Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Redrock12

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Romantic Books even if they are not your stories now, they can be stories of some of "etheral characters" that could be you in the past or are in the "future", however even if not concern you directly, you can learn something from it, as learn from life of some other.
While doing a library search for the books of Mary Balogh's Survival series I ran across an anthology of paranormal short stories entitled Bespelling Jane Austen. Mary Balogh being the lead-in author, according to the book's introduction, "chose to reimagine Austen's novel Persuasion." Entitled Almost Persuaded, "Jane Everett finally learns after several lifetimes...that when it comes to love, all the advice and persuasion in the world from trusted friends and relatives are no substitute for what the heart knows."
Balogh mentions in the introduction to Almost Persuaded that she believes in reincarnation, which I find interesting, and which, imo, gives added credibility to her main characters' dilemma.
Of course, like all romantic stories, it has a happy ending, but she builds the tension in such a heart-rending way as to emotionally involve the reader. At least it was for me.
Imo, a great read.
 
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hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Finished Silent Melody by Mary Balogh, sequel of Heartless. I liked the characters, and when I started book 2 of the 1797 Club series, my head wasn't really in it and I was still thinking about Silent Melody.

There was the passage, "Life was more than just breathing and eating and sleeping. Life had to have quality and dignity."
 

placematt

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I have just finished the wicked deeds of Daniel Mckenzie. And whilst I really enjoy reading these books, i'm becoming frustrated, angry and annoyed at them. I am viewing them more as fairy tales as I don't believe these same narratives would unfold if each of these men where not wealthy. i'm apprehensive to express my thinking in regards to this but maybe someone else is struggling with a similar cultural program. Because i do believe I have picked up my beliefs from our society/culture.

I have been sold on the idea of marriage and love is a transaction. Sure it maybe disguised as love or love is used as the mask for what most relationships are. But, I'm struggling to relate to these characters in the books because they all have large amounts of wealth and all their time is spent on working through their issues. I thought perhaps i was jealous of their wealth? But i still cant rectify that the wealth the McKenzie brothers have played a huge role in securing and allowing them to both court and work through their issues and played a part in attracting the women.

As i'm reading these books. whilst i enjoy the relationships between the brothers and I have noted before the enjoyment I have through these books because the relationship with my own brothers is somewhat non-existent. And I would say that I have somewhat purposefully tried to "cling" to the brothers side of connection vs the male and female or romantic side of the narrative because i struggle to buy into it.

Maybe others can chime in on this but this blockage is incredibly strong and daunting and i'm unsure if my mind can ever be changed on this idea of marriage is a financial move for two people. that its a transaction. Then again, i have never had a successful relationship so i'm possibly a fish out of water. Not believing in a soul mate means it is a choice who i choose to be with as no one is "destined" to be with me. So if it is a choice then one would way up the pros and con's of someone and thus falling in love would be more of a business decision?

Its incredibly confusing and frustrating trying to wrap my head around this. I could really use some feedback if others have had the same conflict in themselves?
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
The MacKenzie clan is only one storyline. There are quite a few others in the selections suggested, and not all of them are about wealth. In fact, one could say that wealth is just a metaphor for personal power, self-control, knowledge and being, integrity, kindness, etc.

The fact that you have stumbled over the wealth part might suggest that you need to work on the other areas instead of thinking that you must buy happiness and since you are not wealthy, can't have it or don't deserve it.
 

Ryan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I've been re-reading "Unholy Hungers" by Barbara E. Hort as an adjunct to the romance novels and she makes this interesting series of remarks that I found relevant:

Barbara E. Hort writing in Unholy Hungers said:
In my opinion, much of the healing of our societal wounds lies in the archetypal energy of the sacred prostitute. To whatever degree we are able, as women and men, to reunite our sensuality with our spirituality, we can ease the deep pain of our body/spirit rift and rejoice in our renewed sacred potency. More specifically to the subject of this book,
whenever we activate the archetype of the sacred prostitute in our psyches, we protect ourselves from the syrupy tactics of the feminine vampire and the Draculan tactics of the masculine vampire. The sacred prostitute celebrates the magnificent, mortal flesh that incarnates our souls, while the psychic vampire displays only contempt for the flesh as a means of exploiting the soul. Whenever we accept or indulge in contempt for a body, including our own, we are succumbing to the psychic vampire. When, on the other hand, we celebrate the body, especially in the exaltation of sexuality as a golden path to our divinity, then the vampire's predation is foiled. Have you ever seen the sculpture of Saint Teresa in the throes of her ecstatic union with God?

