Engaged in Murder (Perfect Proposals #1) by Nancy J. Parra (Berkley Prime Crime mass market, 3 June 2014).
"Between jobs", Pepper Pomeroy agrees to help her sister's boyfriend Warren Evans arrange the perfect surprise proposal. His idea is to lure Felicity to a private jet where he will propose before whisking her off for a romantic vacation.
Pepper's job is to make his idea a reality.
Warren has rented a plane from a friend, and Pepper plans to fill it with mementos from some of the couple's most memorable times together. Warren will bring Felicity to the plane on a pretext and propose while Pepper's friend Cesar videotape it from the plane's tiny bathroom. Pepper even has champagne for a toast.
In search of the flight attendant, Pepper wanders into the hangar's ladies' room, where she finds what appears to be a drunken, passed out man. Rushing out to tell security, she becomes distracted by the arrival of her sister, and the man in the restroom slips her mind.
The actual proposal goes extremely well; well enough that Warren suggests that Pepper start a proposal-planning business.
It's only after everything is over that she remembers, and tracks down the little airport's head of security to report it. But when they return to the ladies' room, they discover that the man is actually dead, setting off some weeks of uncertainty and craziness during which she's also trying to turn her business ideas into reality.
Anyone who's ever been temporarily unemployed and faced with the prospect of moving back home will identify with Pepper, who also has to deal with being taken for granted by her boyfriend Bobby, whom she's been with since high school.
But, as is becoming apparent, Pepper is nothing if not resourceful, and it's a delight to see the way she deals with all the obstacles on her way to making her dream a reality.
As a not-so-secret romantic, I found the idea of a proposal-planning business charming. The ones that Pepper orchestrates during the course of this book are amazing, and I look forward to reading more books in this series.
Drop by Stuff and Nonsense this Wednesday for a guest post by author Nancy J. Parra!
FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy of this book.