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It’s Been A While…

Hello everyone! 

Hope you’re all doing well and had a wonderful Christmas!

I apologize for being away for a few weeks, things have been absolutely insane on my end with work, writing, meetings, the works! 

I’ll be back with my reviews and other related posts when I can. Until then, have a Happy New Year! 😃 

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Swooning Sundays! Pride and Prejudice 

Ok guys, let’s talk about the big one. One of the biggest romance stories of our time. 

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. 

As I’m sure majority of you have read this/seen the many TV/Film adaptations over the years, spoiler alert need not apply! 

As you all know, the story centres around the Bennett family. Mr and Mrs. B, along with their five daughters Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia. 

With five daughters, overbearing Mrs. Bennett is desperate to get her daughters married to wealthy bachelors, so when wealthy Mr. Bingley and his sister Caroline come on the scene, she’s adament to get her daughters introduced. 

While Jane and Mr. Bingley are quite obviously taken with each other, Lizzie on the other hand dislikes his friend, Mr. Darcy. 

Which, is seen plainly when told he earns ‘ten thousand a year and owns half of Derbyshire’, to which she replies: the miserable half? (Ref: 2005 film adaptation).

However as time goes on, especially after spending time with Mr. Darcy, Bingley and Caroline at  Netherfield Park, Darcy and Lizzie’s intellectual war of words seems to have quite the effect on Darcy. 

Through a mountain of family troubles, class stereotypes and decorum disputes, the two end up actually falling in love with each other. 

Now, I know this won’t be the most detailed essay on this story. I’m not an Austen enthusiast nor am I an expert! So just a heads up! 😂

It’s a timeless story that in many ways broke some societal rules for the time (the book was first published in 1813). 

When it came to dancing at balls, usually rules dictated other daughters were not to attend balls (a good place to socialise and meet a future husband) until the elder sisters were married. 

In this novel however, all the sisters were allowed to balls at the same time, which is met with scrutiny and derision by Lady Catherine Dr Bourgh, Mr. Darcy’s aunt. 

This is also reflected when Lydia, the youngest daughter, elopes with an officer named Mr. Wickham at the tender age of 15. 

The character’s relationships are all incredibly interlinked, such as Mr. Wickham squandering the money given to him by Darcy, leading him to feign love for Darcy’s sister to obtain her fortune. 

This ultimately failed, leaving Darcy despising Wickham for his sister’s heartbreak. 

This on top of Lizzie’s rejecting to marry Mr. Collins, her clergyman cousin, Caroline’s designs on Darcey and Mary’s disdain for the superficial. 

I don’t know of a person who doesn’t find the verbal sparring between Mr and Mrs. Bennett funny. It definitely shows the characters of the high strung wife and the more laid back husband (for the time) in very amusing settings. 

I could go on for hours, but to round off this brief look-in, it’s a timeless, witty story with cleverly written deep themes of learning not to make rash decisions and not judging a book by its cover. 

Hope you all enjoyed this one! 🙂 

Happy Sunday! 🙂 
Copyright, 2017 

Image credit – Facebook

Books · Day off · Entertainment · Lifestyle · Relaxation · Rest · Review · Romance · Uncategorized · Writing

Swooning Sundays! The Good-Morrow by John Donne

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to Swooning Sundays, where I review some of my favourite romance stories.

Now this week’s edition is going to be a little bit different. It’s not a novel or short story, it’s a poem.

Now I’ve never talked poetry before (I’ve tried my hand at writing poetry, I can’t say I’m very good at it admittedly!) but this poem is one that I love so much I couldn’t leave it out of a Swooning Sundays post 🙂

So anyway, here is the poem itself. Hope you enjoy it!

“I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleeper’s den?
‘Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see
Which I desired, and got, ‘twas but a dream of thee.

And now good morrow to our waking souls
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all of other sight controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sead discoveries to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to others, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess our world; each hath one and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp North, without declining West?
Whatever dies, what was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one; or thou and I
Love so alike that none do slacken, none can die.”

As you can very obviously see, this is a romantic poem published in John Donne’s Songs and Sonnets collection in 1633, so a loooonngg time ago! In the poem we read, what we’re assuming is a gentleman’s, musings about his feelings when he wakes up next to his lover.

