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The Proposal by Mary Balogh
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3835028,125 (3.63)16
Member:ILMBC
Title:The Proposal
Authors:Mary Balogh
Info:Delacorte Press (2012), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
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The Proposal by Mary Balogh

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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
This book was awesome! I really enjoyed how it played out. Can't wait to read the next one. Gwendoline is a strong miss, once married, once widowed, once scarred; she never thought she'd find love again. Hugo was a soldier, honored by the king of his realm with a title and with his fathers wealth he is very well off but the war had scarred him and although he expected to find a wife and make an heir he hadn't expected to find her off the beach with a sprained ankle. No, he had expected to find someone he could respect and live with, not love. No, never love. So when these two find each other things are a bit hairy - for one she's in pain and in fear because he's a big burly man and there's no one around to see her die. Not that he kills her, he takes her up to his friends home and takes care of her in his gruff, unsmiling manner. Slowly things fall into place into which they realize they can't live without one another but they continue to deny it until they can't anymore. If that's what is called 'stubborn' I don't know what is. Fantastic book. ( )
  mariahsidhe | May 12, 2016 |
Sorry to say, this is not one of my better MB reading experiences. For a series focused on survivors of war & their PTSD issues, there was almost no focus on the male lead's postwar issues. ( )
  Ann_Louise | Mar 12, 2016 |
A riveting story that I couldn't put down. Mary has a wonderful way of drawing you in and leaving you wanting more stories. I haven't read Regency in a while but after this book, I want to dive right back into this Regency era.
Hugo and Gwen are from two different worlds and are past the age of being worried about making the right match.
Gwen has known wealth and being titled from a young age, including marrying into the nobility though she has been a widow for seven years.
Hugo has known wealth but not nobility until recently after being awarded as Lord Threntham after his heroism in the Napoleonic War. He promised his dying Father he'd marry and produce an heir to carry on the family business and take care of his Father's wife and half sister, Constance.
Hugo finds himself drawn to Gwen and enlists her help introducing Constance to upper society.
Along the way, love develops though it takes them a while to realize it. These two unlikely people turn out to make a wonderful couple.
Hugo is socially awkward at times and scowls quite a bit but Gwen soon helps him to relax and helps him to realize that she loves him as the simple, generous and intelligent man he is.
I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to the rest of the series! ( )
  Eire2011 | Mar 11, 2016 |
Gwendoline Grayson was left widowed, with a permanent limp and probably barren womb. Hugo Emes was given a lordship for his brave leadership during the war, but now he is plagued with guilt for surviving after leading so many men to their deaths. They meet by chance on a rocky shoreline, and Gwen's weak ankle forces them to stay together for a few weeks. Although Gwen is initially scared by Hugo's forbidding expression and hulking size, and Hugo thinks Gwen is an empty-headed lady, they are drawn together. Hugo feels obligated to make Gwen an offer of marriage--which she promptly refuses. But, she adds gently, if he would like to court her first...

Obvs they end up married. Hugo's friends all blend together into one big mass of gentlemen with gorgeous clothes and just enough tragedy in their pasts to make them interesting and romantic. Luckily, Hugo's step-mother and sister and extended family are a bit more distinct. I didn't feel particularly drawn to Hugo or Gwen, but I did like the way they struggled with their class differences.

ETA: Oh man, I first read this in 2012, and then read it in January 2016 and did not even realize it was a reread until I went to review it on goodreads. Looks like it didn't make much of an impression! ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I’m glad I didn’t start the series with this volume; it’s by far my least favorite. The most clichéd of the series, I found myself disconnecting with the story more often than not. There’s still a good emotional pull, and I liked the characters enough to still care for their fates. But definitely not my favorite…

I did like how three-dimensional the characters are. Both Hugh and Gwen have their vices and preconceived notions about class and propriety. Yet, they both still feel deeply enough to try and overcome the obstacles in their way multiple times. I mean, it’s gotta take some serious courage to propose/court multiple times, on Hugh’s part.

The romance was sweet and dramatic. I liked that Hugh was in love enough with Gwen that he was willing to face the embarrassment of initial denial and keep on courting. In his own fashion, Gwen’s willingness to experience his very different world and learn her possible place in it showed her dedication to this possible match. I liked that both were willing to meet the other in middle ground to make a solid relationship.

Where this book suffered big time was its heavy dependence on clichés for dramatic tension and a storyline that has been done to death in this genre. Hugh’s constant stressing that he “isn’t good enough” and that all aristocracy are uppity was tiring. I felt like screaming as all he’d have to do would be to talk to Gwen and learn how she really felt. The constant parade of balls, social gatherings, and the endless Regency rules were used to excess, too. This wouldn’t have been so bad if it had been leveled out by other methods of dramatic storytelling.

From the other books in this series, I’ve witnessed the use of the Napoleonic wars, their aftermath, and their effect on these particular people to wonderful effect. Yet, for some reason, Balogh decided not to utilize it that much for Hugh’s story. There’s mention of his time in a straitjacket and such; yet that’s it! There’s no fallout or any other utilization of his status of a man not fully in his faculties. I think that would have impacted his image himself and his place in society more than it did. It just seemed like a missed opportunity for more exploration of war and its impact on those effected. That could have some much needed heaviness to this book.

Not a bad historical romance of the Regency era, but I felt like I’d read it all before. The same social interactions and the same uses of clichés for dramatic tension were used again and again. I liked the characters and relationship, but they weren’t enough to save this book from mediocrity. I missed the special blend of angst and dramatic tension from being a member of the Survivor’s Club that could have been used here. So don’t start the series with this one; I’d actually recommend you start with book 5. It’s be the best of the bunch so far and provided a better introduction, I think. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 14, 2016 |
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de Leeuw, RebeccaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Believing her romantic prospects are over after losing her husband in an accident and suffering a fall that leaves her with a limp, young Lady Gwendoline strives to be happy for others and finds an unexpected second chance at love.

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