A Novel Proposal

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Pub Date 21 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 21 Apr 2023

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When western novelist Sadie Goodwin must pen a romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: she’s never been in love.

Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie accepts an invitation to hole up at her friend’s beach duplex for the summer and devote herself to this confounding genre. After all, where better to witness love than on the beautiful South Carolina shore?

But Sadie soon finds many ways to procrastinate the dreaded task—like getting to know the beach regulars and installing a Little Free Library on the property. She even attempts conversation with Sam Ford, the frustratingly stubborn neighbor on the other side of the duplex. But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie finds inside her library an abandoned novel with a secret compartment—and a beautiful engage­ment ring tucked inside.

Suddenly, locating the ring’s owner becomes the perfect way to put off writing that romance. Sadie draws a reluctant Sam into her mission. And as the two close in on an answer to the mysterious proposal, she discovers a tender side to him. She begins to wonder if he just might make the perfect hero for her romance novel—or maybe even her heart.

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a sweet and sizzling story of a romance writer surprised by her own happily ever after.

  • Sweet and thoughtful contemporary read
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Book length: 80,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

When western novelist Sadie Goodwin must pen a romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: she’s never been in love.

Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie accepts an...

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ISBN 9780840716590
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

This is your next great beach read! Sadie is an elementary art teacher in NYC, who also writes Western novels. One big problem - her publisher wants something different. A romance novel. One bigger problem - Sadie has never even been in love. This prompts Sadie to travel to a South Carolina beach for inspiration and quiet so she can brainstorm. Add in a brooding (handsome!) neighbor, a Little Free Library on the beach, and a mystery involving a ring - you’ve got some page-turning events. The plot moves well. Each chapter starts with a tip for writing a romance (which I love!). Sadie is quirky and lovable. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This is the perfect beach/ vacation book! Sadie is an elementary art teacher in NYC, as well as an author who writes Western novels. Not a big seller, so her publisher wants her to try writing a romance novel instead. One big problem... Sadie has never been in love. The stress of trying to write a new genre, has her bff's mom letting her stay at her house in a South Carolina beach. This is where she hopes to get inspiration and quiet so she can brainstorm. She meets her handsome neighbor, sets up a Little Free Library on the beach, and gets involved in a mystery involving a ring! The story moves well. Each chapter begins with a tip for writing a romance . I Highly recommend this book and can't wait to read more by Denise Hunter!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This is a sweet & wholesome romance. I enjoyed how each chapter started with a rule for writing a romance novel & having that particular plot point happen in that chapter. It was fun to think of it as kind of a novel within a novel since Sadie was writing her romance novel based on what was happening in her life. The setting of Tucker Island sounds amazing. Sam is a great foil for Sadie's bubbly personality. He's not quite as gruff as he initially comes off when they first meet but it 's fun to see the sparks fly throughout the book. Highly recommend reading this one.

Thanks to the publisher & NetGalley for advanced copy in exchange for my honest review

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This is one of my favorites by her! It was lovely trying to figure out the mystery of the story and loved how the book library was interwoven throughout the story.
It was a relaxing and fun read.

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I was given an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. This book by Denise Hunter was a delight to read! I adored the beach setting and longed to be there. The storyline was fun and original and engaged me, making me feel invested in a positive outcome. The characters "spoke" to me and I felt like I was living in their story in real time. I found myself yelling at them to correct a wrong move that they made and feeling so happy when things went their way. I give this book 5 stars‼️

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I love this author, the words flew off the page, and I wanted more!

We meet a man who it seems has suffered the ultimate betrayal, and Sam who is healing his wounds has rented part of a duplex on the beach in South Carolina. His peace and quiet are now in for a rude awaking when Sadie arrives. She is all in a dither, what is she going to do, when a dear friends mother gives her the use of part of a duplex for the summer. You guessed it! Sadie now is residing next to Sam.

This turns into a sweet romance, but there are obstacles and we journey with this couple, or should I say neighbors.

Pretty soon these neighbors are focusing on an engagement ring, and the journey to find the owner, well, it is not what you expect, and how this all ends up quickly became a page turner!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.

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A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter was a sweet romance with a little mystery. I enjoyed this fun beach read. And don’t you just love it when the book cover matches the book so well!
I always look forward to her new releases. I don’t know how she does it, but she just keeps getting better. Be sure to have plenty of time to flip the pages in this one because you won’t want to put it down. I devoured it!

It was fun to read the rules for writing a romance and how they would play out for the characters. I was invested in the characters and wanted them to get their happily every after. His sister Hayley was a fun addition. Sam was a better person than me to give such a beautiful toast at the wedding. #lifegoals

The beach setting has me longing for a beach vacation.

I recommend the book if you enjoy a sweet romance.
Sexual content – kissing
Triggers – Sam is recovering from his girlfriend’s cheating

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I love, love, loved this book so much!! The double meaning of the title is perfect! Sadie is a friendly a lovable character from the beginning, and Sam was the perfect wounded and brooding hero in the story. They embark on a quest to find the owner of the engagement ring that Sadie finds in her little free library, and find themselves along the way. Highly recommend this wonderful book!

* I received an e-ARC copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter takes you to the South Carolina coast with Novelist Sadie Goodwin, needing a change of scenery from her apartment in New York to write her first ever romance. She meets hunky Sam Ford her hunky neighbor and slowly inspiration strikes.
This is a feel good story that has you wanting to know what happens between Sam and Sadie even though the tough times. Highly recommend this sweet HEA!

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This book gave off Emily Henry’s Beach Read vibes. The heroine is a struggling romance writer who has to write a story by a deadline. Throw in a missing Diamond ring and you have a wonderful story!

