First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

Shira: Thank you, RJ Scott, for hosting the First Comes Marriage book tour! For
those readers who may not already know, First
Comes Marriage
is the second book in the brand new Dreamspun Desires line
of gay category romances from Dreamspinner Press. Be sure to read to the bottom
of the post for an excerpt from the book, as well as the Rafflecopter giveaway
for the book tour. You could win a dozen red roses for your sweetheart or
Comes Marriage
is an honest to goodness “category
romance,” reworked for a 21st Century audience, and of course with two male
main characters. The term “category romance” comes from the old tradition of
publishing a certain number of books on a monthly basis in a certain category. When
I was a kid, these were the Harlequin and Silhouette romances that were
shipped, 4 books a month, on subscription. I took one trope in particular from
those classic romances, the marriage of convenience, when I wrote First Comes Marriage. It’s one of my
favorites and I hope you’ll enjoy it too.
Their marriage was
supposed to be all business….
When struggling
novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book
contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage
proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!
Jesse’s in a pinch. To
keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for
offering Chris this business deal: in exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion
for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he
wants and walks away with a million-dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle
that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever
met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or
can he?
from Chapter Six:
Now, standing in the conference room of
Windview Enterprises’ corporate headquarters near South Ferry in Manhattan, one
of the matching platinum bands Jesse had bought for them in his pants pocket,
Chris wondered if he’d wake up from the dream. The floor-to-ceiling windows
looked out over Wall Street and the East River through the forest of high-rise
“Do you, Jesse Chase Donovan, take
Christopher James Valentine to be your husband, in love and in friendship,
until you are parted by death?” the judge asked.
“I do.” As Jesse slipped the ring on
Chris’s finger, he met Chris’s gaze with such intensity that for an instant,
Chris could almost forget the entire ceremony was a ruse to ensure the future
of Windview remained firmly in Jesse’s control. Damn the man for being so
attractive. Damn him for being a nice guy, because that was the worst
part of it. And the part that had you agreeing.
“And do you, Christopher James Valentine,
take Jesse Chase Donovan to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until
you are parted by death?”
Chris swallowed hard and prayed he didn’t
look as incredibly nervous as he felt. “I do.” His hand shook as he took
Jesse’s hand and put the ring on his finger.
“Congratulations, Chris and Jesse,” the
judge said.
Chris caught Val’s eye for a split second,
and he half expected her to urge him to kiss Jesse. But it was Jesse who took
charge and blindsided Chris with a kiss.
It started sweetly enough, just Jesse’s
lips against his, but instead of releasing Chris, Jesse pulled him tighter
against him and pressed his tongue into his mouth. Jesse tasted fucking
amazing. Chris didn’t hesitate—their tongues tangled and danced. This close,
Jesse smelled good and felt even better. Chris was barely aware of slipping his
hands around Jesse’s back before resting them on lean hips. He didn’t think
twice as his body and Jesse’s responded in kind.
Someone giggled—Chris recognized Val’s
voice—and Jesse pulled abruptly away. Their eyes met for a split second, and
Chris thought he saw a mixture of desire and surprise in Jesse’s deep blue
eyes. The next thing Chris knew, Val had thrown her arms around him and only
his racing heart and tingling lips told him he hadn’t imagined the entire
“Oh, Chris,” Val cooed. “You really did
“Yeah” was the only response Chris could
manage. He was still thinking about Jesse’s mouth.
“I guess I was wrong about him being
straight,” she whispered mischievously.
Chris was thrilled when Terry grabbed him
in a bear hug, because he had no idea how to respond to Val’s comment. He also
wasn’t sure if he should be pissed off with Jesse for the show. He supposed if
this was going to work, Jesse needed to make the marriage look real. Still, how
difficult would it have been to warn Chris that he had that up his sleeve?
All about Shira
Shira Anthony is a complete sucker for a
happily-ever-after, and rarely reads or writes a story without one. Never a fan
of instalove, Shira likes to write stories about real men with real issues
making real relationships work.

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing
roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others.
Her Blue Notes Series is loosely based upon her own experiences as a
professional musician.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs and when she’s not
writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for
children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at
the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel. She’s given up
TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a
pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Interested in hearing Shira sing? Here's a link to a live performance of Shira
singing an aria from Puccini's “Tosca”:…

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Where you can find Shira
First Comes Marriage is
all above love and romance, and Shira’s grand prize is a dozen red roses for
your sweetheart (or whoever you think deserves it!). First prize is a $10
Dreamspinner Gift Certificate.
Blog Tour Information