Melanie Milburne on Marriage Of Convenience Stories

by Melanie Milburne, author of Never Gamble With A Caffarelli

‘I could kill for a glass of wine.’

He gave her a wry look. ‘You could get killed for having it.’

I’ve lost count of the number of marriage of convenience stories I’ve done. Usually one party wants the marriage for financial gain/revenge/blackmail while the other resists.

But this time I wanted both of my characters to resist. And I wanted the stakes to be extremely high. You can’t get much higher than life and death, can you?

Angelique Marchand is murderously angry with Remy Caffarelli, the bad boy younger brother of Those Scandalous Caffarellis, as he has won her late mother’s ancestral home off her father in a Vegas poker game. She tracks him down in the ancient and ultra conservative desert province of Dharbiri and hides in his room at the palace so she can have a private showdown with him.

Remy comes back to his room after a dinner function with the Crown Prince and has no idea he has a stowaway!

Angelique is hiding behind his clothes in the closet, listening to every word as Remy opens the door to a palace official….

‘As you are well aware, Monsieur Caffarelli, the dictates of our never-gamble-with-a-caffarelliprovince state that no single woman must be unchaperoned with a man unless she is his sister or his wife. We have reason to believe you have someone in your room who does not fit either of those categories.’

‘Are you out of your mind?’ Remy sounded incredulous. ‘I know the rules. I’ve been coming here long enough. I would never do anything to insult Sheikh Muhtadi. Surely his officials-including you- know that?’

‘A junior member of our housekeeping staff has tearfully confessed to allowing a young woman access to your room,’ the official said. ‘We wish to check whether this is true or not.’

‘Go on. Check.’ Remy sounded supremely, arrogantly confident. ‘You won’t find anyone in here but me.’

 Poor Remy! He was so unprepared to find Angelique springing out of his closet like a bikini clad girl out of a birthday cake.

He is the family rebel, the bad boy wild child of the Caffarelli clan. But he has more than met his match in Angelique. Being forced to marry each other to get out of the province alive makes for a roller coaster ride of sharp tongues and quick wits battling it out for a winner takes all showdown.

I had so much fun writing this book. There were times when I felt Remy and Angelique took turns to come into my office and watch over my shoulder. Remy would lean indolently against the doorjamb and smile in that arrogantly confident way.

Angelique would perch on the corner of my desk, lean right into my face and demand to know if I’d got Remy to give her back her house yet.

I hope you enjoy Never Gamble With A Caffarelli. I have a signed copy for a reader who answers this question: What do you love most about Marriage of Convenience stories?

Warmest wishes,

Melanie Milburne


Giveaway! One reader will get a signed copy of Never Gamble With A Caffarelli by answering the above question in the comments. Contest will close at at 11:59 pm on Novemeber 24, and winner by random draw will be selected on the 25. Open to residents of US and Canada. For full giveaway rules, click here.

Update: This contest is now closed.

Related Posts
Comments ( 17 )
  1. Stef
    November 13, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Great post Melanie! I love a good marriage of convenience story, the bit I love most is the first inkling of ‘maybe this isn’t such a bad idea’ and how the relationship grows from that point 🙂

  2. tasmia
    November 13, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I love the journey of discovery where they learn things about each other and grudgingly begin to admire and respect spouses.And that illuminating moment when “hatred” has miracously blossomed into love.

  3. jcp
    November 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    forced proximity

  4. Melanie Milburne
    November 13, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Stef,
    Thanks for your comment. I love that part too!

  5. Melanie Milburne
    November 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Tasmia,
    I love that part of the story too. The way they see behind the masked behaviour of the other. It’s good fun to write too!
    Thanks for posting.

  6. Melanie Milburne
    November 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Hi jcp.
    I think that’s what I’ve always loved about MOC stories. The fact that two sworn enemies are trapped together, in the same house, the same room, the same bed!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Melanie J
    November 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I think I like the make-believe of it all…

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. Melanie Milburne
    November 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Hi Melanie J,
    I love the fantasy of it too. Thanks so much for dropping by!

  9. Marcy Shuler
    November 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Melanie!

    I like watching how the feelings of the two characters change as the really get to know each other while they’re together.

  10. Melanie Milburne
    November 14, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Hi Marcy!
    Lovely to see you here. I agree. The fun part is when the characters adjust as they see things they didn’t see before.
    Thanks for posting.

  11. Laura Russell
    November 14, 2013 at 4:56 am

    Marriage of convenience is catnip for me! I enjoy watching them getting to know each other and having to put up with each other because they are compelled. And of course coming to value each other. Yours are great!

  12. Melanie Milburne
    November 14, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Hi Laura,
    Thanks for your lovely comment. I’m writing a MOC right now! I hope you enjoy it when it comes out next year.

  13. Lucy Ellis
    November 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Melanie, I love your marriage of convenience stories! Oh yes, the forced proximity, all the energy good and bad it generates. Angelique sounds like my kind of girl, I love your description of her invading your study, up in your face, “Have I got my house back yet?” Can’t wait to read this one.

  14. Melanie Milburne
    November 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Lucy,
    Thanks for commenting! I love it when characters invade my office. LOL

  15. Erica Hearns
    November 20, 2013 at 10:59 am

    What I love about marriage of convenience stories is that there is always, always much more to how people fall in love than in any other type of romance (except maybe surprise babies). They usually have to work through distrust, dislike, personality clashes, and the circumstances of their marriage have to be resolved to clear the way for them to choose each other instead of staying together by force. I love the twist you have put on the marriage of convenience in this new one. I can’t wait to read it!

  16. nidhi
    November 24, 2013 at 12:46 am

    i love the conflict of emotions …love happens when you least expect it

  17. Elissa
    November 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    The giveaway is now closed and congratulations to the winner by random draw, Melanie J! Please check your email for a message from me. -Elissa from Harlequin