10 Reasons I Love a Marriage of Convenience Romance

by Lynne Graham, author of Da Rocha’s Convenient Heir

Whenever I start writing a new romance, there’s nothing I love more than plotting the most exciting, dramatic way to bring my new hero and heroine together. One of my favorite ways has to be a marriage of convenience—it’s the perfect springboard for all the things I love the most in a Harlequin Presents! Sky-high tension, sizzling chemistry and a side helping of wedding glamour… What’s not to love? These are my top ten reasons why marriages of convenience and I are a match made in heaven…

  • For me, the best romances are those that have that edge-of-your-seat tension between the hero and heroine. If there’s no tension or antagonism, there’s no story! And nothing is guaranteed to provide tension more than bringing two people together, possibly against their wills, in a legally binding marriage contract. It’s not called “wedlock” for nothing!
  • The clue is in the name—it’s a marriage of convenience. Coming up with credible, exciting reasons for a couple to get married when they don’t want to is half the fun! It’s such an extreme decision, so characters need to be pushed to their emotional limits to either offer or agree to it…which just adds to the drama!
  • I have a weakness for honorable motivations—if a hero is offering marriage to legitimize his heir, or the heroine is agreeing to protect a family member, it’s an auto-buy book for me.
  • To me, the most successful romances show how being together changes both characters for the better. Often I write a very commitment-phobic hero, with marriage being the last thing he wants! So showing that he’s prepared to get married, and forsake all others for his bride, is the beginning of that change.
  • One of my favorite twists on the convenient marriage theme has to be the shotgun wedding—I love a pregnant bride! The stakes are already high with a marriage of convenience, but add in a baby, and it’s off the charts. Which makes for even more writing fun!
  • I have to admit, one of the draws of writing a marriage of convenience has to be the wedding dress research. From diamond-encrusted to classy and streamlined, there’s nothing I love more than an excuse to spend a few hours browsing beautiful dresses online!
  • Likewise, it’s not a marriage of convenience without a seriously impressive ring. I love my sparkle, so even if my heroes aren’t thrilled at the idea of proposing, I make sure they do it in style!
  • The theme appeals to the secret wedding planner inside me! I wouldn’t change a thing about my own wedding day, but I love to imagine just how luxurious and beautiful—or tension-filled and dramatic—convenient weddings can be.
  • A convenient marriage makes for a very significant wedding night. Both characters might be pretending to themselves that their arrangement is purely business, but when the passion between them explodes, it all starts to unravel…
  • Lastly, when it comes to reading and writing romance, I’m impatient. I want to see my couple on the page together, in a high-stakes emotional scenario as soon as possible. And a marriage of convenience accomplishes this with ease—it takes a relationship from 0 to 100 miles per hour in an instant!
In my Vows for Billionaires trilogy, I had great fun orchestrating different ways to unite my heroes and heroines! I threw a meddling father with honorable intentions into the mix (what’s a wedding without some family drama?) and let my imagination run wild. I loved writing this trilogy, and I hope you have enjoy reading it!
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