First Comes Marriage by Debbie Macomber

First Comes Marriage Cover

Reprint of 1991, G-rated, short, contemporary, romantic-comedy novel

First Comes Marriage (Solution: Wedding #3) by Debbie Macomber

Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: June 10, 2019
Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 188 pages
Source: Library
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

Janine is the 20-something granddaughter of a very wealthy man and, as such, has chosen not to have a career. She believes if she were to hold down a job, she would be taking away work from someone who actually needs the money. Instead, to keep busy, she volunteers for charities 30 hours per week.

Zach is the 30-something business partner of Janine’s grandfather. A classic workaholic, he fancies himself far too busy to bother with getting married.

Both Janine and Zach are highly irritated when Janine’s grandfather heavy-handedly promotes a match between the two of them. Janine informs her grandfather that she wants to pick her own husband and marry for love, but Grandpa claims, “First comes marriage, then comes love.” Which is what happened for him and his deceased wife, who were matched by their parents when they were teenagers in Germany prior to World War II.

Fans of G-rated romance novels with an HEA and no cheating will enjoy this light-hearted romantic comedy. There is no sensuality beyond a few kisses and, as such, its plot is very similar to that of a typical Hallmark movie. Which may possibly explain why so many of Debbie Macomber’s novels have been successfully made into Hallmark TV series and movies. (My personal favorite DM, Hallmark movie is Trading Christmas.)

I experienced this novel as an audiobook. The narrator does a good job acting out all the parts, but I would recommend reading this book rather than listening to it. The frequent squabbles between the protagonists are usually experienced by those who silently read the book to themselves as humorous. Unfortunately, when the book is read aloud, it gets a little wearing listening to the narrator’s seemingly constant angry yelling, as she dramatically portrays the fighting between the protagonists that occurs in virtually every scene of the book.

I rate this book as follows:

Heroine: 4

Hero: 3

Subcharacters: 4

Romance Plot: 3

Writing: 4

Overall: 3.5 rounded to 4 stars

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