The Marriage of Convenience Theme

(Note: The winners of the contest are GLORIA D’ALFONSO and ANNE HOILE. Congratulations to them and thank you to all who took the time to leave a comment.)

“No one does a marriage of convenience like Balogh.”

This is what Publishers Weekly says of Only a Promise (June 2, 2015). I was a bit surprised (as well as gratified) as I hadn’t realized that I had used the theme enough to have earned such a comment. But actually I have. I used it in The Temporary Wife when the hero needed a wife to annoy his father, who was pressing someone else upon him, and the heroine needed money to help support her younger siblings. I used it in Slightly Married, the first of the Bedwyn series, when Aidan Bedwyn needs to fulfil a promise to a dying fellow officer to protect his sister and the sister needs a husband in a hurry so that she will not lose her inheritance and find herself unable to support her adopted children. I used it in First Comes Marriage, the first of the Huxtable series, when Nessie desperately wants to save her eldest sister from having to marry the hero and so offers herself instead. I used it in… Well, perhaps you will think of a few more to mention in the comments below. There are several!

temporarywife4

Now that I know I use the theme, I ask myself why. There are a few definite reasons. First, it is a way to get the characters married early in the book so that the rest of the story can contain all the intimacies of a growing relationship. I don’t have to contrive to bring the characters together in almost every scene, They live together! My books are almost all set during the Regency era of the early 19th century, when young ladies in particular did not have the freedom of movement and the privacy that we expect today. Finding realistic reasons for them to be alone with their heroes, especially in sexual ways, is not easy. But if the couple is married, then the problem goes away.

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Another reason is that the marriage of convenience is contracted for other reasons than love or even affection. The couple has agreed to marry, but they have low expectations of finding emotional satisfaction with each other. That is not why they married. Sometimes they do not even like each other particularly well. Occasionally they actively dislike each other (A Christmas Promise is a good example of that). Almost always they do not know each other at all well and are not planning to share themselves with each other except in essentials. However, these are marriages and in most cases, unless there is a good reason, they do not exclude sex. As a writer, then, I have all the ingredients in the particular set-up I have planned to set the couple in close proximity to each other and in conflict with each other. Gradually they get to know each other, to solve their own problems and somehow to enable the other to solve her/his problems. Liking and respect usually come first as a result–remember that I write love stories and it is not likely the differences will prevail and the story will end up as a continued marriage of convenience! And then at last, by the end of the book, the couple is in love and–beyond the passion and euphoria of that state–truly love each other.

Lastly, and perhaps most important, this approach to writing a story gives me all the opportunity I need to delve deeply into character and to explore a growing love relationship in all its facets. And this is what I love doing more than anything in my writing.

onlypromise

To two people who leave a comment below before the end of Friday, May 1, I will send signed Advance Reading copies of ONLY A PROMISE, though those copies do not have the pretty cover shown above.

224 thoughts on “The Marriage of Convenience Theme

  1. Marriages of convenience happen all the time, but you turn them into believable love matches. It is truly a talent.
    I am always annoyed when I see multiple books by an author for sale at my local Target and only one of yours. I know you are a better writer than most of those authors.

  2. Looking forward to reading this latest treat!!! Or Pick me, pick me 🙂

    I’ll take it to Budapest to read!

  3. Oh, Id LOVE to win. Ive bought them all thus far, and will be buying this one thru Amazon Kindle, but would love to win a ‘hard copy’. Love the Survivor series…

  4. I always enjoy reading your blog and your Facebook posts. Your blog about using arranged marriage as a device to bring together your characters was great. And, when explained, makes perfect sense.

  5. I love your books and especially this theme. I like to see the characters grow together as a couple and it’s just more interesting!!

  6. When I tell my friends that I found romance, they laugh, and say; how can that be possible, you stop dating? I smile and say; in Mary’s books! I am most grateful for you, thank you!

  7. I would love to win this because for some reason I adore stories of a marriage of convenience that turn into a love match!

  8. Your books offer insight into the building blocks of a great marriage. Respect and friendship are so very important. Love your books.

  9. Coming from a culture where a marriage of convenience is not unusual, I find it very interesting to watch your characters get to know each other, to grow together & eventually to find love. It doesn’t always happen that way in real life but I have seen instances where it turns out to be a love match. Love your stories & the life you bring to your characters!

