The Proposal is another nice entry from Jasmine Guillory in the romance genre.
Carlos and Nicole meet after Nicole is proposed to in a most unsavory way. Her well-meaning but dimwitted boyfriend proposes to her on the Jumbotron at a Dodgers game without having ever spoken about marriage with her prior to that. Of course, she doesn’t say yes, because who jumps into something like that in such a public way without even talking about it first?
Some things I liked about The Proposal:
The Proposal follows a lot of the same construct that we see in Jasmine Guillory’s other book, The Wedding Date. Two grown adults already have their own lives, their own sets of friends, their own successful jobs. They don’t complete one another, rather they complement one another in ways that are mature and non-dramatic.
It’s a refreshing change from some youth-based romance novels in which the woman is virginal and innocent while the man is an all-knowing player. It’s nice to spend time with Carlos and Nicole as they get to know one another. We get to see lots and lots of delicious food eating lots and lots of conversations.
Carlos’ cousins pregnancy Jamie has a difficult pregnancy, which is a bit of a departure for this genre. A lot of times in romance books, we see idyllic pregnancies producing cherubic, rosy-cheeked babies with no complications, no crying, none of the messiness that can happen with pregnancy and parenthood.
It’s gives us a more realistic look at the things that can and do go wrong. It’s also nice to see the family rallying around Jamie and giving their constant support.
Nicole is already independent. She’s not some spitfire whose independence lives in this construct of how she reacts to the man. Rather, she is independent in her own thoughts and actions and feelings, regardless of this man who is in her life. It is also nice to see the empowering female friendships.
It’s also nice to see a man who is kind of unsure of things sometimes. He doesn’t know everything. In fact, there are times in the book that he feels that he has to fill that role of ultimate provider for every female he comes into contact with. It’s realizing that he can’t be everything to everybody that gives him clarity.
Some things I didn’t love about The Proposal:
What makes their story special?
Ultimately, The Proposal is kind of bland. I hate to say that because it’s a refreshing change from some of the manufactured and unnecessary drama that I see another romances, but there’s no real conflict here.
There’s no big thing for them to get past other than just the normal things in life that anyone could face, which begs the question: what makes their story book-worthy?
I like Carlos and Nicole. I like them a lot, but I have trouble finding what makes their story worth spending an entire book with them. The only real conflict is that neither of them wants a commitment. Well, isn’t that the story of just about every relationship? People don’t usually go into it instantly thinking that they’re going to get married. Love is often more of a journey where they grow into those feelings together. And this journey was on such a well-worn road with no interesting scenery or detours.
So the real conflict of this book is my own feelings. I like Jasmine Guillory, the way that she writes romance, and the characters in this book. I especially like the diversity of the characters.
But I’m just not sure what makes these characters’ story book-worthy.