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First Comes Marriage

by Mary Balogh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Huxtables (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0003621,297 (3.59)35
Vanessa is the second daughter of the Huxtables, 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.… (more)
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» See also 35 mentions

English (36)  Spanish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
skipping ahead to book 4. ( )
  aeryn0 | Jul 23, 2023 |
This wasn't for me. I didn't care much for this couple, (the hero was just kind of a pill all around, and the heroine was almost entirely comprised of being 'plain but cheerful'. It all felt quite plodding, and the dialogue made them seem kind of simple-minded. I'll continue with the series, but this was a rocky start for me. ( )
  JorgeousJotts | Feb 14, 2023 |
It is at least an honest book, if a simple one, a popular romance; it is not quite a romantic comedy of the ordinary degree of literariness—five times fast, literariness, literariness, Litter Harry Loch Ness—but it is not objectionable. I think something like this is a good supplement to Austen; although Jane was something of a literary watch-maker, complex things are made out of simple things, and anyway there’s always the dregs of Mansfield Park conformity to take into consideration, which I maintain to all comers is just like “The Lamp-lighter”, and would not have been remembered if it’d been written by another hand. The mere formality of convention is not desirable.

I say it is a good supplement to Jane, because even at the read-a-mass-market-or-maybe-play-chess stress-killing level of literariness, (even some teen or pop romantic comedies have a decent theme, and cannot be read properly without consideration, the way that playing chess against a computer or reading a mass market paperback does not—although obviously the literal publishing details are not infallible guides), there are differences between an honest modern romance of middling skill and Jane even when she did what she set out to do. Part of why people like Jane now is she did not feel the need (or the permission, perhaps), to cast a wide net, and talk even briefly about Roman Britain, (even though everybody did, at least a bit, in real life), or socially-caused stress, or unhappy marriages—of course, sometimes she flits along the outside, but Jane does not say simply, Joe acts one way before and another after the wedding, because Joe is a humbug, or even the most insipid sorts of ordinary complaints about “men” (man-system man, only you must not think so much), as even ordinary women sometimes make very ordinarily. Or, of course, sex between married people….

Trying to make porn or even something objectionable out of text-only materials (no images, no music plus song lyrics), is probably possible but relatively difficult, and Mary is not trying. The reason why classical molds appeal to romance writers is that they want to be decent, sometimes even earnestly. So there is some sex, and it’s nice; we should all have some, I don’t know, healthy fantasies, if we are not unusually still and silent about sex (even internally), as bad fantasies are not so good. But it’s not drivel, you know; some of it is just easy reading, (“easy listening”), and not especially fantastic, since life is the endless in-between in between those special moments.

…. Although it’s actually kinda a sad book—happy sad happy sad. Girlie is so sad.

But never forget, that if you trace it back far enough, it’s some woman’s fault for giving birth. :P

….

—Hello, I’d like to return these shoes; the wings don’t work on them; I can’t fly in them, and—hang on.
—*eating grass*
—Goosie, goosie! Nest, goosie, nest! Goosie!
—Heh, heh!
—Goosie, come! Goosie, nest!
—*waddles off*
—That’s right, goosie—begone! Don’t make me chase you away! This is My lake, and I am as constant as the northern star, as Shakespearean as the Regency rich, and as—are you listening to me?
  goosecap | Jul 2, 2022 |
I didn't care for it. In fact I almost quit reading it numerous times, thinking it was a waste of my time.

The dialogue at the beginning of the story was elementary. It felt forced, as if perfect human beings were having a scripted conversation.

The hero and heroine were unappealing. I felt the author continually told you how you should feel about them, despite their words or actions didn't work well with how the author wanted you to feel about them.

The author was very repetitive. Going back to same cliched reasons why I should feel sorry for the hero/heroine.

Frequently the text seemed disjointed, even within scenes. I wondered if the author forgot the line of thought she was going down, and decided to pick up another topic. ( )
  jamireads | Aug 7, 2021 |
The arrival of Elliott Wallace, the irresistibly eligible Viscount Lyngate, has thrown the sleepy village of Throckbridge into a tizzy. It soon becomes clear that Elliot seeks a convenient marriage to a suitable bride, and desperate to rescue her eldest sister Margaret from a loveless union, Vanessa Huxtable - a proud and daring, a young widow - offers herself up 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 then a strange thing happens: as the wedding night approaches they become inexplicably drawn to one another. And, as intrigue swirls around a past secret - one with a striking 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.

Mary Balogh once again creates strong likable characters with strong family ties, lots of sexual tension and
a delightful romance. ( )
  lrobe190 | Mar 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Balogh, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flosnik, AnneNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pertus, SophieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Warren Hall in Hampshire, principal country seat for generations past of the Earls of Merton, was surrounded by a large, well-landscaped park, in one secluded corner of which there was a small chapel, used nowadays almost exclusively for family weddings, christenings, and funerals since there was a sizable church in the village nearby for regular worship.
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Vanessa is the second daughter of the Huxtables, 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.

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