A Twin. Again.

Cat 243 DoverBy Mary Jo

Anyone who has read my books over the years has probably noticed that I have an indecent fondness for twin stories.  It’s right up there with amnesia as an ancient, creaky, and endearing, plot device.

When I thought about it, both twin stories and amnesia are questions of identity. For amnesia, who is this person really?  And what is he or she like when memory has stripped away the expectations of others so the unmodified essence of personality can shine through? 

With identical twins, the interest lies on how two people can look so much alike that they might appear interchangeable, but in reality they are distinct individuals.  There will be similarities, so it’s the differences that are so intriguing. 
 
When the marketing people at Kensington asked me if my new release, Sometimes a Rogue, was any kind of anniversary book, I realized "Fifth Twin Story!"  I seem to give myself permission to do one set of twins per series.  <G>

My first twin book was Dancing on the Wind, a RITA winner and one of my Fallen
DOTW coverAngels series.  I did a lot of research on twins, both in books and more importantly, talking to identical twins. 

One thing all the twins said is do NOT have a good twin/evil twin dichotomy, which they really disliked.  I hadn't planned that, which is just as well.  <G>

My best research subjects were a pair of sisters who lived in Colorado.  Not only had they thought a lot about being twins and done their own research, but they were both highly intuitive.  (One could say psychic.)  As with most twin pairs, one was a little more outgoing, the other a little more reserved.  I'll call them A and B. 

They weren't telepathic, but they were so attuned to each other that one could enter a store and know that her sister had been there earlier in the same day.  They could lend energy to each other.  They both had families of their own, but they were a lot happier living in the same city. 

Talking with A and B was fascinating, and that research showed up in DOTW, when the more reserved Kit takes the place of her actress sister, Kiri, who has disappeared, and Kit needs to find out as much as possible about her sister's life to figure out what happened to her.  They are best friends and vital to each other's happiness.  Also, while the world tended to categorize them as the outgoing one and the quiet one, they were more alike than they let others see. 

An interesting thing I deduced from my research is that while female twins were often very close friends, male twins often went through a period of estrangement in adolescence as they began defining themselves as individuals.  Sometimes they become close again later, but I found cases where they were permanently estranged. 

Wild Child 300 dpiNaturally, I had to write about that.  <G>  I needed a situation where one estranged twin must go to the other for help that only the twin can supply: in other words, trading places.  So in my Bride trilogy, the hero of The Wild Child, Dominic Renbourne, is the ten minutes younger son of an earl who yearns not for his father's title, but for the land itself.  He also resents his barely older brother's bossiness, though there is still an unwanted connection between them. 

The reason why Kyle asks Dominic to essentially court Kyle's fiancée had better be a doozy, and it is.  By the end of the book, they've become friends again, and Kyle takes off to find himself The China Bride.  In that book, being a twin isn't much of a factor, but I had to give Kyle a happy ending.  (These were twin books 2 and 3.)

In the first of my Lost Lords book, Loving a Lost Lord, the heroine, Mariah, lived an unpredictable life
Cbridep2with her loving but impecunious gambler father.  Living on the edges of society, she learned to be charming and adaptable, easy to have around.  Very aware of her own shortcomings, she had an imaginary twin sister she called Sarah, who was always available, always loyal, and always a perfect young lady, unlike Mariah. 

Naturally, I was unable to resist giving her a real twin sister named Sarah.  <G>  Because they'd been separated as toddlers, Mariah didn't consciously remember her twin, but she held a distant memory of Sarah in her heart. 

SometimesaRogueMMI found Mariah and Sarah particularly interesting because, unlike my other twin pairs, they hadn't been raised together, so they were freer to be themselves rather than always being measured against their sister.  But living a more uncertain life, Mariah yearned for stability, a man who was utterly reliable.  She found him in Adam, despite the rather irregular shape of their courtship.

Sarah is quieter, but in most ways more confident.  Her mother became hostess to her widowed brother, so Sarah was raised by two loving adults and had a pack of four older male cousins who were like her brothers.  So her upbringing was very proper, though she had a tomboy streak.  And–she knew that somewhere out there was a missing twin sister, and that knowledge was a loss in her heart. 

When they come together again, they're free to be friends, without the competition of growing up together, but they want different things in a man.  While Mariah wanted stability, Sarah wanted adventure and a man with more dangerous edges.  She found him.  Be careful what you wish for!  And this is how Sometimes a Rogue became my fifth twin book.

Of course one can have a trading places dynamic without having the characters be twins. A classic of the genre is The Prisoner of Zenda, where an English gentleman who is a distant cousin of the heir to the throne of Ruritania must stand in at the heir's coronation when the real prince is drugged and kidnapped. 

George McDonald Fraser did a lovely riff on this in Royal Flash, part of his hilarious Flashman series.  A Robert Heinlein novel, Double Star, is basically a science fiction riff on Zenda, with a down and out actor being drafted to substitute for a kidnapped statesman to attend an utterly crucial ceremony on Mars. 

Savannah PurchaseAnother favorite of mine is Jane Aiken Hodge's Savannah Purchase, where the heroine is conned into taking the place of her identical cousin–and falls in love with her cousin's husband.  Being younger then, I had no idea how this could be resolved, but JAH came through brilliantly.

So at least I'm not alone in my fondness for the Twin Trope. <G>  Do you like such stories?  Do you have a favorite, either of twins or trading places? Tell me what you think!  A commenter between now and midnight Friday will receive a copy of one of my twin stories. 

 Mary Jo, who had identical twin first cousins

130 thoughts on “A Twin. Again.”

  1. Leaving aside your lovely books, especially Dancing on the Wind, my favorite is False Colors by Heyer. One of the twins doesn’t appear until near the end of the tale, but his absence drives the plot. The book has wonderful secondary characters as well.

    Reply
  2. Leaving aside your lovely books, especially Dancing on the Wind, my favorite is False Colors by Heyer. One of the twins doesn’t appear until near the end of the tale, but his absence drives the plot. The book has wonderful secondary characters as well.

