Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: May 16th, 2023
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction, Books About Books, Love, Chick Lit
Trigger Warnings: Cheating (off-page), STD (off-page)
DESPERATELY SEEKING FICTIONAL HERO FOR HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Broke up with, broke, and with a vicious case of writer’s block, romance writer Gracie Landing is a hot mess. She can hardly be blamed for drinking one (or a few) too many cocktails when out with her besties in an attempt to cheer herself up. Sometime in the foggy wee hours, she recklessly emails her unrequited high-school crush, Colin Yarmouth, who is now a successful attorney harboring regrets of his own. When she receives an intriguingly friendly (not to say flirty) response, her acute embarrassment is overcome only by her fervent curiosity―what would a hottie like Colin be like as a grown up? The two forge an unlikely friendship that’s unmistakably headed for more. Colin’s tales of his own woeful break-up become fodder for Gracie’s fertile imagination and her current work-in-progress takes off. With the deadline looming and her checking account dwindling, Gracie has no idea that borrowing Colin’s story could wreak havoc on her life, her career, and her own chance at happily-ever-after…
Some things never cease to amaze me. Like the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Or the way a good cup of coffee can take the chill out on an early autumn morning.The Book Proposal by KJ Micciche
Gracie Landing has had a heck of a year. Her fiancee was boinking the wedding planner and knocked her up, she is broke, and she is suffering from writer’s block. So when her best friends took her out to cheer her up, she got blitzed. Instead of drunk texting her ex, Gracie drunk emails her high school crush, Colin Yarmouth. Colin, who is going through some issues, is shocked when Gracie emails him. He is also intrigued. His reply to her email snowballs to them emailing and texting daily. When Colin shares his unhappily ever after with Gracie, she uses it as the base for a novel (with his permission). Gracie doesn’t know that Colin’s story is about to wreak havoc on all areas of her life. Will Gracie come out the other side of the fallout unscathed? Will she be able to continue having a relationship with Colin? Or is everything over before it had a chance to begin?
I have been reading many books that either feature authors or publishers or are in some way about books. Four of the last six books I have read have been what I stated above. Don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining. I like it when a book centers around a book. That is one of the main reasons I decided to read The Book Proposal.
The Book Proposal is a fast-paced book in Brooklyn and Queens. The pacing was right for this book. With the quick dialogue (Gracie had some epic snapback comebacks), the book would have lost some of its “oomph” for me if it had gone slower. Also, the pace matched the almost frantic pace of the characters’ lives and the city where they lived.
The Book Proposal’s main storyline concerns Gracie, her writer’s block, and her email to Colin. I loved that Gracie was a romance writer that wrote smut. Some of the best lines were when she tried to develop the dialogue between the two characters in her newest book. I was dying laughing while reading. It also made me want to read that book (even if it was fictional). Oh, and let’s not forget the steamy secret admirer letters she wrote to Colin in high school. Again, they were epic.
I wouldn’t say Gracie was a hot mess. At the book’s beginning, she is immature and doesn’t know what she wants. But her character growth (helped by a very steady Colin) was good for a romance. I liked that she became self-aware that she caused her messes. I also liked that she realized she didn’t need a man to make her happy.
Gracie’s drunken email to Colin was epic. I have heard about drunk texting (never done it, my drunken days consisted of drunk dialing, and yes, I am that old), but drunk emailing was another thing. Her email was because she blamed him for the nickname (Elvis) she got in high school. I also liked that the author kept them to email, texts, and eventually seeing each other.
Colin’s backstory was just as bad as Gracie’s. It took a while for Colin to tell Gracie what happened. All I have to say is, “Yikes,” and I didn’t blame him for divorcing his wife. Colin also had his issues, which were centered around his father. Colin’s father was an idiot and a jerk. I loved that he got his comeuppance at the end of the book. He deserved it.
The romance angle was interesting. It’s interesting because it didn’t present as a romance until Gracie and Colin met face to face. Put it this way, if I didn’t know I was reading a romance, I would have figured this book to be a chick lit. But, once the feelings got turned on, they were all in. Of course, as in any romance novel, there are a few detours and roadblocks. I liked that Gracie and Colin (unwillingly on his end) dealt healthily with those detours and roadblocks.
There were a couple of twists to this book that did take me by surprise. One is the connection between Colin, Gracie, and Colin’s ex-wife. I was not expecting that minor storyline to blow up the way it did or its ripple effects (good and bad). The other twist was between Gracie and her ex. Again, I was surprised to see him show up toward the end of the book. But, in this case, I did get a good laugh. All I will say about him showing up is: “You reap what you sow,” and Gracie was lucky to avoid marrying that hot mess.
The end of The Book Proposal had me feeling conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I was mad and sad for Gracie and Colin. But I felt that Gracie did the right thing, and while it felt like she was getting the short end of the stick, she didn’t. On the other hand, I was super happy for Gracie and Colin. I loved that they got their HEA.
I recommend The Book Proposal to anyone over 21. There is language, mild violence, and nongraphic sexual situations. Also, see my trigger warnings at the beginning of the review.
Many thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca, NetGalley, and KJ Micciche for allowing me to read and review The Book Proposal. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
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