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In the past few weeks, between one thing and another thing, I’ve done more re-reading of old favorites than reading of new books.

Among the re-reads were all the Psy/Changeling books, and a couple of Stephanie Laurens’ Bastion Club novels. Reading these two authors so close together has made me appreciate the former even more, and wonder (once again) at my attachment to the latter.

The changelings in Ms Singh’s universe often talk about their beasts and how said beasts’ reactions differ from their human side. This makes complete sense in the context of the series, because the changelings are both human and animal. On the other hand, when Laurens’ heroes start going on about handing the reins (and what’s with the horse racing thing, by the way?) to their primitive selves and the like, I can’t start wondering whether they would benefit from some quality shrink time.

What say you?


  • Me and a twelve layer devil’s food chocolate cake…

    Now see, I could give myself over to my primitive 5 year old inner pig. In that case I would need the professional help of a good exercise regimen.

    I guess it’s how they talk about it then. Do they take personal responsibility or is it a crutch?


  • AZL, I’m a Laurens fan. I hold her original six Cynster books, particularly DEVIL’s BRIDE, up as the benchmark for all other Regency romances. However, even I lost interest in the Bastion Club series. I read the first 2 or 3, can’t remember how many, and when I look at the blurbs to figure out where I left off, none sound familar yet, at the same time, they all sound the same.

    Since I’ve never gotten into the Singh series, mainly because the Psy characters don’t interest me, I won’t claim to be an expert on those.

    However I CAN wonder if you could have found two more divergent series to compare. Holy Reading Schizophrenia, Batgirl! ;-p

    Oh, and does anyone have a Pig to Soccer Mom translator? Cuz I do not understand da Piggie! ;-D


  • Pig to Soccer Mom translator


    Probably would have something to do with balls.


  • eggs
    April 20
    4:34 am

    I like reading Laurens, but she’s the reading equivalent of a family sized bag of Doritos with a Diet Coke chaser. If you’re in the mood for it, she really hits the spot, but otherwise – meh. Once a year is about right for me.

    Lauren’s characters clearly need psychotherapy, which is part of their charm, IMHO. Even crazy people deserve love! It would be very interesting to get a psychiatrist to read Devil’s Bride and see if he fits a standard diagnosis.


  • Apologies for taking so long to come back to the conversation, guys!

    Teddy, Laurens’ heroes do not skirt their responsibilities, at all. In fact (particularly after the twelfth or thirteenth book) some of them which start the series as little more than a problem for their elder relatives to manage become so utterly perfect as to be carbon copies of each other.

    And they do take responsibility for their lust towards the heroine–pretty much they all know, from the get go, they’ll end up marrying her, whether she wants to or not.

    My issue is that whenever their lust takes center stage, so to speak, the language gets full of “holding the reins of his primitive self” or some such, which make me feel as if the hero had a bad case of MPD, only with the ‘dominant’ personality being aware of the others. (Bad analogy but the best I come up with without actually looking for the passages–which I really don’t feel like doing right now; I’ve had my fill of Laurens’ writing for a while)

    Bev, I know! 😀 It probably says more about the crazy workings of that thing I call my mind than anything else, huh? But there you have it–I was doing something else and saw that the last two Bastion Club titles were on my nightstand (I swear I have no clue how they turned up there), and since I still hadn’t read the one before, I hunted it down and read the three back to back.

    Which is almost always a bad idea–I think there are very few authors I can read that way without ill consequences–but it’s certainly a BAD idea with Laurens.

    After that, I was putting those books away when I saw one of the Singh’s books in a nearby shelf… and that was that, I re-read the series.

    And while the series themselves can’t be compared in many respects, it was the open conflict created by the duality in Singh’s protagonists’ nature that struck me the most after reading Laurens. For both the changelings and the psy, the fact that they are human plus something other plays a large part in the development of their relationships. Even when one party is “only” human, the awareness of this duality in the other party is there for both.

    Laurens’ heroes, in the other hand, spend a goodly portion of their time trying to hide/erase/control their “primitive/carnal” selves, but only in their own internal dialogue. The little women are never privy to these thoughts, and the resolution of this conflict is entirely a private matter for the hero.

    Gah, I don’t know that I’m making any sense now. (And it was so clear in my head too!)


  • eggs
    April 22
    2:30 am

    You do make sense to me, AztecLady. It would be interesting to delete all of Lauren’s heros’ internal dialogue and then read the books again. Maybe they are no crazier than the average man, but we are not privvy to the thoughts of the average man.


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