Indecent Proposal by Jack Engelhard

October 2, 2012

Plot summary (from the publisher): Nothing cooled the fire in Joshua Kane’s belly, not even marriage to his drop dead gorgeous wife, Joan, his own American dream-a Philadelphia socialite who gave up her lifestyle to have him. Now Josh believed that money could stop the burning in his gut, the kind of cash Joan deserved, the kind he’d never make at his nine-to-five job. That’s why he was in the casino, hoping for the big score.

A high-rolling billionaire was there too, looking for a gamble that interested him…like offering a million bucks to spend one night wish Josh’s beautiful wife. It was the devil’s deal-and tempting as hell. But just thinking about it was tearing Josh’s marriage apart, and his instincts told him that there was more to this proposal than money and sex. The mysterious, handsome man was playing a sinister game, and this time Joan’s body and Josh’s soul-or maybe his life-were the prize.

Warning: Spoilers below!


  • This book had a great premise, and was really poised to be an interesting read: Would you accept a million dollars in exchange for letting your spouse be with another man/woman for one night? I think most people would react as Josh did — an immediate “no way,” that slowly dissolves into acquiescence.
  • I thought it was interesting that the author decided to make it so the Joan character actually enjoyed her night with Ibrahim. Wow, that tape sounded pretty damn steamy, and Josh watched the whole thing.


  • The dialogue was absolutely awful. It was trite, annoying, and hard to follow, especially with all the typos and formatting errors in the free Kindle version.
  • I hated that Joan used Josh’s name in practically every sentence. It was, “Let’s just do it, Josh. If we don’t we’ll regret it. You don’t want to be poor for the rest of your life, Josh.” And on and on and on. NOBODY talks that way!
  • I didn’t understand why Joan was the one who had a breakdown after the deed. Where did that come from? Yeah, I could accept that she thought their relationship was over and that she might have been reading self-help books regarding that, but suicide books too? No way.
  • NONE of the characters was likable in any way, shape, or form. I hated all of them, which made reading this book less than enjoyable.
  • I didn’t care for the religious references or the whole Arab versus Jew thing either.
  • What was up with the whole scene about destroying the tape? Why did Josh think he had to make it out to the balcony and throw the tape in the ocean? Couldn’t he have just flipped the top open and ripped the film out or stomped on the thing????
  • They divorce, but Joan comes back to Josh in the end. Whatever. I guess they deserve each other.


I’ve only seen the movie once, and that was way back when it first came out. Though I don’t remember all the details, I do remember that I liked it — maybe because most of the stuff I hated about the book was absent from the adaptation. Seriously, there are very, VERY few instances in which I like the movie better than the book, but this was one of them. I give Indecent Proposal 2 stars out of 5.

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