Juliette is NOT 25
So release day for A Wallflower’s Christmas Kiss has come and gone… I feel the need to explain that one thing after reading some reviews.
I’m not sure about the math used to determine her age. She was 9 years old in the prologue. She states that it has almost been 15 years since they’d last shared a Christmastide together… Which equals 24.
I’m glad so many people are enjoying the book. But that age thing seems to be leading to some misconceptions about her ability to marry and having reached a majority. In this book that isn’t even an issue. Her choice to marry had nothing to do with reaching her majority. The choice to go to Gretna Green was the most prudent considering the time. I will explain a little more later. First let me explain when a woman reached majority in Regency. (Juliette while 24 not 25 still was in her majority but as I stated earlier it doesn’t matter)
During the Regency period the age of consent for females was 21, not 25. There are some authors that included that age in there books for whatever reason, but it’s not quite accurate. There is such a thing as a guardianship and that differs from the majority. Which may be what some readers are confusing. The father or guardian sets up a trust for their female relation and that is where the guardianship comes in, and in a lot of cases this idea of the age of 25 being important. For example, marrying with the guardian’s approval so they can inherit her money or property. If the woman married without her guardian’s permission she would forfeit her inheritance or trust. In most places that age was still 21 unless stated otherwise in the trust documents. So in that sense an author can use liberties with the age for their story.
So Juliette was well past the age of consent and her dowry or trust was never discussed. It was a short novel, but it can be assumed she had one. Her father had control over it either way. But even in this case her dowry was not important. Her reasons for marrying Grayson had nothing to do with her inheritance, dowry, or a trust. She was trying to escape marriage to a man she didn’t feel would treat her right.
So as to why they went to Gretna Green and Grayson didn’t obtain a special license… 1: It would have been over way to quick and what kind of story would that have been? :. It was late at night when Juliette arrived at the duke’s townhouse. There wasn’t exactly time to rush over to the Archbishop and apply for one. 3: In all reality eloping to Gretna Green was more likely than a special licence (regardless of the duke’s fortune.) because they were actually rare. They are a nice tool in historical romance and many authors use it (I have myself) but it wasn’t plausible in this particular story. Juliette wanted to make sure she would never be forced to marry Lord Payne. If they stayed in London their chances of being caught went up every moment they remained. By leaving immediately they put presumed distance between Juliette’s family and her.
So I hope that clears up any questions you might have about Juliette and Grayson’s motivations. If you have any questions feel free to ask.