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Then Comes Marriage [Mass Market Paperback]

Kasey Michaels

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Book Description

21 Feb 2002
Gentle Reader My friends have always warned me I'm far too curious for my own good, but then they also swore they'd never wed...and now there's Bramwell Seaton, a duke happily leg-shackled with two in the nursery, and Kipp Rutland, a viscount off on his balsted honeymoon. Instead of pitying them, all I seem to feel is envy! I must be going mad. How else to explain my fascination with Regina Bliss? From the moment Kipp found her begging in the streets, the lying minx has plagued me. In fact, it was my interest in investigating her past that saw me trussed like a turkey, tossed in the Thames and left for dead by the three men I now hunt with every resource at my disposal. It's not often a man witnesses his own funeral. But I plan to masquerade as my own heir - a pretentious dandy, quite my opposite - as I seek my would-be assassins. And if it takes the considerable acting talents of Miss Bliss to accomplish my goal, so be it. That girl may be my secret weapon...if my unseemly desire for her doesn't destroy me first!

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Bored, Brady, old friend?" Bramwell Seaton, Duke of Selbourne, asked as he snagged two glasses from a passing servant. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Romp in the Tradition of Georgette Heyer 26 Jan 2002
By Michael Weber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A Little Personal History to Begin, or, Why Is a Middle-Aged Male Reviewing Rgency Romances?
When i was twenty (which was rather more than half my life ago) and stationed at the Naval Shipyard at Norfolk, i read an article in a science-fiction fanzine about Georgette Heyer, a british author of romances. The article included a rather fractured but hilarious plot-summary of a book entitled "Sylvester, or, the Wicked Uncle." I, being bored, checked the Navy Exchange's book racks and discovered a Hayer book entitled "The Talisman Ring", read it, and was hooked. ((It was some years later before i found a copy of "Sylvester", which proved to be even more gloriously silly and complex in plot than the article i had read had implied...))
Anyway, having read every Regency or Georgian romance and all of the historical novels the late Ms Heyer published (her mysteries are a different and, i'm afraind, unfathomable, thing entirely), i came to the conclusion that she basically wrote two types of story: Romps and Sweets, as i called them.
Sweets were iminently readable, consisting primarily of relatively lowkey action and devastatingly-drawn observations of society and drawing room wit/comedy of manners writing.
Romps had the comedy of manner, but usually also featured wilder elements, such as gender swaps between brother and sister in order to hide in plain sight, military officers taking over the opeation of a country tollgate on a whim to discover where the missing gatekeeper is, abductions of various sorts for various purposes, smuggling and various other nafarious activities, a young woman married to a man she'd never seen till fifteen minutes before and thenm widowed less than an hour afterward, and murders, duels and fisticuffs of various and sundry sorts. And love stories.
So what, you ask, does that have to do with a review of a Kasey Michaels novel? Just that this is a Regency Romp that is *almost* as good as one of Heyer's.
And *almost* as good as Georgette Heyer is readable indeed.
There are, in fact, familiar elements of Heyeresque plot scattered througout this book -- and at least one neat little bit of dialog that my wife and i are both sure is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Heyer's "These Old Shades", possibly the best of her romps.
Brady James, a typical Heyeresque heroic non-pareil, is attacked and thrown, weighted, into the Thames to drown, barely escaping with his life.
Arranging with friends to fake his own funeral, he retreats to his country house to recuperate and to plot the discovery and punishment of whoever tried to do him in.
He suspects that the attack may have something to do with his enquiries into the background of a Miss Regina Bliss, a young lady apparently incapable of telling the truth when an outrageous lie will do better who was rescued from the streets by friends of his in a previous book.
As he recuperates, he and Miss Bliss work out a scheme in which he will be his own foppish distant cousin, newly returned from France with his inheritance of Brady's title and estates and she will be his ward. Together, they will discover his own attackers; and Miss Bliss, who has an agenda of her own, will also look for revenge on old enemies of her own whom Brady knows nothing of.
And, as anyone can predict, though the path of True Love will hardly run smooth, it will happen.
Lots of fun, well worth the attention of anyone who likes Heyer and has run out of her books.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cardboard Characters and a Snail-like Plot 25 Aug 2003
By Trisha A. Howell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kasey Michaels has a witty style that almost manages to win over the reader. I say almost because, unfortunately, her sense of humor does not make up for the lack of character development and slow pace that characterizes Then Comes Marriage.
Brady James, the Earl of Singleton, is attacked on the streets of Regency London, beaten, wrapped in chains and cast into the Thames. But Brady lives and spends the rest of the novel closing in on his would-be killers. By his side is penniless actress Regina Bliss, whose parents apparently died at the hands of Brady's assailants. With romantic sparks flying, Brady and Regina team up, along with Regina's traveling player friends, to expose the villains. To amusing effect, Brady impersonates his fictitious cousin Gawain Caradoc, an effeminate dandy whose ridiculous clothing and wimpy manner soon becomes a joke that's beaten to death.
It's hard to stay interested in the story because Brady and Regina are given almost no inner life until very late and then not enough. The plot drags slowly on, and then the reader is never given a credible reason why the villains tried to kill Brady; he'd uncovered nothing when asking questions about Regina's past (the motive or rather pretext for his attack).
Then Comes Marriage shows that even fairly entertaining banter cannot save a story whose characters and plot never achieve a feeling of reality.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars engaging historical romance 26 Dec 2001
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Feeling pity when Viscount Willoughby Rutland and his wife Abby saw the innocent looking Regina Bliss begging for spare change outside the theater, they hired her as a maid. When Earl Bradley James sees Regina working for the Rutlands, he asks her what brought her to such a crisis?

