April 18, 2014

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

The grief leaked out for one moment as the truth of her predicament hit full force. This would never be a real marriage, and something would be forever ruined once Nick's ring slipped onto her finger. She'd always dreamed of love everlasting, white picket fences, and tons of children. Instead, she got cold hard cash and a husband who politely tolerated her.
-from The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

 photo 13486122_zpsa8e963c6.jpg
 This book review is being posted in celebration of the fact that I found my wedding dress!!! Eeeeek, it's spectacular, you guys! I can't wait to show it off!

Alexa needs $150,000 to save her family home. Nick needs a wife in order to meet the stipulations of his uncle's will, which will give him full control of the company that has turned him into a billionaire. On paper their bargain sounds simple: if they marry and stay married for one year, Alexa will get the money she needs and Nick will inherit the family business. The marriage is only for show, so they both agree to stay celibate for the year, maintain their separate business lives and above all, not to fall in love with each other. This shouldn't be difficult considering how much they both annoy each other. But life has a funny way of complicating things and the bargain becomes anything but simple.

The premise sounds a bit outrageous and predictable, but sometimes a girl just needs to read a salacious romance and indulge in a sweet love story. This book hit the spot and surprised me with how well-crafted and entertaining it was from start to finish. While most readers can anticipate the general arc of the story, the road to getting there was comical, heart-felt and full of unexpected surprises.

I read the story in one sitting, not just because it was an easy read, but because Probst does an excellent job creating a male and a female character authentic to their gender, realistic in action and dialogue. Told from an alternating third-person limited narrative mode, readers get the perspective of both Alex and Nick. The results are often laugh-out-loud funny simply because of the differences between men and women and the follies that ensue when neither are able to properly communicate. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship will be able to relate to their stubborn opinions and decision to bottle most of what they want to say inside. It thoroughly entertained me how well Probst was able to articulate such a universal struggle between men and women because of our differences in nature.

In keeping with the authenticity of male and female nature, Probst was also able to create realistic characters through dialogue. I am very sensitive to characters who don't talk like real people, and the characters in the pages of this story are very natural. In fact, much of the relationships between the characters develop fluidly because of their voices, especially with Nick and Alexa. One of my favorite characters is Nick and Alexa's mutual friend (Nick's sister), Maggie. Maggie isn't even in the story very much, but her dialogue made her an instant favorite to me.

Bottom Line: If you love romance, this is one I can strongly recommend. If you don't like romance, then this one might not work for you. It does contain a lot of adult content/themes, so be advised. 3.5/5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I have either read this or something really similar, but actually I know I've read similar type stories. But they are usually pretty fun! Realistic characters and dialogue are so important! I hate when you're reading and you feel like nothing they say would actually be said in real life.

    But YAY DRESS! That's so exciting! I think I saw celebration pics on Instagram and liked but didn't comment so: ahhhh! yay! I am excited for you!


Thank you so much for reading my blog! If you leave a comment I will try my best to email you back directly and visit your blog, too! If I can't find a way to get back to you, check back for a reply to your comment. Thanks again and happy reading!!