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Denise is an incredible author. She knows what the readers want and she doesn't disappoint.
The main character is an Author who writes, reads and watches Westerns. Till one day, she needs to writing a romance novel. She knows nothing about romance let alone write about one. So she starts reading and watching everything romance. Do you think she will put everything she knows aside and finish the novel?
I love how Denise added notes about how to write a romance novel before each chapter. It helps the reader know what a writer thinks about when writing a novel. Its not an easy job, but when you love what you do, it flows.
Pre-order your copy today and be ready to find out when it releases on March 21st.
I highly recommend this book. You won't regret it.
I received an advanced copy of The Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter for my honest review.

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My heart is always full after reading a book by Denise Hunter, and this one was no exception. She just has a way with words that will tug on your heart strings. Sadie Goodwin is a novelist who has always written western themed books. Suddenly she gets the news that the publisher is not interested in any more of her western books. If she can write a suitable romance, she will not have to return the initial money. She knows she must get away from the hustle, bustle and noise of New York. She ends up at charming beach cottage/duplex in South Carolina. Sadie is all sunshine and roses. On the other side of the duplex is Sam Ford. He is the polar opposite of sunshine and roses. He is actually a little grumpy, but he is a hunky grump. Sadie's glass half full personality is about to put Sam over the edge. Sam is at the beach for an entirely different reason. Someone broke his heart, and he had to get away. He is not interested in happiness.

Sadie has brought piles of romance books to read in hopes that it will stir her imagination for her book. She decides to build a Free Library to place on the walkway to the beach to share her romance books with others. It is quite the hit. When Sadie discovers a book in the free library with a hidden compartment and a very valuable piece of jewelry, she knows she must find the owner. Sam grudgingly agrees to help her try to find the owner if she will be his plus one for the wedding of his cousin to his ex-girlfriend, which he hopes will soften the blow of attending the wedding. Sam begins to find Sadie's sunshine personality a little infectious.

This is a wonderful beach read as the beautiful view from the deck of the beach house is described in great detail. You can almost feel the ocean breeze. I dearly loved the character of Sadie. I could relate to her so well. She was a little clumsy, and she did not know a stranger. To some people, she might be a little too happy, but I just identified with her. I also liked the character of Sam as it was readily apparent that some of that gruff exterior was a shield of protection for his feelings.

If you need an escape from every day woes, you can find that escape in this wonderful love story about how opposites can attract to one another.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for this ARC. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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A very sweet and inspirational story about love, grace and the power of forgiveness. Sam and Sadie couldn’t be more opposite but in a summer on the beach they find each other and true love. The author created a great plot and wonderful characters. The story is easy to read and will leave you refreshed and inspired.

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A Novel Proposal, by Denise Hunter, is a wonderfully written, heart warming, stand alone Christian Romance story. Sadie’s publisher has cancelled her western series and is asking for a romance story to avoid repaying her advance, which she no longer has. She spends the summer in a friends duplex, next to a less than pleasant man. Sam is renting the other half of the duplex to get away. His girlfriend left him for his cousin and their wedding is fast approaching.

This is a nice story that is not only a romance but is also a mystery. Sadie builds a free library and a book shows up that contains a diamond ring. Not knowing the area, she convinces neighbor, Sam, to help her. I enjoyed reading this story and following the different leads they have for the ring and especially enjoyed how the results affected them. I especially enjoyed the conversation Sam had with his mother regarding his feeling about Sadie’s story and how it changed the course of their relationship. I admire the strength Sam had is stepping in last minute to help his cousin out at the wedding and how that helped him put the past behind him.

I voluntarily received a complimentary copy of this book, this is my honest review.

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A beautifully written romance that will have your heart do a happy dance. The setting sounds so relaxing, the MCs Sadie and Sam are wonderful, Both characters have issues to overcome. Sam, getting over a heartbreak and learning to trust again. Sadie to realize that her dreams may not be really hers and to trust her heart.
Love the journey Sadie and Sam story takes to find their HEA. A definite feel good romance. Thank you NetGalley for this eARC. I am voluntarily posting an honest review after reading an Advance Reader Copy of this story. #NetGalley #ANovelProposal

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This book is so good! It's a sweet clean romance that was an absolute joy to read. I loved everything about this book; the characters, the setting and the emotions. This is the perfect beach read.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson--FICTION via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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What a cute, refreshing romance set at the beach! A good, wholesome read for any age!

Sadie is not only an art teacher in NYC, but she is a novelist; a novelist who has just been told that her western series is a flop. What she needs to do in order to stay afloat is write a romance novel, but that genre is one she has no experience with whatsoever, in fiction or in real life. Off she goes to a beach house in South Carolina for the summer to let her creative juices flow..

While there, Sadie meets her broody neighbor, Sam, who is having romance issues of his own. To top it off, Sadie discovers an engagement ring hidden inside a book that is left in the Little Library she sets up. What else should she write about but what happens in real life. Finally, her story takes off!

Denise Hunter has done it again. She writes romance beautifully and makes it as real life as possible without outlandish circumstances and very believable and likeable characters. This story will make your heart soar!

Thank you to Thomas Nelson - Fiction and NetGalley for the ARC. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Sadie doesn't read romance, and has never been in love - but to save her bacon, she's going to have to turn her back on the Westerns she usually writes and write a romance over the summer. She gladly accepts an offer of a beach house to write in, and Sam, the attractive (single) neighbour is a definite bonus. Unfortunately, she's still short on ideas - until she discovers a ring hidden inside a library book and their joint search for the owner sparks not only an attraction but a storyline. But though that might give her the story she needs, she's still due to leave at the end of the summer, and her real-life romance can't go anywhere - can it?

Another delightful clean romance that had me rooting for the characters from page one. Poor Sam had a great family but a difficult betrayal to get over, while Sadie had her own quite different problems - and the mystery of the ring tied everything together beautifully. The one thing I didn't like so much about this book was actually the quotes at the start of each chapter. While they were kind of clever, I found that they distracted me from thinking about the story to thinking about the mechanics of writing and how the quote was playing out in the story - which pulled me out of the story itself. Nevertheless, a great story, and Sam's speech at the wedding was incredibly touching given the background. I was sorry to say goodbye but thrilled to see them get their happy ending at last. Recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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There aren’t many books written where writers are the main character, so A Novel Proposal was a treat from the very beginning. Sadie Goodwin is a novelist with a problem. Her westerns may be brilliant, but they aren’t selling. Instead, her publisher wants her to write a romance. But Sadie has another problem–she’s never been in love.

