Retro Reads - Romance discussion

The Bleeding Heart
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Our February Retro Read

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message 1: by Open Road (last edited Feb 03, 2014 08:40AM) (new)

Open Road Media (openroadmedia) | 37 comments Mod
Happy February! It’s the most wonderful time of the year—for romance fans, that is! Valentine’s Day is once again upon us, and love is most certainly in the air (no matter how cold it may be).

So, we thought, what better way to kick off the month of February than cuddling up with an ebook that celebrates the power of love?

This month’s pick, Marilyn French’s The Bleeding Heart, does just that. When divorced professor Dolores accepts a one-year position in England, she is at the end of her romance rope. But when she meets Victor on a train, both characters find themselves in the throes of passion neither ever found in marriage—and faced with the harsh reality that it must soon come to an end.

If you're like us, you won't be able to turn the pages fast enough as these two rediscover the incredible, transformative power of love.

First, we have a couple of questions to get the discussion teed up. How does each character's "baggage" affect your enjoyment of their budding romance? Do you prefer a story of young love, or more complex second-time-around romance?

The Bleeding Heart A Novel by Marilyn French
The Bleeding Heart: A Novel

Ionia (readfulthings) | 9 comments I think for me, the fact that they ended up in such a whirlwind romance was then subsequently bashed down by how quickly they began arguing with one another and the main character seemed to be belittling him on multiple occasions.

Generally speaking, I love second chance stories, but this one was a bit depressing. You can find my review here:

Julie  (gpangel) I must agree with Ionia. This story was so heavy and dark, I did wish for it to end and that's never a good sign. My review is at

message 4: by Open Road (new)

Open Road Media (openroadmedia) | 37 comments Mod
Thank you for your reviews so far!

I also identify as a fan of "second chance" romances in literature, and found The Bleeding Heart a bit more serious than others I have read in the past. It's definitely a departure from the kind of romance that we have been reading in this group!

That being said, is there an element of realism to be appreciated in this darker depiction of "second chance" romance?

And, readers who haven't shared thoughts yet: what do you think of the book so far?

NomdePlumePress | 25 comments Finished and posted my review today (it's here). I was kind of in the mood for something like this after a lot of light reading and new adult angst, but I struggled to enjoy it. The constant arguing from the get-go threw me off too.

However, I ended up really appreciating this book. As maddening as Dolores is, she's often right, and she's passionate enough to fight, so you have to give her credit. And when she isn't right, it's in a very realistic way: she's hypocritical, she makes broad sweeping generalizations about how men are, she has foolish, immature reactions.

I really got caught up in this, and strangely loved Dolores's character because she annoyed me and made me question things and seemed so real. And I did think the second-chance-romance aspect of it was fairly realistic -- left undecided at the end; really subject to how much they're willing to compromise, which isn't much. So, complicated reaction. But on the whole, as much as I enjoy young-love stories, it's kind of an easy, instant gratification, and I was ready for characters that had baggage they'd really earned and a complicated, questionable future together. Guess I need both in my reading life.


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