Have you ever read the words or seen the paintings derived from the visions of the twelfth-century abbess Saint Hildegard van Bingen? Have you ever read the evocative poetry of King David and King Solomon? Religious education usually denies the sexuality inherent in these images, but anyone who has experienced sexual ecstasy must admit that for these people, touching the face of God seems to have been an orgasmic encounter. The poetry of the Jewish kings also teach us that the sacred prostitute's energy is not exclusively the, province of women. Indeed, it is essential for men to own their sacred sexuality, particularly if they are facing a feminine vampire- otherwise, they will leap straight into her maw when she deceitfully promises to "give" them the sensuality they already possess. Whether we are male or female, when the sacred prostitute connects us to our immortal divinity through our phenomenal bodies, we can easily see through the smoke and mirrors of the vampire’s pornographic ploys, and we can cleave instead to the sacred sexuality that leads us home to ourselves.

Here is a picture of the sculpture of Saint Teresa referenced:

the-ecstasy-of-saint-teresa.JPG

I also looked up the poetry of Kings David and Solomon referenced. Some examples are Psalms 23, 28 and 5. I have read these before, however I always considered them very 'Bible-y' and 'belief-y'. Instead, for an exercise, I inverted the masculine imagery in these Psalms with femine. I found the results extraordinarily beautiful and deeply evocative. Have a read and see if you feel the same way:

Psalms said:
23:
The Lady is my shepherdess; I shall not want.

She maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
She leadeth me beside the still waters.

She restoreth my soul:
She leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for her name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy vase and thy bowl they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lady for ever.
-------

28:
Unto thee will I cry, O Lady my rock;
be not silent to me:
lest, if thou be silent to me,
I become like them that go down into the pit.

Hear the voice of my supplications,
when I cry unto thee,
when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Draw me not away with the wicked,
and with the workers of iniquity,
which speak peace to their neighbours,
but mischief is in their hearts.

Give them according to their deeds,
and according to the wickedness of their endeavours:
give them after the work of their hands;
render to them their desert.

Because they regard not the works of the Lady,
nor the operation of her hands,
She shall destroy them,
and not build them up.

Blessed be the Lady,
because she hath heard the voice of my supplications.

The Lady is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusted in her, and I am helped:
therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth;
and with my song will I praise her.

The Lady is their strength,
and She is the saving strength of her anointed.

Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance:
feed them also, and lift them up for ever.
-------

5:
Give ear to my words, O Lady,
consider my meditation.

Hearken unto the voice of my cry,
my Queen, and my Goddess: for unto thee will I pray.

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lady;
in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

For thou art not a Goddess that hath pleasure in wickedness:
neither shall evil dwell with thee.

The foolish shall not stand in thy sight:
thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing:
the Lady will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into thy house
in the multitude of thy mercy:
and in thy love will I worship
toward thy holy temple.

Lead me, O Lady, in thy righteousness
because of mine enemies;
make thy way straight before my face.

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
their inward part is very wickedness;
their throat is an open sepulchre;
they flatter with their tongue.

Destroy thou them, O Goddess;
let them fall by their own counsels;
cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions;
for they have rebelled against thee.

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice:
let them ever shout for joy,
because thou defendest them:
let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

For thou, Lady, wilt bless the righteous;
with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

These produced such a different impression in me that I couldn't help but wonder: given what we know about the plagiarism, corruption and 'editing' in/of the Bible, are these perhaps closer to the "original" versions of these poems? Of course, it's possible that, me being male, I find the feminine versions of these poems more beautiful and women prefer the masculine imagery of the traditional poems. Still, I couldn't help but wonder.
 
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drazen

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I’ve finished Balogh’s Web trilogy. As others have said, the last one was a torture. So far, of all the suggested books here that I’ve read, the characters of James and Madeline were the only ones that brought me enormous frustration with their behavior toward each other. Sometimes I wanted to enter into their fictional reality and yell at them for missing so many opportunities to say what’s in their hearts. And what a perfect terrain for that psychopathic character at the Duke’s ball to manipulate Madeline, oh I wanted to get her with my hands and drag her away from his poisonous words. I was angry with her letting that happen in the first place, but I understand that that is what happens when communication with those who can inform you or protect you is almost non-existent. While it all ended well, and with tears in my eyes, the first book was the one which brought more joy to me in the end – Edmund and Alexandra, my favorite characters in this trilogy.

