Mon
Nov 6 2017 7:11am

Do You Like Books Where the Couple Is Already Married?

Couple getting married

They've gone to the chapel, and they've gotten married. And now, readers are expected to pick up their book and read about their happy ending. Much of the romance genre is about finding your partner that you'll marry or spend the rest of your life with. Some authors choose to start a book, though, with the couple already together. Sometimes it shows us after their happy ending and making love work despite the odds. Other times it shows a couple getting back together after some sort of strife tore them apart. 

But what's your take? Do you like to read about couples that are already together? What does an author have to do in order for you to fall for this couple? Can you think of an example where an author gave you a couple that was already together and still kept the tension high? 

Tell me about it in the comments!

 

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19 comments
Carmen Pinzon
1. bungluna
I just read a book by Anne Elizabeth that fist the bill: Once a Seal. It starts with the wedding day and goes on to show how the couple builds their HEA together.

I enjoy this trope, especially in historical romances. As for series, I love ... in Death by JD Robb BECAUSE it shows a couple who are together and still have passion and work well. I LOATHE (!!!!) the will-they-won't-they BS that we're subjected to with every new series out there where there are two characters who have anything resembling a spark of chemisty. I'd rather see the relationship worked out, thank you.
JayneH
2. JayneH
Yes! Romance doesn't stop once you're married and marriage doesn't guarantee an HEA only an HFN.
Penny Reid's Happily ever Ninja is a fantastic example.
JayneH
3. Benidorm-babe
Yes, I love the In Death books too. Whyborne and Griffin, an m/m paranormal/historical series by Jordan L Hawk is the continuing adventures of a committed couple and is brilliant
JayneH
4. eaemilia
I love romances where the couple is already married. Whether it's an arranged marriage, and they're only just starting to get to know each other, or they've been married a while and hit a rough patch, I love them. I also love series that follow one couple over the course of their relationship. One of the reasons why I love Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories is because it follows the main couple from their courtship through the first few years of their marriage, and it's great. I love getting together stories, but I love staying together stories just as much if not more.
Kara
5. keen23
Rarely.
Eloisa James wrote one of my favorite books, An Affair Before Christmas, with a married couple who have become somewhat estranged. It works in this situation, but normally, I don't love novels with married couples.
JayneH
6. kini
I like seeing married couples, especially when using the trope of marriage in trouble. There is something about seeing a couple working through their problems and making their relationship work. It is almost like they need to fall in love again.
JayneH
7. Cyndi B
Oh my, YES. I love romance/womens fiction with a couple already married. Nina Lane's Spiral of Bliss series is the one that stands out to me. I'm sure I'd read a "married " romance before, but when I started this series it just struck me as different. I supposed it was different from what I was reading at the time. but I loved how the story was plotted. They were married and each reflecting on how they came to be and where they believed their relationship was going. That age old question about growing/changing together or growing a part.
Umayma
8. jannah
Call me the odd one out but I actually dislike this type of trope where the couple is already married. I prefer to go on a journey with two strangers and see how they eventually fall in love rather than being told in flashback or in other people’s dialogue. I don’t mind a sequel about thier married life though because at least then I’ve already seen their journey towards ever after.
Kareni
9. Kareni
I like Jennifer Ashley's Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage which deals with a troubled marriage.
JayneH
10. Eilidh
I used to avoid stories with established couples, but I'll read a book with marrieds if there is a conflict threatening a once-strong relationship. People lose sight of things sometimes after a few years. They grow up, grow apart, grow complacent. Careers are begun, kids come along, things are acquired, whatever. It's very easy to forget how you once loved a person, easier still to walk away. It's hardest to fight to get it back and since I have times where I need the angst like I need hydration - preferably with wine - I am all about the struggle. Every Wrong Reason by Rachel Higginson is a perfect example of what I mean.
Heather Waters
11. HeatherWaters
Noooo. At least, not usually. Where's the tension? I already know they're in love...
ChelseaMueller
12. ChelseaMueller
It rarely works for me outside of a marriage of convenience where the couple is still new to each other and figuring out how they work together...and, you know, falling in love.
JayneH
13. Tammi Twedt
I like a wide variety of stories in my romance novels. A couple that is already married is a nice change from a couple just getting together. The romance genre has evolved to allow authors to entertain a large number of societal issues with the search for, and maintenance of the HEA. There is more to the story than a rigid set of must haves in the plot. Several authors are writing series that tell the story of a couple in their own book, and then follows that couple's relationship through the succeeding books in the series. Sometimes, the series is about that couple, such as Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series or Marie Force's Fatal series. Sometimes the series revolves around a family and or a community, such as Marie Force's Gansett Island series and Robyn Carr's Virgin River series. Bottom line, there is no limit to the possiblilites and that is what keeps me reading.
Carmen Pinzon
14. bungluna
@eaemilia - Thanks for the Glamourist recommendation.
willaful
15. willaful
I enjoy marriage in trouble and convenient marriage types of stories. Series which revisit the same couples often don't work for me though, or stop working after a point. I just get bored with them, or if they have conflicts, get bored with the roller coaster.
Rakisha Kearns-White
16. BrooklynShoeBabe
When it's a historical romance or a story about a marriage of convenience and the couple have to learn to love each other. I also like contemporary stories where the couples are still married for some weird legal reason, and they come together to get a divorce but it turns out they still love each other.
Bridget
17. tonispinone
Depends on the story line and author. I only read series (almost exclusively PNR) and I absolutely LOVE JD Robb's In Death series. It's probably my all time favorite. I also loved Frost's Night Huntress series. Singh's Guild Hunter series. Andrew's Kate Daniels series. Briggs Mercy Thompson and her Alpha and Omega series. All feature couples who, within the first few books, fell in love and got married and now have solid relationships working together to deal with external issues.
JayneH
18. lizzie18
A book where they are already married when we open the first page ? NO, definitely not for me. I like to see/read the first 'meeting' and also enjoy the evolution of the relationship.

A book where they get married early in the story ? It can work for me in some historicals, though not in contemporary. And again, I do like to be present when they first meet.

Books like the In Death series ? I enjoy them enormously. But then, Eve and Roarke didn't start off married, did they ? We got to know them meet in the first book, develop their relationship in the following two books, and THEN they got married. So I did get to enjoy the getting-t0-know-you part that I so enjoy. And I keep enjoying the love and partnership they still have now.

And I find I enjoy more a book where a couple, especially a married or otherwise committed couple, develop a certain complicity throughout the book. I am old enough to remember when romance novels had antagonistic H/h, or alpha H & meek h, all the way up to the last few pages, where the I-love-you's would suddenly happen.
Would never want to go back to that.
JayneH
19. SpiritedMuse
If it's a short story, then I don't mind. But, usually don't like when they are already married. As you never really get to see who they are as individuals. How they got to where they are. It's just more of an 'US' feels this way. Or an 'US' that has particular issues. Instead of there being a real separation of the couple's voices in the story.

I guess, I just prefer the journey to the couple getting to be where they are. And the marriage is the end game. Even if you do see them again in later books.
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