A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick
“There is so much to relate to and throughout the novel, there is a sharp feminist edge. Loved this one, and you will too.”—New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay
The New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Date serves up a novel about what happens when a public proposal doesn't turn into a happy ending, thanks to a woman who knows exactly how to make one on her own...
When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn't come as a surprise—or happen in front of 45,000 people.
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...
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof***
Copyright © 2018 Jasmine Guillory
Nik Paterson looked around at the perfect Los Angeles day: clear blue sky, bright green baseball field, warm sun shining down on the thousands of people with her at Dodger Stadium. There was only one thought on her mind: when can I get out of here?
Fisher was next to her, his blond man bun golden in the sun, laughing as he drank warm beer to celebrate his birthday. He and his buddies were talking about lifting, or their latest auditions, or their upcoming car purchases—all of the things his friends always talked about, all of the things Nik couldn’t care less about. If she’d known this birthday outing was going to include a bunch of Fisher’s friends, she would have at least gotten one of her girlfriends to come along so she would have someone to talk to.
Although to be fair, it was possible Fisher had told her his friends were coming and she hadn’t been paying attention. She tended not to pay that much attention when Fisher talked, but then, she hadn’t been dating him for the past five months for his conversational skills.
Nik looked back up at the scoreboard and sighed. It was still only the fifth inning; she probably had at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half, more of this.
She didn’t have anything against baseball, exactly. It was just that she’d rather be spending this beautiful spring day at home with her laptop and a glass of bourbon on the rocks than outside at a baseball stadium with a warm beer. But when the hot dude you were sleeping with wanted to go to a Dodgers game for his birthday, you sucked it up and went along with him and his bros.
She sighed again and reached for her phone. Maybe she could get some work done as she sat there.
Just as she was starting to make some actual progress on a draft of an article, Fisher nudged her hard.
“Nik! Put your phone down, you can’t miss this!” He threw his arm around her and kissed her on the cheek. She pressed save and tucked her phone back in her pocket. His favorite baseball player must be coming up to bat or something.
She looked down at the field, but nothing was going on there. She followed Fisher’s pointed finger and looked up at the scoreboard, just in time to see on the screen:
NICOLE: I LOVE YOU. WILL YOU MARRY ME? FISHER.
She turned to Fisher, her mouth wide open.
“What the hell is going on?”
To her horror, he dropped down onto one knee, on top of the peanut shells that carpeted the concrete, dangerously close to the puddle of spilled beer.
Oh God. He had a ring box in his hand.
“Nikole.” He tucked a strand of hair behind his ear and opened the ring box. She averted her eyes. “Will you make me the happiest man in the world?”
Was she asleep? This definitely felt like a nightmare.
They’d only been dating for five months! That he loved her was news to her—he’d certainly never said that before—but a proposal? He didn’t even know how to spell her name!
She tried to put on a smile, but she’d never had the best poker face—except, strangely, when she was actually playing poker. Not even his best friends would call Fisher perceptive, but even he could tell something was off with his happy moment.
“Nik, did you hear me? You’re just standing there. You haven’t even put the ring on!”
“I don’t . . .” She cleared her throat and tried to talk in a low voice, so the whole damn stadium couldn’t tell what was going on. “It’s just that we’ve never discussed this. We aren’t really in a place to . . . I didn’t . . . I just wish you’d brought this up before . . . before now.”
“Are you saying no?”
He was still on one knee, good God.
“I’m saying this isn’t really the place to have this conversation.”
He just stared at her, wide-eyed.
“Are you saying no?” he repeated.
She took a deep breath.
“I’m trying not to say that out loud so everyone can hear me.”
She was still hoping this was some sort of a joke. That any minute, he would reveal this was for a commercial or even a reality show or something, and they would all laugh and go back to not paying attention to the game.
“Come on, Nik,” Fisher said. Why wouldn’t he stand up? “We’re great together! Live a little! Give us a shot!”
Live a little??? Was he approaching marriage like he would a spontaneous trip to Palm Springs for the weekend?
“Fisher. Don’t do this.”
