
And when I´ve fell in love with my man, I haven´t had problems to show my feelings.

The point I´m trying to make here is that not every person is alike due to their upbringing, genetics, lessons etc. Some are more open to express emotions and some simply are not. Some simply feel deep and don´t know how to express themselves.
And what we are seeing here is how persons lives and personalities are formed from earliest childhood and how those personalities dictate the course of one´s life. And and inspiration to us how they beat their programs trough honesty, self-sacrifice, trust and love.

When I´m reading these novels, I don´t see or feel that those men lost any respect or greatness for falling in love.
In i.e. "Sons of Sin" series both Cam, Jonas and James were powerful, dominant and strong men. After they fell in love, what other people saw is a great affection to their wives and sting of jealousy - wanting the same for themselves. They haven't lost any of theirs "Duke-like" appearance (like authority, dominance and seriousness) or became feminine.
Even when James in book 4 cried for Nell, none of his friends (Cam, Richard and Jonas) didn´t make fun of him or think of him less of a men, but they sympathized with him and helped him.



*****************

Now I´m on "1797 Club" series.
I love it. :-)
It is similar to "Sons of Sin" series now that I think about it, but I needed a break from Balogh "Courting Julia" series. That 3 books left me in peaces (I´ve already described here in this thread), so before I come back to pure emotion that Balogh presents in her pages, I´ll finish this series.

The Daring Duke

I liked the book very much and I felt so sad for poor Emma and her pimp of a mother. And the bastard of a father.
I mean, a mother says to her daughter: "You shut your eyes and you just imagine the wonderful life you could have and what you could provide for me."
The self-centered, manipulative bi***! Sorry for the language, but that´s exactly how I felt every time I´ve read some paragraph with Emma´s mother in it.

...“It seems we are both cowards,” she said at last, bowing her head as she backed toward his office door. “Too afraid to give anything for fear it will open us to hurt, to betrayal. We will protect ourselves to a bitter end. And it will be bitter, James. Because we both know that the path we are on will guarantee we end up alone. Even if I find a husband here, even if you one day accept that you must find a wife…we will still be alone.”
This quote pretty much summaries the whole book; two people, stuck with their fears and doubts.

There was a flash of fantasy through his mind. Of a life that would be possible with Emma. One with pleasure and laughter…but also vulnerability. The more she knew him, the more she would see. It wouldn’t just be hints of sadness then. She would know his anger, his pain, his fear…
James here had a honest talk with himself. He realized his real fears, what he should coupe with and make his life better.
And from female perspective, I didn´t see him a "lesser man" or "feminized man" for that; it only showed his maturity and his awareness of his flaws and the things he buried deep inside.
From that point he could either stay in his shell or brake it and set himself free to love.
Yes, circumstances forced that shell-braking a little, but if he didn´t act on the moment, he would lost a valuable thing which is a deep and honest love he shares with Emma.


###########


Her Favorite Duke

This story of Simon and Meg was very tensed. Like Meg, I felt if I read word "honor" one more time, I´ll brake my tablet.
Simon was determent to ruin himself and the love he had with Meg for years - all because standards implemented by society and standards implemented by his parents.

“We all carry our past with us, don’t we? I know I do. James did for many years, and even now when the weight is lighter, he still holds it on his shoulders. Simon is no different. I can imagine if he spent his life never receiving his father’s attention or meeting his mother’s impossibly high standards, it would make him reluctant to try to win anything.”
How painful was to read those pages, knowing the reasons behind his actions but still feeling so sad.

I felt so sad and proud of Meg when she walked away; if she didn´t Simon would never came out from his "world of honor and world of standards" he built all his life.

Their relationship was obvious from the book one, but the dept of the problematic and inside to the characters revealed in a second book, really left me surprised, how good author Michaels is.

Also, the same as "Sons of Sin" series, the "1797 Club" series has even more interconnection between characters so it is a good thing if one reads them in an order. :-)
 

Renaissance

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I'm only 50% of mackenzie's first novel and I'm oscillating between sadness, joy, depression, the desire to love and still full of roller coaster effects.

