With the release of my first book Wild Rose Press, I can’t help but thinking about the book that inspired the heart of Love. Set. Match. I was like any other romantic young thing, swooning over Mr. Darcy. I mean, Colin Firth and Matthew McFadyen make it hard not to, especially when they play Darcy’s subtly helping Lizzie and confessing his love for her.
BUT. Then I finally read Persuasion and met Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. If you look at my old blog, you can see a really long, really nerdy discussion about the differences between the two books. Since college, Persuasion has been one of my top 5 favorite books (no, don’t ask me to pick). When the idea for Love. Set. Match. hit me—no pun intended—I kept circling around until I realized exactly what ingredient was needed to make it work. It needed to be a gender-flipped retelling of Persuasion. Don’t believe me? Let’s break it down.
Rob Ashton (hero, journalist, retired tennis player) = Anne Elliot (heroine, spinster, daughter of baronet).
Similarities: dutiful, family-oriented, dedicated, never quite good enough (in their minds and those of their families). Helplessly in love with someone they chose to break up with because their family pressured them into it.
Differences: the freedom of movement and time period differences (obvs), gendered reactions to situations. #metoo. Rob isn’t financially dependent on his family like Anne is. Rob actually likes his sister and his mom is alive.
Emerson Grace (heroine, pro tennis player) = Captain Wentworth (hero, naval captain)
Similarities: under dogs, come from poor backgrounds, no one expects much of them (except themselves), earned place, but still viewed as lesser. Subjects of rumors. Denied feelings but they’ve never gone away.
Differences: the obvious. Em’s got family issues that Wentworth didn’t…that’s about it J
Side note: OMG THE LETTER. I love Captain Wentworth’s letter so much. So vulnerable and sweet and honest. Seriously. My knees melt just thinking about it.
And what’s a good story without a “bad guy”?
Bobby Ashton (tennis legend, Rob’s father) = Sir Walter Elliot (Anne’s father, snobby baronet)
These two are pretty much the same. Entitled, stubborn, self-important, overbearing. Get in the way of their children all the time. Don’t know when to back off.
Love. Set. Match. is so much more complicated, but I couldn’t help nerding out a little over the Persuasion connection. Hope all of you fall in love with Rob and Em as much as I did.
I’d love to see if you spot more similarities as you read the book. List them in the comments below!