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Trope Talk > Trope Talk -- Estranged spouses

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message 1: by Jennyc (new)

Jennyc | 7 comments One of my favorite tropes is estranged spouses coming back together for an HEA. A couple that I've loved are The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean and An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James. It doesn't have to be historical, I just can't think of a contemporary right now. I like the idea that the two partners have different lives & need to re-learn about each other.

Does anyone have suggestions? Thanks!


message 2: by HeatherMarie (new)

HeatherMarie (heathermariereads) | 66 comments Hey Jennyc
Here are some books with that trope.
Historical
Once Upon a Tower
#rapunzell retelling #musician #scottish
City of Jasmine
#aviatrix on a world tour #Damascus 1920s #archeology & politics
Not Quite a Husband
#doctor heroine #on the road #India
The Striker
#feuding families #Medieval #1300s Scotland
The Ugly Duchess
#ugly duckling #marriage of convience #redemption
Forever Yours
#novella #epistolary #jealousy

Once Upon a Tower (Fairy Tales, #5) by Eloisa James City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas The Striker (Highland Guard, #10) by Monica McCarty The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales, #4) by Eloisa James Forever Yours by Charlotte Featherstone

Contemporary
Happily Ever Ninja
#hidden identity #travel #humor
Escape to the Riviera
#vacation #French Riviera #movie star hero
King of Hearts*
#office romance #secret #redemption
*not technically married but similar emotional journey

Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City, #5) by Penny Reid Escape to the Riviera by Jules Wake King of Hearts (Hearts, #3) by L.H. Cosway

Hope you find a new one (I'm rooting for Forever Yours 😉) !


message 3: by Tuuli (new)

Tuuli | 79 comments I just read the first story in Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances and it was that (Revolutionary War time period, obvs). Also Laura Lee Guhrke's How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days and Sherry Thomas's Private Arrangements are historical favorites of mine in this trope.

For contemporaries, hmm... Shannon Stacey's Exclusively Yours is an ex-girlfriend/-boyfriend situation, not spouses, but might work. Would left at the altar, second chance romance work? There's Lauren Layne's The Trouble with Love which I haven't read but I read a prior book in the series...


message 4: by Mclaudia (new)

Mclaudia | 58 comments Oooh I have a good suggestion!!

An Infamous Marriage

I love Susanna Fraser and her The Sergeant's Lady is also a fave (I guess trope for this one would be lovers from the wrong side of the tracks?)

Anyway, Jack Armstrong married Elizabeth in a rush after the death of her husband of only a few days. Elizabeth had no family so the husband, the hero's best friend and the town's vicar, engineered the marriage on his deathbed after Jack, away in the army for years, comes back to town for a short visit. The marriage is also convenient for Jack since he needs someone to take care of his ailing mother (she's showing signs of dementia) and he must go back to his regiment stat.

Almost immediately after the wedding if I am remembering it correctly Jack leaves and is stationed in Canada. Elizabeth is left behind to take care of her mother in law and the family farm.

Jack and Elizabeth exchange letters that slowly develop their relationship; the letters show a blossoming Elizabeth and Jack starts to look forward to his wife's letters as they become a great solace to him during the War of 1812. All of sudden for Jack, though, the letters become cold and formal and he doesn't know why...

I think about five years elapse and Jack finally comes back home to a wife he both knows and doesn't, and it's a delight to see the relationship develop (and Jack doing some explainin')

Susanna Fraser meshes the historical background very well and it's never wallpaper history or in-your-face lecture to detract from the romance.

For instance, Jack is insecure about his position in Wellington's army and the lead-up to Waterloo because he had mostly fought in Canada unlike the other officers surrounding the duke... And Elizabeth is his rock. It's all very well done and swoony!!


message 5: by Tuuli (new)

Tuuli | 79 comments @Mclaudia - that went straight to my TBR pile, thanks!


message 6: by Mclaudia (last edited Oct 25, 2017 12:16PM) (new)

Mclaudia | 58 comments Tuuli wrote: "@Mclaudia - that went straight to my TBR pile, thanks!"

Right on!! I think you will like it -- and incidentally Private Arrangements and How to Lose a Duke in 10 Days are among my favorites in this trope too!

