Arranged marriage is a popular trope in romance books and often crosses over with other romance tropes such as enemies-to-lovers and opposites-attract, as well as with other romance genres like historical romance, contemporary romance, and fantasy romance.
It’s no surprise that these often slow-burn romance stories that often end with a wedding are so appealing to fans of romance!
If you’re looking for your next arranged marriage trope fix, then this is the article for you!
Below, you’ll find 23 arranged marriage books that you’re guaranteed to fall in love with.
Every book will also contain a pros and cons list, so you can be sure your next read is one you’re going to enjoy.
Unlike the heroes and heroines of the books below, we guarantee these books will be love at first sight for you!
But first, let’s define what arranged marriage books actually are.
What Are Arranged Marriage Books?
If you’re new to this subgenre of romance, you might be wondering what arranged marriage books actually are.
Well, these are often stories where the main characters are – you guessed it – forced into marriage for reasons that are out of their control.
These marriages are often arranged by others, particularly by the families of the intended couple.
Because both halves of the couple – and sometimes one half of the couple – don’t have a choice regarding who they’re marrying, they’re also sometimes referred to as forced marriage romance novels.
Arranged Marriage VS Marriage Of Convenience Books: What’s The Difference?
While there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference between arranged marriage and marriage of convenience books, there is actually one crucial aspect that sets them apart from each other.
As previously mentioned, arranged marriage books have the premise of a marriage being decided by anyone other than the central couple, with one half of the couple or both of them having little say in their marriage plans or not wanting to get married at all.
Meanwhile, marriage of convenience plots revolve around the two main characters entering a marriage not out of love for each other, but for practical reasons with a mutual benefit, often money or access to something they otherwise wouldn’t have if they weren’t marrying their soon-to-be love interest.
But the common appeal that both these subgenres have is that the reader gets to watch these unlikely pairings who have no interest in each other (or may even dislike each other) at first, form a connection, and fall in love.
Finding a wife in Buck’s Creek, Montana is not easy… just ask cowboy Kit McBride.
But Kit isn’t too bothered, as he and his three brothers are happy to live the bachelor life and do just fine without wives in their lives.
However, Kit’s sister is fed up with cooking, cleaning, and running the house and would like a little hand, so she puts an ad in The Matrimonial News hoping to marry them off.
Meanwhile, Maddy Mooney has arrived in the US from Ireland and is employed to take care of a poor, eccentric widow.
The widow’s financial troubles are what convinces her to answer an ad for a mail-order bride, and Maddy accompanies her during her journey to Montana.
However, on their way out west Maddy is suddenly all alone and must adopt her mistress’ name, position… and soon-to-be husband.
With nowhere else to turn, Maddy has to convince Kit that she is the wife he never knew he needed.
If you love western romances, then Kit McBride Gets A Wife is for you!
There is also a funny twist and caper element to this story when Kit gets the bride he wasn’t expecting but wouldn’t trade for the world.
- Combines Western romance with the arranged marriage trope.
- Has funny, loveable female characters.
- Has an enjoyable mistaken identity conceit.
- Contains strong language which some readers might find unappealing.
Regan Carmichael is an independent free spirit that is just as comfortable in denim as she is in dresses – she’s hardly your typical mail-order bride and this is further confirmed when she greets her husband-to-be with a wound rather than a kiss.
While shooting Dr. Colton Lee is an honest mistake; it causes Regan to wonder if her plan to marry a man she’s never met isn’t meant to be.
Meanwhile, Colton is a widower who believes he will never love again.
He just wants a wife who will help him take care of his daughter, but he can’t help but be drawn to Regan especially as she is not the meek bride he was anticipating.
Beverley Jenkins never fails to deliver strong heroines in her historical romances, and Regan is no exception!
It’s a pure delight to read our unlikely headstrong couple warm up to each other in this tantalizing book.
- Another arranged marriage romance set in the Wild West.
- Has a great meet-cute for our central couple.
- Many readers have praised the heroine, Reagan, for being interesting and empowered.
- Some readers have found the ending to be predictable.
By order of the king, the powerful Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must marry an English bride.
