Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In case no gentleman was near smelling salt was good enough. ;-)
Smelling salts - Wikipedia has:
The usual active compound is ammonium carbonate—a colorless-to-white, crystalline solid ((NH4)2CO3).[1] Because most modern solutions are mixed with water, they should properly be called "aromatic spirits of ammonia".[1] Modern solutions may also contain other products to perfume or act in conjunction with the ammonia, such as lavender oil or eucalyptus oil.[2]
Smelling salts have been used since Roman times and are mentioned in the writings of Pliny as Hammoniacus sal.[1] Evidence exists of use in the 13th century by alchemists as sal ammoniac.[1] In the 14th century's The Canterbury Tales, a character purports to use sal armonyak.[9] In the 17th century, the distillation of an ammonia solution from shavings of harts' (deer) horns and hooves led to the alternative name for smelling salts as spirit or salt of hartshorn.[1]

They were widely used in Victorian Britain to revive fainting women, and in some areas constables would carry a container of them for the purpose.[10] During this time, smelling salts were commonly dissolved with perfume in vinegar or alcohol and soaked onto a sponge, which was then carried on the person in a decorative container called a vinaigrette.[11][12]


Ammonia gas is toxic in large concentrations for prolonged periods and can be fatal.[1][5] If a high concentration of ammonia is inhaled too close to the nostril, it might burn the nasal or oral mucosa. The suggested distance is 10–15 centimetres (4–6 in).[1]
How to make, smelling salt is explained on Wikihow and for a different recipe see the article Vogue
The Wikihow has a comment which mentions the possibility that the habit of wearing corsets might contribute to the problem of fainting, as a corset would reduce the natural waist size by several inches. I checked with a modern shop and here is a table for different sizes. One can easily imagine how such a dress would restrict belly breathing, the possibility of vagus nerve activation while promoting panic attacks, beyond the numbers that might have occurred without the corsets.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member

I just ordered four of the recommended books and this will be the first time for me reading books of this kind. I have had a lot of inner resistance, but with all that is going on now I think it can be a good relief from the stress/madness. Maybe it will also change something positiv in me in the way I interact with life. I had to laugh when I was checking the final order and saw all the book covers that I had bought :lol:But I trust in Laura and the men on this site that have been reading for awhile and had a positive experience.

I pray that we will be able to pull through and get into another reality where the principals of this forum and group are what we live by.

Thank you to everyone who have participated in this thread.

Take care and stay safe :-)
I've felt the same Odin, but after reading one of Laura's posts here on the following thread regarding the positive effects and about how important the said exercise is for one's inner "blossoming" so to say I've finally get it and started reading the books.

So far I can say that I enjoy the reading a lot. It's entertaining, enjoyable, light and most importantly is the emotional cleaning process one goes through while reading the books since they are full of life lessons that are touching your soul deeply.

The said exercise it seems to me a little bit like a recapitulation of basic 3d life lessons that one had learned through various reincarnations and helps one to process some serious emotions inside oneself thus making peace with oneself, thus being ready to move forward and onward on your path.

Back to reading. ;-D


FOTCM Member
Another author and titles to add to the list for those who are working really hard.

Eloisa James.

The first book I sampled was "Say Yes to the Duke" and it is part of a series "The Wildes of Lindow Castle."

It was funny, light, and no high drama that wrenches the gut. I needed that for a bit because some of these books really do wring you out (in a positive way because they are working your emotional center).

So, I sampled another: "Potent Pleasures" (Not part of the Wildes series). My god, that one was a real wringer!!! I noticed it was part of a different series, so I got the other two: "Midnight Pleasures" and "Enchanting Pleasures". They should be read in that order. And holy frijoles, they are intense! Some real issues going on there.

In the end, I wasn't quite satisfied with the wrap ups at the end of the first two. I think the guys got off too easy though the women were also pretty guilty of letting their issues create horrible situations. I won't say any more about them at this point, but just know that these deal with some serious screw-ups on both sides and it is only high drama that can untangle the knots.


Padawan Learner


A viscount or viscountess is a title used in certain European countries for a noble of varying status. In many countries a viscount, and its historical equivalents, was a non-hereditary, administrative or judicial position, and did not develop into an hereditary title until much later. In the case of French viscounts, it is customary to leave the title untranslated as vicomte. ,& [Viscount definition - a member of the peerage in Great Britain ranking below an earl and above a baron.]


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I´ve finished Anne Gracie´s "Devil Riders" series.

This series was a real gem!
The whole series was like eating a box of chocolates - some were bitter, some were exotic, some were special kind of sweet, but they all were excellent! ;-)

Colorful descriptions, so strong characters, humorous writings - I just loved it.
All of The Riders were such a deep mess of scars from war and childhood, and the Ladies were also not far behind, having their so tragic backgrounds.
Will, courage and honesty - Gracie´s characters have all it takes to finish their path to love.

If I would have to choose which I like the best, then it would be 2nd and 3rd book.
2nd book "His captive lady" hit me real hard - children related issues always bring this in me....
3rd book "To catch a bride" was such an adventure! I liked it more than Pam and Cam in SOS series.

Gracie is still my favorite author... :-)


FOTCM Member
I am wondering whether to add Bedwyn prequel books ( One night for love and A Summer to Remember) or not. They look relevant to the Survivor's club and you seems to be recommending them.

As per Balogh's website, these two books are categorized as Bedwyn Prequel for Bedwyn series( 6 books). But other platforms like Amazon/overdrive categorized as Bedwyn series/saga ( 8 books) depending on the platform.

