Book 1 in the Marriage to a Billionare series
Author: Jennifer Probst
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release date: 2/14/12
Author's website: Link
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’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…
When she was younger, Alexa had a huge crush on her best friend's older brother. After letting Nick know her true feelings for him, he left her broken hearted and having jaded feelings about love. Fast forward to the present day and Nick needs to find a wife quickly in order to remain head of his father's company. He needs someone he can trust and when his sister Maggie recommends her best friend Alexa, Nick remembers her as the little girl that always used to hang around him. But when he sees the woman that Alexa has become, he's instantly attracted to her. The two of them have to fight their attraction to one another throughout the book and keep their distance because they don't want to fall for the other person. They soon realize that is easier said than done as they discover they both want more.
While I was able to feel that the characters were attracted to one another, I wasn't able to connect to either character. Overall I found this first story in the series to be entertaining and thought the progression of their relationship to seem realistic.
I'm giving The Marriage Bargain a rating of:
The Marriage Trap
Book 2 in the Married to a Billionare series
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release date: 10/2/12
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?
The characters of Michael and Maggie are introduced in book 1 of the series. When Michael first met the character of Alexa he had an attraction to her, but that soon ended as Alexa fell in love with Nick. He has remained close friends with them and being in their friend circle has given him the opportunity to get to know Nick's sister and Alexa's best friend Maggie a little better. Michael approaches Maggie with a proposition as he needs a wife quickly. His youngest sister is very much in love and because of an old family rule, she cannot get married unless Michael has been married first. He comes up with a plan for Maggie to be his pretend wife so that his sister will be able to marry. Maggie will only do it if he stays away from Alexa because she thinks that Michael is still attracted and in love with her. She feels that he might come in between her brother's marriage and doesn't want that to happen. Michael agrees with the plan because he sees how much this means to her. After they visit his family in Milan, things get serious as Alexa is quickly accepted by the family and begins to have feelings for them. She has conflicted feelings as she feels that she is lying to them and herself as her attraction to Michael grows.
I had a really had time liking this book mainly because Maggie's character was not likeable at all. She truly felt that Michael was in love with Alexa and threw that in his face every chance that she got. I didn't like that at all as Michael truly tried to let her know that wasn't true at all and because he was falling for Alexa while spending time with her. I understand that her attraction to Michael scared her and she didn't want her heart to be broken. Michael on the other hand had a lot of pressure on him due to the family business and it was obvious that he would do anything for his family to be happy. His relationship with Maggie worked as she was able to help him realize that he needed to listen to his younger sisters. This made things work more smoothly for the family business and helped Michael realize that Maggie was the one for him.
I just didn't find this 2nd book in the series that entertaining and while there will be a 3rd book later, I don't think I'll be reading it. The trope of marrying for convenience has exhausted my curiosity and I don't think I would find another book interesting.
I'm giving The Marriage Trap a rating of: