First Comes Marriage by Valerie Mann

FIRST

First Comes Marriage by Valerie Mann
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (58 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Who agrees to an arranged marriage in the 21st century? Beth Malone can’t believe a date request with the 1Night Stand service morphed into an arranged marriage offer. But after a heartbreaking divorce and no knight in shining armor coming to sweep her off her feet, her desire to find that knight and have a family is looking more like a dream than a reality.

After filling out a 1Night Stand questionnaire worthy of the CIA, Christian Ramos is stunned when Madame Eve offers to arrange more than a date for one night: she suggests a wife! What the hell? After his best friend Jackson Castillo stops laughing, he advises him to consider the offer. Between the fortieth birthday looming on the horizon and his Latino upbringing, Chris is forced to take a hard look at his life. Reality check—time is running out for what he wants—a family and a woman to share his life.

First comes love, then comes marriage isn’t part of their matrimonial situation, but neither Beth nor Christian anticipated the immediate attraction and contentment that comes with saying, “I do.”

First comes love, then comes marriage. Isn’t that what we’ve all be taught? Apparently no one told Beth and Chris.

Beth Malone is a lonely young woman on a mission. Divorced and without family, she’s tired of being on her own and decides to risk everything on the judgment of a stranger. But that stranger happens to be Madame Eve.

Christian Ramos is a handsome successful man on the verge of turning forty. Having had his heart broken multiple times in the past, he’s ready to find the one person to spend his life with. Unfortunately, he’s not had luck in that area. After watching Madame Eve set his best friend up with the love of his life, he decides to take a chance and allow her to set him up with a woman as well.

The difference is both Beth and Chris are agreeing to marry their 1Night Stand!

This was a great story. In a few short pages, we get excellent development, from Beth’s drive to Vegas to the happily ever after. The characters display a wonderful range of emotions: apprehension, indecision, relief, and ultimately elation. Madame Eve made another perfect match with these two, and while the sex was incredibly hot, my favorite part was watching the two develop an emotional connection.

I had only one minor issue with this story in that I wasn’t sold on each of their reasons for agreeing to an arranged marriage. Both were intelligent, very attractive, passionate, and wanted a long-term relationship. Madame Eve has a reputation for finding the right match, but I wasn’t sure what the rush was to marry. Why not date first? If you hit it off, you can always marry in Vegas. Small issue, but since it was the basis of the story, it kept me from giving this a perfect five stars.

Small concern aside, I loved getting to know Beth and Chris and am happy each found their ideal mate. Pick this book up if you want a sexy tale of love at first sight!

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