The Marriage Trap
by Jennifer Probst
Published by Gallery Books
Genre: chick lit; romance
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
4 / 5 cupcakes
Let's say that you need to get married. Your father, God rest, demanded that you, as his only son, be married before your younger sisters. Well, one of them wants to wed her boyfriend, but Mama says no. The family must adhere to Papa's wishes. Meanwhile, a close friend, who just happens to be a married woman pregnant with her first child, has an angry best friend who is convinced that you are out to destroy her friend's happiness. So you strike a deal. You will stay away from the married woman IF the best friend agrees to marry you.
Such is the conundrum with which Michael Conte is presented. His pal Alexa is very happily content with her husband, whose sister Maggie is Alexa's best pal. Maggie hates Michael; she seethes with rage when she sees him, because she believes that he wants Alexa for himself. Michael really doesn't, but there is no convincing Maggie of that point. But then he finds out he needs to get married - and fast - and he needs a wife. You don't get to be the head of a successful family business by not knowing how to solve problems, and Michael Conte is a very adept problem solver. He negotiates a deal with Maggie - you marry me, I stay away from Alexa - and bada boom, bada bing. Problem solved.
Or is it?
Naturally, Michael and Maggie are attracted to each other, and, naturally, circumstances conspire to force them to share a bed. At first, they are merely engaged, thinking that just putting a ring on it will satisfy Michaels' mother. But when they go see her in Italy, Mama Conte turns out to be much shrewder and more perceptive than anyone realizes.
There is some pretty hot headboard rocking, because even if Michael and Maggie don't particularly like each other, their bodies sure do. And Michael ... well, let's just say this: YUMMY! He knows what to do to break down Maggie's physical defenses, and she melts like an ice cube in the Sahara. Maggie may be brittle and caustic, but she means well. And of course she has some Issues that require sorting through.
You see the ending coming from the first pages, but that doesn't mean that this is not a fun book to read. I wish there had been more sex (whatever, people - call me a perv; you wouldn't be the first), but what there is works very well. Verrrrry well. And that may be why I want MORE. Told from both Maggie's and Michael's points of view, we get to know the two of them - what drives them, frightens them and stymies them. What is well done in this book is Michael and Maggie. At varying times, you will not like either of them. We see their flaws on full display, yet we wish them well.
We also wish them more time between the sheets, but that's another matter ...