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The Proposal (The Survivors' Club #1)
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The Proposal (The Survivors' Club #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  3,307 ratings  ·  509 reviews
Lady Gwendoline Muir has experienced her fair share of tragedies in her short life: she lost her husband to a freak accident, and developed a limp after falling from horseback. Still young, Gwen is sure that she's done with love, and that she will never be married again.

Gwen tries to be content with her life as it is, and to live through the happy marriages of her brother
Paperback, 309 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Piatkus Books
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I reached for this novel the same way a drowning man reaches for a life preserver.

After a difficult month, it was a relief to lose myself in a charming historical romance. We meet the brave and scowling Lord Trentham, who fought in the Napoleonic wars and feels guilty about all of the men who died under his command, and the lovely widow Lady Muir, who is nursing her own emotional wounds after a difficult marriage. Trentham feels pressure to marry, but Lady Muir has vowed never to marry again. O
4 stars – Historical/Regency Romance

This is a nice start to a very promising new septet series by the refined queen of traditional, authentic Regency era romance, Mary Balogh. The relationship between Gwendoline, Lady Muir and Hugo, Lord Trentham was engaging, refreshing, and heartfelt. But what I loved most about it is the deep bond and earnest affection between the seven members of the “Survivor’s Club”, and I look forward to the other books, particularly Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby’s and Vince
I went into this book with fairly low expectations. Here's why:

(1) This is the first of a new series, involving the members of a group called "The Survivors' Club". Here is Mary Balogh's description of that club, taken from her website:
The seven members of the club, six men and one woman, are survivors of the Napoleonic Wars, five of them former military officers. All seven were variously wounded during the wars and ended up spending several years at Penderris Hall, the Cornish estate of the Duk
When it comes to Regency Romance, Mary Balogh is really in a class of her own. The Proposal is another example, along with countless others, that prove why this statement is true.

I think what I have come to appreciate and expect from Balogh is a story that is filled emotion and characters that come to life. You won't find "edge of your seat action" but you will find a story that has the ability to capture your heart and engage your emotions. This is what I appreciate about this author.

Hugo and G
We first meet Gwen, Lady Muir in One Night for Love. She is the slightly lame sister of the hero, Neville, of that book. Although One Night For Love has spawned a metric ton of spin-off books (The entire Bedwyn series being one of them), at no time did I ever suspect we'd be getting Gwen's story.

It took me awhile to realize the connection, but it was a fun aha! moment when it did. Gwen is long widowed with a lot of buried guilt regarding her marriage. She is visiting a friend who is newly widowe
Carol Storm
I loved this book. I think it's the best Mary Balogh novel I've read since A SUMMER TO REMEMBER. At the same time, though, it was obvious throughout that this legendary romance superstar is no longer writing with the unbelievable intensity and passion of twenty years ago. But that's life.

Hugo Emes is just a great big teddy bear with a heart of gold. Born to a fabulously wealthy merchant family, he joined the army merely as a way of avoiding certain family problems. Not to worry, he immediately
This is my first book by Mary Balogh and I have to say Wow!!

The title of the series caught my eyes at first, and then the idea itself, the members f the survivor's club and their camaraderie pulled at me. Bonds between people whither they were family or strangers always was my favorite things to see in books. And this series had it.

Hugo was honestly adorable, and as I mentioned in previous reviews I have a soft spot for huge bulking brutes, and Hugo was definitely huge. Yet to his family he was
3.5 stars, rounded up because I think the narration may have tainted it for me a bit

Spoilers ahead!

This is the beginning of a new series, The Survivors Club, about 7 survivors of trauma related to the Peninsular Wars, and boy, has she set herself a task in crafting romances for each of these very wounded people. This hero is perhaps the easiest to imagine an HEA for since we all know the love of a good woman can cure a multitude of ailments, but I think it will be tougher to find ways for the ot
A solid regency from Mary Balogh. It's the start of a new series. There was not a high level of angst but there were some issues brought up that we are familiar with now and it was interesting to see them in an historical context: PTSD and bipolar disease.

