Ally Blake – “The Magnate’s Indecent Proposal”

8 Jun

Blake, Ally - The Magnate's Indecent Proposal
GENRE: Romance / Contemporary
PUBLISHED: Harlequin Presents, 2008

SERIES: I think there’s a “sequel.”

WHY THIS NOVEL: impulse buy

The back blurb:
“A millionaire magnate had her phone!
When Chelsea realized she’d accidentally swapped cell phones with someone, she knew how this would play out: she’d trek back into town, swap phones with some middle-aged man with a paunch and be on her way.

…now he wanted her body!
only, seriously sexy Damien “Rich-list” Halliburton was way out of her league. She’d sworn off men long ago, but with a guy this gorgeous, how could she refuse his wicked, seductive and very indecent proposal?”

Ally Blake’s The Magnate’s Indecent Proposal was an impulse buy (I was swayed by the price). It turned out to be a lucky one: I was pleasantly surprised by this Harlequin Presents. I liked Ally Blake’s voice and at times, I even thought I was reading a Harlequin Blaze. There’s a close call with phone sex, some SERIOUS groping under a table in a restaurant, and no mention of virginity, mistress or blackmail in sight. Chelsea and Damien are two consenting adults who know what they want and what they are getting into.

Of course, Chelsea isn’t exactly the one-night stand type of woman. She’s afraid to take risks or gamble, a legacy of her past and her father, who was a con man and gambler. He always dreamed big and he always lost, and his family suffered for it. Chelsea’s wary of men, especially men who work in a high-profile gambling profession like Damien (he’s s a day trader). But her attraction to Damien just throws her and for once, she thinks she can ignore the risk and have some fun. Because that’s what Damien’s offering: some hot nights in his arms.

Chelsea’s and Damien’s attraction is of the opposites attract kind of attraction: the way they look, their lifestyles, their background, how they see relationships – all opposites. Chelsea is one of those quirky heroines and Damien looks like the typical driven and über-successful businessman. Chelsea thinks of him as “Mr Suit and Tie” on their first meeting. And yet, right from that first meeting (a cute meet; see Chelsea’s quirkiness), it’s clear that they connect on more than just the physical level.

‘I’m fine,’ Chelsea said. ‘Dandy, in fact. Embarrassed, but there seems to be no permanent damage to the patch of carpet my boots did their best to take on. It could have been worse.’
‘True,’ he said. ‘If there’d been a dessert cart in the vicinity we would very quickly have become a scene out of a Pink Panther film.’
Her cheeks twitched in amusement. ‘Can’t you imagine a barrage of chocolate cream pies flying through the air and landing on that table of coiffed princesses until they are dripping in pearls and chocolate sauce?’
The man’s eyes darted sideways to the table of women who had been eyeing Chelsea she had walked in. And he said, ‘It would certainly have added a dash of sunshine to such a drab morning.’ (11)

They have the same sense of humor and they both like dogs, a big plus as as Chelsea owns a dog grooming salon.

The pacing of the story might be a bit off. The first day covers more than half of the pages and the novel is over after just a few day. It’s a whirlwind romance and the conflict – their differences in what they expect from their relationship – is resolved in one day. I’m also not so sure about their future. I got the impression that Damien’s ultra-rich parents have a different kind of woman in mind for their son than Chelsea is but this wasn’t really addressed. But then, there isn’t talk of marriage. The Magnate’s Indecent Proposal ends with two characters willing to work for their HEA and a promise for more. A conclusion I can more than live with.

What I really liked in this novel was that it was clear there was some kind of connection between Chelsea and Damien. And I also liked that some of the more annoying antics of HPs (at least what I think they are, given my very limited exposure to them) weren’t used. Damien isn’t arrogant, he honestly thinks a committed relationship isn’t right for him. Chelsea and Damien talk with each other. The story and tone seemed a rather “modern” story to me. And always good, I liked Ally Blake’s voice.

Verdict: A really nice surprise. I had fun reading it and I’m looking forward to reading more by Ally Blake. (4/5)


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