    Reply
  3. Leaving aside your lovely books, especially Dancing on the Wind, my favorite is False Colors by Heyer. One of the twins doesn’t appear until near the end of the tale, but his absence drives the plot. The book has wonderful secondary characters as well.

    Reply
  4. Leaving aside your lovely books, especially Dancing on the Wind, my favorite is False Colors by Heyer. One of the twins doesn’t appear until near the end of the tale, but his absence drives the plot. The book has wonderful secondary characters as well.

    Reply
  5. Leaving aside your lovely books, especially Dancing on the Wind, my favorite is False Colors by Heyer. One of the twins doesn’t appear until near the end of the tale, but his absence drives the plot. The book has wonderful secondary characters as well.

    Reply
  6. Honestly, the last twin book I’ve read is your Loving a Lost Lord ( but since we don’t know Sarah really exists until rhe end, im not sure it counts). Of course Sometimes a Rogue is on my wish list. 🙂
    Less recently, I’ve enjoyed Rose Gordon’s Banks Brothers Bride books with the twins being featured in His Jilted Bride and His Brother’s Bride. There is also the fraternal twins appearing repeatedly in Lauren Royal’s Jewel trilogy and Flower trilogy.
    For a more modern twin book, I enjoyed Deborah Cooke’s Double Trouble.

    Reply
  7. Honestly, the last twin book I’ve read is your Loving a Lost Lord ( but since we don’t know Sarah really exists until rhe end, im not sure it counts). Of course Sometimes a Rogue is on my wish list. 🙂
    Less recently, I’ve enjoyed Rose Gordon’s Banks Brothers Bride books with the twins being featured in His Jilted Bride and His Brother’s Bride. There is also the fraternal twins appearing repeatedly in Lauren Royal’s Jewel trilogy and Flower trilogy.
    For a more modern twin book, I enjoyed Deborah Cooke’s Double Trouble.

    Reply
  8. Honestly, the last twin book I’ve read is your Loving a Lost Lord ( but since we don’t know Sarah really exists until rhe end, im not sure it counts). Of course Sometimes a Rogue is on my wish list. 🙂
    Less recently, I’ve enjoyed Rose Gordon’s Banks Brothers Bride books with the twins being featured in His Jilted Bride and His Brother’s Bride. There is also the fraternal twins appearing repeatedly in Lauren Royal’s Jewel trilogy and Flower trilogy.
    For a more modern twin book, I enjoyed Deborah Cooke’s Double Trouble.

    Reply
  9. Honestly, the last twin book I’ve read is your Loving a Lost Lord ( but since we don’t know Sarah really exists until rhe end, im not sure it counts). Of course Sometimes a Rogue is on my wish list. 🙂
    Less recently, I’ve enjoyed Rose Gordon’s Banks Brothers Bride books with the twins being featured in His Jilted Bride and His Brother’s Bride. There is also the fraternal twins appearing repeatedly in Lauren Royal’s Jewel trilogy and Flower trilogy.
    For a more modern twin book, I enjoyed Deborah Cooke’s Double Trouble.

    Reply
  10. Honestly, the last twin book I’ve read is your Loving a Lost Lord ( but since we don’t know Sarah really exists until rhe end, im not sure it counts). Of course Sometimes a Rogue is on my wish list. 🙂
    Less recently, I’ve enjoyed Rose Gordon’s Banks Brothers Bride books with the twins being featured in His Jilted Bride and His Brother’s Bride. There is also the fraternal twins appearing repeatedly in Lauren Royal’s Jewel trilogy and Flower trilogy.
    For a more modern twin book, I enjoyed Deborah Cooke’s Double Trouble.

    Reply
  11. I just finished Scott Lynch’s Republic of Theives, which has twins as secondary characters. He had killed them off in Book 1 when they were extremely cooperative and close, but using flashbacks, he had them alive, during their teenage years where they were in constant conflict, choosing to dress as differently as they could (well except for their teenage obsession with sex). Yet when crisis came, the two worked together seamlessly as they had before.
    I’ll have to revisit some of Mary Jo’s twins. It’s been a while since I’ve re-read these books. And the Hodge book sounds like fun.

    Reply
  12. I just finished Scott Lynch’s Republic of Theives, which has twins as secondary characters. He had killed them off in Book 1 when they were extremely cooperative and close, but using flashbacks, he had them alive, during their teenage years where they were in constant conflict, choosing to dress as differently as they could (well except for their teenage obsession with sex). Yet when crisis came, the two worked together seamlessly as they had before.
    I’ll have to revisit some of Mary Jo’s twins. It’s been a while since I’ve re-read these books. And the Hodge book sounds like fun.

    Reply
  13. I just finished Scott Lynch’s Republic of Theives, which has twins as secondary characters. He had killed them off in Book 1 when they were extremely cooperative and close, but using flashbacks, he had them alive, during their teenage years where they were in constant conflict, choosing to dress as differently as they could (well except for their teenage obsession with sex). Yet when crisis came, the two worked together seamlessly as they had before.
    I’ll have to revisit some of Mary Jo’s twins. It’s been a while since I’ve re-read these books. And the Hodge book sounds like fun.

    Reply
  14. I just finished Scott Lynch’s Republic of Theives, which has twins as secondary characters. He had killed them off in Book 1 when they were extremely cooperative and close, but using flashbacks, he had them alive, during their teenage years where they were in constant conflict, choosing to dress as differently as they could (well except for their teenage obsession with sex). Yet when crisis came, the two worked together seamlessly as they had before.
    I’ll have to revisit some of Mary Jo’s twins. It’s been a while since I’ve re-read these books. And the Hodge book sounds like fun.

    Reply
  15. I just finished Scott Lynch’s Republic of Theives, which has twins as secondary characters. He had killed them off in Book 1 when they were extremely cooperative and close, but using flashbacks, he had them alive, during their teenage years where they were in constant conflict, choosing to dress as differently as they could (well except for their teenage obsession with sex). Yet when crisis came, the two worked together seamlessly as they had before.
    I’ll have to revisit some of Mary Jo’s twins. It’s been a while since I’ve re-read these books. And the Hodge book sounds like fun.