However, she needs the money so goes to the beach for the summer to try and do what her editor wants. Sam Ford wanted a quiet summer away from his family and some painful memories so he makes a temporary move to the beach. Unfortunately, it turns out he has a chatty neighbor.

When an unclaimed engagement ring shows up, the pair must work together to prevent heartbreak. And this is where the brilliance really starts. As much as Sam tries to be grouchy, Sadie’s easy going nature starts to rub off his sharp edges. Their banter is a lot of fun to read. And very cleverly, Denise Hunter wrote two characters who beautifully fill each others weaknesses with their own strengths.

For a contemporary romance, there were some twists I didn’t see coming, and a wonderful ending. Highly recommended if you enjoy a little swoon-worthy reading with more than a few smiles.

I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley. The opinions are all mine.

A Novel Proposal

Read an excerpt or grab a copy here (US) or here (UK)…

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Denise Hunter has done it again! A Novel Proposal is pure reading pleasure! 5 stars!

What could be better than a romance book about a fiction author changing genres and writing her first romance book? I'll tell you what, a romance that also includes a mystery to solve involving a treasure found inside a book left at a homemade little free library!
I loved brooding summer neighbor Sam and bubbly optimistic Sadie with her little sidekick Rio. The beachside duplex is the perfect setting for this opposites attract story. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments, but my favorite would have to be,
"He'd known he was falling for her Thursday when he'd walked in on her one-woman conga line."

I also enjoyed the "Romance Writing 101" quotes. Such a cute way to start each chapter!

I can always count on Denise Hunter for a wonderful romance! A Novel Proposal explores all the emotional highs and lows of relationships and concludes with a terrific happy ever after readers are sure to be delighted with. I appreciate Thomas Nelson making a copy of A Novel Proposal available for review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

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The perfect beach read. Quite literally since it takes place on the beach. And it involves books and writing books and reading books.

I loved this book. Read it in a day although that was not my plan but I could not put it down. Grabbed from the beginning by a totally adorable, delightfully captivating heroine. Sadie, the way she thinks, the way she talks, so fun. The hero of our tale, Sam. The total opposite but still delightful. I loved that he wasn't written as a total ogre in the beginning just a little gruff and wounded.

The supporting characters playing just the right roles. The little snippets at the beginning of each chapter getting me primed for what is going to happen. Genius.

That first kiss. Wow. Wow. Wow. I read romance so I've read quite a few first kisses, this one is now a top three finalist. The ground work was adequately laid, the execution and landing, sublime!!!!!!

A truly great read. Well done Ms Hunter, well done :)

I received this book free from NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for my honest opinion

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This is a new light-hearted, hilarious book by Denise Hunter. Her pairing of a talkative author trying to break into a new genre with a quiet guy who works for his family’s lawn care business is so much fun! Poor Sam doesn’t stand a chance against vivacious Sadie. Add in a cute dog and various friends and relatives, and you get a lot of crazy interactions. You’ll enjoy the play on words in the title Hunter has chosen as you discover all the meanings it has while you read through the twists and turns of writing a novel and falling in love. I stayed up way too late to finish this book, but it was worth it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
#ANovelProposal #NetGalley

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Denise Hunter is one of those authors whose books I look forward to reading every time. She knows how to write a beautiful love story that will keep me entertained from start to finish. I have read many of her previous novels and enjoyed absolutely every one of them... but none as much as I enjoyed this one!

I love book-ish books. Books about authors or book needs. Books with a library or bookstore setting. All the book-ish things... and this one was most certainly bookish. The heroine of the story is an author who is supposed to write a romance novel, despite never having been in love. While she's on a beach getaway trying to find inspiration, she sets up a Free Little Library and soon discovers a book with an engagement ring inside. Books, books, books... everywhere! I loved the idea behind this story so much, and it was executed brilliantly too. I could not stop reading. It was also fun to see some authors/books that I enjoy named throughout as well... it really was just the perfect book for fans of romance books. I've loved Denise Hunter's books in the past, but for me, this one has definitely become a new favorite. If you love a clean romance, this is a must-read.

**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

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What a fun concept; a romance novel about a published writer attempting to write her first romance novel! Each chapter began with a short instruction on how to write a romance novel and then the chapter incorporated that very instruction into the unfolding tale of Sadie’s and Sam’s actual romance. Each layer of the story built my interest and I enjoyed seeing how the details accomplished the writer’s purpose. Sadie, a cheerful social butterfly, is an annoyance to Sam, her handsome, curmudgeonly duplex neighbor, who wants quiet and solitude in order to nurse his wounds following a devastating breakup with his ex and betrayal by his best friend and cousin. Don’t want to share any spoilers but as the book instructs, it’s not a romance novel unless it has a happily ever after. This is the perfect beach read! Or if you can’t go to the beach, you can enjoy the beach vicariously as the author takes you there by setting the book with an island view of the South Carolina coastline. Highly recommend! I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this voluntary review contains my honest opinions.

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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to review this eBook title.

I fell in love with Sadie and Sam from the beginning. They were both easy-going characters and very easy to follow throughout the novel. It was neat how Hunter weaves in the manuscript and the need to write a novel within this novel and the mystery that unfolded during it all.

Quick and fun read! Highly recommend!!!

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This standalone beach novel was just the story I needed. I could relate to the heroine’s dilemma because I’ve experienced something similar myself. I thought Sadie and Sam had fantastic chemistry and Sam’s transformation from a cranky, unfriendly neighbor to flat out adorable was delightful. There is a little mystery in this one that I don’t think anyone will figure out until it’s revealed. And, if you think you might want to write a romance, you can learn the formula while you read. Each chapter starts with a tidbit from Romance 101. This was so clever. Once I started the story, I didn’t want to stop reading. It’s a perfect light-hearted romance that shows why Denise Hunter is such a successful author. I received an advance read copy from Thomas Nelson; however, I have purchased the paperback to add to my collection. I will read this again.

