Reader reviews for The Proposal

I have been waiting for Gwen's story, as Balogh is not the type of author to leave marriageable characters floundering without their own book. The story did not disappoint.Hugo and Gwen are both scarred by their pasts and on the surface seem to have little in common. However, as they reveal more of themselves to each other, I eventually felt that they were very well suited. I especially enjoyed Hugo and his transformation.The only bit that seemed off was the very beginning. I fully believed the initial attraction and physical consummation happening quite early in the story. However, both Hugo and Gwen shared personal stories so quickly that it felt a bit false. Other than the slight fault at the beginning, I really enjoyed this story and am glad that Gwen got her happy ending.
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Mary Balogh can get a little wordy, and a little emo even. The Proposal starts out that way, with a lot of naval gazing and some obvious series exposition.However, it ends up being very engaging indeed. The couple is likeable and real. Hugo is one of my favorite romance heroes- he's got the perfect balance of gruffness and sappyness. And there are quite a number of really beautifully heart stopping moments.
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I received a copy of The Proposal by Mary Balogh from Librarything’s Early Reviewers. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story centers on our hero, a member of the Survivor’s Club, and our heroine, herself a survivor of adversity with the added bonus of being a character from the Bedwyn saga and its prequels. This new series concerns seven people who suffered serious physical or emotional wounds from the Napoleonic Wars. These seven spent several years at Penderris Hall, the home of the Duke of Stanbrook, trying to recover. They meet each year to continue the support.Gwen, Lady Muir, is the widowed sister of the Neville, Earl of Kilbourne. She was permanently injured in a riding accident that also took the life of her unborn child. Her husband died a year later from a fall in their home. Hugo Emes, Lord Trentham, received his title for bravery, but suffered severe psychological problems from his war experience. He is from the affluent middle class and believes he should marry to help his family and carry on as his father wanted.These two meet when Gwen falls and sprains her ankle. Hugo is attracted to her but believes she is pampered and useless. She thinks he is morose, blunt and rude. The story follows their attraction and dislike. I think I enjoyed the story so much because they were honest with each other. This isn’t one of those stories where the only plot is miscommunication (or no communication). It is a story of real class differences and two people’s journey to find a way to make their relationship work.There are, of course, bad guys and good guys and the people caught in circumstance or illness. These parts of the story serve to give us an insight into the story and time, but I wish these had a stronger presence. Oh, and the Duke and Duchess of Bewcastle make an appearance. I am always glad to see them. I only gave the book 4 ½ stars because the action was thin, but then again, I wasn’t bored.
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Mary Balogh has talent, being able to write a story that makes the reader sigh and dream of their own HEA. She writes with an eloquence that fits perfectly with the historical period in which the book is set. These are just a few reasons why Balogh's books always please the readers—and they apply to her newest novel, The Proposal, too. The heroine and hero of this story were flawed, imperfect—realistic, in a sense. They both have dark pasts that they are struggling to overcome. Their story is not a light, carefree romance, but it does have brief scenes where the banter and conversation help to lighten the slightly dark mood that follows both characters. I liked Gwen, a strong heroine who is past the first bloom of youth. She's had a terrible time since her husband's death (suicide), as she blames herself. She's determined never to remarry, and after almost 10 years, she's learned to accept it. When it seems that fate has stepped in and thrown her into the path of the mysterious Lord Trentham, Gwen slowly begins to rethink her pledge. But can she overcome her past and reach for a new future? Hugo is a tortured hero, one who has seen the brutalities of war and lived to tell the tale—even when many of his fellow soldiers did not. After returning to England injured (nor physically, but mentally), the country calls him a war hero—but he thinks himself a broken killer instead.Originally from the upper working class, he doesn't want anything to do with the ton, but upon his return his finds himself a titled gentleman, a “gift” for his time at war. He doesn't fit in with the high society crowd, and he doesn't want to. But for his younger sister, he'll brave the ton so she can attend a few balls. To do so, he'll need the help of a woman—will Lady Gwen fit the role? More importantly, can he forget his past, as well as their difference in class, and offer up his heart to Gwen? Will she even accept....Although there were a few parts during the book when I skimmed a couple of pages, overall this was a really good story, if lacking a bit in action. Towards the end, the sigh-worthy moments were more dominant, and I had a smile on my face from it. Always a sign of a good book! :) 4 STARS! A lovely historical romance, one filled with interesting characters who break the cookie-cutter mold just a bit. I look forward to the next book in this new series—like Hugo, the rest of the Survivors' Club members seem to have their own personal obstacles to overcome, and I think each of their stories will be quiet the adventure! A perfect book for any fan of the genre, The Proposal is sure to be a keeper on your shelf! This review is property of The_Book_Queen (TBQ's Book Palace). You may also find this review on my blog, as well as BN, Amazon, and GR.
