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Lauren Blakely's The Dating Proposal ARC Review - ClaryNathanWill
I want to thank Lauren Blakely and her team, and InkslingerPR for the advance reader copy of The Dating Proposal. I am very excited to announce that I am officially a member of Lauren Blakely’s review team! I have been reviewing for Lauren for the majority of the life of my blog, she’s a go-to author for me. I have loved reviewing for her previously so I am so excited to be reviewing for her officially now! Check out the Goodreads synopsis below… “Watch out world — I’m ready to date again. The seven years I invested in my ex left me with nothing but scorch marks from the way he peeled out and left me at the altar. I’m not looking to put my heart into a relationship any time soon. But getting back out there? That sounds like a helluva good idea to get my groove back. Then I bump into Chris….Clever and funny, with a sexy surfer’s bod and a brilliant nerd brain, he has just the right screwdriver to fix my hard drive. (Yes, the one for my computer.) I wouldn’t mind dating him. The trouble is he just proposed to me—to be the new dating guru on his TV show. Now he’s my new business partner. What happens when you meet the right person at the wrong time? Note: Back in the day, I wrote a book called TROPHY HUSBAND, and though it’s no longer available for sale, the characters of Chris and McKenna seemed to demand another chance in the spotlight. THE DATING PROPOSAL is a complete reimagining of their romance, with 85 percent brand-new material, a fresh plot, and vastly expanded characterizations so you can come to know and love Chris and McKenna like I do. Enjoy!” Here are my more detailed thoughts… Characters: Chris and McKenna are the main characters of this story. McKenna is the perfect blend of strong yet has her insecurities surrounding dating again and trusting people again. Chris was just lovely. Pacing: Lauren Blakely always writes with such good pacing. Her stories are never too long or too short, always just right. Romance: Watching Chris and McKenna fall in love was gorgeous. McKenna seemed so reluctant and saw herself of undeserving of the relationship. This tends to be the attitude of male characters in NA more often than the female characters in the genre. Lauren Blakely is so good at these types of reversals, if you haven’t read her Big Rock Series, which is told from all male POVs, you must! If I haven’t convinced you yet, check out this excerpt… “~Chris~ I’m not checking out her body. I’m not staring at her face. I’m focused on the task at hand. Thank God I have one, because otherwise, I’d be staring at those eyes. They’re blue with gold flecks, making them look almost hazel at times. She has all sorts of colors working in her irises, and the net effect is totally captivating. So is her lush mouth. She’s running it while I carefully screw the case back together. It’s painstaking work since it’s tiny and the screwdrivers are the size of nails. “I tried to fix my shower once,” McKenna says, wrapping her slender hands around a cup of coffee. Yes, even her hands are hot. Lord help me. “Yeah?” I glance at her hands then back at the hard drive. “How’d it go?” “Well, if you consider scars a good thing, it went well.” I look up. “Scars can be cool. I trust it ween exceedingly well?” She lifts her chin and shows me a thin white scar on the right side of her jaw. “Then I did a fabulous job of ‘fixing’ the shower.” She sketches air quotes. “Looks like it to me. But how exactly did the shower hit you in the face?” “When the door fell.” She says it so matter-of-factly. I blink, trying to process the enormity of everything that could have gone wrong. “I don’t know if I should be impressed you tried to fix a shower door without any fix-it skills, or impressed with your good luck in surviving the incident. Because those things are heavy.” “Hey! How do you know I don’t have any fix-it skills?” I grin. “Lucky guess?” “Fine. You’re right. But what else was I to do?” She shrugs, her tone light and breezy. “It wouldn’t close all the way. And that was getting me down because I like to take really hot showers. We’re talking sauna temperature. You know the type? Imagine you walk into the bathroom, and steam is everywhere, and you can barely even see the other person in the shower. Just the silhouette? Can you picture that?” Can I picture it? Hell, I can feel that. In my pants. “Yep,” I answer, and it comes out a little dry, a little gravelly. Because painting crazy-hot images is playing below the belt, and I bet she doesn’t even realize it. Hot women shouldn’t use the word “shower” in casual conversation. It’s wholly unnecessary, along with “yoga pants” and “strawberries.” “So you tried to fix it?” I ask, forcing myself to focus on the project in front of me, rather than on images of steam rising, which lead to other things rising. “Yup. And then that shower door showed me who was boss.” She holds up her forearm vertically then lets it fall as she makes a kaboom sound. I can’t help but laugh. “And whacked you on its way down?” “Completely whacked. It’s kind of a miracle I’m alive, come to think of it.” “I’m glad you survived the shower whacking. What happened with the door thought?” “I called my friend Andy. He fixed it for me. It works like a steamy, dreamy charm now.” She takes a sip of her coffee, smiling happily. I stop and take a drink of espresso. “Andy? So he’s Handy Andy?” I kind of hate him already. Wait. That’s dumb. I don’t feel a thing for Handy Andy who was in McKenna’s shower, that lucky bastard. “That’s a good one. Can you rhyme my name?” “Henna McKenna?” I toss out. “And you’ll be Chris who brings me bliss by fixing the hard drive,” she says, and I just smile at her. “You’re a bundle of energy,” I say as I return to my project, moving to the right side of the case. “And you’re a bundle of skills. What do you do when you’re not rescuing hard drives from evil cats?” “Admittedly, that does occupy a large portion of my day. But in the few hours I can eke out, I host a show.” “Like radio show or a podcast?” I twist the screwdriver a notch. “It’s a TV show. On WebFlix. It’s called Geeking Out.” She narrows her eyes and points at me, circling her finger. “You’re a geek?” “You say that like it doesn’t compute, and yet here I am, fixing your tech in a coffee shop. I’d say that makes me a geek.” “You definitely don’t look like a geek.” I meet her eyes. They’re sparking with a glint of playfulness. “And what does a geek look like?” “Not like a surfer. You look like you’re going to go hang ten.” “I do that too. For fun.” She pumps a fist. “Nailed it. You totally have that vibe about you. Not that I’m pigeonholing you based on your looks. But with the Nor Cal T-shirt, it wasn’t the hardest round of Jeopardy! to play.” She imitates Alex Trebek. “What is the most likely profession of a guy with floppy hair, a not-from-the-salon tan, and casual charm?” I quirk up the corner of my lips. “You think I’m charming?” She blushes, but it disappears quickly. “You charmed my hard drive out of my hands.” I screw the final piece of the case back together, set down the tiny tool, drag a hand through my hair, and gesture to the repaired device. “Good as new.” “Wow,” she says appreciatively, picking up the drive and gazing at it in admiration. “Thank you so much. You are Mr. Fix It.” I puff out my chest playfully. “Why, thank you very much. I’m having T-shirts made with that saying. Want one?” “I do. I want one to sleep in at night.” And there she goes again.” The Dating Proposal receives four out of five stars. Pick up your own copy here… ✦ Kindle ➜ https://blkly.pub/DatingKindle (FREE in KU!)✦ Paperback ➜ https://blkly.pub/DatingPB ✦ Audible ➜ https://blkly.pub/DatingAudible (Andi Arndt & Sebastian York) If you want to keep in touch with Lauren, follow her below… Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads Thank you again to Lauren Blakely and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading my review!