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?
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She holds a masters in English Literature and lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Her family keeps her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. Her passions include horse racing, Scrabble, rescue dogs, Italian food, and wine—not necessarily in that order.
She is the NYT, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, spent 26 weeks on the NY Times. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries, sold over a million copies, and was dubbed a "romance phenom" by Kirkus Reviews. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases at www.jenniferprobst.com. Sign up of her newsletter at www.jenniferprobst.com/newsletter for a free book.
I have to admit, the hot cover was the first thing that drew me to the book. And was I glad that the content justified it. In spades.
It all started with her and his list of Mr/Ms Right. Hers : 1) A Mets fan, 2) loves books, art and poetry, 3) believes in monogamy, 4) wants children, 5) knows how to communicate with a woman, 6) loves animals, 7) has a morale code of ethics and believes in honesty, 8) a good lover 9) has a strong sense of family, 10) has $150,000 cash available.
His : 1) a woman who does not love me 2) a woman I do not desire to sleep with 3) a woman who does not have a big family 4) a woman who does not have any animals 5) a woman who does not want any children 6) a woman who has an independent career 7) a woman who will view the relationship as a business venture 8) a woman who is not overly emotional or impulsive 9) a woman I can trust
Alexa and Nicholas were both in deep trouble and the only solution was to get married. To. Each. Other. The thing was these two were old acquaintances and they had always rubbed each other wrong. Their constant head-on collisions were hilarious as well as sexual at times.
I loved their banters too, She narrowed her eyes. "I see you're the same overbearing bully who teased me about my chest size. Some things don't change." "I guess you're right. Some things remain the same. Others keep expanding." She smiled, "and other things remain small."
The story was like any other typical marriage-in-name-only, but JP delivered it with her own writing style which combines hot-and-heavy with witty as well as sweet. A fun and enjoyable read. Can't wait for the next book about Alexa's BFF.
Yeah. Yeah, I did. I remember the story. What little there was, anyway. This book wasn't even a whole book, I don't think. It was somewhere between novel length and short story. Went by like that. It went by so quickly that I actually forgot I'd read a book. The next day, I was like, Wait....didn't I read an entire book last night? But you know, short as it was, it wasn't too terrible. It was tolerably written and had some genuinely funny bits. The female protagonist, Alexa, wasn't so bad. Sort of the antithesis of Ana Steele. Alexa was more like
I could get behind her no nonsense 'tude. I could. She was pretty cool. Then there was Nick. Here I have to shamefully admit that I've always had a soft spot for characters named Nick because it's my husband's name. Am I a silly quim? Hell yeah, but it's all good, I ain't hurtin' nobody.
Anyway, where the fuck was I? Oh, right, Nick. Well, on the outside, Nick is this cool, collected, cold hearted bastard who doesn't want love 'cause it's a myth and all that jazz, but underneath he's just all sad and lumpy. Like yogurt that's been left on the counter way too long. Only probably better looking. I hope better looking...
So, we already know the premise of the story; Alexa needs to marry for money, Nick needs to marry for money, so they decide to marry each other. For money. And then the inevitable happens. They fall in lust with each other
then they fall in lurve with each other, then all hell breaks loose when Alexa gets knocked up with Nick's baby and he freaks out, insisting Alexa only got pregnant to "trap him". Yes, Nick is a bit full of himself. Anyway, the whole thing is so predictable, you know where it goes from there. Yes, there's a HEA ending, and yes, Nick comes to his senses, and yes, there's a sad adopted dog involved.
Psst! The dog is a metaphor for Nick. If I were Nick, I'd be highly insulted. But then, I'd be a rich architect, so I probably wouldn't really care.
The ending is so romance fiction typical. He shows up at a poetry reading and does the whole eating-of-his-pride thing, and is all like
and Alexa, all pregnant and mopey, is just all tears and love and gag-me-with-sugar sentimental. There's a group hug. The end.
It was hokey and predictable and cheesy and character development be damned, but you know what?
I made it almost all the way through this before my loathing for Nick finally overcame my desire to see Alexa happy. And it's not so much that Nick is a jerk and completely unworthy of her attention (though he is those things). It's that he doesn't make any sense in a tropey way that I wish authors would stop trying to make work. Let me lay it out in explicit terms. If a guy prides himself on rational analysis, then he can't possibly believe the truly stupid propositions that love doesn't exist and that monogamy is an illusion. Those beliefs make him a self-involved idiot who couldn't analyze his way past a sleeping toddler.