“I can’t believe you’re doing this to me.” He snapped the ring box closed, stood up, and tossed his head. The head toss didn’t work as well when his hair was in the bun. “Rejecting me in public! On my birthday! What kind of a person are you?”
He stormed off and ran up the stadium stairs. So she guessed this wasn’t a joke then.
She looked at his bros, and his bros looked at her. They shook their heads like they were disappointed in her, turned, and filed out of the row after him.
Which left Nik alone to face the forty-five thousand pairs of eyes on her.
Carlos nudged his sister Angela as the blond dude and his bros stalked up the stairs and out of the stadium.
“Now I know what to tell your boyfriend not to do.”
Angela rolled her eyes.
“Nice try, but I don’t have a boyfriend.”
Damn. She consistently refused to let him meet guys she was dating, so he was reduced to trying to trick her into admitting she had a boyfriend. Either he never managed to catch her off guard enough to admit it, or she’d never had a boyfriend since he started trying this. He was betting on the former.
Granted, he never told Angie anything about the women he went out with, either, but that was different. He hadn’t dated anyone seriously in years, and none of the women he had minor interludes with these days mattered enough to meet his sister.
“You have one good point,” Angela said. “Anyone dating me should definitely not do that.” Angela’s hand gestures got bigger as she talked. “She said they hadn’t discussed it. Who proposes to someone if they haven’t discussed it? Especially in public?”
He looked back down at the woman—Nicole—now alone in her row. She’d sat back down and was typing something on her phone. The sun picked out the golden highlights in her dark curly hair. She was doing a very good job of pretending the whole stadium wasn’t talking about her.
“I feel so bad for her.” He couldn’t believe she hadn’t jumped up to flee the building. The game had started back up again, but no one was watching. Everyone was looking at her. Including Carlos.
“So do I,” Angela said.
Nicole twirled one of her curls around her finger and pretended to watch the game. Carlos realized he was staring at her and forced himself to look away.
He turned to Angela and shook his head.
“I get trying to make a big romantic gesture and all, and wanting a surprise, but . . .”
“Deciding to spend your life together shouldn’t be a surprise,” Angela said. “It should be something the two of you talk about first!”
“Oh, hey, speaking of,” he said. “Did I tell you Drew proposed to his girlfriend a few days ago?”
“Really? That’s fantastic. I never would have thought a year ago that your friend Drew would be engaged.” She looked up at the JumboTron, and then at Carlos. “She did say yes, right?”
“She did. But then, they’d talked about it first.”
Carlos looked back down at the woman two rows down, who had not said yes. She was aggressively not looking at anyone around her. Her hair moved in the breezes that blew through the stadium, and her dark brown skin glowed in the sun. He’d only seen her face briefly up on the JumboTron, until he’d realized that this real-life drama was going on just ten feet below him, but he’d seen a striking face, with big dark eyes and bright red lips. He wondered how long she was going to stay at her seat. She probably hadn’t wanted to leave right away for fear of running into the man-bun guy, which made sense. But if he knew anything about the way things happened in L.A., if she sat here too long, she was in danger of . . .
Yep, there it was. The camera crew.
He poked his sister. She looked down and saw the problem immediately.
“Oh my God, what a nightmare,” she said.
“We’ve got to save her,” he said.
“How do you propose to do that? Pun not intended.”
“Follow my lead.” He stood up and made his way out of their row, Angie right behind him.
He walked down the wide stadium stairs, his eyes on the field. When he got two rows down, he paused and glanced to the side. I hope this works, he thought, before he went in.
“Nicole? Nicole, it is you!” he said, loud enough that not only she and the entire camera crew but also the other rows around them all turned to look. “Angela, look, it’s Nicole! We haven’t seen you for . . . my God, how many years has it been?”
Angela took up his prompt as Carlos pushed the camera crew aside to get to Nicole.
“At least five years, Carlos, it’s got to be? Nicole, how are you?” His sister threw her arms around the grinning woman, and whispered something in her ear before the embrace ended.
