Published February 2012
Series: Married to a Millionaire #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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 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…
The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst is a book I’ve half on my To-Read shelf for quite some time. Again, I wondered if it wouldn’t become too cheesy, and the ratings it had on Goodreads were definitely telling me that I could turn to better-rated books. But in the end I was looking for an uncomplicated read and jumped on it.
The Marriage Bargain is the story about a Alexandria (Alexa) MacKenzie and Nicholas (Nick) Ryan. She is looking for a man to love her, marry her, and to have children and grow old with – and he better had $150,000 spare cash since she needs to support her family, her father being sick. And he… well he needs a wife because his late uncle said so in his will. Nick should be married at least a year in order to inherit his uncle’s business. And since he’s absolutely not the kind to marry, having kids and a happily ever after, he needs someone he has no feelings for, who is willing to play the game for a year. No matter at what cost. During the first chapters you get the total feeling that those two are com-ple-te-ly different…
And Maggie, Nick’s sister, sets the two of them up and they are quick to agree on a marriage bargain. Ryan is happy to offer Alexa the money, and even if this goes against her principles Nick is absolutely not what she’s looking for in a man, the money is more important to her than her own happiness. And on the other hand, Nick has no doubt that he would ever be feeling anything for her. Or so he thought, because the two of them actually knew each other when they were kids and shared their past.
Soon, they find themselves attracted to each other in a way they didn’t want to accept at first, and soon, the attraction becomes more than just physical.
I must admit that the first part of the book was a total cliché. The way the characters are described, what they are wearing, and Alexa even casts a fire spell in her apartment to find “the One”. I was overwhelmed by the cheesy writing at the beginning, with phrases such as “he realized her voice stroke other places aswell” or “some things remain the same – and others keep expanding” – well, some parts where just so cheesy/strange I had to burst out laughing.
But soon that cheesyness went away and the story turned into something really cute, and you start reading about how their bargain actually turns into a real husband/wife relationship. The details in this book are lovely, as well as the characters. Again, this is a typical made-for-movie story, a great chick-flick with the occasional sexy scenes (but don’t bet too much on these, because “it” only happens during the 2nd half of the book)
View Spoiler »As nice and affecting this story was, I sometimes really had to ask myself if Alexa, or the author had lost any common sense. At the beginning of the book, when Alexa thinks about the proposal she wonders if “she could marry a Yankee? Would she be be giving up all her morals and ethics?”. I had to read this line twice. Maybe three times even. Honestly, girl, if you’re agreeing to marry for money, aren’t you already giving up on those? Who care then if he’s a Yankee’s fan? Duh! « Hide Spoiler
Anyways, if you are into lovely (semi-cheesy) stories with even lovelier characters, animals, baseball, and the likes, you will probably love The Marriage Bargain. It deserves 3 stars because it was good and cute, but maybe not the best I’ve read. There’s not captivating intrigue, just a very heart-warming lovestory.
|All the feels|