Book Review: First Comes Marriage

First Comes Marriage CoverBook: First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh

Published June 2009 by Random House|Pages: 290

Where I Got It: E-book|Library

Series: Huxtable Quintet #1

Genre: Historical Romance

Goodreads|Mary Balogh’s Website

Goodreads Summary: Against the scandal and seduction of Regency England, New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh introduces an extraordinary family—the fiery, sensual Huxtables. Vanessa is the second daughter, proud and daring, a young widow who has her own reason for pursuing the most eligible bachelor in London. One that has nothing to do with love. Or does it?

The arrival of Elliott Wallace, the irresistibly eligible Viscount Lyngate, has thrown the country village of Throckbridge into a tizzy. Desperate to rescue her eldest sister from a loveless union, Vanessa Huxtable Dew offers herself instead. In need of a wife, Elliott takes the audacious widow up on her unconventional proposal while he pursues an urgent mission of his own. But a strange thing happens on the way to the wedding night. Two strangers with absolutely nothing in common can’t keep their hands off each other. Now, as intrigue swirls around a past secret—one with a stunning connection to the Huxtables—Elliott and Vanessa are uncovering the glorious pleasures of the marriage bed…and discovering that when it comes to wedded bliss, love can’t be far behind.

I totally went into First Comes Marriage expecting to love it…but it actually turned out to be an okay read for me.  I mean, I liked it, but it’s an okay kind of good.

Vanessa and Elliot are an interesting pair.  It’s definitely one of convenience- for the both of them- but they find that they’ve fallen for each other by the end of the book.  I was surprised that it was Elliott and Vanessa, and not Elliott and Vanessa’s older sister.  I never completely warmed up to Vanessa and Elliott as a couple.  I think a big part of it is because it really was a marriage of convenience for both of them.  For some reason, it was believable, but I found myself not believing in them as a couple.  It’s weird because I liked them on their own, but I’m not too fond of them together.

I did like Vanessa getting married so her older sister won’t have to, and the relationships between Vanessa and her siblings.  And her relationship with her former in-laws.  And the relationship she had with her now-deceased husband, which we learn about throughout the novel in conversations and her thoughts.  There are a lot of interesting relationships, and I found the one she had with her older sister to be one of the things I really loved about the book.

Final Thoughts:

I liked First Comes Marriage, but Elliott and Vanessa didn’t work for me as a couple, even though I liked them on their own.  It isn’t my favorite romance novel, but I might possibly be interested enough to keep reading.  It’s an interesting story, and it was an enjoyable read.  First Comes Marriages gets 3 stars.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: First Comes Marriage

  1. “An okay kind of good” … I find myself feeling this way about a lot of historical romance novels lately. So many of them involve these marriages of convenience…I feel like I’ve read the story a thousand times. I just reviewed “Prelude to Scandal” and sort of felt the same way about it. Thanks for the post!

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