    Reply
  16. I LOVE twin stories, especially your Dancing on the Wind, which in my opinion is probably the best twin story ever. In fact, I think it inspired my own set of twins in my Wild Geese Series (even though only one twin’s story, “Keeper of the Light,” is available thus far).
    I enjoyed exploring the “twin thing,” the absolute knowledge twins have (mine are fraternal male twins) and the competition they shared. Mostly, though, I loved exploring the protectiveness Kieran (the elder) had for his “little” brother, Cathal.

    Reply
  17. I LOVE twin stories, especially your Dancing on the Wind, which in my opinion is probably the best twin story ever. In fact, I think it inspired my own set of twins in my Wild Geese Series (even though only one twin’s story, “Keeper of the Light,” is available thus far).
    I enjoyed exploring the “twin thing,” the absolute knowledge twins have (mine are fraternal male twins) and the competition they shared. Mostly, though, I loved exploring the protectiveness Kieran (the elder) had for his “little” brother, Cathal.

    Reply
  18. I LOVE twin stories, especially your Dancing on the Wind, which in my opinion is probably the best twin story ever. In fact, I think it inspired my own set of twins in my Wild Geese Series (even though only one twin’s story, “Keeper of the Light,” is available thus far).
    I enjoyed exploring the “twin thing,” the absolute knowledge twins have (mine are fraternal male twins) and the competition they shared. Mostly, though, I loved exploring the protectiveness Kieran (the elder) had for his “little” brother, Cathal.

    Reply
  19. I LOVE twin stories, especially your Dancing on the Wind, which in my opinion is probably the best twin story ever. In fact, I think it inspired my own set of twins in my Wild Geese Series (even though only one twin’s story, “Keeper of the Light,” is available thus far).
    I enjoyed exploring the “twin thing,” the absolute knowledge twins have (mine are fraternal male twins) and the competition they shared. Mostly, though, I loved exploring the protectiveness Kieran (the elder) had for his “little” brother, Cathal.

    Reply
  20. I LOVE twin stories, especially your Dancing on the Wind, which in my opinion is probably the best twin story ever. In fact, I think it inspired my own set of twins in my Wild Geese Series (even though only one twin’s story, “Keeper of the Light,” is available thus far).
    I enjoyed exploring the “twin thing,” the absolute knowledge twins have (mine are fraternal male twins) and the competition they shared. Mostly, though, I loved exploring the protectiveness Kieran (the elder) had for his “little” brother, Cathal.

    Reply
  21. I like some twin stories. I dislike the good twin/evil twin stories.
    I generally think twin substitution stories are stories of deception and say I don’t like them but must admit to a fondness for Wild Child. Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.
    IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures. Of course children accept anything they are told but as they grow older, I wonder if some didn’t resent it. Of course that leads to the good twin bad twin stories. There are variations as to whether the older or the younger one is the bad twin. Some siblings and cousins can look enough alike to be mistaken for each other without them actually being twins.
    I know I don’t have the latest in the series of Lost Lords.
    ( My first posting disappeared so I do not know whether it will show up or not. )

    Reply
  22. I like some twin stories. I dislike the good twin/evil twin stories.
    I generally think twin substitution stories are stories of deception and say I don’t like them but must admit to a fondness for Wild Child. Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.
    IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures. Of course children accept anything they are told but as they grow older, I wonder if some didn’t resent it. Of course that leads to the good twin bad twin stories. There are variations as to whether the older or the younger one is the bad twin. Some siblings and cousins can look enough alike to be mistaken for each other without them actually being twins.
    I know I don’t have the latest in the series of Lost Lords.
    ( My first posting disappeared so I do not know whether it will show up or not. )

    Reply
  23. I like some twin stories. I dislike the good twin/evil twin stories.
    I generally think twin substitution stories are stories of deception and say I don’t like them but must admit to a fondness for Wild Child. Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.
    IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures. Of course children accept anything they are told but as they grow older, I wonder if some didn’t resent it. Of course that leads to the good twin bad twin stories. There are variations as to whether the older or the younger one is the bad twin. Some siblings and cousins can look enough alike to be mistaken for each other without them actually being twins.
    I know I don’t have the latest in the series of Lost Lords.
    ( My first posting disappeared so I do not know whether it will show up or not. )

    Reply
  24. I like some twin stories. I dislike the good twin/evil twin stories.
    I generally think twin substitution stories are stories of deception and say I don’t like them but must admit to a fondness for Wild Child. Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.
    IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures. Of course children accept anything they are told but as they grow older, I wonder if some didn’t resent it. Of course that leads to the good twin bad twin stories. There are variations as to whether the older or the younger one is the bad twin. Some siblings and cousins can look enough alike to be mistaken for each other without them actually being twins.
    I know I don’t have the latest in the series of Lost Lords.
    ( My first posting disappeared so I do not know whether it will show up or not. )

    Reply
  25. I like some twin stories. I dislike the good twin/evil twin stories.
    I generally think twin substitution stories are stories of deception and say I don’t like them but must admit to a fondness for Wild Child. Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.
    IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures. Of course children accept anything they are told but as they grow older, I wonder if some didn’t resent it. Of course that leads to the good twin bad twin stories. There are variations as to whether the older or the younger one is the bad twin. Some siblings and cousins can look enough alike to be mistaken for each other without them actually being twins.
    I know I don’t have the latest in the series of Lost Lords.
    ( My first posting disappeared so I do not know whether it will show up or not. )

    Reply
  26. I come from a large family on my father’s side. I have a twin brother and sister. A year after they were born one of my father’s sisters had twins – a boy and a girl. A year after that, one of my father’s brothers produced identical twin girls. When that flock of cousins were adults, a cousin who is not a twin, produced identical twin girls. And later on, the cousin who was the girl in the second set of boy and girl twins produced fraternal twin boys.
    When I was expecting my third child – for a short period of time they thought they heard 3 heart beats (this was in the days when the only thing they knew was how to check for heart beats). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. Fortunately they were mistaken, there was only one very large boy.
    In the family, I am not sure that there are any “evil” twins, but if I find one, I will let you know.

