|Susan Elizabeth Phillips: This Heart of Mine|
Avon Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-380-80808-0
In high school, Molly put blue and orange stripes in her hair and pulled the fire alarm. This recklessness earned Molly many community service hours and a class-two felony charge. A few years ago, Molly got a crew cut and gave away her fifteen million-dollar inheritance from their father, Bert Somerville, the original owner of the Chicago Stars football team. What insane act will this latest hairdo produce?
Kevin Tucker, the Chicago Stars quarterback, leads his team to victories. But off-season, he plunges himself into one reckless adventure after another. When team president and former coach, Dan Calebow, discovers Kevin's latest skydiving escapade, he suspends him for a week and imposes a hefty fine. Phoebe and Dan Calebow, one of the most powerful couples in the NFL, send their wayward quarterback to their northern Michigan retreat to ponder his fate.
Molly Somerville needs to get away. Her latest children's book in the series about a hip, high fashion rabbit named Daphne and her fun-loving, jock badger friend, Benny, doesn't work. If she can spend some time in the Calebow retreat, maybe she can force Daphne, Benny and all the other animals who live in the fictional Nightingale Woods to evolve into the story she wants.
From the moment Molly unlocks the door to the retreat, disaster strikes. Kevin tackles her, believing she's a burglar. Sparks fly between them, but not ones that kindle romance. That cardinal red hair drives Molly to her most reckless act yet, as naked, she climbs into Kevin's bed while he sleeps, then seduces him. A forced marriage and heart-breaking miscarriage later, Kevin and Molly find themselves shackled together for a few weeks at Wind Lake, a summer campground Kevin inherits.
With its paintbox cottages and Victorian bed and breakfast, Wind Lake lifts Molly out of postpartum depression. Kevin focuses on one goal -- selling the campground as fast as he can and get back to football. Training camp looms only weeks away, so he needs no distractions like a wife and a piece of property that holds only bad memories. By the end of the upcoming season, he plans to wear a Chicago Stars Super Bowl ring and to celebrate that milestone as an unmarried man.
In the sexy, humorous style of previous books, Susan Elizabeth Phillips creates This Heart of Mine, her fifth book in the Chicago Stars series. Phillips skillfully uses Molly's children's book characters, Daphne the Bunny and Benny the Badger, to foreshadow the adult relationship between Molly and Kevin. I regret that Daphne, Benny and the other Nightingale Woods creatures that resemble the human characters won't show up in the children's section of bookstores everywhere. Paralleling their engaging and funny adventures with Molly and Kevin's story, Phillips adds an original and fresh element to the romance tradition.
Click here to read Doris Valliant's review of It Had to Be You.
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