Today I am so pleased to welcome Silvia Violet to Joyfully Jay. Silvia is her as part of Opposites Attract Week to to talk to us about her Thorne and Dash series. She has also brought along some copies of book one to contribute to our big event giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thanks for having me on the blog. I’m excited to be part of Opposites Attract Week. I’m going to be talking about one of my favorite “opposites” tropes: May/December or age gap romances. I’ve seen a variety of opinions or what actually constitutes an age gap and whether these two terms can be used interchangeably. To me the difference in age should be at least ten years to fall into this category, and I do use either term to describe a relationship with a large difference in age, rather than only using May/December (as I believe it was originally conceived) to refer to relationships where the older partner is in the “winter” of “December” of life.
As a reader I enjoy May/December stories, because the reader gets to see two people society thinks shouldn’t be at odds with each other overcome obstacles to get to a happy-ever-after. There’s built in conflict that can best be overcome by love—something guaranteed to make a great romance. I especially love when the trope has a nice twist like a younger character who is more worldly or confident or an older character who’s more comfortable with his sexuality.
As a writer, I tend to create character-centered stories, and a large age gap provides a lot of opportunity for character growth. The characters need to find some common ground even though they may have grown up with different music, movies, and cultural views. In most situations, the older character is more established in his career and might have more wealth. This can cause an imbalance of power or at least a perceived on one the part of the younger character. The couple likely has concerns about the younger partner having to spend years caring for the older one as he ages. In LGBT+ romance, younger characters may be more comfortable being out or talking about their sexuality. And both characters likely face social pressure: family or friends who counsel them against dating or marrying someone who is much younger or older.
All these sources of conflict mean that the characters will really have to work for their HEA. They have no choice but to grow and compromise. That’s already a recipe for a good story. A stubborn character might have to accept that his partner has more money and truly doesn’t mind making a larger financial contribution to their household. A younger character might have to understand that while he thinks it’s funny to laugh at his partner’s taste in music, calling out their differences might be hurtful. The couple might have to spend years showing their families that they are committed to one another and that their differences don’t matter in the face of their love for each other.
Romance, at its core, is about love being a force strong enough to bridge any divide. I think May/December works well as a romance trope, because these stories showcase the power of love.
My Thorne and Dash series is about a couple with a twenty year age gap. Helping Thorne and Dash come to terms with the fact that they are both truly in love and that neither of them cares how old the other is were or where they are in life was a growing experience for me as a writer. I’m giving away both an ebook and an audio copy of the first book in this trilogy, Professional Distance. And a companion volume, Well-Tailored, also a May/December romance starring two of the secondary characters, releases on April 25.
Leave a comment and let me know what you like or don’t like about May/December stories.
Thornwell Shipton is wealthy, uptight, closeted, and an incurable workaholic. A tragic love affair left him terrified of relationships, so he tells himself sex is better scheduled and paid for.
Riley Dashwood is young, easy-going, and comfortable in his own skin. He’s a passionate baker and an aspiring chef, working as an escort to save up for culinary school.
They’re clearly made for each other.
When Thorne hires Dash, it’s lust at first sight. After a few scorching nights together, both men start to wonder if what’s between them is more than physical, but their age gap and resistance to romance make them afraid to change their professional relationship to a personal one. Dash pushes Thorne to admit he wants things he’s denied himself for years. Kinky things. Soft, caring things. Things that force him to open his heart, not just his body. To move forward, one or the other must take a risk and ask for what he really wants.
Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.
Silvia has brought both an ebook and an audiobook copy of Professional Distance to contribute to our huge Opposites Attract Week giveaway. Stop by for a chance to win these books and tons of other prizes!