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A Novel Proposal is a delightful and captivating love story that is perfect for a relaxing day at the beach. It is a must-read for anyone who loves a happy ending. Denise Hunter's writing style is cozy, clever, and charming, and it will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. This book is a true gem that will steal your heart and keep you hooked until the end. So, if you're looking for a romantic and heartwarming story that will make you smile, A Novel Proposal is the book for you!

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This is a romance novel about writing a romance novel, and it’s so much more! As Sadie embarks on a journey to discover what makes a good romance novel, she finds herself falling in love for the first time. But this isn’t just about the romance between Sadie and Sam. It’s also a story of the support of a best friend, making new friends, and using books to make connections that become lasting friendships. This is a heartwarming and emotional story of learning to trust and recognizing the things in one’s life that keeps a person from moving forward and finding love.

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Sadie Goodwin is an author of western books, but her sales aren't what they once were, so her publisher wants her to try a different genre. They want her to write a romance novel. She takes her friend's offer of staying at her Mom's beach house for the summer to get it done. She has never been in love, never written a romance novel, but she is going to do it.
Now that is going to be a challenge. But it is so much fun reading about the distraction she creates, so she doesn't get it done, yet. She brought with her lots of romance books to help her get inspired, which leads to creating a Little Free Library on the property. That will lead to another distraction.
This was a fun book to read.
I received an ARC Thomas Nelson through NetGalley.

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When western novels are not selling much, novelist Sadie is set off on a new track; writing romance novels. This genre is definitely not in her wheelhouse and will definitely needs some inspiration. When Sadie is offered a summer at the beach, she loads up on romance novels, and sets on her way. What she did not know was that there was a hunk of a next door neighbor there for the summer as well. Sam does not want anything to do with bubbly Sadie, and when the saws go running when Sadie decides to build a free library, Sam is further annoyed. When a ring happens to be in a book that is carved out, Sadie has to find the owner and enlists Sam's help to do so. Sadie decides to use that scenario for her romance novel and her publisher loves the idea. Can she reunited the ring with the owner and how does Sam come into play at the end? What a great read! I am loving Denise Hunter's writing style and stories; many great characters. Thank you to Ms. Hunter, Thomas Nelson Publishing, and NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sadie is a wonderful character. She's full of joy and excitement. She's friendly to all. She is determined to solve the mystery of the ring just knowing that it must be vitally important to its owner. She can be a little clumsy at times but it makes her all the more endearing.

Sam is nursing a wounded heart. The last thing he wants is a beautiful, chipper woman coming into his life. He finds it hard to resist her persistence and somewhere along the way, she becomes more than just the annoying neighbor who plays loud upbeat music. She may even help him do the hardest thing he may ever have to do, if he agrees to help her with the ring mystery.

This is a fun read. I liked the tips on writing a romance novel at the start of each chapter and seeing how the book and Sadie fulfilled that. There's a great supporting cast and it was delightfully written. I'd recommend it.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Denise Hunter has become one of my favorite go to authors. I love that her books are clean romance. This particular one makes you fall in love with the characters. Sadie is the cutest mass of confusion. Jaded by her parents' marriage she has no idea she unconsciously keeps men at bay after a single date. Sam is still heartbroken from the betrayal of his previous girlfriend with of all people, his cousin/best friend. Sadie is tasked with writing a romance novel. The problem is, she has never been in love so she certainly can't write from experience. To get away from noisy New York, she rents a duplex on the beach. Sam rents the other side. Sam wants to be left alone. Sadie is outgoing and never meets a stranger. But opposites do attract in this case until Sam feels he has been betrayed by Sadie. This is a must read whether you are on the beach or curled up by a fire you won't be able to put it down.
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for this advanced review copy. In return, I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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This was a great read from start to finish! The characters were very interesting and I loved the way she intertwined the characters within the setting of the story. It really have some good points for every marriage. Can't wait to recommend it at my library.

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A Novel Proposal is a different kind of story from prolific author Denise Hunter. Sadie Goodwin teaches in NYC to try to pay the bills, but her goal is to follow in her grandfather Rex Goodwin’s footsteps as a writer of westerns. Her writing is quite good hence she is offered a four book deal only to have it cancelled upon receipt of book three, which won’t be published either. It seems westerns just aren’t selling. Now she is not only very disappointed but also owes the publisher $20,000 in reimbursement of the advance she received. However, there is one option Sadie can pursue, turn her writing to the popular romance novels and have her book completed by the end of summer.

Sadie is panicked but must give it a try. What does she know about romance, she has never even been in love. Her best friend Caroline extends a lovely offer from her mother. Mrs. Miller has purchased a seaside duplex in Tucker Island, SC, and is offering Sadie a quiet place to work for the summer in exchange for house sitting. Sounds great until she meets the grumpy tenant, Sam Ford, from the other side of the duplex.

Since this type of story is way outside Sadie’s wheelhouse, she finds ways to procrastinate by meeting locals and even putting up her own Little Library. When Sadie finds a donated book in the Little Library that has a hollowed out pocket containing a beautiful engagement ring, it becomes her quest to find the rightful owner and she enlists her neighbor as they begin the search that will not only find the owner but also find a lovely story for Sadie.

This is a fun story told with humor and heart! Believable characters coupled with a lovely beachside setting make for a delightful read. I enjoyed this book and do recommend it!

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A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter is a fantastic book. I loved everything about this book. The characters were likable and the scenario they found themselves in was so fun and interesting. I loved the writing quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I’m a pretty fast reader, but this book was so good that it made me want to slow down and enjoy it. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

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Denise Hunter is always an auto-buy author for me! A NOVEL PROPOSAL is no different, and is such a cute premise for a novel!

