The “arranged marriage” is one of the enduring tropes in the romance genre. However, the reality of being forced into a marriage is not terribly romantic. And unfortunately it’s not something that belongs only to the past or to fiction. Around the world, 14 million girls under the age of 18 are married each year. It’s difficult to track how many of these marriages are forced, but UK officials fear a large proportion are. In November 2011, Scotland was the first country in the UK to enact a law making forcing someone into a marriage a criminal act.
But in 1521, when Plaid to the Bone takes place, arranged marriages were the norm. They sealed peace between warring clans and joined affluent houses together. Even so, Adam Cameron is determined to woo his bride. He wants to make her happy and doesn’t understand why she won’t meet him half way. Here’s a snippet from Plaid to the Bone:
Anger sizzled up in him. He’d done more than he ought to make her feel welcome. It was high time she gave an inch. “No man wants a wife who canna bear him. Would ye have me release ye from our betrothal and send ye home to your father?”
“No!” They were standing close enough that her warm breath drifted over his neck when Cait tipped her chin to meet his gaze. “I can bear ye, Adam,” she said softly.
“Not just because of my agreement with your father?” He bent to her till their lips were but finger-widths apart.
“Not just because of that.”
“We dinna have to wed on the morrow.” Part of him, the aching stiff part between his legs, damned him for a traitor. Even tomorrow seemed too long a wait when he longed to sink into her softness, but he heard himself offering, “If it will suit ye better, we could put off the wedding until we ken a bit more about each other.”
“I dinna want to wait.” She draped her arms around his shoulders and kissed him. Hard.
I feel pretty proud of my 20 published works till someone like Terry Spear comes along with over 50! This USA Today Bestseller writes shaper-shifter and medieval romances. In keeping with my Scottish theme today, she’ll be giving away an ebook, Taming the Wild Highlander. Thanks, Terry!
Angus MacNeill’s story, 4th Book in The Highlanders Medieval romance series
Edana Chattan senses concerns where people she knows could be in danger. When her brothers warn her they’re in trouble, she can’t convince her father to listen to her, so with an escort, she tries to locate them. Separated from her escort during a storm, she is discovered by Angus MacNeill, who is tasked to return her right home.
Only Edana has other notions–and convinces him and his companions to allow her to use her abilities to locate her brothers who are manacled in a dungeon somewhere. That leads to a faux marriage and more dungeons and more trouble than Angus had ever thought possible. So why is the bewitching, fiery-haired lass making him think of marrying her for real?
How to Distract a Duchess
No one is going to force Artemisia Pelham-Smythe, the widowed Duchess of Southwycke into another marriage, least of all her sniveling step-son. But when the artistic duchess meets Trevelyn Deveridge and mistakes him for her next nude model, she’s sorely tempted. Not into marriage, but into taking a lover…
How to Distract a Duchess was my first novel with a humorous tone. Before this story, I’d been up to my armpits in angst and drama and surly Northmen. The sophisticated Mr. Deveridge and all the many alter-egos he adopts as he plies his trade in The Great Game was terrific fun to write. Hope you enjoy reading it as well!
You can win a Plaid to the Bone from Kensington, a Taming the Wild Highlander from Terry Spear, or How to Distract a Duchess from me! And of course, you’ll be entered in the drawing for the Grand Prize: A Kindle Paperwhite!
Here’s our question for today: The romance genre features a number of common themes–secret baby, mistaken identity, marriage of convenience, second chance at love–the list goes on. Is there a certain type of story you enjoy more than others? Is there a trope that makes you turn away from a book?