Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blog Tour: The Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan

Author: Kemper Donovan
Publisher: Harper
Date of publication; April 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.

The Decent Proposal has interesting premise. Two random people are summoned to a lawyer's office and told that they will each get half a million dollars if they spend two hours every week talking face to face with each other.  Who would pass that up? In the end I liked the book, but didn't love it.  There were parts that did and didn't work for me.

As I said, I liked the overall premise of the book.  I liked how both Richard and Elizabeth ended up reading and discussing books together and watching movies as a way to fill the time.  It turns out is is actually hard to fill up two hours of conversation with a complete stranger. Their budding friendship is one I was eager to watch grow.

And there in lies the problem...I would have liked to see more of them together.  I ended up feeling in the end that the book spent more time with the two main characters and their outside relationships than it did with just the two of them.  There was supposed to be a love story, but I just didn't feel it. The ending left me wanting more.   I felt like Mike's and Orpheus's points of view didn't work for me in the story.  It was supposed to be about Elizabeth and Richard, not Mike's jealousy and feelings for Richard.

Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting read.  I liked the writing style and I loved Richard, I just wanted more of the story I thought I was getting.

About 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.

Kemper’s Tour Stops
Wednesday, April 6th: Curling Up by the Fire
Thursday, April 7th: 5 Minutes For Books
Friday, April 8th: You Can Read Me Anything
Monday, April 11th: Book Hooked Blog
Tuesday, April 12th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, April 13th: she treads softly
Thursday, April 14th: A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, April 18th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Tuesday, April 19th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Wednesday, April 20th: Literary Feline
Thursday, April 21st: Bibliotica
Monday, April 25th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, April 26th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Wednesday, April 27th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Thursday, April 28th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, April 29th: fangirl confessions

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.