  10. I am waiting patiently for your next book and plan to start at the first and re-read them all. Your books are definitely worth reading over and over again. So enjoy all the British books as am the daughter of a British war bride.

  11. Slightly Married was the first book I ready by you (recommended by a local librarian when I asked for well written romance). I’ve tried to read them all and am looking forward to this new one. Thank you!

  12. I love the idea of a marriage of convenience. So often when people go on emotion they soon find out they are “stuck”. With this theme the characters don’t really have a choice and so have to find ways to stay together. Always a great read. Please continue.

  13. Love your books. Can’t wait for new one to come. Would love to have reading copy, who needs the cover picture? Your words make pictures in our heads!

  14. I will always attempt to win one of your books because that would be special. But I will definitely be reading it and have it as soon as possible at my house. I’ve enjoyed your work for years, and said that often. hope repeat in posts is not a problem. Just love each and every one of your series, they are in my constant reading line up. Always. Thank you.

  15. I have read virtually all your books and this series of a favorite. Marriages of convenience often grow into something more and I was so blessed to have exactly that…although it wasn’t without love to begin with. I so look forward to reading the rest of the Survivor’s Club series.

  16. Love the Survivor’s Club and love the marriage of convenience. And thanks for the little trip down memory lane when you listed your other gems using that theme….it gave me a big smile…

  17. I love a good marriage of convenience book. I think it started with Georgette Heyer’s A Convenient Marriage. Now i have all of your wonderful books with which to enjoy the theme. I’m looking forward to reading the next Survivors book.

  18. Love your characters, laugh out loud. I have been reading all types of books for ages. Your like a good friend that I can settle down with and have a story told to. Have about 30 authors that I always buy. Now I just wait for a notice on Amazon and pre-order. When waiting for your new book I can reread older ones from the 750 books on the cloud.

  19. I love this trope! The best part about it for me is the forced proximity and (usually) a feeling by both spouses that they MUST find ways to work with each other despite huge obstacles. Looking forward to your next book!

  20. I fell in love in A Christmas Promise. I fell in love with the idea of the marriage of convenience. To me, that was the book that did it the very best. Oh, I liked all those other books, but to me they seemed destined to have people learn to love one another. In A Christmas Promise it seemed to me that there was so much pain starting out and so very much resentment on both sides. You absolutely outdid yourself with that one. And I thank you for that. I laughed and I cried and I owe it all to you, Mary.

  21. I’m looking forward to getting the next book of the Survivors series. I just love getting to know all the characters in your books.

  22. I would call The Arrangement a marriage of convenience story, along with The Ideal Wife. And, to go back a ways, The First Snowdrop! Or is there a difference between marriage of convenience and the kind of marriage where they have to get married to avoid a scandal?

  23. My older sister is always one step ahead of me. She found you first and it only took her word to convince me to read your books. All of them 🙂 I can’t wait for the latest!

  24. The Temporary Wife may be my all-time favorite of your books, so I’m a fan of the marriage of convenience! Looking forward to your new book.

  25. My favorite guilty pleasure is sitting down with another Mary Balogh novel. A new one is heaven, but to re-read one is a vacation in itself. Thank you so much.

  26. I can’t wait to read book 5 in the Survivor Series. As far as dialogue in a book goes, I agree with you that it helps so much to have facial expressions described of the person speaking. Without detail like that, sometimes the dialogue could be flat. Thank you for providing the beautiful detail that you do in your books.

  27. I have fallen in love over and over i your books and am eagerly awaiting this one! Thank you for doing what you do, and doing it so well!

  28. It all started with a New York Times Book Review about Simply Magic. I discover the world of Regency Romance and I was hooked !

  29. Love the explanation of the marriage of convenience. You are the only romance novelist I follow and anxiously await new books – keep them coming!

  30. I LOVE the Survivors’ Club books and have just finished First Comes Marriage ( really–only moments ago!) I was so pleased to run across your Facebook posting about this blog, because I cannot wait for Only A Promise…and I really liked your other post about reading a book a day…:) It can sometimes be a guilty habit of mine.

  31. Thank you. I enjoy your books.
    I also get great pleasure when you post unique bookshops.
    Free pre release book would be read by a very happy camper, me.

  32. You’re books always put a smile on my face. I am enjoying the Survivor’s series…and can’t wait to see what you have lined up next.

  33. I am so eager to read Only a Promise. I know that with each release of a new title in the Survivors’ Club series we are coming closer to the end, but I can’t help wishing they could be published sooner rather than later.

  34. Thank you for bringing so much enjoyment to your readers. I really love writing style. I also love you’re FB posts about books and reading. (When i can stop reading and get on FB,). I share so many of them with my friends.

  35. I can hardly wait for this instalment! I am loving this series as much as your Slightly and Simply series and know that it will get read again and again!

  36. One of the reasons I love your books is the wonderful way you write about relationships and how they grow. Even though you have used the marriage of convenience theme many times, I am always amazed at the way you always put a new spin on the story. Thank you for being such a wonderful writer.

  37. Yes, I love the way you do this. It’s one of my favourite themes. BTW, I just got a call from the library to say the leather bookmark you autographed for me was found in a book I returned and they are holding it for me. Glad to be getting it back.

  38. It’s interesting how people have moved into relationship over the centuries. Marriages were often alliances between monies, lands and power. In some cultures, they really think the parent’s know the best for their children and expect them to “go with it”. I think that if you look for the important qualities and are willing to invest int he relationship, it isn’t that bad! What are the options these days? 🙂

    LOVE your books, and can’t wait to stay current with your books!
    Laura

  39. Love your books. Would love to win a preview copy of your latest. Right now I am reading Dark Angel for the 3rd time.

  40. I love this trope… The first novel of yours that I read had a similar trope: First Comes Marriage. Been hooked since.

  41. Omg love the Survivor series!!! I am a military brat so l really enjoy the military aspect I also like the soldiers with a disability aspect as well. The way you weave the stories always has me in tears by the end. Thank you so much for letting me escape and wander thru your stories!!!

  42. Kaari from Alaska mentioned the books first, but I also recalled The First Snowdrop and The Ideal Wife, someone the hero could just send into the country and forget about while carrying on with his life. The Arrangement was designed as a marriage of convenience too. It seems to work as a starting premise for a love story and you use it especially well Mary! I can hardly wait for Only a Promise!

  43. Mary, every time you create a match for a traumatized veteran, my heart skips a beat. It’s wonderful to see an ideal world where soldiers/survivors can still find love with people who don’t see the trauma, but the person beneath.

  44. SLightly Married was the gateway to my discovering your writing. It was my very first Balogh book and I loved it then and love it now. I think I’ve read most of your published books. I absolutely love the ‘real’ people you put in your books. I can’t wait for this new book to come out. Best wishes!

  45. I am a fan of the marriage of convenience plot. It seems a tiny bit more realistic in the Regency setting for two people to get married and then develop a relationship.
    P.S. I’m glad your publisher seems to have done away with the shirtless men covers. I like the new ones much better… classy. 🙂

  46. i never read books until someone thought I needed a stress reliever. She handed me one of your books. I loved it! I have now read everyone of your books. I can’t wait for June!

  47. What ever motivates your writings, I find myself in awe. Love to read all of your books. I find that the forced relationship makes two people look deeper than the surface to make life together bearable. Often finding in the other things that they didn’t know they wanted or more needed. They hoped for more and realize after much struggle that that is exactly what they received. Thanks for all you do to bring the joy of reading to us.

  48. I was going to mention The Arrangement as well. I like the marriage of convenience in certain hands like yours. You bring joy.

  49. I am patiently waiting for this book to come out. As for the topic… I loved “A Christmas Promise” it was very sad at times but in the end the story prevailed. Marriage is difficult and when it’s done by convenience I am assuming it’s even more of a challenge.

  50. I so love your books. I’m having surgery in a few weeks and will be unable to go out for 2 weeks. This would be the perfect gift for me… reading at my leisure. I can’t wait to read this one as well.

  51. I love the way you do a marriage of convenience. It always has the proper spin and they always take the time to get to know one another instead of instantly falling in love. A relationship is more believable when its built on a solid foundation rather than love at first sight.

  52. I am so excited to get read and add this to my collection. I already have a spot ready for it. I love your books and have everyone. In a fire I would save 3 things. My pets, my pictures and my books. They are my life. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with us. Have a fabulous day!!!

  53. Mary– I love all your novels. Your very first novel I read used this theme. The heroine pretended to be French and had assignations with her own husband. I’m thrilled your next novel is being published to coincide with the end of the school year. From one teacher to another– thanks!

