Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Pump Up Your Book, for Married One Night by Amber Leigh Williams. Please leave a comment or question for Amber to let her know you stopped by.
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Reversing Romance Tropes by Amber Leigh WilliamsEver feel like you’re reading the same old tropes in romance novels? We’ve all seen them. The marriage of convenience is a personal weakness. The virgin and the rake is another. The boss seduces the secretary. The sheik or bachelor prince takes a bride. Secret babies. The hero falls in love with his best friend’s little sister. Clichés, the lot of them. But category romance has lived and breathed on the success of tropes such as these for decades. Readers buy them. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m one of them….However, I absolutely love when a writer turns a classic romance trope or cliché on its head. A good fairy tale example: Shrek. I love theShrek movies because they delight in turning fairy tale clichés on their heads. The ugly princess doesn’t get more beautiful and the hero doesn’t love her any less because of it. The handsome Prince Charming is a sissy and driven to become the villain. The fairy godmother is working for the bad guy. The happy-ever-after involves a mid-life crisis. It’s wild and wonderful and wacky and the audience, in general, loves it.When I decided to write the second book in my series for Harlequin Superromance, Married One Night, I decided to play the “Shrek card,” as I call it. I took not one but two of these romance tropes and had a little fun of my own. The first of these clichés was mentioned in my review from RT Book Reviews, which gave Married One Night 4.5 Stars. “Although based on a clichéd premise (drunken marriage in Vegas),” the reviewer said, “Williams’ quirky characters and excellent descriptions make this book a stand-out.”The drunken marriage in Vegas, or the “accidental marriage” trope is another one of my guilty pleasures. Who can forget that episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel get married in Las Vegas? And I’ll admit to having that Katy Perry song, “Waking Up In Vegas,” stuck in my head on more than one occasion. Does anyone remember that romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz, What Happens in Vegas? They’re all based on the same plotline. However, are they any less entertaining because of it?It was especially fun to throw a heroine into the mix who doesn’t believe in marriage. The character, Olivia Lewis, was none too thrilled with me when she found out I would not only being pairing her with a man like Gerald Leighton (her polar opposite), but that they would wind up married. The “accidental marriage” trope is fascinating to me because it takes another romantic cliché, the falling in love and happy ever after that follows, and reverses it completely. The marriage doesn’t come after the HEA. It comes BEFORE the hero and heroine truly fall in love with each other.My question for the story was what would make these two go from a drunken marriage in Vegas and an accidental marriage (a mistake, to the heroine’s mind) to actually falling in love with each other and building a relationship that could stand the test of time? Not only that – what would make a character like Olivia who is so against the idea of marriage and commitment want to stay married to Gerald? I loved exploring these possibilities and watching Olivia and Gerald go from drunken marriage in Vegas to falling in love with each other little by little until what remained wasn’t just the classic happy ever after but the foundation of a solid, long-lasting relationship.Another trope I somewhat utilized in Married One Night was the “commitment-phobe vs. the idealist.” Usually, the commitment-phobe is the long-time and/or notorious bachelor and the idealist is the woman who seeks to win his heart. It’s the opposite for Olivia and Gerald – she’s the commitment-phobic character; he’s the idealist out to win her heart despite all her preconceived notions about romance. In her initial notes to me after viewing the first draft of the manuscript, my editor suggested that this swap was one of the best things about the story. It’s definitely one of my favorite elements.Readers, it’s you turn! Tell me what your favorite story tropes/clichés are? Least favorite? Do you have any favorite books or movies that reverse these classic tropes?Thanks for reading!Amber
Title: Married One Night
Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin Superromance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin Superromance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About the book:
What happened in Vegas…followed her home!
Olivia Lewis is not the marrying type. So when a wild weekend in Vegas leaves her with a surprise husband, she's happy to sign anything to erase her mistake—even if that mistake is handsome, charming and comes with an English accent. Fortunately, her groom has other plans.