He picks the youngest daughter of Baron Jamison, Jamie – a beautiful, feisty girl with intriguing violet eyes.
Alec is immediately smitten and wants to be with her forever, but Jamie has vowed never to marry a man who she deems a highland barbarian.
Alec raises huge red flags for Jamie. He is arrogant and aggressive… but also ruggedly good-looking. It’s quite the predicament for Jamie!
Garwood’s writing shines in this arranged marriage book, and while the hot, Scottish hero is definitely a draw, it’s Jamie’s feisty personality that really stands out and makes their chemistry that much more exciting.
- Great for those who love Highlander romances and the arranged marriage trope.
- The central couple have amazing chemistry.
- Has a loveable, charming female protagonist.
- Some readers found the book too fluffy.
Set in Amsterdam in 1620, The Company Daughters tells the story of Jana Beil.
After escaping her abusive father and struggling to find work to stay alive, Jana has given up on finding any joy in her life.
But things start to look up when the wealthy and kind Master Reynst and his beautiful daughter Sontje hire Jana to be their servant.
But then a bad investment wipes out Master Reynst’s fortune and the girls’ world is turned upside down.
The house is sold to creditors, leaving Sontje without a future and throwing Jana back out on the streets.
The girls have no choice but to sign with the East India Company as Company Daughters.
They sail to a colonial Dutch outpost to marry male settlers they’ve never met before.
Based on true history, this is a historical romance novel you won’t be able to put down and reminds us that love has existed in many forms throughout history.
This is a beautiful, complex love story between Jana and Sontje, who go from mistress and servant to best friends and lovers.
- A great LGBT romance with the arranged marriage trope.
- Based on a true story.
- An amazing twist on the arranged marriage trope.
- Some readers have found the book boring.
Isabel Bonetti is still mourning the loss of her father when she has to deal with his inheritance and the discovery he’s married her off to a total stranger without even telling her.
She visits her husband’s nightclub with divorce papers but isn’t prepared for the man she meets.
Giovanni Masseria has no interest in the marriage his father arranged until he’s told what this marriage means for his gradually building empire.
He figures there is nothing wrong with staying married to Isabel a little while longer, right?
The fact that this arranged marriage romance starts with a couple already married without their knowledge really sets it apart from the crowd.
Plus, it’s a sizzling enemies-to-lovers story!
- Because the couple are married without knowing it, this puts an interesting twist on the arranged marriage trope.
- Has a fast-paced plot.
- Isabel and Giovanni have amazing chemistry.
- There are some editing errors that might annoy you.
Cassio is recently widowed and now has to raise his two young children all on his own while keeping a handle on his mafia rule over Philadelphia.
He decides he needs some help in the form of a new wife.
In Cassio’s traditional world, choosing a wife is a duty, not a pleasure. Hence he ends up engaged to a woman who is barely out of girlhood.
While she doesn’t seem up to the task of being a wife and mother, she is undeniably sweet and he cannot resist her.
Not only does this book tick the arranged marriage trope box, but the alpha male love interest box too.
- Many readers enjoyed the family dynamic, and the focus on family.
- Great for those who enjoy dark romance stories.
- A very intense take on the arranged marriage trope.
- The age-gap aspect may be off-putting to some.
- Some readers found the dialogue unbelievable.
Born into one of the most powerful mob families in Chicago, Aria Scuderi is struggling to find independence in a very traditional world where her choices are limited.
She was just 15 when her parents arranged her future marriage to Luca – The Vice – Vitiello, the eldest son of the head of the New York Cosa Nostra, in an attempt to bring peace between the two families.
The thought of marrying a man she barely knows is off-putting to Aria to say the least, especially since even the most handsome men in her world are often monsters underneath.
The only way to get out of this marriage would be to run away and leave behind everything she’s ever known, but the thought of not seeing her family again is just as terrifying to Aria.
So despite her fear, she decides to go ahead with the marriage at the age of 18.
Another mafia romance with an arranged marriage and an alpha male love interest from Cora Reilly, what makes this novel stand out is the focus on the lead up to Luca and Aria’s marriage and the will-they-won’t-they tension about the marriage going ahead.
- Has a great will-they-or-won’t-they element.
