Here are the books slotted for the Marriage by Obligation Series so far:
Today while I was writing a scene in Secret Admirer, I got an idea for another story that will fit perfectly in this series. Right now, I’m thinking of slipping that idea between Midnight Wedding and The Duke’s Return.
You see, while the ladies are talking after the dinner party, and during the course of the conversation, Miss Anne Carnel confides that her widowed brother has to get married, but Lord Quinton pretty much “snagged” the lady he had hoped to establish a possible marriage with. If you read The Cursed Earl, you’ll remember that Lord Quinton is highly superstitious. He was supposed to be paired up with Anne Carnel, but the fact that she wore a red gown, has a cameo that looks too much like a peacock feather, and her name is similar to “carnal” made him swap ladies for the evening. I got a chuckle out of this event, though Lord Wright (Anne’s brother) didn’t see the humor in it. Lord Wright is quite annoyed.
Anyway, it wasn’t until I was writing in this book today that I realized Lord Wright’s first marriage was arranged and that his wife was cold. She spent most of her time at the country estate while he pretty much lived in London. She died of something, so he’s looking for another wife to take care of his child. His problem is that he feels awkward around ladies, and because of that, he has a lot of anxiety about being a suitor. This emotional discomfort stems from his first marriage, and I have decided (while writing) that this child isn’t really his, though he is raising this child as his own to save the child from scandal. I’m thinking this child is a product an affair between his first wife and a servant. As I was thinking over the fact that he had such a bad first marriage and that he loves this child, I thought, “I want to write this guy’s romance.”
People ask, “How do you come up with ideas?” This is how. The ideas spring up while writing a scene in a book. I don’t plan for these moments. They just happen.
I still like the idea of writing about Reuben St. George. So I might end up slipping that story into this series, too. Years ago, I had an idea for a sickly hero who needed a heroine to show him what having fun in life is all about. (Note: I don’t want a hero who is so sickly that he’ll die. I just want one who has been protected most of his life from having fun because the family is afraid if he gets out of his comfort zone, he will die.) Reuben does have some health issues established from the book I introduced him in. (That book was If It Takes a Scandal.) So I think this plot idea I had years ago will fit for him. All I need to do is have some event happen in Secret Admirer that will freak his family out to the point where they start to take measures to protect him. Or, to put it another way, they’ll attempt to put him in a bubble. Their intentions will be good, but he’s going to be miserable.
The question is where to place all of these books. Obviously, Secret Admirer is first because this is the one that sets the stage for the other books in this series. I’m thinking Midnight Wedding will still be next because the heroine of that one is going to have a hand in kidnapping Lord Quinton, and there’s going to be a question as to why she doesn’t take Lord Wright. Lord Wright can’t be married again at this point if people are going to wonder why she went with Lord Quinton instead of him.
So Lord Wright and Reuben’s books will probably come before The Duke’s Return. I have some stuff I need to do in order to set the stage for The Duke’s Return, and it’ll probably take those additional two books to lay down the foundation well enough to do The Duke’s Return justice. The only question is if I’ll do Lord Wright’s or Reuben’s book first. Right now, either of the two books can be #3 or #4 in the series. I’ll just have to keep writing and figure out the best arrangement.