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EloisaJames
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New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Hi everybody!

 

My new column is up, on enforced marriages.  These are five not-to-be-missed romances!

 

Strange Bedfellows

 

So what's your favorite enforced marriage romance?  Which one did I forget to add?

 

hugs, Eloisa


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becke_davis
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Wonderful column, Eloisa. I discovered Susan Elizabeth Phillips about a year and a half ago and downed her booklist almost in one gulp. This Heart of Mine was the very first book of hers I read -- what a lovely surprise! You've made me want to go back and read it all over again.

 

I haven't read the other books, so my TBR pile is going to grow four books taller. They all sound great!

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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

[ Edited ]

Thanks so much for including Moon Craving in your article, Louisa. :smileyhappy:  I'm way chuffed about the release of this book! :smileyhappy:

 

I'll admit the many permutations of the Marriage of Convenience theme give me tons of pleasure both to read and write.  One of my favorite Enforced Marriage stories not mentioned in your article is Christine Feehan's "Dark Magic" - oh, man, that story is delicious.  I love the Carpathian world, but these two protagonists are special.  If Savannah doesn't marry Gregori (The Dark One), he won't just lose his life - he'll lose his sanity, and then kill others.  Gregori needs Savannah, but learning to trust her, to rely on her - that's something else entirely.  It's one of those super emotional reads that brings you to tears and then back again.  And as much as I've enjoyed all the other stories from the Carpathian world, this one continues to be frequent re-read for me. :smileyhappy:

 

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EloisaJames
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

I know that one, Lucy!  I like the Carpathian novels a lot -- and there often is a "forced marriage" sense about them, given the whole premise she set up, with discovery of color, etc.  What choice does the woman really have, given that most of the Carpathian males are about to go crazy unless they meet the right woman?  Talk about putting pressure on a date.

 

At any rate, I really liked Moon Craving -- I went back and ordered the first in the series and liked that just as much too.

 

Are there more coming?  What's next?

 

Eloisa


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ReadingPatti
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

EloisaJames, I love the Carpathian novels. It is not everyday that you mean your true love and then can't get way because if you do you will die and so will he. They are linked together.

 

I think that Jamie and Claire from Outlander series was enforced because of the British. But then Claire made her own choice to stay with Jamie. She even came back in time to find him. What a true love that is?

 

I hope I got this right.

 

ReadingPatti

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

I just love the enforced marriage premise. I don't care how many times i read it - it's always a favorite!

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becke_davis
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

[ Edited ]

In theory, it sounds awful, but in historicals it can make a wonderful read.

 

I few years ago I got really into genealogy and my dad gave me a huge journal that his grandfather penned at his great-grandfather's dictation. My great-great-grandfather was too infirm to write by then -- he had fought in the Civil War and the journal covered that era and even before. 

 

The family was in Ohio -- oddly enough, not far from where I live now -- but some of his uncles moved further west in the Northwest Territory: Illinois, to be precise. My great-great-grandfather wrote about how he met his wife -- first wife, as it turned out, because she died fairly young. His father had been to visit his brother in Illinois, and when he came back to Ohio he encouraged his son to correspond with a young lady in Illinois -- the daughter of a friend.

 

My great-great-grandfather says he grumbled about being set up with a girl he'd never even met, but he did as asked. They became pen pals, of a sort, but he still didn't like it that his father was clearly pushing for a match. He wrote how in "these modern times" men picked their own wives, and didn't have their fathers do it for them.

 

When my great-great-grandfather was 18, his father put him on a train to visit the family in Illinois and meet his "intended." As a lover of romance it gave me chills when he wrote of his thoughts at their first meeting. He had approached the house by the "wrong" door, he wrote, and thus caught her family off-guard. He said the door was opened by a young woman who had bare arms and her hair pulled back - she'd obviously been cleaning. He was stunned by the sight of all that skin and her "fresh, Scots-Irish good looks." He fell in love at first sight, and they were married within the year. She was only 17! 

 

He was wounded in the war and was sent home on a month's leave to recover. The day before he had to go back, their 18 month old son was struck with a sudden fever and died. They had to rush the funeral before he boarded the train to rejoin his regiment. Reading that section always brings me to tears.

 

They only had one other child, my great grandfather (who had five kids, of which four survived). My great-great grandmother had a stroke at age 47, lingered awhile and then died. Her grave is in Danville, IL.

 

So that was one "arranged" marriage that worked out. And stories like that are why I got hooked on genealogy!

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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Thanks so much, Eloisa!  That means so much to me, I can't tell you.  You won't remember this, but I met you in a signing line with your very first book at the RWA Convention that year.  I  hadn't published yet, but you asked what I wrote and at the time I was working on my Touch Me, Tempt Me, Take Me trilogy which is a Regency set family trilogy.  You looked me right in the eye in that kind way you have and said you truly hoped I enjoyed your book as it meant so much when another author in the genre did.  Your kindness and sincerity have always stayed with me.  You are an amazing writer, but more than that, you're a very nice person. :smileyhappy:

 

As for my Children of the Moon, the plan is to write lots more and the next one should be out Feb '11. :smileyhappy:  It'll be Barr's story...he gets sent to another clan to lead it while the rightful heir learns to be laird.  Fun?  I'm hoping so!

 

Hugs,

Lucy

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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Becke...what a great story!  Thanks for sharing that..I love real life romance. :smileyhappy:

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EloisaJames
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

I love that story, Becke!  How wonderful to have such a material bit of your family history at hand.  I would love to have something like that.

 

And Lucy -- what fun to think we met back when you were unpubbed.  If you ask me, you have a terrific career ahead of you-- Move over, Carpathians!