Regina, an actress, relates her tale of woe, but Bradley does not believe her. He makes a few inquiries and draws the attention of the wrong people. Soon three aristocrats abduct Bradley and toss him into the Thames to die. He survives and devices an ingenious plan to flush out the culprits with Regina's assistance as she too has a score to settle with these thugs. As they work together to catch a killer, they fall in love, but a relationship will have to wait to see if they survive their endeavor.

Adored by readers for her Regency romances, Kasey Michaels provides her audience with her best work to date in THEN COMES MARRIAGE. The relationship between the lead couple is hilarious due to their witty repartee that camouflages their true feelings for one another. Also amusing is the straight-laced Brady takes on the persona of Gawain Caradoc, a frivolous dandy so that he can move freely among the Ton. This is more than just a strong regency; this tale is an engaging historical romance that should be on everyone's short list.

Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Readers aren't stupid 1 Oct 2011
By Teresa A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Then Comes Marriage" actually starts with the previous book, when the hero, Brady, first meets the heroine, Regina Bliss. Miss Bliss is found acting as a destitute and disabled child trying to make some money on the streets who turns out to be a perfectly normal young woman. After she's adopted by Brady's friends, he gets curious about her background and goes digging for information. That catches us up to this book, where Brady's curiosity gets him dowsed in a river. Intent on finding who tried to kill him, he teams up with Regina to find out why people didn't want him asking questions about her.

The book follows several common romance themes, especially how a good woman can redeem a bad boy (or just a selfish boy, really). Kasey Michaels reintroduces the readers to old characters from previous books while watching Regina learn to trust and Brady learn that marriage is good.

The problems are many, however. Brady's character development is hurl-inducing, not to mention horribly stereotypical. This books spends pages and pages and pages talking about how single men are selfish brutes who can't get in touch with the feelings of themselves or others. Only married men can truly enjoy life! I find that insulting, and I'm a woman. Then there's the fact that Ms. Michaels can't hint at moods or feelings or anything, really. She has to smack you upside the head with it. The reason that Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer are so wonderful to read is because their wit is subtle - they actually trust the reader to figure out the joke. Michaels, however, does not and constantly has her characters spell out why the situation is supposed to be funny. Talk about a comedic killer. Add on a cast of side characters who are not nearly as funny as they're supposed to be, and this book is just boring.

If you like your books chock full of sentiment, you might like this one. I had to fight to read it and really just skimmed the last 50 pages. If you enjoy a realistic view of the world in your romance books and comedy that isn't spelled out for you, skip this one.
3.0 out of 5 stars A cute book 31 May 2002
By Jenn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kasey Michaels has come back again with a charming romance about pretense and deception, and the power of a good disguise. When Brady James is badly injured in an attack, he lets everyone bleinve he is dead to hunt for his attackers. Actress Regina Bliss not only knows who attacked him, she is perfect person to help him become someone else in order to hunt for the villains. Thus emerges the exceedinly silly Gwain Caradoc, and his ward, Regina Felicity.
The best part of the book, in my opinion, is the beginning where Regina comes to nurse Brady, and to exchange witty quips. Once Brady and Regina travel to London, the plot gets a little thin. A good book to laugh and to love a little. Buy this one.
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