The capper happened when Nick's father breezes in, has a single conversation, spouting self-involved, moronic things and Nick swallows it down hook, line, and sinker. The dad who is an indolent jerk who can't be bothered to pay attention to Nick must of course hold the keys to Nick's future. Authors, this makes Nick a complete and utter moron and going from that to hurting Alexa makes him the giantest douchnozzle that ever nozzed. Probst spends the length of the story spouting nonsense about Nick being smart and rational but showing him being a dramatic idiot ruled by his hormones and with an inability to weigh simple facts to reach obvious conclusions (like, for example, that his father is a selfish jerk whose every word about relationships should be disregarded as the empty wind it obviously is).
Also, Probst overwrites something terrible. The one that hangs in my memory is Alexa lamenting damage to her "mental sanity". As opposed to her, er, physical . . . sanity ?
0 stars! DNF 38% This book was so stupid!! Who says shit like this?! Can I have my 5 dollars back? Ugh, if not, could I somehow give this negative rating? This is me on my contemporary horse. A few more to come.
Almost a DNF. I came soooooo close to chucking this one, but I skimmed the last third of the book as I did want to finish. Overall this was a very underwhelming read. I love a great contemporary romance with steam, but this was too formulaic and lacked a decent story to keep me interested. The plot was just downright boring. I do like a marriage of convenience plot, but this was just too hokey as they keep going back and forth on their desires for sex. The heroine's need to lie was baffling, and the heroes sudden change of heart is a plot device so often found in bad fiction. While it had the occasional cute moments, I can't recommend this one, sorry.
Translation widget on The blog!!! “Jocul cu focul” este o poveste de dragoste plină de piedici, o pleiadă de sentimente care te iau cu asalt din fiecare pagină. Povestea a două suflete pereche care au fost rănite, știu ce înseamnă suferința și care încearcă să își protejeze inima. Nick a crescut într-o familie bogată, cu servitori, dar cu părinți absenți, reci, care și-au folosit copiii ca pe niște arme. Astfel, acesta a învățat că dragoste nu provoacă decât suferință. De tânăr a luat decizia de a nu se căsători și de a nu avea copii. Alexa, a avut și ea parte de propriile suferințe, tatăl ei i-a părăsit din cauza problemelor cu alcoolul, chiar dacă acum totul este bine. Dar, la frageda vârstă de 14 ani, cel care a rănit-o cu adevărat, a fost chiar Nick care i-a distrus încrederea în iubire și fericire până la adânci bătrâneți. Dar, ani mai târziu, fiecare dintre ei se vede pus în situația de a se căsători, fiecare având propriile scopuri. Lui Nick îi trebuie o soție pentru a putea moșteni firma de arhitectură a unchiului său; iar Alexa are nevoie de 150000$ pentru a salva casa familiei, deoarece, din cauza datoriilor, aceasta se vede nevoită să o vândă. Astfel că, ambii semnează un contract în care sunt de acord că după un an de zile se vor despărți fără alte pretenții. Toate bune și frumoase până când cei doi nu mai sunt capabili să își ascundă sentimentele. Astfel, sub masca atracției și a pasiunii care mocnește între ei, fiecare încearcă să își protejeze inima. Dar cum destinul nu este dispus să îi lase să scape prea ușor, ceva le dă viața peste cap, iar acuzațiile lui Nick o îndepărtează pe aceasta din viața lui. O poveste de dragoste dulce- amăruie, cu multe emoții care îți aduc lacrimi în ochi și provoacă suferință în aceeași măsură în care speri să atingă fericirea până la adânci bătrâneți. O carte frumușică, ușoară și relaxantă. Impresiile mele despre serie aici: https://justreadingmybooks.wordpress....
All romance lovers out there, make way for the superbly talented Jennifer Probst who has succeeded in earning herself an auto-buy spot on my already long list of authors whose books I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase. Not only do I immediately purchase Jennifer Probst’s books, but I stop everything I am reading at the moment and plunge into her books with an enthusiasm that tells a story of its own.
27 year old Alexandria Maria McKenzie (Alexa) is in a bit of a dilemma. She needs a husband, preferably with $150,000 to spare and she needs it fast. Brushing aside her ideals and her image of the perfect husband to share her life with isn’t easy for Alexa. But she will do it because she is willing to do everything in her power to rescue her family home. And so Alexa casts a little love spell, all the while feeling a bit silly but nevertheless hopeful that Mother Earth would send her way, a man who would meet all those qualities that she wants in a man together with that wad of cold hard cash to give as well.
