In both of the two most recently released episodes of When In Romance as of writing this, I have talked about books featuring what I have decided is my new favorite trope: Waking Up Married. I know that it’s a long-standing tradition in books and movies (and a bit of television, too), but I don’t read very much of it. Part of the reason is that I am not a huge fan of the friends-to-lovers element that has historically gone hand-in-hand with Vegas. I do know that there was some television show that featured a couple who regularly sniped at each other revealing their secret adoration of each other by way of an accidental Vegas wedding…but I don’t remember what it was (sobs)! I think it might have been Living Single, but maybe that was just something I wanted to happen, LOL.
But I’ve decided to visit this trope a little more in-depth, especially when it comes to complete strangers or people who don’t particularly like each other suddenly finding themselves attached by a legal piece of paper and maybe some jewelry. There’s something about their journey of discovery after the fact that is very different than any other kind of relationship-starter.
So here are a few books that I’ve either read or that are very high on my to-read list so I can just keep gobbling up this very specific trope.
Seducing His Secret Wife by Robin Covington
The second book in Covington’s new Redhawk Reunion series from Harlequin, Seducing His Secret Wife starts with a hilarious surprise. When two people meet in a Las Vegas bar and are very much into each other and their ideas about life, what better thing to do than get married? It’s only days later, after she’s disappeared from his hotel room potentially never to be found again, that Justin discovers that the amazing woman he made an immediate connection with is the sister of his best friend and business partner. The time it takes to get their divorce taken care of is going to be…interesting.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
This is more contemporary fiction with romantic elements than a genre romance, but I couldn’t help but be drawn to the premise: when a woman takes a Vegas vacation after getting her PhD in Astronomy and wakes up with a wife, she has to figure out a lot more about her life than just what to do about the marriage. Burned out and unsure about her future, she goes to New York to spend some time revisiting her goals and exploring her relationship with her wife.
Between A Honeymoon and a Hot Mess by Phyllis Bourne
Phyllis Bourne is one of the queens of hilarity, so I have no doubt that this book is a world of laughs. Hope is already in a bad place after catching her fiancé cheating and ending her engagement. So the last thing she wants is to deal with a college ex…which she’ll have to do much longer than expected, because they’re married now!
Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
This book has been on my radar for a loooooooonng time and somehow I only recently discovered that it features a couple who get Vegas Married at the beginning! Mia has a hot fling with and gets married to Ansel, who sweeps her off her feet and off to France. They say they’re in it for the sex, but Feelings; you know how it goes.
I’m going to add an honorable mention for two very different books that are both called Waking Up Married! The first, Waking Up Married by Mira Lynn Kelly, was probably my first experience with this trope in 2013. This one similarly features strangers waking up together after a drunken night, but there’s a twist: he doesn’t want a divorce! (My review of this one also mentions the series Husbands which I need to go in search of. Do y’all remember that show?)
Similarly, in Waking Up Married by Reese Ryan, two best friends end up married and decide to stick with it, just because it will help them with some other goals. And there’s plenty of chemistry to take advantage of. (Also, I am wildly in love with this cover, even if friends-to-lovers isn’t my jam. The texture in her hair! The way they’re laying! It’s all so much.)
It’s now a goal of mine to find the coolest, most bizarre romance featuring a strangers-getting-married-in-vegas situation. We’ll see how that works.