Cover Image: The Proposal

The Proposal

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New-to-me-author Jasmine Guillory’s The Proposal certainly starts off with a bang. I was quite taken by the premise. Heroine Nik (Nikole) Paterson meets hero Dr. Carlos Ibarra at an LA Dodgers game when he rescues her from the Jumbotron-drama of having her man-bunned boyfriend proposing to her before thousands of people … not counting the ones watching on TV. This is a “proposal”, hence the title, that Nik neither wants nor anticipates. Her boyfriend Fisher, an actor with more ego than talent, is a sleep-with boyfriend and no more than that. As Carlos, at the game with his sister Angela, watches Nik’s horror-stricken face on the Jumbotron, he and Angela, only a few seats away, ward off the cameras coming at Nik when she refuses Fisher. Angela, Carlos, and Nik join Nik’s besties, Dana and Courtney, for drinks after the game and Nik and Carlos strike a friendship with some incipient attraction. They text, call, and meet for drinks, go to dinner, enjoy each other’s company, cook together, watch baseball games, and generally have a great ole time. Not soon after a few get-togethers, they become lovers. 

Guillory’s Proposal may possibly be one of the most boring romances I’ve ever read. I enjoyed the premise, even though the declarative prose turned me off. This didn’t get any better as I got further into the novel either. I thought, at first, it had great potential for drama. I thought Fisher would make media-mincemeat out of Nik, in the vein of Robin York’s GREAT Deeper. But no, Fisher disappeared into Nik and Carlos’s dates and fun times. (He does reappear near the end of the novel, but only to what feels like Guillory’s trying to tie things up.) I would say that a good 85% of The Proposal is made up of Carlos and Nik enjoying each other, in and out of bed. Their time together is punctuated by Nik’s relationship with her friends and Carlos’s relationship with his family: his mother, Aunt Tia, sister, pregnant cousin Jessie and her husband Jon. 

Guillory does give Nik and Carlos some mild internal conflicts. Nik had an emotionally manipulative boyfriend and she bears the scars of distrust and emotional aloofness. Carlos has an overdevelopped sense of responsibility towards his family and carries the scars of his father’s death. Because he feels he needs to take care of his family, Carlos is convinced a serious relationship is not for him. As Nik feels the same, their friends-with-benefits arrangement seems perfect. And frankly, I thought it was. I would’ve loved to have seen them part ways. Guillory offers some mildly amusing scenes between them, including a pretty droll enchilada-making one. Carlos is utterly nice and supportive of Nik; Nik is affectionate, a tad prickly, and funny. This goes on for a VERY LONG TIME.

When the dark moment arrives and arrive it does, the entire “break-up/separation” between Nik and Carlos gave me reader whiplash. Carlos has a real Jekyll-and-Hyde moment and Nik’s response is, though ho-hum, understandable. I can’t say that I enjoyed The Proposal, though I didn’t dislike it enough to DNF. I read it like one eats a boring muffin, munching away, regretting every moment of what you thought would be a great experience. I felt Guillory’s declarative prose tedious and her relentlessly didactic themes somewhat simplistic. In the end, The Proposal, to quote Miss Austen (who never sketched a scene without incisive wit, or drew a character without penetrating understanding of human nature) “had a high claim to forbearance,” Emma.

Jasmine Guillory’s The Proposal is published by Jove (Berkley). It was released on October 30th and may be found at your preferred vendor. I received an e-galley from Jove, via Netgalley.
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What a fun romantic book. I loved reading this title and flew through it. loved the scene at the Dodgers game, what a dope Fisher is. Enter Carlos, the perfect guy. Couldn't wait to see what would happen to Nikole and Carlos. I was pretty confident the story would be wrapped up in a neat bow but enjoyed how it played out.
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I enjoyed Guillory's newest romance, which asks the question, what happens when you turn down a jumbo-tron proposal? This was a great story with well-developed characters facing real-life problems and discovering that they want to face them together. There was plenty of fun and heat in the mix as well.
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2.5 stars.... This one totally missed the mark for me. I read The Wedding Date and thought it was a contemporary meet-cute romance read. I took it for what it was... an easy read. I was excited to see the author was coming out with another book, but sadly I was severely disappointed. 