“It’s so great to see you after all this time!” Angela said. She looked around with a huge smile on her face, and appeared to notice the camera crew for the first time. “Oh my goodness, are we interrupting something? I am so sorry, guys!” She smiled at the three men who had surrounded Nicole up until about thirty seconds before, with that wide-eyed look that had never failed to make men fall at her feet. “We haven’t seen each other for so long, imagine running into you here.”
“Oh wow, how do you know each—”
Carlos stepped in front of the guy with the camera. If the dude got aggressive, well, Carlos was pretty sure he had at least four inches and thirty pounds on him.
“We were just heading to get more beer and Dodger Dogs, want to come with?”
Want to come with? He sounded like one of his sixteen-year-old patients.
“Great idea, I’m starving.” Nicole wiggled past the cameraman. “Chat with you guys later!” she called back to them, as she, Carlos, and Angie raced up the stairs.
Hmmm, apparently, sounding like your sixteen-year-old patients was a way to not seem suspicious.
They kept up the pretense on their way up the stairs, all saying things like “Wow, it’s been so long!” and “Fancy meeting you here!” and “I couldn’t believe my eyes that it was you!” over and over. When they finally got all the way up the stairs and inside, the three of them all leaned against the nearest wall and erupted with laughter.
“Thank you guys SO MUCH for saving me,” Nicole said when she finally stopped laughing. “I was in the middle of trying to remember the martial arts moves I learned twenty years ago, but you rescued me without me having to knock someone down or, more likely, embarrass myself.”
“You’re not saved yet,” Carlos said. He put his hand on her back and grabbed his sister by the arm. “We’ve got to get you out this stadium. They’ll find you again if you stick around.”
“Oh, I can find my own way out. I’m sure you want to get back to the game.” She stood up straight and smiled at them. “But thank you again, I really appreciate it.”
He was about to say good-bye when he thought of something.
“Did you drive here? Or was your . . . or did you get a ride?”
“My ride seems to be long gone, but I’m sure there’s another way to get back to Silver Lake from here. Isn’t there a shuttle or something? Or I can get a ride. I have all of those apps.”
He and Angie exchanged glances. He envisioned her waiting in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium for a ride and getting ambushed again. He bet Angie did, too.
“Silver Lake is in our direction,” he said. “We can give you a ride back.” He could miss the rest of the game. It wasn’t like they were playing the Giants or anything.
She raised her eyebrows at him and turned to Angela to shake her head.
“No, seriously, that’s okay. You don’t have to give up the rest of the game for me; you don’t even know me. Plus, you two probably have better things to do than drive a stranger around Los Angeles.”
Angela looked confused and then laughed.
“Oh wait, did you think we were on a date? Ugh no, he’s my brother. Trust me, I’d rather be driving you around L.A. than watching baseball with him.”
Nicole looked at Carlos.
“Are you sure? You really don’t have to.”
He grinned and threw his arm around both women.
“Call it my good deed for the week,” he said. “Come on, let’s go before those vultures follow you.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It's great for a summer beach read. I am gen x but enjoyed this millennial style romance.
I’m very happy that The Wedding Party is coming out in July. I read and loved The Wedding Date early this year. And I just devoured The Proposal. I’m left needing more from Guillory! I am not disappointed in giving into the hype behind this author and reading her books. The hype and praise is well-deserved. Guillory is able to write characters and a plot that draw you in with how authentic they are. It felt like a world I could walk into and not feel out of place. They characters were “real” people dealing with “real” situations. There’s no need to say “that could only happen in a romance novel” with this book. (Not a knock on other romance novels. I’m a big fan of the genre. This was just a book that didn’t push into a place filled with fate and overly dramatic situations. It was a nice change of pace.) I’m sure I say this often with books I loved, but I would have enjoyed if the book I read was only half the full book. Even if the second (imaginary) half was just the couple going about their daily routines without any more complications or excitement. They’re great characters that I’d like to hang out with, especially when they’re eating. The food scenes made me hungry each time. If you’re looking for a down-to-Earth romance, check this one out. If you need to fill the void The Wedding Date created, this is probably the book for you. But remember, you may NEED The Wedding Party right after. I’m trying to be patient, waiting for July to come.
Loved this story and can’t wait to read the Wedding date now. I really enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end!
