Title: A Perfect Proposal
Author: Katie Fforde
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 9, 2013
** I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Sophie Apperly's family has never taken her seriously. Fiercely academic, they see her more practical skills as frivolous whilst constantly taking advantage of her. So when her best friend Milly invites her over to New York, she jumps at the chance. It'll do her ungrateful family good to do without her for a while. What s more, she's on a quest America holds the key to solving her family's financial woes, even if they don't deserve her help.
From the moment Sophie hits the bright lights of Manhattan she's determined to enjoy every minute of her big adventure. So when an evening at an art gallery throws her into the path of Matilda, a spirited old lady who invites her to Connecticut for Thanksgiving, Sophie willingly accepts, much to the dismay of Matilda's grandson Luke. Undeniably attractive but infuriatingly arrogant, he is very protective of his grandmother and seems to doubt Sophie's motives for befriending her. No match for the formidable Matilda, he eventually admits defeat, but first he has a proposal to make. He'll help Sophie in her quest to save her family from financial ruin if she repays the favour. But just what does she have to do in return...?
I don't quite know what to say about A Perfect Proposal. It is a likeable book with likeable characters. But here was just something about it that didn't work for me.
Sophie Apperly is a young woman whose entire family are academics. That is all well and good except that there isn't much money in academia apparently. And since Sophie chose not to go to "uni" and instead focus on her talents of altering thrift store clothing into masterpieces, cooking, mending, cleaning, and generally running the household for her parents and older siblings, she is considered the pretty but dumb one in the family. There's a bit of a Cinderella theme here but for some reason it just didn't grab me. I didn't really become interested in Sophie until about 100 pages in when she finally seemed to grow a backbone. She gets a job as a nanny in America and leaves her ungrateful family for a bit. In New York, things finally get a bit more exciting.
When Sophie arrives in New York, she is informed that the family that hired her has had a family emergency and no longer requires her services, so she decides to spend some time with her friend, Milly. Milly works for an artist and while attending a gallery opening, Sophie meets Matilda.
Matilda Winchester is an older lady who turns out to hail from the same part of England as Sophie. The two immediately hit it off and become fast friends. So much so that Matilda invites Sophie to spend Thanksgiving in Connecticut with her and her family.
Matilda's grandson, Luke, takes issue with this, however. You see, Matilda is quite wealthy and Luke is fearful that Sophie is after Matilda's fortune.
Luke Winchester is a handsome and very wealthy man - one of America's most eligible bachelors. He's an attorney and Sophie finds that he's very mistrusting. Luke does endeavor to get to know Sophie better though, for his grandmother's sake.
Blah, blah, blah...lots of other things happen eventually culminating in a HEA.
As I sit here writing this review and thinking about these characters, I see there really is a similarity to Cinderella with Sophie cast in the lead, Matilda as her fairy-godmother, and Luke as the prince. But as I said, there was just something about A Perfect Proposal that didn't work for me. There were points in the novel where I thought, "okay, now it's getting good." But then it didn't. I wanted to love these characters, but it never happened. It is well written - but I never really connected with the characters. However, I do realize that reading a book is a personal experience and what doesn't work for me might work for someone else. Maybe it's just my current mood? Whatever it is, A Perfect Proposal, for me, fell sort of flat.