by L. K. Below
Arranged marriages aren’t the norm anymore. These days, everyone holds out for love. But that wasn’t always the case. Roll back the clock a couple years and arranged marriages were much more likely to be practiced.
Those women and men of the past were practical, disillusioned people, like my heroine Natalia. She knows that, as the daughter of a king, she has to marry the man appointed to her. In this case, that is Prince Bennett. She’s long since resigned herself to that fate, even if she’s never met or spoken to him. The union has been set in stone for so long, it’s a matter of duty for her now. But what is she supposed to do when her new stepsister steals her identity and prances off to marry Bennett in her place? Duty tells Natalia to follow and make amends for this deceit -- preferably before the poor man finds himself chained to an impostor. But along the way, she finds so much more than duty.
Romance is all about finding love in the most unlikely places. When anyone enters into an arranged marriage, I hardly think they do so with the idea that they will one day fall in love. Even the notion is laughable. Arranged marriages, as I mentioned, are practical. Sensible. They are entered into to be beneficial to the families involved, and to provide some measure of security for both parties. But love? I bet if you traveled back to when this was more common, the bride and groom would scoff at the very idea.
That, perhaps, is precisely the reason I feel so compelled to write about marriages of convenience. Love in unlikely places means that love will most certainly strike here. In the case of Bennett and Natalia, he does not even know that it is his true bride he is falling in love with. But sometimes fate has a way of aligning everything to be just perfect, to allow that one moment of falling in love.
Or maybe, at first, in lust. That would be a lucky break for two people destined to be married. If the heroine or hero can’t have love, why not give them the next best thing? But that’s only the beginning. Attraction, in my way of thinking, provides a seed for love to grow. When the couple feels so strongly for each other -- even if that emotion has more to do with their hormones than their hearts -- they start to grow attached. Attachment leads to love. In my mind, everyone deserves to find love -- especially those put in situations where they might not normally. Since Natalia was determined not to let her stepsister marry her man, it was only fair for me to give her a “happily-ever-after.” With a bit of spice thrown in.
What about you? Setting aside any current relationship you’re in, would you ever consider entering into an arranged marriage? I have to admit, the mystery of the arrangement does hold some appeal, even if I would hope to find the same love Natalia and Bennett do in Unveiling His Princess.
L. K. Below writes romance and speculative fiction. Under her full name, Lindsay Below, she pens young adult novels. Her newest romance release, Unveiling His Princess, is now available from Liquid Silver Books. Visit her online at www.lbelow.net or on her blog at http://lbelow.blogspot.com.