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To satisfy his late father’s wishes, hot and single billionaire Michael Conte must find a bride—someone who will fit into his traditional family back home in Italy—and fast, so his engaged sister will be allowed to wed. With no intention of being tied down, Michael “proposes” to fiery, free-spirited photographer Maggie Ryan: if she will play the part of his fiancée during her trip to Milan for a photo shoot, he will keep away from her married best friend, Alexa, and stop making Maggie nuts with their too-close-for- comfort flirtations.

But once in Italy, sexual tension sparks the hottest no-strings- attached arrangement on any continent. Could marriage be the most enticing trap of all?

328 pages, Paperback

First published October 2, 2012

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About the author

Jennifer Probst

97 books9,823 followers
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She holds a masters in English Literature and lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Her family keeps her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. Her passions include horse racing, Scrabble, rescue dogs, Italian food, and wine—not necessarily in that order.

She is the NYT, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, spent 26 weeks on the NY Times. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries, sold over a million copies, and was dubbed a "romance phenom" by Kirkus Reviews. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases at www.jenniferprobst.com. Sign up of her newsletter at www.jenniferprobst.com/newsletter for a free book.

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5 stars
8,454 (28%)
4 stars
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3 stars
7,756 (26%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,439 reviews
Profile Image for Blacky *Romance Addict*.
464 reviews6,253 followers
November 6, 2016

This was OK. Good. I liked it.

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But it didn't rock my world.

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This is the kind of book that you can read anytime, a sweet romance and an interesting plot Photobucket So my rec goes to those who like their dose of happy and mushy Photobucket Me, I have a problem with too much mushyness, so that's why the three stars Photobucket

The story is pretty simple - the hero and the heroine fake the marriage because of some family problems, the hero and the heroine marry for real and fall in love, the hero and the heroine have a fight and get separated, the hero and the heroine get back together and live happily ever after Photobucket

The couple - I actually liked them both :) Michael was sometimes a bit cheezy with his expressions, but hell, ok, not that bad. Maggie is great, sharp wit, and doesn't hold anything back, even when she had to pretend with his family :)

I just felt some things could have been done better, like her finally opening up to him. It was a big deal, and that scene kind of fell flat to me. It could have been more emotional, ramp it up a bit on that area too, not just the sweetness. But oh well.

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On to the next one Photobucket

Profile Image for Heather (hungrycookiemonster).
199 reviews8 followers
Want to read
July 11, 2012
There is a rumor going around that The Marriage Trap will follow another story with different characters (*cough Maggie cough*). I hope not. I have grown too attached to Nick and Alexa.
Profile Image for Ezi Chinny.
2,530 reviews414 followers
August 4, 2016

You know, this trope is so common, yet Jennifer Probst still made it a fun and entertaining read.
Last book, it was mentioned that Maggie Ryan went on a blind date with Michael Conte but something happened and there was tension between the two. It was uncomfortable and didn't seem that is was a good match. Until book 2.

Maggie was a nice character who had a defense built around her heart to keep everyone out. Michael Conte seemed like a bossy jerk but it quickly became clear that he was the opposite of those things. One week of a fake marriage was all it was supposed to be but it seems they were each other's missing puzzle piece.

This book kept my attention. I liked it just as much as book 1. The writing was crisp and engaging. It wasn't too deep nor was it a shallow read. It gave just enough to build the characters up and keep the flow of th story.

I'm going to get book 3!
Profile Image for Sara .
1,442 reviews154 followers
September 30, 2012
"Of course love spells didn't work. She may as well look up hero in the dictionary and wish for Superman to appear outside her condo window."

Ah Maggie, how happy I was to see you and the good Count again.

I was so excited to start this book. The Marriage Bargain is one book that always stays hidden in my heart to pull out when I need comfort and what better comfort comes from that book than hiding dogs and the sexy scene that follows.

I have waited to see what happened on the blind date between Michael and Maggie and we finally get that but what we get in addition is well...perfection.

Maggie Ryan and Michael Conte have a strained relationship to put it lightly. They both feel the pull of the other but just don't know how to approach it without it going up in flames. The fire that is between them is all-consuming and HOT! Michael has a family emergency he needs to handle but to handle it properly he needs to bring a wife back to his home town in Italy. A woman to play the role of his wife and would want nothing in return? Maggie could be the perfect woman for the part.

"She was exactly what she wanted without apology. He'd never be a prince and didn't want the job. Especially against a woman who'd probably steal his horse and rescue herself. Still, for a while, he needed her."

Michael puts the proposition on the table and Maggie agrees to accompany him as his “fake wife” but under her conditions. After all, she is going to Italy to work anyway so what could it hurt? Michael gets what he wants and so does Maggie. Deal made, let’s be on our way to Italy.

"The whole crazy plan hit her full force as soon as his private plane shot into the air. What the hell had she agreed to? And what was it about the Ryan family that necessitated fake marriages?"

The beauty of Italy that is created with Ms. Probst words left me breathless. The colors, the rich landscape, the Terra-cotta roof tops and the smells coming out of Mama Conte’s kitchen had me lost and drooling. I was IN Italy with Maggie and Michael on their whirlwind week of pretended marriage bliss.

