First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony ~ Book Review by Caroline

27037214Title: First Comes Marriage

Author: Shira Anthony

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 01/15/2016

Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)

Genre: M/M Romance


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?

A Dreamspun Desires title

My View:

First Comes Marriage – is literally what happens in this backwards love story.

When Jesse’s beloved grandfather died leaving him a very lucrative business he wrote a stipulation into the will. Marry within a year of his death or don’t inherit!  He would still be a very wealthy man in his own right but the wicked step-grandmother Wanda will run the company.

Chris wants nothing more than to spend his life bringing his characters to life but sadly it doesn’t pay the bills so he spends most of his time working as a barista and very little time on his writing.

When Jesse and Chris meet they have the sort of reaction to each other that could make them good friends in the future. Chris finds himself crushing over his new straight friend but is knocked off his feet when presented with an opportunity that will change his life forever – be Jesse’s husband for a year, get a large pay cheque at the end of it and spend the year concentrating on his writing.

If it sounds too good to be true and a little too easy, then it probably is.

Once they are married the real problems start. Chris can’t help being attracted to Jesse and suddenly a year feels like a life sentence. This is a slow burn story with innuendo and subtle flirting that builds up the tension nicely until everything changes about half way through and Jesse has to admit to being slightly less than honest.

His honesty doesn’t magically solve everything though as he has to work through a lot of issues created inside his own head. Wanda is always in the background reminding him of what he stands to lose but is she really as bad as he thinks? The ending leaves you satisfied and proves that Jesse’s grandfather was a canny old man!

First Comes Marriage is warm and romantic and leaves us believing dreams come true.


First Comes Marriage on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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