  54. I believe that, in the setting you are writing (which is either Regency/Victorian England), marriages of convenience is not only a shortcut but a good one, and it’s also in some ways, realistic. Looking forward to Ralph’s story!

  55. Goody!!! Another give away! Whether I win it here or have to wait until June to purchase it, I look forward to reading the next book in the Survivor Series.

    “When it comes to love stories, nobody writes them better than Balogh.” That’s a Mary T. quote!

  56. I really like the marriage of convenience plot line. Usually there is no sex involved, in fact, they do not want it. They just (usually) want the money, legitimacy, etc. They are willing to forgo love. The relationship develops slowly. But, surprise! They get more than they wish for! and it turns out all right. I love happy endings that come as a surprise to the characters.

  57. I enjoy marriages of convenience, and have really enjoyed all of those of yours named above, though Slightly Married and First Comes Marriage are two of my favorites. But I’ve loved all of yours, whether marriages of convenience or others. This series has been great.

  58. I confess, the older I get the more I would consider a marriage of convenience. It’s very hard doing everything by yourself – housework, yardwork, paying bills, taking care of elderly parents. I think I would marry to have someone share the burden and to know that I wouldn’t have to face it alone. I would share that with someone that I had respect for and a friendship with, even if we weren’t “in love.”

  59. I love how the couples in your arranged marriage plots come to this moment where they look at each other, acknowledge that things are rough, but make a sort of pact with each other that they will work together to make a good marriage out of it, together. It always gives me a good feeling and I love to see how they make it work out.

  60. A marriage of convenience can benefit both parties. Let’s hope that true love does develop though ! I would love to read this. Thank you for the opportunity !
    Deanne
    Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

  61. Sometimes a marriage of convenience turns out to be wonderful for both parties. I love your books, and know that this one will be fabulous.

  62. The marriage of convenience is part of the romance novel. I doubt if it happened as often in real 19th century life. However as a plot device I adore it. It becomes a dance, with a twist, a turn and discovery of themselves as people, not just lovers. I do wish the women were not so wise, so long, I know I wasn’t, ah but these characters are beyond a mere mortals. Happiness awaits, the villain will be foiled and problems will melt away. Life as we all wish it was.

  63. I am a huge fan and have probably read all your books. Thankfully, you publish the survivors series pretty quickly 🙂 I was so happy to see Gwen fro the Bedwyn sagas had gotten her HEA in The Proposal.
    I would almost classify A Matter of Class as a marriage of convenience with a twist. That one was brilliant by the way.
    Looking forward to meeting you at the romantic times author signing in May!!! Dallas here I come!

  64. Mary, I love your books and your lovely Facebook updates! I get hooked on every series of yours that I try! I can’t wait the new book, especially if it is a marriage of convenience theme!

  65. Mary,
    I love reading romance to get away from real life for a few hours. It is great to have that happily ever after happen for a special deserving couple. Thanks for writing the stories so well.
    I am Truly a fan of yours!

  66. My very first romance novel was At Last Comes Love – Margaret’s story in the Huxtable series. That was about 4 years ago and now I have well over 700 books both in paper and electronic. Can’t believe I waited until I was 38 before I started reading for FUN!

  67. I completely agree, the building of the characters and their feelings has an easier flow and it’s so nice to think of so many of the marriages back then starting out that way and ending in love. it’s one reason why I love that theme

  68. I’ve marked my calendar for the release date but would love an earlier copy. I’m Looking forward to Ralph’s story!

  69. i wish I could leave this harsh, sad world behind and go live in the one you’ve created. Thanks for the escape.

  70. Pretty covers are nice but content is everything. Love your stories. Read all those referenced with those convient marriages and wonderful love stories.

  71. Marriage of convenience used to happen a lot during the old times – at least, that’s the impression I have. It makes me wonder if it still happens in the 21st century? Where on earth is this still acceptable? What are the circumstances that makes 2 people get married for convenience sake? My curious mind wants to know. ..

  72. Oh my goodness! You are the the queen of regency romance novels, Ms. Balogh. It’d be amazing to win this lovely giveaway. <3

  73. I love your books that feature a marriage of convenience, for the reasons that you outline. One of my favorites of your Christmas stories is A Family Christmas, in which it takes Edwin and Elizabeth a year to finally break through their unease and finally admit their love. One of your earlier works, The Double Wager, is also a favorite that I enjoy re-reading. I adore Slightly Married, and the ending always warms my heart – Aidan finally finding his place, not only as a husband but as a father and a land owner. So keep them coming. The marriage of convenience opens up so many possibilities.

