Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Marriage Merger (Marriage to a Billionaire, #4) by Jennifer Probst

Julietta Conte would be defined by many as a success. She has just about everything a woman could want--a loving close knit family, a successful career, respect, but there was one thing missing from her life. She didn't have anyone to share her good fortune with. Relationships just never seemed to work. She'd never been able to bond with a man in that primal way that most would take for granted. No matter how much she wanted it, it just never happened. She'd even been coaxed into trying a love spell to find her perfect someone, but to no avail. She's resigned herself to the fact she'll be unlucky in love and not dwell on what she doesn't have.

Sawyer Wells is a force to be reckoned with. He's one of those men who knows what he wants and usually has the confidence  and self determination to get it. When he proposes that La Dolce Famiglia, Julietta's family bakery business, align with his latest business venture, a hotel chain called Purety, it seems to be a winning combination. When he suggests a merger of a more personal nature, Julietta while interested knows it's not wise to miss business with pleasure. Especially since she already knows the outcome, but Sawyer surprises her with his persistence as he makes a proposition she didn't expect...

     "One night, Julietta." His voice stroked and probed every dark corner like crushed velvet. "I want you. and I'll do anything to get you."(...)"If you spend the night with me and you're not satisfied, I'll give you final approval over anything to do with La Dolce Famiglia.(...)

     "What do you get out of it? You'd lose one of the most important aspects in this deal--the ability to veto any decision."

     "I get you."

Will he be the man of her dreams or will he prove her ultimate downfall? After all, he did confess, "No, Julietta, I do not believe in love. Never have. I believe in passion and lust, honesty and loyalty. I believe in hard work and sacrifice. I believe in enjoying the gifts of this world. But I do not believe in love."


This is the fourth and final book in the Marriage to a Billionaire series. While you don't need to read the previous book to enjoy this one, I'd recommend you do because it will make the series as a whole that much more enjoyable to read. The previous characters pay a visit in this one, and you get a nice look at how the three previously matched couples are doing. I always love it when an author does this at the end of a series. It adds an extra bit more closure to it all.

I have to admit, this story made me a little nervous at the beginning. When Sawyer started having fantasies about tying Julietta up with her scarf, I wondered what type of romance this one would be? Dominent/submissive relationships in books always make me a little leary. While I firmly believe what goes on between individuals in the boudoir is up to those individuals who are willing participants, my main problem with books that delve into Dominant/Submissive types of relationships are that they usually only give the perspective of one of the characters. We don't get to see the intimate thoughts of both, and it's usually the male perspective that is not developed completely or at least to my satisfaction. Call me old fashioned, but for a book to be labeled a true romance by me it has to show a relationship that is healthy, shows a mutual respect between the individuals, and isn't destructive or hurtful in any way to either of the individuals involved. I want to leave the story believing the hero and heroine will have a happily ever, or at least a "happy for now" scenario. Luckily, Ms. Probst managed to do just that, and pull off one of the best Dominant /Submissive relationships I've ever read and I absolutely loved it.
Sawyer Wells is a character we've seen before, but not entirely in a positive light. He's been drawn as a womanizer who tends to love 'em and leave 'em. But there is more to Sawyer than meets the eye. The man is a very complicated individual who thinks love is the stuff of fairy tales--sought after, but not real. Yet, for all his claims of disbelief, he is drawn to it and has witnessed it, even if he's reluctant to admit it. Perhaps it would be more true to say he doesn't believe love is possible for him. It's something that's eluded him throughout his life and he's afraid to care. I enjoyed how Ms. Probst slowly unmasks the real Sawyer by having the story delve into his background in way that makes us understand why he is the way he is and realize why he'd be a good match for Julietta, after all is said and done.

Julietta is a fun character who has managed to make it in a man's world. She's strong self confident and challenges Sawyer on many different levels. Sawyer is not the type who would be happy with a woman with a weak personality. He needs someone who can match him wit for wit, who is strong and his equal in many things all of which Julietta is. The one area he needs to dominate and let his inner alpha rule is in the bedroom and that is exactly what Julietta needs. She needs someone who will help her lose control of her inhibitions.

Once again Mama Conte meddles in the affairs of her children in attempt to make sure those she cares about end up with the right person. She's one of my favorite characters in this series, and I love the way she manipulates people to do her bidding and nobody seems to be able to say no to the dear woman. I adore the love, loyalty and respect she inspires in those around her. She seems to haves a sixth sense for trouble where her children are concerned and tries to make sure they have to meet it head on. While Julietta and Sawyers issues may seem different, they both boil down to issues of trust. Trust that they don't have to guard themselves from the other. Trust that they can trust their own feelings. Trust that when push comes to shove, the other will stick by them and not go anywhere.

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I loved how the author went in depth with Sawyer's past and character. I liked how she didn't shy away from what was truly going on. I enjoyed the mating dance Ms. Probst created and enjoyed the show. Jennifer Probst is definitely one of my top 5 favorite contemporary romance writers and look forward to reading more of her books. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the series:


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  2. This book will have you swooning, drooling, and rooting for a happily ever after for Julietta and Sawyer! I could not put this book down and am a little sad I read it so fast! I look forward to reading more books by Probst in the future!

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