- Many readers have praised the character of Luca.
- Has an interesting love triangle.
- Again, there is an age gap between our central couple that may be off-putting to some.
Callum Griffin is the arrogant, ruthless heir to the Irish Mafia who wants nothing to do with Aida Gallo, the daughter of a rival mob family.
However, when Aida accidentally starts a fire, the families decide that a marriage pact between Callum and Aida is the only way to avoid an all-out war.
But Aida won’t just give Callum her hand that easily, no matter how handsome he is. After all, she could never marry such a brutal prince.
What makes Brutal Prince so refreshing is that it’s a mafia, arranged romance novel where the heroine isn’t fragile and inexperienced.
Aida can definitely hold her own! This enemies-to-lovers story is sure to satisfy romance readers.
- Refreshing to see this kind of heroine in a mafia romance.
- Characters have great chemistry that will leave you laughing as well as swooning.
- Contains illustrations to really put you in the scenes.
- Some readers were disappointed by the quality of the illustrations.
Daisy Devereaux is beautiful yet fickle and has been faced with an impossible choice.
She can either go to jail or agree to marry the mysterious man her father has selected for her.
Alex Markov meanwhile is handsome but humorless and has no interest in trying to woo Daisy, who he perceives to be a spoiled, stuck-up airhead.
Nonetheless, he brings Daisy to the rundown traveling circus where he works so she can learn to live in his world.
Alex soon discovers that Daisy has a lot of heart, and it’s not too long before an intense attraction forms between them.
Kiss An Angel is yet another example of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ incredible writing, and the circus setting is inspired, taking the arranged marriage romance to a place it seldom goes.
Plus, it’s impossible not to root for Daisy and Alex when she grows so much over the course of the book.
Daisy goes from a privileged model to someone far more selfless and loving.
- The stakes are really high which makes the arranged marriage element of the plot very believable.
- Many readers have praised the characterizations (particularly Daisy’s) and the slow-build romance.
- The circus setting is very fresh.
- There are some editing issues.
When her niece is sold off to an arrogant Irish mobster, Spider, Reyna is livid and will do anything in her power to stop the marriage.
Spider is supposed to marry beautiful, sweet Lili but he can’t get her insufferable aunt out of his head.
It doesn’t make sense. After all, Reyna despises him and challenges him at every turn so why is he so obsessed with her and not the girl he’s supposed to marry?
Geissinger is known for writing intriguing characters and stories and Brutal Vows is no exception, particularly with the twist that the romance isn’t between the male protagonist and the woman he intends to marry.
- Many readers have praised the pacing of the plot.
- Subverts a lot of romance tropes that make it a very funny read.
- Amazing chemistry between the central couple.
- A lot of loose threads are left at the end of the book.
Francessca Rossi was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago mafia.
However, she is instead taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton who is blackmailing her into marriage with dirt he has on her father.
The love triangle twist of the arranged marriage trope is just one of the things that makes The Kiss Thief hard to put down.
Francessca may come across as young and naive, but she’s also a strong protagonist who refuses to be a pawn in the game of those in power around her.
The slow-burn romance between Francesca and her anti-hero love interest makes The Kiss Thief a real page-turner.
- Combines some of the best romance tropes – arranged marriage, slow-burn, and love triangles.
- A compelling, anti-hero love interest for our protagonist.
- Dialogue is witty and compelling.
- The twists in the book are controversial to some readers.
Elena Abelli is the perfect mafia princess, her family’s favorite daughter… or else she used to be. But now every time she looks in the mirror she just sees blood and guilt.
In New York’s criminal underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo who is a mob boss and a Made Man, and just as rude as he is handsome.
While Elena dislikes Nicholas, her dislike is no match for her racing heart or the shivers that go down her spine every time she interacts with him.
Elena used to be the sweet one, but she’s starting to discover she has a dark side and a soft spot for amber eyes and rough hands.
But Elena has just got out of one scandal, she can’t afford to get tangled up with another… especially when that scandal involves getting romantically involved with your future brother-in-law.
Much like Brutal Vows, this novel puts a twist on the arranged marriage twist as the couple who are intended to marry are the male love interest and the protagonist’s sister.
