Saturday, November 26, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- THE PROPOSAL (#1-Survivor's Club)

The Proposal (Survivor's Club Book 1) by [Balogh, Mary]
Gwendoline, Lady Muir, has seen her share of tragedy. 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 is a gentleman in name only: a war hero 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. Hugo doesn’t wish to court Gwen, yet he cannot resist her guileless manner, infectious laugh, and lovely face. He wants her, but will she have him? The dour ex-military officer who so gallantly carried Gwen to safety is a man who needs a lesson in winning a woman’s heart. But through courtship and seduction, Gwen soon finds that with each kiss, and with every caress, Hugo captivates her more—with his desire, with his love, and with the promise of forever.   AMAZON  4 STARS

I did it again.  I read the Book 1 of a Series, last.  I thought that I had already read it but when I re-checked realized I hadn't.  It was a good story and still easy to read all on its own.  I liked both of the main characters even though you could see right off the bat how different their lives were.  Gwen comes from the upper crust of society although she is likable and caring about others.  She is a lady, and first impressions between Hugo and Gwen weren't necessarily all that good.  It was funny how the other Survivor's in the club had teased him about going down to the beach and that would be a way to meet a woman to marry.  Well, he does meet Gwen but like I said they didn't instantly fall in love, or even instant like either.  Over a period of time, they have some unorthodox conversations and some pretty funny ones at times too.  The word, "morose" was used often when it came to Hugo but Gwen was beginning to see the real man under that mask.  He glowered a lot, had the look of a fierce warrior. He was blunt, direct and often not very flattering but then he's a man meant to lead, commanding in his ways.   He is a man who likes to work in business and to also use his hands in what is considered menial work.  As the reader gets to know Hugo, it is easy to get pulled into his emotions and want to see him get a woman to love, namely Gwen.  There are times that he is so painfully inept when it comes to what he feels.   Gwen has been through some heartbreak of her own though she doesn't often let that show.  Hugo gets under her guard though and she begins to share some of those truths with him.  She's not quite the spoiled, empty headed socialite that he thought she was. 

There are secondary people in the story that I also enjoyed.  Constance, Hugo's sister is one of them and has a bit of a mini-story in this book too.  Hugo's stepmother, Fiona was a surprise and it was interesting to watch things change for her too.  The Survivor Club's members do show up in some of the story as well.  On a smaller scale, they do add to the story.  It's more like an introduction to them because of course this is Book 1.  Gwen's family was charming and real as well.  Her brother Neville and sister-in-law Lily had a mini-story as well.   
By the way, I had never heard of "A Forlorn Hope", as a military maneuver before.   I did learn what it was and how Hugo had gone through it, leading it in fact.  He WAS the front-line.  
Gwen's "friend" Vera, was something else.  You know the saying, "with friends like that who needs enemies."   She was a social climber, with a big mouth and was unpleasant to be around. There are several other unpleasant people in the story because of course, that is life. There will be several scenes of sexual intimacies and an unexpected twist or two towards the end. 

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