Blog Tour Book Review: The Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan

The Decent Proposal cover

About The Decent Proposal

• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Harper (April 5, 2016)

A humorous, heartfelt love story built on a tantalizing premise: would you agree to spend two hours a week with a stranger—just talking—to collect half a million dollars at the end of a year?

Struggling Hollywood producer Richard is twenty-nine, hungover, and broke. Ridiculously handsome with an easy charm, he spends his days procrastinating at the Coffee Bean and nights hanging out with his best friend, Michaela, aka “Mike.”

At thirty-three, Elizabeth is on track to make partner at her law firm. Known as “La Máquina”—the Machine—to her colleagues, she’s grown used to a quiet, orderly life with no romantic entanglements of any kind. (Her closest friend is an old man who discusses Virginia Woolf with her at the beach. Enough said.)

Richard and Elizabeth have never met before, but their paths collide when they receive a proposal from a mysterious, anonymous benefactor: they’ll split a million dollars if they agree to spend at least two hours together every week for a year. Both are shocked and suspicious, and agree the idea is absurd, but after Richard anxiously considers the state of his bank account and Elizabeth carefully conducts a cost-benefit analysis of the situation, they agree to give it a try.

As these two perfect strangers wade awkwardly into the waters of modern courtship, discovering a shared affection for In-N-Out burgers, classic books, cult-hit movies, and various Los Angeles locales, they realize that uncovering the secret identity of their benefactor will not only make clear what connects them but change them both forever.

This delightful tale is full of twists, revelations, and above all love in its multitude of forms.


“A sharp, wise, and hilarious novel. Think Entourage meets Tom Wolfe with a touch of Indecent Proposal. . . . We loved it!”—Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, authors of The Knockoff

The Decent Proposal is as clever as it is hopeful. Whether talking about the secret menu at In-N-Out or matters as grand as life and death, Kemper Donovan’s voice is original, captivating, and assured. This book is both a moving love letter to Los Angeles and a thoughtful rumination on what people can mean to one another.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe in Another Life

“Impossible to put down, this character-rich, breakout novel will make your heart burst with love. You’ll turn the pages so fast you might get a paper cut.”—Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Hello all and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Decent Proposal written by Kemper Donovan. I’d like to give a big thanks to the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher Harper Collins for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Decent Proposal is a contemporary romance about a man and a woman, living two very different lives that are brought together by a proposal that requires them to spend a specific amount of time together in a year for a prize of $500,000 each. Although that is the basic premise there is so much more than that to this story.

I will start this review by saying that I am giving this book a full five stars which is not something I have been doing alot of this year. I loved this book and I immediately loved it when I first started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I was glued to each page from the very beginning. I thought it was a really fun read. For some reason when I read the description I thought maybe it would be a little cliche but it actually wasn’t so I was pleasantly surprised at that.

I really loved the characters in this book, not just the main characters but I found something to like about pretty much every one we encounter. I felt like the story itself was really well written, I am a fan of this author’s writing style. I am a fan of books that have multiple perspectives and I thought that gave this book a really fun element that I quite enjoyed, I thought this author did that really well and each voice was very distinct. Also, can we talk about the cover? It’s beautiful! I actually have an ARC copy and I love the cover on it too. I’m torn as to which cover I like more but they are both just gorgeous.

I could actually see this book made into a movie. I think it’s something that everyone can enjoy and has a little bit of everything for everyone – humor, romance, drama. I love the atmosphere and I really think that I read it at the right time with summer right around the corner. Also, I am going to Los Angeles next month so this book definitely caught me in the right state of mind because all my thoughts are about California right now.  Loved this book, I definitely recommend it and think it’s one you won’t want to miss. This is a perfect beach read for this summer!

Kemper Donovan APAbout Kemper Donovan

Kemper Donovan has lived in Los Angeles for the past twelve years. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, he worked at the literary management company Circle of Confusion for a decade, representing screenwriters and comic books. He is also a member of the New York Bar Association.

Follow Kemper on Twitter.

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