  74. I am looking forward to this book. I count the days from one of your books to the next.
    The first book of yours that I read was Irresistable, and I have always wanted to read Rex and Ken’s stories. Will they ever be reissued?

  75. The marriage of convenience trope is one of my favorites. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment of the Survivors Club!

  76. I am moving to a smaller place and must cut my library down by half. Of course this does not apply to my Mary Balogh collection! All of those gems are moving with me!

  77. I love all your books – can’t wait for the next one! Love the marriage of convenience trope – seeing how the characters grow together. I think it helps the reader to really identify with them.
    Pick me!

  78. Marriage-of-convenience stories are my favorite kind of Regency and Regency historical. They are rife with possibilities (as you so eloquently described), and each marriage develops in different ways and at its own unique pace, based on the couple, their backgrounds, and their circumstances. In my opinion, marriage-of-convenience plots are the most realistic of romances because they are a more accurate representation of the time and effort required to develop and nurture a relationship than a storybook wedding and an implied happily-ever-after.

  79. I love your stories! After I read my first book of yours, I went out and bought all I could get my hands on and you became an auto-buy for me. Thanks so much for the chance to win this one!

  80. I love the marriage of convenience stories! I like the idea of marriage being the beginning of the story instead of the ending.

  81. So excited to read this new book I have been reading your books for years. Most of your books in my collection have well worn pages and broken bindings from numerous readings. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  82. Along with the ‘spying’ trope, I love the marriage of convenience one. It’s fascinating to see how an author manoeuvres a couple into emotional attachment and then into love.

  83. I am a great fan and would love a signed copy but if not this one, then maybe I’ll have a chance of you sign one of the many that I already own, who knows? If you ever come to Istanbul, be sure to let me know. ( But I still believe in “a marriage of love” )

  84. Slightly Married was my first Slightly book. I read it on vacation in Sedona Arizona in 2008. Fortunately, the rest of the series had already been published because I was addicted and read them all over the next few months. I loved all the Slightly books, and the Simply books and am anticipating the June 9th release of Only a Promise. The Proposal is one of my favorite books and I’ve read it several times. The cover fell off and I still keep it. I mostly get Nook books now, but having an advance copy of Only a Promise would be a dream come true! At one point I wanted to be an editor just so I could read books before any else. (very selfish) This post will give you an inkling of why I would not have been a successful editor, but it would still be a thrill to have an advance copy of a book written by one of my favorite authors! Thanks for the opportunity.

  85. using the marriage of convenience theme works well for your writing style… I’m a reader, not a writer I’ll leave that to you Mary Balough, and I will be excited to read anything you choose to publish.

  86. I am looking forward to your new book with GREAT ANTICIPATION!
    I love a marriages of convenience, because they were so typical in the time frame. Your dialogue between the characters in always so interesting as well as witty and intelligent. You are able to draw us into the book. We feel that we know your charcters and empathize with them. Thank you for all the joy you have brought me through your books. May God Bless You with many more healthy years, so that I might enjoy the fruit of your labor!

  87. I do love stories about marriages of convenience. And I count your book “Simply Love” also to this wide field even if the personal reasons of the hero and heroine are not the same as those you mentioned above (and they do not get married straight away).

    Christine

  88. I think the reason I enjoy all of your books is the development of relationships. As you explained, in the Regency era couples interaction would be hindered by societal rules and having them married allowed you to open up that interaction. I have been reading this style for about 45 years and although many authors do a good job, your books are an “auto-buy” for me and always give me a delightful reading experience.

  89. Love every single one of your books….would be so very special to have a signed copy of one…thank you for the chance of winning one…

  90. I have been waiting patiently for this book, even if I don’t win I will still be getting this book, just love this book series – thank you

  91. I had never really thought about how difficult it was during the Regency period to meet up with and get to know another person of the opposite sex. Especially for the English high society. So many rules about social interactions. GADS! Can’t imagine how the haute ton propagated and survived. 🙂 It’s hardly surprising the “Marriage Mart”/”The Season” was established. Individuals had to be very committed to establishing a relationship with their marital partner even if society made it difficult–one’s husband/wife need not live in the other’s pocket. I love how you do that type of story, giving several different plots in which the individuals find themselves in a marriage of convenience only to discover at the end they have found love.

