Hello! I’m Marina Ford and I’m here to tell you about Marry Him, an MM romantic comedy.
In this story, we follow Joe, a chaos-merchant of an artist, and the history of his relationship with Harry, a man who has his life together, but whose past just won’t stop interfering in his plans. At some point, Joe decides to propose to Harry and that scene was in fact the first scene I imagined when the idea for this book was but a thin wisp of a thought.
I was inspired by my own disastrous proposal story. Let me embarrass myself in public for your pleasure – below!
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Joe and Harry are absolute opposites: Joe is relaxed, laid-back and easy-going, whereas Harry is dynamic, neat, organised and a little controlling. This is great when the organised person organises, and the laid-back person is there to keep a cool head and find a spontaneous solution to sudden, unexpected problems.
It’s not so great when the laid-back person tries to organise something.
When Joe decides he wants to propose to Harry, literally everything goes awry.
When my husband decided he wanted to propose to me… well, we’re married now is all that matters, all right?
First thing to know: I would have accepted him if he’d just asked me, to my face, without any to-do, if I wanted to marry him. I didn’t even particularly care if he had a ring. I was pretty settled in my decision that he’s The One, and despite the genre I love writing so much (romance), I’m actually pretty down to earth in my private life.
We were long-distance at the time, and sometimes I used to dream of him just driving down or taking the train down from Edinburgh, to pay me an unannounced surprise visit. This was an idea I shared with him, encouraging him to do this (in case he thought I might not want to be surprised in this way—not everybody does, after all, and he’s a sweetheart who wouldn’t dream of imposing himself).
One day, he was coming down for the weekend, and told me he’d be with me late in the evening. When I called him early in the morning, he didn’t pick up the phone. My thought process was: oh, is he trying to surprise me by arriving early on a day that I am already expecting him? Hmpf. That’s not much of a surprise. I mean, really.
He did arrive early, and of course I was chuffed to see him. But he also brought a surprise. An actual surprise. Tickets for a weekend trip to Ireland! Okay, he got me.
The tickets were for early the next morning—our flight left at 6AM and so we had to be at the airport at 4AM, but no matter. We were happy, and in love, and we were going to explore Dublin. I mean, what more could a girl want?
At the airport, as we went through security, my husband’s bag was stopped. My husband’s face turned ashen. He told me to go into the departure lounge, while he sorted out his bag. Now I was confused. I wouldn’t abandon him. I mean, what does he think I am? I tried to stand by his side, ready to argue in my husband’s defence, while the security guard regarded me with a tolerant smile and assured me that it was okay for me to stand back. A look of understanding passed between security and my husband. My husband was flushed to the roots of his hair. I was indignant on his behalf. They deftly fished out a pair of scissors (not a planner, remember?), guarding the contents of my husband’s bag from my sight, and then binned the scissors and grinned at my husband, wishing him a lovely flight.
“What was that?” I asked as we passed on to the departure lounge.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” my husband muttered.
People are weird, I thought.
We arrived in Dublin, checked into a hotel and then decided what we wanted to do that day: I told my husband at once that I wanted to see some Irish dancing so he went down to talk to reception for a recommended place to witness that miracle of physical prowess (you’ve got to see this yourself, live, to fully believe me when I say it’s a thing of beauty).
We spent the day wandering around the city: there’s a stunning castle, the university, beautiful streets, charming pubs and the people are just the best. I swear I don’t work for the Irish Tourist Board.
In the evening, though, because I was absolutely knackered at this stage, I could barely make it through our traditional Irish stew in the lovely restaurant that also featured a performance of Irish musicians and traditional Irish dance. At some point I rested my head on my arms.
“Are we boring you, dear?” the chief musician on stage decided to tease me. “We’re not loud enough, lads! Let’s make some noise!”
We had a fab night, but when it ended I was shattered, and ready to go to bed. My husband was insistent. There was one more thing he really needed to see.
“Can’t it wait?” I asked, desperately. I had trouble keeping my eyes open.
“Just one more thing, I swear, you’ll like it.”
Hmpf. Outside it was already late night and it had begun to drizzle. My husband went on and on about this bridge we needed to see. I mean, it’s a bridge.
“Can’t we see it from the taxi on our way to the airport tomorrow?” I pleaded.
He was insistent, we had to see it then and there.
To be fair, it was spectacular.
(picture by George Hodan, follow his lovely work here: https://www.facebook.com/hodanpictures)
It was raining. It was cold. I didn’t immediately notice when he went down on one knee. Then I did notice and my heart leaped. Oh my God, this is happening.
A group of tourists passed us.
“Marry him!” they laughed.
Reader, I did.
Joe Kaminski likes to go with the flow, a good trait to have as a young artist living in London. His laidback approach to life makes him a fish out of water when he’s hired at P&B Designs, a high-powered PR agency. The money’s good, but with his poor planning skills, he doesn’t see it lasting.
Harry Byrne likes his life the same way he likes his PowerPoint presentations: structured. Known for his dynamic personality, Harry suffered a blow when his seven-year relationship fell apart, souring his mood. The last thing on his mind is getting into another relationship, especially with a man who can barely make it to the office on time.
They’re not even supposed to like each other. But five years later, Joe and Harry are getting ready to tie the knot. They should’ve known it was only a matter of time before everything starts to fall apart: obstructive friends, well-meaning but meddlesome family, a hovering ex, international incidents, fires, pregnancies, and an airport chase. It seems their “I do”s were doomed from the start.
Marina Ford is a thirty-three-year-old book addict, who would, if permitted, spend all of her time in bookstores, libraries, or in her own bed with stacks and stacks of books. Luckily, she has a husband and a dog, who force her to interact with humans of planet Earth from time to time. In fact, she so enjoyed falling in love with her husband that she can’t resist evoking those same feelings in the love stories she writes. She does not believe in love at first sight—but she does believe in the happy ever after, though it must be earned. She likes her stories to be light, since real life can be miserable enough without making up more of it in fiction.
She lives in England, loves rain (gives one an excuse to stay at home and read books, right?), long walks (when it doesn’t rain), history, Jane Austen, the theatre, languages, and dogs. It is her dream to one day possess an enormous country house in which each room is a library (okay, maybe except for the kitchen), and in which there are more dogs than people. A smaller and perhaps more realistic dream is to make people smile with the things she writes.
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