Based on the timeline perspective, it does looks like Bedwyn Prequel came first, then it was combined with Bedwyn series books, then came Survivors club( some additions later).

After finishing the first two books (One Night for Love & A Summer to Remember), would certainly tip the hat on these for the list (if anyone else adds their view as a second opinion). In A Summer to Remember (second book) it starts to introduce the Bedwyn family, yet not in any big way - that family seems to run through the 6 or so family members in as many books that come later.

Meet the Bedwyn: six brothers and sisters—men and women of passion and privilege, daring and sensuality…Enter their dazzling world of high society and breathtaking seduction, where each will seek love, fight temptation, and court scandal and where Aidan Bedwyn, the marriage-shy second son, discovers that matrimony may be the most seductive act of all.
The Bedwyn's are neighbors to Kit Butler's family in A Summer to Remember, and Lauren, Lily and Gwen are well featured in that story, and that is interesting to see their growth. However, have decided not to read the Bedwyn's story parts just yet (it's an odd family), although they may be good books. Have elected to head to the Huxtable Quintet series of books.


FOTCM Member
As a mention: one clothing item for men that comes up time and again in all these stories, are those darn 'Hessian Boots'. They always sound so nice (hard to take off). So what do they look like - military version or otherwise? What is their history? For between $300 and $500 one can own a pair :whistle: - a valet or batman is an additional cost to help take them off (especially the military version) and polish. Having a title and money may help.


Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Firstly I have to say, that if these books had not been recommended here, I would not have had any interest to read them. "Romance novels, 'pshaw', a man has no need to read them, it is literature for women!"

In that case, I would have missed something special.

To start with, I ordered the sons of sin series from It took surprisingly long for the books to arrive, which they did one at a time. In the end bookdepository stated, that they didn't actually have the last two books (I was refunded), so I wound up ordering them from amazon as used books.

When I started reading the first SOS book, "Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed", I was prepared for the erotic scenes, but still ended up being surprised by their "steaminess" (Georgette Heyer left these parts out! ;-)). Pretty quickly I got used to them, as I knew what to expect.

It was interesting to see, how the combination of the shortcomings of the characters, them resolving their issues together, recognizing they love each other (and the way it was combined with the erotic parts) created this "effect" which is different from any other book I have come across.

While waiting for the other SOS books to arrive, I ordered Mary Balogh's "Horsemen Trilogy" from amazon, and the whole package of books arrived quite swiftly. The first book of the series (Indiscreet) was very impressive, actually masterful when it came to describing the "introspections" of the characters and the psychological points of view. Balogh's way of writing seems to have "soul" to it. The erotic parts were to be found of course, but they were a bit more subdued, although there was still some "steam" there. I enjoyed the whole series very much and on occasions was moved to tears as I identified with the characters. I am not sure how to describe it, but some kind of "process" was going on inside me, as I read Balogh's books.

Then I went back to SOS series: "A Rake's Midnight Kiss" and "What a Duke Dares". Although all of the books are good (Anna Campbell's writing style is a bit more "straightforward" when compared to Balogh), the former was the best of the series so far, in my opinion. The last pages where Richard forgave her mother, were really touching and choked me up.

The following book, "Scoundrel by Moonlight" is yet to arrive (I see the last book of the series "Three Proposals and a Scandal" is only available as an e-book, will read that too), so I ordered Anne Gracie's "A Marriage of Convenience" series. I read the first volume "Marry in Haste" in a couple of days, and it was an absolute joy, I loved the sense of humor the book had! I had a smile on my face on many occasions and chuckled aloud quite a few times. Simply delightful! Of course, there was "seriousness" present as well, and when the "happy ending" came, I too was feeling happy and had a good mood long time afterwards. :-)

Personally, I think this reading project has brought along a certain amount of increased calmness and "level-headedness".

If only I had had the knowledge and insights, which can be drawn from these books, in my previous relationship, but I guess it's better late than never. (Interestingly, I have had flashbacks of that relationship and our courting and falling in love -phase, when reading and identifying with the main characters.)

I have to agree with everyone, who has mentioned that the romance books are the perfect antidote to Covid (and the US vote) propaganda!

A thought occurred to me: has there ever been a man who has been able to write a "proper" romance novel? I think it takes a "woman's intuition" to create the "depth" which is present in these books.

Thank you Laura for separating the "wheat from the chaff" and picking the most useful and appropriate books!


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
One thing not present in any of the novels I've read anyway, is any mention of stds. And, according to some historical accounts, it was quite prolific. For example, one wonders if The Proposal's Hugo, who admitted his randiness, should have, in all literary honesty, maybe contracted a venereal disease at some time in his lustful encounters.
Kinda ruins the purpose of the romance genre though, doesn't it?
Just a thought.


Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
I hear ya, Odin.
I think most of us felt some kind of resistence when starting to read such romance material. Many admitted to being book snobs.
I still turn the book I'm reading around at work so noone can see the cover. And some covers make me cringe with embarrasment as the cover of 'The Proposal' for example.
But you did the first step and ... it's too late now....change's ahead.
Have fun!

I have found it pretty fun to tell many friends that I am reading romance novels. Most of them give me a raised eyebrow, and think I'm joking. But when I start to go on and on and on about the hardships of life portrayed, and the way that love in these books helps dissolve the masks and lead to truth and beauty in life, a few of them have actually become curious, too!
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