The writing felt incredibly juvenile, the storyline far-fetched and cheesy, riddled with cliches and all of the characters lacked depth of any kind. It all felt so "twee" while reading it. The one saving grace of this book was the diverse characters: a representation of a black woman, a latino love interest & non-cliche friends.
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When Nik finds herself in the middle of an unwanted proposal on the Jumbotron at a baseball game, she is rescued by the handsome Dr. Carlos Ibarra. Friendship blossoms into love in this swoony romance. Fans of Guillory will be happy to check back in with old friends from The Wedding Date and to fall in love with new characters along the way.
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*Complementary arc provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

*very deep sigh*


I tried, I really did, but this was a HUGE disappointment to read.

I read The Wedding Date not too long ago and it didn't quite live up to my expectations, so going into this one I was hoping that it would be a lot better, but also super nervous that it would turn out to be a dud as well. And as you can see it fell into the latter.

I don't even know where to begin with this one because I feel like it was just bad all around, and a lot of the dislikes I had for The Wedding Date were in here and I think it made me 10x more annoyed this time. And in the end the thing that I wanted the most, and expected the most was some kind of growth. Growth in the writing, growth in the story line, growth in the characters and the development of them. But unfortunately nothing grew.

I don't even want to rehash and summarize the story like I usually do, because I was so bored while reading that I've forgotten most of everything but here's a little bit of what I can remember. Our heroine Nik gets proposed to at a baseball game by her boyfriend who's some douche aspiring actor that couldn't even spell her name right and decided to pop the question after they had only been dating for a few months. The proposal gets thrown on the on the big screen for all the world to see, which sucks because everyone sees her turn him down. Carlos our hero, and friend from The Wedding Date happens to be at the game with his sister and they see the travesty going down and jump in to save Nik from the hate of the entire stadium. From there they somewhat keep in touch and things go from there.

So number one thing that I have to discuss is the writing. It still felt as cheesy, cliche, and basic as The Wedding Date was to me. I just wanted so much more, I felt no engagement at all and I had to drag myself to continue reading so many times. I wish that the writing had been developed a whole lot more so that it could be easier to connect to. There were so many exclamation points after!! everything!! and it felt so!! weird to me. 

My other big gripe was the characters. Whew!! They were so bland and boring and that in turn made me lowkey annoyed by them. I could stand Carlos in The Wedding Date, but in here? Nope, that went out the window, to think that I even felt sorry for him before lmao. He seemed to always be whining and complaining about so much. And he was honestly so abrasive to his family whenever they expressed concern for him. Instead of listening to them he would brush them off and was just so rude. With Nik I just could not connect to her in the slightest bit, and I felt like I should have considering she was black and so am I. But sadly I didn't, she was so bland and had I not went into this already knowing she was black, and knowing she was because of the cover I would've never known. Now, I'm not saying that all black people have to be a certain way to come of authentically or whatever, but man she just didn't feel it to me. Nothing about her made me feel like she was a black women, and again I'm not saying she should've been screaming it from the mountain tops but I needed that whole aspect to be done a lot more and a lot better. And looking back I think I had the same issues with The Wedding Date. the race issues were a big love for other readers but it's so basic to me. 

Another thing I've noticed now having read this is that we barely get anything about the females leads in Guillory's books. In The Wedding Date we know all about our main guy and how he ended in the situation he's in. We heard about how he lost his girl and she ended up with his friend or whatever, we got to see his family in the book and all that, But we barely got anything about our main girl. Sure we knew why she went into her career field and got to see her sis for a bit but compared to most of the book dealing with his issues it seemed pale in comparison. I feel like that's the same with The Proposal, but on a whole other level. We know all about Carlos and his family dynamics, about his dad, we see his sister on multiple occasions throughout the book, hell we even get his mom AND his cousin along with her husband. What do we get with Nik? Her friends and that's it. We don't know much of anything about her family and their dynamics, we don't even get to see them at all in the book, and they're not mentioned. But then again I was SO bored reading this and dragging myself through that maybe they were and I missed something but I'm telling y'all we know nothing. It kinda irks me that we knew so damn much about Carlos and half of his family but Nik got none of that. She was just a stagnant character with nothing going for her.

