One of my favorite romance tropes (especially if comedy) is the marriage/engagement of convenience. I haven’t analyzed why I love it very deeply, but my instinct tells me its a delight in the absurd about two people forced together who end up falling in love (because, of course, its romance and there has to be a HEA).
This plot is perhaps most believable in the context of historical romance, including Regency Romance, because marriages of convenience were actually pretty common.
I have compiled a list of ten of my favorite (steamy vanilla/sexy) marriage of convenience Reg Roms and present them (in no particular order). As always linked author names/titles take you to a review and the cover image takes you to Amazon for purchase.
Julia Quinn–The Duke and I is an engagement of convenience story, and the first book in Quinn’s amazing Bridgerton series. Her characters are funny, moments sweet and sexy, and it features a Duke…which I know is a current trend.
Mary Balogh-Slightly Married Balogh is a master at the marriage of convenience story, and sets off this phenomenal series with a marriage made like a business arrangement…that turns into love.
Jenna Petersen – Scandalous Petersen is one of my favorite mass market Reg writers, and delivers with the sexy tale of a spurned heroine forced to make a match with a rake to save face. This was an early title for Petersen, so its pretty faithful to genre tropes, but I thought it was fun and sexy.
Celeste Bradley – Fallen The debut novel of Celeste Bradley, I loved this rakish hero’s transformation after a forced marriage/ruination unfolds.
Allegra Gray – Nothing But Scandal A rakish Duke and a desperate woman who decides to ruin herself make for a steamy, fun read.
Lisa Kleypas – Devil in Winter Kleypas presents another great histro series, in which the third book focused on the unlikely match between mouse and rake.
Megan Frampton – No Groom at the Inn This spicy little Seasonal novella features the funny hot hero and a spinsterish heroine who decide to enter into a marriage a convenience.
Eloisa James – Pleasure for Pleasure The final book in one of my all time favorite histro series, Eloisa James’ humor and characters sparkle in this tale of a full figured heroine rescued from ruination by an impossible rake.
Amanda Quick – I Thee Wed Quick has a couple that use this trope, but this is one of my favorites…action packed
Judith McNaught – Whitney, My Love A marriage arranged for money, full of drama and passion of epic portions on saga scale. The hero definitely has some serious abusive moments, and the melodrama factor is high, but this is nonetheless a gripping novel.