30 year old Nicholas Ryan (Nick) is in a bit of a fix as well. Nick has a fortune at his fingertips, but his Uncle Earl had changed all the rules of the game at the last minute and left him hanging. His dream of owning Dreamscape, the architectural firm that brings out all his emotions and creativity in one stride would belong to him, only if gets married before the stated time is up. Nick is a man who doesn’t believe in happily ever afters, large families and the strength of a love between two people that defies all odds and logic. And he is certainly the direct opposite of what Alexa envisions as a husband for herself and nor is he too thrilled to know that his only viable option of a wife for a year is none other than his childhood tormentor Alexa herself.
14 year since that humiliating experience that had broken Alexa’s heart, she meets an altogether more controlled and formidable Nick, whose cold and hard way of looking at a marriage leaves a lot to be desired. But Alexa is desperate enough and thus she enters into a bargain which would give them both a marriage in name only, merely a business transaction on both sides, cold and aloof right from the onset until the 1 year period is up and both parties go their separate ways. But neither Alexa nor Nick thinks of those messier emotions that could botch things up, or those tendrils of desire that slowly erupts, leaving them both wanting more and brings in the possibility of that elusive thing called love that could last a lifetime.
Jennifer Probst surprised me with The Marriage Bargain. I was already in high anticipatory mode when I started on the book, knowing that Jennifer would not disappoint me. What surprised me, and all in a good way I must add, was the thread of humor that was introduced into the book right from the very beginning. Humor and red hot passion is an unbeatable combination in any romance novel and I was a goner from the first chapter itself.
Alexa was a character I loved right from the very beginning. Her sense of humor, her loyalty and kindness, the way that she gives everything she has got with no expectations of gaining anything back in return were some of those traits that drew me towards her in the same way way that Nick continued to be as the story progressed. Alexa is a woman who is comfortable with who she is, a woman who is helplessly drawn towards her husband as she had been when she was much younger and more naive, already in love with a man who had no illusions about love and happily ever afters. And Alexa’s well rounded family certainly makes for a heartwarming addition to an already character driven story that proved to be of the unputdownable kind.
Nick *sigh*, Nick is a character I am going to be remembering for a long, long time. He is a man torn between the desire he feels for his altogether too alluring for her own good wife, a woman who confuses and befuddles him as no other woman ever has and his need for control that remains to be a thing of the past when Alexa steps into his life. He has no intention of staying around after the one year period is up to see where their relationship could go, already convinced that he would never make a good husband, a conviction born out of a childhood that had seen the endless battles of war waged between his parents.
The sexual tension that Jennifer so cleverly weaves into the story is of the scorching variety, the tingles and jolts that the reader experiences right along with Nick and Alexa one of the best parts of the story. Jennifer has a talent for building up the tension until it is an either do or die impasse that the characters reach, and the reader cannot help but be drawn towards the magic that unfolds that just left my throat parched, in dire need of a cool, tall glass of iced water to smooth things over. Without gushing further on this aspect, I will just let my quotes section do it for you.
And don’t let me forget the verbal warfare between Nick and Alexa, Nick finally meeting his match in every way. A woman who doesn’t back down, a woman who brings those little bits of color to his otherwise stark and empty life, showing Nick that life as he had known it is no longer an option for him. It is Alexa’s patience when it comes to Nick, the way she draws the inner soul inside of him that years to embrace those emotions which Nick is afraid to name that just makes this one of the best romances I have read in a long while.
A passion that is explosive as the love that unfolds is tender, a beautiful happily ever after that encompasses everything; Jennifer Probst delivers a fiery and wild romance that goes straight to your heart.
2,5-3. Tras leer los dos primeros libros de la serie Searching for de la misma autora, decidí leer el primero de esta serie, cuya temática fuera de la romántica histórica me chirría un montón en los tiempos que corren. A pesar de estar lleno de clichés y lugares comunes, así como de una sonrojante declaración de amor y un epilogo de lo más tonto; la química entre los dos protagonistas es muy buena, Alexa es un gran personaje femenino, la narración es fluida y se lee en un pispas. Es como una peli de amor tontorrona: bonita de ver en el momento, pero que se te olvida al minuto dos.
