Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: First Comes Marriage
Author: Shira Anthony
Series: Dreamspun Desires
Heroes: Chris & Jesse
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 262 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 15, 2016
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
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?
Chris is a struggling writer trying to make his way in New York when he meets Jesse at one of his readings. Jesse has a business proposal for Chris. Marry him for one year and he’ll get a million dollars so Jesse can satisfy his grandfather’s will and keep his company. Chris has mixed feelings about the business deal but the chance to write for an entire year is just too good to pass up. But when the feelings between them grow too strong, will they be able to last the year when Jesse is supposed to be straight?
I found Jesse to be a very intriguing character. I loved that he had such confidence but then would get awkward and nervous and start stuttering at other times. It showed that he wasn’t as cool and collected as he seemed. Chris was a nice character too. I liked that he was willing to give Wenda a chance even though Jesse didn’t like her and I liked that he didn’t just let Jesse walk all over him.
I enjoyed this one but it started to drag in the middle and it was a struggle to keep reading. On top of that, I thought Chris was a huge hypocrite. Yes, Jesse lied BUT Chris also lied to him. In the end, when the whole thing blew up and Chris couldn’t forgive Jesse, I found it ridiculous because, aside from Jesse omitting he was gay, Chris lied to Jesse before Jesse even lied to Chris. So I ended up not liking Chris because he conveniently kept forgetting that Jesse wasn’t the only one lying.
Overall, though, I enjoyed this one. I loved that it started out as a business deal and then turned into them struggling to admit their love for each other. I liked the differences between Jesse and Chris and how they started out as friends and then developed into more. I’m glad everything worked out in the end and I actually want to get Wenda’s story!!
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*