FIRST COMES MARRIAGE (HUXTABLE QUINTET #1) – MARY BALOGH
I couldn’t bear to put this thing down, I was so attached to the story from the moment I picked it up. If you can’t tell, I absolutely adored this book! It was Pride and Prejudice taken to the extremes and it had me crying and laughing my way through.
Vanessa is the plain Jane of the Huxtable siblings, verging on un-pretty when placed amongst her gorgeous sisters and handsome younger brother, Stephen. But she is content with her life and her joyous outlook endears everyone to her. When Stephen inherits a surprising title, the arrogant and grumpy Viscount Lyngate comes to lift the family from their obscure situation and into the bustle of society, dutifully picking up the mantel as their guide through this new life. But when Vanessa suspects Viscount Lyngate to propose marriage to her older sister she knows she can’t let her siblings marry for anything but love. To stop the Viscount from asking a question that would never be refused, Vanessa asks him to marry her for their mutual convenience.
Ellitott was dreading having to train the new Earl of Merton and the mounting pressure to find a wife was starting to get on his nerves. Elliot hadn’t anticipated Stephen’s three elder sisters coming along for the ride. Elliot did his best to remain the perfect gentleman, but there was no helping him when Stephen’s widowed sister opens her mouth. Set on marriage, Elliot makes plans to propose to the eldest sibling and endure the sister in law. But who should propose to him first but the very widow he wishes he could throw out a window.
There is honestly nothing I didn't love about this book - we all know I'm a sucker for cheesy hate to love romance. I absolutely loved the plot and the writing style was amazing. Sure, it was a little predictable, but I still found myself dying from not knowing what was going to happen or from knowing what everyone was thinking as they lied to each other - that is good writing.
I also loved that our leading lady didn’t need to be extraordinarily handsome, well mannered, or witty to be considered a heroine. That’s not so say that she wasn’t any of those things. She is a loving and lovable character who never lets people tell her how to live her life of how to act, who takes pride in her opinions and will always fight for those she loves. And yet, despite her firm opinions and blunt nature, there is nothing unfeminine, brash or improper in her manner because of it. She is still a sweet woman with a caring nature, charming eyes and the ability to make anyone around her both fall in love and feel endless joy.
This is the book I’ve been waiting for where she is like other girls, not a standout or self-conscious beauty, but attractive men fall for because of who she is. I loved that it was her infectious happiness that made everyone love her.
“My happiness has to come from within myself or it is too fragile a thing to be of any use to me and too much of a burden to benefit any of my loved ones.”As for our leading man, Elliot was proud and a bit of a stiff but such a sweetheart. Like all great overserious male leads, Elliot didn’t have the best childhood and grew up constantly concerned for his mother’s happiness. He worked to hard to not be like the rest of the men in his family. He wanted to be loyal to his wife, to make her happy, and to have his children grow up loved. He didn’t want his wife to have the life that his mother, and even his grandmother, had to endure. He only wanted to do well by everyone, he just didn’t know how to do it, the poor thing. If that doesn’t tell you anything about his character, I don’t know what will.
I seriously recommend you pick up this book, you won’t ever want to put it down. There are several steamy scenes so younger readers and those not comfortable with sex scenes be warned…
If you love historical fiction but haven’t read Mary Balogh, you are going to want to change that.
Pick up your own copy of this book from Amazon or Book Depository!!!