Bestselling author Gerald Leighton knows he can make his new bride fall in love with him—he just needs time. In exchange for a quickie divorce, Olivia grudgingly gives him a few weeks to attempt to woo her. And whether Olivia likes it or not, Gerald plans on using every second to win her heart!
About the Author
Amber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she loves beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband, Jacob, and their sweet, blue-eyed boy.
When she’s not running after her young son and three, large dogs, she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by Joyce Holland of the D4EO Literary Agency.
Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Married One Night.
For More Information
Visit Amber Leigh Williams’ website.
Visit Amber’s blog.
More books by Amber Williams.
While most people are familiar with the advertising slogan “What happens in Vegas – Stays in Vegas”, I’ve never thought along those lines. I know whatever happens in Vegas, usually follows you home. This is certainly true for the characters in Amber Leigh Williams’ contemporary romance, Married One Night. Writing against an established romance trope (reluctant groom – eager bride), Ms. Williams develops her characters in such a way that you can’t help but root for their romance to work out. Using a small town in Mobile, Alabama as the setting for most of the action, Ms. Williams takes us along on their journey and lets us fall in love with them as they fall in love with each other.A beautiful woman with a jaded view on love, Olivia Lewis never imagined a bachelorette party in Vegas for one of her best friends would result in her own wedding. Getting drunk, picking up a stranger and having him follow her home is the wildest thing she’s ever done. And she’s done a few wild things in the past. Ms. Williams does a good job developing Olivia’s character; she’s hard working, devoted to her family and friends and afraid of having her heart broken again. Determined to be in charge of her own heart, she’s reluctant to let her new husband, Gerald Leighton, in but can’t help falling for the first “gentleman” she’s ever met.A successful author, Gerald Leighton is not looking for love. He is looking to relax and make some decisions about his writing future when he spots Olivia dancing with her friends. Mesmerized by her beauty, and something deeper he can’t quite identify, he dances with her, gets drunk and marries her. Then he decides he wants to get to know his wife and follows her home. Ms. Williams also does a good job developing Gerald; he’s attractive, successful and soon realizes he’s falling in love with a woman he just met. The more he gets to know Olivia – the more he falls in love with her.Ms. Williams does a good job pacing the story and developing the relationship between Olivia and Gerald. While from different parts of the world, and totally different types of careers, they just click. The secondary characters, mostly Olivia’s friends and family, add just enough color and emotional support for Olivia and Gerald’s characgters. I also liked the people in town, who accepted Olivia for who she was, and Gerald, the new guy in town.Will Olivia realize falling for Gerald is the best thing that could happen to her? Will Gerald and Olivia’s romance last a lifetime? You’ll have to read Married One Night to find out. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Williams’ work in the future.My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns
Monday, October 6
Character Interview at The Literary Nook
Tuesday, October 7
Interview at The Writer’s Life
Wednesday, October 8
First Chapter Reveal at What Is That Book About
Thursday, October 9
Book Review at Southeast by Midwest
Friday, October 10
First Chapter Reveal at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Monday, October 13
Book Review at Crazy Four Books
Book Review at Books, Reviews, ETC.
First Chapter Reveal at Bookingly Yours
Tuesday, October 14
Book Review at Becky on Books
Wednesday, October 15
Book Review by Romance for Every World
First Chapter Reveal at My Life. One Story at a Time.
Thursday, October 16
Book Review at Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict
Monday, October 20
Guest Blogging at I Heart Reading
Tuesday, October 21
Book Review & Guest Blogging at Queen of All She Reads
Wednesday, October 22
Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Book Review at Bottles & Books Reviews
Thursday, October 23
First Chapter Reveal at Maureen’s Musings
Monday, October 27
Book Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, October 28
Book Review at Written Love
Wednesday, October 29
Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Book Review at Ashley’s Bookshelf
Thursday, October 30
Guest Blogging at Confessions of a Reader
Book Review at From the TBR Pile
Friday, October 31
Guest Blogging at Books, Books the Magical Fruit
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review. I received no additional compensation for my opinion of the material provided.