Being the 1600s, religion often played a part in poetry, this one is no exception as Donne, a Catholic, referred to the legend of the Seven Sleepers.

I don’t know what drew me to this poem so much, but I first heard it read by Sophia Myles in the movie Tristan & Isolde and I completely fell in love.

The description and metaphor in this poem is just so beautifully written, capturing the essence of someone truly in love and how their need for adventure is settled because they find adventure in each other.

Awwww!

If anyone’s looking for a poem to read, recite or read at a special occasion like a wedding/anniversary or just between you and your significant other, go for this one!

I know this one was a little short and sweet but I hope you enjoyed it! 😀
Happy Sunday! 😀

 

Copyright, 2017

Image credit: Haddon Hall taken by Rachael Moore

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Swooning Sundays! Christmas In The Boss’s Castle by Scarlet Wilson

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to Swooning Sundays, where I review some of my favourite romantic stories!

This week’s edition? Christmas In The Boss’s Castle by Scarlet Wilson, published by Mills & Boon Cherish as part of the Maids Under The Mistletoe series.

So on with the show and as always: SPOILER ALERT! (Blurb from millsandboon.co.uk)

“The maid who saved Christmas.

Chambermaid Grace Ellis loves Christmas, but after losing her beloved grandmother, she’ll be spending this festive season working. So when her boss, Finlay “Scrooge” Armstrong offers her a magical Christmas in Scotland, it’s a welcome distraction from her grief.

Widower Finlay is haunted by the ghost of Christmas past, but snowbound together in his Scottish castle, Grace starts to melt the ice around his heart. He never thought he’d find love again, but maybe finding Grace is his own Christmas miracle…!”

Now, this story I’ve been wanting to talk about since I started this series, but as we’re gearing up to Christmas now, I figured this would be a more appropriate time to write about it.

If I’m being candid, this is one of my all-time favourite romances, if not my absolute all-time favourite!

This is such a poignant, heart warming, lovely story with two characters who find love through their own adversities.

36-year-old Finlay, owner of the Armstrong hotel chain, refuses to have anything to do with Christmas. He isolates himself from friends and family, even going to so far as to not having Christmas decorations in his own hotels, as all things Christmas are a yearly reminder for him as another year without his wife Anna, who passed away five years before.

For Grace, it is a sad time of year also, as it is the first Christmas without her grandmother. With no other family around, with the exception of friends she is completely alone.

I loved the frank and interactions between Grace and Finlay, with their romance bubbling away from the beginning. After butting heads over Grace decorating the hotel penthouse, Finlay sees something in Grace’s love of Christmas and employs her to be responsible for the hotel’s Christmas decoration design.

Upon working together, Finlay grows to the idea of Christmas and begins moving forward with his life after losing Anna. This is reflected in his growing romance with Grace, especially so when he takes her to a castle he owns in Scotland, spending Christmas together after learning she would spend the holiday completely alone.

I loved the castle setting and being of Scottish heritage myself, I lapped it up! White Christmas in Scotland? Say no more and get me on that plane!

The writing was descriptive and simple in a way that you could imagine the story easily and vividly. It’s a true Cherish story with incredibly warm, romantic and emotional scenes, strong character connections and capturing a truly magical Christmas in London.

As well as this, we see a key influence in the shape of Mrs. Archer, a wealthy elderly lady and well-loved guest at the Armstrong Hotel who acts a surrogate grandmother to Grace, cementing an important message in the novel. I loved Mrs. Archer! She tells some incredible stories and I would love to see Mrs. Archer have her own story!

This story is also one very near and dear to my heart. It helped me through a difficult time in my life by restoring some hope after a bereavement, getting my spirit in the holiday season back after losing my own Grandmother. So on a personal note, a huge thank you to Scarlet Wilson for creating such a beautiful, hopeful story.

So for anyone looking for a super lovely, amazingly written, cute Christmas story, you HAVE to read this! 🙂

 

Hope you enjoyed this post, guys! 🙂

Happy Sunday! 🙂

 

Copyright, 2017

Image credit  – Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Release! Christmas With Her Millionaire Boss by Barbara Wallace

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all having a fantastic day wherever in the world you are and hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!

