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First Comes Love (Hot Water, California #1)
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First Comes Love

(Hot Water, California #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,108 ratings  ·  51 reviews
There's a saying around the town of Hot Water, California: "Wilder women don't wed." When the town was founded, the Wilders ran the local house of ill repute...nowadays they're still known for there naughty ways.

But Kitty Wilder has decided that it's time for all that to change!

Kitty Wilder longed for a little respectability, so eight years ago she finagled an "I do" ou

Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Avon Books
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,108 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Repeat after me . . . "Wilder women don't wed and they don't run." Got it? Okay, so keep reading. Page 50 . . . okay, I said I got it. Page 75 . . . really, it sunk in. Page 100 . . . honestly, I may be forgetful but I think I remember that. Page 150 . . . do you want me to tattoo it on my butt? Page 200 . . . I wish that damn Wilder woman would wed or run already! Page 250 . . . Oh good lordy you can't be serious. Page 300 . . . slamming head against fence post.

Get my drift? I think I would ha
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: featured-books, star
First Comes Love (Hot Water, California #1)
by Christie Ridgway

Kitty Wilder longed for a little respectability, so eight years ago she finagled an "I do" out of local hero Dylan Matthews. The ceremony was only supposed tobe a tourist attraction sham, but a loophole made it legal ... a little fact she'd "conveniently" neglected to share until Dylan came storming back into her life.

How could he be married and not even know it? As an FBI agent, Dylan thought he'd seen it all, but this was outrageous
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit
Chick-lit returns! Girl lives in a small town in California where her family has lived for decades and their family motto is something like "< Family> doesn't marry or run" or something like that because she comes from a family that started the town whorehouse, which doesn't exist anymore, but it is still included on tours of the "Old Town" part of town. In an act of defiance, the Girl jokingly marries the town heartthrob and mails in the official marriage papers, even though she said she ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
A light amusing romp.
Hot Water, California, a gold rush town, is fond of it's history. When the decendant of the town 'Madam' get's tangled up with the decendant of the town 'Judge' sparks fly.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
#1 in series. Quick, easy read
Linda Levine
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved how the book opened and set the scene for this fun romance. Kitty feels her family history is weighing her down. She loves her hometown but is sick of the reputation of the women in her family and wants more. She doesn't realize just how much change is coming for her. Dylan was her secret. She married him all those years ago in an act of rebellion. She didn't expect him to come back and make demands. She has some demands of her own.

Dylan is an FBI agent and he left his hometown and tried
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
This was a really fun book. Kitty really wanted to live down the "Wilder women" reputation and live a respectable life. When she "married" Dylan, she took advantage of the loophole that made it legal -- which he didn't know until eight years later. He came to town to get a divorce, and then leave town again. He didn't like his "hero" status, and had left town to avoid it. Kitty decided to use his reputation to help their Wild West town, and told him he could have his divorce after he helped out ...more
Robin Barton
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another cute story from Ms. Ridgeway….
Dylan and Kitty (think Gunsmoke), Dylan is an FBI agent and Kitty runs the local family business Burning Rose Brothel. Kitty just wants just wants to be well Kitty. All Kitty wants is a simple life with marriage family a minivan just plain normalcy.
This was a fun story because Dylan and Kitty are married. With that they also both have past issues that need to be dealt with. Ms. Ridgeway made the sparks fly between these two from the beginning added along wi
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kitty Wilder is sick of her unconventional life. All she wants is to be normal, but in Hot Water, California, she will always be one of the infamous Wilder women. Kitty has decided this will be her last summer playing the madam in the living-history district and five weeks is all she has left, but then "he" walks back into her life. As Kitty comes face-to-face with her "one silly mistake" again, she knows that she has a lot of explaining to do.
Dylan Matthews is furious. He has just found out tha
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a much more complicated story than the blurb would lead you to believe. Both MCs were dealing with some very complex feelings when it came to their hometown and their place in it and their own feelings for each other only compounded everything. Or clarified. Dylan's growing feelings for Kitty allowed him to start connecting again which then allowed him to be more open to the rest of the town residents and their feelings for him. And of course Kitty's feeling for Dylan made her yearn to ...more
Julia David
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dylan left Hot Water 8 years ago. The whole town thinks he is a hero, he doesn't. He was able to save 3 children, but not his best friend's wife. Before he left town, he and Kitty were married. It was supposed to be a pretend marriage, but Kitty made it legal without him knowing. Now he is back to get a divorce because he really isn't marriage material. Kitty has heard her whole life that Wilders don't get married and so she knows that she will have to end her marriage to Dylan. But, she doesn't ...more
"wilder women do not wed and run",,, kitty wanna break that motto, she registered her wedding with Dylan matthews and make it legal. Eight years later, Dylan found abouth the wedding and he back to Hot Water to confronted Kitty. But something about Kitty make him curious and passionate.