    Reply
  27. I come from a large family on my father’s side. I have a twin brother and sister. A year after they were born one of my father’s sisters had twins – a boy and a girl. A year after that, one of my father’s brothers produced identical twin girls. When that flock of cousins were adults, a cousin who is not a twin, produced identical twin girls. And later on, the cousin who was the girl in the second set of boy and girl twins produced fraternal twin boys.
    When I was expecting my third child – for a short period of time they thought they heard 3 heart beats (this was in the days when the only thing they knew was how to check for heart beats). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. Fortunately they were mistaken, there was only one very large boy.
    In the family, I am not sure that there are any “evil” twins, but if I find one, I will let you know.

    Reply
  28. I come from a large family on my father’s side. I have a twin brother and sister. A year after they were born one of my father’s sisters had twins – a boy and a girl. A year after that, one of my father’s brothers produced identical twin girls. When that flock of cousins were adults, a cousin who is not a twin, produced identical twin girls. And later on, the cousin who was the girl in the second set of boy and girl twins produced fraternal twin boys.
    When I was expecting my third child – for a short period of time they thought they heard 3 heart beats (this was in the days when the only thing they knew was how to check for heart beats). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. Fortunately they were mistaken, there was only one very large boy.
    In the family, I am not sure that there are any “evil” twins, but if I find one, I will let you know.

    Reply
  29. I come from a large family on my father’s side. I have a twin brother and sister. A year after they were born one of my father’s sisters had twins – a boy and a girl. A year after that, one of my father’s brothers produced identical twin girls. When that flock of cousins were adults, a cousin who is not a twin, produced identical twin girls. And later on, the cousin who was the girl in the second set of boy and girl twins produced fraternal twin boys.
    When I was expecting my third child – for a short period of time they thought they heard 3 heart beats (this was in the days when the only thing they knew was how to check for heart beats). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. Fortunately they were mistaken, there was only one very large boy.
    In the family, I am not sure that there are any “evil” twins, but if I find one, I will let you know.

    Reply
  30. I come from a large family on my father’s side. I have a twin brother and sister. A year after they were born one of my father’s sisters had twins – a boy and a girl. A year after that, one of my father’s brothers produced identical twin girls. When that flock of cousins were adults, a cousin who is not a twin, produced identical twin girls. And later on, the cousin who was the girl in the second set of boy and girl twins produced fraternal twin boys.
    When I was expecting my third child – for a short period of time they thought they heard 3 heart beats (this was in the days when the only thing they knew was how to check for heart beats). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. Fortunately they were mistaken, there was only one very large boy.
    In the family, I am not sure that there are any “evil” twins, but if I find one, I will let you know.

    Reply
  31. Linda, I adore FALSE COLOURS! It’s one of my favorite Heyers. A perfect title, too. As you say, the absence of the brother drives the plot, rather like in my Dancing on the Wind, the absence of the sister drives the plot. Another Heyer book with twins is SYLVESTER, where the death of the hero’s twin (non-identical) before the story starts is one of the most important elements of the story.

    Reply
  32. Linda, I adore FALSE COLOURS! It’s one of my favorite Heyers. A perfect title, too. As you say, the absence of the brother drives the plot, rather like in my Dancing on the Wind, the absence of the sister drives the plot. Another Heyer book with twins is SYLVESTER, where the death of the hero’s twin (non-identical) before the story starts is one of the most important elements of the story.

    Reply
  33. Linda, I adore FALSE COLOURS! It’s one of my favorite Heyers. A perfect title, too. As you say, the absence of the brother drives the plot, rather like in my Dancing on the Wind, the absence of the sister drives the plot. Another Heyer book with twins is SYLVESTER, where the death of the hero’s twin (non-identical) before the story starts is one of the most important elements of the story.

    Reply
  34. Linda, I adore FALSE COLOURS! It’s one of my favorite Heyers. A perfect title, too. As you say, the absence of the brother drives the plot, rather like in my Dancing on the Wind, the absence of the sister drives the plot. Another Heyer book with twins is SYLVESTER, where the death of the hero’s twin (non-identical) before the story starts is one of the most important elements of the story.

    Reply
  35. Linda, I adore FALSE COLOURS! It’s one of my favorite Heyers. A perfect title, too. As you say, the absence of the brother drives the plot, rather like in my Dancing on the Wind, the absence of the sister drives the plot. Another Heyer book with twins is SYLVESTER, where the death of the hero’s twin (non-identical) before the story starts is one of the most important elements of the story.

    Reply
  36. Shannon–
    It sounds as if Scott Lynch had observed the same male adolescent twin dynamic that I had. The Hodge book is indeed light, delicious fun–I need to reread it. I don’t think it’s in print, but used and library copies should be available.

    Reply
  37. Shannon–
    It sounds as if Scott Lynch had observed the same male adolescent twin dynamic that I had. The Hodge book is indeed light, delicious fun–I need to reread it. I don’t think it’s in print, but used and library copies should be available.

    Reply
  38. Shannon–
    It sounds as if Scott Lynch had observed the same male adolescent twin dynamic that I had. The Hodge book is indeed light, delicious fun–I need to reread it. I don’t think it’s in print, but used and library copies should be available.

    Reply
  39. Shannon–
    It sounds as if Scott Lynch had observed the same male adolescent twin dynamic that I had. The Hodge book is indeed light, delicious fun–I need to reread it. I don’t think it’s in print, but used and library copies should be available.

    Reply
  40. Shannon–
    It sounds as if Scott Lynch had observed the same male adolescent twin dynamic that I had. The Hodge book is indeed light, delicious fun–I need to reread it. I don’t think it’s in print, but used and library copies should be available.