I’m coming back at you with a new release today!

Christmas With Her Millionaire Boss by Barbara Wallace, published by Mills & Boon Cherish and book 1 of The Men Who Make Christmas series.

This was sent to me as part of Mills & Boon Insiders. Disclaimer: This in no way influences my opinions of this book.

Here’s the blurb (seen on millsandboon.co.uk.) and as this is a review, the obligatory SPOILER ALERT is in order!

“The magic of Christmas…
Abandoned by his mother on Christmas Day, James Hammond wishes he could simply erase the date. So when his company buys a new toy store devoted to Christmas, he wants to seal the deal and get home. Until he finds himself injured and under the care of employee Noelle!
Nobody loves Christmas more than young widow Noelle Fryberg! But could she be the one to change his mind and melt the millionaire’s guarded heart?
The Men Who Make Christmas
Meet the Hammond brothers – will they find their own happiness under the mistletoe?”

Rating: 4/5

I personally enjoyed reading this story. For a reformed Scrooge like myself, I loved the cutesy Christmas setting in Noelle’s small town where Christmas is practically celebrated all year round.

So when millionaire and Mr. Bah Humbug James Hammond comes in to the mix after buying Fryberg’s toy company, him and young widow Noelle start bumping heads. That is until a literal bump on the head leaves James with a concussion and stitches, leaving Noelle to keep an eye on him until he’s in a good enough state to fly back to Boston.

However during James’ stay with Noelle, it turns out the man from a dysfunctional family who only “sells the fantasy” of Christmas and the former foster child nicknamed the “Manger Baby” after being abandoned by her mother in a nativity display, have a lot more in common.

We see James icy demeanour begin to soften and open up to the idea of Christmas and Noelle open up to the idea of love again after losing her husband, Kevin, in military action.

This story works through some pretty real and raw themes in a way that gets the story across without depressing the reader. Yes, James and Noelle are physically attracted to each other, but it focuses more on the deep connection they’ve found themselves to have instead of rushing straight in to bed.

As well as this, we see James’ secret hopes of having a “traditional family Christmas” manifesting in the form of his company’s extravagant Christmas window displays and Noelle’s guilt over her relationship with Kevin. They had been together since their early teens and never been with anyone else, with Kevin giving her love and a family she never thought she would have.

She loved Kevin very much, but the relationship was more platonic than of a husband and wife. As Noelle puts it, “we never had that stage where we just couldn’t keep our hands off each other.” So when she connects with James, guilt sets in that she’s disrespecting Kevin’s memory.

I thought how the author worked through these themes was well done and I loved how despite these conflicts, these two characters who have such a strong connection find each other.

A cute, heart warming story that’ll get you in the spirit for Christmas! I’m looking forward to reading more of the Hammond brothers!

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this post guys! 🙂

Happy Tuesday! 🙂

 

Copyright, 2017

 

Image Credit – Amazon.co.uk

 

 

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Swooning Sundays! To Tame A Cowboy By Jules Bennett

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to this week’s edition of Swooning Sundays, where I review romance novels (or stories with some romantic themes) that I love.

This week’s story is To Tame A Cowboy by Jules Bennett, book 5 of The Texas Cattleman’s Club: The Missing Mogul series.

This story I read as part of the 3 in 1 Always On Her Mind collection published by Mills & Boon.

I know, another cowboy! So if that’s not your kind of hero I apologise, a few different kinds of hero will be coming soon!

So anyways, on with the show and as this is a review you know the drill: SPOILER ALERT ahead!! (Blurb provided from Always on Her Mind from Mills & Boon):

“Royal, Texas, is the perfect place for rodeo star Ryan Grant to finally slow down and finally show Piper Kindred she’s the woman for him. But when an accident means Piper has to care for him, her sexy bedside manner suggests seducing Piper will be easier than he expected…”

So Ryan and Piper have been best friends since they were 9/10 years old. They bounce off each other and have the type of close friendship that contains a truck-load of sarcasm and playful insults. For years, Ryan has had it bad for paramedic Piper, who he lovingly calls, “Red” on account of her flaming red hair.

