Title: First Comes Marriage
Author: Shira Anthony
Length: Novel (262 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspun Desires, Dreamspinner Press (January 15th 2016)
Heat Level: Low/moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts
Blurb: Their marriage was supposed to be all business….
When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!
Jesse’s in a pinch: to keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal. In exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have.
Or can he?
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7302
Review: I’ve never in my life read a book with an arranged marriage trope, and to be totally honest, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by this book, because it was just so easy to read! I just started getting into it, making friends with the characters, and the next thing I know, it’s all over!
Chris Valentine is an author who dreams about being able to become a full-time writer. Llike many authors out there know, it’s very challenging to make a living and having a comfortable life by being a full-time writer. Chris knows all about it. Between his job at a coffee shop and his constant struggle to put the stories that keep him up at night on paper, Chris is disheartened.
He would do anything to be able to write full time, even marry a virtual stranger….a hot stranger whom Chris would bone in a second if said stranger wasn’t straight, but a stranger nonetheless.
Jesse Donovan’s grandfather was a great father figure to Jesse in life, but his true calling he discovered in death. By becoming a hell of a matchmaker. In order for Jesse to keep his company, he needs to get married no later than a year after his grandfather’s death, or his step-grandmother gets everything. The company is everything Jesse has left from his grandfather, and he would do anything to keep it. And so ladies and gentlemen, a last-minute, unexpected, totally right marriage is born.
Are you all familiar with that centuries-old dance some couples do around each other before they finally give in and fuck each other’s brains out? Well Jesse and Chris have danced plenty, because they don’t have any kind of sex until after the 70% mark, and let me tell you, that’s a lot of dancing! They lust for each other, dream about each other, lie to each other and hurt each other, but they also learn to love each other.
There were quite a few things that had me stupefied, like closeted Jesse’s decision to marry a man after hiding his sexuality all his life. And the fact that he lied to his husband from the very beginning by letting him believe he’s straight and has no interest in men. And the whole weird relationship between Jesse and Wenda, his step-grandmother.
I liked Wenda and her up-to-something-ways, but no matter how hard I tried to understand what caused so much animosity between her and Jesse. I just didn’t get it!
Of course, maybe because I knew this was going to be a slightly cheesy kind of book, I figured out which way the plot was going to go early on. But that didn’t diminish my enjoyment. Besides, the epilogue did have a little surprise for me, along with a sweet HEA that shows the couple a year later.
Jesse and Chris, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love (sometimes), second comes marriage, here comes Jesse pushing a…………….. read this to find out!
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *
Portia’s Two Cents: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts
I just had to add my two cents to this one. I really enjoyed this. The whole idea of the Dreamspun Desires does it for me. I LOVE knowing that a HEA is coming.
And just like the Harlequins that I grew up devouring, First Came Marriage was predictable, but oh, so satisfying.
As for Wenda, I’ve never been a step- anything, but I’ve had one. And I could relate to taking unresolved shit into adulthood. I also figured out Wenda mid-book. She is my kinda mama. 😉
Jesse and Chris were so cute. But, man was I grateful when they got a clue.