I have to say that I simply love Michael’s family; his mother and his sisters are a delightful layer to their story and Carina…oh Carina I feel your crush on Max full force. Michael's devotion to his family is what drives him to be the successful man that he is but also is a weakness that leaves him less than whole. Duty and family honor can be a fickle fate. It leads you down roads you may not want to travel but those roads can lead you to your greatest desire. He would not be in his current position without his family and not just the fake marriage but the family business and the promise on a death bed. Oh, a man of honor is quite the sexy beast.

The Marriage Trap is packed full of frustration, imagination, seduction, and heart break. Moments that had me clapping like a school girl, gasping at the intensity and falling in love with these characters, all of them over and over again. Maggie with her wants "She wondered why no one loved her. Wondered if anyone could ever love her. " and Michael with is desire to claim Maggie as his own no matter what he must endure "She was heaven and hell in one; and he’d greet the devil with a smile on his face. "

This book is amazing! I can honestly say that Ms. Probst, borrowing the words from your beloved Count, Michael Conte, after reading this, "You wrecked me. Completely." and I will be wrecked willingly all over again without hesitation.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,895 reviews634 followers
May 31, 2020
I remember when I first read The Marriage Bargain. It was an eye opener for me. I think since then I compare romance story about married if convinience to The Marriage Bargain.

With Marriage Trap, I am not sure. I do not like it as much as I did for The Marriage Bargain, but I do not hate it either.

What is very confusing for me is Maggie. Her character development does not make any sense for me. With her past and who she is now, something is off. Miss Probst also not giving more detail into Maggie's past. Just quickly shift the story to the end.

I am left unsatisfied and frustrated at the end of this book.

Overall, this is OK read for me. Not like it nor hate it either.

3 stars
Profile Image for Geo Marcovici.
1,239 reviews296 followers
May 12, 2021
Translation widget on The blog!!!
“Capcana căsniciei” îi are ca protagoniști pe Michael Conte și Maggie Ryan, personaje cu care ne-am întâlnit în primul volum al acestei serii și care mie mi-au stârnit interesul.
O carte de vrăji, un motan cu personalitate și dragostea sunt tot ce au nevoie eroii noștri!
Eram sigură că povestea lor va fi una complicată și nu am fost deloc departe de adevăr! Povestea lor este complexă, emoționantă, o bătălie constantă.
Fiecare dintre cei doi tineri ascunde propriile emoții în spatele unei măști pe care o poartă de prea mult timp pentru a mai realiza că nu reflectă adevărul în totalitate.
Michael este un important om de afaceri, proprietar al unui lanț de restaurante. Maggie este o fotografă de renume, ce-și trăiește viața după propriile reguli.
Totul se schimbă atunci când Michael îi face o propunere șocantă: să se prefacă că este soția lui pentru o săptămână, pentru ca sora lui să se poată căsători cu iubitul ei... Dacă vă întrebați ce o împiedică să se căsătorească, explicația este simplă și complicată în același timp: Michael provine dintr-o familie italiană care se conduce după reguli stricte, cum ar fi cea care spune că frații sau surorile mai mici nu se pot căsători înainte celui întâi-născut al familiei.
O carte care poate fi rezumată la emoție, sentimente, răni din trecut ce au lăsat sechele profunde, dureri ascunse, renunțarea la anumite visuri. Atât Michael, cât și Maggie, au fost victimele sorții într-o anumită măsură.
Nici unul dintre ei nu ar fi bănuit să o călătorie în Italia și interpretarea unei șarade în fața familiei lui le va schimba viața pentru totdeauna. Deși începutul relației lor nu a fost tocmai ușor, ambii se trezesc luptând cu atracția reciprocă, cu curenții ce-i străbat de câte ori se ating. Iar bărbatul trebuie să o convingă pe Maggie să aibă încredere în el, deși aceasta are o problemă veche cu încrederea în bărbați...
Cunoașterea familiei acestuia, descoperirea unei alte fețe a lui Michael, totul schimbă cumva modul de percepție al tinerei, deși atunci când este pe punctul de a accepta faptul că-l iubește, o nouă piedică apare în calea lor.
Dacă reușesc sau nu să o depășească rămâne să aflați citind cartea.
Autoarea Jennifer Probst a reușit să îmi ofere o gamă largă de emoții de-a lungul acestei povești încântătoare!
Impresiile mele despre serie le găsiți aici:
Profile Image for Natasha is a Book Junkie.
682 reviews7,435 followers
September 23, 2012

 “Let me be clear, la mia tigrotta. I'm taking you to bed. I'm going to strip off your clothes, bury myself inside you, and make you come so many times the only word from your lips will be my name, begging me to do it all over again.”

There are some romance authors that get it right every single time and Jennifer Probst is one of those authors. Her delicious stories tantalise your senses, they keep you in a constant state of arousal and cheeriness, the only dilemma in your mind being - wine or chocolate?