  92. I like the marriage of convenience theme, the interaction between the couple is usually much more personal. I adore your books, have read all except the last 2 Survivors. I like the Christmas theme books best I think, I read them over and over. I open my Facebook page always with anticipation to seeing more of the beautiful libraries and reading nooks you post.

  93. I became hooked on you novels about 3 years ago (Thank you, Barnes & Noble’s “romance” section. Now, I anxiously await each new book when it comes out. Keep on writing!

  94. I have always LOVED your books. And I would love to win this one. It doesn’t matter that the cover would be plain, just the autograph is important from such a great author!

  95. I have always LOVED your books and would be honored to have this one. It doesn’t matter if it has a plain cover, just an autograph is important!

  96. One of my favorite tropes! I really like to read how the protagonists will go about making something of their marriage. How they will get to know each other when they’re sorta forced into it.

  97. Did you cite Lord Carows Lady? As well as I remember, it was a MOC of a sort. I loved that one especially. Any book of yours will be welcome

  98. That is my favorite theme, I love when the character have to live together, don’t expect much of each other, and the boom! they fall in love! It was actually the reason I start reading your books, my first one was the temporary wife, and I loved it!

  99. I do sometimes wonder if our fascination with the marriage if convenience theme stems from the lack of this situation in modern times.

  100. I believe I have all of your books. I re-read to return to those worlds, and share the books with special friends.

  101. I love your books! My first Mary Balogh book was a Christmas gift “Simply Unforgettable” is was was unforgettable and left me with a need to read more stories and all your series! I have loved them all! Looking forward to the new ones! So excited! Thanks for this chance! 🙂

  102. Somehow I hear a lot of people moaning about the excessive use of the marriage of convenience theme in historical romance books. However I don’t agree that it’s really overused. i think it’s misused because many authors don’t consider a lot of things when writing in the realm of that theme. It becomes really unrealistic when characters are thrown together and suddenly they what love?- the feel of love growing is not portrayed all too smoothly. That is the difference of your marriage of convenience, I think you take me as reader on a ride where I think it’s believable given the certain situation of the characters. That element is what I can’t find in other authors and it just leaves me unsatisfied to read a book with a misused theme. Personally I like marriage of convenience books and I hope that I get to read more from you (though I think I have read it all). thank you for writing such wonderful novels and I am hoping and anticipating for only a promise. best wishes!!!

  103. My favorite books are when they marry early in the book and don’t even like each other. Then as the story develops-the heroine breaks through the man’s icy case tats holding his heart!! 🙂

  104. It doesn’t matter that your themes in your novels are similar. It’s how you play out a witty plot until the couple realize they were meant for each other. Every book is an adventure!

  105. One of the aspects I really like about your romances is how the heroine and hero each bring something the other needs. And, yes, the slowly growing intimacy — I’m more satisfied when I see the relationship growing step by step and engaging minds and emotions as well as bodies!

  106. i just discovered you last month and have been binge reading you r books. 19 so far. When I start I can hardly put them down.

  107. Looking forward to the next book in this series. I am thoroughly enjoying it! Thanks much for the insight on your thoughts about characters and your writing!

  108. Even though I have all of your books that are available on kindle, I have still kept all of your books. I would love a signed copy of “Only A Promise”.

  109. I especially like plots that include a couple with very different expectations of their marriageof convenience. These represent challenges (as if marriages NOT of convenience don’t have enough challenges already!) and opportunities for you to bring humor and understanding and love into their lives.

  110. I have been enjoying your books since the late 80s. Thank you; I look forward to many more. My absolute favorite is A CHRISTMAS BRIDE, which “sort of” fits the marriage of convenience theme. THE TEMPORARY WIFE is a close second.

  111. I love love love all of your books. I get your new ones as soon as I can. First I inhale them, reading as quickly as possible. I’m often up until 2 (or later!) because I can’t put them down. Then I go back and read my favorite passages all over again.