Next to read is The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring, and then I’m moving on to the Survivor’s Club.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have just finished the wicked deeds of Daniel Mckenzie. And whilst I really enjoy reading these books, i'm becoming frustrated, angry and annoyed at them. I am viewing them more as fairy tales as I don't believe these same narratives would unfold if each of these men where not wealthy. i'm apprehensive to express my thinking in regards to this but maybe someone else is struggling with a similar cultural program. Because i do believe I have picked up my beliefs from our society/culture.
I haven't yet read any of Jennifer Ashley's books yet, though I read few books from other authors. Mckenzie series is a long one and so want to read it at the end. Each author has a certain understanding of what it means to be life and love etc. They explore it according to their depth of their understanding of their concepts.

I do agree that Wealth gave them time, leisure, patience to sort out things. Most of the characters with money waste their time in gossip( to ruin others' reputations), booze, woman, bad relations and so on. So, I think, Wealth (or even education) itself not sufficient for lasting positive change. Of course, there is a happy-ever-after formula is essential to make people read it. But, how one set of protagonists lessons in one book become a small inspiration for others other books in series to spread the message is a constant theme.

But the most important thing is they have an "inherent giving character" to decide what is correct, knowledge to try it out, have the background to explore the vulnerability. Some flourish when the opportunity was given. Mary Balogh was the master in exploring the inner dialogue, conflict etc. More than one-third of the recommended books are written by Balogh. I thought what is there to cover in so many books. I would say there are so many angles to human dynamics, it is worth it. Hell of difference from watching US elections.:headbash:

These are regency novels. It is the era of British corporate conquest of India and other parts of the world. There are many books in which a character goes to India for few years to come back to declare that he is wealthier than Earl or Duke (Whatever the title is). I wondered can this be possible?

It is possible given the country is going through the last stages of the decline of the Moghul empire, where there are a lot of little kingdoms, fighting with each other. Despite Moghuls ruling by making it their seat of living, the accumulated prosperity of 1600 years is still in the country, while the West went through their own empires and struggles of Black death to wakeup to create their own enlightenment in science as a challenge to religious monarchies. It is only a matter of being the person in the right place and time whether one calls it booty or business profits. Again Many characters earned the money and used it as compensation to self-worth but few used it to build a loving, caring family.

Whether this is a reality or the Authors projection of current morals to the past for the sake of current readers is a different issue. Most probably the truth is between, but it still serves the purpose of conveying the themes of love in its many manifestations.

I wondered how estates (that comes with titiles) are profitable? rents, produce sales etc. i.e they are more like top managers or CEO's of a company.

I have been sold on the idea of marriage and love is a transaction. Sure it maybe disguised as love or love is used as the mask for what most relationships are. But, I'm struggling to relate to these characters in the books because they all have large amounts of wealth and all their time is spent on working through their issues. I thought perhaps i was jealous of their wealth? But i still cant rectify that the wealth the McKenzie brothers have played a huge role in securing and allowing them to both court and work through their issues and played a part in attracting the women.
The problem with the word is love is it means many things according to the person/background/culture/social conditions of the time. the best definition I read is this.
1995-09-02
Q: (L) So, you are saying that the path to illumination is knowledge and not love?
A: That is correct.
Q: (L) Is it also correct that emotion can be used to mislead, that is emotions that are twisted and generated strictly from the flesh or false programming?
A: Emotion that limits is an impediment to progress. Emotion is also necessary to make progress in 3rd density. It is natural. When you begin to separate limiting emotions based on assumptions from emotions that open one to unlimited possibilities, that means you are preparing for the next density.
Q: (L) What about Love?
A: What about it?
Q: (L) There are many teachings that are promulgated that Love is the key, the answer. They say that illumination and knowledge and what-not can all be achieved through love.
A: The problem is not the term "love," the problem is the interpretation of the term. Those on third density have a tendency to confuse the issue horribly. After all, they confuse many things as love. When the actual definition of love as you know it is not correct either. It is not necessarily a feeling that one has that can also be interpreted as an emotion, but rather, as we have told you before, the essence of light which is knowledge is love, and this has been corrupted when it is said that love leads to illumination. Love is Light is Knowledge. Love makes no sense when common definitions are used as they are in your environment. To love you must know. And to know is to have light. And to have light is to love. And to have knowledge is to love.