The book is good for someone looking for a carefree and easy read, but I personally found it way too basic and struggled to keep interest. I kept reading in hopes it would get more interesting but it never did.
Good book! Easy , light read. Just what I needed.
I bought this book because of the reviews and tat it was picked to be in Reese Witherspoons book club. What a waste of money!
The cast of characters was the unique and most appealing part of this book. The story wasn't terrible, but it, in my opinion, felt a bit....flat/one-dimensional. It was enjoyable, but it wasn't a book that I would consider un-put-down-able. That being said, I would try reading another book from this author.
www.ambergreggbooks.com "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." Book Info Genre: Contemporary Romance Number of Pages: 327 Perspective: Alternating Third Location: Los Angeles, CA The Proposal is about Nik who gets an unwanted and unexpected marriage proposal on a jumbotron. Carlos saves her from embarrassment and they quickly connect. Neither of them wants a serious relationship but can’t help falling for each other. Book Review TL;DR: I’m in denial about the love between these diverse characters in denial about their love. Rating: 2/5 Full Review: http://judgingmorethanjustthecover.com/2019/04/book-review-the-proposal-jasmine-guillory.html
What Nikole thought was going to be a casual outing to a Dodgers game for her boyfriend's birthday turned out to be anything but. Nik wasn't exactly head over heels for this guy but she had enjoyed their light-hearted dating for the past five months. While she was catching up on a work email to pass the time, Fisher drew Nik's attention to the Jumbotron. "Nicole: I love you. Will you marry me? Fisher." Was he serious? They had never once mentioned being in love, let alone getting married and now here he was on one knee proposing after spelling her name wrong in front of thousands of people. Stunned, Nik turns him down causing Fisher, an actor by trade, to storm off causing a dramatic scene. Mortified doesn't even begin to describe how Nik feels being left alone as cameramen start to descend upon her section for more footage. Brother and sister, Carlos and Angie saw the proposal play out a few rows behind Nik. The duo decided to intervene at just the right moment cutting off the cameramen and whisking Nik to the safety of the parking lot. To repay them for their kindness, Nik offers to buy them dinner and drinks. When the evening ends you would expect Nik & Carlos to go their own separate ways but that pizza was only just the beginning. "The Proposal" is a great follow-up to Guillory's "The Wedding Date" in which Carlos first appears. Definitely one to add to your TBR for your next vacation.
Did not love. Seemed a little repetitive.
I have not fallen in love with characters as much as I have with Nikole and Carlos. The love and passion they each bring to the table has been an absolute whirlpool that I did not want to finish! Jasmine Guillory thank you for giving me hope that the right one is out there! I hope to find a love like Nik and Carlos because it truly is beautiful to read and experience!! Absolutely amazing.
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!
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. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Oh my goodness, Jasmine Guillory you are perfection!! I loved The Wedding Date but holy lovebirds I think I adored this one even more!! I flew through it in a few hours on the plane, it was THAT GOOD! If you have read The Wedding Date, then you will recognize a few of the characters, but you do not need to have read that book to keep up with this one. The Proposal focuses on Carlos, who was the best friend in the first book, but there is a whole new cast of supporting characters and only minor interactions with the previous ones, which is why you will be just fine starting here. (But really, go read the other because it is good!) Carlos finds himself with his sister Angela at an LA Dodgers game, where Nik also is with her actor boyfriend of five months. It is said bf’s birthday, so he is also there with his friends. Nik is bored, until he tells her to pay attention and she sees a wedding proposal on the Jumbotron for her, name spelled incorrectly and all, and she is stunned. She says no, boyfriend storms off with his friends, and the whole stadium basically gives her the side eye. Enter Carlos and Angela to save the day and rescue her from further humiliation. It just gets better and better from here, they hit it off and continue to see each other casually, and you probably know what happens next. I loved everything about this one, the setup was wonderful, the female protagonist is strong, as are her friends, and Carlos is independent (but caring) as well. Jasmine writes such excellent characters, and I also love that she has integrated subplots within the narrative that are additive, such as the self-defense gym Nik and her friends start attending and how it came about. Seriously, I cannot recommend this one enough! Thanks to NetGalley for an electronic ARC of this book. All opinions above are my own.
