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First Comes Marriage (2009)

First Comes Marriage (2009)

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3.77 of 5 Votes: 2
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0440244226 (ISBN13: 9780440244226)
Dell Publishing Company

About book First Comes Marriage (2009)

I picked this up only because I'm running out of historical romances from my library's ebook collection. Anyway, I saw this and could not believe that a Regency romance heroine could unironically be named Vanessa Huxtable, so I had high hopes for a tongue-in-cheek Regency-era Cosby Show retelling with a book in the series for each of the five Huxtable children. (I thought, how original! 1980s sitcoms really are an underused source for recycled characters and plots in romance novels, oh, the possibilities!)Um, nope. I was so wrong. This was a dreadful chore to slog through and there was no Cosby connection whatsoever. Reasons I found this disappointing:1. Stilted dialogue. I don't think any character ever used a single contraction in dialogue (all "I am" instead of "I'm" etc.) so the conversations all seemed terribly unnatural. I would die of boredom and/or impatience talking to these people. Also the hero and heroine both refer to sex That seems unrealistic to me for the period. 2. The characters were flat. The heroine, Vanessa, was described as plain, ugly, not beautiful, etc. ad absolute nauseum. Seriously, I think her unfortunate appearance was mentioned at least once on every page. We get it! She's plain. (But! she knows how to please a man! And she's not afraid to tell said man!) We are told but never shown how sunny and fun Vanessa is. The hero I can't even describe here because there was nothing memorable about him. His name was Elliott. He's dark and mysterious and titled. That's all I got. 3. I was unable to discern the plot. I assume there was one intended, but it was well masked by the boring dialogue and the even more boring characters doing boring things. Not recommended. I probably should have thrown First Comes Marriage back to the library gods by page 48, but I was bored and sick and didn't feel like doing anything else. For that purpose, it works. I guess.If it had only been the clunky language and lackluster story telling, I might have been able to enjoy the book. The story wasn't quite believable (even in a fictional historical romance sense), but I could have muddled through it if it hadn't been for one overriding fact.Vanessa is continually described as plain, not lovely, not beautiful, not pleasing, etc. Except maybe when she smiled and was animated. Even Elliot commonly remarked to himself that he had no idea why he was sexually attracted to Vanessa because there was nothing remarkable about her. Because of course she had brown hair and had small breasts and wasn't as pretty as her sisters.Really? Why must this be a THING in romance?Elliot tells Vanessa she's pretty even as he questions it himself and then when she expresses disbelief, he says he's not lying. Even after finishing the book, I'm still not quite sure what he saw in her. Most of his thoughts regarding her were negative and not flattering for the majority of the book.I didn't particularly like Elliot. Vanessa was tolerable. I skimmed some parts because the narrative went on and on and I rolled my eyes, groaned, and skipped ahead. Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I'm not inclined to continue reading anything more by Mary Balogh.

Do You like book First Comes Marriage (2009)?

I needed an enjoyable emotional comfort re-read so I picked this series.

An overall romance favorite.



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