As i'm reading these books. whilst i enjoy the relationships between the brothers and I have noted before the enjoyment I have through these books because the relationship with my own brothers is somewhat non-existent. And I would say that I have somewhat purposefully tried to "cling" to the brothers side of connection vs the male and female or romantic side of the narrative because i struggle to buy into it.
I too wondered about how many people I know fit into loving, caring, and giving female characters with sound boundaries in these novels. I found less than a handful out of hundreds or thousands I interacted within 50 years. It is not so much education or money, It looks to me that there is something else. It is the inherent character - past life accumulated knowledge that is used for the current life's soul purpose. Of course, you can't prove any of this in this Darwinistic scientific world.
Maybe others can chime in on this but this blockage is incredibly strong and daunting and i'm unsure if my mind can ever be changed on this idea of marriage is a financial move for two people. that its a transaction. Then again, i have never had a successful relationship so i'm possibly a fish out of water. Not believing in a soul mate means it is a choice who i choose to be with as no one is "destined" to be with me. So if it is a choice then one would way up the pros and con's of someone and thus falling in love would be more of a business decision?
I was thinking marriage may be a transaction. The transaction has a legal predefined contract (bounds) for the specific supposed outcomes (according to local customs). Transaction doesn't mean it has to be for one's own profit at the expense of others. I know in some countries business, ( small or big) is discredited so much that it is hard to think of transactions without profit or even greed. LOVE in its dynamic manifestation can be part of it.

For example, C's said "world exist for the experience of its beings". In the micro-scale of the married couple, each couple comes with their own background/wounds, creates and raises offspring that live in an interdependent society. In this context, Can we put it in the basic principles of love( limit the romance to legal partner) based on knowledge, kindness, helping others based on what is requested etc. It may not be easy, but can be done. It looks to me knowing is the starting part.
Its incredibly confusing and frustrating trying to wrap my head around this. I could really use some feedback if others have had the same conflict in themselves?
As already suggested, you may want to read other authors.

This is what comes to my mind, hopefully, this is not a rant :lol:
 

ryu

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I have just finished the wicked deeds of Daniel Mckenzie. And whilst I really enjoy reading these books, i'm becoming frustrated, angry and annoyed at them. I am viewing them more as fairy tales as I don't believe these same narratives would unfold if each of these men where not wealthy. i'm apprehensive to express my thinking in regards to this but maybe someone else is struggling with a similar cultural program. Because i do believe I have picked up my beliefs from our society/culture.

I have been sold on the idea of marriage and love is a transaction. Sure it maybe disguised as love or love is used as the mask for what most relationships are. But, I'm struggling to relate to these characters in the books because they all have large amounts of wealth and all their time is spent on working through their issues. I thought perhaps i was jealous of their wealth? But i still cant rectify that the wealth the McKenzie brothers have played a huge role in securing and allowing them to both court and work through their issues and played a part in attracting the women.

As i'm reading these books. whilst i enjoy the relationships between the brothers and I have noted before the enjoyment I have through these books because the relationship with my own brothers is somewhat non-existent. And I would say that I have somewhat purposefully tried to "cling" to the brothers side of connection vs the male and female or romantic side of the narrative because i struggle to buy into it.

Maybe others can chime in on this but this blockage is incredibly strong and daunting and i'm unsure if my mind can ever be changed on this idea of marriage is a financial move for two people. that its a transaction. Then again, i have never had a successful relationship so i'm possibly a fish out of water. Not believing in a soul mate means it is a choice who i choose to be with as no one is "destined" to be with me. So if it is a choice then one would way up the pros and con's of someone and thus falling in love would be more of a business decision?

Its incredibly confusing and frustrating trying to wrap my head around this. I could really use some feedback if others have had the same conflict in themselves?
I think you did indeed picked up our society's programm which says that the worth of a man is mesured by the money he has (and also by the size of his penis 🤷🏾‍♀️). And what's sad is that's there's a grain of truth to that. Many people will treat you differently if you are rich and /or handsome. Many women will be interested in you, and these same women wouldn't look at you twice if you were earning minimum wage. Notice that at no point your "internal wealth" comes into question. Your "Being" has no worth here.