The Proposal features two likable lead characters that meet under incredibly awkward but memorable circumstances. This new-found acquaintanceship leads to more opportunities to connect until a no-strings-attached romance blooms. Each have past and present circumstances that make this type of non-relationship ideal, and although the ending may be predictable, this romance trope is a winner for a reason: the journey to the last page is typically filled with plenty of sexy fun. The Proposal hits the mark with its characters. Jasmine Guillory uses her characters to showcase elements of feminism, diversity, inclusion, and the concept that love doesn't always have to feel like a trap. In my opinion, the writing is dialogue heavy and very easy to read (which may be a positive or negative based on reader preference), and there are appreciated nods to the importance of family and physical health. There's also lots of cupcakes and laughter-inducing rosé wine, but I liked that this book was not just about these two characters and their romance. We also get to meet family and besties and are privy to some great bonding moments. This was my first reading experience with this author and I liked it overall. The theme of female empowerment runs strong and Guillory writes a believably respectful hero that compliments our heroine well. Overall, a smile-worthy storyline that many readers will likely enjoy. Access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of The Proposal was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing. Source: NetGalley Author: Jasmine Guillory Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group Genres: Multicultural Interest, Romance Pub Date: October 30, 2018
I absolutely loved Jasmine Guillory’s first novel The Wedding Date so I was excited to read the next book in the series and learn more about Drew’s best friend Carlos. All those happy feels from The Wedding Date returned in full measure and I really enjoyed this one. It was a fun read and very hard to put down. I swooned hard for Carlos and really enjoyed getting to know him better. He could be overbearing and paternalistic, particularly with his family, but this is where we see his greatest growth as a character. He carries a lot of unresolved grief and it was so good to see him finally deal with it, thanks to Nik’s advice. Nik was not very self-aware so I did struggle to understand her at times. She would make sweeping pronouncements, like never wanting to date a doctor because her ex was a doctor, that didn’t make much sense to me. (Hello, not all doctors are the same and the issue with that ex was that he was a straight up jerk!) But I really admired her ability to create a freelance career as a writer and how loyal she was to her friends. She and Carlos made so much sense together. To the point where I was very ready for them to stop pretending they were in a “casual” relationship before they were, bless their hearts. I loved all the food scenes: ranking tacos, Carlos's explanation for why he likes cooking risotto (which is my reason too!), Nik and Alexa meeting at the restaurant. I especially loved Nik's friends Dana and Courtney and I wish I could take that self-defense class at Natalie’s Gym. As much as I enjoyed this book, I had two main issues that made me subtract a star. First, Carlos was such a standup guy, always looking out for Nik while respecting her agency, up until close to the end when he behaved in such a mean way toward her. This was really hard to take. I get that he was hurt but there was no excuse for him to behave that way. Second, and I’ll try to address this as unspoilery as possible, there’s a scene in which Nik punches someone. I’m sure it’s supposed to be empowering given the self-defense classes but she was not reacting defensively. This story includes a side plot that did some great education about emotional abuse. It was a strange juxtaposition to explore emotional abuse and then have Nik wallop someone. While it was an uncomfortable situation, she was not being attached and if it was the other way around and a man was punching a woman, it would not be okay. So I really can't be okay with it in this instance either. (This such a small part of the book and I think most people won’t have any problem with it. Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive but it really did take me aback.) I also thought Nik's grand gesture at the end was unnecessary and on the cheesy side. I just wanted them to communicate with one another! But this is totally minor in comparison to what a happy, enjoyable read this was otherwise. Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from Berkley in exchange for an honest review.
