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The Proposal by Mary Balogh

The Proposal (edition 2012)

by Mary Balogh

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3564630,619 (3.63)16
Title:The Proposal
Authors:Mary Balogh
Info:Delacorte Press (2012), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Proposal by Mary Balogh

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Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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 |
Veramente bello! ( )
  AzureStrawberry | Jan 12, 2016 |
4 stars. Very enjoyable. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
4 stars. Very enjoyable. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
Another one of Balogh's very adult Regencies. Her characters are all adults, with serious concerns, but they are able to grow and move froward. This one was enthralling and hard to put down. The romance aspect in this one was lovely as two damaged people are able to come together and make themselves whole in the process. My only disappointment was that the sole bad guy didn't get what was coming to him. ( )
  phyllis2779 | Jun 30, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Balogh, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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