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! It was sweet, funny, fresh, fun and very engaging. A truly sweet romance. I loved everything about it except for the fact....IT WAS TOOO SHORT!!! :( I really hate it when that happens...the best stories are always the short ones..WHY OH WHY!!?? I could have easily read about Nick and Alexa for a long time.....like oh I don’t know 500 or 600 pages more!! I loved the story and the romance. This book totally brought on my girly-girl....and I couldn’t help but swoon and drool...yes drool over Nick! What a hottie!
The most hilarious part I can’t help but laugh every time I read it:
She narrowed her eyes. “I see you’re the same overbearing bully who teased me about my chest size. Some things don’t change.” He focused his attention on the dip of her dress. “I guess you’re right. Some things remain the same. Others keep expanding.” Her breath caught at the jab, but she surprised him when she smiled. “And other things remain small.” Her pointed stare settled directly on the bulge in the center of his pants.
LMFAO.....that had me laughing for a good 15 minutes!!! In fact Alexa and Nick’s relationship is full of laughter, sweet moments, hot sexy moments (of course.. ;p), love, and one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride! It was fantastic! I loved how their relationship grows over the course of the story and eventually helps both the main characters overcome their life obstacles. They both found comfort in each other....and they truly were meant to be together!! I AM COMPLETELY IN LOVE!!! Their romance is hot, it’s steamy and yeah it gets you hot and bothered....but that was the best part...waiting to see who gave up first! There is plenty of heat and attraction...to keep you right at the edge of your seat! YUM YUM YUMMY!!! =)
Alexa was hilarious, beautiful, witty, sassy, and a strong female character. I loved her easy going personality and her knack to annoy the hell out of Nick when she felt like it! LOL ;p The most amazing thing I admired about Alexa was that she never goes back on her word....and always keeps her promises and never gives up. It was admirable and it was one of her best qualities!
Nick....well first things first....THIS GUY IS HOT...AS IN HOT AS HELL HOT!!! YEAH THAT’S RIGHT.....just let your imaginations run wild ladies!!! I also loved Nick. Although, he was insecure about many things especially when it came to claiming a wife or having children, he was still a very determined person to make everything work out between him and Alexa....and really that’s all someone can ask for! Right from the beginning you see that he is attracted to Alexa but his feelings don’t have any depth....however through the course of the story...you get to not only see Nick’s feelings evolve but you also get to see him grow as a person! It was simply....PERFECT!!
Overall, this was a fantastic book and I really can’t find any flaws...and even if there were any...I wouldn’t have noticed cause I was so hooked to the story....I read this all in one freakin day!!!! That’s how much I loved it and couldn’t put it down! I was very glad to see Nick and Alexa work out their kinks in their relationship and finally end up together! And the way Nick won Alexa’s heart...*swoon* I nearly cried at all the wonderful, and heart felt comments he said wearing a METTS JERSEY [he’s a Yankees fan...and to win Alexa heart he wore her fav teams outfit]!!!! What a charmer and heart steeler!! I wouldn’t mind a man like Nick! LOL ;p I can’t wait to read the next installment, The Marriage Trap. This will be Maggie and the Count’s story and I CANNOT wait to read this one! Maggie was such a sassy character....and the Count was just PURE HOT ITALIAN MAN...YUMMY!! This will be something to read about...hopefully its funny as hell! ;p
Ms. Probst you did a fantastic job...and completely have me hooked with your work....just hurry up with the next book.....please *smiles sweetly*! =)
She gave an unladylike snort. “You want a Stepford wife without the sex. Haven’t you learned anything about women since you were fourteen?” “I learned plenty. That’s why Uncle Earl had to force me into an institution that favors women in the first place.” She gasped. “Men get plenty out of marriage!” “Like what?” “Steady sex and companionship.” “After six months the headaches start and you bore each other to tears.” “Someone to grow old with.” “Men never want to grow old. That’s why they keep seeking out younger women.” Her mouth dropped open. She closed it with one quick snap. “Children…a family…someone who will love you in sickness and health.” “Someone who spends all your money and nags you every night and bitches about cleaning up your mess.” “You’re sick.” “You’re deluded.”
She narrowed her eyes. “I see you’re the same overbearing bully who teased me about my chest size. Some things don’t change.” He focused his attention on the dip of her dress. “I guess you’re right. Some things remain the same. Others keep expanding.” Her breath caught at the jab, but she surprised him when she smiled. “And other things remain small.” Her pointed stare settled directly on the bulge in the center of his pants.
I like this book, quite a lot, I love Alexa and Nick, their clash of will, their humor ( “Do you have any Black Eyed Peas?” He looked puzzled by the question. “To eat?” She held back a groan). It was a sweet romance, although too short for me. I would love to read Maggie's story.
