Discussion Questions Lover Eternal CHs 34 – 51

One of the great themes of Lover Eternal is the way in which low self-esteem creates barriers to an intimate relationship. Such barriers are based on false assumptions people have about themselves, and they often prevent us from living our lives to the fullest. Hypercritical self-images are a particular problem for women, especially when it comes to our looks. Mary can barely believe that someone who looks like Rhage would be interested in a “plain Jane” like her. She sees all her faults, and all he sees is her beauty. It takes a while for Mary to let go of that barrier.

Recently, the makers of Dove soap produced a video that illustrates just how critically women view the way they look. Watch this brief video to see just how crippling a negative self-image can be:

And yet…Most of the “females” in this book meet our culture’s standard of beauty. Wellsie, Beth, and Bella are all described as having sexy bodies, pretty hair, and beautiful eyes. Even the Chosen, Layla, is described as tall, blond, and willowy. When Layla first offers to “serve,” Mary thinks to herself, “Then how about dragging your skinny ass out of here and making sure your replacement is an ugly, two-toothed gorgon in a muumuu” (321). And while Mary has some scars, she is certainly no “ugly, two-toothed gorgon.”

How, then, would you reconcile the theme of Lover Eternal with its emphasis on the physical beauty and fitness of its leading characters?

2. The beauty and the beast myth informs the plot of many romance novels, but in Lover Eternal, the hero literally transforms into a beast:

“It was a tattoo come to life: a dragonlike creature covered with iridescent purple and lime-green scales. The thing had a slashing tail with barbs, long yellow claws, and a wild black mane. She [Mary] couldn’t see the fact, but the sounds it was making were horrific” (406-407).

'He's kind of cute, in a Godzilla sort of way" (Ward, Lover Eternal, 441).

‘He’s kind of cute, in a Godzilla sort of way” (Ward, Lover Eternal, 441).

And yet Mary is able to calm this beast, and by the end of the book, accepts him as  a “two-for-one-kind of deal” (441).

Do you feel the novel stretches the limits of believability at this point, or does its genre, the paranormal romance, make room for this type of plot device?

This entry was posted in Barrier, Black Dagger Brotherhood, Gender, J. R. Ward, Lover Eternal, relationships, Self-Esteem and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Discussion Questions Lover Eternal CHs 34 – 51

  1. Elida Segura says:

    Mary does not think she is beautiful, she feels that the chemo has sucked away any beauty she has and thinks that she is just a normal unattractive woman who is sick. Mary believes that no one will ever care for her because there isn’t anything astonishing about herself. She really underestimates herself because Rhage a gorgeous guy really truly loves her the way she is and it shows that Mary just beats herself down a lot especially due to her sickness in the beginning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s