    Reply
  41. Nancy–
    Your other posting hasn’t appeared. Sometimes Typepad is weird that way.
    **Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.**
    So true. Dominic is more sensitive and observant, so he was able to see more in Meriel than Kyle could have. Meriel and Kyle totally would not have worked.
    **IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures.**
    This can be played in different ways. In Heyer’s False Colours, she has the hero, who isn’t the heir, taken under the wing of a diplomat uncle and finding that he really loves the life of a diplomat, so he’s fine. In Wild Child, I deliberately gave younger brother Dominic the passionate connection to the land while Kyle, the heir, born to manage vast estates, yearns to travel. That was at the root of their conflicts. (Though not the only one.)

    Reply
  42. Nancy–
    Your other posting hasn’t appeared. Sometimes Typepad is weird that way.
    **Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.**
    So true. Dominic is more sensitive and observant, so he was able to see more in Meriel than Kyle could have. Meriel and Kyle totally would not have worked.
    **IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures.**
    This can be played in different ways. In Heyer’s False Colours, she has the hero, who isn’t the heir, taken under the wing of a diplomat uncle and finding that he really loves the life of a diplomat, so he’s fine. In Wild Child, I deliberately gave younger brother Dominic the passionate connection to the land while Kyle, the heir, born to manage vast estates, yearns to travel. That was at the root of their conflicts. (Though not the only one.)

    Reply
  43. Nancy–
    Your other posting hasn’t appeared. Sometimes Typepad is weird that way.
    **Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.**
    So true. Dominic is more sensitive and observant, so he was able to see more in Meriel than Kyle could have. Meriel and Kyle totally would not have worked.
    **IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures.**
    This can be played in different ways. In Heyer’s False Colours, she has the hero, who isn’t the heir, taken under the wing of a diplomat uncle and finding that he really loves the life of a diplomat, so he’s fine. In Wild Child, I deliberately gave younger brother Dominic the passionate connection to the land while Kyle, the heir, born to manage vast estates, yearns to travel. That was at the root of their conflicts. (Though not the only one.)

    Reply
  44. Nancy–
    Your other posting hasn’t appeared. Sometimes Typepad is weird that way.
    **Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.**
    So true. Dominic is more sensitive and observant, so he was able to see more in Meriel than Kyle could have. Meriel and Kyle totally would not have worked.
    **IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures.**
    This can be played in different ways. In Heyer’s False Colours, she has the hero, who isn’t the heir, taken under the wing of a diplomat uncle and finding that he really loves the life of a diplomat, so he’s fine. In Wild Child, I deliberately gave younger brother Dominic the passionate connection to the land while Kyle, the heir, born to manage vast estates, yearns to travel. That was at the root of their conflicts. (Though not the only one.)

    Reply
  45. Nancy–
    Your other posting hasn’t appeared. Sometimes Typepad is weird that way.
    **Dominic is just right for the heroine. Neither she nor Kyle would have been happy together.**
    So true. Dominic is more sensitive and observant, so he was able to see more in Meriel than Kyle could have. Meriel and Kyle totally would not have worked.
    **IT really must be hard for a younger twin in a situation like Dominic’s and Kyle’s — five minutes made such a difference in their futures.**
    This can be played in different ways. In Heyer’s False Colours, she has the hero, who isn’t the heir, taken under the wing of a diplomat uncle and finding that he really loves the life of a diplomat, so he’s fine. In Wild Child, I deliberately gave younger brother Dominic the passionate connection to the land while Kyle, the heir, born to manage vast estates, yearns to travel. That was at the root of their conflicts. (Though not the only one.)

    Reply
  46. **). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. **
    LOL, Annette! Luckily it was just the one big boy. As you know, twins do run in families, and ehile there is the one set of first cousins that I grew up with, there were two or three more sets that weren’t as close.

    Reply
  47. **). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. **
    LOL, Annette! Luckily it was just the one big boy. As you know, twins do run in families, and ehile there is the one set of first cousins that I grew up with, there were two or three more sets that weren’t as close.

    Reply
  48. **). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. **
    LOL, Annette! Luckily it was just the one big boy. As you know, twins do run in families, and ehile there is the one set of first cousins that I grew up with, there were two or three more sets that weren’t as close.

    Reply
  49. **). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. **
    LOL, Annette! Luckily it was just the one big boy. As you know, twins do run in families, and ehile there is the one set of first cousins that I grew up with, there were two or three more sets that weren’t as close.

    Reply
  50. **). I explained that if there were 3 babies, they would have to keep one because I knew how to take care of 2 at a time, but not 3. **
    LOL, Annette! Luckily it was just the one big boy. As you know, twins do run in families, and ehile there is the one set of first cousins that I grew up with, there were two or three more sets that weren’t as close.

    Reply
  51. My problem with the twins switching places trope is that in my experience, people who know them don’t ever really mistake “identical” twins, because they really aren’t identical. Twins run in my family and we had six sets of identical twins in my high school class. Once you got to know them, there was no mistaking which one was which. Sure, they might fool random strangers or be mixed up from a distance, but everyone in our class could easily tell them apart face to face. So I have trouble buying in when parents, servants, etc. are all fooled.

    Reply
  52. My problem with the twins switching places trope is that in my experience, people who know them don’t ever really mistake “identical” twins, because they really aren’t identical. Twins run in my family and we had six sets of identical twins in my high school class. Once you got to know them, there was no mistaking which one was which. Sure, they might fool random strangers or be mixed up from a distance, but everyone in our class could easily tell them apart face to face. So I have trouble buying in when parents, servants, etc. are all fooled.

    Reply
  53. My problem with the twins switching places trope is that in my experience, people who know them don’t ever really mistake “identical” twins, because they really aren’t identical. Twins run in my family and we had six sets of identical twins in my high school class. Once you got to know them, there was no mistaking which one was which. Sure, they might fool random strangers or be mixed up from a distance, but everyone in our class could easily tell them apart face to face. So I have trouble buying in when parents, servants, etc. are all fooled.

    Reply
  54. My problem with the twins switching places trope is that in my experience, people who know them don’t ever really mistake “identical” twins, because they really aren’t identical. Twins run in my family and we had six sets of identical twins in my high school class. Once you got to know them, there was no mistaking which one was which. Sure, they might fool random strangers or be mixed up from a distance, but everyone in our class could easily tell them apart face to face. So I have trouble buying in when parents, servants, etc. are all fooled.