Thank you @thomasnelson {partner} for my copy of @deniseahunter new release! It releases March 21st and can be preordered now!

Sadie is forced to switch her genres of choice from westerns (??) to write a romance in order to maintain her contract with a publisher. She quickly heads out of NYC to a quiet beach town in order to focus her thoughts. It is here that she meets Sam and begins to use their experiences as the premise for her new novel.

Sadie builds a little free library (love it!) on the property and it is here she finds a secret little surprise in a novel that sends her and Sam on a chase to find the novel’s true owner. I loved their little adventures, and the struggles they had along the way. Also totally love when they discover who owns the novel!

Hunter uses these little Romance Novel Writing Tips to headline each chapter and it is just adorable and a great way for us as a reader to focus on the content coming next in the chapter.

If you enjoy clean romance, beachside towns, second chances, grumpy-sunshine troupe, realistic “get to know you” moments, then you will most certainly enjoy A Novel Proposal!

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I totally couldn’t put this one down. Carried it around with me while I was taking care of laundry, making lunches, etc.

You wouldn’t expect a beach romance about an author and a landscaper to have a lot of fighting in it, but this one did. They were fighting their feelings, fighting their fears, their memories… And fighting together to solve a mystery.

Sadie’s invested herself into solving this mystery when she had nothing to gain by doing this very good deed. And she doesn’t give up, even though she keeps hitting dead ends.

I really enjoyed her optimism and enthusiasm. And the way she didn’t offer a bunch of excuses when confronted with a mistake that cost her way more than she bargained for. Yes, it may have been a self-sabotage situation, but I still liked the way she handled that individual scene.

Sam, well, you really feel bad for him a lot during the story, but watching him grow through it, and have some aha moments was great. It wasn’t all what happened ‘to’ him, he had to work some things out inside (as did Sadie).

And the Romance writing 101 tips at the beginning of each chapter were perfect!

My first Denise Hunter, but certainly not the last.

I received a copy of this book from #Netgalley, and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.

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A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter would make the cutest on screen movie! Loved the setting, the story and the characters! Glad I finished it on a Friday so I had the rest of the weekend to think about it and enjoy its story. Having stories within a story that played out so beautiful. Highly recommend this read to lift your spirits. A feel good book. I received a complimentary copy of this book. opinions expressed, are completely my own.

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A Novel Proposal is the perfect beach read! Friendship, romance, a little mystery, a beautiful beachside setting...and books! Who doesn't love a book that includes books in its plotline!?

Sadie Goodwin is a novelist whose passion is westerns, but her books aren't selling that well. So, her publisher gives her the opportunity to write a romance novel because even though sales arent great, her writing is excellent. But how can a woman who's never been in love write about love? She accepts an invitation from her friend's mother to spend the summer at her beach house to try her hand at writing the romance she's never experienced. When she gets permission to put up a Little Free Library, someone donates a book that has a compartment inside. Sadie opens it to find a beautiful engagement ring and decides right then and there that she must find out who the book belongs to.

Sam just wants to be left alone as he tries to mend his broken heart when he finds out his ex-girlfriend is marrying his cousin...whom she cheated on him with. His family is trying hard to get Sam to forgive and join them for the weekend long destination wedding, but the last thing he wants is to try and make it through the event on his own.

This is when Sadie and Sam strike a bargain. He'll use his local connections to help her find the owner of the ring, and she'll be his +1 to all the wedding festivities.

This is such a cute read! These two have a super fun, relationship that starts pretty rocky, but grows. The mystery of where the ring came from is also a really fun aspect of the story. A very enjoyable read!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I have loved Denise Hunter's books for many years and this book was just as good. I loved the neighbour element as well as the bit of suspense. The way the whole mystery unfolded was reallyt interesting and I loved that it wasn't predictable. A great book, with great themes and characters. I can't wait for more from Denise Hunter.

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I loved this whole story! I loved the Chapter Headings and how the whole story mirrored the authors story! I fell in LOVE with the good heart of Sam and the charming and happy heart of Sadie! loved their chemistry and character! I also really enjoyed the other characters and how it rounded out the story and tied up all love ends! I was left satisfied and with a smile! Enjoy!

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I enjoyed reading A Novel Proposal, set on an island off the North Carolina coast. Sadie is a school teacher in NYC who’s reluctant to fall in love and replicate her parents’ unstable marriage relationship. Sadie supplements her school teaching income by writing during the summer. When her literary agent suggests she writes a romance novel proposal, instead of a western, Sadie is short on ideas. She’s hoping a summer stay in a beachfront duplex will inspire her creativity.

Sam is Sadie’s neighbor at the beach duplex where he’s temporarily staying to get some space from his family. His cousin, who works with him in the family gardening business and is like a brother, has betrayed Sam and is now engaged to Sam’s ex-girlfriend. Sam’s not happy when Sadie arrives and disrupts his peaceful beach escape.

A fun romance develops as Sam and Sadie get to know each other and work together to solve the mystery of the engagement ring found in an old book in Sadie’s free library that she set up on her back deck. I recommend A Novel Proposal to contemporary romance readers who like grumpy sunshine beach reads with an intriguing mystery and a light faith element in the story.

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

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What a fun read! A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter has everything you could want in a summer romance. The premise is that a talented, yet undersold, Western fiction author has to write a romance novel in order to keep her already spent advances. The trouble is she has never been in love. Headed from NYC to the South Carolina coast for the summer, Sadie is armed with lots romance novels and a romantic playlist for inspiration. Enter her grumpy and hunky next door neighbor and the sparks fly. I liked both of the main characters a lot. They both had plenty of baggage to work through, yet they were so great together from the beginning. Sam agrees to help Sadie find the owner of a lost ring if she will accompany him to a wedding. They grow from friends to more quickly. I like that the book is anything but predictable. Yes, it’s a romance and you know there will be a happily-ever-after, but the characters take a twisty journey to get there. Readers can relate to the obstacles that stand in their way. The mystery of the lost ring is a great story thread that came with its own twists and turns. When you add the beach setting and the many book-ish references, A Novel Proposal must be added to your Summer TBR list!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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They say authors tend to write what they know, but the main character here is a romance author who is not doing well with sales. This could be that she has never been in love so her stories have no depth into the hearfelt love and romance that can come along with a great love. Taking time to be on the beach and fall in love for the first time will she now be able to write a story that more people will related to?