IMAG0329_1

But he’s never acted on his feelings due to Piper’s passing comments that she would never get involved with a man who tours the rodeo circuit, after her estranged father, a famous rodeo star, left his family behind to tour the circuit that resulted in the breakdown of his marriage.

But after years on the circuit, Ryan has retired and returned to their hometown in Royal, Texas to settle down and set up a school teaching kids rodeo. After he’s involved in a car accident (escaping with bruised ribs and a concussion) that resulted in Piper finding their friend Alex Santiago (who has been missing for months after being kidnapped) in the back of a truck at the scene with amnesia and Ryan staying with Piper so she can keep an eye on him.

What I liked about this story is how smooth and easy going it was. It wasn’t difficult to get in to and the characters melded smoothly together in the story.

I liked Ryan and Piper’s very sarcastic yet caring friendship, but can understand Piper’s apprehension at first to take things further as she doesn’t want to ruin the friendship. As well as that, she’s spent years with her strained family relations and paramedic work being strong for other people.

She’s fiercely independent and no stranger to hard work, especially when it comes to renovation work on her bungalow. So Ryan jumping in and wanting to help her out, be it jobs around the house or offering a shoulder to cry on causes a bit of bickering between the two.

That is until she sees he’s not trying to take over her life by helping install kitchen cabinets! He just wants to help because he cares. Being an independent lady in my own nature, I can empathise!

That being said, Ryan is a fierce personality as well. A talented rodeo star, he’s got one hell of adventurous streak and is unbelievably headstrong. Once he’s got his sights set on something, he goes for it. So when it comes to Piper, my God this dude’s persistent!

He’s quite the dominant guy which can be off putting to some people, but then again other people love it. It’s all a matter of opinion, I suppose! Personally, I was here for it.

Admittedly, I had a few moments Ryan’s persistence got me thinking, “Ok, ease up, buddy! Don’t want to scare her off!” but he does (phew!) as he makes it clear how he feels about Piper, he wants her to take things further with him only if/when she’s ready.

I loved the easy going writing style and if you’re a fan of love stories on the more steamier side, this story will be one for you!

So I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a laid-back, charming, smokin’ hot Texas romance.

 

Hope you enjoyed this post, guys! 🙂
Happy Sunday! 🙂

 

Copyright, 2017

Image credit: Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Books · Chatting · Entertainment · Lifestyle · Mills & Boon · Relaxation · Review · Romance · Uncategorized · Writing

Swooning Sundays! Do You Take This Cowboy? By Vicki Lewis Thompson

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to Swooning Sundays, where I review some of my favourite romance novels (or novels with some romantic themes!).

This week’s instalment is a story recently published by Mills & Boon Cherish in July this year.

Do You Take This Cowboy? by Vicki Lewis Thompson.

Here is the blurb from the back of the book:

Recently returned to Wyoming, Austin Teague is determined to find a wife and settle down. But Austin manages to fall hard for the one girl set against marrying anyone – fiercely independent Drew Martinelli. Austin needs to convince her that he’s worth breaking her rules for! 


So I read this book recently and I absolutely, for lack of a better word, adored it.

Being a Cherish lover myself, I love the cutesy romances that make you go “aawwwww!” and this one did it fantastically.

You’ve got 26-year-old Austin, who’s returned to his home in Wyoming, USA after spending the last four years living in New Zealand. A foster child, Austin returns to his foster parents, Rosie and Herb, and his myriad of foster brothers, with whom he’s all relatively close.

Whenever I read a romance novel, I love it when the hero’s a guy I can route for right from page one. Austin’s one of those heroes. Aside from being described a very handsome man (let’s face it, what Mills & Boon hero isn’t?) the guy’s got a heart of gold.

He’s got to a point in his life where he’s looking to settle down, get married, start a family etc. And from his loving foster parent’s upbringing, he’s dead-set on his “cowboy manners” and being a gentleman.

Now understandably, this might not be for everyone. But me personally being a little old-fashioned when it comes to relationships, it’s refreshing to see a character that’s very old-school and chivalrous when it comes to women. That’s the cowboy hero for you, ladies! (The fact that The Longest Ride is one of my favourite stories should be a dead giveaway there haha!)