In this provocative sequel to The Marriage Bargain, our heroine is Maggie, a successful young photographer whose love life is as colourful as it is unfulfilling. She guards her heart fiercely, her fear of rejection holding her back from believing in ever finding love. But Maggie craves to be loved, to have a man look at her with possession and devotion - her unemotional upbringing has made her hungry for affection, secretly hopeful that every man she takes to bed would end up “slaying the demons in the evening and be enough under the harsh morning light”. She is lonely, tired of being alone and her past traumas have made her believe that she would never be truly wanted by anyone, never good enough.
“Nothing was worse than that empty, gnawing feeling in her stomach when she rolled over and realized the man next to her was not The One. Would never be The One.”

Michael has been a thorn in Maggie’s sight ever since their failed blind date over a year ago. Now they find themselves in Italy, Michael’s homeland, in an unconventional agreement of pretend-marriage and desperately trying to deny the sizzling attraction between them. But while they are convinced to be all wrong for each other and to have nothing in common, Maggie and Michael are a lot more alike than they realise. They have been looking for the same thing in life, the same empty search for a ‘soul mate’ both troubling them as well as filling them with hopelessness.
“Do you take them to bed to escape the loneliness, hoping it will end up to be more? Do you wake up in the morning with a sick feeling in your stomach, knowing you lied to yourself again? Do you wonder if you’re meant to be alone? Wonder if something deep down is holding you back?”

Michael wants a woman to challenge him, with a strong independent streak on the outside and a kind and loving heart on the inside. Deep down, he longs for a woman that is “wild, untamed, contradictory, and stubborn.” Maggie awakens this unconscious longing in him, he finds himself desperate to peel off her defences, one by one, and make her reveal her true self to him. He senses that something is holding her back from admitting her feelings for him and he patiently attempts to knock that wall down brick by brick.
“... there was a cool detachment in her aura, surrounding her like a thicket of thornbushes with nasty-looking spines. Look, but don’t touch. Touch, but don’ feel. Her emotions were locked up and controlled to a point of strangling.”

He senses her need to feel loved, her lingering pain and yearning to form a lasting attachment to someone, but he also struggles with his own reluctance to admit that she might actually be exactly what he’s been looking for all along. Michael finds himself unable to fight his attraction to Maggie any longer - the more he gets to know her, the deeper his feelings for her become. Her unpredictable personality and smart mouth are his undoing. Their connection is electric, intense, overconsuming. Before they know it, they are ‘stripped-bare’ before one another, with no walls between them, fighting for control over their emotions and over one another.
“She twisted everything inside of him until he vibrated at a high pitch, and she made the long line of women he’d taken to bed fade away into nothingness. She was prickly, hardheaded, honest to a fault, and hid a soft center that melted his heart.”

The build-up of sexual chemistry between the main characters, the anticipation, the will-they-won't-they will leave you breathless. Ms Probst’s stories are pure escapism at its finest - they awaken the hopeless romantic in you and they fill your dreams with sexually-charged fantasies of meant-to-be’s. This book is a worthy sequel to a favourite of mine and it only makes me wish for this series to never end.

[4.5 STARS]

~ N ♥

See this review on my blog! | Follow me on Facebook!
Profile Image for Baylee.
886 reviews129 followers
March 17, 2015
Questo romanzo mi ha fatto profondamente incazzare. Così, senza tanti giri di parole. E ciò che mi ha fatto incazzare non è il fatto che sia incentrato su un'usanza vecchia e profondamente ingiusta.

Ma cominciamo dall'inizio. Michael Conte deve sposarsi perché mammina vuole (o meglio, pretende) che il primogenito uccel-di-bosco si sposi prima della sorella minore innamoratissima-e-isterica.

Ora, a quanto mi si dice, questa usanza esiste davvero in alcune famiglie italiane (per il bene dei loro figli, spero che siano davvero pochissime e che la tradizione vada estinguendosi), quindi mi tocca prenderne atto. L'inizio del romanzo non è così inverosimile come mi era parso (purtroppo). Pare che questa ca**ata sia una forma di rispetto per il primogenito. Stro****e. Io sono una primogenita e non mi sentirei affatto rispettata se mi toccasse sposarmi per forza per salvare il matrimonio di mio fratello.

Ad ogni modo, torniamo al romanzo e a quello che mi ha fatto incazzare. Il punto è che questa faccenda del matrimonio obbligato sembra una faccenda sgradita, ma necessaria. Come la ceretta all'inguine. Il tutto abilmente condito con sentenze a dir poco sconcertanti. Ecco alcune "perle di saggezza".

Le sue sorelle erano cocciute e peperine, ma alla fine si piegavano sempre ai suoi ordini, perché così voleva la legge di famiglia.

Ah, ah, ah. Michael, vieni a fare il fratello maggiore con me. Poi vedi dove te li ficco i tuoi ordini del cavolo. E con gran gusto.

«[...] la mamma non accetterà nessun altro tipo di unione se non quella religiosa.»

Mammina è pure esigente. La cerimonia religiosa. Poi cosa vuole? Una fettina di c*lo?

Carolina rise, ma mamma Conte esalò un sospiro sofferto. «Valeria, non abbiamo bisogno di sapere cosa porta Domenico sotto i vestiti. E nemmeno tu, almeno finché non lo avrai sposato. Chiaro?»

Oh. Mio. Dio. Vogliamo anche fare un controllo della verginità prima del matrimonio? Tanto per essere sicuri che quella "sgualdrina" non abbia "disonorato" la famiglia e altre amenità di questo tipo. Seriamente. E nessuno prende a calci in c*lo quel coglione?

