Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Title: The Marriage Bargain
Author: Jennifer Probst
Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (August 17, 2012)
Pages: 212

I’m certainly not lacking in words when it comes to THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN by JENNIFER PROBST. First thing you need to know, I’m an aspiring Christian fiction writer. I primarily read Christian fiction. I’ve read my share of secular books, and have loved many of them, despite the lack of faith, and added content I could do without.

Alexa KcKenzie needs money … and fast.

Nicolas Ryan needs a wife …. and fast.

When Alexa agrees to marry Nick, she does so because she needs his money to save her family home. He asked her to marry because he’s in need of a wife to seal a business deal. What Nick doesn’t realize is Alexa never really stopped loving him, though she won’t admit to it.

THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN by JENNIFER PROBST is the first book I’ve read by this author, and most likely will be the last. But that’s not for lack of good writing or storytelling. Whenever I encounter a book that has me divided between loving it and having issues with it, I typically lay it out in pros and cons.

-Amazing writing.
-Wonderful, three-dimensional characters.
-Great plot.
-Great lines.
-Great tension between characters.

-Foul language – Though not what I call the worst of words, and not so much that I’d have to stop reading it.
-The sexual content – Yes, that was too much/over the top … though it could have been worse.
-The ending – After such an amazing story, and great writing, the author dropped the ball the last few chapters. It just sort of fizzed out, or maybe “rushed” would be a better word. Very disappointing after such a great read. If you kill the ending of a book, you pretty much kill the book. The reader is left with the bad taste, taking away from all the previous good you read.

I really loved the story, and thought the writing to be outstanding. Though there was foul language, it was tolerable. What I didn’t like was the sexual content. I don’t regret reading THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN, because it reiterated what I already knew, but needed to be reminded of …


The books I read sit around in plain sight so I can read them whenever I have the opportunity to sneak in a chapter or two. I don’t think much about it in regards to my kids because I generally read Christian fiction or basically “clean” secular books.

You can image my surprise when my sixteen-year-old pointed to THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN sitting on the kitchen table and said, “Wow, nice Mom,” in a sarcastic tone. I was both embarrassed and pleasantly surprised by her comment. Embarrassed because of her knowledge of what was inside such a cover, and surprised that she cared. That she HAD noticed what I read. Noticed enough to recognize that THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN was not the kind of book I typically read.

In the past my youngest daughter would pick up the current book I was reading and start to jokingly read it. I never flinched. That would not be the case if she had picked up this particular book and just happened upon a sensual scene between the two main characters.

It saddens me that I won’t be purchasing MS. PROBST books in the future, mainly due to the sexual content, when she is such a wonderful writer and storyteller. I guess there is always hope that one day she’ll decide to write a “clean” story.

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