In Mary Jo Putney’s “The Bargain” Lady Jocelyn Kendal must marry before her 25th birthday or lose her inheritance. Being tied down is the last thing Lady Jocelyn wants, so she chooses a dying soldier who needs to obtain financial security for his sister. It’s simple; he’s dying so she only has to be tied down for a short while. But marriages of convenience are never simple and Jocelyn’s marriage soon turns into an inconvenience when her dying husband is suddenly very much alive. I’ve enjoyed many of Mary Jo Putney’s books and “The Bargain “is a delight. A dying soldier who doesn’t die? A headstrong wealthy woman who’s about to lose her money? Wouldn’t you take the life raft even if it came in the form of a marriage you didn’t want? Yeah, see – the plot line works.
Books aren’t the only place you’ll find this plot device. Remember “Green Card” with Andie MacDowell and Gerard Depardieu when he was at the height of his fame with American Audiences? So French, so sexy…oh, la, la. She wants to keep her rent controlled apartment in Manhattan. And who wouldn’t? Let’s just say a rent controlled apartment is like owning a piece of paradise, you would simply do anything to keep it – and she does. She marries Gerard Depardieu, a French composer who wants to work in America, but needs his green card… oh so convenient – uh oh, so married. Of course they absolutely despise each other, but that’s half the fun in a romantic comedy/marriage of convenience. We want to see how the feelings of pure hatred – turn into pure love. Ah, joie de vivre.
For me a marriage of convenience is a totally satisfying plot line. What about you, do you have a favorite?
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer
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