Also, one of things I found rather refreshing about this story is that the heroine is actually older than the hero. Modern and independent Drew is 28 while Austin is 26. In many romance novels, the man is always older either by a few months or quite a few years (in one story I read the hero was nearly 20 years the heroine’s senior).

I also loved Drew. I thought she was very well written and I loved her fierce determination as a modern, very independent videographer. While Austin has returned to his family, Drew has distanced herself from hers. She loves them, but craved independence and privacy, coming from a large family where everyone’s in each other’s lives.

Due to that, she’s not looking for serious relationships (by serious I mean rushing to get married or have kids). It sets a good, realistic foundation for a conflict but when she meets Austin, she can’t stay away.

I loved how Austin and Drew straight off the bat admit how much they’re attracted to each other, making tongue-in-cheek jokes about their physical attraction that I found very witty. As well as this, instead of a gradual growth in their feelings, when Austin meets Drew, it’s love at first sight for him.

Although at times it can come across like Austin’s head’s in the clouds when it comes to his and Drew’s relationship, it’s countered and balanced out by Drew wanting to slow things down. Neither of them want to end what they have and he’s respectful of her boundaries and space, happy to wait until she’s ready to take their relationship to the next level, which due to their intense feelings for each other, inevitably isn’t long. No petty argument, just mutual respect.

There a plenty of moments in this book that are heart warming, sweet and really have you routing for both characters to get together sooner rather than later. Its sense of brotherhood, family and small town setting is super cosy and I’d recommend this story to anyone looking for a “warm and fuzzy” story that’ll sweep you off your feet!

 

Hope you enjoyed this post y’all!

Happy Sunday! 🙂

 

 

Copyright, 2017

Picture credits: books.google.com

 

 

 

 

Books · Chatting · Entertainment · Lifestyle · Review · Romance · Uncategorized · Writing

Swooning Sundays! My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young

Hey guys and welcome back to Swooning Sundays, where I review some of my favourite romance novels (or novels with some romantic themes!).

Today’s instalment is a book that like Jane Eyre, is very near and dear to my heart.

My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young.

So on with the show and as always, SPOILER ALERT! (Blurb excerpt from Amazon.co.uk)

“A letter, two lovers, a terrible lie. In war, truth is only the first casualty. ‘Inspires the kind of devotion among its readers not seen since David Nicholls’ One Day’ The Times
While Riley Purefoy and Peter Locke fight for their country, their survival and their sanity in the trenches of Flanders, Nadine Waveney, Julia Locke and Rose Locke do what they can at home.
Beautiful, obsessive Julia and gentle, eccentric Peter are married: each day Julia goes through rituals to prepare for her beloved husband’s return. Nadine and Riley, only eighteen when the war starts, and with problems of their own already, want above all to make promises – but how can they when the future is not in their hands? And Rose? Well, what did happen to the traditionally brought-up women who lost all hope of marriage, because all the young men were dead?”

This story is set over the course of WW1 and though one of the primary focuses is on the romance between the story’s younger characters, Riley and Nadine, this story concentrates on many themes. Including a frank and raw depiction of war, insecurity, men and women’s role in society, the class system, sex and the human condition under adversity and how it affects relationships.

Basically, yes it has romantic themes but this story is not for the faint hearted.

This book in my opinion is fantastically well written, capturing the blooming, near unbreakable romance between young working class Riley and upper class Nadine. 

Louisa Young depicts a raw and blunt account of Riley and his fellow soldier’s horrors in the trenches, and his heartbreaking letter to Nadine, a Nursing VAD, after a serious injury. 

As well as this, we see the very different attitudes to sex during the 1910s as opposed to now on both sides of the spectrum. 

From Riley and Nadine’s young love (they’re about 18 at the beginning of the story) and just discovering sex, to a more old fashioned and disturbing depictions with Julia, the wife of Riley’s commanding officer Peter. 

To Peter, who even though he cares about his wife, takes to drink and frequents prostitutes in the places he is stationed to cope with the traumas he has seen in the war. 

Julia, unlike Nadine who is from an expressive artistic background nurtured by her French mother, has been raised to believe by her controlling mother her worth is solely in her physical beauty. 

