This month, I’m starting a new column on the blog, by featuring books of a certain trope or theme. For November, my focus is on romances featuring arranged marriages. I love these stories of love conquering all, even when it’s unexpected. As part of this new column, the featured titles may be on sale at the retail portals, or newsletter subscribers will have the chance to buy one or more directly from me, at a discount.
Probably my most popular medieval romance featuring an arranged marriage is The Beauty Bride, and it’s free at the online portals right now. This is the first book of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series: when Alexander suddenly inherits his family holding, he discovers that his carefree days are over. The treasury is empty and he has five unwed sisters, each of whom is determined to marry for true love or not at all. He knows he has to see at least two of them married before the winter and resolves to begin with his oldest sister, Madeline, who is the most stubborn of them all. Since she won’t listen to reason, he feels compelled to make a choice for her. Madeline, however, has never followed anyone’s rules—and if her brother thinks she’ll meekly put her hand in that of a renowned mercenary, both he and the bridegroom, Rhys, can think again. The Beauty Bride is also available in audio.
The Princess, book one of the Bride Quest, also features a defiant maiden unwilling to marry the man chosen for her. Brianna’s family estate is captured by a mercenary who insists she marry one of his three sons to solidify his victory. He leaves the choice to her. Brianna has no intention of marrying any of the three rogues, so she gives them a test: she pledges to marry the one who brings her a gift that makes her laugh. She’s pretty sure she can keep from laughing at anything and so avoid the old warrior’s plan. She’s not counting on Luc, though, who is done with the life of a warrior and has no patience with spoiled women who think they can make everyone obey their whims. He refuses to accept the quest, which infuriates Brianna—and you can guess what happens while Luc’s brothers are gone. I really enjoy the battle of wills in this one—it makes their dawning love all the sweeter.
Unicorn Bride is an older book of mine, which has been revised and republished. I just love the new cover! I also love this story of a woman fulfilling an arrangement made when she was in her cradle. Alienor has never met her husband-to-be, although she’s heard a lot of stories about strange doings at his remote keep of Montsalvat. She finds a bridegroom in disguise, as well as enough intrigue in her new home to tempt her to flee—but her mysterious new husband is a passionate lover by night, which leaves her torn. Trust is hard-won between these two, but love does conquer all when Dagobert chooses his new bride over his inherited responsibilities.
One Knight’s Return is also a revised older title—I’m realizing as I compose this that I wrote a lot of arranged marriages when I was traditionally published, but haven’t written many since then. Maybe I need to mix that up a bit!—also revised and republished with a new cover. Quinn returns home from the crusades to his family holding, only to discover that his overlord has put a price upon the ruined Sayerne: Quinn has to marry the beautiful and independent Melissande from neighboring Annossy to have any chance of claiming the holding that should be his. He’s perfectly willing to do this, as he probably needs a wife and isn’t romantic at all. Melissande, however, is not thrilled with the plan. She’s not a romantic either, but sees this move as the overlord’s attempt to seize her prosperous family holding. Let the battle begin! This one is a battle of wills between two strong warriors, each of whom has to learn to compromise and delegate.
Part of this new column is that I’ll provide a discount in my newsletter for the featured books. The Beauty Bride is already free, so one of the other titles will be offered for 99¢ when subscribers buy directly from me. (Which one will it be???) If you haven’t subscribed to my Knights & Rogues newsletter yet, this might be a good time to sign up.