« [...] Questa sera servirai la cena a tuo marito con le tue mani. E questo non perché gli sei sottomessa, o perché lui ti consideri inferiore. Al contrario. Perché tu sei di più. Molto di più. Capisci cosa intendo?»

No, mammina. L'unica cosa che intendo è che questa mi sembra una scusa per le tue idee del 1400. Hai sbagliato secolo. Siamo nel 2013, hai presente?

«Ma tutto quello che dice Michael è legge!» si lagnò Carolina. «Lui è il capofamiglia!»
«Non ti sto dicendo di mancargli di rispetto, ma solo di essere più chiara nella comunicazione. Provaci.»

Ecco, Carolina, piccola sorellina di Michael, ascolta la futura sposa costretta del suddetto Michael. Non mancare di rispetto al tuo povero fratello, anche se lui non ha rispetto per te e i tuoi desideri. E' solo una mancanza di comunicazione. Umiliati nell'implorarlo di lasciarti seguire le tue inclinazioni: il suo ego di maschio capofamiglia si gonfierà talmente tanto che ti darà lo zuccherino.

«Cosa le ho fatto adesso? Eh? È così sbagliato proibirle di andare a una festa alcolica con un mucchio di modelli nudi e perdersi per sempre? È troppo giovane! [...]»

Perdersi per sempre? Ma, Michael, dove pensi che vada tua sorella? Nella tana del Bianconiglio? Nel Labirinto del Minotauro? Se hai paura che si perda, compragli un maledetto dispositivo GPS!

Ovviamente la sua [di Valeria, un'altra sorella] decisione di non lavorare per l’azienda di famiglia aveva causato tuoni e fulmini, e Michael non aveva ancora superato la delusione, ma non era niente in confronto a veder corrotta per sempre l’innocenza di Carolina.

Tua sorella non lavora nell'azienda di famiglia, ma trova la sua strada ed è felice e tu le tieni il muso? F***iti, Michael, sul serio. Sei il peggior fratello (e uomo) del pianeta. Per non parlare dei sudori freddi per l'"innocenza" di Carolina... non pensi che sia abbastanza grande per gestirsela da sola, la sua "innocenza"? Non è una bambina a rischio pedofili.

D’accordo, era una donna anche lei, ma si era sempre dichiarata poco interessata alle cose che di solito interessano il gentil sesso: cucinare, spettegolare, i bambini, la vita domestica.

Questa recensione rischia davvero di essere la più volgare della mia vita. Davvero, Michael, mi viene da mandarti a quel paese (in maniera più colorita) una riga sì e l'altra pure.

Invece di liquidare come pura follia la sua assurda pretesa che lui si sposasse e lasciare che sfogasse la sua contrarietà sulla sorella, aveva ideato un piano che avrebbe reso felici tutti.

Ecco che ci si mette pure Maggie (la sposa rimediata e di facciata). E' proprio quello che avrebbe dovuto fare, mandare al diavolo quella strega di madre che si ritrova e continuare la sua vita (magari ospitando la sorella novella sposa, dato che mammina l'avrebbe diseredata per l'affronto).

«Sì, ma non bisogna toccarsi le zone intime. [...]»

Grande Maggie. Ottimo approccio all'educazione sessuale dei più piccoli di casa.

Non si era tolta il trucco, ma persino lui dovette ammettere che era molto meglio dei pasticci che si metteva da sola. Adesso aveva un aspetto pulito. Era se stessa, in meglio.

Dulcis in fundo, una perla sulla necessità che le donne si trucchino per essere se stesse. In meglio, addirittura. E io che credevo ancora nel caro, vecchio acqua e sapone per essere autentica.
859 reviews231 followers
October 14, 2012

2.5 stars

Meh. (*shrugs a shoulder*)

…you can get past the ridiculous and overdone premise of “marrying to fool my family”
…you can forget that this SAME premise was used in book 1 of the series, not with strangers, mind you, but with the brother and friend of this book’s MC’s
…you can get past Maggie’s utterly annoying “walls” she puts up which makes me not give 2 cents about what happens to her

…this book has some enjoyable moments
…you can get fired up w/ some hot & steamy parts
…it turns out to be not an entirely terrible read.

All in all, kinda boring, kinda annoying, but Michael Conte is smoking hot.

Full disclosure: I had to FORCE my way through this book, starting and stopping about 10 times. It was sheer determination that got me through since I have never DNF’d a book to date. That being sad, still, I’ve read worse. I think this could be a decent 3 - 3.5 for some. I just found Maggie too annoying to get past.

Profile Image for Vina.
169 reviews222 followers
September 23, 2015
“You will serve your husband dinner tonight by your own hand....not because you are beneath him...because you are more.”

Umm..I will allow my husband to be more than me.He can be the one making and serving dinner for the rest of our marriage.

This is one of those books where I get attached to the supporting characters more than the principal ones.I absolutely loved Mama Conte. she's one of those fierce, hard working women who care about her family and made sure everyone was happy.I loved some of her advice too.Helped me to see some things a little differently.