The interactions between the hero and the heroine were charming. Their relationship felt real. There was some out of wedlock nooky but it wasn't raunchy and superfluous. They were older characters and the heroine was a widow so their relationsh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Balogh, in most of her books, follows a very specific, somewhat annoying formula: hero and heroine meet, they slowly realize they have feelings for each other, they have sex -- once -- he offers for her hand and she refuses it, and then they go their separate ways only to be thrown together again and eventually propelled into marriage. Except for a very very few of her books, this formula is a guarantee and it seriously pushes all my "wallpaper historical" buttons. HOWEVER, I read her books ...more
*This review is based on a advanced reader's copy of the book I won through Goodreads FirstReads Giveaways.*

I was first introduced to Ms. Balogh when I won another of her books (First Comes Marriage) through Goodreads. I then proceeded to read the rest of that series. I always had the intention of making my way through some of her other books, but never got around to it.

Then I won this book, and was reminded of why I should.

This book is a charming tale of two wounded people(psychologically as w
After getting rescued from a horrifying case of sprained ankle, Gwen finds herself fascinated by her rescuer: the dour and scowl-y Hugo, lately Lord Trentham and war hero. After lots of soul baring and a quickie on the beach, EMOTIONS STIR. Except there's still 75% of the book to go so you know it's only Serious Emotions.

1. I really struggled with this one until I didn't, basically. I DRAGGED myself through the first 50% of this thing and I resented every page. And the worst of it was that I ha
Maybe it's a good story but for me it was boring. I couldn't keep reading and I tried a few times, at last I gave up and this is enough from me! Actually I usually like to read Ms Balogh's books, apparently this will be an exception...
Here's another link -- to a review for Romance at Random where I suggest some additional books to read after reading The Proposal. Added 27-May-2012.

I wrote a review of this for the Heroes and Heartbreakers blog. Here's the first couple paragraphs -- a link follows. Terrific book, Balogh answers all our questions and what a pleasure to read about a couple of grown-ups who really talk and listen to each other.

"It is both a blessing and a curse to be a her
Michelle Robinson
I always enjoy Mary Balogh's writing style.
This novel felt different, it felt more like a definition of class distinction and how it could affect people in society. That is a recurring theme in many of her novels but somehow this one felt differently. It did not feel so much like a fairytale. Sometimes, I find myself rolling my eyes and sighing at all of the governesses and so forth that marry dukes, viscounts etc. I come away having enjoyed the novel but feeling frustrated at how farcical it al
Tracey Risebrow
Originally published at

What a fantastic book, this is historical romance at its very best in my opinion.

Hugo is a scowling hero, he rarely smiles in the book but when he did it made my heart go a-flutter – it probably wouldn’t have happened if he scowled less and smiled more and the author describes him so well I could see it very clearly. I really enjoyed the fact that Hugo came from a different background to the usual in these books and I so wanted to give him a big hug and
Lady Muir’s (Gwendoline or Gwen) life has been filled with tragedy. She falls from her horse and looses her baby and permanently damage her ankle. He husband soon after dies from a freak accident and falls to his death in front of her. She decides to be satisfied with the life she has been giving. She is a widow for over 7 years and is contented to spends her days with her family. Until the day Lord Hugo Trentham rescues her from a fall on the beach in which she reinjures her ankle.

Lord Hugo Tre
Rosemary Morris
The Proposal by Mary Balogh

If you would enjoy a Regency Romance with an unusual, well-drawn hero, and a heroine whose heart is – as the saying goes – buried in the grave - you will enjoy Mary Balogh’s novel The Proposal.

The hero, son of a business man, led volunteers of the forlorn hope to victory during the Peninsula Wars against Napoleon. He suffers, what is known today as post-traumatic stress, and meets regularly with six other officers, who have recovered from their physical wounds. Given a
Holly Bush

Balogh springs a peripheral character from the gathering of those not asked to waltz and makes her three-dimensional and very real in the author's latest, The Proposal. Gwen, Lady Muir, has been seen about the edges of many stories beginning, I believe, with A Summer to Remember, through the Slightly Series and occasionally in the Simply Series as well. I was very curious about her as a young widow with a marked limp.