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Denise Hunter is one of my go to authors for a clean, enjoyable romance and A Novel Proposal was definitely a winner. Sadie Goodwin is a teacher and novelist who has written and had two westerns published. Due to lackluster sales, her publisher has asked her to switch genres and write a romance. She has no idea how to write a romance, as she has never been in love, so she rents a beach duplex from her friend's mother, brings a box of romance books, and plans to spend the summer at the beach writing. Not knowing where to start, she is easily distracted. She and Rio love the beach and people watching, as well building a Little Free Library and placing her already read romances inside. Meeting her neighbour, Sam Ford, she immediately pegs him as a grump, but when a mystery involving a ring found inside a book left in her little library, she asks for his help. Spending more time together, they both begin to thaw in their opinion of one another and a friendship soon develops. We all know what happens next.

I loved the plot to this story. The mystery of the engagement ring and how Sadie and Sam set about finding the owner. As their search continues, I enjoyed seeing their friendship develop as well as learning more about Sam. He has some baggage from a relationship that went bad, but it also involves family, so he ran to the beach to hide. Can he move forward and fall for someone new. Of course, the story of Sadie's writing also plays a huge part in the story. As she begins to put together an outline and story, she is keeping secrets from Sam that are going to cause a blow out. When should she come clean? Will they both be able to close the gaps between them and realize they are right for one another. A great story, that I highly recommend.

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Beach read perfection! This novel had me enjoying so many things. Warm weather, beach views, and a sweet romance. Plus, there was a mystery to solve involving one of those little free libraries. One of my favorite parts of this story was that the heroine is a western novelist, and she’s tasked to write a romance, which is way out of her comfort zone since she’s never been in love. You can’t help but root for her.

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I have been a fan of Denise Hunter's contemporary romances for a long time and this one quickly became one of my favorites. One aspect of the book that I loved is that Sadie, one of the main characters, is a teacher and also an author who writes on her summer breaks. She has always written westerns, but her publisher wants her to totally switch genres and write a romance novel. I absolutely loved reading all the tips throughout the book about how to write a good romance book. It was a cute addition to the story and also spot on. It was sun to see how an author writes a character who is an author.

Sadie heads to the coast of North Carolina (one of my favorite settings by the way) for the summer to get this romance book written. There she meets Sam, her grumpy neighbor. Two other aspects of the book I appreciated was that is centered around a little free library built by Sadie and there was even a bit of a mystery component when Sadie finds a ring in one of the books in the little free library. It was fun to see a relationship develop between Sam and Sadie while they were searching for the owner of the ring. This was a fun, lighthearted read that I would highly recommend.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley for a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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I absolutely loved this charming, stand-alone romance from Denise Hunter! The perfect beach or pool-side read, this sweet romance hits all the right notes. Western writer Sadie is forced to change genres by her publishing company or return her advance. But writing a romance seems an impossible task for someone who has never been in love! Sadie is down-to-earth, funny, and lovable. The perfect foil for Sam, who is hiding out on the island because of his cousin’s upcoming wedding… to his former girlfriend. Sam might have had his heart broken, but it doesn’t take Sadie’s infectious personality long to start mending it. I really enjoyed everything about how their relationship developed- the way Sadie basically forced herself into Sam’s life until he can’t imagine life without her. The hurdles felt real, the conflict pushing them apart painful, followed by the joy of every romance novel- the happily ever after. Denise Hunter is a master- and the premise of A Novel Proposal is one of my favorites that she’s done! This story was so cute and enjoyable, with wonderful depth and character development making it so much more than just a sweet romance.

I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. I was not asked to leave a positive review and all my opinions are my own.

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A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter is my new favorite book by this author. I devoured this story in two days! I did NOT want to put it down. This is one of those super fun books where you read something and it makes you chuckle, so you want to share it with whomever is sitting next to you even if they could care less. I love that! LOL! So, what did I love so much? First, I think the structure of this book is super witty. The heroine, Sadie, is an author who has to learn how to write a Romance novel like yesterday. Each chapter begins with a quote from Romance Writing 101. I love this because I feel like I was in the trenches with Sadie as she goes through the arduous process of learning how to craft a Romance novel; BUT, I also love that Hunter uses the quotes from Romance Writing 101 to clue the reader in to what her chapters will be about. So clever! In addition to the structure of the story, I really loved the main characters. Sadie and Sam are fantastic. Poor Sadie! At the start of this story, the reader really feels the stress, anxiety, and awfulness of having a book contract cancelled out of the blue. My stomach fell. All Sadie’s work for her current WIP down the drain. And then to be told to do something new, something that is completely left-field for her — write a Romance novel — as if it’s just a matter of changing a few details. A lesser woman would have crumpled in the fetal position in the corner of some dark room. But not Sadie! Such enthusiasm and spunk. Of course she is nervous and doubts her abilities, but she jumps right into the task with very little complaining or whining. I want to be more like Sadie when challenges arise in my own life. Then there is Sam. Sam is swoony from the first moment the reader meets him. He is tall, dark, and handsome, but he is way more than that. At the start of this story, Sam is in hiding licking his emotional wounds, so he is a tad on the curmudgeon-y side. But Sadie’s personality breaks his walls down and allows him to blossom into one seriously rad dude. His ability to forgive and move on is really inspiring. Sam is a great guy all around. As far as Sadie and Sam go as a couple — dynamite chemistry! As their friendship grows, the romantic tension between them grows naturally and realistically. They are truly one of the cutest couples I’ve read in a while, and I rooted for them the whole time. The final aspect to this story that I loved so much was how happy it made me to read it. I had a smile almost the entire time, and I think that is because of Sadie. Her bubbly and happy and friendly personality is infectious. I am definitely walking away from this story a little more happy and smiley than normal.

