Friday, August 8, 2014

Book Review: Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Natural Born Charmer (Chicago Stars #7)
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 400
Format: Mass Market Paperback & ebook

ISBN: 978-0060734589

My Review:
Why oh, why have I let my reading of every new book and her old ones I missed slip lately.  There was a time I would read each new release, but then blogging took over.  So when I was approached by Megan, the publicist at Harper Collins, I had to jump at the chance to be part of this amazing blog tour.  I get to review two of Susan’s previous titles (watch for Ain’t She Sweet in two weeks) and then I get to read her new one, Heroes are my Weakness.  Three SEP’s in one summer, heck  yes!!

And her books are just like I remember them, full of great characters, lots of humor and banter and a wonderful love story.  Natural Born Charmer did not disappoint.  What was even better, this was my book I enjoyed on the houseboat we rented to celebrate my husband’s 40th birthday.  There was no better place to enjoy this book! 

Is there a better place to relax with a book (note the Atlantic Ocean is just on the other side of those dunes and Cape Lookout was my other view, happiness!)

So Natural Born Charmer starts off with a bang.  A hot guy in a hot car picking up a literally hot headless beaver on the side of the road.  I mean it seems absurd but I could see it happening.  Said beaver has quite a bit of spunk, a jerk of an ex and no money so she embarks on a trip with hot hunky football player to get where she needs to go, not knowing at the time that where she needs to be is with said football-player.

Dean and Blue are amazing characters.  Dean is a natural born charmer which is one of the things that makes Blue hold off from him for awhile.  Blue is a flighty but smart woman who has grown up in several homes so she’s a little scared of commitment.  Dean is not all in from the beginning of the book either, he’s just intrigued by how different Blue is, but he is just as afraid as her that they can’t make it work because of their differences and because of his own issues in his life.

As they finally make it to Nashville where he is having a house redone as a second home (his first is in Chicago where he’s a Chicago Star football player).  But he wants a more permanent home and he loves the one in Nashville.  He comes home to a surprise or two that make the book interesting. I like how the book focuses on several other characters.  At times I almost felt Blue and Dean’s romance was secondary, but it was okay, it really worked in the framework of the book and once the storylines started coming together, I could hardly put the book down.  I was even reading it on the boat ride home and I never do that, I usually just enjoy the scenery, but it was that hard to put down.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips fails to disappoint as usual.  You get romance, you get drama, you get laughs.  I’m pretty sure I laughed and cried in this one.  I loved every minute even when I was about ready to kill the main characters becasue of their usual stupidity at not facing love.  But that just added to the story as well.  This is number 7 in the Chicago Stars series, but reads great as a stand-alone.  However it reminds me I want to go back and fill in the books I have missed and with a lighter review schedule I should be able to do that.  Thank you Susan Elizabeth Phillips for providing me with a wonderful beach read and I look forward to continuing my summer of SEP soon!

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

It wasn't every day a guy saw a headless beaver marching down the side of a road, not even in Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard's larger-than-life world. He slammed on the brakes of his brand-new Aston Martin Vanquish and pulled over in front of her.
The beaver marched right past, her big, flat tail bouncing in the gravel, and her small, sharp nose stuck up in the air. Way up. The beaver looked highly pissed . . .
She was definitely a girl beaver because her beaver head was missing, revealing sweaty, dark hair pulled into a scraggly ponytail. He'd been praying for a little distraction from his own depressing company, so he threw open the door and stepped out onto the shoulder of the Colorado road . . .
Funny, sexy, and touching, Natural Born Charmer is the unforgettable love story of a golden boy who might be losing his luster and a spirited woman who's learned never to depend on anyone but herself.

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Author Biography (from Goodreads)
The Huffington Post says the books of Susan Elizabeth Phillips provide a “gateway drug to the whole [romance] genre,” which she assumes is a good thing. Bookpage magazine calls her “the crown jewel of romantic comedy writers,” which is definitely a good thing. Since she wrote her first novel on a typewriter in her kitchen, her books have been published in over 30 languages and appear on bestseller lists all over the world.
In addition to being a New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and USA Today bestseller, she is a hiker, lazy gardener, horrible singer, passable cook, passionate reader, wife, mother of two grown sons, and grandmother of two adorable little ones.

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***I received this book from the publicist at Harper Collins for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***