Debut Romance From Ashlyn Macnamara!


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The Proposal by Mary Balogh

Setting: Regency


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.
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.

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Loved this book! Balogh does it again with another touching read and a great introduction to her new 7 book series about a group of war survivors, each with their own scars (physical or mental) from the war.

The heroine is the lonely, limping cousin of a previous Balogh heroine-one who was long overdue for a happy ending of her own. Despite her handicap, Gwen is cheerful and generous, always ready to help out her friends and family. She is the perfect lady. At the start we see her forced to endure the company of a whiny, selfish friend. Gwen escapes to the seaside and ends up spraining her ankle, which is how she meets our hero.

On the opposite end of the scale, we have Hugo who has never fully recovered from his psychological war scars. He wears a tough, cold exterior to hide the fact that he feels guilty for living when his comrades have all perished in the war. He’s a middle class man who has just gained a title and he can’t stand the upper classes. When these two meet, there are instant sparks-of dislike. But the more time they spend together, the more both realize how much they have in common. But Gwen has no desire to marry again and Hugo has to persuade her to think otherwise. As far as characters go, I liked both Hugo and Gwen but they weren’t super special in any way. I did admire Gwen’s cheerfulness despite how lonely her life was and the fact that her husband and son died previously. It was sweet watching them fall in love and try to deny it.

As with all Balogh novels, this book focuses more on the character than the plot so if your taste is more towards an exciting fast-paced  adventure romance, this isn’t for you. Reminiscent of Jane Austen novels, this book is more for people who appreciate a deeper look into the workings of human nature. As touching as it is wise, this book will be sure to bring a few tears to even the strongest readers.

Overall, this is a great, emotionally touching read, perfect for a quiet day in. Can’t wait for the next book! 😀

Sensuality Rating: Warm

Verdict: Great start to a new series! Balogh is back in the game!

Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars

This is what happens when you give a modern Regency addict a camera…

You get Regency dress up, complete with dress, fan, pearls and lacy black gloves 😉

Isn’t my dress stunning? 😀

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