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This Heart of Mine

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Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Published: February 5th 2002 by Avon (first published February 6th 2001)

Format: Mass Market Paperback , 432 pages

Isbn: 0380808080

Language: English


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This Heart of Mine.. Molly Somerville knows she has a reputation for trouble. She did give away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance, but, hey, nobody's perfect. Still, if anyone has an almost perfect life, it's Molly. While her Daphne the Bunny children's books could be selling better, she loves her cramped loft, her French poodle, and her career creating the fictional This Heart of Mine.. Molly Somerville knows she has a reputation for trouble. She did give away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance, but, hey, nobody's perfect. Still, if anyone has an almost perfect life, it's Molly. While her Daphne the Bunny children's books could be selling better, she loves her cramped loft, her French poodle, and her career creating the fictional animals who live in Nightingale Woods. She even loves her sister, Phoebe. True, it was a little tough growing up in her shadow. Phoebe is beautiful, blissfully married, and the owner of the most successful professional football team in America. But who other than your sister knows you're about to do something drastic every time you change your hair? Yes, Molly's happy about almost everything ... except her long-term crush on the daredevil quarterback for the Chicago Stars, that awful, gorgeous Kevin Tucker, a man who can't even remember her name! One night Molly's penchant for running into trouble runs right into Kevin himself, turning her world upside down. Heartbreak follows, and just when she's certain things can't get worse, Kevin forces his way back into her life. If only the overpaid, Ferrari-driving, poodle-hating jock was as shallow as she wants him to be, she could get on with her almost perfect life. But Kevin's hidden depths and iron will propel Molly out of her comfortable existence into an unforgettable summer at a place called Wind Lake. Surrounded by paintbox cottages and a charming old bed-and-breakfast, she and Kevin battle their attraction while trying to cope with an aging sexpot actress, a cranky world-famous artist, and a pair of teenage newlyweds. Their careers and lives are in crisis ... yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Before the summer is over, will they be able to learn one of life's most important lessons? Sometimes falling in love hurts, sometimes it makes you mad as hell, and sometimes if you're very lucky it can heal in the most special and unexpected way.

30 review for This Heart of Mine

  1. 5 out of 5

    Krista (Miura Haruma-san, I will always miss you)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Okay, so this is going to be a rant, not a review. At first, I thought I would enjoy this book. I should have known better, because this is Susan Elizabeth Phillips, whose work ALWAYS annoys me because of the sexist tendencies all of her women seem to exhibit. This one was no different. When I was first introduced to Molly, I found her likable, funny, kind of weird, but not in a bad way--and then she goes and does something unthinkable and after that point, I just couldn't like her at all. So, K Okay, so this is going to be a rant, not a review. At first, I thought I would enjoy this book. I should have known better, because this is Susan Elizabeth Phillips, whose work ALWAYS annoys me because of the sexist tendencies all of her women seem to exhibit. This one was no different. When I was first introduced to Molly, I found her likable, funny, kind of weird, but not in a bad way--and then she goes and does something unthinkable and after that point, I just couldn't like her at all. So, Kevin's boss had told him to take some time off and stay in this cabin for awhile. Kevin and Molly had met a few times before, but didn't really know each other. So Molly shows up at this cabin, uninvited, then refuses to leave once she finds Kevin there, because she's too petty. THEN, when Kevin is asleep in his bed, she snoops through his stuff, finds a condom in his shaving kit, goes into his room, climbs into his bed and starts touching him while he is asleep. Kevin, still mostly asleep, and thinking the whole thing a dream in which he's making love with his ex-girlfriend, starts to respond to her touches. She then proceeds to rape him--and it is rape, because he would not have consented to have sex with her if he actually were aware of what was happening (he establishes this). So after she rapes him, he wakes up, freaks out, and announces that the condom had broken because it was about a million years old. After this point, Molly had ruined herself in my mind. I cannot respect a woman who does something so devious and pathetic. But it gets worse. Molly gets pregnant with Kevin's baby. When Kevin later calls to check up on her, she blatantly lies to him and says she is not pregnant. Yeah. First she rapes him, then she plans on stealing his baby. Okay. And in case that weren't enough, her sister and brother-in-law, Phoebe and Dan Calebow from some other book in the series I haven't read because of its ridiculous cover, show up, figure out that it was Kevin who got her pregnant. So then Dan goes and finds Kevin and punches him and accuses him of being the scum of the earth and a seducer of innocents and a low-life jerk trying to run away from his duty blah blah blah. Kevin, being a nice guy, lets this happen, not revealing Molly's psychotics. Molly, being too ashamed and selfish, lets her brother-in-law and sister treat Kevin like crap and insult him while she holds on to her secret about raping him. Kevin agrees to marry her, like I said, because he's a good guy. Molly has a miscarriage, blames Kevin, insults him, and proceeds to become depressed. Kevin, being a freaking good guy, feels sorry for her so he takes her on a trip to this campground that he owns to see if he can get her to perk up again. Molly is awful to him the whole time. Once there, she refuses to help with anything. Eventually she comes around, after Kevin practically begs her, and then she's really proud of herself for the monumental task of cooking breakfast. She deserves a freakin' medal. What follows is a series of Molly's antics. She tricks Kevin at every turn, pretending to drown, purposely tipping over a canoe to get his attention, forcing a cat up into a tree and then making him go after the cat. She's a very mature woman, obviously. Then the freaking Calebows show up to tell Kevin he's a jerk and to demand to know what his intentions are. Then Dan accuses Kevin of using Molly for a quick roll in the hay, because, apparently, football players (ahem, Dan, you freakin' hypocrite) cannot actually love a woman because they are too shallow and don't care about women or love. Of course, Molly believes this load of garbage, so she gets all pissed and claims she's using Kevin because he's available and she deserves to be "naughty" after so many years of being "good." Nice. Then Molly goes back to her schemes. When Kevin tries to sell HIS campground, Molly goes to the buyer and tells him a bunch of lies about the place and that Kevin is mentally insane and needs help. The buyer believes her and leaves. Controlling much, Molly? How about living your own life? After breaking up for a period, Kevin realizes he can't live without a psychotic, controlling b*atch running his life, so he goes to Molly's sister to ask for HER blessing to marry Molly--as if he needs it. Phoebe refuses, accuses Kevin of using Molly to guarantee his continued career with his football team, owned by Phoebe. She then says if he so much as goes near Molly, he will be off the team. Are. You. Freaking. Kidding. Me??? So Kevin decides Molly is more important and goes to marry her anyway. Molly tells him he's an idiot and that men should give up everything in their lives for the women they love, but women should give up nothing. So, what do we learn? That men should give up their careers and everything else they like to please a woman, but a woman can do whatever she pleases. We learn that Kevin is willing to give up everything, including his career as a professional football player, which is basically his whole life, in order to be with Molly, the woman who raped him and controlled his life and gave up nothing for him. This is not a book. It's a sexist peice of poo. Yes. Women can be sexist, too. SEP is proof of this.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carol [Goodreads Addict]

