You know that feeling when you watch a bunch of “serious” films in a row, ones with heavy themes and dramatic conflicts, and you just want to watch a light, silly rom-com to cleanse your palate? The Proposal is that palate-cleanser in book form. I’ve been reading a lot of no-joke fiction lately, books like Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, so I thought it might be nice to read a cute romance novel for a change of pace, and Jasmine Guillory’s The Proposal was the perfect choice.
From the back cover:
When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…
At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…
The Proposal is told in third-person omniscient, the perfect way for Guillory to narrate her story as it allows for the reader to know what each side of the relationship is thinking. Though Guillory does not fully develop her characters, both Nik and Carlos did have a clear motive, and because of that I grew to root for their relationship to be successful. For example, after Nik’s proposal fiasco, all she wants is a rebound and nothing serious; having dated a surgeon, she is hesitant to become involved with a doctor again, even a pediatrician like Carlos. As for Carlos, the death of his father makes him the head of the family; between that and his busy career, he feels he has no time to commit to a serious relationship. SO, both Nik and Carlos are developed just enough for their relationship motives to make sense, with no extra or unnecessary details.
“I’ve spent so long being afraid of love, because the last time I was in love, the man I loved only loved one part of me, but not all of me, and I thought love meant having to sacrifice a part of yourself. But then I was with you, and you loved every part of me, even the parts I don’t like. And that scared me more, because I thought there must be some trick and that I couldn’t let myself believe it or I’d fall into the trap. But finally I realized it wasn’t a trap.”
-Jasmine Guillory, The Proposal
I devoured Guillory’s novel in just a few hours outside on my hammock. Though the writing was choppy and left much to be desired, and the grown-up characters acted a bit immature for their age, I didn’t expect much going in so I walked away pleasantly surprised. If you’re looking for a fun, warmhearted read, look no further than The Proposal.
Find this book on Goodreads.