The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory Review

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This adult romance was a home run!

The Proposal

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory follows Nikole, who is unexpectedly proposed to by her actor boyfriend at a baseball game. When she rejects his proposal and faces wrath from the media, pediatrician Carlos Ibarra comes to her rescue. While both believe that they are not in the position for a relationship, they start to develop feelings for each other.

I have not read The Wedding Date, which is the first novel in this companion series, but was looking for a cute contemporary to read and saw this in my library’s e-book collection. I didn’t remember hearing great reviews for The Wedding Date, but decided to give The Proposal a shot anyway. I am so glad that I gave this book a chance because I ended up really enjoying it!

For me, the best part of this book were the two main characters, Nikole and Carlos. For an adult romance book, I found them to be more developed than other main characters in this genre that I’ve read in the past. Both have their own passions, outlook on relationships, and past experiences that affect their actions in this book. Nikole, who feels discouraged about her writing and independence, focuses on herself by taking self-defense classes and focuses her writing on what she loves. On the other hand, Carlos is passionate about taking care of his family, but also learns that he needs to take care of himself as well.

Another high point of this book was the relationship. It’s difficult to find an extremely healthy relationship in books nowadays where both members of the relationship hold an equal amount of power and share mutual respect. I found the relationship between Nikole and Carlos to check all of those boxes. On top of that, I found their relationship to be very genuine and real. Aside from how they met, I felt like I could have my own story like Nikole and Carlos which made me love them even more.

Overall, I found very little problems with this book. However, it is a long book and I know some people may be bored because it is so realistic. I give this book five out of five stars.

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The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck Review

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It’s no secret that I found this book to be an average read.

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner follows SThe Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeckarah Hollenbeck, who recently became a Christian. However, Sarah fears she will not be accepted into the Christian community due to her past as a steamy romance author, especially since her publisher is demanding a new bestselling book. On top of that, Sarah develops feelings for the pastor at the new church she attends.

I was interested in reading this book after seeing the synopsis. The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck definitely did not sound like any other Christian fiction book that I have read in the past. After reading this book, there were several aspects that I really enjoyed and several aspects that I feel needed to be improved upon in order to make it more successful.

For me, one of the best aspects of this book was the main character. Sarah Hollenbeck struggles with very real and difficult emotions and situations that sometimes are shied away from in other Christian fiction. Additionally, Sarah is someone who recently became a Christian, so readers can see where her faith starts and grows throughout the novel, which I do not see as often in Christian fiction. I think Sarah is very relatable and I appreciate how she doesn’t stray from topics that may be considered taboo for the genre. On the other hand, there were topics in this novel that I wished were a little more fleshed out.

That being said, the story itself was lacking for me. I found the first half of the novel more solid than the second half. The second half of the novel was a little too all over the place. I didn’t like the random plot with the girl from college or the media aspect of the second part of the novel as I felt it took a lot away from Sarah’s character growth. Additionally, the relationship aspect of the novel moved a little fast for me. I also didn’t find the relationship to be anything that stood out among others for me.

Overall, The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck was an average read for me. While I can see myself picking up more books from this author in the future, I hope that some aspects I found a little underwhelming could be improved upon in the next book. I give this book three out of five stars.

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