    This Heart of Mine is book #5 in the Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This book was a gift from my dear friend, Kelly, and I am so thankful she gave it to me. I have read one other book by this author and I fell in love with it. Is it possible, now, to love SEP even more? This book had me laughing out loud and within a few minutes, breaking my heart. The characters were loveable, the story wonderful and silly and engaging. It was unputdownable. I have decided that SEP’s writing This Heart of Mine is book #5 in the Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This book was a gift from my dear friend, Kelly, and I am so thankful she gave it to me. I have read one other book by this author and I fell in love with it. Is it possible, now, to love SEP even more? This book had me laughing out loud and within a few minutes, breaking my heart. The characters were loveable, the story wonderful and silly and engaging. It was unputdownable. I have decided that SEP’s writing is magical. I was entranced from the first page. Molly Somerville is the younger sister of Phoebe Calebow. She’s now twenty seven years old and is the author of the adorable children’s book series Daphne the Bunny featuring Daphne and her best friend, Benny the Badger. Molly loves her sister and Phoebe’s husband, Dan and their four children with all her heart. She has always tried to be the best she can be for them since she owes them so much. But Molly has also been known for some little slips of crazy now and then. She’s been feeling restless lately so she decides a few days away will be good for her. She needs the time to concentrate on her next book. So she packs up her adorable little poodle, Roo, and takes off for the family vacation home in the woods. Little did she realize that she would have a visitor while she was there. The object of a crush she couldn’t seem to shake, the Quarterback of the Chicago Stars football team her sister owns, the oh so delectable Kevin Tucker. Kevin Tucker has pushed his bosses as far as he dares. He’s been participating in some daredevil stunts lately, things that could injure him, ruin his future with the team. As a last resort he is sent to spend a few days at the Calebow’s vacation home for some time to rest and think. Little did he realize that the house already had a visitor. Kevin and Molly’s few days together at the cabin start them on a journey neither of them could have ever expected. It started at the cabin, continued in Chicago, and then led them to a place that was a piece of Kevin’s history, the Windlake Campground. While Kevin’s purpose for the visit to Windlake was merely to get rid of it, Molly was immediately drawn to the adorable cottages and the bed and breakfast. She felt a peace and a purpose she hadn’t been able to find in a long time. “There was something magical about the campground. Possibilities seemed to shimmer in the air. It felt almost enchanted.” In their time at Windlake, Kevin and Molly got to know each other. And what they learned surprised them both. Feelings began to grow and change. But Kevin is still determined that he needs to get rid of the campground. That football is the only future he can concentrate on right now. That nothing is more important than his football career. You can’t help but to fall in love with Molly and Kevin. Molly was crazy and impulsive and sweet and heartbreaking. She made me laugh out loud with her crazy antics and she kept Kevin on his toes. Kevin was sexy and bossy and stubborn and swoony. I would go from loving him to wanting to smack him. You will also meet another very important character in this book, Lilly who plays an important part in Kevin and Molly’s lives. I don’t want to tell you what her connection is. Only that there is also a whole little side story going on with her and a famous artist, Liam Jenner. After reading the two books of SEP’s books that I have read, I have put her right up at the top of my favorite authors’ list. Her writing is just magical. Her books are truly heartwarming. I was hooked right from the start and when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about reading. Thinking about Molly and Kevin, hoping that they would figure everything out and that I needed to get back to the book to make sure that they do. The very first book of this series, It Had to be You, is Phoebe’s story. So even though there have been other books in between, it seems like this book is kind of a sequel to that one. I loved this book so much and can’t wait to read more by this author. “There was something missing inside me I was trying to fill up, but I went about doing it the wrong way. But there sure isn’t anything missing inside me now, because you’re there.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    A.

    Blown away! Another winner by SEP. That woman doesn’t know how to write a bad book. I could tear out every third page from this book and it would still be one of the best books I’ve ever read. I swear her books emit some kind of invisible drug that makes you addicted to them. QUICK REVIEW: Enjoyment:: 5/5 Writing style: 5/5 Storyline: 5/5 Hero: 5/5 Heroine: 5/5 Secondary characters: 5/5 Hotness/chemistry: 3/5 Romance: 5/5 Angst: 3/5 Darkness level: 2/5 Humor: 4/5 Depth of the book: 5/5 POV: multiple, 3rd Blown away! Another winner by SEP. That woman doesn’t know how to write a bad book. I could tear out every third page from this book and it would still be one of the best books I’ve ever read. I swear her books emit some kind of invisible drug that makes you addicted to them. QUICK REVIEW: Enjoyment:: 5/5 Writing style: 5/5 Storyline: 5/5 Hero: 5/5 Heroine: 5/5 Secondary characters: 5/5 Hotness/chemistry: 3/5 Romance: 5/5 Angst: 3/5 Darkness level: 2/5 Humor: 4/5 Depth of the book: 5/5 POV: multiple, 3rd person Triggers: (view spoiler)[miscarriage (hide spoiler)]