My other big peeve with this book was how redundant it was!! I noticed it with the previous book and it's still in this one. It's just such predictable writing and it bores to read. They meet, start talking and decided to keep in touch then it just becomes the same over and over again. Meet up, go eat, fade to black sex scene, go back home, obsess over if the other is thinking of them and whether or not this thing is serious, should they bring up the situation of how serious and if/when they should decide, back out, meet up again, go eat, fade to black sex, leave, not communicate, rinse and repeat. Like, this is literally the whole entire book and it's plot and it bored me to tears. Coupled along with the basic corny writing and it's a wonder I didn't DNF. 

I just, I wanted this to be good SO bad but it just a major disappointment. It sometimes sucks that we can't love everything we read, but that's just how reading goes lol.
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I remember back in the day when I was just finishing The Wedding Date and the only thing I could think about was "I need a Carlos book. How do I convince Guillory to write one?" As it turns out, I did NOT have to convince her at all. This one was already in the works! 
   Nik's day started out as going well. But then out of nowhere in the middle of a baseball game her boyfriend decides to PURPOSE. On a JUMBOTRON. Nik does everything short of dying from embarrassment, but out of nowhere, two people are there to save the day: Carlos and his little sister, Angie. They help Nik battle the news cameras and get her out of there before she can even blink. You would think it's over now, but for the two of them, it's only the beginning.....
    From the very beginning Carlos has been my favorite character in this series. But in this one he seemed a bit different than he was in The Wedding Date. He seemed a bit more arrogant and a little more of a jerk. I didn't care for the change. I wanted the same Carlos that got Drew to realize he fell in love with Alexa. As for Nik, I really liked her. She reminded me of me. Which I find hilarious because I would have tried to date Carlos too lol She was just like me in so many ways that I wasn't expecting, which made her so much more realistic. 
     With their romance, I loved seeing them together. It was definitely an instance where everyone else knows EXCEPT those people. But their journey to get there was so much better that way. I loved the way they interacted with each other and the way they tried to make themselves think they didn't matter to the other. All the signs of real love. 
     The only thing I didn't care for about this one was the ending. I HATED the way he decided to let her know what he wanted to tell her. It just seemed like too much and the way he said it felt even to me that he was just saying something and he wasn't sure if he meant it. And then at the very end, I felt like Guillory stopped it in the middle of a scene. She could have stopped it before ending it like that. 
    The Wedding Date is still my favorite, but this one is a close second. Jasmine Guillory is for sure one romance author to watch. I can't wait to see what else she has in store!
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This novel was accidentally 'gifted' to me and I'm so glad it was--I love getting to know new authors and while this book wasn't my favorite, I know I'll return to her novels and try her out again. For me the characters just go so hung up on caught up in what the relationship could or couldn't be...should or shouldn't be that it took them a while to just freaking settle. The inner monologues and pep talks were initially funny but then wore thin, unfortunately. 

I loved the premise. I love that some of the secondary characters were more than what they initially seemed to be. And I really enjoyed that these characters were genuinely good people...they just were a smidge boring.

I love that contemporary romance publishers, who have been woefully slow, are finally getting with the program and buying up manuscripts from writers of diverse backgrounds and that readers are gaining more stories of people of color and many other underrepresented folks.
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Carlos was the star for me in the first of the books that I have read from this author. I was looking for him to have a staring role soon. He gets his chance to come to the rescue of a woman embarrassed in front of hundreds of fans.  He never thought that he would hit it off with her to the point that the would hang out on days off and end up making dinner together. These two become meshed in to each others lives but there are still things left unsaid. 

