Title: Adventurous Proposal
Author: Laura Barnard
Release Date: November 2016
Length: 127 pages
After a string of bad dates, Florence Gray is so over online dating. So much so, that if she has to survive another guy standing her up she might just do something crazy … like accept the first proposal she gets.
So when she finds herself alone in the bar, again, Florence can hardly believe her eyes-or ears-when Hugh Humphreys swoops in and presents her with a proposal so adventurous she can’t believe she’s actually considering saying yes.
Because, after all, twenty five days to plan a wedding is some feat and that’s while getting to know your fiancé, their disapproving Mother and dealing with a jealous ex. Throw in the small matter of where they should live and you have Florence wondering what the hell she’s gotten herself into.
Can you really countdown to a wedding like an advent calendar? Fall in love with a stranger and make them your husband? Because if she’s going to make it down the aisle Christmas morning, Florence has to find out and fast.
Florence is young and still single. Despite her online dating profile, she keeps getting stood up. On one of these such dates – the last one, in fact – she meets Hugh. They hit things off well and a few hours after walking her home, Hugh is back with a crazy proposal: get married on Christmas Day.
Crazier still, Flo says yes. She is getting married to a complete stranger in only 23 days.
Flo – a professional make-up artist tired of online dating
Hugh – a property developer from a high-society background
Nadine, Kelly, Mia – Flo’s friends; Nadine helps plan the wedding
Jace and Troy – Hugh’s friends
Felicity – pale, porcelain-skinned redhead that is Hugh’s ex
“What if I’m shit in bed?”
His eyes light up with amusement. “Are you?”
Shit, am I?
“I don’t bloody know! I don’t have sex with me, but I’m single. That could be telling me something!” I realize I must sound hysterical, but I’m clearly more freaked out about this than I thought.
The Highs and Lows
Disclaimer: This novella does contain explicit language.
- The Crazy Plan. Marry a complete stranger in 20ish days? Sure! No problem! Flo and Hugh go full steam ahead on their crazy plan, despite obstacles that pop up along the way that most people would heed with caution.
- Hugh. Hugh is the brains behind this bright idea. I will admit I highly questioned his motives, especially after some odd occurrences and situations cropped up – especially the mystery surrounding the end of his engagement just six short months ago. I found it hard to seriously consider Hugh in this scheme because he was saying all the right things – sometimes so insistently – and yet he didn’t always seem to match his words. It felt like he wanted the marriage more than he did Flo, that she was just a casualty in all of this. He is very charming and well-mannered, and that scared me.
- Pacing. Because of the short time-frame of the storyline, this book’s pacing matched. Where things could have been drug out, it wasn’t. Instead, each morning Hugh greets his grumpy bride-to-be to move forward on their wedding plans while also getting to know Flo. Each step of the process (venue, decor, dress, invitations, guest list, etc) are each touched upon humorously, and sometimes outrageously — ahem, I’m talking about you, champagne dress choosing scene!
- The Villains. This is a toss-up between Hugh’s mother – a petty, prejudiced elite socialite – and his ex – a jealous, attention-starved shell. Being the classy gals that they are, nothing is off-limits in both of them latching their claws into Hugh. They both have despicable behavior and actions. Deplorable. I would not have been able to battle that ish.
- The Friends. They were skeptical as hell about this entire arrangement, but quickly banded together to get behind their two lovebird friends full force. If this train was going to wreck, it was going to wreck in the most massive firework show ever. And if it wasn’t going to wreck, it would be the most amazing display of friendship ever.
I think I missed the whole advent thing? It’s highlighted in the title and mentioned in the synopsis, but I think I completely overlooked it…and that was supposed to be a big part of the story? Whoops.
Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip?
Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.
She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap and of course READING!
She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!