Tag: The Marriage Bargain

#BestsellerCode100: A Reader’s Review of The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst is next up on our 100 Bestsellers List reading challenge.  As a romance, The Marriage Bargain provides the reader with a modern day tale of a marriage of convenience, a bargain agreed upon by two adults for reasons having nothing to do with love.  What can go wrong?

This post does not contain spoilers.

The Marriage Bargain* by Jennifer Probst


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Romances

If you are looking for a light-hearted romantic romp in some expensive surroundings with a good bit of sexual heat, then The Marriage Bargain might just be the ticket.  I usually prefer historical romances, as I’m often more interested in the historical settings and times than in the sexual heat of the story.  Even so, this story kept my attention to the end, with only the occasional skimming through the sex scenes.  The characters were engaging and there were enough twists and turns to keep me suitably engaged.

Cliches Everywhere

In a romance, cliches (or the Tropes that Roberta wrote about) are to be expected, but I thought Probst did a good job of presenting a fresh take on some of the more obvious cliches.  I enjoyed the interplay between animal-hating Nick and animal-loving Alexa, especially when Alexa tried to hide from Nick a room full of dogs from the animal shelter.  Seriously, what could go wrong there?

There was really only one section where I actually cringed.  Nick goes to a poetry reading and upon seeing Alexa across the room, thinks:

Her true sexiness lay in her ignorance of her effect on men.

It’s not the first time I’ve read such a statement.  Lately, though, when I see this and similar statements, I have to wonder why anyone would think that true sexiness can only be evident when the woman is least aware of her sexuality. The idea persists that a woman cannot be sexy and still worthy, that somehow knowing she is sexy diminishes her in some way.  Unfortunately, this dichotomy continues to persist in the romance novel world.

Billionaire Series

The Marriage Bargain is the first novel in The Billionaire Marriage trilogy.  I was interested enough to find out what happens to Nick’s sister and Alexa’s best friend Maggie May that I read the next in the series, The Marriage Trap, which I actually liked a bit more than The Marriage Bargain.  In The Marriage Trap we meet up again with Nick’s business partner, Michael Conte, and are then introduced to all of Michael’s Italian family, so there are quite a few more characters in this second novel of the series.  These new characters, plus the fact that this book was set mostly in Italy, made it all the more enjoyable.  I now need to read book 3 in the series, The Marriage Mistake, as it concerns Michael’s youngest sister, Carina Conte.  Writing a series where the characters are related is obviously a good way to ensure readership!

Do you enjoy reading romances?  If so, do you have a particular type you enjoy?

 

Related posts:

  1. Book-beginnings, a discussion of the first line of the novel
  2. Karen’s review from a reader’s perspective
  3. Roberta’s review from a writer’s perspective

You can also join us on social media:

Have you written about The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst? Feel free to add a link to your review in the comments.
__________________

What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 71. The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader (2007) –  Discussion begins December 11, 2017
Thriller

#BestsellerCode100: Writer’s Review of The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

Let’s take a look at our latest book from The Bestseller Code Challenge,  The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst, from a writer’s perspective. (The discussion began here).

This post contains spoilers.

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Alexa Maria McKenzie needs money badly. Billionaire Nicholas Ryan has to have a wife right away. She is his sister’s childhood friend, so getting married as a business arrangement seems the best solution.

Characters

The Marriage Bargain has the smallest cast of characters of any of the books we’ve read so far. The main character is Alexa Maria McKenzie, a young woman who owns and runs a bookstore. She wants to help her parents keep their home by giving them money, but she doesn’t have any to spare.

The male lead is Nicholas (Nick) Ryan, whose uncle left him a business with the caveat that he get married right away or he won’t inherit. He is willing to marry someone as part of a business arrangement, with the idea that the wife will get a certain amount of money and the marriage will dissolve in a year.  He has a girlfriend, Gabriella, but for some reason he’d rather marry Alexa, who he hasn’t seen in years. Gabriella’s main role seems to be to make Alexa jealous.

Nick’s sister, Maggie Ryan, has been Alexa’s best friend since childhood. Michael Conte is a businessman whose main role is to make Nick jealous. Add in her parents and his father, Jed, and that’s about it.

The story is narrated alternately by Alexa and Nick in tight third person point of view.

 

marriage-bargain-bookstore-owner

Public domain photo found on TrendHype

Setting

This novel could have been set anywhere, but the author describes it as “a trendy upstate New York college town.”

Discussion

Romances tend to follow certain formulas, and this one has tropes* galore. The irreverent TVTropes website Romance Novel Tropes page has an extensive list of the different types, and some of the obvious ones in this book are Marriage of Convenience, First LoveWill They or Won’t They, and of course, Happily Ever After. As a writer, I did love how Probst prolonged the “unresolved sexual tension” by having the police show up in one scene. I’m working on a mystery novel where I’m stewing my brains to come up with believable scenarios to keep two characters from becoming involved. I have to admit I didn’t think of having the police arrive at a crucial moment.

Regardless of the tropes, the voice in The Marriage Bargain is fresh and enjoyable. The novel is an easy read, and I was able to finish in essentially one sitting.  I like that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and the main character isn’t prone to angst. She takes her knocks, gets up, and keeps going.

For Readers:  The Marriage Bargain is the first in a series. If you are a fan of romance novels, particularly romance with a bit of heat, then you might want to give them a try.

For Writers:  Jennifer Probst also has nonfiction book, Write Naked: A Bestseller’s Secrets to Writing Romance & Navigating the Path to Success. And if you have a minute,  she has a funny story about her writing muse on her blog. Writers will totally relate to her experience.

(*A trope is a writing device or construct that readers readily recognize. You can think of tropes as shorthand storytelling devices, but they also might qualify as clichés. )

Have you read The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Join us on social media:

__________________

What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 71. The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader (2007) –  Discussion begins December 11, 2017
Thriller

#BookBeginnings The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

Today we’re starting the first romance novel in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-button-marriage-bargain

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Alexa Maria McKenzie needs money badly. Billionaire Nicholas Ryan has to have a wife right away. She is a convenient choice because she’s  his sister’s childhood friend, and therefore getting married — as a business arrangement — seems the best solution.

First Sentence of Chapter One:

She needed a man.

Discussion:

I had a brief “fling” with romance novels when I was in my teens, so I’m familiar with some of the tropes. So far this one seems to cover them all. Of course there’s a rich, hot guy who needs to marry someone to inherit something. Yes, of course it’s a marriage in name only. And, of course, I’ll get sucked in and  keep reading.

Have you read any of Jennifer Probst’s books? What do you think?

__________________

What are we reading next for The Bestseller Code challenge?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 71. The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader (2007) –  Discussion begins December 11, 2017
Thriller

#BestsellerCode100: Number 72. The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

Time to start the discussion of our next novel from The Bestseller Code 100 list The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst.

This post does not contain spoilers.

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Alexa Maria McKenzie needs money badly. Billionaire Nicholas Ryan has to have a wife right away. She is his sister’s childhood friend, so getting married as a business arrangement seems the best solution. Or is it?

This novel is part of the bestselling Marriage to a Billionaire trilogy.

 

 

Have you read The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Related posts:

  1. Book-beginnings, a discussion of the first line of the novel
  2. Karen’s review from a reader’s perspective
  3. Roberta’s review from a writer’s perspective

You can also join us on social media:

Have you written about The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst? Feel free to add a link to your review in the comments.
__________________

What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 71. The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader (2007) –  Discussion begins December 11, 2017
Thriller

© 2017 It's A Mystery Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