A Novel Proposal is a wonderful and joy-filled Contemporary Romance that I highly recommend. Seriously, I loved every minute spent reading this excellent story, and I know you will, too.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Having done with the Riverbend series, author Denise Hunter has brought out a heartwarming story which is charming and bright as well. In this story, we are introduced to Sadie Goodwin, a charming and positive kindergarten teacher, who is aspiring to be an author. However, she's has only written western novels till then and is forced to come up with a good romance novel within a couple of months, in liue of her pending advance, when the rest of the books in the planned 5 book publication is canceled due to very poor sales.

Having accepted to stay in a friend's beach front duplex, hoping it would inspire her to write a good romance story, Sadie comes across her anti-social neighbor, Sam Ford. Sparks begin to fly between them and the various baggage both of them carry, makes for a very organically developed and sweet love story.

The pace with which the author has written the story makes us feel as if we are spectators to things happening to people we see every day on our lives. The author has succeded in making us feel like a fly-on- the- wall when these two very different people navigate their various emotional conflicts and discover the growing feelings between them. It is an awesomely sweet book which make us feel warm and cozy when we finish reading it. Another great book from Hunter; can't wait to read more of her work.

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A NOVEL PROPOSAL is the story of Sadie Goodwin who has just been told that her publisher doesn’t want her writing western novels anymore. Her agent has told her she has the summer to write a romance novel! What?? She has never written romance in her life, but doesn’t want to fail as a writer so she decides to give it a go. Her friend offers her the beach duplex her mother owns, to get away from the city and concentrate on her writing. Well, when Sadie meets Sam, her next door neighbor, he comes across as a grumpy man and one who isn’t a fan of anything Sadie finds herself doing. He is nursing a broken heart and is hiding at the beach to try and get his life back. His cousin was caught making out with Sam’s girlfriend and now they are getting married.

A NOVEL PROPOSAL is filled with family drama, forgiveness, mystery and romance. It is also an emotional rich story, so much so that it is the best novel that I have read by Denise Hunter so far. The mystery that is begging to be solved, Sam’s moods that flow like hot and cold, and the chemistry that is building between these two, made it hard to put down. Also, the fact that the setting is the Carolina coast was an added bonus for me. I loved that Denise wove a Free Little Library near the beach into this story as well. Sam’s family is so much fun as well, but his little sister is hysterical and I love how Sadie and Hayley bonded. Oh, I forgot to mention that Sadie lives in New York City and Sam lives in South Carolina.

Oh let me tell you, Sam is going to definitely give you all the feels. That’s all I’m saying…….anyway, after some time, things between Sam and Sadie certainly heat up! But it’s also very sweet and I really wanted Sam to open up to Sadie and explain why he is the way he is. He is very guarded and Sadie doesn’t think she stands a chance. Hang on people, A NOVEL PROPOSAL is an intense and crazy ride.

A NOVEL PROPOSAL is a quick read that you can easily read in one sitting and love every minute of it. It is one heck of a crazy emotional roller coaster ride. I have never met a Denise Hunter book that I didn’t love and once I started reading I knew I was going on one heck of an emotional journey! Whatever you are reading, put it down, and run and get this book! If you’ve never read a Denise Hunter novel (and you know who you are) this would be a perfect one to hook you!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

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A talented author who knows how to write a lovely romance that will make you swoon. The beach settings are devine.

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Thank you, Thomas Nelson Publishing, for the complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My Personal Review

Characters: Sadie’s over talkative, quirky personality is as charming as her summer beach house. I adored her character and found her to be funny and genuine. It was easy to be caught up in her enthusiasm and love for people.

Sam. He’s another story in itself. His aloofness and grumpy attitude irritated me, but in a funny sort of way. I usually don’t like a character like Sam, but he worked perfectly for this story. If the author hadn’t written him as he was my opinion of him and the book would have changed drastically. Denise Hunter’s skill to bring out Sam’s character was a hit for me.

Setting: If you’ve never been to the beach you will definitely want to read about the wonderful atmosphere of Sadie’s borrowed beach house. You’ll soon enjoy the sun on your face, the air conditioned house, the sound of excited beach goers, friendly conversations, and all the while never let a grumpy neighbor ruin your day.

Plot: I find that romance plots can often bore me. However, I’ve read a few Denise Hunter books and can say that her plots intrigue me rather than bore me. Sure her stories include budding relationships, but there is much more. In A Novel Proposal there were situations like financial ruin and forgiveness to be considered. The plot was never too heavy on romance nor too light on the obstacles.

Final Thoughts: I enjoyed this book tremendously and am adding it as a new Denise Hunter favorite. I love that it is clean and funny yet has serious undertones. It is a perfect summer read, but never underestimate a good summer read when you have the winter blues.

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"Nothing softened up a neighbor like baked goods. She'd make those today so she could focus on plotting her book tomorrow. Her publisher wanted the proposal ASAP. The thought of that task overwhelmed her. Not to mention the large sum of money she owed. Her stomach twisted hard."

When Sadie's publisher requests, that she change from writing westerns to romances, she is not so sure. After all, she has never even been loved. Loaned a friend's beach cottage for the summer, she is set to research stories. In the movies anyway. But trying to befriend her neighbor may also take a lot of effort - he is grumpy. Soon Sadie realizes that the best books are written out of a life well lived.

Sadie and her dog, Rio, are a bit exuberant to say the least. I could understand why her neighbor was annoyed in the beginning. But the more one experiences Sadie, the more one realizes that her joy comes from a sincere heart. This book had elements of faith, some romance and even a bit of a mystery. I loved how Sadie managed to do everything but write most of the time. Part of her efforts included a little small library. This sweet story is a fun beach read. But is not all fluff - I was reminded of the importance of telling the truth to those we love is much simpler than trying to cover up reality. I loved how Sadie ended up with a new life that she did not even know that she needed.

