I received this book for free from Audible Plus Package in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Proposal by Mary Balogh
Also in this series: The Arrangement
Series: The Survivors' Club #1
Published by Delacorte Press on May 1, 2012
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Narrator: Rebecca De Leeuw
Length: 11 Hours and 19 Mins
In Mary Balogh's engaging and seductive new novel of drama and romance, a woman comfortable in her solitude allows temptation to free her heart, when a daring war hero shows her how truly extraordinary she is. THE PROPOSAL Gwendoline, Lady Muir, has seen her share of tragedy, especially since a freak accident took her husband much too soon. Content in a quiet life with friends and family, the young widow has no desire to marry again. But when Hugo, Lord Trentham, scoops her up in his arms after a fall, she feels a sensation that both shocks and emboldens her. Hugo never intends to kiss Lady Muir, and frankly, he judges her to be a spoiled, frivolous--if beautiful--aristocrat. He is a gentleman in name only: a soldier whose bravery earned him a title; a merchant's son who inherited his wealth. He is happiest when working the land, but duty and title now demand that he finds a wife. He doesn't wish to court Lady Muir, nor have any role in the society games her kind thrives upon. Yet Hugo has never craved a woman more; Gwen's guileless manner, infectious laugh, and lovely face have ruined him for any other woman. He wants her, but will she have him? The hard, dour ex-military officer who so gently carried Gwen to safety is a man who needs a lesson in winning a woman's heart. Despite her cautious nature, Gwen cannot ignore the attraction. As their two vastly different worlds come together, both will be challenged in unforeseen ways. But through courtship and seduction, Gwen soon finds that with each kiss, and with every caress, she cannot resist Hugo's devotion, his desire, his love, and the promise of forever.
The Proposal is the first book in the Survivors’ Club Series by Mary Balogh. I have been wanting to get to this series so badly and so when I saw the first book up on the Romance Package at Audible, I knew I needed to try it and get my historical fix that I was in the mood of. At first, I wasn’t sure what I thought of the book to be honest, or if it would work for me but boy I FELL hard for this book here and it was superb. It starts out slow of course but throughout the story, the author slowly reels in the reader and keeps you interested in this romance.
Our beautiful love story begins with the annual get together of the Survivors’ Club. All seven members are Survivors of the war against Napolean, who were all wounded and joined forces to get back to living healthy and as normal lives as they could get to. There are six men and one woman in this group and they have each other’s backs. They trust each other completely. Our first Survivor is Hugo Emes, Lord Trentham. His wounds were more mental than physical. He bears the guilt of losing over 300 men in a battle and only a few surived, and he has always blamed himself for it. But now he knows that he needs to get married and have an heir. He has always worked in business, but was granted a title after his work in the war as a soldier. But he wants to honor his late father and make sure everything they worked for isn’t lost. So he wants to find a woman who is practical and logical to marry.
Gwendolyn, Lady Muir, is a widow and bears her own guilt and pain. She blames herself for her husbands death. Gwen feels like she was part of the problem despite the fact that her late husband had many internal issues. She is out in the country visiting a friend and her cousin and after a tense discussion with her cousin she goes out for a walk by the shore. But then she falls and hurts her ankle, that was already broken before and hadn’t been set right and she carries a bad limp. Just her luck to damage it again. But then she sees Lord Trentham who rescues her and takes her back to the country estate. While she heals and stays at the estate, Gwen gets to become friends with the Surivors’ Club including a growing attachment to Hugo. She knows that she is falling in love with him, but they are worlds apart different, but will their social class and personalities clash or bring harmony to their lives?
I do not believe there is right or wrong,” he said. “there is only doing what one must do under given circumstances and living with the consequences and weaving every experiences, good and bad, into the fabric of one’s life so that ultimately one can see the pattern of it all and accept the lessons life has taught
I simply fell so hard for this couple, although I wasn’t sure about it in the first half. It does have a slow beginning, but I feel like the narrator was perfect for this book. I am really glad that I picked this one up in audio. I don’t believe I have listened to Rebecca before, but her voice was really lovely and she displays the right tones of emotion and tugs the reader into the story so flawlessly. I had a fun time with seeing this pair find their yin-yang in this story and it really isn’t easy for them. They are from different social structures but we see them each live in each other’s worlds and discover how great that they are together. This is one of my favorite tropes (probably because in my own life, my parents love tale is that they were from opposite sides of the tracks….so I believe you can definitely make a relationship work in this scenario).
People do understand the language of the heart, you know, even if the head does not always comprehend it.
There is so much that goes on in this book, it begins with their love affair out in the countryside and to the streets of London and seeing them meet each other’s families, see the way that they bare their souls to each other and find this deep enriching intimacy that develops between them. I simply had a fun time seeing them discover how strong they are together. That friendship and passion can go hand in hand and with each chapter we see their connection become more vibrant. The ending was simply perfect and made me sigh in bliss!!!
Overall I found The Proposal to be a story that is about healing, personal redemption and finding balance and love in life….A GEM TO FALL FOR!!!