Classic Romance Tropes – the marriage of convenience

Classic romance tropes, those tales that have been told and retold for centuries. The Harlequin-esqe themes that have kept that publishing house in business, and at the top of the romance world, for years. Classic themes of love are everywhere–even in that newest sensation. You know the one, the book that shall  not be named. I personally consider Voldabook (AKA 50 Shades) just another retelling of the Cinderella story, where the plain Jane meets the prince, or sheikh, or millionaire (or billionaire, to account for inflation). He falls hopelessly in love with her and moves heaven and earth to be with her. Only in this version, he’s a damaged ‘prince’ wielding duct tape and a belt and only her love can save him.

Anyway, today I’m focusing on another classic romantic device, the marriage of convenience. You know the type–the love story is centered around a couple who has to get married for any number of reasons, usually because his/her family needed the money to save the family land or title or whatever.

Since I write contemporary westerns, I don’t have any titled ladies in danger of losing their family castle because it’s been entailed and will go to the next male heir in line. I do however, have a marriage of convenience in my new Studs in Spurs release, FLANKED.

What’s the reason for the marriage? A very modern one–health insurance. She’s got it through her job, he needs it for a career-saving surgery, so they figure what the hell? Besides, they’re already enjoying the, to paraphrase historical romance that made this trope so popular, “carnal knowledge of the marriage bed” anyway. (Now you see why I don’t write historical–I’m no good at the dialogue.)

What my characters don’t count on is how being married makes them feel toward each other. Or how they’ll both react when it comes time for the agreed upon divorce.

Here’s a snippet about FLANKED, on preorder now and releasing in eBook Tuesday September 18th, and in trade paperback in August 2013.

Studs in Spurs, Book 5

It’s the perfect plan…until the ties that bind reach into their hearts.

Garret James doesn’t need a woman tying him down. Not when the number of buckle bunny notches on his belt—and his position in the pro bull rider standings—are both on the rise. Just when he learns he’s this close to blowing out his bad shoulder, Silver Jordan roars into his life, long, leather-clad legs straddling her Harley. Hell, he might not mind being tied to one woman, if that one woman was her. There’s one problem—she’s his friend’s sister. But once their eyes lock, resistance is futile.

Then Silver offers him a smoking-hot deal. He gets the hottest sex of his life and access to her health insurance for his career-saving surgery—all wrapped up in a marriage of convenience.

For a while, dodging questions and hiding their arrangement is easy. But in private, they battle emotions between them they never expected to grow. After all, the marriage is only temporary…isn’t it?

Warning: Contains body piercings guaranteed to make you squirm, a very intimately placed tattoo, one clandestine wedding and even more secretive sex.


“Smart, sassy and intensely sexy“ RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Readers will be inspired to find the first four books in the series.” Library Journal

“…a smoking hot book that I couldn’t put down” Night Owl Reviews Top Pick

“plenty of hot action and amazing chemistry” The Book Reading Gals, Grade: A


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LOOK for an exclusive excerpt from FLANKED on my Facebook Page in the FAN ZONE

Studs in Spurs Series Books 1-5

6 responses to “Classic Romance Tropes – the marriage of convenience

  1. Yeah see still don’t understand…preordered it why can’t I read it now!?!?! lol. Also just wanted to say I use your Volderbook saying whenever I refer to this book….lol

  2. Sounds great, Cat. I’ve read plenty of ‘marriage of convenience’ stories and I love them but for insurance is a new one for me, very clever 🙂 Can’t wait to check it out!