Review: The Marriage Bargain, by Jennifer Probst

“She was the type who fell in love, fell hard, and dreamed of happily ever after.” 

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The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst came as a nice addition to my “Romance” shelf and I actually enjoyed reading it quite a lot! Of course, I didn’t expect this to happen. I don’t know why, don’t ask, but I was sure it was going to be just another sappy romance novel, and I was fine with that, that’s what I was aiming for anyway. But I got way more than that. Waaay more! 😀

This novel seemed to me to be THE perfect summer read: a little bit of cheesiness, a whole lot of humour and banter, a touch of sensitivity and a sprinkle of sex. The story unfolded really nicely, nothing felt too rushed or out of place, and I found myself getting a little bit too attached to the characters. Mark my words: Nick and Alexa are a pair to remember, that’s for sure! Their bond is strong, and I could feel it from the pages of the book. The author created some very complex characters, and I sincerely congratulate her for it!

Alexa is introduced first. She is a twenty-seven year-old woman who owns a bookstore, writes poetry, loves animals and has a very big heart that makes her do everything with a passion and fierceness that sometimes get her into trouble. Because of her parents’ financial difficulties and because she can’t seem to meet her match, she casts a love spell on “someone” to find her, the condition being that he has to have money. More precisely, $150,000. That’s what it would take for her to save her parents’ house that she grew up in. She is aware of the fact that her conditions are a bit too much, but nevertheless she believes in Earth Mother and her power. In fact, I really, really liked Alexa, with all her silliness, and, most of all, I understood her. If I were ever to be put in her shoes, I’d do exactly the same to save my parents’ house. They mean a lot to me, and the house means a lot to me, too. For other people, like Nick, for example, this might sound at first like a crazy thing to do, especially since he doesn’t have any happy memories in his former house. But I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash. Also, I loved how the author made Alexa a lover of dogs, taking them in when the shelter threatened to put them out. That side of her was what won me over. And Nick as well, if I recall correctly! XD

“She gave for no gain of her own, no goal she needed to reach. Love was not a price but something she owned inside and shared freely… The woman who was his wife was a fierce, proud creature who both shattered and humbled him, and he realized in the glimmer of firelight, that he loved her.”

Nick is an architect with big plans for the future. His newly inherited fortune will allow him to achieve great things, but on one condition: he has to marry. And he has to marry someone he loves (or so the will states) and to stay married for a whole year. Coming from a broken home, he’s become very rational, very cold actually, and he’s learned how to control his emotions. Not envisaging a future with a happy wife that would give him a family, his plan is to find someone “suitable” to marry and treat that woman like a business partner for a year, until it’s time to part ways. At his sister’s suggestion, he meets up with Alexa, the girl he was trying to impress and the girl he kissed when he was a teenager. Surprisingly for him, Alexa turns his world upside down and starts changing things in his life. Things he thought were never alive in the first place. She breathes life into him. Most of the book, even though Nick was sometimes a cold-hearted bastard, I really sympathized with him and felt sorry for him. 😦 With all their ups and downs, since my parents are still together, I can only imagine what it was like for Nick to grow up into that kind of sick environment. His father despised his mother and probably them – his children -, too, his mother never gave a sh*t about him and his sister, as she was always trying to get back at their father, while they spent their days mostly away from home. That’s how Nick and Maggie got to know Alexa and her family. It’s understandable why Nick was so adamant when it came to having or rather, not having, a family. Ending up like his dad was the last thing he ever wanted! With all his cruel behaviour, I really liked him and my heart bled and wept for him when he managed to open up to Alexa. That’s the power of true love, people! The marriage of minds and of hearts! ❤

“I also figured out what I don’t want. I don’t want to live my life without you. I don’t want to be alone anymore. And I don’t want to believe I deserve not to have you. And I swear to God, I’ll spend the rest of my life making this up to you.”

Since I kind of spoiled it for you (yes, it does have a HEA), the last thing I want to say is… HOLY HELL, I CAN’T WAIT TO READ MAGGIE’S STORY! Maggie appears to be even more complex and difficult than Nick, since she’s had the same childhood, while Michael Conte is a real treat! 😀 A Count and also a shrewd business man, his Italian roots will make up for some hot scenes between him and Maggie, I just know it! I am really curious as to how their love story will unfold and eventually end. I guess it will still be a HEA, but this time I’m interested more in the ride than in the actual destination. So, yeah, I’m going to read the whole series! Book by book. I like Jennifer Probst’s style a lot and, judging by the Goodreads ratings, I think I’ll have a blast reading the following books in the series! ⭐

Find the book here:

BOOK DEPOSITORY 

AMAZON 

KOBO 

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