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Guest Post: Katee Robert on Marriages of Convenience in Romance
The arranged marriage tropes is, hands down, one of my favorites. I found the romance genre with historicals, because one of my favorite suspense authors had started there. So I picked up one of her Scottish Highlander historical romances about a highlander who was being forced to marry someone not of his choosing. My twelve-year-old mind was blown. I proceeded to devour every historical romance I could get my hands on, and that love of romance hasn’t changed as the years have gone by. But I’m not going to lie—the marriage of convenience trope is still my favorite. It’s got elements that are just catnip for me. Two people, often who either hate each other or don’t know each other at all, forced into what is arguably one of the most intimate relationships in existence. They had to deal with living with this near-stranger, and all the sexy good times that usually result! I wasn’t sure it could get better than that. But then I started finding marriage of convenience tropes popping up in contemporary romance novels. The reasoning behind the marriages themselves changed with the times—less because they were found in compromising positions and more for things like business mergers—but the things I love about the trope are still present and accounted for. A favorite of mine is The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst. Both hero and heroine get something from marrying each other that has nothing to do with love, but then you have this cold and distant hero who’s having to deal with a woman who has the habit of sneaking animals into his house without warning in an effort to save them from being put down. I’m sure you can imagine the hilarity that ensues. And that’s not even getting into the sheer sexual tension that arises from the forced proximity of having this other person in their house, sharing their space, popping up when they least expect it. Something that used to be as simple as having late night ice cream in the kitchen is suddenly rife with the possibilities of running into each other and for one thing to lead to another. As I’ve said—catnip. What about you? Which book with a marriage of convenience is your favorite? Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back. Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way—as it often does—and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published. Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people? She now spends her time—when not lost in Far Reach worlds—playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.