Spoiler Free Review -Quick Review 4 STARS out of 5 Genre: Contemporary romance Alexa squirmed in her seat as the silence in the BMW stretched between them. Her husband-to-be seemed just as uncomfortable, he chose to focus his energy into his MP3 player. She tried not to wince when he settled on Mozart. He actually enjoyed music without words. She almost shuddered again when she though of sharing a residence with him. For. An. Entire. Year. "Do you have any Black Eye Peas?" He looked puzzled by the question."To eat?" She held back a groan. "I'll even settle for some of the old classics Sinatra, Bennett, Martin." He remained silent. "Eagles? Beatles? Just yell if any of these names sound familiar." His shoulder stiffen. "I know who they are. Would you prefer Beethoven?" ~Alexa and Nick
Hahahahahahaha! This guy?! These two had me bent over laughing at their banter and their antics.
Nicholas Ryan is a billionaire looking for a wife so that he can fulfill a requirement made in his uncle's will. By doing so he can have complete control of the family business. The will states he must be married for at least a year. No problem right? Thing is he does not want to marry his supermodel girlfriend Gabriela, he senses that she is falling in love with him. And he does not do long term. So, she is off the list without even knowing why. And she is none to happy about it either.
Alexa McKenzie needs one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars cash in order to save her parents home. And she needs the money NOW. Nick may not be at the top of her list when it comes to what she is looking for in a man. But his bank account is.
These two come together making a deal that should settle both of their problems. And it does. They just never expected to fall in love in the process.
Thoughts This was a fun quick read filled with plenty of witty banter as well as some steamy love sessions. I totally recommend this book to romance lovers who enjoy a nice balance of steam and laughter. The hero has some mommy and daddy issues but the author chose not to delve in too deep. Making this a light fun read. Check it out!!
My Ratings Characters- Lovable and Witty Writing Style- Good Plot/Storyline- Good Steam Factor- Medium/Moderately Steamy Overall- I liked it! Check it out!!
Now go forth and read, Then come tell us about it on Goodreads!
I really enjoyed this one! So much so that I have a ton of funny quips and scenes highlighted on my eReader.
In The Marriage Bargain two childhood “friends” (and I use that term loosely), agree to enter into a marriage of convenience. Nick needs a wife as a condition to inherit some cash, and Alexa is willing to accept the terms of the bargain for a small payout of her own to help save her family’s home. When their contract requirements begin to collide, sparks start to fly and Nick and Alexa find that this marriage bargain is turning into something they didn’t expect.
Okay, let me just say… yes there’s an element of predictability to this story. I knew how it was going to end, but in all fairness when you go into a story expecting something light, romantic, funny and fulfilling that’s the perfect type of predictability an author can deliver. Jennifer Probst did a great job of blending her protags to create a perfect pair that were funny and quite entertaining.
So, if you’re looking for a moment of reality suspension with an ending that leaves you smiling The Marriage Bargain is the perfect choice
Just what I needed, something light, funny and romantic.
Alexa needs money to save her family house, and Nick needs a wife so he could inherit his family business. The funny thing is, she makes a list what her perfect husband should be like, and he does the same for his "to-be" wife XD Needless to say they are complete opposites, the only thing they actually agree on is that they need to marry each other. And so the fun starts XD They are attracted to each-other, but they fight it because neither wants to get involved, eventually of course they do :)
It was nice to watch Nick change during the novel, he keeps himself distant, wants no family, no love, no childern, but essentially craves it. Alexa is vulnerable cause she always had a thing for him and she fears she'll fall in love if they get too close to each other.
It was a nice ending, they both overcame their differences, even kept the dog <3
É o típico livro de romance, água com muito açúcar, algum limão para não se tornar demasiado doce mas que deixa qualquer leitora que goste deste tipo de livros feliz.
Tem comédia, romance e um pouco de drama q.b e a autora levanta logo a ponta do véu de quem será o casal do próximo livro (adoro quando os autores fazem isso) portanto resta-me esperar que a Quinta Essência não demore muito tempo a traduzir o segundo livro. Por enquanto irei acompanhar esta série e fica a recomendação deste livro para quem gosta de romance de cordel do antigamente mas com capas do século XXI.
I’m feeling touchy today, and this book is just irritating me atm. The hero is a douche bag and going in I knew that he was going to end up kissing his ex. His attitude was irritating, so I ended up skipping ahead to the scene and realized that it goes past just a peck, he fully makes out with her and considers sleeping with her… it’s too far for me… I’m out.
