Seleste reviews: The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

A marriage in name only . . .

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 uncle’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he’s 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 . . .

  • Mass Market Paperback: 328 pages
  • Price: $7.99
  • Publisher: Entangled Select (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620612798
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620612798
  • Purchase The Marriage Bargain at Amazon


Category romance is a relatively new thing for me, but I figure if I want to write it I should at least read some. With the buzz around this book and the recent availability of paperback (at my local grocery store no less–score!), I figured The Marriage Bargain was a good place to start.

Oh my stars. This book. I have so very much love for this book it isn’t even funny.

In all fairness, reading doesn’t happen in a vacuum and that was true of this book. I was at a low point when I picked up The Marriage Bargain, a funk if you will. There aren’t a lot of books that as I read them… they just make me happy. I’m not talking bringing-out-my-inner-maniacal-serial-killer happy, I mean feel-good, lusty-sighs-of-bliss happy. At that moment in time, The Marriage Bargain was one of those books. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s how I tweeted about it as I read: “This book makes me so happy!”

Onto the plot and characters and why it worked on so many levels.

The plot is pretty standard romance. Guy (Nick) needs a wife to get his inheritance, but he doesn’t want any pesky romantic strings to go with it, so the gorgeous-super-model-girlfriend-who-wants-forever is out. Enter his sister’s best friend (Alexa) who needs money to help save her family home. Never mind that she’s had a crush on him since childhood; this is just a business arrangement. One year of marriage for $150,000.

As I said, it’s pretty standard, and it could have been very been-there-done-that, except… these characters. Rich-boy Nick has never had the whole “family” thing and because of it doesn’t believe in happily-ever-after. Middle-class girl Alexa has the family but has never had the money. And they’ve known each other since they were little. In fact, Nick was her first kiss–and the first boy to blow her off after a kiss. Baggage for the win! And all that baggage and history leads to some of the funniest romantic banter ever. And the sexual chemistry? Helloooooo nurse! They aren’t just love interests, they’re foils to each other in so many ways that they feel like a real couple–those kids you knew in elementary/middle school all grown up and still too stupid to see what’s right there in front of them.

Book two (The Marriage Trap) comes out soon, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

***Disclaimer: Though I have a book coming out with Entangled in the spring,

I adored this book so much I couldn’t resist giving it a review.***

  • Avery Flynn November 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I really liked this book too. It was Nick that did it for me. 🙂

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