TWO 5 star and TWO 4 star reviews for First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony @writershira {AUDIOBOOK} #MM #Romance @Dreamspinner


Title: First Comes Marriage
Author Name & Publisher: Shira Anthony (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 15, 2016 — 262 pages


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?

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This review is for the audiobook read by John Solo.

I really enjoyed this story. I was pleasantly surprised to find twists and turns in what I thought might be a fairly predictable story. It was lighthearted, witty, and fun.
Chris and Jesse are well developed and lovable characters. And I found Jesse’s step-mother to be a really great supporting character. The story shows a side of romance that can be fumbling and awkward, crashing and burning at times. But something beautiful can still be salvaged from the wreckage.

This is read well by John Solo, but I don’t feel his performance of Chris’ voice really fits. It was enough of an issue for me that it took away slightly from what was a very enjoyable story otherwise.
All in all, I recommend this book, but I feel I would have enjoyed it more in text as opposed to audio.

I’ve had reservations about Dreamspinners’ new Desires range and I managed to avoid them until I saw Shira Anthony’s name.  And while Harlequin romances were never my thing, I love Shira Anthony’s writing.  And I really enjoyed this story.
I acknowledge that this is full of implausible soap-opera cliches I expect from Harlequin.  Wealthy socialites, scheming mothers and second wives, the poor little rich boy… this is a complete guilty pleasure read.  But when you add Shira Anthony’s skills into the mix, the characters are realistic and interesting.  Our poor little rich boy is a steampunk /Sci Fi author working as a barista and I really liked him.  The supporting cast is perfectly crafted and I found myself fully invested in this romance.
So yes.  A simple, guilty pleasure,  this was a fun, fast read.  This is almost tongue in cheek drama with a slow burn romance and relatively little sex.  If you’re in the mood for feel-good fluff, if you’re looking for a book to read in the bath with a glass of white wine – this is just about perfect.  

This book was so amazing. Shira Anthony certainly out did herself on this one.

Chris is a struggling author who lives with his two best friends that engaged. He works as a barista during the day and writes at night or durning his spare time. He is trying to get a publishing house to pick up his trilogy but has yet been able to make that happen.

Jessie is a CEOS of the company his grandfather started and is a happy bachelor or so he he thinks. Jessie’s grandfather passed away and in his will he left the stipulation that Jessie had to marry someone by the one year anniversary of his passing or he would not inherit the company he was left in the will.

Chris meets Jessie at a reading he is doing of one of his books and Jessie and him become friends. Jessie proposes that Chris marry him to help him meet the stipulations of the will and in return for staying married to him for one year Chris will receive 1 million dollars and he can work on his books in the process.

Somewhere along the way Chris starts having feeling for Jessie but he pushes it away with excuse after excuse.

I have to say that I am truly amazed that Shira was able to pull this book off as amazingly as she did because I found myself rooting for Jessie and Chris as if I knew them personally. I am not ashamed that I cried more then a couple of times while reading this book. I felt the hurt and heartache that Chris and Jessie both felt and I also found myself smiling and cheering them on through the happiness.

This book honestly brought so many emotions in me and I felt as if the things going on in this book were happening right in front of me. That is not an easy feat but Shira was able to pull that off and then some. And the story line in this book was gripping and would not let you go till then end and even then I found myself wanting there to be more.

This was as I said an amazing book and I definitely would recommend this book to others


If you are trying to get into the M/M genre and really enjoy the Historical Romance story of hasty required marriage plot this is the book for you. I read a lot of genres and Historical Romance is one of my go-tos to unwind and drift away but I haven’t really been able to get into the M/M Historical books. This book is a great example of taking something very old and done a lot and making it feel very new. The author did an amazing job of blending two types of story and making one great book.

Jesse needs to marry to secure control of all he has known and worked for. Chris is a struggling author who catches Jesse’s eye. Enter now the quick courtship and hasty wedding. All the usual historical hang ups are evident in the story but done in a refreshing way that keeps you reading just waiting to see if these two can stumble along and find true love and get their HEA.

This story could have felt like just another contrived love story but the author did such a great job making what is an overdone story in the Historical M/F Romance genre feel all new and exciting. All the same components are there but Shira made them appealing again. As I said before if you are looking to see if you like the M/M genre and have enjoyed Historical Romance, this book is a good one to start with. The chemistry between Jesse and Chris is hot and a good introduction to M/M for Historical book lovers. Definitely give this one a try. I know I will be reading more from this author in the future.



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Shira Anthony is a complete sucker for a happily-ever-after, and rarely reads or writes a story without one. Never a fan of instalove, Shira likes to write stories about real men with real issues making real relationships work.

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. Her Blue Notes Series is loosely based upon her own experiences as a professional musician.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.


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