I liked the book, the way it was written how these two faced of against each other and were opposites. They entered into a marriage of convenience, the heroine because she needed money for her family, the hero because his uncle's will stipulated it. The heroine believes in love, family, animals, kids, the hero doesn't. They both agree to be celibate for a year but it is tough and there are moments when they almost fall for the attraction between them & the poor hero even let's his ex-girlfriend kiss him to prove he doesn't want her but it fails & he gets a bowl of ice-cream on his head, courtesy the heroine.
It was fun seeing these childhood nemesis turn into more. Looking forward to Maggie's & the Count's book.
Questa roba non è neanche chick-lit, è spazzatura. Mi serviva una letturina leggerina e sciocchina per una serata di "decompressione", ma è scritto così male da non assolvere nemmeno questa funzione... sono sempre andata sentenziando che anche nel libro più stupido si trova qualcosa di buono, ma stavolta mi sa di aver trovato l'eccezione che conferma la regola.
I actually enjoyed reading this book because it was such an easy read. But full disclaimer ahead: I did not appreciate the storyline AT ALL, and my review will devolve into my problems with creativity in the romance market and the hero that I didn't like at all. Read on if you're prepared for the snark.
I've read this wangst before. Emotionally Stunted Super Douche enters a marriage of convenience with teh evulz womanz, falls in insta-lust, gets emotionally involved, and then loses his damn mind. During his big, life-changing revelation, we get this: "He was a gutless coward who hurt people because he only cared about himself." Well, yeah! That's why the heroine shouldn't have married the bastard in the first place. Ladies, a brief moment of honesty here. No man will transform from a gutless coward who hurts people into freaking husband of the year at the turn of a dime. No woman will, either. People's personalities aren't built that way. And sure, I can deal with reading this story once, but it's like this is the only story contemporary and historical authors have to tell. It's 2012, right? At this rate, I'll be reading the same freaking story in a nursing home in 2082 (I plan to live for a long time), only with probably robotic penises and spaceship honeymoons.
In the spirit of fairness, I can't criticize The Marriage Bargain for being exactly what every other romance is. But wait! I paid for this book, so yes I can! In this day and age, I just thought that women had evolved beyond these "all women fall in love with assholes with daddy issues who emotionally berate them until they can think of no better thing than having their babies" tragedies. Or at the very least, I thought we had added some variety to our fantasies. But nope. This story makes no attempt at distinguishing itself in the market. This plot is like the tapioca pudding of the romance genre. On the bright side, it was a fast read!
Meet Nick GotLotsaMoney, an emotionally stunted asshat who's supposed to look like this:
He has to marry and stay married for a whole year (OMG!) to claim his full inheritance because his dead uncle said so. But BIG PROBLEM. Nick hates relationships, marriage, babies, emotional stability, and holidays. He pretty much hates women, too, because they're all lying liars with expectations and other evil stuff who like to trap men in marriages with BABIES. Naturally, Nick goes in search of the perfect Stepford Wife to fill his bank account. He writes this hilarious list of requirements for his soon-to-be bride captive:
(Just imagine all the internal wangsting that happened to create a monster of this magnitude.) A woman who does not love me. A woman I do not desire to sleep with. A woman who does not have a big family. A woman who does not have any animals. A woman who does not want any children. A woman who has an independent career. A woman who will view the relationship as a business venture. A woman who is not overly emotional or impulsive. A woman I can trust.
I'm assuming that, "A woman who only breathes three times a day" and "A woman who never uses the bathroom" were cut on the editing room floor to save for word space. So clearly, Nick is emotionally damaged. His parents got a divorce, and his dad is an Asshat Scholar. Instead of growing beyond that, Nick has decided to die a little more inside every day and make every person who cares for him miserable. Because THAT'S a reasonable reaction. So who on earth can fix this pathetic lump of twagedy?
Meet Alexa PluckyButPoor! She's basically a Disney Princess, only SEXY.
Alexa owns a bookstore and can barely pay the bills. She's free-spirited and impulsive! She freaking LOVES animals so much that she adopts bundles of them from the humane society. Alexa's heart is so damn big that her chest probably doesn't have room for her lungs anymore. Her best friend is Nick's sister, and Alexa is desperate. Apparently, the only way she can pay off her parents' mortgage that they can't afford is to marry a douchey rich dude. Despite the fact that Nick broke her heart when she was 14, Alexa takes the plunge and marries the pathetic billionaire.