I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion. 3 stars — I was really looking forward to this book, and the main reason is the obvious awesome diversity! Not only is our author a person of colour, but so are BOTH of our main characters! And I’d seen some good reviews for Ms. Guillory’s debut, The Wedding Date, so I figured it was a no brainer! Unfortunately, while there were some great moments, on the whole this book fell flat for me. Which is a mega bummer. Also, while this can totally stand on its own, it does have crossover characters with The Wedding Date. That doesn’t bother me, but I know some find it frustrating when that’s not obvious. So hmmm…what to say. Like, what do I mean by flat? Well, the characters felt flat and two-dimensional. The conversations, the dialogue. The inner thoughts. It’s like it was missing some polish you know? Like everything felt very matter of fact and perfunctory, but I didn’t FEEL anything. Now, there were moments…a scene here or there, some glimmers of a spark, but it just wasn’t enough to sustain me. On the whole I was just left feeling bored and meh. Nik and Carlos both appeared great on paper, and I didn’t dislike them or anything, but I never really connected with them either. I never quite understood (in my bones) why they were both anti-relationship, I was just eventually told you know? Like for some reason I didn’t get the extent that Nik was scarred from her relationship with Justin until nearer to the end when it was already too late for me to be empathizing with her. Similarly with Carlos, I was told he was concentrating on his family, and I guessed there was some fear, but I didn’t *feel* it. Gosh, I didn’t even really feel their funny moments. There were scenes where I’m sure I was supposed to be giggling, but I was just like “oh, yeah, I guess that’s funny.” It was like their reactions were over the top. Or their dialogue would go without breaks in between. Honestly, I’m not a writer, I just know when something doesn’t work for me. Samesies for their romantic chemistry. I appreciated their friendship, but when we got to the romance, I never felt any tummy tingles or butterflies. Heck, even the steamy scenes were very perfunctory and essentially fade to black. I don’t mind fade to black, but I want to *feel* something in the kisses then. Honestly, there were two things that kept this being an OK book (and not a bad book). First, the diversity was fantastically done. I mean, there were times where I kind of felt like white people were being made fun of, and while part of me gets that, it felt more mean somehow…which, find, I guess, I don’t know. But so many fantastic characters of colour, and some great LGBT representation too. Second, the scenes at Natalie’s Gym, and Natalie’s entire story were really affecting to me. I truly felt so much. If the rest of the story had had that same level of emotional involvement, I would have felt differently. So yeah. I don’t know. It was missing book magic for me. Maybe the delayed release means they’re going to inject some magic into it? I hope so, because it would be a shame to waste all the potential.
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory is a standalone novel. Having read and enjoyed Guillory’s debut novel, The Wedding Date, I looked forward to reading this book. Nikole (Nik) Paterson, our heroine, is sitting at a Dodger baseball game with her boyfriend and his friends, when she sees herself on the huge scoreboard. When she looks down, her boyfriend of 5 months is proposing to her in front of the huge crowd, Nik is totally shocked, and speechless. She never expected this, and with the pressure of everyone watching, she does not accept the proposal, which then angers her boyfriend, and the media is now ready to crash in. Carlos Ibarra and his sister are also at the game, and only two rows behind the shell shocked Nik. Knowing she is going to be bombarded, they come to her rescue pretending to be friends, and pull her away from the media to safety. Not having a ride, Carlos and Angela will take her to a bar, where Nik’s best friends were waiting for her, and they all talk about what happened, and get to know each other. Carlos and Nik become fast friends, but both are not interested in any relationship. Nik is swearing off men (ok to be friends) and Carlos does not believe in true love or getting into a serious relationship. They have fun together as friends, but in a short time their attraction to each other will heat up; but they are both determined to enjoy the benefits without anything more. Each has their own baggage, as Nik knowing Carlos is a doctor, and her other relationship that failed was with a doctor who cheated on her; Carlos takes care of his family, and because of his father leaving them, he doesn’t believe in love. This turns out to be a very nice, sweet, engaging romance between two very likable people. This is also a multicultural romance, with some great diverse secondary characters. Guillory does this so well. We have Nik, a beautiful black woman; Carlos is latino; his best friend is Korean and her best friends are gay or white. It was a fun group. What follows is a difficult journey for both of them, with each falling in love with each other, but having to get past their own baggage. You will have to read the book to find out if they open their hearts to their true feelings and allow love to lead the way. The Proposal was a sweet fun read.
