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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:three moon gifHarperCollins (Hardcover), ISBN 0-380-97572-6
Woman suffers from occasional spells of impulsiveness that invariably lead to mayhem. This time she commits a sexual act on a sleeping man she previously admired from a distance. Oops. Pregnancy ensues. Thus, This Heart of Mine begins.

Book: susan elizabeth phillips, this heart of mineSusan Elizabeth Phillips begins this tale on a controversial note with nonconsensual sex, better known as sexual assault or rape. If the roles were reversed and the man committed the act on a sleeping woman, the outcry would be deafening. However, in this, Phillips' mainstream women's fiction debut, the edgier material carries weight. After the initial hiccup, tossing the book aside proved to be difficult as Phillips wound a story within a story, showcasing her creative talent.

Molly Somerville lives life to a different beat, indulging in wild and crazy antics that strain everyone's patience. After donating her entire $15 million inheritance, she must live in cramped quarters in downtown Chicago, grinding out a living as an author of children's books. The familiar wild "itch" rears its head and she heads to the family vacation home, where Kevin Tucker, the professional quarterback on her sister's football team happens to be spending a couple nights.

After the aforementioned one-night stand and its devastating consequences, Molly can't exactly wish the whole episode away. For publicity purposes, Kevin marries Molly, intending to get a quick annulment. When plan goes awry, the couple head to Kevin's campground for a change of scenery and eventually to place the property on the market.

Book: susan elizabeth phillips, it had to be youIn this idyllic setting, Kevin and Molly face their inner demons and come to understand their strengths. More importantly, they learn to accept their weaknesses. Molly matures into a more self-assured woman who turns the focus from herself. She learns to care about Kevin's fears and conflicts, and grows to love him. Kevin sacrifices what he always considered his only obsession to prove the depth of his love for Molly.

Phillips weaves a story rich with characters who appear so completely dysfunctional that ultimate happiness seems beyond reach. With finesse born from a prestigious backlist of bestselling novels, Phillips dangles the hook and teaches life lessons through humor and intense emotion, which can only end in love.

Michelle Monkou

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