The forbidden romance angle makes this arranged marriage romance even more exciting, and impossible to put down.
- Forbidden romance mixed with an arranged marriage is an exciting combination.
- Beautifully written with prose that flows from the page.
- Well-researched which is rare for Italian mafia romance books.
- The plot is rather thin.
Brishen Khaskem is the prince of the Kai, but also a spare heir, meaning he only has to marry a human to ensure a political alliance between the kingdoms.
Enter Ilidiko, the niece of the Gauri King.
While Brishen and Ildiko are not attracted to each other – even on their wedding day – they develop a close friendship, and as their bond grows so does their attraction.
Grace Draven makes the arranged marriage trope shine in this dazzling fantasy romance, and it’s fascinating to see how Brishen and Ildiko’s relationship grows from an arranged marriage to secure an alliance between their kingdoms, into a profound friendship and a passionate romance.
- A slow-burn romance where the central couple builds a strong, believable relationship before falling in love.
- Compelling central couple.
- Combines high-fantasy romance with the arranged marriage trope.
- Some readers have found the plot a bit thin due to the lack of interpersonal conflicts.
Yzabel of Aragon is a 17-year-old princess who is engaged to the young King of Portugal, but she’s no ordinary princess… all the food she touches turns into flowers.
With the kingdom starving and struggling to survive herself, Yzabel doesn’t just want to end her curse but she wants to totally reverse it too.
Desperate, she sets off in search of Fatyan, an immortal human who she has heard lives close by, but Fatyan is imprisoned by an old enchantment.
Yzabel has to strike a deal with Fatyan. Fatyan will teach Yzabel the ways of her magic, and this deal will release her from the enchanted bonds holding her captive.
As Yzabel learns to control her power with Fatyan’s help, they develop a close bond, one that Yzabel has never felt for her husband-to-be.
However, if she doesn’t want to lose the throne and still wants to save her people, Yzabel must keep her forbidden love with Fatyan a secret.
- Amazing fantastical premise.
- Combines arranged marriages with LGBT+ romance.
- The author’s note at the end of the novel enriches the story and reveals the author’s passion for the subject matter.
- Some historical inaccuracies.
In the distant future in a far-off galaxy, the universe is now ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors – who are the heads of the three High Houses – are the ones with the real power.
Ada von Hasenberg is the fifth of six children and has no power. All she can offer to the High House is to be a pawn in a political marriage.
When it is decided she will marry a nobleman from House Rockhurst, Ada takes charge of her own destiny and escapes before the wedding.
Two years later, Ada’s luck is running out. She has been able to elude her father’s forces, but it’s getting more and more challenging.
To make sure she can’t escape again, she is imprisoned with Marcus Loch.
Marcus has a foreboding nickname – the Devil of Fornax Zero – and is believed to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion.
When the ship taking them to Earth is besieged by a battlecruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada discovers that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she will become a political prisoner.
But there is hope in the form of Marcus, who can help her escape.
Jessie Mihalik’s space opera is an incredible story featuring the dynamic heroines that Mihalik is known for, and Ada is no exception as she is fierce but vulnerable.
Watching her and Marcus team up to bring down her power-hungry father and jilted fiancé is breathtaking, not to mention their romance is beautiful.
- Many readers appreciated the tough but vulnerable male love interest.
- There is plenty of space opera action as well as romance.
- Opposites-attract dynamic with the central couple.
- Some readers felt the action outweighs the romance a bit.
While marrying a prince may seem like a dream come true, this is not the case for Rosalie, one of the adoptive daughters of Lady Eville.
She’s just a pawn in her mother’s diabolical plot against the seven kingdoms, destined to enter into a marriage devoid of love but filled with contempt for the narcissistic Crown Prince of Baist.
But while Rosalie feels like her heart is a weapon and her choices are not her own, she soon discovers that her arranged, duplicitous marriage could be the source of a beautiful, mutual attraction.
Of Beast And Beauty puts a refreshing, darkly romantic twist on the classic fairytale by injecting an arranged marriage into the mix.
- A unique and imaginative retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
- Likable female protagonist.
- The ending sets up the next book in this series perfectly.
