This post was written by Paige.
Hello everyone! I was talking with Ashley about some ideas and she reminded me about Lauren’s post on her website about breaking the rules as an author. That post is here if you want to take a look. I am so grateful that Lauren broke the “rules” when she made Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid the lead characters in Pink X. I tend to like rule breakers, at least when the rule breaking results in such an engaging story as The Passion of the Purple Plumeria. The biggest convention that is broken is that both Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid are middle-aged. It is still not common for both the heroine and the hero to be middle-aged, particularly in a swashbuckling adventure. I am going on the assumption that everyone finds Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid as fabulous as I do, but is there anyone that did not enjoy the age aspect?
Gwen is 45 and William is 54. They have lived a lot before they find each other. They each have a certain amount of “baggage” that they carry with them into their relationship. Obviously, every character carries hang-ups and baggage. In this story, though, the characters are aware of their baggage from their youth. William and Gwen have each had heartache and personal trauma. In their own way, each of them blames themselves for poor choices made in their youth, and even things that they were not responsible for. Though they know themselves well, they are hesitant due to self-perceptions.
I wonder whether the 20-something year old Gwen would have fallen for the younger William, had their paths crossed, assuming they were both available? What do you think? Gwen has described herself at that age as being sarcastic and spoiled and willful, to a degree that is not tempered with the wisdom of experience. William has described himself as being a brash peacock as a younger man. How has the maturity that comes with time and age done for Gwen and William?
I like the image of Gwen and William, two rogues and adventurers, going forward together. Both of them possessing a fierce sense of honor and loyalty. Their past experiences have made them more appreciative of each other. As William reflects, “Odd the twists and turns through which one wandered to come to where one was. Right now, all the reversals, all the disappointments and missteps, felt like nothing but a prelude to this, this moment, this bed, this woman.”
This was meant as a jest, but I think that this is not a bad way to woo Gwen: “Come bicker with me and be my love.” There is no foolery and no fustian about it. Having read their story, there is much between the words. They are a true duo. Where one sword goes, so does the other. They are not young, perhaps, but they have much to share with the “youngsters.”