First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony : Book Review

first_comes_marriagesynopsisTheir 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?

denise review

Like so many other teenage girls at the time, I grew up reading Harlequin romance books. Whether it was a sheik stealing away an office assistant, or a woman who got pregnant (oh no!) outside of marriage, and married someone out of convenience, I read them so much that I would be grounded from reading. It would take me two hours to wash the dinner dishes at night, because I would read a page, then wash a dish, then read a page, then wash a dish. I am fairly certain my parents were sure I wouldn’t amount to anything. Now, I have a blog, so there, Mom and Dad! 🙂

This is the first book I’ve read in the series. Book 1 in the Dreamspun Desires series, The Millionaire Upstairs, by M.J. O’Shea, is waiting for me on my kindle to get to reading. First Comes Marriage, by Shira Anthony, is exactly what I expected from a series who’s idea was spun from those old Harlequin romance novels. It was sweet and sexy, full of miscommunication, and took me on that journey of business leading to marriage then finally leading to love. The best part was, it combined my favorite reading option, a m/m romance. 🙂

It was a lighthearted read, that grabbed my heartstrings, for the memories, just as much as the love story. These two men were so taken with each other from day one, that you could see it in every reaction they had, yet they continued to resist. Jesse definitely needed to learn how to communicate in his life, not just with Chris, but also with his step-grandmother. The crying I did (because there was crying) was reading the beautiful letter (I won’t say more than that) which broke my heart and pieced it back together again in one fell swoop.

The author did a good job of dragging me into the story, keeping me engaged, and of course hoping for the always present HEA. I hadn’t read Shira Anthony’s work before, so what a great introduction to her work, and I will definitely be looking into more of her books.

This sweet, sexy and heartfelt romance got 4 pieces of eye candy from me.


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Dreamspinner Press

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  1. Racheal Yunk says:

    Would love to read this