In the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to say about this novel. I mean, I’ve read two of the series before it and was quite eager to read
In the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to say about this novel. I mean, I’ve read two of the series before it and was quite eager to read it coming out of ‘The Marriage Bargain’. But almost immediately, something about it rubbed me the wrong way.
The Marriage Trap fallows Michael Comte, an Italian billionaire who runs a multi-million dollar bakery business based out of his home town back in Italy. He runs into a complication when he finds out that his younger sister is engaged and his mother is unwilling to approve of the nuptials unless he himself gets married first. Michael laughs at the ages old family tradition and after trying, without success to find a way to let his sister get his way and not get himself married, he comes up with a plan. All he needs is someone willing to pretend to be his wife for a week. Enter Maggie Ryan, the sister of Nick Ryan from the previous book. Of course, it’s more complicated than that.
The first thing that really settled in my head while reading this was that I REALLY did not like Maggie. It’s rare I don’t like female leads in stories. I mean, these stories contain strong, independent women who have careers and a purpose without the men they’re set to fall in love with. It’s never a bad thing to have women characters that aren’t falling over themselves to get the guys or incapable of being without a man. But Maggie just rubbed me the wrong way from the get go.
Her inability to listen to Michael (and Alexa) when they claim that there is only friendship feelings between them irritated me. Alexa, of course, is happy with her husband and baby and dog and Michael never comes across as the guy (in any of the books he’s featured in) as the kind of guy who would try to make a move on a married woman. She was just so insistent. Even after Michael tells her he loves her and that it has always been her, she still reverts back to the ‘Michael’s in love with Alexa’.
As it went, it sort of seemed like when writing the book, Jennifer Probst just couldn’t find something good story for either character. The plot, of course, was a gem, but Maggie’s story sort of got to me in a big way.
Michael, on the other hand, didn’t bug me as much. He comes across a guy who knows what he wants and makes good on getting it. He’s not a bad guy. Maybe a bit over stressed and over concerned about things that probably aren’t worth being concerned about right then. He played the big brother/head of household quite well. He loves his sisters and sometimes that love is taken to an extreme. He’s protective and sometimes too protective, but I’m not seeing how this is abnormal for older brothers. Especially an older brother with beautiful younger sisters. He completely ignores the fact that all of his sisters are young women who are strong, smart, and independent, but, not in a way that comes across bad. He’s a big brother! His strong, smart, independent sisters will probably always be his baby sisters. The clincher is when he understands that they are strong, smart, and independent, he still is protective, but a little bit more relaxed. It felt like character development to me.
I could probably ramble on for a good while about this book, and the plot, and the things that happened between the pages, but I’m also really good at accidentally slipping in spoilers.
Out of the four books (three of which I’ve read), this is definitely my least favorite of the group. It just didn’t measure up with the two that I did read (The Marriage Mistake and The Marriage Bargain –yes, I know I’m reading them out of order). I still gave it four stars just because I do like this series and I really like the writer’s style – no matter how much I complained about it in this review.
All this said, I'm not frequent in writing reviews, so any suggestions are a big help....more