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This is the first of Mary Balogh's books I've ever read, and I like it. Although this novel has a few novels in other series connected to it of which the main heroine (Gwendoline) appeared in as minor character, but it doesn't make this novel pale in the least. This is Gwen's own story. Interestingly, the main characters in this story, both the hero and heroine are less than perfect from the norm of the usual of which we often read in other historical romance books. Each has flaw, scars, imperfection, and from a different world. In fact, each even despises, wary and uncomfortable with the other's when first met, we couldn't find two people more different. Balogh found a way to bring the two persons who are so different in just about every way together, overcome their imperfections and differences with love and understanding. It is an unlikely love story with lessons in life that Balogh cleverly laced in through out the story. It is a balmy good love story I would recommend to historical romance fans. One might get a few lessons out of this story if nothing else. As for me, for my own curiosity, I will have to find the "other" novels that Gwen was in and read them. But readers do not need to read those books prior to this novel which is the first in its own new series. It's a stand alone novel, with enough romance to satisfy fans and an easy reading.
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sweet but kind of slow moving.
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The Proposal was classic Mary Balogh and while I won't go as far as to say it was her best book I did enjoy it. The prosal is the story of two scarred people who struggle to understand how to love. Hugo is a reluctant war hero who has issues coming to term with being heralded as a hero, when he spent the war killing other men. I found my self liking him a lot. Gwen I had a little more trouble warming up to, though I am hard pressed to say why. The heat between Hugo and Gwen up front kept me intrested in beginning and the other future heros and heroines that were sprinkled through the story makes me eager to read the rest of the series. It was way better than the Secret Mistress which frankly I had a hard time getting through.
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A gentle, sweet romance with enough chemistry between Hugo & Gwen to keep the tension ticking along. I love complete books that are part of a series - and The Proposal is not only the first in a new series but also the love story of an old friend. We first met Gwen in One Night Of Love and I'm so glad she met Hugo, the gentle giant, whose scowling countenance hides a deep emotional intensity.As always with Balogh's stories there are gentle philosophical comments on love and life seamlessly woven into her story, adding depth and strength.Perhaps at times there was some repetition, but that's to be expected when the characters we meet in this book have peopled her stories for so long. The cameo appearance by the delicious Wulfric Bedwyn was great, and as A Summer to Remember ranks in my top 6 Balogh stories I was pleased at Lauren's role in The Proposal.A slow soft read which exactly suited my reading mood today.
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I liked this book, but it is not by favorite Balogh book. I was slow to warm up to the characters, but did enjoy them in the end, especially the brooding hero. I thought the plot was a bit slow, but it was a good set up for the rest of the survivor's club, if indeed this will be a series. It was worth the read and I was satisfied with the ending,
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The Proposal by Mary BaloghThe beginning of a new Series the Survivor's Club. It introduces all the members of the Survivor's Club, but focuses on Hugo Emes, Major Lord Trentham. He is a war hero, but wounded in his soul. Most of the survivors are wound in body and/or soul. She is Gwendoline Grayson, Lady Muir and has a nasty fall and is rescued by Hugo. I enjoyed the book and look forward to the release of the rest of the series.
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