Imprint or Line: Harlequin Presents #1737
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
Miranda Lee’s An Outrageous Proposal is an outrageously sexy Harlequin Presents. This book was released as a Presents Plus, a special series within the regular Presents line that ran for a couple of years in the mid-1990s.
I gather that these books were written by the line’s best-selling authors. Initially, they were longer than the average Presents by about 20 pages. The covers were also colored and had individualized fonts for the authors’ names. By the time the last Presents Plus was published, the length no longer mattered, and the covers looked more or less like regular Presents.
Laura had been happily married to Dirk Thornton. The only thing that would have made their marriage perfect was a baby. After years of vigorous efforts, however, the couple had trouble conceiving. Laura became so obsessed with her inability to have a child, leading to their marriage crumbling. After a vicious argument, Dirk left her.
Six months have passed, and it seems Dirk has spent no time grieving over the end of his marriage. The high-powered attorney is seen around Sydney’s flashy events with even more striking brunettes dangling on his arm.
When the book begins, Laura sees Dirk at the Opera House with one of those sexy ladies. Laura can’t help but feel jealous. She has never stopped loving her husband. It had been almost impossible to bear seeing Dirk flaunting his many women, and without the support of her former in-laws, Dirks’ brother, and his wife, she’d be lost.
A Separated Couple
Laura realizes she wants her husband back and asks for reconciliation. Dirk is cruel and throws her offer back in her face. Did she really think he’d take her back so easily? If she wants him, she has a long line to wait behind.
Laura won’t be deterred. Then Dirk reveals to her that he’s sterile. There will never be any children for them. To his way of thinking, what’s the point of marriage if there can’t be children? Dirk proposes instead of reconciling, they engage in a no-strings affair.
Laura and Dirk do just that; this is where Miranda Lee shines. She excels at writing hot steamy scenes without delving into raunchiness.
Laura realizes that without Dirk, children don’t matter. She can live without offspring, but she can’t live without her husband!
So, holy moly, it’s a shock to the system when Laura finds out she’s pregnant!
The Reunited Lovers
Hold on to your horses because here is the revelation: Dirk was never sterile.
Moreover, all those women he’d paraded around town were part of a ruse to make Laura jealous to fight for her man. Dirk had read somewhere–perhaps on a paper placemat at a greasy spoon sometime in the wee hours of the night after a bender–that women have difficulty conceiving if they’re too obsessed with it.
Laura’s constant focus on having a baby was the very thing that prevented her from getting pregnant!
By removing that concept from the equation, Dirk knew Laura’s anxiety would subside, enabling them to engage in lots of steamy sex, and then… viola!
A miracle baby would solve all their problems.
Final Analysis of An Outrageous Proposal
Laura and Dirk, and the child will make a happy family. And Dirk no doubt will come up with another outlandish ruse in the future to keep his marriage satisfactorily kinky.
I absolutely cherished this oddball romance. It indeed had an outrageous proposal for a wild plot. I marvel at the craziness of Harlequin Presents’ stories. The best writers could sell the wackiness, making these little books such entertaining and addictive reads. Miranda Lee’s sensuous writing shines here in An Outrageous Proposal. By this time in her career, she had hit her stride.
1995 would be a prolific and productive time for the writer, as this was also the year she released her Hearts of Fire miniseries.
An Outrageous Proposal won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Harlequin Presents Plus in 1995.
|Rating Report Card|
Laura wasn’t surprised when she saw Dirk Thornton with a glamorous brunette: her estranged husband’s reputation as a womanizer was well-known to her. But she was shocked by her feelings for Dirk–they weren’t dead at all and, what was more, he knew it!
Soon Dirk, a top Sydney criminal lawyer, was pursuing her relentlessly, but Laura couldn’t forget that she’d been unable to conceive his child–which meant that there could be no future for them. Why then was she still tempted to accept Dirk’s simply outrageous proposal?AN OUTRAGEOUS PROPOSAL by MIRANDA LEE