That she is incapable of raising her son (which is not the case) and she must be completely sexually submissive to her husband as that is what is expected of her. 

The bonds between these couples, Peter and Julia, Riley and Nadine, as well as Julia’s sister Rose, who nurses Riley back to health and form a platonic friendship are captured in such a deep, real way that it makes the story’s setting all the more moving. 

So this story is yes romantic in Riley and Nadine’s relationship (don’t want to give too much away!) but deeply moving, funny, heartbreaking and with take you on a journey that has certainly stayed with me four years after reading it. 

Hope you enjoyed this post, guys! 🙂 

Happy Sunday! 🙂 

Copyright, 2017

Picture – Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

Chatting · Entertainment · Hollywood · Lifestyle · Uncategorized · Writing

Abuse In Hollywood: The Casting Couch Never Went Away

In the wake of the huge scandal to rock Hollywood over the past week, discussion in to widespread sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry has sparked once again.

The landslide of accusations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein have come from a plethora of actresses like Angelina Jolie, Gwenyth Paltrow, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Lea Seydoux (and that’s just to name a few!) as well as others working in the entertainment industry, all recounting eerily similar if not identical experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

These accusations date back as far as the 90s and as recent as 2015.

For anyone in and around the entertainment industry, stories of the dreaded “casting couch” have circulated for decades. Stories of film execs, producers, directors etc. abusing their power by propositioning actresses to perform sexual favours in order to get a part/get ahead in the industry.

Actresses, past and present, such as Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Helen Mirren, Lena Heady etc. to name but a few have all spoke to some degree about their unfortunate experiences with the “casting couch”.

These revelations just go to show that unfortunately, Hollywood has not advanced at all in protecting our actors, actresses, directors, screenwriters, makeup artists etc. from predatory people in power. Instead of holding them accountable, it’s kept hush-hush and those preyed on are scared in to silence, fearing if they alone blow the whistle, the person with the power will make their life hell, be it through victim blaming, destroying their reputations and/or seeing to it that they never work in Hollywood again.

Some may say that’s far-fetched, but unfortunately that’s not the first time that has happened to a those in entertainment trying to speak out against a sexual predator in some form of power.

As an actress myself, this is an unfortunate truth we are aware of from the start. There are some people who will abuse it to try and take advantage of you, especially if you are young and looking for your big break, so to be aware and vigilant. Thankfully, I’ve never had an experience like this, but it’s still a prevalent problem that needs addressing.

Side note: This is not a sweeping generalisation of all people in powerful positions in their respective lines of work. I’m only talking about that percentage of people who unfortunately use this to take advantage of others.

Since this story came to light, I’ve heard a few people who have said:

“Why did they leave it so long to say something? They can’t be telling the truth if they left it so long…” 

Again, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen many people en masse speak out about horrific experiences at the hands of powerful people years, even decades after they happened. One of the most recent cases of this being the revelations about Jimmy Saville, exposing him to be one of the most prolific paedophiles the UK has ever seen.

Many survivors of Saville’s heinous crimes came forward after he died. Reason being, he had a tremendous amount of power.

It’s scary enough someone exercising power over you by harassing/assaulting/intimidating you etc. but if the person is in a position of power? That adds to the fear tenfold.

It’s the, “I am who I am. Who’s going to believe you?” complex. They feel they can get away with abusing their power, especially if they are in good opinions of the people around them, they think no one will believe their victims because of that.

So I can sympathise with the people who have spoke out. I understand how scary it can be.

As well as actresses, actors are also now coming forward to speak about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault in the industry. Such actors include Terry Coles and James Van Der Beek.

For decades, these stories have circulated about people in entrainment being inappropriately propositioned to whatever varying degree.

Honestly, for many years, I thought the “casting couch” experience was not as prevalent as it used to be. This scandal proves it all wrong and shows us it’s never changed.

Hollywood needs to stop sweeping predatory behaviour under the carpet and hold those doing so accountable for their actions.

Sexual harassment/assault is not “something that just happens”. It’s not ok and it shouldn’t have excuses made for it.

