The Proposition (The Proposition, #1) - Katie Ashley WARNING: Major spoilers ahead! I'm not kidding. I'm going to spoil the ending. Also: GIFs because some emotions are beyond words.

Basically, The Proposition is a baby fantasy Harley with more pages and 80% more orgasms. If that kind of book skeeves you out the way it does me, then this book probably isn't for you.

The heroine in The Proposition doesn't understand female biology in the slightest. If that kind of trope pisses you off, then this book probably isn't for you.

The ending of The Proposition is a FUCKING CLIFFHANGER, leaving the reader at the mercy of one or god forbid TWO sequels to get to a Happily Ever After. If that kind of shameless money-grubbing bullshit makes you want to pull your hair out, then this book probably isn't for you.

A Visual Illustration of How This Book Made Me Feel

An Intentionally Brief Summary of The Proposition
Emotionally unstable Mary Sue decides to heal all of her personal problems with a baby. Emotionally immature playboy agrees to make a baby with her because he wants to get in her panties. SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX! Nothing happens. They conceive. Nothing happens but SEX SEX SEX SEX, etc. Emotionally unstable Mary Sue does the emotionally unstable Mary Sue thing and falls in love. Emotionally immature playboy fears all the feelings he's feeling. Spectacular douche move in the last pages of the book that would have made for a very satisfying ending if you're like me and didn't care about the characters. Then BAM! Cliffhanger. Buy the next book, bitches!

There is nothing about Emma and Aidan's story that warrants a sequel. This isn't Lord of the Rings. It's just a story about two hot people fucking a lot that could potentially fill women over the age of 30 with the heroine's bullshit neurosis. I think the story should end as it did in this book. It struck me as both the most realistic part of the story and fucking hilarious. Seriously, I just laughed and laughed the whole way through the heart-breaking scene in which Aidan destroys everything just by being the guy he says he's been along. Who needs weapons in modern warfare when poor puppies like Aidan can destroy entire lives simply through the weight of their emotional baggage?

Guys Like Aidan:

In a big shift from my usual feelings about heroes in contemporary romance, I didn't mind Aidan all that much. Sure, the wealthy, drop-dead gorgeous, sex god character is totally overdone these days, but Aidan has the advantage of not being a possessive asshole. He's really quite sweet when he isn't whinging inexplicably about commitment and destroying everything. Despite coming from a good family and leading a pretty standard life devoid of most forms of asshattery, Aidan fears emotional commitments like marriage and children above all else. I'm still not sure why. I can see a man in his thirties not wanting to settle down and have children because he just isn't into that stuff, but Aidan contradicts that by launching his peen into Emma's baby-crazy vagina and deciding that he wants "more" with her. All the while, he cowers in terror at the thought of love, marriage, and the baby that he totally makes with Emma and can't take back even with all the wishes in the world.

Basically, Aidan's an irrational dick. And in the end, he does exactly what an irrational dick would do. After realizing that he's in love with Emma, Aidan totally freaks out, withdraws, and attempts to have sex with the first woman who expresses interest in his love stick. He takes the woman back to his house, a place where Emma frequents because she's the clingy girlfriend of his worst nightmares, and they try to have sex. Note my use of the word try. Naturally, because the poor lady isn't his TWU LUV Emma, he can't even get it up. And just when he's about to cut out the foreplay because he totally isn't feeling it ... Emma arrives! It's the most pathetic scene ever. The poor woman even picked up his dog from doggy daycare because she's the type of lady who will take care of Aidan forever and probably knit him socks in the winter, but he just can't deal.

While I should have been pissed at Aidan for his behavior, I had to appreciate Katie Ashley's willingness to go there. Aidan ends up doing exactly what he's said he would do all along, even despite their TWU LUV. Sometimes, great sex and mushy feelings aren't enough to keep a man-boy from acting like a man-boy. I was thrilled with this bittersweet ending for all of, like, 30 seconds before I realized that the sickly sweet story I'd been reading up until that point wasn't going to end without a Happily Ever After.

Then I got cliffhangered.

And why? Because Emma sucks.

From the beginning, Emma grated on my nerves. Self-absorbed, overly emotional, and insecure, this woman is horrible from the opening scene when she throws a baby shower for a co-worker and uses that as an opportunity to cry about being 29 and childless to the ending when she decides to fight for her man because a shit-tastic wreck like Aidan is SO WORTH HAVING. Following in the Mary Sue tradition of being an orphan, Emma spends a lot of time whining about her dead parents, her dead fiance, and all the babies she isn't having. She feels the biological clock ticking down to her 30th birthday, and she just can't take it anymore.

You have to understand, my friends, that aside from being 18 kind of wacka-doodle-doo, Emma also seems to possess the same understanding of female biology as that Congressman who claimed that women can shut down their reproductive systems in the case of "legitimate" rape. Unless they're 30, in which case shutting down a reproductive system isn't even necessary because Emma thinks they CAN'T HAVE BABIES. Sure, she doesn't outright say that, but from the way she switches from emotional breakdown to emotional breakdown because she's just so goddamn OLD and BARREN, I'm pretty sure that's what she really thinks. How insulting. I know plenty of women who have conceived after the age of 30, even into their 40s. This isn't the first time I've seen this trope in contemporary romance, and it needs to stop already. Women do not become worthless, dried-out husks after their 20s. They just don't. Stop writing that, authors. Stop it.

Emma decides she MUST HAVE BABY NOW for probably the worst reason anyone could have a baby. Like, this rates right up there with people who conceive to save their marriages. Emma wants a baby because she wants to replace all the dead people in her life. She wants to basically force a person into existence who has no choice but to love her and fill her emotional voids. Getting professional help for her grief issues before making a baby isn't a priority to Emma, nor is actually finding a person to create a family with. Oh, no. Emma want baby. Emma want baby NOW. At first, she sets her baby-making sights on her gay best friend. She basically puts a claim out on his sperm and then has a total meltdown when his boyfriend doesn't want to share all of those valuable swimmer in her unhealthy little scheme.

Fortunately for Emma, Aidan steps in to do the job. Unfortunately for Emma, her emotional cray-cray level pretty much guarantees that she'll become attached to Aidan through hundreds of flowery orgasms and get her heart broken. All of this comes to pass.

So, Emma goes all-in emotionally with Aidan. He cheats on her while she's pregnant with his child. Then, proving that she's learned NOTHING about self-respect and emotional stability for the sake of her child, she agrees to team up with Aidan's sister (?) to win her man. And this is done by adding another book to the series.

My dreams have imploded, and all that's left is dust, dust, dust ...

On the bright side, this book isn't as poorly written as On Dublin Street. Granted, there are still plenty of typos, missing words, and misused punctuation. Katie Ashley seems to have a grasp on the written word, though, so I'll give her credit. Without the entertainment of Aidan's spectacular douche move at the end, this probably would have been one star. Sadly, I doubt I'll be buying the next book in the series. I have no desire to read another verbose description of why Emma and Aidan really shouldn't procreate. That poor baby.