  4. 4 out of 5

    ♥Sharon♥

    This is the third time I have pulled this one off my reading list. I adore Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Truly. And I absolutely loved the audio book. The narrator did a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. Of course Molly and Kevin were front and center but following those two were Dan and Phoebe, their tribe of kids (sweet Hannah was my favorite) and Lily and Liam. It was so much fun being back with the Chicago Stars clan and the characters of Nightingale Woods. Especially Daphne the b This is the third time I have pulled this one off my reading list. I adore Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Truly. And I absolutely loved the audio book. The narrator did a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. Of course Molly and Kevin were front and center but following those two were Dan and Phoebe, their tribe of kids (sweet Hannah was my favorite) and Lily and Liam. It was so much fun being back with the Chicago Stars clan and the characters of Nightingale Woods. Especially Daphne the bunny and Benny the badger. :) Even knowing what was going to happen to Molly and Kevin my heart did those silly fluttering things, I shed a few tears and I laughed out loud. At the end my heart was full once again. ❤ ************************* (re-read June, 2016) Sometimes things are just a bit better the second time around. And re-reading THoM was just that. If I could add another 5 stars to my rating I would. SEP truly is an amazing author. I was quickly reminded of the moments I fell in love with the first time and I was lucky enough to experience a few new wonderful moments that I apparently missed last June. If you love SEP and haven't read this one then you must read it soon. If you love SEP and have read this one already you must re-read it. If you love SEP and have read and re-read this one then you should be looking forward to her new book The First Star I See Tonight which is due out on August 23rd! *************************** I’m sure all of you have figured out my recent author love affair is with Susan Elizabeth Phillips and her Chicago Stars Series. I have adored all of the stories thus far and This Heart of Mine was FABULOUS and has shot to the top of my favorites! This story centers on Molly Sommerville and Kevin Tucker. No one would put these two together. Though their lives spin in different directions they have a connection through Molly’s sister Phoebe and her hubby Dan Calebow. Molly ~ I loved everything about her. She was a bit quirky, kind of sassy and had such a big heart. Her lonely teenage life had left her with quite an imagination which she uses for writing her books. Molly may be a very smart woman but she is famous for making some pretty rash decisions…..some pretty expensive. When Molly heads off to her sister’s summer home to work through her latest restlessness she thought it would be the perfect getaway. Ah but nothing is ever that simple. She comes face to face (so to speak) with the one man that has filtered through her thoughts (many of them sexy) for a while now. For Molly this isn’t good. She is wary of her impulsive behavior. Kevin ~ he was your typical handsome, sweet talking and sexy as all hell football player. A guy that had everything at his finger tips. He was living life in the fast lane until Molly decided to make him one of her rash decisions and it is one that will send them both over the edge. Kevin and Molly find themselves dealing with an adventure that neither planned nor expected. Kevin has to make a decision to keep or give away family property that sits on a beautiful lake, a place that comes to offer Molly a sense of belonging. When Molly begins to settle in and becomes a part of something that makes her feel good, Kevin only sees it as something he has to let go of. There are moments shared and friends made. But all this might not be enough. There was a lot to love in this one. I think I say this in every SEP review I write. I loved the side story of Daphne the rabbit and Benny the badger. It was so flipping sweet. The humor with all the family around was great; Dan and Phoebe and their kids. Hannah was such a sweetie. And then Lilly and Liam. I can't forget them. They added a little spin on the story that touched my heart. Everything and everyone just made this story just a little bit more special. And as I get deeper in the series part of me wants to suggest that if you decide to read these books (which I hope you do) read them in order. Each book is cleverly connected to the other.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    Another re-read ... and listened to the AUDIO too. I love this author. Enjoyed every single minute of it ... again. ------------------------------------------------------- PREVIOUS REVIEW ... I had forgotten how good this book was. It was a re-read. Karen's updates made me do it!! It was sad, happy, funny, sexy. I loved Molly. I remember her from the very first book and it was nice to see her get her own story. “It was a kiss made in lonely dreams. A kiss that took its time. A kiss that felt so ri Another re-read ... and listened to the AUDIO too. I love this author. Enjoyed every single minute of it ... again. ------------------------------------------------------- PREVIOUS REVIEW ... I had forgotten how good this book was. It was a re-read. Karen's updates made me do it!! It was sad, happy, funny, sexy. I loved Molly. I remember her from the very first book and it was nice to see her get her own story. “It was a kiss made in lonely dreams. A kiss that took its time. A kiss that felt so right she couldn't remember all the reasons it was wrong.” This book sort of three stories going. We had Kevin and Molly. Daphne and Benny (how sweet were they?) and then we had Lilly and Liam. And we caught up with Dan and Phoebe. “Kevin stopped where he was and stood there simply gazing at her. Molly sat cross-legged in the meadow with the sun shining on her bare shoulders and a pair of yellow butterflies fluttering like hair bows around her head. She was all the dreams he'd lost at dawn-dreams of everything he hadn't understood he needed until now. She was his playmate, his confidante, the lover who made his blood rush. She was the mother of his children and the companion of his old age. She was the joy of his heart.” Another five star read from this talented author. Check out Karen's fabulous review ... Karen's Review

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    5 STARS [image error] SENSATIONAL True to my last review… I once again have a new favorite. Honestly, this series… the books are all so incredibly good that I am giddy with joy every time I finish one. Instead of boring you with my incessant gushing, I’ll get right to the meat… [image error] Molly Sommerville is twenty-seven. And after growing up as a bit of a trouble maker, she is finally finding her place in the world. She struggled through a lonely childhood as Bert Sommerville’s youngest 5 STARS [image error] SENSATIONAL True to my last review… I once again have a new favorite. Honestly, this series… the books are all so incredibly good that I am giddy with joy every time I finish one. Instead of boring you with my incessant gushing, I’ll get right to the meat… [image error] Molly Sommerville is twenty-seven. And after growing up as a bit of a trouble maker, she is finally finding her place in the world. She struggled through a lonely childhood as Bert Sommerville’s youngest daughter, being constantly shrugged off to boarding schools and summer camps. And now, twelve years after his death, she has finally decided to put it all behind her. [image error] But Molly has a bit of a reputation for getting restless urges, and those urges usually lead to incidents. Which usually mean trouble. Her latest incident involved donating her entire multi-million dollar inheritance to charity. Which she still insists she doesn’t miss (at least most of the time.) So, she’s now living modestly, but enjoying her new-found independence as un up-and-coming new writer of children’s books. Still sharing a close relationship with her gorgeous and successful older sister, Phoebe and her sister’s husband, Dan Calabow, who together now run the famous Chicago Stars football team; Molly is constantly crossing the path of her latest obsession… who also just so happens to be the muse for her Daphne the Bunny children’s books. [image error] But unfortunately Kevin Tucker, the gorgeous, daredevil, Ferrari driving, heart-throb of a quarterback doesn’t even know she’s alive. See, Molly was the brainy one. The bookworm. The skinny, dark-haired, small-breasted one that was always compared to her bombshell of an older sister. Even Molly, herself had trouble believing she was the daughter of a Vegas showgirl. So how on earth would an all-star quarterback like Kevin Tucker ever notice her. “Are you demented, you stupid badger ? Is that your problem ? Or are you just an idiot ?" "As to that, I... Did you just call me a badger?" "A bastard. I called you a bastard.” [image error] “I wish you wouldn’t call him that. Kevin’s not shallow, he’s just —“Interest-impaired.” It was just a crush. She knew he was out of her league. So far out, that when the opportunity came up for her to grab her piece of the dream, she jumped off that cliff, head first, without a second thought. But her recklessness is going to cost her big this time. And Kevin is not a man to be messed with. [image error] “It was a kiss made in lonely dreams. A kiss that took its time. A kiss that felt so right she couldn't remember all the reasons it was wrong.” [image error] One of the things I love best about SEP’s books is the dialogue. She frequently has these enemies-to-lovers storylines where the characters are in a constant verbal showdown that keeps you laughing out loud and glued to the pages wondering how they’re ever going to come together. “Be quiet, or I swear to God I'll take you right here” I also love the side story romances that she throws in. [image error] “Did I remember to say that I love you?” “You did.” She smiled the depth of her feelings into those dark intense eyes. “I’ll hang a set a wind chimes under the eaves.” “Which will keep me awake, so I’l have to make love to you all night.” “I do love wind chimes.”
“And I do love you.” [image error] And this book had that added treat of Daphne, the infamous rabbit and her best friend, Benny the badger, who were the fictional characters in Molly’s on going children’s books . I loved the way the author weaved the children’s story into Molly’s real life. Very cleverly done. “If you think I'm going to cry all over your chest because you don't feel the same way, you're wrong. I don't beg for anybody's love.” [image error] “I’m your reward?” “Only when you’re naked. When you have your clothes on, you’re a cross to bear.” [image error] Wonderful and touching story, with a fabulous ending. I’ll be re-reading this one for sure. [image error] “If an American flag had been waving behind her, she'd have looked like a very sexy Marine Corps recruiting poster. The few, the proud, the cotton tailed.” [image error]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    I tried to like this book, but I really just didn't. I was waffling between giving this book a 1 or a 2 because it's not like I absolutely hated it like some of the other 1-star books I've read. However, I didn't like it, so I don't think it really merits that 2-star "it was okay" sort of generosity. No matter how charming, self-sacrificing, and noble the hero Kevin was, I just couldn't like or enjoy reading about the immature, periodically TSTL, and impulsively reckless heroine Molly. She was sel I tried to like this book, but I really just didn't. I was waffling between giving this book a 1 or a 2 because it's not like I absolutely hated it like some of the other 1-star books I've read. However, I didn't like it, so I don't think it really merits that 2-star "it was okay" sort of generosity. No matter how charming, self-sacrificing, and noble the hero Kevin was, I just couldn't like or enjoy reading about the immature, periodically TSTL, and impulsively reckless heroine Molly. She was self-destructive, and I couldn't understand her or sympathize with her at all. The first 15-20% of the book had me bellowing "WTF!!!????" Don't even get me started on what she did to Kevin. W. T. F. Seriously. WTF. And then she gets whiny and ho-hum because Kevin is pissed at her. UH, DUH. Of course Kevin's pissed at you. (view spoiler)[YOU CLIMBED INTO BED WITH HIM AND COERCED HIM INTO HAVING SEX WITH YOU, YOU RAPIST! (hide spoiler)] After that and the consequences that followed, Kevin didn't just get the short end of the stick with Molly's whininess and her family's censure; he got a big ol' bloody splinter for all of his efforts to do the right thing and be a good guy. Once the crazy WTFery was established, I kept reading in the hopes that Molly would redeem herself in some way or at least show some maturity or growth by the end of the book. I read on in vain. Every antic that she cooked up had me raising my brows and cringing in a "WTF" way. Over and over again. I really thought she was ready for the loony bin for, oh, 80% of the book (20% of the book is, after all, the secondary plot). So yeah...welcome to Crazytown, folks. I suggest you turn around, put the pedal to the metal, and get the hell out of here while you still can.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️

