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The Proposal

(The Survivors' Club #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  8,028 ratings  ·  905 reviews
Gwendoline, Lady Muir, has seen her share of tragedy. Content in a quiet life with friends and family, the young widow has no desire to marry again. But when Hugo, Lord Trentham, scoops her up in his arms after a fall, she feels a sensation that both shocks and emboldens her. Hugo is a gentleman in name only: a war hero whose bravery earned him a title, a merchant’s son wh ...more
Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Delacorte Press (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)

Community Reviews

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3.80  · 
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 ·  8,028 ratings  ·  905 reviews


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Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession
3 Meh Stars



The Proposal was my first Mary Balogh book, and it was just okay for me. The first half went very slow. I found myself very bored at times. The second half was much better, but still kinda slow. I really liked Gwen. I found her to be sweet, smart, and loyal. Hugo on the other hand was hard to warm up to. He was wishy washy, very dull, and at times flat. I think the author meant for him to be broody, damaged, and deep. Instead he came off one dimensional. Hugo drove me nuts with his.
...more
Diane
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
...more
Wollstonecrafthomegirl
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
Dorothea
Jul 11, 2012 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
...more
Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Shawna
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
...more
Preeti ♥︎ (Romance She Reads)
Conflicted, very conflicted about the book and quite unsure how to rate it!
And is it just me or are all tall, 'huge' Hs named Hugh or Hugo?

Conflicted not because it’s complicated or deals with complex issues. Rather it’s quite simple and straightforward in its premise – two people attracted to each other right from the beginning, have sex, are even halfway in love but not ready to take the final step forward to matrimony. Although the reason comes couched in many layers but it all boils down to
...more
WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steamy, romance
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
...more
Tina
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
...more
Starr (AKA Bam Bam) Rivers
I'm in a generous mood. I do love the Hero, Hugo. I love Heroes who are "pure" and straightforward and kind and blunt. He is all of those things, a great boulder of a beautiful man. So sweet inside, so male in the way he approaches the world, and so innocent too.

I love the push and pull between Hugo and Gwen. She is much more sophisticated than him, but he appeals to the woman in her - class be damned!

I love that she makes him court her, and that he refuses to do so, instead wooing her in his ow
...more
Olga Godim
Jun 23, 2012 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
...more
Crista
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
...more
Sarah
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
Leona
Aug 31, 2014 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

MAP
Aug 18, 2013 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
Vintage
My least favorite of the Survivor's Club, but still a 3 star if for no other reason that it launches the other romances and introduces the members of the SC, and it's still well written.

Three stars for the sweetness and the love that the six men and Imogen share as they try and overcome the horror of war as well as the personal vagaries of life.

I could never really warm to the heroine who was distant, and I wanted to take a skillet to the head of Hugh the stubborn horse's patoot and society humb
...more
SidneyKay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Storm
Dec 08, 2012 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
...more
Lover of Romance
This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from Audible Romance Package in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Proposal is the first book in the Survivors' Club Series by Mary Balogh. I have been wanting to get to this series so badly and so when I saw the first book up on the Romance Package at Audible, I knew I needed to try it and get my historical fix that I was in the mood of. A
...more
Chumchum_88
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
...more
Jacqueline J
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
...more
Gilgamesha
This book was too similar to Slightly Dangerous for me to give it any more than 3 stars...the whole setup...from denial to full revelation of love...from first proposal being rejected and house party being held to change the outcome of said proposal...to class differences although it was reversed in this case to the gruff and slightly autistic and socially awkward hero, and the appearance, although welcome, of Bewcastle and Christine...the book had some great unique moments and the romance was v ...more
Christy
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
...more
Wealhtheow
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
Widala
May 18, 2016 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.
Ilze
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!
Keri
I really liked Hugh and wish that I would have read this gem sooner.
Beatriz
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
https://beahresds.blogspot.com.br

"Eu tinha que querer. Não porque precisasse provar algo a alguém (...) Não: só foi possível, Gwen, porque eu quis aquilo para mim. Tudo fluiu a partir desse desejo. As pessoas, sobretudo as religiosas, dão a entender que é errado, até mesmo pecado, amar a si mesmo. Não é. É o amor básico, essencial. Quando você não ama a si mesma, não tem condições de amar mais ninguém. Não de maneira completa e verdadeira"

"Uma Proposta e Nada Mais" é o primeiro livro da nova sér
...more
Tin
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
The Survivor's Club has a membership of 7: 6 men and 1 woman -- all of whom have seen the devastations of war and survived it. Every year, they gather at the estate of the Duke of Stanbrook, Penderris Hall in Cornwall, to recover themselves and live among friends and kindred souls, however briefly.

Hugo, Lord Trentham, missed last year's gathering because of his father's death. After a year of mourning, and two years of hiding away in his humble little cottage, he is getting ready to step into th
...more
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Historical romance peninsula war forlorn hope. [s] 4 23 Sep 26, 2018 07:35AM  
The Proposal by Mary Balogh 1 16 Jun 20, 2015 07:36AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 09:48AM  
  • Sweet Deception (Veiled Seduction, #2)
  • A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family, #2)
  • Ethan: Lord of Scandals (Lonely Lords, #3)
  • Blame It on Bath (The Truth About the Duke, #2)
  • Rogue Spy (Spymasters #5)
  • Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers, #2)
  • The Autumn Bride (Chance Sisters, #1)
  • The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne (Fairbourne Quartet, #1)
  • A Tryst with Trouble
  • My Wicked Little Lies (Wicked Family Secrets, #2)
  • The Surgeon's Lady (Channel Fleet, #2)
  • A Winter Scandal (Legend of St. Dwynwen, #1)
  • At Your Pleasure
  • The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)
  • A Scandalous Countess (Malloren, #12)
  • A Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green, #7)
  • Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, #3)
  • No Longer a Gentleman (Lost Lords, #4)
3,973 followers
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

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)
“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.” 10 likes
“He offered his arm and she took it. And the world was the same place.
And forever different.”
10 likes
More quotes…