I think way Ian's emotional landscape was developed along with the sexual center, and with some special characteristics of Beth, can have some far reaching effects for some people. I'll write a more thorough review later, but just wanted to encourage you to keep reading. The ending had a pretty big emotional impact on me. The way I've thought of it is like a chiropractic adjustment for the emotional and sexual centers.
 

Ollie

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Just finished reading Anne Gracie's Marriage of Convenience series of four books.

The formula seems to be the same for each. The surface, or world face, portrayed values, are underpinned by other, more hidden, natural strengths (that are unknown) by both partners. As time progresses in the relationship, often after a rocky start, each partner brings out the hidden strenghts in the other. The surface values are subsumed by each. By the time of the last chapter or so, tears are brought to my eyes (in each of the four books) with reading how the two partners have blossomed together with the once hidden, new, strengths fully to the fore and the bond between the two partners deepened and strengthened.
 

Windmill knight

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Moderator
FOTCM Member
Just finished reading Anne Gracie's Marriage of Convenience series of four books.

The formula seems to be the same for each. The surface, or world face, portrayed values, are underpinned by other, more hidden, natural strengths (that are unknown) by both partners. As time progresses in the relationship, often after a rocky start, each partner brings out the hidden strenghts in the other. The surface values are subsumed by each. By the time of the last chapter or so, tears are brought to my eyes (in each of the four books) with reading how the two partners have blossomed together with the once hidden, new, strengths fully to the fore and the bond between the two partners deepened and strengthened.

I'm on the third one of this series. I was just thinking along the same lines - that there is a similar pattern to the stories, but the personalities of the characters and the circumstances are rather different, so it's interesting to see how each couple goes through their own challenges. I too got teary-eyed at the climatic moment of the first book, although I probably sympathized more with the second couple, as they seem more 'human' in the sense that their flaws were more obvious, and it was endearing to see how they displayed inner qualities and strengths that were apparently not there to start with. There was also a bit more adventure in that book!

So far I have quite liked the way the books are written. The dialogues are witty, often funny; their set of circumstances and the characters are extraordinary, yet believable and not over the top, and the psychology is consistent and interesting and it evolves. As for the sex scenes, I haven't found them too graphic nor distasteful - probably because it's all in the context of romance and by the time you get to read about the sex, you have already identified the characters as humans with depth and specific character traits, i.e. you can empathize with them, so there's none of the objectification you see in porn.

When finishing this series I'm looking forward to the other top-rated ones by Laura!
 

Chu

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FOTCM Member
I too finished Anne Gracie's Marriage of Convenience series. I LOVED IT! The second and the fourth books were my favorites, but I got something out of all of them. Now I'm reading Heartless, followed by Silent Melody.

I was thinking this morning how sometimes, these books provide some "cleansing" for obvious reasons: one of the characters feels or does something I can relate to, I look back at my past, and can view it with less self-hatred, and more understanding of the "human condition" (and my own and other people's flaws and mistakes). Other times, it's sighing and hoping I had been more like such and such character. But other times, it's as if the story brought up something that has been buried for ages(lives?)! As if I "remembered" acting or feeling like that, but without a clear memory of it. It's not from relating to the characters per se, as they are all quite different. I don't know, but it feels almost "archetypal", as if it was simple karmic lessons that we've been through over and over, yet some were never mastered, some not even fully remembered this time around. Yet, they are there.

It's sometimes subtle, but I find myself thinking: "Ok, now I understand, and I'm not crazy". "Oh, so THAT's what led me to [mistake here], and that's what kept me sane." "THAT's so good and real and honest! Look what patience, love and companionship can do!" Or simply being deeply moved, and processing in the background something I don't fully know consciously.

It sometimes feels like "neurOptimal" for the emotions. You go up and down as you read, and once you are done, it takes "the edge" off of things. The world is still here, the news are as awful as usual... but somewhere, within ourselves, is that other world where people really learn and make it, and love and care for each other, if that makes sense. In and of itself, I find that hopeful and somewhat uplifting. We still have a long road to walk, most likely, each of us individually, as a group, and in the world at large. But these authors have managed to tap into something that CAN unite people and inspire them, I think. Our network has been doing that for ages, but this makes it FEEL even more right.
 