  112. Just finished the Survivors series and the Huxtables stories. In between knitting and sewing just waiting patiently for the next few books. Thank you so Much for the enjoyment (and Tears) when I read your books Joan M W

  113. I have loved the Marriage of Convenience theme ever since I started reading romances in the mid 70’s, including Harlequins and Georgette Heyer.

  114. Because I am a fan of the Survivor series, I can only wait in great anticipation for the newest addition. They make me wish sometimes that I had been born in a different century!

  115. I have a very soft spot for stories with the marriage of convenience theme. Slightly Married is one of my favourite books by you and A Christmas Promise, close on it’s heels. Because of the marriage, the couple has to figure out ways to perhaps swallow their pride, or they discover they have more in common with each other or they simply grow to like and respect each other as persons. And your publisher *is* right…. you do write such lovely, moving stories. If it has your name on it, chances are, I will read it. Even if it is a Treatise on Soil Sample Analysis or something equally boring. As I do think you will find a way to make it interesting 🙂 I’d love to be the recipient of your newest published book.

  116. Im so excited! Every time a new book of yours comes out my heart soars. You were the first author that I started with when I entered this genre.

  117. My favorite favorite of your books is “Lord Carew’s Bride,” the one about the man injured by his nasty cousin when he was just a boy and was taught to fight with his one good leg. I love how his wife discovers that ‘like’ can be another word for ‘love!’

  118. Like so many others, The Temporary Wife and A Christmas Bride are some of my favorites also. I would guess in Regency times a marriage of convenience would have taken place due to family expectations and inheritance – the idea often expressed was that you married out of duty and loved elsewhere. I so enjoy the ones you have written because the reasons for the marriage of convenience are so well thought out – it doesn’t seem contrived. There are driving reasons for the hero and the heroine. And I love watching the relationship develop in ways in couldn’t have unless they were forced into living together. So please keep these stories coming so that we can enjoy them!

  119. Loved the Huxtable series, Mary Balogh, and especially enjoyed the variety of ways they each found love…including in a marriage of convenience. I discovered you in “It Happened One Night” and now I can’t seem to get enough Balogh!

  120. I have to admit, that I love the books that start out with a marriage of convenience, for all the reasons that you stated. I feel that it brings more tension to it, as the characters are not always happy with each other, but feel that they do have to work through it to a degree. I cannot wait for this next book in the Survivor series, this series is one of my favorite that you have written!

  121. I love the way your love stories unfold, marriage of convenience or not. It is nice to read about two people falling in love, especially in an era when so many marriages were arranged.

  122. Your Regencies are among my favorites, and my reading is 98% historical romance. However, I work with a few people whose marriages were arranged and have been contemplating a contemporary novel on this theme. That would be something I haven’t seen in a while. Your books are always winners, contest or not! 🙂

  123. I wonder what a contemporary book with a marriage of convenience would be like…surely people still have such unions, and surely some come to love one another…

  124. Love your books and have made it my business to seek out most of your old copies including The Temporary Wife which I enjoyed. I find it interesting to read the developing love within a marriage of convenience and don’t have to wait until the last page to breathe easier and see them finally married.

    Being married over 50 years and reading your many books of this theme makes me think back to how we all grow in awareness and love. Kind of makes me a better partner. Thanks Mary.

  125. My husband was fired from his job today after 27 years of loyal service after he reported bullying by a foreman. I could really use a good story to escape into.

  126. Given how important compromising and truly understanding each other are to sustaining a marriage, I think a marriage of convenience gets the characters off to a better start. Thank you for such wonderful stories.

  127. I just read A Christmas Promise, again! It always reminds me to say what I mean…out loud so my husband knows what I am thinking and not just what I say!!!

  128. Marriage of convenience is my most favourite of romance theme. And yes, you Mary is the best to write it.

  129. I love the survivor series especially. I also love the rest of your books. I like the idea of the marriage of convenience in the Regency period but in modern times I want the hero to work for it. Lol
    So happy we are living in modern times. Although, I wish I could have been more regency with my own daughter, hahaha

  130. Marriage of convenience is by far my favourite trope in romance, but only in the hands of a talented writer, such as yourself. There’s just nothing more satisfying than a great writer showing a couple who don’t know each other or possibly don’t even like each other being thrown together for a lifetime and then gradually falling in love.