I read a copy of this book through NetGalley. I wanted to read and review it. All opinions are my own.

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I enjoyed SO MUCH about this book! I was pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness of the premise - the heroine, an author, spends the summer in a beach duplex trying to write her first romance novel. She’s sweet & spunky, and full of energy and positivity; I found her charming and not at all annoying, which can be hard to pull off! Our hero is an upstanding man of character, protected by a seemingly grumpy exterior, and conveniently shares the other side of the duplex. The relationship that develops is authentic and realistic, originally based on friendship and a mutual quest to find the owner of a lost engagement ring.

While at times understandably predictable, the storyline held elements that kept me guessing. I also kept smiling at the title - perfectly puntastic.

One of my favorite parts was the way the tension in the relationship was handled with a refreshingly healthy resolution. Instead of falling back on popular troupes of miscommunication and avoidance, the author showed an example of healthy communication and conflict management. I also enjoyed seeing the heroine grow in her own development and understanding of herself.

My only complaint is that the heroine is described multiple times as an elementary art teacher who loves her job. But, other than building a Little Free Library and her writing, no other creative projects or art creation of her own is mentioned.

Completely clean. No language; kissing but nothing spicy and no bedroom involvement. Faith is mentioned in the sense that the characters attend church, but it’s not overt or evangelistic. I would describe it as Clean Romance Fiction as opposed to Christian Fiction.

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Very cute story with an added element with a surprising conclusion to that mysterious element. Otherwise it is a nice, light, enjoyable story of two people who don't seem to be able to relate to one another. Of course, that turns around and they have far more in common and interest than they ever imagined.

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I love it. The author cleverly placed a "quote" from Romance Writing 101 at the beginning of each chapter, so are you reading a romance novel (there is a HEA) or a book within a how to manual?

Sadie Goodwin is a grade school art teacher, but living in NYC is expensive, so she also writes Westerns to supplement her income. However, according to the publisher, there is no longer a market for Westerns, (I disagree), so to repay the advance they sent her, she now needs to write a Romance novel, a genre she knows nothing about. To help give her inspiration, her best friend's mother offers her the use of a beach cottage property that she owns in South Carolina. When she gets there, she finds that she has a handsome but grumpy next door neighbor. Sam Ford just wants to be left alone. He is still hurting from walking into the apartment that he shared with his cousin/best friend, to find Tag kissing Sam's girl friend. And now they are getting married and he is being pressured by his family to go to the destination wedding. But Sadie has a very sunny, vivacious personality and slowly pulls him in. Having writer's block, she builds a Little Library and becomes friends with many of the people that use the beach. One day she finds that someone placed a book with a compartment holding a diamond ring into the library and she becomes obsessed with finding the owner and returning his missing ring. As Sam tried to help her find the owner, he begins to let go of the hurt and betrayal. Sadie on the other hand, uses the idea and her blooming romance with Sam as the bases for her novel. And their romance follows the "formula" of romance novels.

As I wrote at the begging of this review, I love the story. And the characters. I probably would have read it straight though, but my Kindle ran out of juice. I read an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.com. this is my unbiased and voluntary review.

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A Novel Proposal

by Denise Hunter

I have read other books by Denise Hunter. I have read other clean romances. A Novel Proposal, however, is one of my favorites from both perspectives. The format of the book appeals to me so much. The author tickles my writing and reading sensibilities with her plot dilemma in which the protagonist Sadie, a budding author, has written several good western novels at a time when no one is buying westerns. Her contract is cancelled, and she will owe the advance money she received. Her publisher likes her writing, however, and gives her a chance to redeem her career with a romance. Romances are totally out of the comfortable range for Sadie, both in her personal life and in her writing experiences and goals. So, what makes A Novel Proposal unique? Each chapter begins with a quote from Romance Writing 101. These quotes summarize the steps in romance writing and reflect what is happening in each chapter. For example, Chapter 2 begins with “A meetcute is a charming encounter between two characters that leads to the development of a romantic relationship.” In this chapter Sadie meets the handsome, apparently broody Sam who shares half of a beach duplex with her when she travels from NYC to South Carolina to write a romance. She is gifted a stay there by her best friend’s mom. Sam is staying there to escape from a romantic disaster while continuing his job working for the family landscaping business. Supporting characters that you will enjoy include Caroline, Sadie’s best friend, and Rio, Sadie’s Maltipoo and constant companion. Hayley, Sam’s teenage sister, and the rest of his extended family add depth to the novel.

Sadie and Sam both have trust issues that hinder their relationship. Sadie is fun loving and blossoms in South Carolina where she starts a Free Library on the property and discovers something valuable in one of the books. She exchanges time as a “plus one” with Sam for his help in tracking down the owner. With publishing deadlines pressing, Sadie begins to write her novel based on her developing relationship with Sam using the old adage “write what you know.” Sadie and Sam are both characters with reader appeal. The reader knows that, as a romance, there will be a happily ever after, but how will the characters arrive at that end? Going along on the journey and watching the characters develop is such a fun reading experience. I had trouble putting the book down as each chapter led into the next in such a way that my mind kept say “One more chapter, one more chapter…”

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Romance

Notes: standalone, clean

Publication: March 21, 2023—Thomas Nelson

Memorable Lines:

A jet went streaking over their heads, reminding her of her noisy apartment, just a stone’s throw from LaGuardia with thin walls and thinner windows. Not to mention the construction project that had been going on next door since the Revolutionary War.

She was using a saw. A circular saw if his ears hadn’t failed him. What in the world was she doing? The ear-shattering noise stopped as she finished the cut—or sliced off a finger. He had a hard time believing a woman who couldn’t navigate porch steps might be handy with tools.

Maybe he needed space to figure things out. Just because her day had lasted eight decades didn’t mean his had too.

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