Blah, blah, blah. They fight! Blah, blah, blah. Steamy kiss! Blah, blah, blah. Nick rejects Alexa because of all the feelings he's feeling. Repeat.
Naturally, their marriage ruse gets all complicated because they're actually meant for each other. So the final quarter of the book is one long death march toward Nick's ultimate destruction of all things happy.
Yes, I'm a grumpy goose. The book wasn't bad. It delivered exactly what it promised. Unfortunately, I am just about UP TO HERE with the story. Why are we glorifying men like Nick in 2012? Do authors not realize that men can be sexy alphas without acting like pretentious sexist douchebags? Sorry, Romancelandia. Some of these tropes are getting TIRED. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
The reason for reading: Wanted something short and light.
Worth the experince?:
Eh... Wont continue the series.
Two stars given for: It wasnt horrible. It was just 'meh'. I liked the beginning.
Half star given for: Not introducing too many characters for the rest of the series even though I can see the second book's premise coming from miles away thanks to the way two characters were introduced (and of course the next book's hero had to be in love with this book's heroine *rolls eyes*)
Stars dropped because of: all the sub-tropes and obnoxious and bitchy heroine who always tries to get her way by ordering the hero around and than whines how terrible person he is because he doesnt agree with her.
Main trope: Marriage of convenience.
The reason for the marriage: -Money - to get inheritance (hero) and to fix financial problems of the parents (heroine)
Short Premise: Girl likes boy, boy likes girl, but they are both idiots so they waste years, said mistake is discovered when suddenly they both need a marriage.
(A bit) Spoilery premise:
The sub-tropes that were used:
☑ Insta lust
☑ Wealthy hero, poor heroine
☑ Hero's sister is heroine's BFF
☑ Hero is hung up on his rotten upbringing and thinks no woman would earn his trust. Doesnt want to get married, doesnt want children, doesnt want serious relationships but he suddenly changes because heroine is oh so speacial. She is the one. How does he understand she is the one? They have amazing sex. DUH.
☑ Good girl turns the bad boy into a good guy, because he's secretly a good guy. He was just acting like a tough guy but he's really a Teddy Bear inside.
☑ Both hero and heroine are without fail described in superlatives by each other.
☑ Hero has a troubled past (briefly mentioned)
☑ Hero and heroine are Adonis and Aphrodite. (They are both some of the most gorgeous human specimen the world has ever seen. Their beauty is limitless. Their beauty is, in fact, universal, so much so that every single person of the opposit gender will want in their pants)
☑ Accidental baby/Surprise pregnancy.
☑ More than one guy falls in love with the heroine.
☑ Hero dates skinny woman but who he really loves and want is a woman with curves 'cause guess what, all fictional man looooove woman with curves.
☑ The hero's ex is a model and skinny but hero doesnt want to marry with her because she may never let him go and well, she has no boobs (heroine at the other hand has boobs and curves so heroine wins!!)
☑ Heroine was soooo different from any other woman the hero had ever known.
☑ Hero has this dick speech about curvy woman not 'enjoying their meal and eating salad all the time'
☑ Hero has this dick thought: 'This is my wife so I have the 'right' to sleep with her' (and he also said he understood ' why caveman dragged woman around by hair' but I'll forgive him for that because heroine was really being intolerable.)
☑ Hormones and lust driven hero and heroine
☑ Hero is heroine's true love whom she despises at first but is attracted to nevertheless.
☑ Cool BFF who is obviously going to end up together with the guy who was in love with the heroine next book.
The number of eye roll moments: Lost count.
Character and couple development? Yes but thanks to the great sex and nothing else.
Additional Thoughts: I like this trope...when it's done right. Don’t just throw two people and then 25 pages in, they’re in love (or in this case they used to be in love, avoided each other because the hero is a dick and girl is TSTL and then when they got married bam they realized they are still attracted to each other. DUH). It doesn’t work that way. Let me see some evolution, I want to follow their progression and see the build up to when the two characters finally realize that the relationship is more than a business arrangement. Readers need to believe that what started as a transaction can turn into something meaningful. If I can’t invest in the journey, I don’t want it. Hence, the 2,5 stars.
This subject and tropes belong to historical romances.
Nick needs a wife. His late uncle makes sure of that, too as details are revealed in his will. There is a set timeline for Nick to marry, which will grant him his uncle's wealth, and we're talking millions, upon his death. Trouble is, Nick comes from a broken family with enormous dysfunctional luggage, and even though he's capable of loving women, he dosen't ever see himself falling "in love" with a any woman, much less having a family.
