I'm a total sucker for the very public proposal of marriage from the hero to the heroine at the end of a good romance. I've been re-reading a bunch of old books and came across one of my favorites.
In Tami Hoag's Rumor Has It, Nick Leone, retired male stripper and new restauranteur falls in love with Katie Quaid, an interior designer in a small town in Virginia. Katie is reserved, and rightly so. She had a serious accident in the past and now is covered with scars on the outside and on the inside.
Nick falls hard and fast. He's a great hero. He eventually breaks through Katie's reserve and plans a life with her.
Katie can't have children as a result of her accident and knows that Nick wants a family. She's not sure she can be a good mother to a child not of her body and thinks Nick deserves to be with someone who can give him the children she can't. She breaks up with him for his own good, which he can't understand.
He starts a campaign to get Katie to change her mind about them, to give him and love a second chance. He invites her to a pre-grand opening party at his restaurant, puts a romantic note on her menu and plants an engagement ring in one of her dinner rolls.
Things don't quite go the way Nick planned, but he ends up on one knee in front of her, pouring his heart out in front of the whole town.
It's such a satisfying ending to this little gem of a book. The kind that makes you sigh as you close the back cover. If you're a fan of Magic Mike, you'll love this book!