|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
A humorous, heartfelt love story built on a tantalizing premise: would you agree to spend two hours a week with a stranger—just talking—to collect half a million dollars at the end of a year?
Struggling Hollywood producer Richard is twenty-nine, hungover, and broke. Ridiculously handsome with an easy charm, he spends his days procrastinating at the Coffee Bean and nights hanging out with his best friend, Michaela, aka “Mike.”
At thirty-three, Elizabeth is on track to make partner at her law firm. Known as “La Máquina”—the Machine—to her colleagues, she’s grown used to a quiet, orderly life with no romantic entanglements of any kind. (Her closest friend is an old man who discusses Virginia Woolf with her at the beach. Enough said.)
Richard and Elizabeth have never met before, but their paths collide when they receive a proposal from a mysterious, anonymous benefactor: they’ll split a million dollars if they agree to spend at least two hours together every week for a year. Both are shocked and suspicious, and agree the idea is absurd, but after Richard anxiously considers the state of his bank account and Elizabeth carefully conducts a cost-benefit analysis of the situation, they agree to give it a try.
As these two perfect strangers wade awkwardly into the waters of modern courtship, discovering a shared affection for In-N-Out burgers, classic books, cult-hit movies, and various Los Angeles locales, they realize that uncovering the secret identity of their benefactor will not only make clear what connects them but change them both forever.
This delightful tale is full of twists, revelations, and above all love in its multitude of forms.
I wanted to like this book so much. The premise sounded like it would be such a fun story - two strangers will receive half a million dollars each, if they agree to spend two hours a week together for a year. How crazy is that!? Who wouldn't say yes to that arrangement? What's two hours when you are going to earn that much money?! I couldn't wait to find out about this dynamic duo who agreed to this "decent proposal"! Would they become fast friends? Would they fall in love? Would their lives change as a result of engaging in this arrangement? Would they be happy that they ever agreed to this arrangement? So many questions! And so I dove right in, expecting to fall in love with these characters and their new "job". Well, lo and behold, I wound up disliking them both and their story. Yep, this book turned out to be a dud for me.
I just didn't care for either character at all. They were stereotypical creations that lacked depth. I suppose that fit in with the LA background which was overly described throughout the story. Shallow city filled with shallow people - check! Yes, the two characters wound up bonding over films and books - which I thought was nice, but that was all I thought about it. Why? There was nothing substantial about these two or their bonding to keep you invested in them or their story. Instead of getting a story that included the intricacies of a friendship/love developing- we get a story about two people talking to their friends more than they do to each other. We don't get the details or conversations that are necessary in selling a love story about two random strangers. It was just disappointing.
The Decent Proposal was not my cup of tea. I don't mind a good 'lad lit' novel, but this one was just underwhelming at best. I don't think I'll be reading any more of Donovan's work in the future. However, don't just take my word on this novel. You may very well enjoy it. So, check out what everyone else has to say - some really loved the book.
Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Decent Proposal