Alexa is Nick's sister's best friend. She grew up with Maggie and Nick and knows a thing or two about his family and Nick, personally. Alexa also had a major crush on him all those years ago when they dated for a short time in their teens. When Alexa's parents begin showing signs of serious money problems, she is determined to help them save their beloved home any way she can. It wasn't hard for Maggie to devise a plan to help out her brother and Alexa's desperate family; all in one easy transaction: Alexa will marry Nick...immediately. Seems simple enough, right? Yep, you would be mistaken.
Even though this story was predictable, the author's storytelling kept me thorougly interested and made me excited to get back to Nick and Alexa every chance I got! That says a lot about how this book was written. The reader is never in doubt as to what's going on in his or her head, (that's the beauty of 3rd person, if executed correctly), and I understood their fears, doubts and surging passion even more as the story continued. Oh, and the passion is REALLY GREAT and well timed. I was, however, slightly disappointed by the ending since it felt rushed and a tad unrealistic; although, didn't sway how much I still enjoyed the book as a whole. This is another great example of a book to grab if you're about to hop a plane or in need of a little rainy-day escape!
I loved this one! This was such a fast, entertaining, and sexy read.
Nick and Alexa were childhood friends, but hurt over adolescent stupidity, drove them apart. Alexa is still best friends with Nick's sister, Maggie, and this is how Alexa and Nick end up together again in a business arrangement. Nick needs a wife quick, to fulfill conditions in a will, and Alexa needs money quick, to bail her parents out of debt, so they won't lose the family home. Nick doesn’t want a real wife, he feels he could never love someone properly, and doesn't ever want to be a father. He's experienced the pain they can bring, first-hand, and so he'd rather pay someone, than commit to a real marriage. So Nick and Alexa sign a contract, and enter in this marriage bargain/business arrangement, that is to last a year.
Yes, the plot is a bit predictable, and there are no life-lessons learned, but it's well-paced, and so much fun, you don't care. There are lots of hilarious moments, stemming from the antagonistic relationship between Alexa and Nick. The scene with the dogs was priceless! This had me laughing:
For a few seconds, he convinced himself he was having a dream, and would wake up in his own bed. Then he realized the scene was real. And a murder would be committed. Involving his wife. The room was in shambles. Shredded papers flew in every direction. The luxurious carpet was mottled with liquid circles that didn't look like water………Nick closed his eyes. Counted to three. Opened them. Then screamed his wife's name at the top of his lungs.
These two revert back to their teenage relationship, of torturing each other many times, and you can't help but laugh at their juvenile behavior. There's a lot of passion, and feeling between these two, as they manage to press each other's buttons, which often leads to losing control, and some pretty spicy scenes *fans self*! This one put the Smut, in Smut Monday! Another great pick.
No new ground here. Marriage of convenience story between a cynical, emotionally dead millionaire and a heart-of-gold bookstore owner. He needs to be married to inherit a business. She needs money for her parents.
They pretend to not be attracted to one another, but sex saves the day by the end. Like I said, no new ground.
The Marriage Bargain is a romance novel by Jennifer Probst. I was in B&N one day and looking through their "read in store" selections and found this title. I like the occasional romance and decided to give it a try with the one hour read for free that B&N offers for their Nook customers. I instantly fell in love with this story. I hadn't even read for the full hour yet, was only 20 pages in before I decided to purchase it and continue on!
This is the typical romance novel where the motivation for coming together is money. Nick needs a wife to claim his deceased Uncle's business and Alexa needs money to rescue her family's home. They reluctantly come together to serve each others purpose and the attraction is instant. But what makes this novel different from most is its quirky, fun and exciting ride from the first page to the last! Nick is smoldering hot and watching his inimical walls crumble was intriguing! Alexa is beatnik and her antics are amusing. I laughed out loud at many of the ridiculous scenes. And I can always count it as a win when I get the butterfly's from reading the pull-tug between two opposing forces. This was just a truly excellent and fun read.
I read The Marriage Bargain in one day because I got sucked in and could not put it down. The characters were so well drawn and interesting, the chemistry and sexual tension between them crackled off the page, and Probst made me cheer for them to finally admit their feelings and get together. The book was also laugh out loud funny in a few places, I'm thinking of the discovery of the hidden dogs scene in particular. But the opposites attract theme provided a lot of these moments. Just an all around great read!