Summary: 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…
Heroine: Alexa, our protagonist in THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN by Jennifer Probst, is a little too perfect. She’s generous, attractive, and independent. And let’s not forget the fact that she owns a bookstore! (A struggling bookstore… but still.) Despite that she has a lot going for her, Alexa doesn’t know it. I love how she is unaware of her attributes. Alexa also doesn’t have everything going for her, but she doesn’t let it get to her. She is always positive and makes the best out of the situation. She is no simpering miss. She is willing to make sacrifices and compromises to get what she wants.
Hero: Nick Ryan is a little broody. Thankfully, he has good reason for it. Nick Ryan does not want to marry for love – especially after he grew up with his parents’ loveless and hurtful marriage. Nick is guarded because of his parents’ divorce and the lack of love in his family while growing up. Probst lets readers to really understand his character as he struggled with conflicting emotions as he got to learn more about Alexa.
Supporting Cast: Of the supporting characters, my favorite would have to be Maggie – Alexa’s best friend and Nick’s sister. I liked how she played matchmaker at the beginning of the novel. The romance would not have been possible without her help. Though she is pretty close to both the heroine and the hero, I like that she does not get too involved into the relationship. She advises Alexa every now and then, but Maggie does not meddle. Probst makes it pretty obvious that Maggie will take the spotlight in the second book, and for this, I cannot be more excited.
Plot: I’m a sucker for arranged marriages and I’m so delighted that Probst manages to pull it off in a modern day setting. I think that the arrangement works in THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN by Jennifer Probst because the motives of each character is believable.
Romance: I loved the romantic tension between Alexa and Nick. The fact that the two characters have shared history adds to the credibility of the romance. Probst takes the time to develop the romance in THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN which only made for a sweeter finish. This reader was very satisfied with how the romance played out. My only complaint? The resolution was just too saccharine for my liking. However, I thought that the epilogue was a nice touch and it only makes me look forward to the second book of the Marriage to a Billionaire series.
Love Potion Strength:
– Exceeds Expectations
Contemporary usually isn’t my go-to whenever I pick up a romance novel, but Jennifer Probst makes me want to do otherwise. THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN was such a fun read and I couldn’t put it down. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the Marriage to a Billionaire series.