Is it weird that I’m glad I snapped up The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst before it became $7? Maybe I’m just super cheap. Anyways, I bought The Marriage Bargain back when it was under $3 and it sat on my Kindle for months. At the end of 2012, I was going through a bit of a slump and was totally not feeling YA books and so, figured why not try some adult books and OF COURSE I kept looking at the cover of The Marriage Bargain and I saw that it was pretty short. It wasn’t too much of a time investment, and thus with an open mind I cracked it open on my Kindle and basically did not set it down until I finished it.
Alexa’s family is on the brink of losing their home and so she takes matters into her own hands by casting a love spell. No worries though, The Marriage Bargain is not at all a paranormal sort of book with witches and what not. Anyways, her best friend Maggie calls her and is all oh hey my brother Nick is looking for a woman because of a clause in this will. You see, Nick was left all the shares in his uncle’s architecture firm however, he becomes a partial owner instead of a full owner if he does not get married for a year. And so, Alexa agrees to marry him for $150,000 which she uses to save the family home. FYI, Nick is all I don’t want this to be a real marriage it’s going to be a paper marriage. But of course, if you are a genius I can imagine you can take a crack at what happens and guess who gets together in the book. Like, it’s not rocket science.
You guys, Alexa is an awesome main character. Just like us, she loves books — she even runs a bookstore in upstate NY, hell yeah living the dream, girl. She also has a big huge heart and a soft spot for dogs. AND she writes poetry and it doesn’t actually suck. She’s pretty much my new best friend. Anyways, she’s smart and poised and doesn’t get intimidated when Nick brings her to fancy rich people events and I was all please be in more books because I love reading about you because you are neither simpering nor annoying.
Nicholas is an okay romance lead. Like, he’s all I AM SO GUARDED BECAUSE MY FAMILY SUCKS THEREFORE I CAN NEVER MARRY HAPPILY HULKSMASH. I liked that he was all passionate about architecture because I just don’t get how anyone could be that into designing buildings, but still having a passion for something outside of yourself and your lover is awesome and a trait I like to read about. Plus, he does act the douche from time to time, but I liked that Alexa kind of helped him get over that and was all listen, you deserve to be happy, you are not your parents.
SO! The romance! It has steam you guys! STEAM! Like, obviously there’s sex, actually a couple of sex scenes, so if you don’t know about the birds and the bees yet maybe The Marriage Bargain isn’t the book for you. I thought that the chemistry between Alexa and Nicholas felt real. Like, they’re obviously very different people who do share a past and are using each other BUT there’s a major attraction between them. AND OMG WHEN THEY ACT ON IT THERE ARE IMAGINARY FIREWORKS GOING BOOM BOOM BOOM IN MY BRAIN. And plus, the more romantic grovelly moments are so adorable that I had to set the book down and sigh a little bit.
In all, I whipped through The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst in like a single sitting and then was in my chair sobbing a little tiny bit because there’s a dog. No, the dog doesn’t die, but I am soft hearted about animals. Like, obviously this is one of those wish fulfillment sort of books, but it’s also touching with strong characterization and just a nice way to pass a Monday morning when you’re on vacation. I actually really liked The Marriage Bargain and think you’ll like it too if you’re into contemporary romances with characters who have to work at an HEA. (Happily ever after, FYI).
Disclosure: Purchased copy out of curiosity
Other reviews of The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst:
Giraffe Days – “The story is kept simple and uncluttered”
Narratively Speaking – “a quick, fun read and I really enjoyed it”
Muggle-Born – “This reader was very satisfied with how the romance played out.”