i really like this story but it's little tainted because the affair of samantha and D.B Matthew. how come your mother have affair with your father in law ended up pregnant and planning to get married. it's means
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kitty Wilder has heard all her life that "Wilder Women Don't Wed"! Wanting respectability Kitty takes her one chance and weds Dylan Matthews. Upon a whim she registers the marriage and keeps it a secret for more than 8 years until Dylan is considering marriage and learns he already is to Kitty. Returning to Hot Water, Dylan is determined to find Kitty and end the marriage, yet when he sees her again he is stunned by his reaction to her! I highly recommend this book and anticipate a good series i ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
A delightful story about a small town girl, Kitty Wilder, whose dream is to overcome her family's shady reputation and FBI Special Agent Dylan Matthews, also from the same hometown, who is a hero but feels guilty for the one he could not save. Through a quirky hometown tradition, they were married 8 years ago, but Dylan doesn't know that until he learns about it through a background check. He returns home during an ordered vacation, and discovers at the end that Kitty and the home town are where ...more
Sheila Schwartz
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is so exciting to read new stories that make you laugh and enjoy the back in forth between characters destined to discover that they are meant to be each other's forever! A hot FBI agent who discovers he's married to the girl he didn't realize he had left behind and the girl who just wanted minivans and happiness to escape a family notoriety make their struggle their strength s! This is such a feel good story and the characters worth investing your time in that this book is a "keeper" to read ...more
Suzie Quint
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Any one who grew up in a small town will recognize how the heroine feels trapped by her family history and the way she believes the town perceives her. And she'll do anything to break out of that cage. The hero also has issues with the towns perceptions, but unlike her, the town sees a hero in him--a role that haunts him because he knows it's not real. Together they heal each others wounds. Another fun, heartfelt story from Christie Ridgway.
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a well-written, sweet book. Kitty Wilder lives in Hot Water, CA, and she is trying to live down her family's history of running the local house of ill repute. Dylan Matthews left town to become an FBI agent, but after eight years away he has to return to deal with a legal entanglement. The first in a two book series, it can be read as a stand alone book. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jenny T.
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Kitty Wilder and Dylan Matthews have ancestors who founded Hot Water, CA, (an Old West mining town) as the town madam and sheriff respectively. The story had a nice mix of small town and modern views which helped balance the mismatched lovers who are actually more compatible than they think they are. The characters were believable; the book had some funny moments; and the sex scenes were hot.
Thanks to CR's California Girls for the copy of this book.
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a great book that had me laughing out loud especially at the part in the market. It was a great story about a guy that finds out that he is married and returns to his hometown to find his wife.

I loved Kitty and Dylan and how they were both trying to fight against the towns opinions. While trying to fight the attraction between each other. Its a great story and cannot wait to continue onto the next book. xxx
Mar 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
A cute story about a young woman who secretly married (secret even to the groom) only to have the angry groom show up 8 years later wanting a divorce. Naturally, they are attracted to one another, and various conflicts and emotional storms ensue. Mucking things up are parental issues and guilt issues that both area feeling, as well as the town history that paints one as a brazen outlaw of sorts and the other as hero material. Never the twain that meet, right?
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, new
I thought this was a cute story. It was two love stories and a little convoluted but I laughed and kept turning pages. I would of liked it more if it wasn't so predictable. Hot FBI agent normally makes me give an extra star just because. I thought the hero was kind of shallow and pushy. The story did take on a theme of redemption and being forgiven.
Karen Alonzi
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I got this book for free. The "man must overcome his 'too guilty to love' complex before losing the girl" plot doesn't have a lot of twist turns, but the light-hearted moments and entertaining side characters make it worth the read. It's fun and definitely better than several books that I DID pay for!
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the second time I've read this particular story. The first time was several years ago in paperback format. Dylan and Kitty were great fun to read about. Their motivations were a bit skewed due to their individual pasts, but they ended up working it out for themselves. I always love the secondary romances in Christie Ridgway's books. I'll be rereading Then Comes Marriage next.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such a sweet little love story. I loved the setting of Hot Water, CA. The town's historical reenactments are wonderful to read about, and make the setting really come alive. Kitty and Dylan are both great characters, and I was rooting for them to get together, I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite
Re-read Review

4.5 stars
I really liked this book. It was cute, fun, sweet, and quick. Kitty was a little flaky but I still loved her and Dylan was pretty much just awesome. I liked the whole "reenactment" angle. It reminded me of going to civil war reenactments when I was younger. Anyway, this was my first Ridgway book back in the day and I love it as much now as I did then.
Full points for plot, location and Heroine's job originality. As is usual in Christie Ridgway's works, found myself drawn to the secondary romance as well and whilst I am usually all for warm and fuzzy moments, I am glad they didn't force the Kitty/Samantha angle.
Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ridgway really has become a go-to for me for excellent contemporary romances. This book is another fabulous read.

One of the things I like best about her novels is the slow pace of the relationship. She really takes the time to show her characters falling in love.
Dec 10, 2012 added it
Shelves: i-have-in-ebook
I once read a book very similar but instead of historical tours, there were ghost walks. The new guy in town lived in a haunted house where the ghosts acted up everytime he and a woman were together in a room. It's by Erin something.
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
started well but dragged in the middle, didn’t like the lead characters and I just wanted this book to end.
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
So cute! Bram's book better be out there somewhere.
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Other books in the series

Hot Water, California (2 books)
  • Then Comes Marriage (Hot Water, California, #2)