194 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance that goes straight to your heart.
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...
Published on February 19, 2012 by maldivianbookreviewer
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but don't understand the extremely high reviews
This book was pretty good, especially for the price. With no disrespect intended for the author, I don't understand how books like this get such stellar reviews and stay on amazon's best seller list for so long. While I really enjoyed the storyline, it was predictable. A good fluff beach read. I'm longing for books like "The Glass Castle," one in which I will stay up...
Published 21 months ago by Michelle
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194 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance that goes straight to your heart.,
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.
141 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Book with Enough Ups and Downs to Swallow You Whole,
I'm so glad I didn't start reading this book late at night. I would have been crouched around my booklight at 3 a.m. hoping the light wouldn't give me away to my husband. I've been on a fairy-tale binge, and this contemporary is the polar opposite of a fairy-tale romance.
Nick doesn't want love--or he thinks he doesn't anyway. He doesn't want emotional entanglements--or he thinks he doesn't. Unfortunately that's exactly who he strikes a marriage bargain with. Alexa is a messy emotional entanglement with love and forever written all over her.
Their relationship was real and complex. He was sure he was broken, and she was trying to resist getting hurt and every spar between them left you feeling like a voyeur for enjoying it. The writing was sincerely spot-on and realistic, and the characters had so much depth that you really invested in them.
This was my favorite section--it starts off with Alexa talking to Nick:
"Maggie says you have a fish."
That remark rewarded her with a chilling look. "Yes."
"What's his name?"
She blinked. "You didn't even give it a name?"
"Did I commit a crime?"
Seriously, I love the dialogue in this book. It's brilliant. Fantastic book to curl up to. Just don't start it too late at night. (BTW, I'd assumed this would be a paranormal due to the love spell, but that's a very small part of it--it's definitely a contemporary romance--a beautifully done contemporary.)
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but don't understand the extremely high reviews,
This book was pretty good, especially for the price. With no disrespect intended for the author, I don't understand how books like this get such stellar reviews and stay on amazon's best seller list for so long. While I really enjoyed the storyline, it was predictable. A good fluff beach read. I'm longing for books like "The Glass Castle," one in which I will stay up all night because I can't bear to put it down. Overall, I would recommend this book. I'm just looking for more. Since I got my kindle, I find I'm reading more and more mediocre books based on great reviews.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated,
This book had the potential to be a pretty good read; as it stands, it boiled down to the literary version of a 30-minute soft porn movie. We were introduced to some interesting characters, and the book hinted at some deep, dramatic events (Alexa's father's disappearance, Maggie's withdrawl from her loved ones in high school, etc.), but none of them were developed well enough to really invest in the characters or care what happened to them. Apparently, that would have taken away from the central theme of the story: the sexual energy between Alexa and Nick. While sex is often an important part of romance novels, I personally prefer a little bit of actual, plausible romance as well. I wouldn't waste the $3.
38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG!!! Love that can't be denied,
This is the first time reading Jennifer Probst. I absolutely loved this book! Nick and Alexa's passion was explosive to say the least. Their up and down relationship had me on the edge of my seat. The sexual tension was electrifying! I was so happy that Gabriella was not able to undo Nick. This book made me laugh (all the dogs), cry (all dressed in Mets), swoon (when Nick said to Alexa "I want to make love to you"), say awwww (Nick getting Taylor ice cream). I was on an emotional roller coaster and enjoyed every minute of it. I could not put this book down!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I soooooooooo wanted to love this book,
Sorry to say I just didn't love this book. I was bored with most of the story and it's a story that's been done over and over and over again. Both of the characters were perfect in their looks, he's rich, she's super likable..blah blah blah It was just so predictible and I really wanted to love the book but it was just ok. Lots of praise from the reviews but I just don't agree. I can read through a book quickly and this one bored me to a point I was constantly putting it down!! It took me a few days to get through it. I kept hoping that everytime I picked it back up, the storyline would start to get better. Sadly, it didn't.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing,
After reading all of the stellar reviews for this book, I anticipated loving it but was very disappointed. I felt like it was poorly written and I couldn't really get attached to or root for the characters. I wanted to put it down after the first 5 chapters or so, but I was determined to finish it since I made the purchase. I'm not good at reviewing books, but I just didn't like her writing-style. The end also seemed to come very abruptly -- all of a sudden everything was all wrapped up with a nice bow on top. I also found it to be cheesy. That's really the best word I can come up with. Sorry. ;)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Junk Food Story that Still Tastes Good!,
This book was like eating a bag of potato chips...you know you shouldn't eat a whole bag in one sitting, you know you're just eating a bunch of empty calories but you do it anyway because you're bored and it just tastes good in the moment! And that's what The Marriage Bargain was, a low substance read that offered a fun, temporary diversion. It wasn't an epic love story and yes it was predictable....so very predictable but it was fun for a light summer read. The characters are really caricatures of the typical hot cold-hearted billionaire and gorgeous big-hearted girl. At least the girl had some gutsiness to her, I hate weak female characters. And it did hold my interest to finish the book so the pacing was good, although the writing seemed a little amateur and silly at times. I guess the hot, and yes they were hot, sexy scenes made up for that. Potato chips, girls, that's why we read this...Potato Chips!
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one,
While this was a very fast read, the characters were boring and I did not buy the story line one bit. I went for this because it was so highly rated, but unfortunately did not work for me. At least it was only $2.99 - but honestly not even worth that.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good,
I really enjoyed this book. A few things annoyed me at times but it was an overall fun and enjoyable read. I really enjoyed getting to know Alexa and Nicholas. I loved the way they interacted with one another. Their chemistry was hot and their bickering brought a smile to my face.
When Alexa conjures up a love spell asking mother earth to send her a man along with $150,000, she never expects it to be her best friends older brother Nicholas to come up to scratch. Alexa hasn't seen Nicholas in years, not since they were both teenagers and Nicholas kissed her and then broke her heart. She has never forgotten the sting of his rejection.
In order to gain complete ownership of his uncle's company, Nicholas must marry someone within the next week. Nicholas doesn't believe in marriage or love and decides that he will just make his marriage a business arrangement. When his sister informs him of Alexa's situation he quickly offers Alexa a proposition, marry him for one year and he will give her the $150,000 she needs.
Both Alexa and Nicholas come to the agreement that the marriage will be in name only and neither one of them will be able to sleep with anyone outside of the marriage for a full year. But when the sparks and chemistry from their past start to resurface will either of them be safe from the fallout?
As I said before, I really did enjoy this story. I liked the characters and they way they interacted with each other. The chemistry between them just sizzled and I couldn't wait for them to finally get together. I also loved seeing glimpses into their past and the feeling they both once had for one another.
Though I enjoyed the story I also did have some issues with it. I found myself at times getting really annoyed with Alexa. I hated that she felt the need to not be honest with Nicholas. If she would have just told him about her reason for wanting the money so much drama and headache could have been avoided. I just wanted to shake her and tell her to be honest with him.
My other issue with the story was the main conflict of the story. I think that it was just pushed aside too easily. I would have liked it to have occurred a bit sooner and maybe have had it drawn out a bit more. The ending result just turned out too cutesy and seemed not in character for either Nicholas or Alexa.
All in all, this book was a quick and enjoyable read despite the cutesy parts. I really enjoyed the growth with the characters and it was great watching them both come together. I give this a high 3.
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The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire) by Jennifer Probst (Paperback - 2012)
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