Personnaly, at the beginning I was a bit depressed by the fact that women in these books are bordering on perfection. They are young, beautiful, educated, accomplished musicians, singers, dancers, they are always at the top of their game (you can thanks their maids and their extensive wardrobe for that), and they have a heart of gold. But the qualities and beauty of the Soul they display is something everybody can work toward to!
If you look around, you'll see that women don't live in that kind of luxury. In this society a woman's worth is still measured by how young and sexually attractive she is. That's it.

But like @Ant22 said during our last EE workshop, WE ARE NOT English aristocracy. And even then, the society depicted in these books are an idealised version of the Regency era.

Most of us didn't have parents who could afford sending us to an Ivy league university, offer us harp lessons (and much less the harp), a wardrobe specially tailored by Karl Lagarfeld "himself". Or you know, leaves us a dukedom in inheritance....

The question that comes now is: What kind of value do you want to align yourself with? What kind of people do you want around you? What kind of woman would you want at your side? And are you able to hold onto them even if it makes you a fool in the eyes of our society?
 

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Book 5 of Survivors' Club series, Only a Promise, is another amazing story, somewhat akin to Heartless, as it deals with cutting yourself off from feelings. Guilt is also a major issue explored. It also reiterates some of the themes that are present through the series such as;

- Making the best out of the situation you find yourself in, no matter what you're dealing with.
- There are always things to be grateful for.
- Voluntarily facing your fears.
- Never succumbing to self-pity (according to Balogh, self-pity brings with it the "danger of becoming one of those habitual moaners and complainers everyone avoided." :))

The premise of the book is two people coming together in a marriage of convenience. There is to be no love or emotional attachment, according to their agreement. But slowly, as they assume their roles and responsibilities, they grow ever more fond of each other, learn to accept one another, and help each other face their fears. It's quite heartwarming.

Some quotes:

If we can only face our worst fears and move forward into them and through them instead of cowering or turning tail and running as far from them as we can, then we will never have to fear anything ever again.

---

True healing was a slow business, perhaps a lifelong one.

---

The trouble with running away is that you must always take yourself with you.

---
The comforting thing about difficult days, Chloe had learned from experience, was that the sun rose at the start of them and set at the end just as it did on any other day. And there was always the assurance of better days ahead.

[This one reminded me of Sophie Scholl. Allegedly, the last words she spoke before being executed by the Nazis were; "The sun still shines". I always figured it meant that we should remember how small we are in the grand scheme of things.]

--

[This one refers to emotional pain]
"It's the human condition," he said. "No one who lives into adulthood can escape it. Even children cannot. It is what we do with the pain, though, how we allow it to shape our character and actions and relationships that matters. But life is not unalloyed gloom. One must absolutely not allow pessimism or cynicism to send one into a deep depression. There is much joy too."

[This would be in line with Adlerian psychology, as he said: "No experience is in itself a cause of our success or failure. We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences—the so-called trauma—but instead we make out of them whatever suits our purposes. We are not determined by our experiences, but the meaning we give them is self-determining."]
 

placematt

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I really appreciate the responses Laura, Seek10 and Ryu.

I was thinking about this quite a bit last night. Many of my most humiliating and down right cruel experiences with women in my early days came flooding back. It did get me thinking though and my reasoning from the experience i was having was that due to these early experiences, i sort of decided it was too hard, and used the programmes from society in regards to wealth and needing it to attract the opposite sex, to further back up that view point.

But like @Ant22 said during our last EE workshop, WE ARE NOT English aristocracy. And even then, the society depicted in these books are an idealised version of the Regency era.

Most of us didn't have parents who could afford sending us to an Ivy league university, offer us harp lessons (and much less the harp), a wardrobe specially tailored by Karl Lagarfeld "himself". Or you know, leaves us a dukedom in inheritance....