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Laura

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Another book to add to the list: Balogh, "The Temporary Wife". Some very specific family issues are portrayed here and I think a LOT of people will identify with them, particularly men with overbearing fathers. I just couldn't put this one down!
 

SMM

The Living Force
I'm about 68% into Campbell's 7 Nights, at the start of Chapter 23, and it's definitely a moving story. I've experienced emotions I sort of forgotten I could. I couldn't go to sleep without saying something about it in this thread, although I am not sure how much what I have to say is worth.

So far, the book has left me with what I experience as a longing for connection or intimacy. There's more I want to say that it might be better to sleep on plus finish the book before I have a better understanding and more clarity on the direction of what is most important to add or include in response.

For sure, it's not a book I'd pick up and read willingly before this journey into these books. That being said, it's been hard to put down.

After finishing these series, the Sons of Sin, I'm going to read Scarlett Scott's series, as @Gaby's comments on them with a quote from Paul's letters about joy etc. really moved me. Her post is somewhere in the middle of this thread (pg. 8-15 thereabouts) - I will include it in a future post to comment on further.

EDIT: @Chu hit the nail on the head with this:

It's sometimes subtle, but I find myself thinking: "Ok, now I understand, and I'm not crazy". "Oh, so THAT's what led me to [mistake here], and that's what kept me sane." "THAT's so good and real and honest! Look what patience, love and companionship can do!" Or simply being deeply moved, and processing in the background something I don't fully know consciously.
 
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KTC

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I'm on the second of Anne Gracies Convenient Marriages series.

I love how the books just allow you to melt into the story. Sure there are smokey sex scenes but the love and emotions are real and raw for the characters and their love is deep, often dawning on them through circumstances that change their initial perspective.

The falling in love scenes remind me a bit of the story we've all heard of a wealthy business man having a heart attack or such, seeing his life flash before his eyes and then going forwards with renewed perspective, turning back to family, stripping away the materialistic, stressful career and choosing a simple life instead.

These books stir deep in my belly and I remember falling in love for the first time as a young adult. The yearning to be with that person every minute of every day, the way your whole body would tingle when you touch them and just how perfect they were through those rose coloured glasses. The intensity was raw and whole and completely consuming. My first love ended up overdosing on heroin 6 months after I left him to go travelling. I have never felt so much grief and the grief was only matched by the love I had for him. Even through grief, the depth of feeling was somehow wonderful and these books stir in me that same sensation, or give memory to.

Now, instead of turning to my phone or computer, I find myself picking up the book and enjoying the escape, enjoying that memory of love first felt. I usually read outside, in nature, soaking up the sun and I find myself stopping to feel for my surroundings more than I usually would. Maybe it's because I am more aware and taking note with this project, but I can tell you, the sky is bluer when I'm reading Anne Gracie compared to reading something dry and dull. I'd much rather be creating a new World with romance novels than with anything else available on mainstream screens right now. :)

Having said that - my carriage awaits and I'm off to London ton to immerse myself again :)
 

Mariama

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Two strangers going for the pleasure of the flesh ? All this seduction seems to be a game (and I make the short cut that if seduction is a game, then one manipulates the other to fulfill one's own desires, like a hidden intention). The example I can give is that of offering flowers to your wife, the twisted thought that comes to my mind is to say, we make this gesture not out of love but because we are waiting for the reward that our lady comes to satisfy us sexually in bed (sorry it's a big shortcut but unfortunately I have that in mind).
I don't see "seduction" in the novel we're talking about. The interactions between Beth and Ian are anything but a game: Ian is completely honest regarding his intentions. Even blunt. He's not hiding anything (his "autistic" condition makes him incapable of lying), except for his wounding (because of fear). He falsely believes that he's unable to love. But then, Beth happens and shatters that belief. In the end, truth prevails.

As somebody else already mentioned in this thread we can recognise the main characters' love languages Gary Chapman identifies in his book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. And lovemaking/sex is one of them! For me that was quite the eye-opener. Just as we do chores for others out of love and commitment (if that's their love language) or give them presents (another one) lovemaking is another way of making the partner feel loved (especially if that's his primary love language). I used to think that 'giving in' was a form of exploitation and a person should never have to consent to sex if she didn't want to! It is clear to me now that I was hiding behind some feminist BS, while disregarding the man's perspective and wishes completely.