Lady Muir is not a woman without pain or tragedy in her life, few Balogh heroi
Adorato e divorato. La Balogh non mi delude mai, ogni suo romanzo mi lascia dentro una sensazione di benessere, di gioia, di soddisfazione. Amori forti e contrastati che si sviluppano sotto i tuoi occhi e ti fanno sognare e palpitare il cuore.
La sua capacità di tratteggiare un mondo lontano, a me tanto caro per gusti personali, mi emoziona ogni volta, mi sembra di vivere quei costumi e di respirare i profumi dell'epoca. Il suo sapiente tratteggiare l'animo umano, il suo raccontare le pulsioni d

Когда я решила взяться за новую серию М.Бэлоу, я была уверена, что очередная книга этого автора меня порадует не меньше, чем ее серии про семьи Бедвин и Хакстэбл, школу мисс Мартин и т.д. Но этого, к моему огромному сожалению, не произошло. Мне было скучно.

Я не почувствовала химии между героями, все было только на словах. И, хотя читателю дается возможность залезть в голову обоим героям, мыслей или чувств о влечении другу к другу в моменты их встреч мы не видим. В одно мгновение разговоры о п
I read Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh, which is Book 4 in this series. I liked it so much that I knew I needed to start from the beginning. I was NOT disappointed!

Gwendoline was a fun heroine. We meet her when she's staying at the house of an acquaintance. She's not having a great time due to her acquaintance's irritability. When Gwendoline goes for a walk on the beach, she injures herself but that's only the start of her adventure. I thought that Gwendoline was cute and funny and practical. I k
Loved, loved, loved it! Mary Balogh always gets her characters right as believable human beings, and her little descriptions of how people feel, their internal dialogue, in various social situations are just brilliant. I *so* want to read about all of the Survivors' Club members now!
Cannot wait to read. Hopefully I'll actually get to this one and my RL won't continue to intrude on my other RL (Reading Life)! Balogh almost always delivers with terrific writing, wonderful stories, and complex and compelling characters.
Brittany B.

Exquisite! A real and unique story of two people trying to find peace and happiness, despite painful pasts. Incredibly well-written and unexpected. Mary Balogh lives up to the hype!
When I first discovered historical romance, I spent many hours making my way through Mary Balogh's extensive backlist. I came to rely on her laidback style that always guaranteed likable characters and a sweet love story. That being said, I have not been as impressed with some of her more recent releases especially the Huxtable Quartet. But, I have heard good things about the Survivors' Club so I had to check it out for myself.

The thing that really grabbed my attention when starting The Proposal
Jen (Red Hot Books)
I absolute adore the premise of this series; so much so that when I jumped in with book three, I decided to go back and check out the backlist with this, book 1. The stories follow six men and one women, connected by tragedy. They are The Survivors Club, and each member is working to heal from a wounded inflicted in the Napoleonic wars… some physical, others mental or emotional. It is at the group’s annual reunion where our hero and heroine meet.

Hugo is one of the survivors struggling with inter
Spending time at Penderris Hall would be enjoyable this year. After missing the previous year reunion because of the death of his father, Hugo Emes (Lord Trentham) looked forward to joining his fellow "survivor club members" at the Duke of Stanbrook's mansion on the beach. Venturing out to the beach for some time alone, time to think, turned out to be anything but lonely. Having been a widow for many years, Gwendoline Grayson (Lady Muir) had agreed to help a friend, Vera Parkinson, deal with her ...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Historical Romance

Finally Gwendoline, Lady Muir gets her story. I have wondered about her since she first appeared in One Night For Love. She has had bit parts in many of book that followed. She has always been portrayed as happy with her life as a widow but there has been a bit of a mystery about her marriage and how it ended. We find out the truth in The Proposal.

Mary Balogh has woven a story that touches on issues that are still important today and set them in a believable historical setting.
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Mary Jenkins was born on 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high-school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curl ...more
More about Mary Balogh...

Other Books in the Series

The Survivors' Club (5 books)
  • The Arrangement (The Survivors' Club #2)
  • The Escape (The Survivors' Club #3)
  • Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club, #4)
  • Only a Promise (The Survivors' Club #5)
Slightly Dangerous (Bedwyn Saga, #6) Slightly Married (Bedwyn Saga, #1) A Summer to Remember (Bedwyn Prequels, #2) First Comes Marriage (Huxtable Quintet #1) Slightly Scandalous (Bedwyn Saga, #3)

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“Have you noticed," she asked him, "how standing still can sometimes be no different from moving backward? For the whole world moves on and leaves one behind.” 6 likes
“When one had once suffered a great hurt, there was always a weakness afterward, a vulnerability where there had been wholeness and strength before - and innocence.” 6 likes
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