I love my heroine to be a strong, independent, and sarcastic young woman.Maggie Ryan most certainly didn't disappoint.
Profile Image for Mareli.
1,034 reviews29 followers
March 27, 2015
There is really a bad problem when an Italian woman (like me) is reading a book where one of the characters is depicted as Italian and instead he speaks a sort of Spanish/American Italian :(

Italians don't say Dios, Spanish do it.
Italians don't say bambinos, Americans do it (maybe, I don't know for sure).
Italians don't say mia amore (really I don't understand if this a product of google translator).

So, the bad use of Italian words really spoil this book for me, sorry :(
Profile Image for Mafi.
1,107 reviews200 followers
February 28, 2017
Como já tinha lido o 1º livro, já sabia que estes dois tinham tido um encontro anteriormente mas quem não leu o 1º certamente irá perceber o contexto em que este romance acontece. Embora sejam livros singulares todos com um casal diferente, a autora interliga muito as personagens portanto eu aconselho mesmo a ler tudo por ordem. Mas regressando ao livro, acho que a autora conseguiu desenvolver melhor a Maggie do que a Alexa. É obvio que já não me lembro de tudo do 1º livro mas fiquei com a impressão que a Maggie foi uma personagem mais aproveitada. Ficamos logo a saber que ela ainda sofre com uma experiência amorosa que correu mal e que ainda tem memórias negativas da sua infância e dos pais. É interessante como aos poucos ela vai-se apercebendo que a sua infância rodeada de criados e sem o amor dos pais, embora rica em objectos materiais, não foi um infância feliz a nível emocional e é também interessante de ver que por causa disso, refugiou-se num namoro que também não lhe trouxe a felicidade que procurava. Em suma, Maggie acaba por concluir que nunca teve uma felicidade completa e é intrigante ver como aos poucos, com a ajuda não só de Michael mas também da sua família, ela vai descobrindo o que realmente a faz feliz. Neste tipo de livros é normal não haver assim nada de inovador e portanto há que procurar os pontos fortes do livro e a evolução da Maggie foi sem dúvida um deles.


Em relação ao romance confesso que não fiquei impressionada, não achei forçado nem nada disso mas não houve aquele clique para que ficasse a adorar o casal mas claro que gostei da parte deles juntos.

Mais uma leitura voraz que nos deixa com um sorriso nos lábios. Apesar de não te gostado tanto como o livro anterior é sem dúvida um bom livro e uma boa continuação mas...quero é o próximo!!!

Profile Image for Sara  HarlequinJunkie.
247 reviews272 followers
October 3, 2012
Reviewd by: HarlequinJunkie Romance Reviews

The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst is passionately sexy and emotionally compelling. Mia Amore! It sure did surpass my expectations.

I won’t reiterate the plot; I think the synopsis does a fine job of that.

I loved the characters in this book, Michael is the kind of guy dreams are made of; Handsome, loyal, family oriented, compassionate a guy with a big heart.
Maggie is my kinda girl; strong, independent, feisty and sassy to the end.
Together Michael and Maggie were dynamite; their chemistry was scorching HOT!

I loved the Conte family dynamics in this book, the strong family ties worked well in moving along the plot.

Jennifer has outdone herself with The Marriage Trap; this book is fun, witty, sexy and an emotionally satisfying read; everything I was expecting it to be and more

I’m a huge fan of the Marriage to a Billionaire series and can’t wait to read Carina and Max’s story in The Marriage Mistake next, November can’t come fast enough for me. Highly Recommended!

My Fav. Quote from the book
"She was exactly what she wanted without apology. He'd never be a prince and didn't want the job. Especially against a woman who'd probably steal his horse and rescue herself. Still, for a while, he needed her." 

Profile Image for Saly.
3,433 reviews513 followers
October 13, 2012
I really enjoyed Jennifer Probst first book but I think I like The Marriage Trap a bit better. Maggie Ryan is the photographer sister of Nick(the hero in the previous book), who is smart, successful and independent and great at hiding her feelings after the lonely childhood she and Nick had. Her best friend and brother's wife set her up with Michael Conte a year back and she felt a spark but was rejected so she convinced herself that Michael was in love with Alexa.

The reason I liked this book was Maggie and her sassiness that hid past hurts and vulnerabilities. She acted so blase but craved love and family like so many others but didn't believe she had it in her. Seeing her gel with Michael's family was amazing, as an outsider she could see how Michael was being patronizing to his three younger sisters and taking on the role of responsibility too far and she was not afraid of laying it all out.

A foolish family tradition stands in the way of Michael's sisters happiness so he asks Maggie to be his pretend wife and she agrees on one condition, that he stay away from Alexa and though it pains him to do so, since Alexa is a close friend, he agrees. He has always felt the attraction between them but because of his friendship with Alexa and her family he doesn't want to risk a relationship going bad.

Michael was a great hero, he loved his family and had given up his dream of racing for them to run the family baking business, plus even his frequent dating was an attempt on his side to find "the one", never guessing that Maggie would be that person, prickly, sassy Maggie who is the complete opposite of what he thought he wanted and has walls all around her.

The book was sexy, sweet and even heart-breaking when we hear what happened to a young Maggie. Yes, the book could be corny especially the last part but I still enjoyed it.

ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss
Profile Image for Dalimar.
514 reviews24 followers
February 14, 2013
Un libro hermoso,fácil de leer.Maggie es encantadora con su sarcasmo y su manera tan comica de ser y Michael...que hombre!Una historia sencilla,pero muy bien contada y aunque cualquiera que la lea puede pensar que es demaciado predecible,para mi también lo es.Igual sigue siendo una historia que me gusta,tal vez por lo mismo,por su sencillez y pocas complicaciones.como leí por ahí una Harlequin con más páginas,pero a mi las Harlequin me encantan.
Profile Image for Tina.
509 reviews780 followers
January 14, 2013
This was definitely not as good as the first one. Although I love Jennifer Probst's style of writing, I found this story lacked character development. I didn't "feel" the romance or love between the characters. There was no true build-up to anything and I did not really like the heroine (Maggie.)
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews289 followers
May 11, 2016
Very enjoyable,quick read. I think I'm a Jennifer Probst fan.
October 10, 2012
**3.5 stars**

This is the story of Nick's sister, Maggie, and Alexa's friend from Italy, Michael. Michael's family is very traditional and his sister wants to get married but can't until Michael is married. Since Maggie is already planning on going to Italy for a photo shoot, Michael decides to see if he can rope her in as his "fake wife" and take her to meet his family.

Okay, I'm kind of torn about this story...some parts were very sweet but others were too predictable and repetitive. I liked both Michael and Maggie but I didn't really buy Maggie's reason for agreeing to the fake marriage.

Maggie certainly is feisty though and I did enjoy learning why she is that way. It was sad hearing what she went through. I loved Michael's mother getting her to cook and seeing right through her. I also loved her relationship with Dante...I was sooo hoping he would show up in the end and I'm glad he did!

Michael was more than I thought he would be especially from how he comes off in the first book. But I was happy to know there is so much more to him. I liked finding out about him as well and I thought it was great that Maggie was able to get through to him and help him with his sisters. The naming of the new bakery? Perfezione!

Michael's family was great. I enjoyed all of them and what they brought to the story. Mama Conte was pretty amazing and quite devious! And it's pretty obvious that Carina and Max will be the couple for the next story. I'm really happy for her but I hope there is lots of drama! I love Dante and I'm so happy with how things worked out.

Overall, a sweet, cute story with some nice, steamy scenes and Yay for an epilogue even though it was a bit disappointing. I really would've liked more of Michael and Maggie.

Favorite quotes:

♥ “Well, what do you want to do? Just stand there making googly eyes at me?”

♥ “The letter C stands for all the items needed in life,” she said. “Coffee, chocolate, and champagne.” She sighed with contentment and took another drink.

Michael leaned back in the antique floral chair and smirked. “Aren’t you missing the best letter of all?”

“What’s that?”

“S. For sex.”
October 16, 2012
Let me just start off by saying that I loooooved the first book of this series The Marriage Bargain. Ms. Probst did a GREAT job at creating such a nice and hawt (hot) buildup between the two characters (Nick & Alexa), that I was bummed when the book ended. That of course led me to want to read the 2nd volume, just hoping for a little more of a glimpse into their story again or atleast to recapture that feeling that I felt. Deep breath in, now exhale….“Ahhhhh.” Ok enough of that, moving on!
I was really hoping to feel the electric chemistry between the two characters (Michael & Maggie), as I did for the characters in the 1st volume. In my opinion, the heroine spent most of the book doubting his feelings which made it hard for me to feel that connection between them. I truly have to admit that I found myself struggling to stay interested, rolling my eyes and sucking my teeth at times. I even actually put the book down a couple of times and paid attention to my family when they were talking to me! Which I (shamefully admit), usually tune them out (did I just say that?) because of how good a book is, lol! There, I said it!! (You’ve been guilty of it too I’m sure, lol).

Having said all of that, there were parts of the book that I did like, and I did eventually finish the book, because I’m no quitter (well…with some things I am, lol). I liked Jennifer Probst writing so much with the 1st book that I will definitely read the 3rd volume as well, (The Marriage Mistake.) Ms. Probst gives us a taste with the first chapter, and I must say, that I liked what I’ve read so far and my interest is surely peaked!
Profile Image for Christy.
3,808 reviews32.3k followers
October 4, 2012
I loved Maggie and Michael from the marriage bargain... So happy they got their own story! They had awesome chemistry, loved Michaels family and their interactions with Maggie... Loved the sneak peak for the third book! Can't wait
Profile Image for Danielle (Danniegurl).
1,824 reviews96 followers
April 10, 2017
DNF about 40%

I just couldn't do it guys. Maggie was sort of likable in the first book, and Michael was endearing in that one as well, but them put together spoiled the whole thing.

Firstly Maggie is a bitch, this is explained away as her fierce loyalty to those she loves, but I think it's delusions of negativity she "sees" from her childhood. From book 1 we learn Nick and Maggie's parents are like anti parents, cold, emotionless, leaving the, alone. Showing no love and showing that everything relationship wise sucks and will end. So imagine when Maggie starts believing that Michael is secretly in love with Alexa, the heroine from book one and Nick's wife, even though Michael, and Alexa have both told Maggie time and again that she's crazy AND Nick invites him to family functions and what not and clearly isn't threatened by him. Maggie needs to butt the fuck out. Seriously girl do you think he is just gunna swoop in and steal Alexa!? How? She's in love with your brother!!! *eye roll* then no matter how Michael tells Maggie this is untrue she doesn't believe him and hears only what she wants to hear.

