My Pink VIII reading over the weekend got me thinking about the heroes we’ve seen so far in the Pink series. I think Andre Jaouen represents a new kind of hero in the series, but Lauren’s been working on breaking her hero-mold for the last three books.
If you think about it, Richard, Miles and Geoff are fairly similar hero material. They are aristocrats, born and raised in the ton, motivated by patriotism and more than a tiny bit of desire for adventure. I’m not saying they are all the same hero (I know who my favorite is of the three), but their backgrounds are fairly similar.
I would argue that Turnip Fitzhugh, while he has a category all his own in my heart, falls pretty neatly in line with Richard, Miles and Geoff.
So we had a series of four heroes, all cut from a similar cloth (though fantastic in their own ways). And then along came Robert from The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. Robert is the duke-by-accident. He’s not really at home in Girdings or in Charlotte’s familiar landscape of season entertainments and court duties. He’s accustomed to a rougher life than our previous heroes, and he has spent most of the later years of his life overseas. Quite simply, he doesn’t feel he belongs in Charlotte’s world.
In The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, Alex Reid takes a step even further afield. He frequently muses on the fact that he feels more Indian that British, and he’s certainly not a member of the aristocracy. In fact, at the beginning of their acquaintance, Penelope thinks of Alex more as a type of servant rather than an equal. I felt like their relationship was the first to really cross a social divide, which seems funny in retrospect, because Penelope has far more in common with Alex than she ever had with Freddy, her social equal.
But with The Orchid Affair, Lauren takes us into uncharted territory and gives us a hero who is from the other side. Andre is French. He was a revolutionary. He currently holds a position of power in Bonaparte’s regime. He is Laura’s assignment, as far from an ally as you could possibly get. And yet (without getting too far ahead of our reread), he and Laura turn out to be fantastically compatible.
Was this shift toward a new kind of hero something anyone else noticed? Does this seem intentional to you, or do you think it’s the happy accident of situations and times as Lauren continued her series? And who is your favorite hero so far?