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Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world: a bona-fide sports superstar and the pride of the NFL with a profitable side career as a buff billboard model for End Zone underwear. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a cross-country trip to figure out what's gone wrong. When he hits a lonely stretch of Colorado highway, he spies something that will shake up his gilded life in ways he can't imagine. A young woman … dressed in a beaver suit.

Blue Bailey is on a mission to murder her ex. Or at least inflict serious damage. As for the beaver suit she's wearing … Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curveballs? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out of it.

Blue's career as a portrait painter is the perfect job for someone who refuses to stay in one place for very long. She needs a ride, and America's most famous football player has an imposing set of wheels. Now, all she has to do is keep him entertained, off guard, and fully clothed before he figures out exactly how desperate she is.

But Dean isn't the brainless jock she imagines, and Blue—despite her petite stature—is just about the toughest woman Dean has ever met. They're soon heading for his summer home where their already complicated lives and inconvenient attraction to each other will become entangled with a charismatic but aging rock star; a beautiful fifty-two-year-old woman trying to make peace with her rock and roll past; an eleven-year-old who desperately needs a family; and a bitter old woman who hates them all.

As the summer progresses, the wandering portrait artist and the charming football star play a high-stakes game, fighting themselves and each other for a chance to have it all.

Natural Born Charmer is for everyone who's ever thought about leaving their old life in the dust and never looking back. Susan Elizabeth Phillips takes us home again … and shows us where love truly lives.

Topics: Tennessee, United States of America, American South, Funny, Witty, American Football, Road Trip, Family, Being Broke, and Love Story

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061795312
List price: $6.99
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fabulous series. This book captured my attention from the very beginning. loved the secondary characters and I kept laughing out loud at the lines.read more
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Love this book. Great characters and quick dialogue. Wonderful!read more
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romance with a touch of comedy...amazingread more
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Natural Born Charmer is a delightful contemporary fictional story, filled with funny situations and witty dialog. The characters in this book will win your heart, stir your emotions, and make you laugh.

Thirty-year-old Blue Bailey learned from a very young age that people could not be trusted. Everyone she had ever loved left her. She decided that it would be easier to feel the heartache of loneliness, than to suffer the stinging pain of betrayal and rejection. So Blue Bailey hid herself behind a smart mouth, oversized tee shirts, combat boots and a badass attitude.

Pro-football player Dean Robillard smiled when he spotted a woman dressed in a beaver suit stomping alongside the highway blazing with anger. Intrigued, he pulled his car over. He had no idea that his life was about to change forever.  Blue Bailey on the other hand had no idea that she was about to let in a self-centered selfish man who would crack her inner fortress, and break her heart.

Blue Bailey marched along the Tennessee highway, furious and fit to be tied. Her bank account had been ransacked, her car rendered useless, and if she didn’t get out of her beaver suit soon she was going to drop from heat exhaustion. So when Pro-football star Dean Robillard stopped to offer her a ride, she took it.

Dean was used to women falling all over him. So when Blue Bailey refused his charms, he was stunned.  Who was this girl? She certainly wasn’t a beauty queen dressed in men’s clothing and combat boots. She should feel lucky that he even acknowledged her presence at all. But the more time Dean spent with Blue, the more he discovered that her thick sarcastic exterior was just a cover for the insecure beautiful girl who lived beneath it.

Blue couldn’t understand why she even cared about Dean. He was a conceited jerk, and treated his mother as if she were dead. Blue got it though, he had been abandoned, but so had she. Maybe her mother wasn’t a druggie like Dean’s, but at least his mother was trying to be there now for him. That was more than she could say about hers. Blue had to get away from Dean Robillard. She was playing with fire and her heart was about to be broken. So Blue took a job painting a portrait for a mean-spirited hateful woman, who would end up befriending her.

Natural Born Charmer is a well written, funny and emotional read, crafted with several subplots. Susan Elizabeth Phillips does a fabulous job developing her secondary characters. She depicts for the reader the overwhelming guilt that hits a parent when they realize, that their self-indulgent lifestyle has left permanent scars upon their children. Each character in Natural Born Charmer pulled my heartstrings, except Dean Robillard. He never won me over.  I loved the character of Blue Bailey though; she’s sassy, smart and funny and has a beautiful loving heart.

The common thread in Natural Born Charmer is about relationships, the pain of them, and the joy of them and how some relationships are just worth fighting for, no matter what. I loved this book, it moved me emotionally, and made me laugh. It’s unrealistic, but it’s so enjoyable that it really didn’t matter. I read the book in one day.