    PS – I am putting myself out of the running to win this book as I won last time, I was so excited to receive a signed copy of Longing, but I wanted to comment about how much I love this trope and I hope you keep writing them. I’m a sure thing to buy your new book anyway as I absolutely love The Survivor’s Club – each and every one of the books is wonderful. I’m actually a sure thing to buy all of your books!

  131. Mary you are truly a talented woman. Your books make me laugh and cry. When I need to escape into a good romance I just pull out a book – and I have several of yours that I just keep re-reading. Please continue to write so I have something to read. Thank you.

  132. I LOVE your “marriage of convenience” books, and the way the characters slowly grow to love each other over time, rather than the “lust at first sight” most authors write. You didn’t mention The Ideal Bride, but it’s one of my favorites. I also really like The Arrangement.
    Can’t wait for your next one!

  133. I am not a fan of marriage of convenience stories but your books with that theme are the exception. I enjoy the way the characters evolve and the love begins to grow between them. Your words seem to flow – beautiful writing.

  134. Thinking about the historical settings and the social strata, maybe marriage-of-convenience was the norm? Acceptable roles for women of that level of society could be wife and mother, or stay-at-home-dutiful-daughter of aged parents, so I can see a MOC being acceptable to many women of that era and social class. Thanks for letting us fans know your writing strategy, very interesting. All your MOC books have been really wonderful – and the non-MOC ones too (oh, I guess that means all your books…)

  135. Your marriage of convenience stories look impossible to resolve as I begin reading, and by the end I am moved by characters’ love story. How I wish you had been close enough to whisper in my ear with ideas and ways of thinking that might have saved some of my relationships that I really hoped would work out happily. Quite likely nothing would’ve helped, and yet the two in your stories find ways to enjoy and respect each other. The characters are generous of spirit, deserving the love that grows between them. Thank you so much for making endings possible. Welcome to Dallas in May.

  136. When I think of marriage of convenience I will always remember Freya Bedwin’s ‘betrothal of convenience.’ I believe she was the least heroic heroine I’ve ever encountered. In fact she was hardly even likeable. Yet you let her grow emotionally through her faux betrothal until she becomes a much more worthy woman, and a woman the reader could respect, sympathize with and rejoice when she found her HEA.

  137. Mary, your books give me a joy so great… I’m saving the “Survivor’s club”saga like a dessert, to read as many as I can together.
    I’ve shared my passion for your books with my sisters as well, you now have many fans from Uruguay, South America!!!

  138. I always appreciate books where the characters are married before they have sex, even when they fall in love first rather than a marriage of convenience.

  139. Mrs Balogh
    My mum has been a fan since prior to me being born. I have been trying to get every book of yours and some are just so hard to find, at least the early ones. I am so glad that you write, because it gives her something more to look forward to. For that, I thank you. I have been trying to replace many of the books that were lost along the way. She has a collection. =). She is getting up in her years and not feeling well, I just wanted to say thank you, because so many don’t know that books can take you away from reality and being ill. She appreciates your writing, she tells me the stories, and that is priceless. Indiana holds one of your greatest fans, again compliments and thanks.

  140. Love the survivors Club series. I especially love all the series you have written and how some of them connect to each other. I cannot wait to read your new book and am always sad when i finish one because I have to wait for the next.

    I love your books on marriages of convenience. It is really interesting to see how such totally different people learn to fall in love with each other.

    Keep writing……Love your books!

  141. I agree that the depth of the characters will affect how I feel about them (& whether or not I root for them)…I want to read Silent Melody & Heartless…(missed them years ago as I was raising my 2 children then & time to read was scarce…) I think I enjoy the Survivor’s Club Series because they are flawed (physically or mentally) like so many of us…perfect people are “cardboard people”…lol You have a wonderful way of making the reader support the characters in their struggles & the more “damaged” they are, the more we want them to find that type of love that will last a lifetime & beyond…Thanks!

  142. I love when the characters are thrown together by an arranged marriage. As you said, they live together and have to experience the same things while their relationship is building. I, also, am drawn to wounded heroes! Flawed characters are more believable.

  143. Thank you for your comments on ebooks vs print. I admit to a preference for the latter, being of a certain age myself. However I am delighted that your previously published out of print books are being reissued in electronic form as I have long wished to read them. I have purchased some paying rather a lot. I did not realise that the author didn’t get any royalties from these resold books, and that gives me a good reason not to purchase any more. I have just finished ‘Lady With a Black Umbrella’ and found it a delight.

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