BJ Rose's Reviews > First Comes Marriage

First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh
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's review
Mar 14, 09

bookshelves: a-regency, keepers
Read in March, 2009


I like it when the heroine is not a shy retiring type, but still follows societal rules. And I liked that Vanessa was realistic about her arranged marriage - there was no 'oh, I really loved him/her all along' with these two. And what I especially liked about Vanessa was that she wouldn't allow a misunderstanding to fester and ruin things - she refused to accept in silence what women were taught to accept in silence (and no, there is no unfaithfulness on either side).

There's a lot on introspection in this book, which helped define what the characters were really thinking and feeling (and in Elliot's case, had him trying to convince himself he wasn't feeling what he was feeling). Vanessa practiced cheer and happiness until it seemed saccharine, but when you look at her philosophy of life, it makes sense: laughter is so much better for the soul than glumness, and she made it her role to cheer people (her sisters in their poverty, her first husband in his fatal illness).

So here's Vanessa trying to practice that philosophy with Elliot, who has his own reasons for believing that you can't laugh and be happy when you are supposed to be a serious, sober, responsible adult. What do you end up with? A true marriage of opposites, and a slow, delightful romance.

What I didn't like was the apparent ease with which the sisters entered society - not realistic for me, and one of the reasons this isn't a 5*, but altogether it is a strong 4*
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Reading Progress

03/08/2009 page 21
5.05% "Prologue with Con at his brother's grave is somewhat wrenching - now how does that tie in? perhaps that past secret mentioned on back cover"
03/11/2009 page 163
39.18% "I like it when the heroine is not a shy, retiring type but still follows the societal rules of the time."
03/12/2009 page 233
56.01% "Hmm - this arranged marriage appears to be working out, in the bedroom, anyway! But now back to society - what problems await?"
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