The question that comes now is: What kind of value do you want to align yourself with? What kind of people do you want around you? What kind of woman would you want at your side? And are you able to hold onto them even if it makes you a fool in the eyes of our society?

that is a great question ryu. What is feeding this particular choice I'm making and do i want to live in a way that is more conducive to society when i believe it to be quite sick. There's that quote i cant remember by who, it is no good measure to be well adjusted to a sick society or something along those lines. I also understand that a lot of these beliefs that i have, have come from people who have been through really bad situations as often they are the loudest and i don't particularly hear from people who are in really loving relationships. And maybe thats the point as they want their privacy but I have seen much to balance that side of the equation. . And that's not a particularly healthy way of making up, listening to really hurt people talk about their experiences. its obvious really.


But the most important thing is they have an "inherent giving character" to decide what is correct, knowledge to try it out, have the background to explore the vulnerability. Some flourish when the opportunity was given. Mary Balogh was the master in exploring the inner dialogue, conflict etc. More than one-third of the recommended books are written by Balogh. I thought what is there to cover in so many books. I would say there are so many angles to human dynamics, it is worth it. Hell of difference from watching US elections.:headbash:

Yes i do see that these characters reach a turning point in the stories and start to live for others instead of their own musings. And maybe that should be the biggest take away for me. That maybe at the start is isn't but slowly shifts to become more service to others.

Whether this is a reality or the Authors projection of current morals to the past for the sake of current readers is a different issue. Most probably the truth is between, but it still serves the purpose of conveying the themes of love in its many manifestations.

I think you're right. I don't know why i became to invested, maybe there is a part of me that actually hopes that its possible for this level of love to exist. they are stories and they are conveying something. It's up to me how i react. It's pretty telling actually how much these deep seated ideas of the material model on human relationships is in my mind. Plenty of work still too do

I too wondered about how many people I know fit into loving, caring, and giving female characters with sound boundaries in these novels. I found less than a handful out of hundreds or thousands I interacted within 50 years. It is not so much education or money, It looks to me that there is something else. It is the inherent character - past life accumulated knowledge that is used for the current life's soul purpose. Of course, you can't prove any of this in this Darwinistic scientific world.

I was thinking marriage may be a transaction. The transaction has a legal predefined contract (bounds) for the specific supposed outcomes (according to local customs). Transaction doesn't mean it has to be for one's own profit at the expense of others. I know in some countries business, ( small or big) is discredited so much that it is hard to think of transactions without profit or even greed. LOVE in its dynamic manifestation can be part of it.

For example, C's said "world exist for the experience of its beings". In the micro-scale of the married couple, each couple comes with their own background/wounds, creates and raises offspring that live in an interdependent society. In this context, Can we put it in the basic principles of love( limit the romance to legal partner) based on knowledge, kindness, helping others based on what is requested etc. It may not be easy, but can be done. It looks to me knowing is the starting part.

As already suggested, you may want to read other authors.

This is what comes to my mind, hopefully, this is not a rant :lol:
Wasn't a rant at all mate. Was really appreciated. and yeah if it is a transaction, no reason both parties cant have a balanced benefit from it. Which is how it should be or at least at the start until it evolves.

The MacKenzie clan is only one storyline. There are quite a few others in the selections suggested, and not all of them are about wealth. In fact, one could say that wealth is just a metaphor for personal power, self-control, knowledge and being, integrity, kindness, etc.

The fact that you have stumbled over the wealth part might suggest that you need to work on the other areas instead of thinking that you must buy happiness and since you are not wealthy, can't have it or don't deserve it.

I would say your spot on Laura. Especially with my thinking around wealth and not having it. And it has certainly bleed through to my views of relationships and the worth of myself. Appreciate the feedback everyone!
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Made a mistake on the Survivors' Club book series order (websites had some differences).

The first of the books read was The Proposal, then The Suitor ( #1.5 book in the series), which is just a short book that bridges to The Arrangement as it deals with Julian. At the end of The Arrangement, Mary writes a preview on the next book that seems to focus on Sir Benedict called The Affair. However there is no such book in this series (there is A Secret Affair in another series). So had started in with Only Enchanting (#4 actually) of which Flavian (Ponsonby) is featured not realizing the prior book was called The Escape (with Sir Benedict featured). So Mary must have changed the name of the Benedict book (book #3) at time of publishing.

Somehow I missed The Escape and must now backtrack in pursuit of further maintaining Surviror Club romantic sequencing.

Book 5 of Survivors' Club series, Only a Promise, is another amazing story...

Not there yet, however thus far it is a wonderful series. Thanks for your remarks!

