Can an Arranged Marriage Lead to Love?

Thanks for stopping by! This is my first blog post as an official Femme and I’m thrilled to be here. I’m kicking off official “Femme-dom” with the release of my second historical romance, Tempting Bella.   

A 13-year-old girl is forced to marry the heir to a dukedom in order to settle a gaming debt between their fathers. After the ceremony, the bride and groom go their separate ways. Years later, the groom spies an enchanting beauty at Imagethe opera and is thrilled to learn she is his wife.

The true love story of Lady Sara Cadogan and Charles Lennox, the Earl of March, who later became the Duke of Richmond, inspired my latest historical romance,  Tempting Bella, the second book in my Accidental Peers series.

I add my own twist by making Bella  a future duchess in her own right, meaning she’ll inherit the dukedom once her father passes.

That little tidbit also came about from my research, when I read about Henrietta Godolphin, the 2nd Duchess of Marlborough. Her father, the first Duke of Marlborough, had two sons but neither lived to adulthood. An act of  parliament in 1706 allowed the first duke’s daughters to inherit his English titles. Henrietta became a duchess in her own right after her father’s death in 1722. Sadly, like her father, she outlived both of her sons, so the titles passed to her sister’s son.

This image is in the public domain because the copyright has expired.

Henrietta, Duchess of Marlborough. (Public domain image)

Before I was published, I entered a number of contests for unpublished writers and Bella’s early marriage and status as a future duchess in her own right were criticized by some judges as historically inaccurate. Once I let judges know both elements were inspired by true events (by providing names and details in the synopsis), Tempting Bella started doing well in contests.

You could say that proves the old cliche about truth being stranger than fiction…or at least as interesting. I guess that’s why three of the four books in this series were inspired by real events. They captured my imagination and I ran with it. I hope you like the result!

Here’s a quick preview of Tempting Bella:

Mirabella can hardly remember the man she married as a girl. And it’s just as well. She feels nothing but contempt for the man who married her for her fortune and promptly forgot she existed. 

Sebastian has been apart from his child bride since their wedding day, after a teenaged marriage forced upon him to rescue his family from certain ruin. His attempt to honor his vows to his absent wife have earned him the nickname, “The Saint.”

But when he encounters an enchanting impish beauty at the opera, Sebastian cannot resist learning who she is and is  thrilled to learn she is none other than his long-ago bride.
Already resentful of his early abandonment, Bella is suspicious of her husband’s unusual activities—mysterious midnight outings and apparent liaisons with pretty servant girls. Then there is the mounting evidence that Sebastian is not who he claims to be.

Guarding the painful secret of his true identity, Sebastian is entranced by Bella. Delighted by his good fortune, he is eager to make her his wife in truth. But the beguiling lady has no intention of coming meekly to the marriage bed!   

Interested? Check out the first chapter, the wedding scene, here.

ImageLeave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Seducing Charlotte, Book 1, in my Accidental Peers series.

Leave a comment


  1. Hi, and congratulations on your release! I love stories that are inspired by true-to-life events, and learning that a woman could become a Duchess in her own right is wonderful! Girl power! 🙂 Good luck with the book.

  2. Diana Quincy

     /  September 9, 2013

    Hi Jennifer – Thanks for stopping by! And I obviously agree with you. Why completely make things up when history provides so much compelling fodder?

  3. Mia

     /  September 9, 2013

    Happy release day! I don’t think there is a person around who doesn’t know how much I love Tempting Bella. This post has helped me with a problem I am having in my own wip. My hero’s name is Patsy. It is an old fashion version of Patrick for both Italian and Irish men. I am being knocked down and rejected in contests because they are saying I thought Patsy was a girl. (I personally think they are being mean because in the sentence it says he). Anyway thank you for giving me the clue to explain his name in the synopsis. I love when the Femmes teach me something.

  4. Diana Quincy

     /  September 9, 2013

    Hi Mia – Thanks! I’m thrilled you enjoyed Tempting Bella. And yes, it is helpful to explain yourself a little in the synopsis. It helps avoid groaning with frustration when you read the judges’ comments.

  5. Hi Diana! Can’t wait to read this, of course. It sounds fantastic, and I’m sure the story is just as wonderful.

    Just goes to show…sometimes contest judges are wrong!

    • Yep, those contest judges can definitely be wrong. But I found the vast majority of them to be very helpful and constructive (except those who questioned my historical sense!)

  6. Yea, Diana! It’s your release day…and your official welcome to the Violet Femmes! So excited for both. I’ve got “Bella” on my Nook, ready to read. I’m sure I’ll love it just as much as I loved Seducing Charlotte.


  7. Happy Release Day, Diana! The books sounds . . . delicious! I’ve been waiting for Tempting Bella to be published ever since reading Seducing Charlotte. Off to Amazon to purchase it for my Kindle! Best wishes, and WELCOME to the Femmes! XXOO Michele

  8. Welcome, Diana! What a great way to celebrate your first post. I also like your spin on real life events. Very smart of you to explain to the judges. Shows you did your research. I downloaded Bella this morning on my Nook and am looking forward to reading it.

  9. RoseAnn DeFranco

     /  September 10, 2013

    Hi Diana! As you know I have anxiously awaited reading Tempting Bella following the sneak peek at the end of Seducing Charlotte. I love that you shared a bit of history with us here. I seem to always learn something from your books…about the Ludites in Seducing Charlotte and now about this fabulous Duchess in her own right. According to my kindle I’ve now read 40% of Tempting Bella. I’m really enjoying the story and heat between Sebastian and Bella. It’s a very romantic story. To answer your question, yes, true love CAN be found in an arranged marriage. In the past few weeks I’ve come to learn of two couples that are happily married with many children and grandchildren among them that started from an arrangement. Interesting and surprising tales, to be sure.

    Wishing you a fabulous release day!


  10. RoseAnn – One of the key reasons I fell in love with historical romance was because, as a reader (and a writer) you do get to learn a little something about history and have fun while doing so. Books that teach me a little something while I’m enjoying the romance have always been a hit with me!

  11. Congratulations to Jennifer Wilck, who has won a digital copy of Seducing Charlotte!


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