Natural Born Charmer
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ “Chicago Stars” contemporary romance series is one I’ve been following for a couple of years now. It was one of the first contemporary romances I read, and fell in love with almost immediately. It focuses on an American Football team, yes, you heard me, a Football team. Not my usual cup of tea, which was exactly what I told the person who suggested the book, but I tried it, and really enjoyed it.
Natural Born Charmer is a book that wasn’t really on the cards. Ms. Phillips was looking to start a new series after Match me if you Can (which is part of the Chicago series), but a minor role for one Dean Robillard, footballer and young charmer, made Ms. Phillips realize that the series still had one unfinished tale. Natural Born Charmer, one of my favorites in this series, was born.
When we meet Dean Robillard in Match Me if You Can, he is a young Quarterback-in-training. Gorgeous to look at, mysterious, a bit full of himself, ready to become a star. Natural Born Charmer introduces us to quite a different Dean, ok, maybe not so different… still full of himself, still gorgeous, but now he’s at the peak of his career and wondering what to do next. An injury is the perfect excuse to take a break and a long drive, cross-country, from Chicago to a house he has purchased in Tennessee.
Enter Blue Bailey. Blue (her mom was feeling a bit blue because of a riot in South Africa) has been having a bit of a rough time. She has moved heaven and earth (and all her earthly possessions) to follow the man that she loves, only to find him with his new love, and most of said possessions. Add that to a mother who’s heart seems to bleed for every cause other than her own daughter’s, and you are left with a heroine walking down a Colorado road in a beaver costume.
Dean and “The Beav” start out like vinegar and water, nothing in common. She’s not his usual type (usual being model with enhanced measurements), he’s not her usual type (usual being unthreatening artistic types), he’s Mr. Fashion, she’s Ms. Fashion Nightmare; But Blue is not one to let an opportunity pass her by, she’s used to leaving one place and moving on to the next, she’s done it all her life, only this time – she has a really great ride. Dean doesn’t really know how Blue ended up in his car, or why he hasn’t thrown her out yet, but she’s funny, entertaining, and she doesn’t seem to want anything from him other than a lift. Which of course, makes her and her grape-lollypop eyes all the more interesting.
Not the likeliest pair? You got it. But boy, are they funny. Phillips is wonderful at creating those humorous conversations. The ones that leave you laughing out loud and getting funny looks from the people around you, I have two words for you: Speed. Racer.
As the story progresses, we find out about both Dean and Blue’s childhood, the whys and hows of how they became the people they are, and why they might just be perfect for each other. We also meet a supporting cast of characters that include Dean’s mother, his rock-star dad, and his persistent little sister. Then of course there is Nita Garrison, ex-bombshell and modern-day Scrooge. She rules the town with an iron fist, and iron stomach. I love how each of the supporting characters are multi-dimensional, they play an important role in bringing Blue and Dean together, and showing the reader a different side to Blue and Dean’s characters.
This book was so much fun to read. Yes, sometimes our heroine and hero seem…too impossible to be believable. Well, I guess that is why this is fiction, but I really did enjoy every minute of snarkiness, sarcasm, double entendres and romantic moments. Thankfully, the cheesiness was kept to a minimum (cheesiness warning: finale might leave a bit of a cheesy feeling). The book never flags, the characters are a lot of fun to read, and other than one minor issue – without spoiling, I don’t love the way our hero acts towards our heroine when his friends come over, and if I was Blue, there would be one hunky footballer with a sneaker stuck firmly in his…nether regions, but I guess it was Ms. Phillips way of getting to a certain point in the story.
Natural Born Charmer is a wonderful contemporary romance where both the hero and heroine (and much of the supporting cast) must learn to let go of the past and stop running from the future, does everyone get their happy ending? Like I would spoil it for you!
This book was purchased by Noa.
You can visit Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Website Here
Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world: a bona-fide sports superstar and the pride of the NFL with a profitable side career as a buff billboard model for End Zone underwear. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a cross-country trip to figure out what’s gone wrong. When he hits a lonely stretch of Colorado highway, he spies something that will shake up his gilded life in ways he can’t imagine. A young woman . . . dressed in a beaver suit.
Blue Bailey is on a mission to murder her ex. Or at least inflict serious damage. As for the beaver suit she’s wearing . . . Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curveballs? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out of it.
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