Concerning the subject of 'economic' wealth that came up here in this tread, and certainly not all in the books are of economic wealth; there is the mixing of people. Of the economically wealthy, it is thus also who become good Obyvatel's - those that have learned to foster good self-internal and external relations among their families and estate communities and businesses, and those that may sit in the House, by Title, who seek what is healthy for the people. Of course, it highlights the greed and poor relations of the wealthy (easily seen today), too, however that transcends (to use the word) economic classes.

So, there are great messages here for people of wealth on how better to conduct themselves - to 'genuinely' earn self-respect and respect of those around them, and also those not of wealth, it should be the same. Peterson often brings this up, the people who work unbelievably hard, and through their actions help to lift up others in deed and actions (not always economic - it can be spiritually and socially minded); many may take their paychecks from some of these people, and some of these people may build large businesses, even grand houses, and people and other businesses have benefited in the work for their families and their communities. Thus not all who have attained great heights of wealth have done so using forms of pathology and ponerization as others have (unfortunately the latter is large list - easily recognizable).

Laura makes the point very well, and simply, osit:

In fact, one could say that wealth is just a metaphor for personal power, self-control, knowledge and being, integrity, kindness, etc.
 

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Made a mistake on the Survivors' Club book series order (websites had some differences).

The first of the books read was The Proposal, then The Suitor ( #1.5 book in the series), which is just a short book that bridges to The Arrangement as it deals with Julian. At the end of The Arrangement, Mary writes a preview on the next book that seems to focus on Sir Benedict called The Affair. However there is no such book in this series (there is A Secret Affair in another series). So had started in with Only Enchanting (#4 actually) of which Flavian (Ponsonby) is featured not realizing the prior book was called The Escape (with Sir Benedict featured). So Mary must have changed the name of the Benedict book (book #3) at time of publishing.

Somehow I missed The Escape and must now backtrack in pursuit of further maintaining Surviror Club romantic sequencing.

I recommend using Goodreads, the lists there are accurate, at least for the series I've read so far. Here's the one for Survivors' Club.
 

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have just finished the wicked deeds of Daniel Mckenzie. And whilst I really enjoy reading these books, i'm becoming frustrated, angry and annoyed at them. I am viewing them more as fairy tales as I don't believe these same narratives would unfold if each of these men where not wealthy. i'm apprehensive to express my thinking in regards to this but maybe someone else is struggling with a similar cultural program. Because i do believe I have picked up my beliefs from our society/culture.

We are reading romantic fiction novels and all these characters have their path; they are in their hero´s journey.
Here are excellent posts by Arwenn here and by Chu here.

After our heroes meet the other person, they have a choice - to go back to old ways or to continue to unknown.
After a lot of struggle, they come out as winners, with a bright new world to explore.

So why the dukes and all this wealth? :-)
Well, before we had gods and demigods myths/stories, today we have dukes and earls:
- Perseus was the son of Zeus and the mortal Danaë --> demigod
- Theseus was the son of Aethra and Poseidon --> demigod
- Odysseus was the son of Laërtes and Anticlea, while Anticlea (or Anticlia) was the granddaughter of the god Hermes
- and so on...

And the same thing we are seeing here, whether the writers of these stories did it consciously or not - our heroes are archetypes who have some divine/noble blood in them, that right set of genes required for the transformation.

And with it comes also wealth, as Laura put it:
... wealth is just a metaphor for personal power, self-control, knowledge and being, integrity, kindness, etc.



############


I´ve finished "Untouched" by Anna Campbell.

Jeeeeeeeeezzz, what a mess..... 😢
I was deeply touched by Lord Sheene´s destiny and how his horrible situation didn´t made him crazy, bitter and utterly angry, but he actually became such an loving and caring person that he actually created a new life (that new types of roses he was growing) when he had none.



I´m now at +50% of Scarlett Scott´s "Sins and Scoundrels" series - Book 1 "Duke of Depravity"

Although I must say that the writing is sometimes borderline vulgar and some descriptions are not for the faint-hearted, I found the book really good so far in terms of internal struggle and internal monologues.
Can´t wait to see how this will roll out!
I will just add that book one also has a very well-placed Cassiopeia constellation. Signs and portents! ;-D
Yeah, I´ve noticed that one as well! :-)
 

Lys

Jedi
Well, this thread is already well filled with a lot of great posts !
I've finished the first volume of the survivors of Mary Balogh "A proposal", I wouldn't have imagined one second I would read this kind of books.

