The Passion of the Purple Plumeria

plumeria

Welcome to June, and welcome to our month of reading The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (AKA Pink X).

Those of you who have been following Lauren and the Pink series for a few years may remember that Pink X was originally going to be about Kat Reid and Tommy Fluellen.  And then, in September 2011, Lauren made two major announcements:

  1. After Pink X, there would be two Pink books left in the series.
  2. Miss Gwen had barged into Pink X and demanded that Lauren tell her story.

I have to admit, I experienced momentary panic on both accounts.

Only two more Pink books?  But… but why?  Couldn’t Pink go on forever?  I really did want that Kat and Tommy book, and there were other characters that Lauren had SURELY written into previous books intending to make them heroines later, and how were Colin and Eloise going to find a lost Indian treasure and get married and live happily ever in only three (including Pink X) more books?

And instead of Kat and Tommy, Pink X was going to be about Miss Gwen?  Miss Gwen who was ancient?  Miss Gwen who was prickly and and rude and fun for comic relief but terrifying to imagine as a heroine?

Breathe, Ashley – just breathe.  After several cups of tea and opportunities to mull these things over, I felt calmer.  Surely the fact that Lauren was publishing other, non-Pink books was a good sign.  Wouldn’t I enjoy watching Lauren explore another time and place?  I didn’t want her to feel stuck in Napoleonic France forever.  Miss Gwen as a heroine was still a hard sell for me, but I decided to trust that Lauren would tell me a good story.  And when Pink X was released, Lauren proved that my trust in her was not misplaced.  She proved it again with The Ashford Affair and That Summer.  Basically, watching Lauren branch out, both by taking her series in a direction I wasn’t expecting and by exploring new stories outside the Pink universe, showed me that great things happen when I let go of my expectations and just plan to enjoy the ride.

So now, we dive in to Pink X together.  On Wednesday, I will introduce your moderator for the month, and she will share the reading schedule for June.  For now, let’s begin with Lauren’s Pink X recap:

Who: Miss Gwendolyn Meadows and Colonel William Reid
Where: Bath
When: Spring, 1805
What: Take two missing girls, one parasol-wielding spinster turned spy, one retired colonel, add a dash of adventure and stir. When Lizzy Reid and Agnes Wooliston disappear from their Bath boarding school, Miss Gwendolyn Meadows is on the case– but is she prepared to collaborate with the irritatingly charming Colonel William Reid?
Historical Cameos: Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord (aka Talleyrand), Napoleon’s foreign minister.

And we begin back at Selwick Hall with Colin and Eloise.

“I seriously doubt the lost jewels of Berar are under your bath mat.”

Happy reading!

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14 thoughts on “The Passion of the Purple Plumeria

  1. It’s funny to me that you were terrified of Miss Gwen as a heroine, because I soon as I met Col. Reid, my immediate thought was, “I hope Lauren writes a book for him and Miss Gwen.” She was someone I was most interested in finding out more about.

    • Dara, I was really worried about Gwen as a heroine, mainly because I was picturing someone in her seventies! But I’m glad you were already in her corner.

      • By the time we got to this point, I didn’t picture her as an old lady. To me she seemed to get younger as the series progressed. I don’t know that I would have wanted a romance of Miss Gwen from Pink 1, but by this point I was ready.

  2. Thanks for an excellent summation of how I felt when Lauren made these announcements. This turned out to be one of the best Pinks in the series

  3. Since I have very little time for reading – the only place is in the bathroom, and I usually have 4 children’s hands poking under the door going, “Mommy, are you EVER coming out?” which is sad for a librarian (but I digress) I am an avid pink listener (except for Midnight Jasmine – different Narrator who screwed up the whole book by calling Eloise “El-Was”)…Kate Readings portrayal of Miss Gwen always made me picture her as an octogenarian rather than an 40 something lady…imagine my shock when Pink X comes out and I see Ms. Gwen is really very much like me! While I came to this blog late (thanks to Lauren’s Facebook posts) I am really enjoying the rereads and the discussions.

    I’m already thinking about my imaginary castings =0)….I still wish I could get Kat and Tommy’s book.

    • Patricia, you are one of many who are convincing me to give the Kate Reading audio versions a try. With the exception of Jim Dale’s Harry Potter audio books, I’ve never been an audio book enthusiast, but so many people have good things to say about Kate that I may have to make an exception. I already know I’ll love the stories 🙂

      • She has done all the audio versions EXCEPT for Night Jasmine…That Narrator makes me want to scream…every time she mispronounces Eloise’s last name, I yell out the correct pronunciation…which when I’m in my mommy mobile and Barney or the DVD is playing for the kids and I’m listening on my headphones usually startles my littles =0)

      • Kate Reading is wonderful. When I had a 45 minute commute, I would always try to gets books she narrated, even if I didn’t know much about the book itself.

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