Today we have the author of the best-selling author THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN, her debut novel. Jennifer Probst is here with us today to talk about the success of her first book, and her newest release in her Marriage to a Billionaire Series Series, THE MARRIAGE TRAP.
Everyone, please give Jennifer a warm Book Pushers welcome!
Thank you so much for having me here today!
The Book Pushers: Tell us a little bit about THE MARRIAGE TRAP?
Jennifer: The Marriage Trap is the second in the marriage to a billionaire series and follows Alexa’s best friend, Maggie Ryan on her journey for love with the sexy, charming Michael Conte. In order for his younger sister to marry, Michael has to find a fake bride due to an ancient Italian custom, and convinces Maggie to pose as his wife. Maggie and Michael are constantly at odds, and of course there’s a wonderful sexual chemistry between them that crackles throughout the book! The journey takes you to Bergamo, Italy where you will meet a dramatic Italian family and watch as two people who think they are completely different get trapped into a very real life marriage!
The Book Pushers: Where did the idea of a series based on marriages of convenience come from (one of my favorite romance tropes, by the way!)?
Jennifer: It’s my favorite too! I adore the marriage of convenience themes and couldn’t seem to find many contemporary books with this twist. I thought it would be fun to use a love spell to connect all the books together, and watch each character get stuck in a marriage of convenience in various ways. I love when a hero and heroine are at odds and are forced to be intimate in the day to day realities of marriage. It’s a playground full of opportunities for great sexual tension, humor, and conflict.
The Book Pushers: Did you ever expect THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN to be as success as it turned out, especially for your debut novel?
Jennifer: No! I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone (a very good episode) when I found the book hit number one on Barnes and Noble and then go to the bestseller lists. This book had been rejected numerous times by many publishers so when Entangled took a chance on it I was overwhelmed. To know my gut instinct was right and the book was special makes me so happy. The fan mail from readers humbles me, especially when I thought to give up on this story many times but I was too stubborn!
The Book Pushers: What do you have planned outside of the The Marriage to a Billionaire Series series?
Jennifer: I have many other books out, and write both sexy and erotic romance. There’s some great erotic novellas with Decadent – my series Catch Me, Play Me, and Dare Me which chronicle the sexy Steele brothers in Vegas. My other sexy contemporary Heart of Steel pits a yoga teacher against a CEO with a million dollar stakes for a bit of intrigue. I have a short Christmas story coming in November, The Holiday Hoax, and another sexy contemporary romance issuing in January All The Way. And of course, there may be another one in the marriage series coming!
The Book Pushers: What was your reaction when you heard that The Marriage Trap had hit the NYT ebook best-selling list?
Jennifer: Sheer amazement. Shock. Excitement. I cried, I shook, I hugged my husband. How does it feel when your dream since you’ve been little comes true? Pretty fantastic!
The Book Pushers: What movie do you think best exemplifies the “marriage of convenience?”
Jennifer: I love The Proposal with Sandra Bullock! It’s got great comedy and heart.
The Book Pushers: If you could arrange a wedding of a fictional or real life couple, who would they be and what kind of wedding would they have?
Jennifer: Thor and Jane. I know, this sounds very weird, but my son is a huge superhero fan and I’m a huge Chris Hemsworth fan. I watched Thor and Avengers a few time and found when Thor fell in love with Jane and they were separated, it broke my heart. It was as if they were always meant to be together and never would. So sad. I’d fix their problem, and let Jane be able to leave her world and live with Thor and they’d have this gorgeous magical wedding in Asgard and they’d be mated for life.
The Book Pushers: How do you try and make the trope of marriage convenience work in this day of modern age?
Jennifer: That was my biggest challenge but so much fun! Spinning a marriage of convenience in today’s world needs a little bit of fantasy set in real life. Combining practical business reasons is a good source, since that is a possibility in modern times. My hero from Trap comes from an old fashioned Italian family with certain customs , so that was also helpful to bring to the forefront. There are still many places where marriages of convenience happen for all sorts of logical reasons, so diving into those ideas help ground the book.
The Book Pushers: What other contemporary romance authors would you recommend?
Jennifer: I have so many I read on a regular basis. Some of my favorites are: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard, Jayne Ann Krentz, Jill Shalvis, Emily Giffin. Some wonderful new authors I just discovered? Megan Mulry and Alice Clayton. But there’s too many to list here or I’ll never stop!
The Book Pushers: What is your all time favourite romance and love story, and why?
Jennifer: This sounds like I’m cheating but I can’t name one. When I read a good romance, I’m completely transported and swear it’s my all time, dying favorite. Until I find my next hit. So, I’m kind of like a book slut…I love them all and want to experience one after the other. And they are all my favorites…at the time! On my list of favorite authors there is at least one book from each of them I continuously go back to for a re-read. That is the sign of greatness.
The Book Pushers: And finally a fun question! Could you describe what kind of wedding cake for the new book’s characters? It doesn’t have to be conventional either!
Jennifer: Oh, well the wedding cake of course is catered by my hero’s bakery, La Dolce Famiglia. I’d do a cannoli cake, flaky, buttery layers of pastry with rich chocolate chip cannoli cream, with a rich dark chocolate drizzled on the top. And no wedding people stuck on the top– Maggie would hate that!
Thanks so much Jennifer! We are so looking forward to The Marriage Trap! We also have one copy of The Marriage Trap to send to one lucky commenter. Just leave Jennifer a question, or tell us your favorite marraige of convenience story to be entered. Giveaway is open Internationally and ends October 25th. Good luck!