We love Outlander—we love the show, the books, and especially Jamie and Claire. However, it is no secret that while Diana Gabaldon has created one of the greatest couple in the history of fiction—we're not just saying that, you voted them the best couple—she has a deep disdain for the romance genre. While she's right—these books (past book 1) are not romances in the genre sense of the word—the way that she dismisses love stories and the genre is... frustrating to so many readers that have become her die-hard fans. In a recent interview for Vulture, Gabaldon once again made her opinion known:
“A romance is a courtship story. In the 19th century, the definition of the romance genre was an escape from daily life that included adventure and love and battle. But in the 20th century, that term changed, and now it’s deemed only a love story, specifically a courtship story.”
Many romances are a courtship story. Many romances are not. Gabaldon's voice reaches a wide audience, and as a scholar (which she is), you'd think she would value accuracy. As Jessica Tripler pointed out in her rebuttal over at Book Riot, this opinion is not only outdated, but it's outright incorrect. Many romance novels—including many that were published at least a decade (and further back, obviously) before Outlander—feature a beloved trope in the genre: The marriage of convenience. A quick scan of Goodreads showed nearly 4,000 books featuring this trope.
So in the spirit of good-naturedly proving Diana Gabaldon wrong: Can you name romance novels that “start” with a marriage, or don't “end” once the courtship is done?
Let us know in the comments!