Review – The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

Publisher: Entangled
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: Review copy from publisher

A marriage in name only…

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend’s older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he’s offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: Avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…
*Blurb from Goodreads*

Even though my schedule has been beyond hectic, the moment I saw this request come through and the marriage of convenience story, I was instantly sold. I love it, it’s my romance crack, and I can’t get enough of it!

Alexa had a crush on Nick as a young girl, but never in a million years did she ever think that anything would come of it. But when she needs cash and quick, she is willing to put aside her own horrible thoughts of the past and take a chance that Nick can provide a business deal that will be beneficial for them both.

Nick needs a wife in order to take his business to the next level. Too bad the one thing he never wanted was a wife. His idea to make a business deal with his little sister’s childhood best friend seems like a good idea at the time, since he needs a wife and she needs money. But that was before Nick saw Alexa again and realized how the little girl grew up into a beautiful and incredible woman who keeps surprising him at every turn. Will they be able to keep the convenience in their marriage and the passion out, or will things unravel before either expects?

One of the things I loved most about this book was that it was so predictable, and yet felt fresh at the same time. It incorporated so many different tropes that I absolutely love and adore in my contemporary romance. Nick was the older brother of Alexa’s childhood best friend, and was someone she knew well as a kid. They had a friends to lovers relationship while being forced to smile and put on a happy facade to their families and friends. Nick and Alexa went into their “marriage” wanting two totally different things, claiming to be the complete opposite kind of people the other was looking for in a mate, and yet they were perfect for each other. While it all sounds so “been there, done that” Probst has a way to writing such engaging characters that I never once felt like I was reading something I’d already read before. And for that reason alone, it was fabulous.

Add in the romance between Nick and Alexa and I was a puddle of goo for this book. I loved that they went into their arrangement knowing that they were the complete opposite of what the other person wanted. Alexa even had a list of traits she wanted in a husband, and besides being able to trust Nick, he didn’t meet a single trait. Yet throughout their courtship, they seemed to bring out sides of each other that neither expected. They both came to the realization that their ideal isn’t always what works best for them in the day-to-day.

Their relationship progressed slowly and yet quickly, given Alexa’s desire to pretend for her family. I loved that aspect as well. Although it would have been better and easier for Nick to keep things strictly business, the fact that Alexa wouldn’t budge on letting her family into the secret, added an extra dimension to the story. I really enjoyed the fact that they would play the happy couple one moment, and be tearing at each other’s throats the very next. It gave the book some extra sexual tension and drama while still keeping the two of them close together enough to have to work it out, regardless.

All in all I can’t say enough good things about the first book in the Marriage to a Billionaire series. Although some people may find the book to be typical and repetitive of others in the genre, I found it to be both fresh and familiar at the same time. Probst brought in so many different sub-plots that I love reading about, and yet gave such life to Nick and Alexa. Front the first page, I was pulled into their story and couldn’t put it down until I made sure they were going to get their HEA. I’m anxious to read the other books in the series, especially if Probst can prove to create another unique story with the old familiar romance tropes.
I give The Marriage Bargain an A-

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3 thoughts on “Review – The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst”

  1. Great review, thank you. But did she really cast a love spell? Is there magic in some form in this book, or would I be totally put on the wrong leg here?

  2. @aurian – she claims to have cast a love spell, but there wasn’t anything magical about it. I would have hated if there were, so you are in the clear!! 🙂

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