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Copyright, 2017

 

 

 

Books · Chatting · Lifestyle · Review · Romance · Uncategorized · Writing

Swooning Sundays! Jane Eyre 

Hello everyone and welcome back to Swooning Sundays, where I review some of my favourite romance novels (or novels with some romantic themes!) 

Today’s book is a story very near and dear to my heart: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. 

I’m sure many of you have read this but if you haven’t, here’s a brief summary. 

In early 1800s Britain, Jane Eyre is an orphan, brought up in a rich household by her late father’s sister, Mrs. Reed, where she is tormented and abused by Mrs. Reed and her children. 

Jane’s treatment is no better when sent to the austere Lowood School, run by the puritanical Mr. Brocklehurst. 

In adulthood, a quakerish Jane becomes governess at Thornfield Hall to Adele, the ward of the brooding and unpredictable Mr. Rochester. Over time, Jane comes to terms with the realisation she has fell in love with Rochester, but Rochester holds a dark secret. 

Honestly if I went in to all the reasons why I love this story we’d be here until next month! 

(Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, UK: Where 2006 adaptation starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens/2011 adaptation starring Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska was filmed) 

This is such an iconic story so ahead of its time. Aside from the romantic element of a governess and master falling in love, Bronte challenges so many social constructs of the time, something that wasn’t done.

18-year-old Jane is forward thinking and quietly autonomous. She brings to light that women feel the same as men do, wanting to have the same freedoms as men instead of being confined to women’s limited prospects at that time. 

The story also took a more scandalous turn with the “bedroom fire” scene, where Jane saves Rochester from death after she finds his bedroom on fire. The two share a “moment”, where to the audience, Rochester’s attraction is Jane is first obvious. 

But as this takes place at night, the two are both in their nightclothes alone. For the 1800s, this was considered almost too racy for the masses. A lady and gentleman alone together in full length nightclothes? *Gasps* Shocking! 

Not only that, she brings an explosive conflict with the discovery of Bertha Mason, Rochester’s mentally ill wife who has been confined to the Hall’s attic for her own safety and that of everyone else, after her violent behaviours had doctors declared her “mad”.

Now, a few people find this theme contentious and at face value take it as, “a man who locked his crazy wife in the attic”. 

If you look at the whole story, Rochester was rushed in to this marriage in his early twenties as his father wanted for the fortune of Bertha’s family. 

All seemed well until after the wedding, when Bertha’s illness started to spring up and she started to become violent towards Rochester (as referenced through the famous “bedroom fire” scene) attacking him regularly.

The Mason’s knew of Bertha’s illness (which runs in the family) but kept Rochester in the dark until he found out for himself, by which point there was nothing he could do.

The law in Britain at this time was that if your spouse was declared “mad” or “insane”, by law you were not allowed to divorce them under any circumstances. Essentially, the Masons fleeced him in to a marriage they knew he couldn’t get out of if things went sour. 

The only other option for spouses, like in Bertha’s case, was to be sent to a mental asylum or “mad house” and in the 1800s, the understanding of mental illness was not great and treatment of patients was deplorable. 

Aware of asylums’ cruelty towards patients, Rochester refused, keeping Bertha at Thornfield Hall and having someone oversee her to the best of his limited ability. 

When it comes to these themes, we have to remember the historical context of the time to get a better undertanding of the story, rather than place our own modern views straight on to it. As we all know, a lot can change in 200 years! 

So really, I feel sorry for all parties. Bertha for unfortunately having the illness she had, Rochester for getting tricked by the Masons and Jane for getting caught up in it all.  

This revelation leaves Jane questioning everything she holds dear. An observent Christian, it conflicts with her faith as well as her own standings that she cannot truly be happily in love with a married man. 

Honestly, anyone who is a fan of the book or seen the films can agree when I say that scene is heartbreaking for both parties. 

As well as this, we see the frank and raw depictions of the class system, the intellectual match and errant love between Jane and Rochester (who is approximately 20 years Jane’s senior) and how through extraordinary circumstances, two people in love can come back to each other. 

Like I said, I could go on forever about this book! But if you haven’t read it yet, seriously go and do! It’s awesome and a classic for a reason! 

Happy Sunday! 🙂 
Copyright, 2017

*Picture: Jane Eyre (2011) Facebook