The 12 Rogues of Christmas: Warm Regency Romance Novellas to celebrate the season Anthology will give you marriages of convenience, dukes with secrets, sly rebellious debutantes, reunited lovers, friends to lovers and mistaken identity. All your favourite regency romance tropes are here in this delightful, limited-edition collection full of sigh-worthy, satisfying happy-ever-afters.
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Married by Christmas – Isabella Hargreaves
Pressured to marry Mr Wrong, can she wed Mr Right by Christmas?
What inspired your story, Married by Christmas, in the 12 Rogues of Christmas: Warm Regency Romance Novellas to celebrate the season anthology?
Married by Christmas became the only bonus story in the anthology and its title didn’t fit into the well-known song. Instead, the story was designed to be completed by Christmas, before the twelve days began, and in fact concludes on Christmas day.
Why this story? Significant age differences between couples in real life, and the issues it throws up, intrigue me and I love heart-warming Christmas stories—and read them year-round. I decided to combine these fascinations, and Married by Christmas is the result.
Pressured to marry ‘Mr Wrong’, a titled gentleman, for her family’s sake, my heroine Lauren decides to take her future into her own hands by running away just days before the wedding. Hot on her trail is ‘Mr Right’, her guardian, who doesn’t see himself as an appropriate suitor because he is twenty years her senior and believes, from observing his parents’ emotionally-fraught marriage, that such an age-gap is a road to misery. The heroine convinces the hero to give their love a chance and they set off for the Scottish border with Lauren’s family hot on their heels.
What is your favourite thing about Christmas?
As I live in Australia, with only my immediate family, my favourite thing about Christmas is spending it with my wider family in England from time-to-time, and experiencing their snowy or frosty festive season. After a lifetime of hot, summer-time Christmas days in my home town of Brisbane, the novelty of Christmas in winter, perfect for eating festive food treats and surrounded by family, hasn’t worn off yet.
What is a fun fact you discovered while researching your story?
One thing I discovered while researching my story was that Gretna Green, although the most popular Scottish place for runaway couples to marry, was just one of a number of border towns that served this purpose. My own couple married at a tollgate on the other side of the country, at Lamberton in Berwickshire.
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