I was left hanging by the end. Things seem to wrap up but not really wrap up. There were lose thread lying about. I had higher expectations for this read. There were some good parts but I may have just wanted too much. There were details that felt missing and doors opened that did not get closed or opened further.
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Jasmine Guillory's done it again with The Proposal. Just as The Wedding Date was funny, sexy and a great read, The Proposal offers the same rhythm. I finished this book in no time.
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Great story, with wonderful characters and witty banter. Not to mention an author that finally gets LA right. I live in LA and there are so many people who try to put it in their stories and fail miserably. Thank you for making it another character in your story!
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Jasmine Guillory does it again with an adorable story, with very realistic protagonists. Her books are always so much fun, so show the real aspects of everyday life. Cannot speak more highly about her and her books.
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The Proposal starts when Nik's boyfriend of 5 months publicly proposes to her at a baseball game.  She is rescued by two friendly strangers - a brother a sister - and finds herself looking for a rebound in the form of the former.  
The writing of Guillory's sophomore effort has certainly improved from The Wedding Date, but she still hasn't mastered the art of realistic conversation.  I feel like she's too cheesy even for Hallmark.  And, I'm sorry, but no one is funny enough to make you fall to the floor crying laughing multiple times in 300 pages.
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The Proposal is filled with diverse characters, which makes this book that much better.  This book was the perfect companion book for The Wedding Date.  I was hoping this book would be from someone else's life.  The Proposal starts with a proposal gone wrong!  Nik's boyfriend of only 5 months proposes to her on a jumbo tron at a baseball game. The biggest part- he doesn't even spell her name correctly!  Carlos and his sister save Nik from the cameras and the crowd.  As she hides herself away from the public she finds herself leaning on Carlos for support, the thing is neither one of them want a serious relationship.
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I was disappointed by this book. I felt like it got a lot of hype that it didn't live up to. I enjoyed The Wedding Date by this author more, and I'd give her another shot, but she's not on my must-read list.
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This is a sweet, engaging romance novel, where we see the two main characters Nik and Carlos, start out as friends and slowly, more than friends. We, and they, try to figure out if they can be more than friends and allow themselves to let down their guard, and allow love to seep in. This is a highly relatable story, told with a feminist bent. Recommend!
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After reading The Wedding Date last year, I was really excited about The Proposal. If you loved the first book, you’re going to love this one as well. I would recommend reading that one first though since there are some MAJOR spoilers for it in this one.

I read this one in about two days because I didn’t want to put it down. There was the perfect balance between cute/adorable-ness and more serious matters. I thought the chemistry between the two main characters was great. I also loved that their relationship was so grounded in friendship!

Overall, I thought this was a fun, enjoyable read! Even if it should come with a warning that you’re going to get really hungry from all the marvelous food descriptions.
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What a fun sequel to Jasmine Guillory's break-out hit! For every girl who never, ever wants someone to propose to her on a jumbotron, this is the smart, funny, feminist story of what happens after and how the search for yourself sometimes leads you right to the perfect person.
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This book started out strong and halfway through completely fizzled out for me. I really enjoyed this author's debut book The Wedding Date, and at first I thought this one was similar, but by the end it wasn't even in the same ballpark (pun intended). 

I love that Berkley is publishing more work by authors of color and books with characters who are persons of color, so I was glad to see this book. I hope Berkley continues to publish books like these because they are needed. The story in this one just wasn't more me, I wish things had been more fleshed out.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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A so-so followup to Guillory's smash hit debut, THE PROPOSAL has a fun premise, but falters when sliding into home. 

The book shares some of the same problems that had me hesitant, but writing off as First Novel Issues while reading THE WEDDING DATE. Both have uneven pacing, slightly weak characterization of the hero, and worldbuilding that fails to ring true. THE PROPOSAL is definitely a borrow not an auto-buy for me, but I'll be keeping an eye out for future releases from Guillory in hopes that some of my quibbles are absent from her next effort.
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