However, I have to say that I had a lot of fun reading it, my emotions were fluctuating along with the characters and I could relate emotionally with them quite often.
I liked the way Mary Balogh describe the heroes and the way she puts many internal dialogs.
Humans can be very complicated when it comes to love, sometimes I wanted to yell at them "damn, are you going to tell him/her!".
It is always easier when you are outside the story to give advices ! And, yet I know that with their wounds I would probably act the same way, being clumsy.
This is one way I find romance novels interesting as we, generally speaking, tend to live our feelings and our doubts alone with our ego and finally, it is always when you start to share what you genuinely feel that something is possible.
And so reading their story helps to remember that we are all very similar in our feelings.

That's funny how both heroes of this novel, Hugo and Gwendoline, look the exact opposite of whom they really are.
Gwendoline looks like a fragile, blond and thin woman, limping like she was carrying her emotional wounds on her ankle. She's actually quite independent, strong and ignoring her weaknesses in order to keep going.
Hugo, when he seems to be huge, very strong and hard like an insensitive rock, is finally a sensitive character.

Both are suffering from loneliness that they live like a punishment they inflict to themselves for their past faults. Or at least this is the way I see it.
They fear of sharing their feelings and wounds, yet their wounds are what get them closer to each other.
It brings me back to the gratefulness I have to be well surrounded and loved by a man whom I feel I can be true with, especially in those crazy times.
It reminds me that in spite of the horrors this world can carry, there is love, care and support between bot of us which offer a great feeling of safety.

Also, more than the class background difference which seem to bother Hugo more than Gwendoline, I think that it is the fear of not being loved by the one he loves that blocks him. Or maybe I am transferring what I have felt for a long time even with my actual partner at the beginning.
This fear that makes you wear a shield with the absurd idea that it will protect yourself from suffering.

Communication is the key in love and friendship, I already realized that some times ago but not always used it so it is a good reminder.

Anyway, this book helped me a lot when I was feeling sucked by the news cause it enabled me not to nourish the stress that the situation we are living in causes.
So I am going to start the second volume of the survivors series even if I have difficulty to leave the characters of the previous one.
I often tend to become attached to them, and I liked Hugo and Gwendoline.

I have just finished the wicked deeds of Daniel Mckenzie. And whilst I really enjoy reading these books, i'm becoming frustrated, angry and annoyed at them. I am viewing them more as fairy tales as I don't believe these same narratives would unfold if each of these men where not wealthy. i'm apprehensive to express my thinking in regards to this but maybe someone else is struggling with a similar cultural program. Because i do believe I have picked up my beliefs from our society/culture.

This is true that, even in "A proposal" of Mary Balogh, the topic of wealth is brought into the description of the characters, but in the end this is not what remains the most.
Of course, it is easier to purchase a castle or to hire a servant when you are wealthy but there is in this story a sense of work that is quite important.
That is a difference between Hugo and Gwendoline's worlds.
In Hugo's world, people have always been hard workers, and they got wealthy, but is not all about that. The feminine characters in "A proposal" admire this state of mind and men feel useful and legitimate to use the money they earned.

In our times, the wealthy idle could be compared to some kind of jet-set but it is a big minority that a lot of young people want to reach though. An easy life without having to think and work, but this book (I haven't read The wicked Deeds) is about some universal values of which belong the work.
Also, it is a lot about the sense of not belonging to an upper class because of a feeling of inferiority. Which leads us to think about the barriers we put on our way by ourselves.
This is something that I felt too before.
As some men are looking for a young, fresh and sexy woman, some women would search for a rich guy with a big car and have a lot of fun going to a lot of parties.
But is it what we really want?
 

Tuatha de Danaan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I often tend to become attached to them, and I liked Hugo and Gwendoline.
Hi Lys. I think one of my problems ( if I can call it problems) was that I grew to like the characters so much as I traveled with them through their struggles that maybe I started the next book too soon.
I carried this liking for them long after I finished their journey and I carried a lot of their emotions, or more likely mine, into the next book.This, I think, was what caused me some overload of emotions that didn't have time to process properly.

I am now watching myself more carefully and giving myself a little time after each book to digest any attachments I need to properly deal with. It was only by reading your above comment that the realization struck me. Thanks for that.
 
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