Jasmine Guillory once again invites readers into a romance that will tickle your funny bone and make you melt into a puddle of sweet chocolate. The Proposal is just as charming and captivating as The Wedding Date! From the unconventional proposal and subsequent meltdown, this story will draw you in and not release it's hold on you until the end! Nikole and Carlos are perfect for each other because they're opposites and both down to earth. Carlos is a bigger character than I ever could have imagined he would be when he was first introduced in The Wedding Date, but I loved getting to know him and seeing a different side of him. Both characters have depth and keep the story interesting as their layers are peeled away. I loved that the story introduces completely new characters on top of bringing back Alexa and Drew in a couple of scenes. Nikole's quirky friends add to the sass and humor while Carlos brings a more emotional layer to the story. His deep connection with his family shows his soft heart and may just bring a few tears to readers' eyes. The Proposal will read nicely as a standalone, but you might as well read The Wedding Date because it's just as awesome! *ARC provided via First to Read in consideration for review*
3-3.5 stars This was a cute and fun contemporary romance. It features a hilarious diverse cast of characters that I found really refreshing. I also really enjoyed the Los Angeles setting. This is my first book by the author and though previous characters from her book The Wedding Date appear, the book can be enjoyed as a stand alone. I liked Carlos and Nikole (Nik) both individually and together. They each had some baggage haunting them and influencing their actions, but as you got to know each character it made sense why they were so hesitant to explore the possibility of more. I enjoyed seeing their friends with benefits relationship blossom and develop as they slowly let their guard down. Readers should note that the majority of the love/sex scenes are fade to black or occur off page, so if they're looking for a hot and heavy read, this is not it. One thing I really loved about The Proposal was the relationships between Carlos and Nik's family and friends. Nik's friendship with Dana and Courtney was amazing and probably my favorite part of the book. We would all be lucky to have even 1 friend as loyal and supportive as these ladies. The book started off very promising and I was really intrigued by the proposal (and rejection) heard round the world, but afterwards, the pacing felt a little off and seemed to stall. A lot of time was spent describing food/drinks, when I really would have liked more back story about Carlos and Nik since it was such a big part of their character arcs. When the conflict arose, I felt Carlos acted completely out of character and honestly, I wasn't sure if I truly felt that they were at the point of those types of declarations. It all wrapped up very quickly and though it was very cute, I'm not sure I was really satisfied. I think what was the most odd for me was that I didn't feel that these characters acted their supposed ages. They are in their late 20's and early 30's, but I had to remind myself of this several times. Overall, this was still an easy and enjoyable read. *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book*
This might not have been the perfect romance read I was looking for but there were a couple of things I did enjoy. First of all, I always appreciate when a book has a diverse cast of characters. I also really liked the premise of the book which involves a woman at a Dodgers game with her boyfriend and he surprises her with a wedding proposal with everyone in the stadium watching on the Jumbotron. It was very easy to relate to her feeling of horror as I would have hated it if my husband had proposed to me in such a public way. The rest of the story is a typical romance which I would have enjoyed much more if I felt more invested in the main characters. To me, in the romance genre in order to love a book you really have to root for the characters and feel their chemistry together. I just felt indifferent towards the characters. I'm not really sure why that is the case but it is what it is. I'm sure others will love this book though, especially since it features characters, including Carlos, who were featured in the author's previous book, The Wedding Date. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
I had loved Carlos in The Wedding Date and was thrilled to see that he was getting his own story, so when I got the invite to read this one, I couldn’t wait to get to it. I love love loved Nik. She’s sarcastic and witty and smart af. Her friends Dana and Courtney were fun and I adored the scenes with the three of them together. Of course I was familiar with Carlos and he didn’t disappoint. He’s supportive and a complete marshmallow. I was so happy to see Alexa and Drew and I’m 1000% here for more scenes of all four of them. Plot wise, it was, in a word, comfortable, and I mean that in a good way. Nik and Carlos build a relationship out of friendship first and it works. It’s absolutely adorable and when the inevitable conflict happens, I was crushed. Thankfully, it didn’t last long and I loved the grand gesture. Overall, I loved this story more than the first one. It’s filled with women supporting women, has a cast of diverse characters, and loads of body positivity. My only complaint is that I wanted more at the end. **Huge thanks to Berkley Books for providing the arc free of charge**