Then we have Michael. He didn't rub me too badly until we saw how he interacted with Carina, his youngest(?) sister who mind you is 23 and he treats like she is 14. He freaks out about what she wants to do with her life, he freaks out when she got a make over from the make up artist at the photo shoot Maggie was doing, he freaked out she was photographed with male underwear models, he freaked out said models wanted to hang out with her and he "didn't approve". Um did I miss somewhere that she wasn't an adult? Is this a culture thing? Because I don't understand it, I can't supportive it and it drove me nuts. I can not stand the way they were treating her, for her part though Maggie was trying to help, but Michael was like she is not allowed to date, see naked men or basically have a relationship, yet her older sister who this whole farce is for, seems to have been able to date, so why is it different for Carina? Drove. Me. Nuts. I can't.

I tried, I can't but mostly it was because Maggie rubbed me the worst way. I just couldn't deal.
Profile Image for Siv30.
2,336 reviews121 followers
November 14, 2018
הספרים של ג'ניפר פרובסט מאוד חביבים. הטריגר למערכת היחסים בין בני הזוג מגוחך והזוי אבל הם נעימים לקריאה והם מספקים תמיד סוף טוב.

קראתי את הספר הזה במקור ועתה בתרגום. מייקל הדמות הגברית שובת לב, אבל מגי ראיין היא דמות שקשה להתחבר אליה עם כל הקצוות שלה.

מייקל מציע למגי להעמיד פנים שהיא נשואה לו כדי לאפשר לאחותו הצעירה ונציה להינשא לדומיניק. הם נוסעים לבית משפחתו באיטליה ושם כבר ביום הראשון מתחיל הבלגן.

מגי היא טיפוס די סגור וקר לעומת מייקל החם והמשפחתי. למרות זאת היא מצליחה להתחבר למשפחתו.

הפריעה לי החופזה של מערכת היחסים שהבשילה תוך שבוע. הכל קורה שם די מהר בגלל לוחות הזמנים של העלילה ומעבר לקושי של להתחבר לדמות של מגי גם החופזה הזו העיבה לי על הקריאה.

יחד עם זאת באמת חיבבתי את הדמות של מייקל והיה מקום לפתח את המערכת הזוגית לפני הנסיעה שלהם לאיטליה, כך שבאיטליה הדברים יבשילו לשיא.
Profile Image for Anahita.
298 reviews75 followers
May 25, 2017
3-3.5 star
I don't know what to say.
Well... This was a good read. Nothing special, but not that bad.
I liked Maggie but the conflicts that she had with herself was really on my nerve.
Contrary to my expectation Michael was more wiser and more easy going. He accept his flaws and start to change them.
Profile Image for María Ángeles.
401 reviews72 followers
May 12, 2021
Este segundo libro me ha parecido más soso.
No sé, no he notado tanta química entre Michael y Maguie. Que ella accediera a todo por creer que él estaba enamorado de Alexa me chirriaba un poco.
y bueno, me he encontrado momentos en los que no quería leer el libro, pero he seguido, cómo no.
El libro sigue estando bien escrito, con tacto, pero los portas no me han conquistado.
Sigooo con la serie
Profile Image for •Anna•.
292 reviews76 followers
June 6, 2015
«Se non posso sposarmi è tutta colpa tua.»
«Perché mia?»
«La mamma ha detto che potrò sposarmi solo dopo che ti sarai sposato tu. Non ti ricordi? Era una vecchia tradizione a cui papà teneva tantissimo.»


Ma ragazzi siamo nel 2013! Come può risultare credibile che il protagonista di un libro si disperi a trovare una donna disposto a sposarlo per finta solo per agevolare la sorella? Mandare affanculo la madre? O meglio ancora, inventarsi una cavolo di giustificazione migliore? Ma parlami del classico visto scaduto, dato che il protagonista è un italiano che fa affari in America... E invece no. Questo qui è tutto concentrato a pensare «Entro la fine della settimana sarò un uomo sposato», «Lo faccio per te, sorella» e «Non è giusto, papà aveva espresso questo desiderio sul letto di morte, quindi va esaudito» ??? Ditemi voi chi prima di morire se ne esce con un'assurdità simile!?

Mica finisce qui.

Ogni descrizione o dialogo è completamente sbagliato, insulso e assolutamente ridicolo. Starei qui a trascrivere interi capitoli, per dimostrarvelo, ma farò del mio meglio per evitarvi di rivivere questi attimi di orrore. Però, permettetemi giusto qualcosina...

«E' così che hai corteggiato tua moglie? Con complimenti banali e sorrisi sdolcinati?» domandò Valeria.
Maggie girò intorno alla macchina, i fianchi che ondeggiavano al ritmo antico di Eva.
«Ciao a tutte, sono Maggie, la moglie di vostro fratello. E no, non mi ha corteggiato facendomi complimenti. Ha usato metodi più tradizionali. Con del sesso da urlo.»
Valeria soffocò una risata, Giulia la guardò con un pizzico DI AMMIRAZIONE e adesso Carolina SEMBRAVA AVER APPENA INCONTRATO LA SUA EROINA.


