So Pot and I were having a discussion last night (to which she refers here) about soulmates/fated lovers and such in books. I am setting myself up to do some serious revisions to my timeline in Houses of Cards to make the story be a bit more genre friendly, as the way it is set up now, the first half of the book is mostly about the relationship with a threat the reader, but not the h/h knows about, and the latter half is them dealing with the threat. SOME of this is because I was trying to fit the relationship into a more realistic timeline. Because, of course, from the ripe old age of 27, I’ve become an old fuddy duddy on this issue. Doh! Allow me to explain, as this seems to be a major contradiction of my proclamation that I am a hopeless romantic. Do I believe in soulmates? Of the sort of be all, end all, there’s no one else for you kind? I used to. Until I found the one I thought was mine. Can I write of the heady, instant insanity of that kind of veritable love at first sight? Absolutely. Do I love reading about it. Hell yes! It makes my little romantic heart sigh. But do I really, truly believe that there’s only one person for everybody. No. Not in real life. Mainly because my “soulmate” left me. And it, understandably, left a mark. You just didn’t find the right one! you might say. You were mistaken! I did, in fact, meet my husband seven months later, and knew within three weeks that I would probably marry him (which I did almost four years later). But my willingness to throw myself off that cliff again was gone. You get burned bad enough, you get cautious of the flame. So enter Houses of Cards in which my heroine is similarly dumped by her soulmate at the tender age of 18 (one of the very few autobiographical details in the entire book–along with a love of southern rock and books and a bit of a control freak issue), it completely changes her outlook on relationships. Eleven years later she’s suddenly back in the town where all this happened and guess who’s sheriff? Yep. Our hero. And of course he wants her back. It’s a conventional enough setup for the genre and other authors have made it work on a shortened timeline. But I have a hard time pushing it with these particular characters because my adult self, in my heroine’s shoes, finds it really hard to believe she would simply jump back into things and forgive him on the spot or even in a hurry. Even though with other characters I believe it absolutely. Unless a book is poorly written, I don’t usually let a shortened timeline bother me at all. Mostly I go with it and don’t even notice the timeline. At least not until the book is over and if it’s well done I still believe it. It’s entirely possible that had my life turned out differently, and I too married that first love/soulmate around the tender age of 18/19 I might see things very differently. I’d have married him if he’d asked, and I’d have fought tooth and nail to keep him. But then I’d have missed out on my wonderful current hubby, so I think things turned out just right in the end.