A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter
Expected publication: March 21, 2023 – Thomas Nelson
Review book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley
When novelist Sadie Goodwin’s latest Western book is rejected by her publisher she’s directed to change genres and, adding insult to injury, return the advance for the rejected book. She’s in financial dire straits so when she is offered a place to live free of charge while she writes in a new direction she accepts. Did I mention the house is on the North Carolina shore? Her neighbor Sam is an attractive man who seems a bit gruff yet intriguing. Turns out he’s licking some emotional wounds and just wants to be left alone for a while. These two eventually get to know each other and bond over trying to find the owner of a found object from a Little Free Library book. Add in a road trip to a destination wedding, some emotional drama, and a satisfying HEA and you have a romantic story that is exactly the kind I love to read.
When novelist Sadie Goodwin is forced to stop writing westerns and charged with penning a contemporary romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: She’s never been in love.
Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie begins devouring romance novels. Knowing she must devote herself to this confounding genre, she accepts an invitation to hole up at her friend’s beach duplex for the summer. Where better to witness love in bloom than on the beautiful North Carolina shore?
However, once ensconced in the charming ocean-front home with her sweet maltipoo Rio, she finds many ways to procrastinate. First there’s the beach, right outside her backdoor, with all its interesting visitors (research). Then there’s the free library she decides to build and set up by the back deck (She has to do something with all those romance novels). To say nothing of Sam Ford, the grumpy neighbor on the other side of the duplex . . . who she can’t seem to stop annoying.
A social butterfly by nature, Sadie soon gets to know all the beach regulars—sunbathers, walkers, and surfers alike. The free books draw a crowd right up to the house for nice little book chats, which further irritates her reclusive neighbor, to break up her “writing.” But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie opens a recently-placed novel to find a secret compartment—and tucked inside is a beautiful engagement ring. To whom does the ring belong? Sadie is convinced she needs to find the owner and save the man’s proposal from certain doom.
She draws a reluctant Sam into the project, and slowly their connection begins to develop. Are these weird fluttery feelings the first stirrings of love? Has Sadie managed to stumble upon the very subject about which she must write—and wouldn’t Sam make the perfect alpha hero?
Will Sadie find the ring’s rightful owner? And will she manage to pen a career-saving romance novel by summer’s end?