First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh {Amanda’s Review}

Posted 12 May, 2014 by Amanda / 10 Comments

First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh {Amanda’s Review}First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh
Series: Huxtable Quintet #1
two-stars
Genres: Historical, Regency, Romance
Pages: 388
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads

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.

Probably should have DNFed this one.

 

Thoughts on First Comes Marriage

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.

two-stars

Filed under: ESR: 4, Historical Romance, Review: Amanda, ,

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10 Responses to “First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh {Amanda’s Review}”

  1. I’ve never read any of Mary Balogh’s books. Even as a huge lover of historical romance, there was something that always turned me away from her books. After reading your review, I think I’m going to stay away.

    I actually like books where the girl isn’t gorgeous, because I feel like I can relate to that. But I wouldn’t like that the hero can’t get past her mediocre looks! I want a hero that loves the heroine for her personality and soul, not just on her appearance.

    And why is it the brown haired girls are always the plain ones. Brown hair can be gorgeous! And don’t even get me started on how very few heroines have brown eyes! I mean come on! The majority of people in the world have brown eyes. And if they have brown eyes, they are the plain ones. Okay, not always, but still!

    I want the Belle of the Ball to be a brown-haired, brown-eyed, small chested woman! Even if she isn’t the main character!

    • I don’t need gorgeous characters, but I do wish authors would stop perpetuating this idea that brown hair/brown eyes are plain and only the hero can see it as beautiful. I’m okay with it when it’s in terms of “this is what society thinks is beautiful,” but I usually prefer my heroine to not care what she looks like and for the hero to find her beautiful. If that makes sense.

  2. I usually adore Mary Balogh but this book is absolute dullsville and the series goes downhill from here. Also, I could never get past the character named Vanessa Huxtable – am I the only one who thought of ‘The Cosby Show’?

      • The Bedwyn series is pretty good overall and ‘Slightly Dangerous,’ the last in the series, is fantastic – Wulfric is my favorite duke hero. The mistress books are pretty good too – ‘More Than a Mistress’ and ‘No Man’s Mistress.’ If you’re ever inclined to give Balogh a try again, I’d recommend one of those.

    • Like Sarah said above, if you have books that aren’t in this series, they might be okay.

      That one-click option is dangerous, though. VERY DANGEROUS.

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