That said, lovemaking/sex is a mine-field for some of us, because it can represent very negative events and feelings in childhood which left us with a shattered world-view of relationships and intimacy. Fear (of exploitation) is one of them, lack of trust and unwillingness to give up our false personalities and buffers also come to mind. I am now reading Marry in Scarlet (number four) of Anne Gracie's "Marriage of Convenience" series and it is stirring up all kinds of things in me. Last night I had a dream, I was waiting for my train to a familiar destination, when all of a sudden the destination on the platform disappeared and became unknown. I also had a dream of a small, but very deep sinkhole at the station while I was trying to alert one of my (?) caretakers in order to save the small child he was with. The man in my dream didn't respond at all. So, it seems as if I am working through some deep-seated emotions and events, for which I am grateful, although it is not easy it is very much worth it and some kind of cleansing/healing is taking place on a deep level OSIT.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
So finally I finished the first volume of Jennifer Ashley, the Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie and surprise! I cried.

Never ever in my life I would have imagined to cry a romance book. How amazing.

Evidently I cried remembering many things and also feeling many emotions: especially the love to my husband that is there but not expressed correctly, for many reasons, he being a little Asperger and me asking him to be tender but ignoring that love is acceptance. I forgot, with years passing, how beautiful was our love at the beginning. Now, after 35 years together, what can I tell you? So yes, this book made me cry and think about how it is important to accept, to love unconditionally. And listen to this little bird that is love. So fragile and so tender and so beautiful and still there. Waiting and singing. oh well, suddenly I am romantic!



Thank you Laura! I will continue with this strange and amazing adventure.
 

echo

Jedi
I have finished reading the Sons of Sin series, and it was an interesting experience. Because of other obligations I wasn’t able to read the books quickly as I normally do. The first three books seemed to draw up a lot of emotional resistance in me, I found them to be ok but nothing like my experience with the Horsemen trilogy. I was feeling quite heavy at times, and I was contemplating whether to maybe even skip the last book (A scoundrel by moonlight). I’m glad I didn’t! Funny enough I found the last book to be so enjoyable and sweet, all the way to the end. It left me with a renewed feeling of hope and an open heart. So welcome after a rough patch!
 

primeaddict

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Well, there is ’love at first sight’ - as I painfully made the experience.

First time I saw this particular lady, she didn’t really strike a chord - she was just another student sitting somewhere far away in the auditorium. A few years later I met her at work - and this is when it hit me, like a ton of bricks. The next 18 months were agonizing, I was like a drowning sailor clinging to a wooden plank after the boat sank. But it was also exhilarating, not sure if in a good way, though. Looking back, it had something unhealthy about it - or maybe not?

To make a long story short, she eventually left me. I was totally devastated, and it took many years for me to come to some resemblance of closure. But I also think that I learned a few lessons from that - I suspect that she left me partially because I was too ‘needy’, not mature enough. Not ‘manly’ like the characters described in the novels. And definitely desperately to hide any perceived ‘weakness’ or vulnerability.

While these times were super-exciting and I felt totally alive and my creativity was overflowing, I am not sure I would ever want to be in such a relationship again. Looking back it seems like I was caught in a particular form of madness - and I can somehow relate to the characters described in the Campbell novels that I am currently reading, how every thought in any direction always finds a way back to THAT person. And you feel like a drug addict waiting for his next shot.

So to sum it up, looking back to this relationship is a mixture of excitement, longing, loss, regret and pain. Who’d have thought that reading the novels would bring back those long buried memories ...

After much observations of unhealthy relationships I have come to the conclusion that there is a dark Cupid that works against our happiness. We have to work hard to recognize dark Cupid's diabolical matchmaking arrow. It is extremely rare for someone to fall in love with their healthiest other at first sight. The healthiest relationships from my experience occurred gradually over time as they slowly pealed away all of the layers until they saw each other's core nature. It is hard work and requires patients and compassion towards each other to endure this long process.
 
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