    I'm definitely in the minority here, but I didn't love this. I intensely disliked Molly. I thought she was immature to the point of idiocy and I thought her actions regarding Kevin, his campground, and his career were extremely selfish and disrespectful.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    5 Stars! One of my favorites in the series. Kevin Tucker...I never expected him to turn into such a gem of a man! The deception on the part of Molly in the beginning in the book had me wondering how I was ever going to past it. I wasn't too keen on her, but I started to understand, forgave her and found myself rooting for her. Kevin Tucker is not just a football hero, he's a woman's hero. What he does and who he becomes...well they don't get much better than him. What made this book a winner was 5 Stars! One of my favorites in the series. Kevin Tucker...I never expected him to turn into such a gem of a man! The deception on the part of Molly in the beginning in the book had me wondering how I was ever going to past it. I wasn't too keen on her, but I started to understand, forgave her and found myself rooting for her. Kevin Tucker is not just a football hero, he's a woman's hero. What he does and who he becomes...well they don't get much better than him. What made this book a winner was the involvement of Molly's step sister Phoebe, her husband Dan (2 characters I loved from It Had to Be You), and their children, especially Hannah. This book had such a homey, family feel to it, and I was captivated by Molly and Kevin's story, almost like a teenage summer romance that becomes everlasting love. So many sweet, funny memorable moments and the correlation between Molly's book characters and the romance playing out between her and Kevin...very cute. The epilogue was unique and fitting! A great read!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ingie

    Written February 1, 2015 4 Stars - As always wonderfully enjoyable about gorgeous fotball men and smart hilarious women in SEP's great Chicago Stars world The 11:26 hrs audiobook edition narrated by Anna Fields. This Heart of Mine is the fifth in the Chicago Stars series. Seven standalone (sweet and chuckling funny) love stories. This will be my fourth. (view spoiler)[ I read and loved the first two: #2 - Heaven, Texas (5 stars) and later #1 - It Had to Be You (4.5 stars). Last September I jumped t Written February 1, 2015 4 Stars - As always wonderfully enjoyable about gorgeous fotball men and smart hilarious women in SEP's great Chicago Stars world The 11:26 hrs audiobook edition narrated by Anna Fields. This Heart of Mine is the fifth in the Chicago Stars series. Seven standalone (sweet and chuckling funny) love stories. This will be my fourth. (view spoiler)[ I read and loved the first two: #2 - Heaven, Texas (5 stars) and later #1 - It Had to Be You (4.5 stars). Last September I jumped to the last installment, part #7 - Natural Born Charmer (4.1 stars) and listened to the audiobook, faultlessly narrated by Anna Fields. (hide spoiler)] Yay!! Once again, a marvelous amusing Susan Elizabeth Phillips romance. Maybe not the sexiest or most exciting, but well made, nice and wonderfully entertaining fun. ~ Yet another winner from an author who so far always has made me both happy and in good spirits every time. *********************************************************** Molly Somerville is the author and creator of the Daphne the Bunny children's book series. She is the younger sister of the Chicago Stars football teams owner, Phoebe Somerville (now mother of three with her hubby Dan Calebow - see book #1). Molly has an old reputation for trouble that started even before she gave away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance. (Molly got all the money and her older sister the fotball team from their father). But as an 27 years old independent woman (without a fortune) is she pretty pleased with her life, her writing, her sweet dog and spend quality time with her three lovely nephews. “I thought you didn’t like animals.” “I love animals. Where did you get that idea?” Marmie put her paws on his leg, and he picked her up. “From my dog?” “That’s a dog? Jeez, I’m sorry. I thought it was an industrial-waste accident.” His long, lean fingers slid through the cat’s fur.’ But we all have embarrassing vices and secret desires In the midst of her nicely arranged single-woman-life has Molly an secret. She has an long-term crush on the gorgeous team-star quarterback Kevin Tucker. A blond charming womanizer who even can't remember Molly's name. A man who prefer girls who don't talk to much. Short affairs and no more. One night. — One huge mistake Before they even know each other are Molly and Kevin both stucked in Somerville's winter cabin. Thereafter are both their lives turned upside down. If they hadn't prejudices about each other before have these now grown sky high. - These two will do anything to avoid each other. *********************************************************** Half a year later Kevin has recently heritaged the old summer camp Wind Lake from his aunt. After some struggles, sad stuff and next to an depression are Molly and Kevin both spending summer together. Not in a nice beach house, no beside a lake in the woods surrounded by neatly paintbox cottages and a charming old bed-and-breakfast. And older nice summer guests who needs breakfast and afternoon tea. “Uhm, Kevin..." "Be quiet, or I swear to God I'll take you right here." Yes, this was definitely Forced Sex.’ Up in the woods, in a summer camp, starts a lovely love tale. *********************************************************** This Heart of Mine is for sure not smexy insta-love, quite the opposite, this is an amusing enemy-to-friends tale. It starts in high speed with a lot of funny banters, misleading answers, minor misunderstandings and two angry, snappish, arrogant main character. I almost felt sorry for this poor hero to start with. Molly wasn't an easy combatant to be friendly with. ‘It was a kiss made in lonely dreams. A kiss that took its time. A kiss that felt so right she couldn't remember all the reasons it was wrong.’ There are so many good elements here: Wonderfully designed second book characters —from the cute little dog, the sweet fairy bunny-tale, Molly's wonderful nephews, Kevin's mother etc. Two main characters which are shining. You can't but adore them both. Love for life that did develop slowly and a fine second story-plot of a somewhat older couple's very sizzling hot romance. Scenes like the hilarious 'sex slave dream' that make me laugh out loud and alsp light sexy (believable) steam. Conclusion: An complete contemp romance in the older school genre. Add to that Anna Fields whoo feels so experienced and her way of illustrating different voices is simply superb. Applause! *********************************************************** I LIKE - funny, funny enjoying

