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5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS STORY!
I found myself grinning like a fool all the way through this delightful story--at times even laughing out loud. I held my breath in anticipation, waiting for Edwina to finally show Mick her legs. One of my favorite books in a long time.
Published on May 20 2002 by Cheryl St.John

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3.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler alert - lovers of fairy tales, revised, will like...
There is a growing trend to rewrite and revise fairy tales as romances. For example, Julia Quinn's latest book in the Bridgerton series, at least two books by Katherine Kingsley, and several books by Judith Ivory. In some senses, the romance novel (or novella) can be viewed as a modern day fairy tale for women, with the Happily Ever After (HEA) ending. [Well, it is true...
Published on Sept. 11 2001 by bookjunkiereviews


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5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS STORY!, May 20 2002
I found myself grinning like a fool all the way through this delightful story--at times even laughing out loud. I held my breath in anticipation, waiting for Edwina to finally show Mick her legs. One of my favorite books in a long time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A True Fairy Tale, July 12 2004
Lady Edwina Bollash knows a real challenge when she sees one. This challenge is in the form of taking an outspoken, unpolished, but oh so handsome ratcatcher with a unique Cornish Cockney accent, and transforming him into a smooth-talking gentleman. Edwina is a renowned linguist, and she finds Mick Tremore's way of speaking simply fascinating. Actually, she finds all of him simply fascinating.
Brought up in wealth, but having most everything taken away from her by her cruel cousin once her father died, Edwina is prim, proper, and generally regarded as a plain spinster. However, one wouldn't think she was plain by the way Mick regards her, and his thoughts of her are none too proper either. Mick happens to know first hand that Edwina is the proud owner of a first class pair of legs, and he's been obsessed with them since gazing on them without her knowledge.
Edwina has six weeks to transform Mick into a proper gentleman, and pass him off at a London ball as a Viscount. But Mick may not be the only one transformed by their time together. And what will happen if he attends the ball and life-altering secrets are revealed? And will Mick and Edwina, who obviously come from different worlds, be able to find enough common ground to remain together after the six weeks are finished?
I've been continuing to broaden my reading horizons by trying the work of authors new to me. Unfortunately, I'm finding that out of every three to four untried authors, odds are I'll only find one whose work is superior. Judith Ivory's work here is most assuredly in that superior category. Even though I recognize the premise of "My Fair Lady" with a role reversal, this story is fresh, funny, and endearingly romantic. These beautifully flawed characters showed an emotional depth, and it was a real pleasure to watch them grow and change together while falling in love. Ms. Ivory is obviously a masterful storyteller who penned a flowing, seamless story filled with romance, wrought with sexual tension, and an ending worthy of a true fairy tale. This has to be one of the best books I've read to date, and I will now be in search of her backlist titles.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not as funny as it thinks it is, March 18 2004
After a really fun and promising start, I found this novel, "The Proposition" quickly degraded into endless silly dialogue and flat plotlines which went nowhere. The hero "Mick" started of quite amusing, but I quickly grew bored with the way the author chose to portray his speech patterns (yes I know this was a major plot point, but I still found it grating). The Cornish-Cockney "Ye'll be excusing me duck" and "Idden me choice to stand 'ere with me shirt done up..." soon had me roll my eyes in frustration. Plus the first few chapters are filled with almost incomprehensible paragraphs of unattrributed dialogue wherein a mob of characters voice their opinions for pages which grew annoying. Eh.
Further, the proposition's attempts at humor fell flat for me. I found nothing 'charming' or 'cute' about Mick bargaining with the heroine to look at or touch her legs in exchange for him shaving his mustache. I dunno...It just struck me as silly and vaguely perverted. I still like class in my heroes even if they are supposed to be poor and uneducated.
I won't even go there about the amazingly trite ending. This light-hearted novel just fell flat for me. I prefer my historicals more realistic and with tighter more succinct dialogue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SLIP ME A MICKEY, Aug. 11 2003
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B. Roby "btimesfive" (Cumberland, Maryland United States) - See all my reviews
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As I was reading, I suddenly realized I had been smiling for 226 pages. No kidding!
In many ways, this may seem like a familiar Pygmalion story, but Mick's personality enlivens every page so much that you don't even care. The reader looks forward to reading Mick's thoughtful observations about social rules, life, and Winnie. He is so endearing that you want to reach in and give Winnie a little push in his direction ("Let yourself go, Winnie girl!"). Their chemistry tickles and sizzles.
Once you get past chapters 1 and 2, you won't put it down, because you'll be smiling too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, May 8 2003
By A Customer
What a delightful, irresistible story. Such enchantment, such passion!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply and Outstanding Love Story, April 24 2003
By 
M. Rondeau (West Springfield, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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Sometimes there are really special stories...this is one. I almost tossed this book aside when into the first chapter I figured that this was going to be a take off of "Pygmalion" or "My Fair Lady" only with a male lead being the metamorphous, rather than the flower girl turned into a lady. I am so happy that I persevered and read on, as this story was so very special! The plot of course is the simple story of a bet made that within six weeks, a genteel woman, Lady Edwina Bollash, and a noted linguist, would take a cheeky, incorrigible, Cornish rat catcher, Mick Tremore cleaning up both his speech and himself, and pass him off as a Viscount at the Duke of Arles ball.
What a simply divine story with so many light hearted and touching scenes. Lady Edwina - nicknamed Winnie by Mick, has never considered herself attractive or loveable. Her self esteem was basically non-existent in spite of the fact that she did believe herself to be accomplished as both a lady and of course successful in her profession as an instructor in elocution and deportment. What she did not do, was fool herself into believing that she was in any way pretty or attractive. Mick Tremore, outrageous, handsome, cheeky, personable and extremely down to earth - was an absolute delight and while he was initially the student - he also became an instructor as well.
