Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of the queens of the romance world, one of the elite few that have crossed over from original paperback publication to hardcovers, along with the likes of Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, and Jayne Anne Krentz, AKA Amanda Quick, AKA Jayne Castle and who knows who else. Phillips’ crossover has been hugely successful; her books are best sellers.
The main hunk in this book was apparently introduced in her previous book, Match Me if You Can. Dean Robillard is the “natural born charmer” of title fame. A star quarterback for the fictional Chicago Stars, he’s gorgeous, rich, and famous – a deadly combination for Blue Bailey.
Blue is our down-on-her-luck heroine, who Dean rescues after her boyfriend dumps her for a blonder model, and effectively strands her in the middle of nowhere. She allows Dean to rescue her, and they embark on a road trip to his vacation home in rural Tennessee, bantering all the way.
Of course, nothing is more attractive to a man like Dean than a woman he thinks is playing hard to get. Little does he know that Blue is determined to be impossible to get.
The small town setting in Tennessee adds to the appeal; there are no malls and no chain stores, and the dowager who inherited the town is determined to keep it that way. Lots of crisp, witty dialogue highlight this warm, fast-moving story that draws the reader in. The characters are sympathetic and believable, and we get to know them well.
There are multiple story lines that mesh well together, creating a heartwarming, romantic tale that is fast, sexy and fun yet still emotionally appealing. This terrific diversion is as light and sweet as a snow cone, perfect for a summer day.
8/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
NATURAL BORN CHARMER by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Avon (April 29, 2014). ISBN 978-0062118196. 384p.