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book made feel dirty (in a bad way). To me, there was no excuse for what the heroine did near the beginning. Molly always had a crush on Kevin, and when they accidentally end up staying under the same roof, she goes through his things, finds a condom in his toiletries bag, goes to his room while he's asleep, gets into his bed (he's still sleeping), puts a condom on him and then proceeds to rape him. That's right, rape. There's no way that what she did isn't rape. He wakes up and is furious, This book made feel dirty (in a bad way). To me, there was no excuse for what the heroine did near the beginning. Molly always had a crush on Kevin, and when they accidentally end up staying under the same roof, she goes through his things, finds a condom in his toiletries bag, goes to his room while he's asleep, gets into his bed (he's still sleeping), puts a condom on him and then proceeds to rape him. That's right, rape. There's no way that what she did isn't rape. He wakes up and is furious, she's ashamed or something, the ancient condom broke, they go their separate ways. A month later, Kevin calls Molly to see whether the faulty condom left any consequences, she says no and pretends that she's with a boyfriend. She is, of course, lying, because she is a romance heroine, and those are by default stupid, manipulative, and lying about the existence of children to said children's fathers. Molly's sister finds out that Molly's pregnant, only the situation is complicated because the sister, Phoebe, is Kevin's boss and the owner of the sports team. Molly won't say who the father is, but Phoebe and her husband figure out it's Kevin, and the husband goes to Australia to punch Kevin and force him to marry Molly. Good thing they won't allow shotguns on airplanes. At this point, I am imagining myself in Kevin's place, I was raped while I was asleep, there is a pregnancy and my boss is making me marry my rapist (because they are related) so that the child wouldn't be a bastard. Poor child, what an environment to grow up in. Kevin is a good person and a good man, a lot better than I would be in his place, so he agrees to get married and won't tell everyone what happened. At this point, SEP knows she wrote herself into a corner, so Molly has a miscarriage and gets depressed. I won't lie, those scenes made me cry for half an hour, the whole thing was beyond sad, and there was nothing that could fix it. Also, I felt SEP played me like a violin, and I don't like that. Kevin feels bad, goes to check on Molly, she is a wreck, so he takes her on a trip to see a camp he inherited and wants to sell. Everything goes fine, more or less, and then in chapter 12, Molly has the following train of thought (emphasis mine): She reined in her imagination. This was exactly the kind of fantasizing that had gotten her in such terrible trouble. And maybe it was time she reminded herself that Kevin hadn't exactly been the most memorable lover. In point of fact, he'd been a dud. That wasn't fair. He'd been operating under a double disadvantage. He'd been sound asleep, and he wasn't attracted to her. Wow, how kind of you to think so. At this point, I just couldn't read this book anymore. What's the point? There's no way Molly deserved Kevin, yet I knew she would get him to leave everything for her, since this is a romance novel and this is a SEP book. I can sort of see how some people might give this book 5 stars, but that's not me. Sorry.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    I have lost track of how often I have read this book ... I absolutely adore it. I cannot wait for SEP's new book, coming out in June ... no pressure, Susan Elizabeth!!! I love the secondary characters as much as the main characters ... Lilly and Liam were fabulous. And, of course, we got to meet Dan and Phoebe again. I have lost track of how often I have read this book ... I absolutely adore it. I cannot wait for SEP's new book, coming out in June ... no pressure, Susan Elizabeth!!! I love the secondary characters as much as the main characters ... Lilly and Liam were fabulous. And, of course, we got to meet Dan and Phoebe again.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Malin