    Reply
  55. My problem with the twins switching places trope is that in my experience, people who know them don’t ever really mistake “identical” twins, because they really aren’t identical. Twins run in my family and we had six sets of identical twins in my high school class. Once you got to know them, there was no mistaking which one was which. Sure, they might fool random strangers or be mixed up from a distance, but everyone in our class could easily tell them apart face to face. So I have trouble buying in when parents, servants, etc. are all fooled.

    Reply
  56. I generally like twin stories when well done, like your Dancing on the Wind, one of my all-time favourite romances.
    When I was a child I loved a twin story famous in German-speaking areas, Das Doppelte Lottchen by Erich Kaestner, in which 9-year old separated girl twins of divorced parents meet by chance at a children’s summer camp. After initial hostility they eventually guess the truth and change places, unbeknownst to the parents. They are quite different in character and belong to different social classes. (It was filmed as The Parent Trap, but the book is much better.)

    Reply
  57. I generally like twin stories when well done, like your Dancing on the Wind, one of my all-time favourite romances.
    When I was a child I loved a twin story famous in German-speaking areas, Das Doppelte Lottchen by Erich Kaestner, in which 9-year old separated girl twins of divorced parents meet by chance at a children’s summer camp. After initial hostility they eventually guess the truth and change places, unbeknownst to the parents. They are quite different in character and belong to different social classes. (It was filmed as The Parent Trap, but the book is much better.)

    Reply
  58. I generally like twin stories when well done, like your Dancing on the Wind, one of my all-time favourite romances.
    When I was a child I loved a twin story famous in German-speaking areas, Das Doppelte Lottchen by Erich Kaestner, in which 9-year old separated girl twins of divorced parents meet by chance at a children’s summer camp. After initial hostility they eventually guess the truth and change places, unbeknownst to the parents. They are quite different in character and belong to different social classes. (It was filmed as The Parent Trap, but the book is much better.)

    Reply
  59. I generally like twin stories when well done, like your Dancing on the Wind, one of my all-time favourite romances.
    When I was a child I loved a twin story famous in German-speaking areas, Das Doppelte Lottchen by Erich Kaestner, in which 9-year old separated girl twins of divorced parents meet by chance at a children’s summer camp. After initial hostility they eventually guess the truth and change places, unbeknownst to the parents. They are quite different in character and belong to different social classes. (It was filmed as The Parent Trap, but the book is much better.)

    Reply
  60. I generally like twin stories when well done, like your Dancing on the Wind, one of my all-time favourite romances.
    When I was a child I loved a twin story famous in German-speaking areas, Das Doppelte Lottchen by Erich Kaestner, in which 9-year old separated girl twins of divorced parents meet by chance at a children’s summer camp. After initial hostility they eventually guess the truth and change places, unbeknownst to the parents. They are quite different in character and belong to different social classes. (It was filmed as The Parent Trap, but the book is much better.)

    Reply
  61. Isobel–
    Of course you’re quite right that close companions of twins can tell them apart, and the better done books acknowledge that, as in False Colours, when the twins mother is only briefly confused because she assumes her young son is still in Vienna.
    The trading places really only works if going among strangers (as in Sometimes a Rogue, where all Sarah has to do is act like a lady), or in The Wild Child, where Dominic is going among people who know him only slightly. It’s still fun. *G*

    Reply
  62. Isobel–
    Of course you’re quite right that close companions of twins can tell them apart, and the better done books acknowledge that, as in False Colours, when the twins mother is only briefly confused because she assumes her young son is still in Vienna.
    The trading places really only works if going among strangers (as in Sometimes a Rogue, where all Sarah has to do is act like a lady), or in The Wild Child, where Dominic is going among people who know him only slightly. It’s still fun. *G*

    Reply
  63. Isobel–
    Of course you’re quite right that close companions of twins can tell them apart, and the better done books acknowledge that, as in False Colours, when the twins mother is only briefly confused because she assumes her young son is still in Vienna.
    The trading places really only works if going among strangers (as in Sometimes a Rogue, where all Sarah has to do is act like a lady), or in The Wild Child, where Dominic is going among people who know him only slightly. It’s still fun. *G*

    Reply
  64. Isobel–
    Of course you’re quite right that close companions of twins can tell them apart, and the better done books acknowledge that, as in False Colours, when the twins mother is only briefly confused because she assumes her young son is still in Vienna.
    The trading places really only works if going among strangers (as in Sometimes a Rogue, where all Sarah has to do is act like a lady), or in The Wild Child, where Dominic is going among people who know him only slightly. It’s still fun. *G*

    Reply
  65. Isobel–
    Of course you’re quite right that close companions of twins can tell them apart, and the better done books acknowledge that, as in False Colours, when the twins mother is only briefly confused because she assumes her young son is still in Vienna.
    The trading places really only works if going among strangers (as in Sometimes a Rogue, where all Sarah has to do is act like a lady), or in The Wild Child, where Dominic is going among people who know him only slightly. It’s still fun. *G*

    Reply
  66. How fun this post came out today. It is twin day at my elementary school; part of anti-bullying week. It is to remind everyone that they are all connected. The twin outfits are very cute. Even a few teachers dressed alike.

    Reply
  67. How fun this post came out today. It is twin day at my elementary school; part of anti-bullying week. It is to remind everyone that they are all connected. The twin outfits are very cute. Even a few teachers dressed alike.

    Reply
  68. How fun this post came out today. It is twin day at my elementary school; part of anti-bullying week. It is to remind everyone that they are all connected. The twin outfits are very cute. Even a few teachers dressed alike.

    Reply
  69. How fun this post came out today. It is twin day at my elementary school; part of anti-bullying week. It is to remind everyone that they are all connected. The twin outfits are very cute. Even a few teachers dressed alike.

    Reply
  70. How fun this post came out today. It is twin day at my elementary school; part of anti-bullying week. It is to remind everyone that they are all connected. The twin outfits are very cute. Even a few teachers dressed alike.