In this one though neither the hero nor the heroine is trying to get rid of the other spouse so it's refreshing to see them working it out soon-ish.


message 7: by Jennyc (new)

Jennyc | 7 comments Thanks so much y'all! I have Hamilton's Battalion waiting for me. Private Arrangements is going on my pile right now. It looks like I have a few books to catch up with!


message 8: by Mclaudia (new)

Mclaudia | 58 comments Jennyc wrote: "Thanks so much y'all! I have Hamilton's Battalion waiting for me. Private Arrangements is going on my pile right now. It looks like I have a few books to catch up with!"

Oooh you are in for a treat with Private Arrangements!! Sherry Thomas has another estranged spouses book that I also very much like:

Not Quite a Husband

Bonus points that it is a Victorian in part set in what we now call Afghanistan.


message 9: by Jennyc (new)

Jennyc | 7 comments Mclaudia wrote: "Jennyc wrote: "Thanks so much y'all! I have Hamilton's Battalion waiting for me. Private Arrangements is going on my pile right now. It looks like I have a few books to catch up with!"

Oooh you ar..."


I LOVED Private Arrangments! That's exactly what I'm talking about. Lots of angst, a somewhat jerky hero & a great resolution. I've discovered that I like Sherry Thomas, too. Have you read A Study in Scarlet Women? It's her take on Sherlock Holmes, with Charlotte instead of Sherlock.


message 10: by Mclaudia (new)

Mclaudia | 58 comments Jennyc wrote: "Mclaudia wrote: "Jennyc wrote: "Thanks so much y'all! I have Hamilton's Battalion waiting for me. Private Arrangements is going on my pile right now. It looks like I have a few books to catch up wi..."

Jennyc wrote: "Mclaudia wrote: "Jennyc wrote: "Thanks so much y'all! I have Hamilton's Battalion waiting for me. Private Arrangements is going on my pile right now. It looks like I have a few books to catch up wi..."

Not yet, Jenny -- for some reason I'm balking at this series!! I should give it a try...
Now I want to re-read Private Arrangements!


message 11: by Jayne (last edited Nov 01, 2017 07:49AM) (new)

Jayne (jaynechanger) | 49 comments Elisabeth Naughton has done a couple of these. Her Romantic Suspense are an auto read for me. Wait For Me and Gone
Wait for Me (Against All Odds, #1) by Elisabeth Naughton Gone (Deadly Secrets, #2) by Elisabeth Naughton
Trigger warning: "Gone" has discussions of child sex trafficking.

Contemporary Romance on my TBR for November is Aly Martinez The Retrieval Duet. Keeps getting recommended in my book groups. Is in KU.
Retrieval (The Retrieval Duet, #1) by Aly Martinez Transfer (The Retrieval Duet, #2) by Aly Martinez


message 12: by Tuuli (new)

Tuuli | 79 comments Mclaudia wrote: "Not yet, Jenny -- for some reason I'm balking at this series!! I should give it a try... "

Do itttt, @Mclaudia! Charlotte Holmes is delicious, and while it's definitely not romance, there is some good UST happening.


message 13: by Jennyc (new)

Jennyc | 7 comments I found another one by Laura Lee Guhrke, The Marriage Bed. It was pretty good, with the heroine having at least 50% (or more) of the blame for the estrangement.


message 14: by Mclaudia (new)

Mclaudia | 58 comments Jennyc wrote: "I found another one by Laura Lee Guhrke, The Marriage Bed. It was pretty good, with the heroine having at least 50% (or more) of the blame for the estrangement."

Jenny, I have that one on my TBR pile -- I want to read books 1 and 2 in the same series before I tackle that one and, also, I confess: The reviews give me pause, they are so polarizing!! Glad to know you liked it. I like Laura Lee Guhrke so there's that...


message 15: by Jennyc (new)

Jennyc | 7 comments I just read Meredith Duran's new novel The Sins of Lord Lockwood and it has an estranged spouses theme. I love these books!


message 16: by Mclaudia (new)

Mclaudia | 58 comments Jennyc wrote: "I just read Meredith Duran's new novel The Sins of Lord Lockwood and it has an estranged spouses theme. I love these books!"

Oh I loved that one too!! I second Jennyc's recommendation. Angsty and deeply romantic. Definitely one of her best books, and Meredith Duran is a cut above, I believe...


message 17: by Kate (new)

Kate McBrien | 3 comments A contemporary example is 'The Games Duet' by CD Reiss. It is an erotic and deeply emotional story with a very happy ending. It also beautifully written by the amazing CD Reiss.


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