    Warning! This review will contain spoilers for the book, because it's impossible for me to convey all my vitriol without going into plot specifics. Molly Sommerville (who we first met as a frankly horrid teenager in It Had to Be You) is now all grown up and making a living as a children's book author, writing illustrated books about Daphne the Bunny, a rabbit who appears to wear designer clothes and going on adventures based on events in Molly's own life. While Molly inherited a multi-million do Warning! This review will contain spoilers for the book, because it's impossible for me to convey all my vitriol without going into plot specifics. Molly Sommerville (who we first met as a frankly horrid teenager in It Had to Be You) is now all grown up and making a living as a children's book author, writing illustrated books about Daphne the Bunny, a rabbit who appears to wear designer clothes and going on adventures based on events in Molly's own life. While Molly inherited a multi-million dollar fortune from her horrible father, the former owner of the Chicago Stars, she gave it all away to a charitable foundation some years back (this is the only likable thing she does in the WHOLE book). Every few years, Molly appears to feel bored and acts out in crazy ways. She tends to change her hair drastically before each such crazy act. Molly has had an unrequited crush on Kevin Tucker, the star quarterback of the Chicago Stars, for years. He lives a life of dating foreign fashion models and doing extreme sports and barely knows she exists. There's a badger in Molly's twee little books based on him. Then one weekend, Kevin and Molly find themselves in the same house in the country, and Molly seems to think that it would be a good idea to get undressed and get into bed with man she's been in love with, while he's asleep. He, thinking he is dreaming, has sex with her, and wakes up, appalled that his boss' younger sister is naked in bed with him, and took advantage of him. Molly has the audacity to be disappointed that the sleep sex she initiated wasn't great. Kevin points out that she basically RAPED him, and they go their separate ways. Of course Molly gets pregnant, and when Phoebe, her overprotective sister, and Dan, her brother-in-law discover it, they don't rest until they've figured out who the baby daddy is. Now, Kevin is worried he'll be seen as a victim (and also doesn't want to piss off his boss), so says nothing about the RAPE. Molly, because she's a terrible human being, refuses to come clean about her horrible nocturnal sexual assault, and the two are forced to marry. Molly miscarries shortly thereafter, because I guess karma's a bitch. I want to stress here, to any reader of my reviews who may be offended, that I would never wish a miscarriage on any woman in real life, but Molly is a fictional character, and a reprehensible one at that. I wanted nothing but bad things for her. Losing the baby she gained from RAPE only seems like cosmic justice. When Kevin discovers that his shotgun wedding bride is languishing away, all depressed because she lost their baby, he takes her along to the holiday cabins his parents owned, because he thinks it'll do her good to get away and he needs to sell the place. Having spent every single summer there as a child, surrounded by middle aged people, Kevin has no fond memories of the holiday camp, and can't wait to unload it on someone else. Molly, however, decides that the place looks like the real life version of her children's book universe, and does everything in her power to make Kevin see how "exciting" it is there, mainly by getting herself into dangerous situations, so he has to rescue her. Even having been warned by Mrs. Julien's review that this was a terrible book, I forced myself to keep reading it, hoping against all hope that maybe Molly would show some sort of redemptive qualities. But no, she's awful all the way through. I felt really bad, because Kevin is such a good guy, and I loved him as a supporting character in Nobody's Baby But Mine. He deserved so much better than an emotionally manipulative, spoiled shrew of a wife. When she climbed into bed with him, I was uncomfortable. By the time she has the nerve to express disappointment that the sex she had with a SLEEPING man who she took advantage of wasn't as great as she'd hoped, I wanted to throw my e-reader across the room in disgust. I didn't really like Molly in her first appearance in the series, but here I outright hated her. Not only did I hate Molly, but because Phoebe and Dan from It Had to Be You are supporting characters in this, and behave absolutely atrociously to Kevin all the way through, I now retroactively dislike their book a lot more too. The end of book, when Phoebe basically forces Kevin to choose between his career or staying married to the woman who sexually assaulted him and that the Calebows forced him to marry, in order to orchestrate some sort of elaborate grand gesture had me swearing loudly. Which reminds me, another reason this book pissed me off. Instead of swearing, Molly says "Slytherin" every time she's upset. Of her many deplorable qualities, it was probably one of the least bad, but it was still incredibly annoying. The only reason this book is getting a full one star is because I liked the secondary romance between Kevin's birth mother and a famous artist. I wish poor Kevin had sold the holiday cottages (having always hated camping I was firmly on his side about his super boring childhood summers), drowned Molly and run off with someone worthy of him. At least now Lisa Kleypas no longer needs to worry about being responsible for the worst romance I've read this year. I cannot imagine anything I'll read this year that I'll hate more than this book. I honestly don't know if Susan Elizabeth Phillips was trying to do some form of clever reversal on the "heroine falling in love with her rapist" that so frequently occurred in Old School romances. If that was her intention, she failed. Badly. Do yourself a favour and avoid this book like the plague.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amber’s reading

    Another fabulous read by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Top notch writing, strong, sassy and smart heroine, an element of hate to love, laugh out loud witty dialogue and a great plot. What more could you ask for? SEP has become my go-to author. Whenever I finish one of her books, I always have a smile on my face.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This book sooooo sooooo goooood! Oh my god! It was a re-read, but such a good one. Better than first time. huh... ****************** 4th time re-reading, this time it was 4... Or i'm still in bad reading mood...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    4.5 Stars “Go away,” she snapped. “I’m your reward?” “Only when you’re naked. When you have your clothes on, you’re a cross to bear.” Loved this one. This series is GOLD! Molly and her wishy washy demeanor is the only thing that kept me from being able to give this one a full 5 stars. I know she had issues and I totally sympathized with them but the way she treated Kevin was downright mean sometimes. (It didn't bother me all that much, though. The book is still kick ass!) I swear, I al 4.5 Stars “Go away,” she snapped. “I’m your reward?” “Only when you’re naked. When you have your clothes on, you’re a cross to bear.” Loved this one. This series is GOLD! Molly and her wishy washy demeanor is the only thing that kept me from being able to give this one a full 5 stars. I know she had issues and I totally sympathized with them but the way she treated Kevin was downright mean sometimes. (It didn't bother me all that much, though. The book is still kick ass!) I swear, I almost love SEP's secondary love stories as much as the main plot line. Lily and Liam's story was exquisite!!! <3 This is a go-to series that I can pick up and know it will be amazing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    MBR

    5++ star contemporary romance First of all, I just have got to say, what a great read! This book has everything that makes a great romance. Susan Elizabeth’s charm never fails to evoke all the right emotions from the reader. I haven’t really been reading the Chicago Stars series in order, a fact which I am thinking of remedying by starting from Book 1 of the series, the story of Molly’s sister which I am really interested in reading after seeing quick sneaks into her life with Dan Calebo. Molly a 5++ star contemporary romance First of all, I just have got to say, what a great read! This book has everything that makes a great romance. Susan Elizabeth’s charm never fails to evoke all the right emotions from the reader. I haven’t really been reading the Chicago Stars series in order, a fact which I am thinking of remedying by starting from Book 1 of the series, the story of Molly’s sister which I am really interested in reading after seeing quick sneaks into her life with Dan Calebo. Molly and Kevin’s story is a fascinating one, not just the story of how they find one another and quickly fall in love, but rather a journey these two take in finding the love they could both have with one another if given half the chance. At first glance, Molly and Kevin couldn’t be further apart from one another if they tried. A children’s books author, her characters you find are closely linked with Kevin’s escapades over the years, Molly has had a huge crush on Kevin as long as she can remember. Not that football jock Kevin even knows she exists. With the continuous string of the doll faced women with no brains of their own that parade through his life, Kevin seems to be at the top of his game playing for the football team managed by Molly’s sister Phoebe. Though Molly doesn’t seem to realize it, she has got this streak of restlessness inside of her which lands her in trouble from time to time. This is what ends her up in Kevin’s bed, seducing him in his sleep and an outraged Kevin who gets rightfully pissed off about being taken advantage of. Kevin makes Molly promise to him that if there ever were consequences of their coming together she would let him know, which of course Molly doesn’t when she finds herself pregnant. Molly’s well meaning family, Phoebe and Dan are both shocked when they find out Molly is pregnant and jump to all the wrong conclusions about who took advantage of whom when they find out that Kevin is the father. Kevin slams back into Molly’s life and makes her marry him, though Kevin can barely be civil to the woman who has turned everything in his life upside down. In the end, mere hours after getting married, Molly suffers a miscarriage which quickly spins her world out of control. Once again, its Kevin who shakes her out of depression, takes her off on a trip to Wind Lake, and finds herself running the quaint bed and breakfast that Kevin inherits from his aunt which Kevin wants nothing to do with. Here Kevin faces his demons from his childhood face on, with Molly finally finding peace within herself in this beautiful place. Tentatively, Kevin and Molly find in one another friendship, and finally red hot desire for one another, that makes Kevin sweat profusely at the idea of getting all his emotions involved in finally inevitably falling for Molly. This is truly great story with a lovable cast of side characters and of course who wouldn’t love Molly’s fictional characters Daphne and Bunny with their witty and adorable insights into the beginnings of each chapter of the book. Highly recommended for those who love a good romance with a witty cast of characters that could make you smile, make your heart ache just a little and finally end you up with a bunch of happy tears at the truly deserving happy ending! Funny, poignant and heartwarming, this is must read for romance lovers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Megha