    Reply
  71. I love Heyers False Colours (but then I love most of her books !) I had forgotten Savannah Purchase had people switching identities I shall have to dig it out and read it again .I do like twin books but I agree that they would be very unlikely to deceive anyone who knew them well.Tho I must admit my neighbour is one of identical twins and if I see her in town I am always careful to have a good look before I call her by name!

    Reply
  72. I love Heyers False Colours (but then I love most of her books !) I had forgotten Savannah Purchase had people switching identities I shall have to dig it out and read it again .I do like twin books but I agree that they would be very unlikely to deceive anyone who knew them well.Tho I must admit my neighbour is one of identical twins and if I see her in town I am always careful to have a good look before I call her by name!

    Reply
  73. I love Heyers False Colours (but then I love most of her books !) I had forgotten Savannah Purchase had people switching identities I shall have to dig it out and read it again .I do like twin books but I agree that they would be very unlikely to deceive anyone who knew them well.Tho I must admit my neighbour is one of identical twins and if I see her in town I am always careful to have a good look before I call her by name!

    Reply
  74. I love Heyers False Colours (but then I love most of her books !) I had forgotten Savannah Purchase had people switching identities I shall have to dig it out and read it again .I do like twin books but I agree that they would be very unlikely to deceive anyone who knew them well.Tho I must admit my neighbour is one of identical twins and if I see her in town I am always careful to have a good look before I call her by name!

    Reply
  75. I love Heyers False Colours (but then I love most of her books !) I had forgotten Savannah Purchase had people switching identities I shall have to dig it out and read it again .I do like twin books but I agree that they would be very unlikely to deceive anyone who knew them well.Tho I must admit my neighbour is one of identical twins and if I see her in town I am always careful to have a good look before I call her by name!

    Reply
  76. Jo–
    I once worked with a twin, and even though I knew her sister was coming to the office, it was surreal when I saw the sister. She looked so much like my friend, but the essence was different. At a distance, it would be really hard to tell!

    Reply
  77. Jo–
    I once worked with a twin, and even though I knew her sister was coming to the office, it was surreal when I saw the sister. She looked so much like my friend, but the essence was different. At a distance, it would be really hard to tell!

    Reply
  78. Jo–
    I once worked with a twin, and even though I knew her sister was coming to the office, it was surreal when I saw the sister. She looked so much like my friend, but the essence was different. At a distance, it would be really hard to tell!

    Reply
  79. Jo–
    I once worked with a twin, and even though I knew her sister was coming to the office, it was surreal when I saw the sister. She looked so much like my friend, but the essence was different. At a distance, it would be really hard to tell!

    Reply
  80. Jo–
    I once worked with a twin, and even though I knew her sister was coming to the office, it was surreal when I saw the sister. She looked so much like my friend, but the essence was different. At a distance, it would be really hard to tell!

    Reply
  81. False Colours by Georgette Heyer is also a favorite (or should that be favourite?) or mine. I’ve never really known any twins very well, though my sister’s best friends in high school were identical twins.

    Reply
  82. False Colours by Georgette Heyer is also a favorite (or should that be favourite?) or mine. I’ve never really known any twins very well, though my sister’s best friends in high school were identical twins.

    Reply
  83. False Colours by Georgette Heyer is also a favorite (or should that be favourite?) or mine. I’ve never really known any twins very well, though my sister’s best friends in high school were identical twins.

    Reply
  84. False Colours by Georgette Heyer is also a favorite (or should that be favourite?) or mine. I’ve never really known any twins very well, though my sister’s best friends in high school were identical twins.

    Reply
  85. False Colours by Georgette Heyer is also a favorite (or should that be favourite?) or mine. I’ve never really known any twins very well, though my sister’s best friends in high school were identical twins.

    Reply
  86. Great post, Mary Jo. I’m fascinated by the twin trope too although I have only ever written one twin book. It must be time for another one!
    Savannah Purchase is one of my favourite books and I loved the way that JAH resolved the “twin” issue. I’m having a big JAH glom at the moment. One of my other favourite “twin” stories (again cousins rather than brothers or sisters) is Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey.

    Reply
  87. Great post, Mary Jo. I’m fascinated by the twin trope too although I have only ever written one twin book. It must be time for another one!
    Savannah Purchase is one of my favourite books and I loved the way that JAH resolved the “twin” issue. I’m having a big JAH glom at the moment. One of my other favourite “twin” stories (again cousins rather than brothers or sisters) is Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey.

    Reply
  88. Great post, Mary Jo. I’m fascinated by the twin trope too although I have only ever written one twin book. It must be time for another one!
    Savannah Purchase is one of my favourite books and I loved the way that JAH resolved the “twin” issue. I’m having a big JAH glom at the moment. One of my other favourite “twin” stories (again cousins rather than brothers or sisters) is Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey.

    Reply
  89. Great post, Mary Jo. I’m fascinated by the twin trope too although I have only ever written one twin book. It must be time for another one!
    Savannah Purchase is one of my favourite books and I loved the way that JAH resolved the “twin” issue. I’m having a big JAH glom at the moment. One of my other favourite “twin” stories (again cousins rather than brothers or sisters) is Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey.

    Reply
  90. Great post, Mary Jo. I’m fascinated by the twin trope too although I have only ever written one twin book. It must be time for another one!
    Savannah Purchase is one of my favourite books and I loved the way that JAH resolved the “twin” issue. I’m having a big JAH glom at the moment. One of my other favourite “twin” stories (again cousins rather than brothers or sisters) is Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey.

    Reply
  91. Nicola–
    It’s definitely time for you to write another twin book! Or books. *G* I really enjoy Jane Aiken Hodge’s book, but Savannah Purchase is my favorite. And I *love* BRAT FARRAR. Cousins, and the protagonist had been gone for so many years that there was time for changes.

    Reply
  92. Nicola–
    It’s definitely time for you to write another twin book! Or books. *G* I really enjoy Jane Aiken Hodge’s book, but Savannah Purchase is my favorite. And I *love* BRAT FARRAR. Cousins, and the protagonist had been gone for so many years that there was time for changes.

