Book Recommendation – A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter

Book Description:

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a sweet and sizzling story of a romance writer surprised by her own happily ever after.

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?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading A Novel Proposal, set on an island off the North Carolina coast. Sadie is a school teacher in NYC who’s reluctant to fall in love and replicate her parents’ unstable marriage relationship. Sadie supplements her school teaching income by writing during the summer. When her literary agent suggests she writes a romance novel proposal, instead of a western, Sadie is short on ideas. She’s hoping a summer stay in a beachfront duplex will inspire her creativity.

Sam is Sadie’s neighbor at the beach duplex where he’s temporarily staying to get some space from his family. His cousin, who works with him in the family gardening business and is like a brother, has betrayed Sam and is now engaged to Sam’s ex-girlfriend. Sam’s not happy when Sadie arrives and disrupts his peaceful beach escape.

A fun romance develops as Sam and Sadie get to know each other and work together to solve the mystery of the engagement ring found in an old book in Sadie’s free library that she set up on her back deck. I recommend A Novel Proposal to contemporary romance readers who like grumpy sunshine beach reads with an intriguing mystery and a light faith element in the story.

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

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