I adore Marriage of Convenience tropes. Love all that forced proxmity with a stranger you have to build a life with….yeah… so gooood.
One of my very favorite sub tropes is Save From The Noose Marriage of Convenience. This is a plot where the hero or heroine is about to be hung or imprisoned for a very long time and gets out of it by marrrying. Yep. Love it.
Can’t seem to find out if this was actually ever a law but in Romanceland it is and my guess is there is some truth to the practice.
Here are some wonderful Romances with this Theme.
1. Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
A pact is sealed in secret behind the foreboding walls of Newgate Prison. In return for a night of unparalleled pleasure, a dashing condemned criminal consents to wed a beautiful heiress, thereby rescuing her with his name from an impending and abhorred arranged union. But in the fading echoes of hollow wedding vows, a solemn promise is broken, as a sensuous free spirit takes flight to a lush Caribbean paradise, abandoning the stranger she married to face the gallows unfulfilled.
But Ruark Beauchamp’s destiny is now eternally intertwined with that of the tempestuous, intoxicating Shanna. He will be free . . . and he will find her. For no iron ever forged can imprison his resolute passion. And no hangman’s noose will deny Ruark the ecstasy that is rightfully his.
2. The Texan’s Wager by Jodi Thomas
Thrown off a wagon train with two other women and trying to avoid jail for a murder they committed, Bailee Moore agrees to enter a “Wife Lottery”—a ploy concocted by the Cedar Point sheriff to secure wives for the men in the small Texas town. For the sensible Bailee, however, marrying Carter McKoy is like exchanging one life sentence for another—especially since her new husband hasn’t even seen fit to utter a single word in her presence. But still, she can’t help thinking that something about this strong, silent farmer could be the key to leaving her troubled past behind…and making a worthy wager with her heart.
3. The Marriage Debt by Louise Allen
Marrying a highwayman awaiting execution is Katherine Cunningham’s only hope – for that way her debts will die with him. But it turns out that her husband, Nicholas Lydgate, is innocent – and the son of a duke! Katherine is determined to save his life, as she is attracted to Nicholas, but she won’t hold him to a union until he shows he cares for her..
4. Seduction of the Phoenix by Michelle M. Pillow
A prince raised in honor and tradition, a woman raised with nothing at all. She wants to steal their most sacred treasure. He’ll do anything to protect it, even if it means marrying a thief. Prince Zhang Jin is a man raised in honor and tradition, so it is a great surprise when he is compelled to claim a stranger as his bride who has neither. Francesca La Rosa is hardly a match fit for a prince. Though beautiful, she is a thief with one thing on her mind–stealing the sacred Jade Phoenix of his people. But the mystery doesn’t end there. With the aid of the spirits of his ancestors he must discover who this woman is, why she would destroy the Zhang Empire and most of all, if she could ever return the love that is growing in his heart.
5. The Wives of Bowie Stone by Maggie Osborne
Knowing that she can save the life of a condemned man by offering to marry him, Rosie Mulvehey opts for a marriage of convenience to ex-cavalry man Bowie Stone, who promises to save her rundown farm as his part of the agreement.
6. The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection by Angela Bell
Come along on a romantic journey jam-packed with all the angst of marriages founded upon practical choices as well as coercion. Meet nine couples who barely know each other before they find themselves suddenly married—to please family, to stem the tide of gossip, to save the land—and joined for life. But can love grow when duty comes before romance?
Fair of face and figure, Kristine is young, innocent, pure. Yet she has been condemned to the gallows for killing a man. The only one who can save her is a lord so infamous that some say he is the son of the Devil himself. . .
And the Beast
Erik Trevayne is called the Demon Lord of Hawksbridge Castle, but few know of the curse he lives under. Or the terrifying changes slowly gnawing away at his humanity. When he weds her, all he wants of Kristine is a son. But when he beds her, a wild hope is born–that love that can tame even the most monstrous of beasts. . .
Shadow Ochoa is lying low in the western Kansas Territory, waiting for his fellow Texas Rangers—the Hell’s Eight brotherhood—to clear his name. That is, until he’s unjustly strung up for horse thieving…and pretty Fei Yen intervenes. Invoking a seldom-used law, the exotic lady prospector claims Shadow as her husband and rides off with the bridegroom shackled to her buckboard.
Savvy, fearless Fei is single-mindedly devoted to her hidden claim and all it promises: wealth, security and freedom. A husband is just a necessary inconvenience and a name on paper to hold the claim she cannot.
Shadow isn’t a man to take orders from anyone, especially from lovely Fei—except that the daily friction between them ignites into nightly blazes of all-consuming passion. Soon Shadow is dreaming a little himself: of the life they could have if only Fei could see past the lure of independence. If only bounty hunters weren’t closing in on him. If only he’s left standing when the impending showdown has ended….
9. Wild West Brides by Cathy Maxwell,
Flanna and the Lawman by Cathy Maxwell
Desperate for someone to help her protect her land, a female con artist saves an ex-lawman from the hangman’s noose by claiming him as her no-good husband, and finds herself wanting to turn their charade into a real marriage.
This Side of Heaven by Ruth Langan
When a runaway and her young nephew find a safe haven with a solitary Montana rancher, three lonely people become a family, until their peace is threatened by the boy’s father, bent on vengeance.
Second Chance Bride by Carolyn Davidson
His mail-order bride’s deceit had stung him to the quick, but the pregnant widow’s care of his four-year-old daughter had Jebediah rethinking his vow to send her packing as soon as her baby was born.
10. Border Wedding by Amanda Scott
Captured in 1388 in the act of stealing back his own cattle, young Sir William Scott faces hanging, then gets one other choice–to marry immediately his captor’s eldest daughter, the lady Margaret Murray, known by all as Muckle-Mouth Meggie. With the line between England and Scotland shifting daily, the Earl of Douglas wants to win back every inch of Scotland that the English have claimed; whereas the equally powerful English Percies (under Hotspur) want to win back the land between Northumberland and Edinburgh; and the Murray family is caught in the middle, shifting its alliances to try to survive. Uncertain whether she is English or Scottish and abruptly married to Sir William who is staunchly loyal to the cause of Scottish independence but who also has promised he’ll never take up arms against her family, Meg Murray learns two things: first, Will’s word is his bond; second, her favorite brother is spying on Douglas for Hotspur. As Sir Will faces the dilemma of honoring his word to the unscrupulous Murray without betraying Douglas, Meg must choose between betraying the husband with whom she is rapidly falling in love, or betraying her own family and best-loved brother.
Got more? Gimme!
Vote for the best of the best on my Goodreads list: Saved from the Noose Romance .