There are so many scenes in this story that are memorable - one episode in particular, that was absolutely hilarious - were the negotiations that took place between Edwina and Mick to shave his mustache off - priceless! And the dialog as this very earthy and honest man compliments her nose "Yes, it's a good-sized smeller, loov. If it weren't so pretty, I might have sympathy for you." - I will say, you have to love Mick - he may not have been born to royalty but in terms of humanness - he is a prince! When you think of the metamorphous angle of the story, I think the more important one was in the mind-set of Edwina who finally came to the conclusion that in the eyes of the man she came to love - she was beautiful! This story is simply outstanding with a surprise ending and you should definitely give it a read! I truly enjoyed this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Must read!, Feb. 24 2003
By A Customer
Great book - very funny, compelling characters and a fun story line.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Imperfect Hero You'll Love, Dec 17 2002
By 
V "readinganddreaming" (Tulsa, Ok, United States) - See all my reviews
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The Proposition is certainly a unique historical romance novel. Throughout the first three chapters we see a most unlikely hero. He is not a gentleman, he is not rich, he has ragged clothes, he can't speak proper English, and he is a rat catcher! But don't let those first chapters influence you - this hero already is or will be all you want him to be.
Lady Edwina (Winnie) Bollash is a well-known linguist and is presented with the challenge to transform Mick Tremore into a gentleman in six weeks. She accepts the challenge and Mick comes to stay in her home for the six-week period of training. We soon discover that Nick is not weak, undisciplined, or without principals. He is a person that unconsciously demands respect and he has a very good self-image. Of course, he is impossibly handsome as well. Soon Winnie, a spinster and a very proper daughter of a Marquess, is finding her first impression of Mr. Tremore was dead wrong. She sees the magnificent man he is and he learns much more quickly than she thought possible because she finds he is incredibly intelligent. A mutual attraction and admiration develops between Winnie and Mick and it soon envelops them.
The communication between the couple is straightforward and at times heart wrenching. Mick is honest and up front and attempts to open Winnie's eyes to her own beauty and overall attractiveness. It is refreshing to read a romance novel in which both the hero and heroine are imperfect individuals. Winnie is not portrayed as a beauty although Mick believes she is. It's good to see regular people (although Winnie is a daughter of a marquess - she has very little wealth) growing individually and together.
The story is told without the drama of overused ridiculous misunderstandings or lies. Around the middle of the book, the story begins to drag (thus the 4 star rating) as Winnie talks to herself again and again about her feelings for Mick and the impossibility of a relationship between them. Although the book dragged during this period of Winnie's self examination, I do believe a woman of her upbringing would have needed a hefty amount of self-talk if she feared she was falling in love with a rat catcher. Even in the USA today, it would be quite a bridge to gap in six weeks.
We become certain that Mick will find his way once this six week period is over and whatever he chooses to do with the rest of his life will be admired by others and done with a great deal of self confidence. The sensual scenes are few and don't come until late in the book. But when Judith Ivory does write these times of physical intimacy, it is a definite 4 out of 5 rating (see "more about me" for scale guidelines).
While this is a story of Mick and Winnie, Mick is definitely the strongest part of the book. He stands out because he does not have a mean nature at all and he is no less a man for it. It is great to see such a mature and nicely rounded character - a man in a romance novel with so many good traits and with so few poor ones. He is completely male and yet is so kind and gentle. This is quite an accomplishment in today's romance novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A treat!, Nov. 8 2002
This is my first Judith Ivory book and I was so impressed by this talented author that I will be running out to buy all of her previous efforts. Lady Edwina Bollash is a myopic spinster who has been given the task of transforming a handsome rat catcher into a respectable gentleman and she only has a few weeks in which to do it. There's a sweet chemistry between the two from the beginning. Edwina is attracted to Mick's looks but also to his good and kind heart. Mick is attracted to Edwina's unconventional looks and her simplicity. These two are destined for each other, however the road to happily ever after is going to be quite bumpy. There are some twists and turns that makes this take on Pygmalion unique. Do not miss this wondeful story. Highly recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific characters; sweet love story, Sept. 28 2002
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A sweet couple that bring out the best in each other. Edwina, so buttoned-up, self-conscious and chronically worried, needs some of Mick's fun loving, free spirited, spontaneous outlook on life. Mick needs a bit of Edwina's self control, polish (both verbal and physical) and understanding of the behaviour and habits of the gentry he has heretofore only observed from the outside. As another reviewer pointed out, it's a bit of a mix of "Cinderella" and "Pygmalion".
To his surprise Mick finds that his usual charm is apparently having little affect on Winnie (though it has a definite affect on the reader - he's adorable, sweet, sexy). She's skittish, incredibly insecure and it takes all of Mick's patience and charm to slowly earn her trust and pull her out of her shell. Winnie does not want to be pulled out of her shell, but she slowly begins to see that there is fun to be had out there and that she wants at least a small bit of it! There were some terrrific scenes - when Mick negotiates with Winnie to look at her legs and when Mick takes Winnie into his world (a pub in the East End) where Winnie really lets her hair down! But one complaint I have is that some scenes seemed to go on too long giving a dragging effect. Some quibble with the oh-so-convenient ending, but hey, it's a spin on a fairy tale - why not have a happy ending! An enjoyable read.
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The Proposition
The Proposition by Judith Ivory (Hardcover - July 2000)
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