Publication year: 2012
Publisher: General Press
Links: Goodreads | Flipkart India
Source: Review copy
Eight years ago, she was the teenager he would use to get out of boring parties. But now, he is stunned to see her grown up.
He decides to delay his marriage by getting into a false engagement with her. Then he falls in love with someone else and she forces herself to move on. He comes back to her, but she's determined not to take him back. Will she ever get over her unrequited love for him?
Would a grand gesture from him make her believe otherwise?
And how do you know that your knight in shining armour has been standing right next to you?
Join Tanveer 'Veer' Bhattacharya and Larissa 'Jasmine' Chakroborty as they embark on a journey which questions relationships, friendships and makes one wonder...
how long would it take for love to eventually find a way?
I started reading The Secret Proposal a little before my December break and it felt amazing to sink into this... fluffy, dreamy haven. The Secret Proposal is a story of unrequited love, a fake engagement that gets out of hand and a lot of ups and downs, highs and lows, red, green and mixed signals in between.
If I had to describe the protagonist, Larissa "Jasmine" Chakroborty in one word, I'd go with "likable". She's someone you'd easily be friends with and that made it easier to slip into her predicament and feel a part of this insane chapter of her life. Tanveer "Veer" Bhattacharya is the kind of guy you would fall for and probably idealise a bit too much... so I could see what Jasmine saw in him. And then there's Neeraj, who comes out of nowhere and there's no second guessing his role in the story.
As you may have guessed from the title and the cover, The Secret Proposal feels like something out of a fairy-tale. Sure, there's no prince and princess and magical kingdom but there's Veer who could double for Prince Charming in Jasmine's eyes, even if he gets on her last nerve... and Jasmine herself, who is waiting to be swept off her feet, even if it is through a fake engagement to the boy she's secretly been in love with since forever.
The Secret Proposal is at the same time a bit more grounded than most fairy-tales. For instance, the media threatens to ruin everything. We are given more than a taste of Kolkata: with a full, blown-up picture of the city during Durga Puja; the mouth-watering sweets, colours, diyas and dancing. The Happily Ever After isn't instantaneous. The pangs of misery, loneliness and confusion before the Ever After feel real. More than anything, the Prince Charming here messes up a lot and needs timely help from a good friend to make his Grand Sweeping Gesture that was staring at him in the face all along!
There are times when the ups and downs of Veer and Jasmine's relationship get a little too much and the description of Veer's "chocolate brown eyes" during their every encounter feels like too much of an overkill... but overall, The Secret Proposal is a light and breezy read. It's just the book you'd pick up if you were in the mood for something girly and romantic... if you don't mind a few cliches (and a lot of swooning) here and there. Especially when they are well-written cliches and there's enough banter to keep you entertained!