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The Proposal by Mary Balogh
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Holly Bush



Joined: 23 Dec 2011
Posts: 64
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:42 am    Post subject: The Proposal by Mary Balogh Reply with quote

The Proposal by Mary Balogh
4.25 Stars

Balogh springs a peripheral character from the gathering of those not asked to waltz and makes her three-dimensional and very real in the author's latest, The Proposal. Gwen, Lady Muir, has been seen about the edges of many stories beginning, I believe, with A Summer to Remember, through the Slightly Series and occasionally in the Simply Series as well. I was very curious about her as a young widow with a marked limp.

Lady Muir is not a woman without pain or tragedy in her life, few Balogh heroines are. There is more to the story of her late husband and her injuries than first imagined. Lord Trentham is an equally complex man whose heroism on the battlefields of France have been rewarded the rare gift of a title. But that heroism brought costs and sacrifices and humiliation.

This love story is classic Balogh. Lady Muir and Trentham are not young and foolish but are both cautious, having experienced triumphs and tragedies. I would recommend it highly.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in the middle of reading this one right now and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It is Mary Balogh at her best, IMO. Both Gwen and Hugo are wonderful characters and Balogh is taking her time letting them come to "know" each other. I'm lovin' the journey with them.

And the story itself, so far, is just as interesting. I have developed an interest also in the other characters of the Survivors' Club and hope that she takes her time with their stories also. Sometimes/often the sequels don't match up to expectations and don't we all know about that. But I have high hopes because this is Mary Balogh; and we've said it before, when she's on, there's almost no one like her.

But as far as I've read into this story (half way), this one is truly a winner.
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MEK



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed this one very much, especially Hugo's character. Reading Balogh is always a stretch for me because I am prone to like stories with more action and adventure, but this one held my attention throughout and I chuckled in many places. I can tell it will remain one of my Balogh favorites and the series to come sounds interesting.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished the book and absolutely enjoyed it and wished it weren't ending. Fabulous story and characters.
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Holly Bush



Joined: 23 Dec 2011
Posts: 64
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved this one. I understand that members of the Survivor's Club will be Balogh's next main characters in an upcoming series.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding subsequent stories with the Survivors' Club, I hope she takes her time and makes each of them interesting. My fingers are crossed. The brief introduction she gave to the men made them sound interesting enough. Vincent's story will be a difficult one, I think.
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things I found interesting about this book was that so much of it is internal the thoughts of the characters. Often I find that annoying but that is because the internal thoughts of most characters is confined to repetitive (and boring) mental lusting.

Mary Balogh's characters actually have an internal life. They examine their own motives and their reactions like real people. THere aren't any dramatic external events in this book, but the voyage of discovery on the part of both the hero and heroine is dramatic enough.
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Holly Bush



Joined: 23 Dec 2011
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Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaneO wrote:
One of the things I found interesting about this book was that so much of it is internal the thoughts of the characters. Often I find that annoying but that is because the internal thoughts of most characters is confined to repetitive (and boring) mental lusting.

Mary Balogh's characters actually have an internal life. They examine their own motives and their reactions like real people. THere aren't any dramatic external events in this book, but the voyage of discovery on the part of both the hero and heroine is dramatic enough.


Well said. This book isn't about Gwen and Trentham reacting to many external events but there is self-examination that I think should be typical of a more mature individual. But I didn't find it boring in the least.
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JudyZ6666



Joined: 07 Jul 2011
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Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaneO wrote:
One of the things I found interesting about this book was that so much of it is internal the thoughts of the characters. Often I find that annoying but that is because the internal thoughts of most characters is confined to repetitive (and boring) mental lusting.

Mary Balogh's characters actually have an internal life. They examine their own motives and their reactions like real people. THere aren't any dramatic external events in this book, but the voyage of discovery on the part of both the hero and heroine is dramatic enough.


This is what I like about Balogh. I was "stuck in a rut" for a while and have read quite a few new authors since I first came to this website, so I guess, when I read things in "How to Write" books about "Show Don't Tell," I just didn't get it. Because, well, my favorite author was Balogh and, really, that's not what SHE does. I've read enough other authors now that I see the difference. She creates internal conflict well, and it's true conflict, not "Should I have sex?"

Looking forward to this one--I'm trying to be good, so I'm on the waiting list at the library. Smile

Judy
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Danielle D



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Wheaton, IL

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm moving this book book up in my TBR pile.
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stl_reader



Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 229
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished this one. I'd give it 3 stars out of 5.

This wasn't a bad read, but it didn't really engage me either.

I felt that The Proposal broke no new ground, with many ideas pulled from Balogh's previous works. Also, the constant ruminating on the part of the H/h--something that I haven't minded as much in previous novels--became annoying. I mean, I'm glad the characters take time to analyze and reflect on their situation, but there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing." I agree with the reviewer on Amazon who said, "...Balogh also got rather didactic for my taste, all the characters breaking into monologues about the nature of trauma and recovery at the drop of a hat."

If you haven't read Balogh before, I don't recommend starting with this one.
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fizz379



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can Mary Balogh write a romance that doesn't have a mock engagement in it?

I'm being a little sarcastic, but I feel like 75% of the novels I read by her feature this heavily. Gets old. I won't be reading this one even if it's good.
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Holly Bush



Joined: 23 Dec 2011
Posts: 64
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fizz379 wrote:
Can Mary Balogh write a romance that doesn't have a mock engagement in it?


Yeah, there were a few there for a while. Most notably Frejya's which I really liked. Didn't work as well for me with Kit's story.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I nearly always like Balogh's books, and this one was no exception. The large amount of internalizing reminded me of some of her better trads; Balogh, better than any other, describes--disects, if you will--the ins and outs of particular types and makes a reader empathize with them even when they're not very likeable. What one of us has not, like Hugo, felt completely out of our own milieu and wondered why in the dickens we were? And, once again, there was the consideration of the role of fate, free will, coincidence. Does she ever fail to muse about those?

It would be interesting, I think, to get Balogh and Laurens together to discuss the value of creating a society and expanding it rather than shifting off to another with each book. And watching them do it provides considerable entertainment.
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WandaSue



Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After trying (and failing) to get through FSofG, I went immediately to "The Proposal" by Mary Balogh.

And it was a soothing balm after the previous reading mess.

I loved it. It was familiar territory. The characters were fine people.

I can't think of one Mary Balogh book I have thought was a failure. Some of her books are better than others of hers, but all are better than most other authors. IMO.
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