More Than They Bargained For – Review of “The Marriage Bargain” by Jennifer Probst

Alexa wants what most of us do, if we’re honest with ourselves – home, family and the right someone with whom you can  share your hopes and dreams. Sounds simple enough. But Alexa doesn’t want just any guy, so she makes a list of her criteria and then casts a minor spell to ensure that he will meet her expectations. Don’t misunderstand. Alexa is no witch. The spell came straight from a book recommended by a customer of her bookstore. Who knows if it’ll work? Nothing  ventured, nothing gained.

Arranged Marriage

As a confirmed bachelor, marriage and a family are not on Nick’s bucket list. His chosen profession as an architect is all the fulfillment he needed. Yes he likes women and dates but makes it crystal clear that the family unit is not on his horizon and never will be. Nick should know to never say never because his uncle passed away and left controlling interest in the firm to him, with one stipulation. Nick must marry and stay married for at least a year.

Nick grew up next door to Alexa and she and his sister Maggie are still best friends. When he discover that she is in a financial bind he comes up with a game plan. They will marry but it will be a marriage in name only. No love involved, no drama or histrionics and after a year, a quiet divorce and then the company will be his. His life can go back to normal. Simple enough, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

“The Marriage Bargain” is an amusing romantic comedy and a re-read for me. I had marked it as ‘Read’ several years ago on the Goodreads app but didn’t remember anything about it. At that time I wasn’t writing reviews of my reading so I downloaded it again and dug in.

As evidenced by her spell casting, Alexa doesn’t fit into anyone’s mold. A little on the unconventional side but not flaky, very intelligent with a big heart, loves her family, kids and all creatures, especially dogs. As already alluded to, Nick is her polar opposite. The idea of them occupying the same space for twelve months without trying to kill each other is pushing the envelope. But author Jennifer Probst makes it work, mostly.

This is a quick read, lighthearted and fun with some steamy and sexy scenes, so please take note if that’s not your cup of tea. I have no problem with sexy writing as long as it’s not gratuitous and Probst knows her way around good writing, sexy love scenes included. Four stars.

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