    Reply
  93. Nicola–
    It’s definitely time for you to write another twin book! Or books. *G* I really enjoy Jane Aiken Hodge’s book, but Savannah Purchase is my favorite. And I *love* BRAT FARRAR. Cousins, and the protagonist had been gone for so many years that there was time for changes.

    Reply
  94. Nicola–
    It’s definitely time for you to write another twin book! Or books. *G* I really enjoy Jane Aiken Hodge’s book, but Savannah Purchase is my favorite. And I *love* BRAT FARRAR. Cousins, and the protagonist had been gone for so many years that there was time for changes.

    Reply
  95. Nicola–
    It’s definitely time for you to write another twin book! Or books. *G* I really enjoy Jane Aiken Hodge’s book, but Savannah Purchase is my favorite. And I *love* BRAT FARRAR. Cousins, and the protagonist had been gone for so many years that there was time for changes.

    Reply
  96. I like twin stories but probably not any better than those without twins, I just appreciate a well told and written book regardless of the genre. I love your books and the Lost Lord series are among my favorites. Jan

    Reply
  97. I like twin stories but probably not any better than those without twins, I just appreciate a well told and written book regardless of the genre. I love your books and the Lost Lord series are among my favorites. Jan

    Reply
  98. I like twin stories but probably not any better than those without twins, I just appreciate a well told and written book regardless of the genre. I love your books and the Lost Lord series are among my favorites. Jan

    Reply
  99. I like twin stories but probably not any better than those without twins, I just appreciate a well told and written book regardless of the genre. I love your books and the Lost Lord series are among my favorites. Jan

    Reply
  100. I like twin stories but probably not any better than those without twins, I just appreciate a well told and written book regardless of the genre. I love your books and the Lost Lord series are among my favorites. Jan

    Reply
  101. How funny that I’ve read most of these books, yet the penny never dropped that Mary Jo had so many twin stories! Didn’t Mark Twain write the original twin book, “The Prince and the Pauper”? Not counting Shakespeare of course. I remember loving the old “Prince and the Pauper” movie starring Errol Flynn, as a child, when it was rerun on TV.
    Besides your books, my favorite twin books are in Jo Beverly’s Malloren series, Cynric in “My Lady Notorious” and Elfled in “Something Wicked”. Instead of the usual twin boys or twin girls, her twins are one of each.

    Reply
  102. How funny that I’ve read most of these books, yet the penny never dropped that Mary Jo had so many twin stories! Didn’t Mark Twain write the original twin book, “The Prince and the Pauper”? Not counting Shakespeare of course. I remember loving the old “Prince and the Pauper” movie starring Errol Flynn, as a child, when it was rerun on TV.
    Besides your books, my favorite twin books are in Jo Beverly’s Malloren series, Cynric in “My Lady Notorious” and Elfled in “Something Wicked”. Instead of the usual twin boys or twin girls, her twins are one of each.

    Reply
  103. How funny that I’ve read most of these books, yet the penny never dropped that Mary Jo had so many twin stories! Didn’t Mark Twain write the original twin book, “The Prince and the Pauper”? Not counting Shakespeare of course. I remember loving the old “Prince and the Pauper” movie starring Errol Flynn, as a child, when it was rerun on TV.
    Besides your books, my favorite twin books are in Jo Beverly’s Malloren series, Cynric in “My Lady Notorious” and Elfled in “Something Wicked”. Instead of the usual twin boys or twin girls, her twins are one of each.

    Reply
  104. How funny that I’ve read most of these books, yet the penny never dropped that Mary Jo had so many twin stories! Didn’t Mark Twain write the original twin book, “The Prince and the Pauper”? Not counting Shakespeare of course. I remember loving the old “Prince and the Pauper” movie starring Errol Flynn, as a child, when it was rerun on TV.
    Besides your books, my favorite twin books are in Jo Beverly’s Malloren series, Cynric in “My Lady Notorious” and Elfled in “Something Wicked”. Instead of the usual twin boys or twin girls, her twins are one of each.

    Reply
  105. How funny that I’ve read most of these books, yet the penny never dropped that Mary Jo had so many twin stories! Didn’t Mark Twain write the original twin book, “The Prince and the Pauper”? Not counting Shakespeare of course. I remember loving the old “Prince and the Pauper” movie starring Errol Flynn, as a child, when it was rerun on TV.
    Besides your books, my favorite twin books are in Jo Beverly’s Malloren series, Cynric in “My Lady Notorious” and Elfled in “Something Wicked”. Instead of the usual twin boys or twin girls, her twins are one of each.

    Reply
  106. Karin–
    I don’t know that I’d say Mark Twain’s Prince and the Pauper was first, but it certainly was fun. *G* Shakespeare used twins several times.–A COMEDY OF ERRORS is a classic of mistaken identity. And I’m sure he was far from the first to take advantage of twinness!

    Reply
  107. Karin–
    I don’t know that I’d say Mark Twain’s Prince and the Pauper was first, but it certainly was fun. *G* Shakespeare used twins several times.–A COMEDY OF ERRORS is a classic of mistaken identity. And I’m sure he was far from the first to take advantage of twinness!

    Reply
  108. Karin–
    I don’t know that I’d say Mark Twain’s Prince and the Pauper was first, but it certainly was fun. *G* Shakespeare used twins several times.–A COMEDY OF ERRORS is a classic of mistaken identity. And I’m sure he was far from the first to take advantage of twinness!

    Reply
  109. Karin–
    I don’t know that I’d say Mark Twain’s Prince and the Pauper was first, but it certainly was fun. *G* Shakespeare used twins several times.–A COMEDY OF ERRORS is a classic of mistaken identity. And I’m sure he was far from the first to take advantage of twinness!

    Reply
  110. Karin–
    I don’t know that I’d say Mark Twain’s Prince and the Pauper was first, but it certainly was fun. *G* Shakespeare used twins several times.–A COMEDY OF ERRORS is a classic of mistaken identity. And I’m sure he was far from the first to take advantage of twinness!

    Reply

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