Review – The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst

Publisher: Galley
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: Edelweiss

Italian billionaire seeks faux fiancée. Willing to agree to anything in return…

In order for his sister to marry, Italian billionaire Michael Conte has to find himself a bride – and fast! When he learns that photographer Maggie Ryan is going to be in Milan, Michael hatches a plan to introduce her to his family as his “fiancée.” Never mind that Maggie is confident, independent, and a control freak. Never mind that she’s everything he doesn’t want in a wife… and everything he wants in his bed!

Convinced that Michael is in love with her married gal pal, Maggie agrees to keep up the ruse if he’ll keep away from her friend. Besides, she’s not attracted to charming, ridiculously hot billionaires who drive her nuts. Once they’re in Italy, however, everything changes – and the sexual tension between Maggie and Michael goes from simmer to naked nuclear meltdown!

But have they found the perfect arrangement… or are they trapped in a make-believe marriage?
*Blurb from Goodreads*

After reading and falling in love with the first Marriage to a Billionaire book, I was anxiously awaiting Probst second book in the series. I absolutely adored Maggie and Michael from the first book, and couldn’t wait to see their sexual tension take over the pages of the book, all while trying to convince his family they were engaged.

Maggie believes wholeheartedly that Michael is in-love with her best friend and sister-in-law Alexa, so there are some definite hard feelings between them. But despite what Maggie believes, she also knows that the attraction between her and Michael can be all-consuming at times. When he propositions her to be his fake-fiance, Maggie is stunned, but sees this as a perfect opportunity to get Michael away from Alexa, and agrees.

Michael had the hots for Maggie, but can’t believe she honestly thinks he has a thing for Alexa. when his family affairs reach a boiling point, and Maggie agrees to come home as his faux-fiance, Michael decides to use the time together to convince Maggie that they could be good – even great – if they did the marriage thing for real.

I absolutely LOVE the marriage of convenience thing, and I honestly felt as if it was fresh and new from the first book to the second. Plus, the added benefit of Maggie’s animosity toward Michael, and Michael’s ever building attraction to Maggie added so much to the story. I love the frienemies trope in romance as well, and add in the oh-so-hot sexual attraction between these two and it made for a fun and sexy romance.

I really liked that the story took place almost exclusively in Italy with Michael’s family. I loved getting the chance to meet them and learn more about their history and backstory as a family. It was also great to see Maggie get the chance to really see and be a part of a real family. One who cares unconditionally for each other, one who takes care of each other, sacrifices things for one another. Given Maggie’s own family, it was nice to see her struggle with having people to lean on and turn to, something she’d never had before. That sense of strong family values was prominent throughout the story, and something that I loved reading about.

The romance between these two was so well done! Like I said, the sexual tension and bubbling animosity made for so much drama between these two, that it felt like the pages cracked and sizzled at every turn. I loved that although they were pretending to be engaged, they also took their relationship very slowly. They were barely friends in the beginning, and steadily worked their way to friends and allies and then so much more. I loved that Maggie was able to give Michael an outside and honest opinion about his very back-asswards way of dealing with his sisters, and that he was able to see that he was being way too traditional and old-fashioned with them. I liked that Michael was able push Maggie to explore more of herself, to see herself in a better and brighter light with her work and her overall self worth.

I loved Michael’s family, especially his mother, whom took Maggie under her wing and really helped push the two together. I loved his sisters, and can’t wait to see more of them! The next book feature’s Michael’s youngest sister Carina, and I’m so excited to see her really blossom from the shy girl she was in this book to the sexy and confident woman in her own story. Especially since she gets the chance at love with her longtime crush Max.

All in all I really enjoyed the second installment of the Marriage to a Billionaire series. The marriage of convenience theme is so much fun, and one that keeps me entertained from start to finish. I also really liked the rocky development of Michael and Maggie’s relationship. It was fun to see them develop different feelings, see each other in different lights, and really discover more than they ever thought possible about themselves and one another. I can’t wait to read the next in the series!
I give The Marriage Trap a B

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