    I can now add Kevin to the list of Shea, Lucas & Tate and Molly to Falon, Elli & Audrey. These two are phenomenal! i love absolutely love the way this story is written! its got its moments but its hilarious! its also so visually stimulating that when SEP describes the camground and the cottages and the attic, one can actually see all of those come alive in the mind's eye. Atleast i could. and that makes reading the novel so very very enriching as an experience. Its like she is taking you into a d I can now add Kevin to the list of Shea, Lucas & Tate and Molly to Falon, Elli & Audrey. These two are phenomenal! i love absolutely love the way this story is written! its got its moments but its hilarious! its also so visually stimulating that when SEP describes the camground and the cottages and the attic, one can actually see all of those come alive in the mind's eye. Atleast i could. and that makes reading the novel so very very enriching as an experience. Its like she is taking you into a dream world and you dont want to come out of it! Kevin and Molly are one of the sweetest couples i have read. their banter and their romance is beautiful, funny, aggravating, frustrating, emotionally intense - all of it. I feel terrible when Molly looses her baby and i literally melt when Kevin realizes that Sarah could have been so much like Hannah. What's most beautiful about Kevin and Molly's story is how they grow, evolve and how they both understand each other's character flaws and fight for what either should get coz that is what they deserve...there is a sense of selfness to their love which is very refreshing. Not to discount the variety of instances that bring to life those little moments when you realise that the reasons for their arguments are very very endearing - Molly fighting for Kevin's heritage with Kevin coz he doesnt realise how much it means to him yet, Kevin arguing with Molly for her to accept herself coz she doesnt recognize that its okay to be imperfect and be looney tunes about things :) i absolutely love love their banter. Its also good to meet the Calebow clan - firm, supportive, over protective, all family - and will do anything and go to any length to protect their own. absolutely adored Hannah! she's gorgeous and is a real smart cookie :) It was also a privilege to meet Lian Jenner - a man who understands how to make a woman feel gorgeous and flawed all at the same time and loving her passionately too! Lilly deserved every bit of happiness that she finds with Liam and im very happy for them. All in all i absolutely would recommend this book to everyone who like a fantastic read coz this is what this book is :) enjoyed it thoroughly and hope you do too :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I've read the majority of the Chicago Stars series, not in order, and actually started out with Match Me If You Can on accident when I found it lying around a thrift store when I was in high school. So far, I've read Annabelle and Heath's story more times than I'd like to admit, because they're just adorable and I fell in love with them. If you've read any SEP, you know what's coming. Same basic story line, some different personalities thrown in each time. I really enjoy most of SEP's titles beca I've read the majority of the Chicago Stars series, not in order, and actually started out with Match Me If You Can on accident when I found it lying around a thrift store when I was in high school. So far, I've read Annabelle and Heath's story more times than I'd like to admit, because they're just adorable and I fell in love with them. If you've read any SEP, you know what's coming. Same basic story line, some different personalities thrown in each time. I really enjoy most of SEP's titles because, despite being predictable, her books are witty and give you that warm, fuzzy feelin. Not this one. I have to completely second someone else's review that said the majority of the beginning of the book had me actually saying "WTF" out loud. I seriously wanted to throw it across the room at one point. (view spoiler)[When Molly raped Kevin, I was convinced I had read something wrong. Why in the hell did no one think it necessary to point out to SEP that having your main character rape the other main character, probably isn't the best way to start off your romance novel? (hide spoiler)] I was convinced Molly was mentally deranged, and that she needed to seek a therapist as soon as possible. (view spoiler)[There was no redeeming the book after this incident for me. I kept reading, wondering how SEP was going to write herself out of this one. It never happened. Because rape isn't cute, funny, or sexy (hide spoiler)]

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eilonwy

    After getting to pages 47 to 49 and a certain incident (see spoiler below if you're curious), then checking out some GR reviews for this book, I've realized I can't continue with it. Nothing is going to redeem it for me. I think I may have to scratch any SEP books written before 2005 or so, since this makes the second one I've tried from that earlier period which is just too problematic for me. (view spoiler)[The female MC rapes the male lead while he is asleep in bed. It's called out as unaccep After getting to pages 47 to 49 and a certain incident (see spoiler below if you're curious), then checking out some GR reviews for this book, I've realized I can't continue with it. Nothing is going to redeem it for me. I think I may have to scratch any SEP books written before 2005 or so, since this makes the second one I've tried from that earlier period which is just too problematic for me. (view spoiler)[The female MC rapes the male lead while he is asleep in bed. It's called out as unacceptable, but the story still goes on to pair these two up. IMO, this is the kind of behavior which should make a romance impossible. Especially one that's being set up as a Great Love Affair (capital letters straight from the book itself). No, just no. I'm appalled and cannot support this story. (hide spoiler)]

  21. 4 out of 5

    Piper

    Another great story in this delightful series. Moving quickly on to number six.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nisha

    I thought I stopped judging books by their cover, but for the longest time, I couldn't pick this book up because of its not-nearly-as-exciting cover. Anyway, that was very childish of me since this happened to be one of the best SEP book I've read. I loved both Molly, for her children's books, and Kevin, cuz he's 'duh man', jk. Anyway, the secondary love story was pretty hot too (all that paint), but since they were older and both passionate artists, i had very little connection to them. The chil I thought I stopped judging books by their cover, but for the longest time, I couldn't pick this book up because of its not-nearly-as-exciting cover. Anyway, that was very childish of me since this happened to be one of the best SEP book I've read. I loved both Molly, for her children's books, and Kevin, cuz he's 'duh man', jk. Anyway, the secondary love story was pretty hot too (all that paint), but since they were older and both passionate artists, i had very little connection to them. The children were great and all the interactions with them were quite cute. Who doesn't love a man who's good with children? The best part of the book is Molly's narration. I cracked when she fantasized about Kevin's 'conquering' and the book character parallels were adorable.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline J

