Genre Police! Urgent Marriages in Regency Romance

Reasons basically estranged characters get married in Regency romances

Some books use more than one of the following tropes

Arrangement, including Blackmail or Betrothal: his and/or her families have colluded to arrange their marriage and for complex reasons the hero and heroine are compelled to comply (ex: Triumph and Treasure)

Compromised: due to unavoidable or maliciously orchestrated circumstances, the hero and heroine are discovered in a compromising situation, and the hero is far too noble a gentleman to permit her to be disgraced and does the honorable thing (ex: His Lady Mistress, Seducing the Bride)

Devil you don’t know: the heroine would rather marry the chivalrous gentleman, she barely knows, than another man with one or more of the following traits: ugly, fat, old, abusive, lecherous, murderous, greedy (ex: Seducing the Bride)

For the Child’s Sake: the hero has a child, natural or from a previous marriage, or a ward and needs a wife to care for him/her (ex: Larken)
OR the heroine is caring for a child, orphaned or her own, and is in need of a husband; the hero may or may not be a blood relation (ex: Bought: The Penniless Lady, Triumph and Treasure, Duke’s Shotgun Wedding)

Inheritance Stipulation: the living father (or male relative) demands or the will dictates that the hero must get married in order to inherit (ex: Seducing the Bride)


Originality Award to Barely a Bride by Rebecca Hagan Lee, for creating a hurried marriage under pretty unique circumstances, which slightly resemble the Inheritance Stipulation and the Devil you don’t know tropes


Correlating tropes

Marriage of Convenience: the hero is determined not to fall in love with his wife (ha!), and convinces himself he can resist having sex with her (as if!) because the arrangement is temporary, that their coupling will be emotionless for the dutiful purpose of producing heirs (and we all know how that turns out)

A Maid unlike the Others: though the hero doesn’t know much about her, he recognizes her as different from the rest, not a vapid, simpering, brainless twit; not to mention she’s beautiful

As Bad as the Rest: the jaded hero believes, due to his own prejudice or a misunderstanding, that the heroine is as vile, conniving, deceitful, and treacherous as all women are or worse

Nearly Annulled: When the time limit is up or the circumstances necessitating the marriage are mitigated, the hero broaches the subject of an annulment or separation, but by this time the heroine has fallen in love; likely he has to, but is in denial about his feelings, and may even believe he hates her

Image Source: Public Domain
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