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

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  6,492 Ratings  ·  775 Reviews
Hugo, the hard, dour ex-military officer who so gently carried Gwen to safety is a man who needs a lesson in winning a woman's heart. Despite her cautious nature, Gwen cannot ignore the attraction. As their two vastly different worlds come together, both will be challenged in unforeseen ways.
Hardcover, Large Print, 519 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Gale Cengage (first published April 13th 2012)
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Kristin I was having just the opposite experience! I'm finishing One Night for Love right now (after having finished Lauren's story in a Summer to Remember),…moreI was having just the opposite experience! I'm finishing One Night for Love right now (after having finished Lauren's story in a Summer to Remember), and I stopped to go see if Gwen got her own story somewhere because there are so many reference in those two books, as well as in the Bedwyn saga, to the beautiful Lady Muir and how odd it is that she hasn't remarried.(less)
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Community Reviews

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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
It's been a long while since I read a Balogh and, oh boy, this one hit a serious sweet spot for me. This, to me, is everything that's good about historical romance. Two well drawn characters, not too much drama for the sake of drama, lovely dialogue and the close examination of a growing romance. It's grown up, in the best way possible. I'll start with Hugo because he was great. I love that he spoke his mind and shocked Gwen so completely with it. His bluntness made me smile, even a passing comm ...more
Jul 11, 2012 Dorothea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
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
Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
I LOVED THIS BOOK! Mary Balogh weaves an intelligent and touching story of two people from different social classes who find love. It’s an emotionally satisfying, character-driven romance written with her insightful glimpses into the human heart.

This is the first book in the series about a group of survivors of the Napoleonic Wars, all left scarred (emotionally, physically or both) by their experiences, who form a close bond while convalescing. THE PROPOSAL tells Hugo Emes, Lord Trentham’s story
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
3.5 stars

This felt strangely dispassionate in its passion. Maybe too stiff upper lip for me? Not sure but I really started to enjoy the couple more towards the end when they began to warm up to each other, teasing and being a little feisty. Definitely keeping on with the series.
Thank you to all that recommended :)
Jacob Proffitt
Sep 02, 2015 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, steamy
So it turns out this is my first by this author. It won't be my last. Yes, I enjoyed it very much. I'm not entirely sure what to say about the book, so this is likely to be a bit disjointed.

First, Balogh transplants some modern sensibilities into the Regency era, but does so in consistent enough ways that I didn't really mind. Yeah, group therapy and a man who is obviously fast-cycling bi-polar being described as "ill but not mad" are both rather modern constructs transplanted into that time. An
Nov 19, 2011 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
15/08 - This wasn't too bad, but I would have enjoyed it much more if Trentham had been less clinical during the sex scenes. I felt like I was reading a step-by-step manual - 1. put your hand here 2. now kiss her here, and so on. I felt like saying to Balogh "just because they're old (30s), doesn't mean everything has to feel rehearsed or choreographed, they can be just as spontaneous as the younger couples of other romance books." I enjoyed the relationship between Trentham and the rest of the ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Leona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Somewhat disappointing. It started out very strong with a great premise, but it just fizzled out and got very long winded in certain places. Just when I thought there was going to be a compelling conflict that would grab my interest and keep me turning those pages, things turned lukewarm. I actually fell asleep at one point, which is unheard of when reading an MB regency romance.

2.5 stars

Olga Godim
Jun 23, 2012 Olga Godim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
4.5 stars
After rereading this novel, I'm bumping the rating up and updating my review.
I loved this book. I like most books by this author, so I wasn’t surprised. Looking back though my reviews, I can see that I read and reviewed this novel before, when it first came out in 2012, but I didn’t remember the story, so it felt like a fresh read.
The tale is a classic historical romance. Gwen and Hugo belong to different classes. She is a lady, with many generations of a
Carol Storm
Dec 08, 2012 Carol Storm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 18, 2013 MAP rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, romance
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 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
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
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
Gwendoline Grayson was left widowed, with a permanent limp and probably barren womb. Hugo Emes was given a lordship for his brave leadership during the war, but now he is plagued with guilt for surviving after leading so many men to their deaths. They meet by chance on a rocky shoreline, and Gwen's weak ankle forces them to stay together for a few weeks. Although Gwen is initially scared by Hugo's forbidding expression and hulking size, and Hugo thinks Gwen is an empty-headed lady, they are draw ...more
May 18, 2016 Widala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A contemplative book, in my opinion. Because, big or small, visible or not, we all have battle scars. And we all deal with guilt and what ifs. I think the main characters were relatable and we could learn from their experience.
For one thing, I'm glad the author didn't feel the need to add unnecessary drama. The book is perfect just the way it is.
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!
I really liked Hugh and wish that I would have read this gem sooner.
Susan in NC
Make that 2.5 stars, for "sort-of-liked-it, series has promise!" I'm not a huge Mary Balogh fan and don't read romance all the time, but I've read enough to know that she is one of my favorite writers in the genre so I was excited to see what appears to be the first book in a new series in last month's Amazon Vine offerings. It sounded like a promising if somewhat implausible set-up - several survivors of the Peninsular Wars come together in a "Survivors' Club" to heal their wounds (visible and ...more
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
*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
Holly Bush
Jan 27, 2012 Holly Bush rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Juliana Philippa
Not going to rate the book, because frankly I don't remember most of it.

I will say that I started the book on February 22, 2014 ... three days later I wrote the following GR status update: "I'm on page 312 of 384 of The Proposal: I love Balogh and this book has 2 wonderful leading characters, however ... I don't know. There's something missing. It's a little ... bland? Boring? ::sigh:: :-|" ... and then basically forgot completely about the book until I randomly picked it up yesterday and then r
a lovely, gentler regency love story by a master of this genre, mary balogh. for all that her stories are set about 200 years ago, they still resonate with characters that seem like real people that any of us could know, in situations that many of us could understand, with past hurts and betrayals lingering on in memory.
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...
Love is not easy and This bppk showed that very clearly . Love is about the acceptance , respect ad willing to share together.
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The Proposal by Mary Balogh 1 14 Jun 20, 2015 07:36AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 09:48AM  
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Mary Jenkins was born in 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 (7 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)
  • Only a Kiss (The Survivors' Club, #6)
  • Only Beloved (The Survivors' Club, #7)

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“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.” 9 likes
“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.” 7 likes
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