Sara is 25 and has recently moved to Basel to work on a doctorate in cytogenetics in a laboratory. Having recently broken up with her boyfriend, she is feeling depressed, shaken and lost. Then she meets Leo and Oscar at the laboratory, and to her surprise feels strongly attracted to both of them. Blue-eyed, fair-haired Leo is gentle and sensitive. Oscar, his best friend, is the opposite: dark-haired and brown-eyed, and direct to the point of brusqueness. They make her a proposition – that she spend four days with them in Barcelona, going along with anything they suggest. The only condition is that no relationships are to be formed. But what happens in Spain perturbs her so much that she finds it impossible keep to their agreement…
I really hate ending the year on a low note where my beloved books are concerned, but Julia Ross’s An Indecent Proposal has left me without much of a choice.
Make no mistake, the cover, title, and synopsis for An Indecent Proposal has everything I love in a book. The promise of a love triangle or, even better, a threesome, two totally different personalities in the men, and a young, beautiful woman caught in the middle of a lot of sexy awesomeness. I only wish the plot and characters had delivered on such promise . . . .
From the very beginning, Sara is incredibly off-putting. When Sara comes to work at the lab where she meets Leo and Oscar, she is a bit of a mess. Her ex didn’t just leave her, he cheated on her with her friend and twisted the knife deeper when he told Sara she is, essentially, a most unresponsive and cold lover. Just what every girl wants to hear after finding her long-term boyfriend shagging her friend. For Sara to become so quickly attached to both Leo and Oscar is just madness as she is still reeling from her recent breakup. To make matters far worse, Sara is, even at 25 years old still incredibly immature and indecisive.
Sara is new to the lab, but Leo and Oscar are long-time employees which means everyone knows their business. There is always gossip about the two hotties and what the gossip says is that Leo had his heart viciously broken by a married woman (also an employee of the lab) which has left him in no state to pursue a long-term relationship, and Oscar is a man-whore who is always up front with the women he sleeps with. Like Leo, Oscar wants nothing to do with a long-term relationship and he is clear about that from the very beginning. In fact, both men are clear about their intentions when they offer Sara their proposal. One weekend of strings-free, commitment-free, sex at the end of which, everyone walks away with no regrets. Yeah, that’s going to work out . . . .
At every turn, Sara makes terrible decisions and behaves more like a child than a grown woman. She cries at the drop of a hat, she runs away when things get a little too messy, and she can’t keep her promises. Several times throughout the read, someone has to remind Sara to stop behaving so poorly, stop acting like a child, and to walk away from a situation if you can’t abide by the rules. Oscar (and myself!) have no patience for Sara’s crap, Leo wants to coddle her, and her best-friend is the only sensible one in the entire group. Sara’s best-friend clearly knows her well and advises Sara to really consider the men’s offer before committing to anything. Unfortunately, Sara once again makes a bad decision and while the sex is pretty outstanding, the emotional side is a hot effing mess that blows up in everyone’s faces. To make matters far, far worse, it all comes crashing down several years later at Sara’s best-friend’s wedding.
The Bottom Line: I wanted to like this read and so, I stuck with it to the bitter and ridiculous end. An Indecent Proposal has such promise in the title and the synopsis, but that it where the promise comes to a crashing halt as the story and the characters certainly don’t deliver. Sara is selfish and immature, Oscar is a brutally honest dick, and Leo is love-struck fool. Not a one of the characters has any business being involved in a relationship yet here they are, forging their way toward an ill-fated threesome. I found myself disgusted with each character’s attitude and behavior and the plot to be feeble, at best. As if this weren’t enough, there’s the ending which left me absolutely stunned, and not in the good way. The way this whole story plays out in the end is the height of silly and I found myself wanting to throw my ipad. I think we’re now all clear on how I really feel about this book.