One of the first romances I ever read was a marriage of convenience story. It was MARRY IN HASTE by Jane Aiken Hodge. It's been a long time since I've read it, so I remember only snippets, but the one thing I do remember is that it fueled my love of marriage of convenience stories. So much to enjoy about a good marriage of convenience story--the forced proximity, the pretend intimacy that leads to real intimacy, the reluctance to admit it when you've fallen in love with your husband or wife, because doing so breaks the contract you made...
But there's a flipside. It's darned hard to write a good marriage of convenience story in a contemporary setting. It's an old-fashioned concept, easier to sell in periods of history where marriage was more of a contract and less of a love match to begin with.
I've often toyed with the idea of writing a marriage of convenience story in an Intrigue, but so far, I haven't been able to figure out a way to make it work. There are so many other options for people these days besides marriage to solve problems that weren't as easily solved back in the 18th and 19th centuries, for example. A good lawyer could probably get around an unreasonable stipulation in a will, for instance. Or a person could afford to opt out of the will altogether, choosing his freedom over money or property.
So it got me to wondering--do people still love marriage of convenience stories? Can they be written convincingly in contemporary romances? And if you love them, do you have any favorites you'd like to tell us about? And were any of those favorites also contemporary romances?
P. S. - Linda Henderson, Donna Kaufman and Crystal-Rain Love, I still haven't received your mailing address information so I can send you the books you won during the Blog Days of Christmas. Thanks!
(Crossposted at the eHarlequin Intrigue Authors blog).