 

Eloisa


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pjpuppymom
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Becke, your family story moved me to tears.  How lovely to have that bit of family history, written in your ancestor's own hand.

 

 

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pjpuppymom
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Another terrific column, Eloisa!  The only book of those listed that I've read (so far) is PROMISE ME TONIGHT and I loved it.  In fact, I've already read it three times ~ once to review and twice more just for the pleasure of it.

 

The forced marriage theme is one I never tire of reading.  A KINGDOM OF DREAMS by Judith McNaught, one of my all-time favorite books is also one of my favorite forced-marriage stories.  

 

I'm currently reading IN THE WARRIOR'S BED by Mary Wine, a February release that has many of the elements I love in a good romance.  It's a medieval, set in Scotland, with feuding clans, a kidnapped bride and a forced marriage.  I'm having so much fun reading it!

 

 

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Goldborow
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

I love the 'marriage of convenience' trope!

 

My personal favourites are not quite about 'forced' marriages, but rather about marriages between strangers for reasons other than love. Mary Balogh's "The Temporary Wife" has a Marquess marrying a plain governess to shame his father only to discover she is not what he expected, and Elizabeth Hoyt's 'To Seduce a Sinner' is all about a marriage based on practicality which turns into love. And of course, there is the perennial favourite, 'Devil in Winter' by Lisa Kleypas...all three of these are keepers for me!

 

I love the way that marriage forces people who would never notice one another otherwise into close proximity, and the way the authors portray them tentatively getting to know one another and learning each other's quirks and secrets. Of the ones on the list, I've only read 'This Heart of Mine', but I will be sure to try the others!

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Janga
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

I loved the new column, Eloisa. Like PJ, I haven't read all the books in this one. This Heart of Mine is a favorite. The rape is like the character of Sugar Beth in that if someone had described it to me before I read the book, I would have said I'd hate it. But SEP is a miracle worker with stories. I also loved Promise Me Tonight, and Ravishing in Red is on my TBR shelf. I need to check out the others.

 

Mary Balogh has written some great forced marriage tales. The Famous Heroine is one of my all-time favorites, and I thought the new one, A Matter of Class, was wonderful. What about Lisa Kleypas's Tempt Me at Twilight? I thought that was an interesting twist on the forced marriage theme.

 

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Janga
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Becke. I love your family story. What wonderful material!

 

My favorite RL arranged marriage story is that of the parents of a friend from my grad school days. She was from Madras, India, and her parents' arranged marriage was not uncommon. But the part I loved was that her father had several prospective brides write an essay and chose his wife, sight unseen, on the basis of what she wrote. :smileyhappy:

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becke_davis
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Janga - I LOVE that story!!

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EloisaJames
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Talk about writing pressure, Janga! I wonder what she wrote.  It's actually a great good plot for a romance... just think of the possibilities.  A hot letter (which I'm sure was not the case here), a letter about food (best way to a man's heart is... think Laura Ingalls Wilder and her food descriptions), a letter about family.

 

Eloisa


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becke_davis
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

I wonder if they saved the letter for their children to read? That would be really something!

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LucyMonroe_author
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?

Janga...what a fabulous story!  I totally agree with Eloisa...it would make a really fun premise for a romance.  Could be historical...could be contemporary, but I love the idea...my mind is spinning too fast for only one cup of coffee. :smileywink:


Janga wrote:

Becke. I love your family story. What wonderful material!

 

My favorite RL arranged marriage story is that of the parents of a friend from my grad school days. She was from Madras, India, and her parents' arranged marriage was not uncommon. But the part I loved was that her father had several prospective brides write an essay and chose his wife, sight unseen, on the basis of what she wrote. :smileyhappy:


 

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Loves2ReadKR
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Re: New column--enforced marriages! Yr fav?


becke_davis wrote:

Wonderful column, Eloisa. I discovered Susan Elizabeth Phillips about a year and a half ago and downed her booklist almost in one gulp. This Heart of Mine was the very first book of hers I read -- what a lovely surprise! You've made me want to go back and read it all over again.

 

I haven't read the other books, so my TBR pile is going to grow four books taller. They all sound great!


 

becke_davis:

 

 

You echoed my sentiments exactly! This Heart of Mine was the first SEP book I ever read. I love her books, especially the Chicago Stars series (personally). I went out and pretty much purchased all of her books that I could get my hands on. I always enjoy her books.

 

 

I think, to comment on Eloisa's column, that enforced marriages are so popular because they prove that true love is true love. Let me try to explain: in romance novels, the hero and heroine are always (unless it is a unique case) attracted to each other right off the bat, on some level or another. The fact that they find love in the most unlikely circumstances seems to speak about how powerful love is. It is like a twisted fairy tale. Take This Heart of Mine. Kevin was furious after Molly tricked him in bed. He married her when he discovered she was pregnant. In all reality, this marriage seems doomed to fail. How could there be love when someone's trust has been so blatantly betrayed? Luckily, in romance novels, reality seems to be blurred with fantasy. There is something that draws the characters together, making the impossible possible.

 

 

I think one thing I like about enforced (or marriages that result from a LOT of nudging) is that the characters are bound together from the beginning. The conflict becomes one of how can they love, instead of how can they be together? They already are! Kiss and Angel and Nobody's Baby but Mine are other SEP books that look at this issue. The romance evolves from a place of misconceptions, hurt, and sometimes distrust. Instead of the feeling that the two characters cannot be together based on class or some other issue (like in the ones that end with a wedding), the characters are working on more of a foundation of finding the qualities they need in someone. Does that make any sense?

 

 

Besides, there is usually a good scene at the end where one of the people get cold feet because they think they cannot love but end up coming through in the most spectacular way. : )