The Decent Proposal (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

A fun page-turning, romantic comedy, LA story and the perfect summer read! Donovan’s smartly written debut novel tells the story of two strangers Elizabeth (hard working attorney on track to make partner) and Richard (struggling, partying and ridiculously handsome movie producer) flung together by a mysterious benefactor. The benefactor’s “proposal” is that each will receive $1MM if they meet for two hours a week for one year.  This is where it gets interesting: but why?  The humor and tension between Elizabeth and Richard and the very recognizable setting of LA make this a thoroughly enjoyable read but discovering the “why” makes it “unputtdownabale”.


— Linda McLoughlin Figel


An addictively readable debut romantic comedy, drama, and mystery rolled into one, about two very different strangers whose lives become intertwined when they receive an unusual proposition. This is a funny, tender, and enchanting story about love, attraction, and friendship: Jane Austen in Los Angeles.

A struggling Hollywood producer, Richard Baumbach is twenty-nine, hung-over, and broke. Ridiculously handsome with an innate charm and an air of invincibility, he still believes good things will come his way. For now he contents himself with days at the Coffee Bean and nights with his best friend Mike (that's a woman, by the way).

At thirty-three, Elizabeth Santiago is on track to make partner at her law firm. Known as "La Maquina" The Machine--to her colleagues, she's grown used to avoiding anything that might derail her quiet, orderly life. And yet recently she befriended a homeless man in her Venice neighborhood, surprised to find how much she enjoys their early-morning chats.

Richard and Elizabeth's 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--just talking--every week for a year. Astonished and more than a little suspicious, they each nevertheless say yes. Richard needs the money and likes the adventure of it. Elizabeth embraces the challenge of shaking up her life a little more. Both agree the idea is ridiculous, but why not?

What ensues is a delightful journey full of twists, revelations, hamburgers, classic literature, poppy music, and above all love, in its multitude of forms. The Decent Proposal is a heartfelt and often hilarious look at the ties that bind not just a guy and a girl but an entire, diverse cast of characters situated within a modern-day Los Angeles brought to full and irrepressible life.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062391599
ISBN-10: 0062391593
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Pages: 336
Language: English