First Comes Love
By Michele
Jul 8, 2007 - 9:12:50 PM

Married life has never felt so good! Cate is married to her sweetheart, Ethan Blakely. They are enjoying being a married couple. They live in a nice modest house and have two animals, a dog and cat. In addition, they own a catering company and conduct business out of their home. All her friends are married and one is expecting. They were just married last fall and already Cate's mom is asking them when they are going to have a baby. Actually, Cate has not thought about it much until now.

Ethan's relatives are hosting an Easter party and Cate, lucky her, goes as the Easter Bunny to entertain the kids. Denise, Ethan's weird cousin, and her boyfriend Keith are there with his children from a previous marriage. Cate and Ethan refer to Keith as Scary Dad, because he never grins, communicates to anyone, or chuckles. The whole family wonders what attracts Denise to him. All the kids are pelting everyone with mostly raw eggs because one Aunt got the eggs jumbled up and forgot which were hard boiled or raw eggs. Ethan's grandma bends over quickly to avoid being hit by an egg. It hits her window instead. Keith's young boy throws an egg at Cate and then tries to wrest the basket of plastic eggs from her hand. Cate tries to shoo him off because she is anxious to talk to Ethan the first chance she can get about some important news. She has missed her period. She has always been irregular but this time she feels different. As the children run around the yard, she wistfully imagines having kids of their own. Would they act like that? Ethan finally yells at the kids and corals them.

On their way home, Ethan and Cate discuss the possibility of having a child. Ethan is concerned about having a baby so soon after getting married and buying a car. Cate just started working for the catering business after Ethan's partner left. The flexible hours appealed to her along with the closeness to Ethan and their families. It would be much easier to raise their children with a job like this. They stop at a convenience store and buy a pregnancy test. Cate is so eager to find out if she is pregnant. When she gets home she races to the bathroom, takes the test, waits the allotted time, and…nothing. There is no hint of a line there. She is so disappointed. Ethan tells her it was meant to be then. She will get pregnant when the time is right.

Cate is obsessed now with getting pregnant. Everywhere she looks, there are pregnant women. She can't wait to be with a child on board. Every month when her period is late, she buys another pregnancy test. Ethan is getting concerned about the money she is spending on the tests. Furthermore, she has read on the Internet about pregnancies and the things that can go wrong. She wonders if her inability to get pregnant is due to a female problem. She decides to see her doctor. Her doctor tells her everything is fine after running some tests except for one thing she is too thin. He tells her to put on some weight. When you are too thin, it will cause you to have irregular periods.

The thought of eating a lot of food is foreign to Cate. She normally eats salads and healthy foods. She has decided though that she really wants to get pregnant so she makes an effort to eat more. Time passes and she finally puts on a little weight. All the while, her mom and relatives have dropped hints as to when a little one will be on the way. Frankly, she is tired of all the comments. Her one friend has just had her baby and is dealing with getting it on a schedule. Another friend has had a miscarriage and Cate consoles her. Then, Denise drops a bombshell on everyone that Keith and she are engaged to be married and she wants Cate to be the maid of honor. Then, Ethan and Cate unexpectedly get a huge catering contract with a famous family that makes outrageous demands on the food they want for the event. Cate and Ethan's life has suddenly become very complicated and busy. Will they ever have time for themselves? Will Cate ever get pregnant? How will she cope with being Denise's maid of honor? Does the catering event go off without a hitch? Life takes many unexpected surprises as Ethan and Cate soldier on through the many obstacles they have to face while Cate tries repeatedly to get pregnant.

FIRST COMES LOVE is a delightful novel filled with many engaging characters that you will come to love and hate. Denise is the annoying relative who makes Cate frustrated so many times that you can't wait to see if Denise will get her comeuppance at the end. The love that Ethan and Cate have for one another is obvious as they face many obstacles that would cause many people to divorce. I definitely could feel the attraction between them at the tender moments they shared in bed together. Cate's paranoia over fertility issues is a hoot! I loved how Whitney Lyles wove her pregnancy story adding many moments of suspense and laughter leaving the reader to wonder if Cate ever gets pregnant. Whitney Lyles is a very talented and classic writer who charms with her quirky characters and witty dialogue. FIRST COMES LOVE is a very realistic look at the road to pregnancy. A divine story to savor in the shade with a tall, cool glass of lemonade.

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