The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst
Published February 14th 2012 by Entangled Publishing (Indulgence)
A marriage in name only...My Thoughts:
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 father’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…
I loved this one! This was such a fast, entertaining, and sexy read.
Nick and Alexa were childhood friends, but hurt over adolescent stupidity, drove them apart. Alexa is still best friends with Nick's sister, Maggie, and this is how Alexa and Nick end up together again in a business arrangement. Nick needs a wife quick, to fulfill conditions in a will, and Alexa needs money quick, to bail her parents out of debt, so they won't lose the family home. Nick doesn’t want a real wife, he feels he could never love someone properly, and doesn't ever want to be a father. He's experienced the pain they can bring, first-hand, and so he'd rather pay someone, than commit to a real marriage. So Nick and Alexa sign a contract, and enter in this marriage bargain/business arrangement, that is to last a year.
Yes, the plot is a bit predictable, and there are no life-lessons learned, but it's well-paced, and so much fun, you don't care. There are lots of hilarious moments, stemming from the antagonistic relationship between Alexa and Nick. The scene with the dogs was priceless! This had me laughing:
For a few seconds, he convinced himself he was having a dream, and would wake up in his own bed. Then he realized the scene was real. And a murder would be committed. Involving his wife. The room was in shambles. Shredded papers flew in every direction. The luxurious carpet was mottled with liquid circles that didn't look like water………Nick closed his eyes. Counted to three. Opened them. Then screamed his wife's name at the top of his lungs.
These two revert back to their teenage relationship, of torturing each other many times, and you can't help but laugh at their juvenile behavior. There's a lot of passion, and feeling between these two, as they manage to press each other's buttons, which often leads to losing control, and some pretty spicy scenes *fans self*!