    So this was a reread for me and I think I liked it slightly less the second time around. As others have mentioned the heroine's actions especially at the beginning are pretty darn questionable. I'm going to drop it from a 5 to 4 star rating. It still remains a strong book on the basis of the dialog. And I've got to say I really loved the quotes from the children's books. Having led story time for too many years I could picture it and I think I would have enjoyed reading them out loud.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I almost gave up on this one in the beginning - it was a bit of a messy start but I'm so glad I kept going because I ended up loving this one. There were parts that made me angry, frustrated and sad but there was a lot that had me laughing out loud. This might be my favorite in this series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenny - TotallybookedBlog

    4.5

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Reread May 2019. 3 to 3.5 stars. I've been rereading the Chicago Stars series. This one was sweet in parts, but a little too cutesy in other parts. I also felt uncomfortable about what happened between the MCs early in the book. No matter how sorry Molly was later, what she did was still pretty awful. Not my fav book of the series, I guess.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patry Fernandez

    ME HA ENCANTADO

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    This book has a problematic relationship with the series—mainly in playing around with Kevin's timeline to make him old enough for Molly. You only really need to have read the first, It Had to Be You, because Molly, Phoebe and Dan all feature strongly here. In contrast, remembering Kevin from Nobody's Baby But Mine is almost a detriment because the Kevin here is some ten years past that point and thus has little in common with that callow youth. Which presents one of the biggest problems in enga This book has a problematic relationship with the series—mainly in playing around with Kevin's timeline to make him old enough for Molly. You only really need to have read the first, It Had to Be You, because Molly, Phoebe and Dan all feature strongly here. In contrast, remembering Kevin from Nobody's Baby But Mine is almost a detriment because the Kevin here is some ten years past that point and thus has little in common with that callow youth. Which presents one of the biggest problems in engaging with the story because Molly starts off with a humdinger of a screw-up. There are some parallels with NBBM to start, only ickier because Molly crosses the line into sexual assault with nine-month consequences. And Kevin starts a bit like Cal in insisting they marry because, uh, his dad was a preacher? Yeah, that didn't really make much sense to me but anyway . . . Only, once they're married, Molly miscarries which whipsaws the entire dynamic into outer space and we're in freefall from there. Which serves to highlight how much better Kevin is than Cal (from NBBM) underneath his commitment-phobia. Confused? To sum up: Molly loses sight of the fact Kevin is a person and accidentally gets knocked up. He leans on her remorse to get them married. She miscarries. All better. Yeah, that last part not so much. Molly goes into a deep depression and Kevin has the opportunity to help and takes it. Yeah, he's kind of awesome. From there, story happens. The sooner you can get past Molly's transgression the better off you'll be (and not because the story takes it lightly, but because it'll let you see and believe her remorse as more than mere self-pity). If you were strongly attached to her in It Had to be You then that part may be particularly hard and may be enough to throw you out of the book entirely because it's hard to see someone you like screw up so big. I liked her well enough before, but didn't have a hard time relating to someone who screwed-up big-time in a moment of weakness and regretted it and did her best trying to make amends and move on. From the time Kevin finds her in the depths of despair, things move along wonderfully. I loved all the details and characters and the lovely setting of their semi-isolated summer camp turned upscale B&B. I loved Molly's children's books and how well SEP depicted being a working children's author (even if I didn't buy the stereotypical nutjobs trying to boycott them). And I fell hard for both Molly and Kevin in all their screwed-up glory. I liked particularly how well Kevin understood her on a fundamental level, and helped her grow even as he broke her heart (see commitment-phobia above). And the secondary romance was touching even as it mirrored some of the same problems Kevin and Molly experienced. So yeah, this was a solid four that managed to raise to five so gradually I barely noticed. I loved how it made me laugh and cry in turns and end up very satisfied that they'd be happy together on the solid foundation they'd manage to build, despite an inauspicious start (and I don't mean the screw-up or consequences so much as the various flaws they each needed to overcome). A note about Steamy: I lost count of the explicit sex scenes, though not because there were so many. It felt standard SEP, which probably means a couple plus foreplay with the main couple as well as the two with the secondaries. I very much enjoyed the old-people lovin', actually; not because of the sex so much as the body-image attitude communicated explicitly by Liam in regards to it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jonetta

    I really enjoyed this story featuring Phoebe Calebow's sister, Molly. The relationship that develops between Molly and Kevin Tucker was realistic and natural, despite its absurd beginning. It was a pleasure to follow them as they matured as individuals and as a couple. It was also heartwarming to see the bond that was formed between the two sisters from the first book in the series. There are many funny moments and both characters have a quirky wit that is enjoyable This is one of my most favori I really enjoyed this story featuring Phoebe Calebow's sister, Molly. The relationship that develops between Molly and Kevin Tucker was realistic and natural, despite its absurd beginning. It was a pleasure to follow them as they matured as individuals and as a couple. It was also heartwarming to see the bond that was formed between the two sisters from the first book in the series. There are many funny moments and both characters have a quirky wit that is enjoyable This is one of my most favorite in the Chicago Stars series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anzu The Great Destroyer

    Another wonderful story brought to us by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I must say that the whole Chicago Stars series, so far at least, is amazing. This story was simple, but what made it great were the characters. She has great talent when creating fascinating characters, and this is one of the things I love most when reading her books. In This Heart of Mine I got attached to Kevin even since the beginning. In the previous books from the series I always sided with the girls, especially since the guy Another wonderful story brought to us by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I must say that the whole Chicago Stars series, so far at least, is amazing. This story was simple, but what made it great were the characters. She has great talent when creating fascinating characters, and this is one of the things I love most when reading her books. In This Heart of Mine I got attached to Kevin even since the beginning. In the previous books from the series I always sided with the girls, especially since the guys were ass*s, buuuuut in this one I couldn’t help myself. Kevin is such a sweetheart and a charmer. He won my heart instantly. Molly was too immature for my taste. I know, this is coming from the queen of immaturity, but I’m telling you there’s a limit to this. I had many moments when I wished she was next to me just to give her a slap and bring her back to reality. Too bad she’s a talented person. This made me like her more, kind of… Anyways, in the end I can’t say I hated them both ending up together. I thought the last chapter was cute, and the epilogue even cuter, even though I’m not such a fan of baby stuff. But I must admit there are moments when these things make me smile. I do have a heart, you know! Great read! Definitely worth your time. Oh, I know it’s not really related to this book, but when I saw this I automatically thought of Phoebe and Dan (they’re in the book so you’ll get who they are). Good times…

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