Title: A Novel Proposal
Author: Denise Hunter
Rating: 4 out of 5
When novelist Sadie Goodwin is forced to stop writing westerns and charged with penning a contemporary romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: She’s never been in love.
Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie begins devouring romance novels. Knowing she must devote herself to this confounding genre, she accepts an invitation to hole up at her friend’s beach duplex for the summer. Where better to witness love in bloom than on the beautiful North Carolina shore?
However, once ensconced in the charming ocean-front home with her sweet maltipoo Rio, she finds many ways to procrastinate. First there’s the beach, right outside her backdoor, with all its interesting visitors (research). Then there’s the free library she decides to build and set up by the back deck (She has to do something with all those romance novels). To say nothing of Sam Ford, the grumpy neighbor on the other side of the duplex . . . who she can’t seem to stop annoying.
A social butterfly by nature, Sadie soon gets to know all the beach regulars—sunbathers, walkers, and surfers alike. The free books draw a crowd right up to the house for nice little book chats, which further irritates her reclusive neighbor, to break up her “writing.” But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie opens a recently-placed novel to find a secret compartment—and tucked inside is a beautiful engagement ring. To whom does the ring belong? Sadie is convinced she needs to find the owner and save the man’s proposal from certain doom.
She draws a reluctant Sam into the project, and slowly their connection begins to develop. Are these weird fluttery feelings the first stirrings of love? Has Sadie managed to stumble upon the very subject about which she must write—and wouldn’t Sam make the perfect alpha hero?
Will Sadie find the ring’s rightful owner? And will she manage to pen a career-saving romance novel by summer’s end?
This was a sweet, fun read. Definitely made me yearn for beach life! And a little free library—which I’ve never wanted before, despite my love of books. I really liked Sadie, despite her hangups and tiny, useless dog, although her penchant for listening to loud music made me wince as an apartment dweller with an upstairs neighbor with a love of music. Sam and his family were great. I can’t imagine trying to get over what he was getting over, but I loved the journey they both went on and the growth they experienced. The ending was absolutely perfect!
Denise Hunter is an award-winning author. A Novel Proposal is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.)