- The number of plot twists can confuse things.
Teague O’Malley has no interest in the family business.
In fact, he detests everything it stands for, especially when his father tells him he has to marry Callista Sheridan.
But when Teague actually meets his intended wife and spots the bruises on her neck and the spark in her blue eyes, he feels more protective over her than he thought he would be, and vows to do everything he can to keep her safe.
The O’Malleys have a terrifying reputation, but Callie underestimated that, especially when she meets Teague, who is the most powerful yet graceful man she’s ever met.
The more their bond grows, the more trouble they’re in as Callie is keeping a terrible secret. But she figures what Teague doesn’t know can’t hurt him.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Teague, a sensitive soul who will do anything to protect Callie.
- A compelling, morally dubious central couple.
- Offers an intriguing look into how trauma affects families, particularly children as they grow up.
- Fast-paced and exciting plot.
- Contains subject matter that some readers might find upsetting.
Sydney Evans knows what it means to work hard, and since she has little in the way of family and friends this gives her plenty of time to give her career as a general counselor for Blackstone Holdings everything she’s got.
She doesn’t want a lot out of life until her boss offers her a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The catch? She has to marry his good-for-nothing son, Scott.
Scott Blackstone was a party boy, but he gave up that life when he moved to Wyoming and turned an ailing cattle ranch into a successful business.
His life is going well until a conversation with his father threatens to destroy the simple, quiet life he’s built.
If he wants to keep hold of his new life, he has to marry a woman who can’t stand him.
You Can Have Manhattan is a wonderful contemporary, arranged marriage novel with an amazing slow-burn romance.
While Sydney and Scott absolutely did not want to get married at first, Dangelico does a great job developing their romance and writing Sydney as a loveable, strong heroine you can’t help but root for.
- Slow-burn romance.
- A heroine you root for all the way.
- The central couple have a huge amount of chemistry.
- Some readers found the character of Scott quite divisive.
Crown Prince Magnus of Norway is a thrill-seeker and a playboy, with a new girlfriend every week.
However, his latest scandal has landed the royal family in serious hot water.
The only way the monarchy can get out of this scandal is to clean up Magnus’ act, otherwise, he will no longer be the heir apparent to the throne.
He must either abdicate his destiny as king or marry a blue-blooded stranger, Princess Isabella of Liechtenstein.
Ella is intelligent, quiet, and stunningly beautiful but is vocal about her negative feelings toward this arrangement.
But as their arranged marriage quickly becomes testing, Magnus is determined to get Ella out of her prim and proper shell to find the real Ella underneath and the Queen he knows she can be.
If you love wild rebellious romantic heroes then you’ll love the reckless Prince Magnus, who is reluctant to leave his relative freedom behind to take the throne.
Ella is also a great dimensional heroine who you’ll love getting to know over the course of the novel.
- An arranged marriage romance story surrounding royalty is a great way to use this trope.
- While this is part of a series, you can enjoy it as a standalone story.
- Many readers loved the protagonist Prince Magnus.
- Some readers found the chemistry to be lacking between the central couple.
Naledi Smith is trying to get through grad school while holding down multiple jobs, so she doesn’t have the time or the patience for fairytale romances… especially emails claiming she is married to an African prince.
Naledi was a foster kid and has learned that she can only depend on herself and the scientific method, not emails claiming that she has a prince for a husband.
Meanwhile, Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, so there is a lot of pressure from not just his family but the people of Thesolo too.
His top priority is getting married.
The dutiful prince tracks down his missing betrothed, but when Naledi mistakes him for a commoner, Thasibo just has to take the opportunity to experience life and love out of the confines of royalty.
They have instant chemistry that neither of them can resist, and their flirty friendship soon turns into something more passionate.
But once they discover the truth, can a princess in theory become an actual princess and live happily ever after?
This contemporary take on a Cinderella story is a great premise for an arranged marriage novel.
Plus, it has the fun hidden identities angle that makes Princess In Theory even more of a fun read.
- Has a comedic premise.
- Provides much needed representation for POC in the central couple.
- Combines hidden identities with the arranged marriage trope.
- Has a slow start.