Frasi a cazzo.

Dico, sapete mica spiegarmi come si ONDEGGIA AL RITMO ANTICO DI EVA? E per quale assurdo motivo si dovrebbe provare ammirazione nei confronti della ragazza?

Un'altra frase che mi ha fatto ridere è quella piazzata lì, tra un bacio e un altro, in cui la protagonista pensa del suo lui che "Il calore del suo corpo le ricordava un lupo mannaro della serie Twilight, che in segreto amava". Capisco la vergogna per l'ammissione, ma non è un po' fuori luogo? Ciò non cambia che sono finita col ritrovarmi in lacrime per il troppo ridere, e se solo ci ripenso...

Ad un certo punto la contessa, madre del nostro amabile Conte, porta Maggie (la tipa che pensa ai lupi in momenti clue) in cucina. Cosa potrà mai volere una donna ricchissima, peraltro dal titolo nobiliare, la cui tenuta si estende per chilometri in quel di Bergamo, da lei? Ma certo, vuole che prepari le tagliatelle fatte in casa! E che succede quando lei confessa che è una frana in cucina? La suocera le rivela che lei è la donna giusta per il figlio, perchè una volta assunto un impegno, lo porta a termine nonostante sia sicura di fallire. La conosce da meno di tre minuti, ma la cosa più importante è che stiamo ancora parlando di tagliatelle!!!

Insomma, se ne vedono delle belle... dal prete che li sposa in due nanosecondi, senza aver fatto loro seguire corsi prematrimoniali, perchè ESSERE CONTE COMPORTA DEI BENEFICI (parole sue, un gran bel prete), a sorelle imbarazzanti, idiote e ridicole (Carolina tra tutte), a bambini piccolissimi che passano con una facilità notevole a parlare dall'inglese all'italiano, ai riferimenti brillantissimi all'Italia (quali: pasta, cannoli, l'italianizzazione di Maggie in Margherita, Michael in Michele - quando poi esistevano zii dai nomi Brian e Lizzy, ed amici d'infanzia di nome Max Grey - donne sottomesse ai mariti, Cesare Paciotti e Armani, ecc). E con questa concludo: Maggie non riesce a fidarsi completamente degli uomini dopo un passato traumatico. Come riuscirà il nostro eroe a "sbloccarla"?, vi chiederete... Semplice. Corre in bagno, fa scivolare via la cintura dall'accappatoio, la usa per legarle i polsi alla testiera del letto, e ci fa sesso. "Adesso si, che finalmente si fidava".

Profile Image for AJ.
2,867 reviews930 followers
November 10, 2012
This was a sweet little story of frenemies to lovers.

Maggie and Michael were both introduced in the first book in the series – The Marriage Bargain. Maggie is Nick’s sister and Alexa’s best friend, while Michael is the Italian billionaire working with Nick who befriends Alexa. I liked him from back then, so this book was an easy sell for me :) They went on a blind date in the first book, but nothing really came of it (or so we thought), but with them now entering into a pretend marriage and spending the week together in the beautiful Italian countryside, sparks fly!

Maggie is a complicated character. “She was no shrinking violet. Her attitude was kick-ass and woman, hear me roar … A heavy wall of armor barricaded her from any real emotions … She was exactly what she wanted to be without apology.” And then along comes sexy billionaire, Michael, to smash through her defences. This man was pure swoon and bit by bit he and Maggie cave into the attraction between them - and holy hell, can he bring the hotness!!!

"Let me be clear, la mia tigrotta. I’m taking you to bed. I’m going to strip off your clothes, bury myself deep inside you, and make you come so many times the only word from your lips will be my name, begging me to do it all over again."

With all of the hotness going on, it doesn’t take long before Michael and Maggie realise that they are falling for each other, but the road to happy ever after is not a smooth one.

I really enjoyed this, a swoony, sexy story with some lovely moments and a sweet ending that made me squee. Michael and Maggie are great together, and form a beautiful partnership - supporting and encouraging, and bringing about much-needed changes to each other’s lives. There is also a beautiful set up for the next book in the series about Michael’s younger sister, Carina and best friend, Max – looking forward to getting to that one.

3.5 stars
October 7, 2012
It's not a bad book but i couldn't really get into it because...

1) The reason for the marriage felt more far-fetched than the reason in the first book of the trilogy.

2) I felt the rhythm of the book wasn't very fluid. After every action there was an explanation about maggie's feelings (or michael's). I would have liked it more if the background and explanations were inserted in the narrative more fluidly or maybe be more subtle about it. Sometimes the readers don't need to be told every single feeling the character is feeling every moment. Sometimes actions speak volumes and explanations aren't necessary.

3) The male protagonist gave out a jerk vibe which, no mater how hard i tried, i couldn't shake it off.

Still, jennifer probst is capable of funny, sweet books and i'll be reading more things coming her way. It's just that, in my humble opinion, she tried so hard with this one and i think she doesn't need to.
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