Review: Marriage to a Billionaire Series by Jennifer Probst (Books 1 to 3)
I had seen The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst mentioned here and there. People were saying that it was a cute contemporary romance book. So one day, after reading a particularly gruesome urban fantasy book and wanted a light and cute contemporary book to cleanse my palette, I picked it up. I liked it. It was what I needed at the time. So the next time I needed something light, I picked up the second book in the series, The Marriage Trap. And finally, I read The Marriage Mistake. Instead of having you read yet another review for these books individually, I thought I would do a quick review about all three.
Let’s start with book on in the Marriage to a Billionaire series, The Marriage Bargain.
The Marriage Bargain
February 14 2012
Yummy Man – Nicolas Ryan
Kick Ass Chick – Alexa McKenzie
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 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 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…
Yes, I giggled at the series name. It’s reminiscent of the Harlequin titles and made me smile. The Marriage Bargain is the story of Alexa and Nick. Nick is a prick and needs to get married in order to gain full control of his family’s company. Alexa needs money to save her family’s home. Alexa is Nick’s sister Maggie’s best friend so she suggests they go into this together where both will win. After one year, they can divorce and viola! No harm, no foul.
No, this is not a new plot, but it was done well. I enjoyed Nick and Alexa and how they got to know each other truly and fell in love. Alexa’s antics with the dogs (yes, you have to read it to understand) were really funny. To watch Nick get all discombobulated like that…a lot of fun. There isn’t much to be said here other than the characters were well done and I enjoyed my time with them. We are introduced to Maggie and Michael, the H/h from book two and it made me look forward to reading about how they come together. Michael, in this book, is so swoon worthy! All in all, a sweet read that left a smile on my face.
The Marriage Trap
October 2 2012
Yummy Man – Michael Conte
Kick Ass Chick – Maggie Ryan
From Goodreads –
Italian billionaire seeks faux fiancée. Willing to agree to anything in return…
In order for his sister to marry, Italian billionaire Michael Conte has to find himself a bride – and fast! When he learns that photographer Maggie Ryan is going to be in Milan, Michael hatches a plan to introduce her to his family as his “fiancée.” Never mind that Maggie is confident, independent, and a control freak. Never mind that she’s everything he doesn’t want in a wife… and everything he wants in his bed!
Convinced that Michael is in love with her married gal pal, Maggie agrees to keep up the ruse if he’ll keep away from her friend. Besides, she’s not attracted to charming, ridiculously hot billionaires who drive her nuts. Once they’re in Italy, however, everything changes – and the sexual tension between Maggie and Michael goes from simmer to naked nuclear meltdown!
But have they found the perfect arrangement… or are they trapped in a make-believe marriage?
Next up is The Marriage Trap. As I mentioned above, this is Maggie and Michael’s book. You want to hear something sort of odd? While I read characters who are said to have accents when they speak, I don’t usually do the accent in my head. I find it distracting and makes me read oddly. But Michael’s Italian accent I did. Well, I did my version of it – and no I will not ever do the accent for you if I meet you and you asked me sweetly…even if you asked with cherries on top. I really found the accent suited his character. I may not have liked his character as much in this book as in the first but he was still swoon worthy. After his father passed away years ago, being the only other male in the house, he took it upon himself to become the man of the house. Basically he has become a very controlling man who drives his sisters crazy. I wanted to smack him a few times but Maggie does a good job knocking him down and making him see his ways. As for Maggie, I didn’t mind her in the first book but I liked her a lot more in this one. She is just damaged enough. My heart went out to her and wanted her to have a long and happy life with the man in front of her. I loved her scenes with Michael’s mother. They made me giggle as I could truly picture there in all her uncomfortable glory.
And what is this one about? Well, Michael’s family is very traditional. The eldest son is expected to marry first. But he isn’t married and his sister wants to get married. In order to avoid a scandal if his sister elopes, he pretends to be married to Maggie to appease his mother and pave the way to her sister’s happiness. All in all, another sweet read but, for me, not quite as strong as the first book.
The Marriage Mistake
November 6 2012
Yummy Man – Max Gray
Kick Ass Chick – Carina Conte
From Goodreads –
Carina Conte has had a crush on her brother Michael’s best friend, Max Gray, since she was a teenager. Now she’s earned her MBA and come to work at Michael’s new venture, America’s fastest-growing bakery empire. But some things never change: her family still treats her like a child. With three drop-dead gorgeous siblings, she’s still the ugly duckling of the bunch. And Max, the company’s new CEO, still barely notices her.
Max knows Carina Conte is strictly off limits. But hot-blooded lust wins out at a conference when the two share a scorching one-night stand—and are busted by her mother! Now, forced by old-world Italian tradition into a marriage he’s not ready for, Max is miserable—and Carina is furious. Her new husband is about to realize that hell hath no fury like a woman transformed…
Finally, we have The Marriage Mistake. This is Michael’s sister Carina and his best friend Max’s book. We meet Carina in the previous book and I really enjoyed her and Maggie’s scenes in that book. We started seeing Carina go from uncomfortable wallflower to sexy diva in that last book and we see what has become of her in this book. The Marriage Mistake takes place a few years after book two. Carina is finished her schooling and is moving to the States to take her place working at the family business. Max is currently there and is to show Carina the ropes. He has always seen Carina as a little sister but once he sees her after all these years…va va voom! Sparks fly even though he knows they shouldn’t.
Carina is great. She’s been in love with Max forever and even though she has (mostly) convinced herself that she is not anymore, there is no denying their chemistry. I love how she plays him. How she tries to get him to think of her in a new and sexy-non-sister light. And Max, trying so hard to keep things platonic… Dude didn’t stand a chance *grin*. I loved these two together.
I found this one to not only be the hottest book of the series but also the best written. It’s not as predictable as the others and I enjoyed the little twist near the end. I won’t go into details but I didn’t see it coming and it really made, not only the couple stronger, but story as well. All in all, this was a sweet and hot read.
There is a magic love spell that comes into play in each book. I found that to be an unnecessary detail that took a bit away from the story. It brought it a little bit into the corny category. But really, it only comes into play at the very beginning and at the very end of each book so it’s not too bad.
Overall, I did enjoy these books and will likely pick up the next book, The Marriage Merger, when it releases.
Are these the best contemporary romance books out there? Not really. But are they cute and fun reads that can easily fill an afternoon while putting a smile on your face? Absolutely. If you are looking for such books, give these a try.