One moment Charlotte is the forgotten daughter of one of the most wealthy families in the country, the next she’s getting married to the son of a rival family who is also a complete stranger – Perry Constantine.
Perry Constantine is an easygoing party boy that everyone loves, but in private he’s just as angry and brooding as Charlotte.
Their relationship becomes a contest of wills, but while Charlotte vows not to break, she is finding it harder to resist Perry.
Before you read this book, you should know that as it is part one of the Wedded Bliss trilogy, it ends on a cliffhanger.
But if you want a contemporary romance with the arranged marriage trope, you can’t go wrong with The Reluctant Bride.
- It’s hard not to fall in love with the male love interest, Perry.
- The central couple have amazing chemistry.
- Perfect for those who love a slow-burn romance.
- Ends on a cliffhanger, as it’s part one of a trilogy.
Hoping it will heal her fractured, dysfunctional family, Nayna Sharma agrees to an arranged marriage but soon discovers that a traditional, arranged marriage is her worst nightmare.
In a panic, she winds up in the arms of a tall, handsome stranger who she wants to kiss and insult at the same time.
Abandoned as a child before being adopted into a loving family, Raj Sen is a firm believer in tradition and duty.
Although he is a traditional man, he can’t get the woman who kissed him and unceremoniously disappeared out of his head.
However, when his parents introduce him to his intended bride he is both shocked and delighted to discover that his intended is his beautiful, dizzying mystery woman.
Despite what their families think, Raj and Nayna know they’re wrong for each other but love is going to bring out their rebellious side.
This arranged marriage plot has themes of family, love, and tradition at its core and how we often wind up with people who may not seem like our match on paper but turn out to be perfect for us.
If you’re a fan of strong heroines and opposites-attract plots, then you’re going to love Rebel Hard.
- Plot does a great job with the theme of tradition vs modernity.
- Beautiful descriptions of the settings and food.
- Provides much needed representation for POC in the central couple.
- Some readers found the second half of the book repetitive.
Asia Jenson has been single for three years and has been on too many bad dates to count.
She’s more than ready to settle down with the man of her dreams and start a family.
So she volunteers to take part in a marriage experiment, describing her ideal partner and agreeing to marry a total stranger.
Asia is looking for a caring, funny, smart, stable man who wants to start a family. But when she arrives at the altar she meets her husband-to-be.
Talon Valentine. Talon is as wild as his hair, has a wicked grin, is covered in tattoos, and is a famous rockstar. Asia starts to think she’s made a big mistake.
But Asia and Talon want to commit themselves to the experiment so they go ahead with the wedding.
Much to their surprise, they develop a strong bond and their relationship progresses from detesting each other to not being able to get enough of each other.
But when tragedy strikes, it rocks their fledgling relationship to the core, and the outcome of their six-month marriage experiment now looks so unsure.
If you’re a fan of reality dating shows that have this exact same premise, you’re going to love Talon!
But even if you’re not into those shows, you’re sure to love this opposites-attract narrative between two people who are looking for love and find it in the craziest way.
- A fresh, modern take on the arranged marriage trope.
- Combines opposites-attract with the arranged marriage trope.
- Has an exciting twist.
- Some readers found it hard to root for the central couple.
I hope that this list of 23 arranged marriage books has inspired you to pick up your next book obsession!
You may have been put off by the genre because you assumed that all arranged marriage books are historical fiction, and you’re more into contemporary romance.
But as this list proves, not all arranged marriage stories are historical fiction!
In fact, they often fall into the mafia romance, royal romance, or fantasy romance genres to create alliances between powerful crime families or wealthy families, or ensure the continuity of modern royal or fantasy royal bloodlines.
In short, no matter what type of romance you’re into, there is most likely an arranged marriage book that ticks your boxes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Arranged Marriage Books Enemies-To-Lovers?
While some arranged marriage books can be enemies-to-lovers, this is not a requirement of the subgenre.
However, an enemies-to-lovers element does add extra stakes to an arranged marriage story.
Are Arranged Marriage Books Controversial?
Due to how arranged marriages in real life can often be used to exploit vulnerable young women and girls, this does make it pretty controversial and it’s not going to appeal to everyone.
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