Alexandria Maria McKenzie has a family in financial difficulties. Although Alexa would love to expand her bookstore, family comes first and she is desperate to find a way to pay off their $150,000 mortgage before they lose everything. She needs a man and casts a spell to bring the perfect man into her life.
Nick Ryan, the brother of her best friend, Maggie, needs to inherit his father’s corporation and then he can seal the deal on an architectural contract. To accomplish that, he needs a temporary wife. His dark childhood has taken his desire for commitment, children or even pets so he has no intention of entering into a lasting marriage. Maggie convinces Alexa and Nick that a marriage of convenience for a year would be the perfect solution to both their problems.
Alexa is everything Nick fears: family oriented, emotional, an animal rescue volunteer and a scintillating beauty. He uses his protective armor of emotional distance and unrelenting logic to keep Alexa out of his heart. He vows not to be caught in a marriage trap of misery like his parents. He draws up a contract for the two of them that requires them to become celibate for one year while they are married and then they will terminate the marriage, part ways and go about their lives as usual.
It seems like a foolproof arrangement, but Mother Nature and the human spirit may intervene with heartache, and sparks before the year comes to an end.
The Marriage Bargain took me by surprise. I expected a book that followed the usual plot line of a man and woman in a loveless marriage suddenly finding that they loved each other but this tired old plot found a new and exciting interpretation from the talented pen of Ms. Jennifer Probst. Emotions run deep in The Marriage Bargain. The hero captivates the reader’s empathy with his agonizing family history. His affections can never be easily won and the expression of any feelings is too vulnerable for him. In this character, Ms. Probst created a pathway to the reader’s heart.
The Marriage Bargain is full of secrets and tantalizing moments, especially when the heroine tries repeatedly to show kindness and concern instead of resentment and revenge toward the hero and his seeming inability to love. The pages are filled with the heroine’s quirky humor and antics. The reader will fall in love with the heroine’s family and understand how she came to be the sympathetic, loving woman she grew up to be. You will love this story. I guarantee it. I hope that Ms. Probst will write the story of Alexa’s irrepressible friend, Maggie, and the wealthy and charming Michael Conte. I would stand in line to get a copy of that story.