When Nik’s boyfriend very unexpectedly proposes to her on the Jumbo-Tron at a Dodgers game, a stranger and his sister rescue her from a camera crew. Carlos just wants to do the right thing, but when after they keep meeting, it turns into something more. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory is a contemporary romance featuring an African-American heroine and a Latino hero. It’s a sequel to The Wedding Date, which came out earlier this year.
I really adored The Wedding Date when I read it, so of course I picked up The Proposal as soon as I could. And it was the perfect light but smart read for the mood I was in.
Public proposals are a Thing, of course, and I’ve always kind of hated them. It turns out I’m not alone! Here’s a whole book whose inciting incident is a very, very botched public proposal. That in and of itself says a lot about the kind of book this is–very aware of the real world while also having that slightly-Technicolor version of reality that is often a feature of romance books.
I appreciated that Guillory didn’t just have Nik get over the proposal instantly. She deals with a very understandable range of emotions, and the anger that her ex-boyfriend throws in her direction for daring to reject him is entirely plausible. The fact that she doesn’t just instantly go back to okay did make it a little tough for me to root for her rebound fling with Carlos at first, but as the story went on, I started to buy their relationship and the way they’re both wary of it becoming something real.
I also loved the food in the book–it was so fun to read about characters who love cooking and eating. It’s a nice touch of grounding and creativity. Also, as with The Wedding Date, there’s a really nice sense of place here which is nice to see.
Carlos’s desire to take care of his family was the only aspect of the story that didn’t quite work for me. I understood the whys of it, and it theoretically made sense, but I didn’t fully buy that he had never had the conversations with his mother and sister that he needed to, and it seemed at odds with his truly supportive attitude towards Nik. So that made it hard to be as invested in his part of the storyline. That said, I truly enjoyed the rest of the book and his relationship with Nik was really fun to read.
Overall, I’d suggest this one for fans of smart contemporary romances, and I hope that we’ll have more books from Guillory soon!