I highly recommend Natural Born Charmer. Be prepared to laugh and ride a roller coaster of emotions. Smart mouth, badass Blue Bailey is going to win you over. I guarantee it.
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an amazing work of art! from beginning too the end I was laughing and touched. the characters feel like actual breathing in the flesh human. I would love to know. thank you for writing this amazing love story. The type of love story that last thru the ages.. a must read for those in search of an amazing funny, sweet and happily ever afterread more
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Considering the fact that I've never attempted to hide my love of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and her stories, it should come as no surprise that I was in the bookstore the day Natural Born Charmer was released. It takes a special author to convince me to shell out my hard-earned money for a hardback book, but SEP is always worth it.Natural Born Charmer is a continuation of Phillips' Chicago Stars series, which center around a fictional NFL team (AFC division, for those of you who might be curious) and the people involved with it. This is the story of Dean Robillard, the quaterback of the Stars, who was introduced in Phillips' previous novel Match Me If You Can as a young, arrogant, too-good-looking rookie. This book picks up with Dean now in his early 30s. Some of the youth is gone, a lot of the arrogance is gone, but the looks are definitely still there.Blue Bailey is our hapless heroine. And when I say hapless, I mean it literally--the first time Dean sees her she's trudging down the side of a country road in Colorado wearing nothing but a beaver suit. Yes, you read that right. A beaver suit.The two end up going on a cross-country road trip to Tennessee together (Dean wanted company, and Blue had no money and no place to stay), where Dean's recently bought a farm. Once they get there, though, Dean discovers that his estranged, ex-groupie/drug addict mother has been mascarading as his housekeeper. Blue, coming from a pretty dysfunctional family herself, tries to help mother and son to reconcile, but Dean's just a little too bitter. Things only get worse when his 11-year-old half sister Riley finds him, causing their father (famous rock singer Jack Patriot) to come after her (Riley's mother had just died). Throw in a crotchety old woman who literally owns the tiny Tennessee town, and SEP has once again provided the reader with an excellent cast of characters.The thing I love about SEP's books is that they're funny and extremely well-written. They read fast, and it's hard to stop turning the page and put the book down. Her characters always feel real, like people you know in real life (or that might just be me, since I know lots of dysfunctional people). You also know you're going to get a great secondary romance. And, truth be told, odds are at least one of the characters is going to have some sort of mommy or daddy issues that need to be dealt with. Some people see that as a bad thing, but I see it as being realistic--it's pretty much impossible to find someone who doesn't have mommy or daddy issues.That being said, I'm afraid she's getting a little too predictable. Don't get me wrong, I loved the book. It was overall another great read by who I like to call the Queen of Romantic Comedy. But the thing is, you know you're going to get certain things when you read SEP. On one hand, it's comforting and it fulfills a definite need. On the other, it can be dangerous for an author to stay too close to the same "formula." Dean's character also reminded me a lot of Kevin from This Heart of Mine (which is my favorite book ever), and while that isn't necessarily a bad thing (if Kevin were real I would marry him), it isn't necessarily a good thing, either (the characters need to be distinctively different).The one area where she did deviate was with the sex--there was a lot less of it (although she did make a reference to some anal activity, which shocked me). Luckily, the tension was still there--and the tension's at least half the fun of reading a great romance. But I have to say that I was a little disappointed by the sex scenes; they weren't as long or as descriptive as usual, and a part of me felt like I missed out on something. And before any of you start to think that I'm one of those women who vicariously lives through romance novels and only reads them for the sex, I'm going to shut you up right now. Sex scenes aren't gratuitous in romance--or at least they shouldn't be. They help to move the plot forward, deepen the relationship between the characters, and let the reader see inside the character's psyche just a little bit more (because, let's face it, sex can make you a little vulnerable). So for her to not get quite as deep into the POV during those scenes, it left me feeling a little...out of sorts, wondering what had happened to SEP and where had her great love scenes gone.Despite that, though, I still really enjoyed this book. I love flawed characters who are genuinely good people. I love to laugh. I love to cry. I love to pick up a book and find myself putting it down to go to the bathroom two hours later wondering where the time went.Susan Elizabeth Phillips has never failed to deliver a great read, and I know that she'll continue to provide funny, touching romances.read more
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This is the final book in SEP's Chicago Stars series. I enjoyed this book and read it easily in a weekend. It wasn't my favorite of SEP's books, however. I'm not even really sure why. I liked Blue and Dean. They were funny and their story was plenty hot enough for me. I also liked the side characters. I especially loved Nita Garrison, the crotchety old woman who Blue befriends. I guess maybe for me the story was just a little bit too far fetched. Dean is an extremely good looking professional quarterback. His dad is a famous rock and roll artist. His mother is a groupie turned teetotaler. Blue's mother is a famous activist. Don't get me wrong, I like reading stories that take me out of my every day life into a dream world but only up to a point. Everybody was too rich, too good looking, and all of the reconciliations were too easy. It made the book a bit too predictable and kind of spoiled some of the fun. I still enjoyed it, however. I am a fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and her witty/sarcastic characters and in that regard, this book did not let me down.read more
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A return to form after a few disappointing novels, this has all the SEP trademark quirks - too gorgeous athlete with troubled childhood, quirky defensive heroine, small lost children, and a fluffy dogs. It has the older (but not too old!) couple reconciling and some snappy dialogue too. I really enjoyed it.read more
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Loved, loved, loved this book. The repartee is witty and the characters are charming and flawed and I loved going into their world.Dialogue is sassy and sharp and is sure to keep you on your toes. The heroine is not your glamourous beauty but she steals the heart of our hero and we want them to get it all together soooo much. I love the setting in Tennessee and the wanderlust of our heroine as she battles the fear of giving her love and accepting love after a lifetime of disappointments. We can all overcome and hope springs eternal when we read this charmer. Oh, and the hero is awesome in this book.read more
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This was actually a very good book.The storyline was fairly typical for a romance novel.The characters were all very well developed with surprising twists.I am not a romance reader but I am glad I read this one!read more
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This is the best SEP I've read...so far, at least. I loved it (4.5 stars) and I'm still thinking about giving it five stars. The only thing I didn't love was the Thomas Kinkade vibe I was getting from the descriptions of Blue's painting-style.read more
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Listened to the audiobook during my commute. Not quite as good as some of her other books but I still laughed out loud at more than one point. It kept the lighthearted attitude with witty personalities.read more
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I wasn't sure it was possible for a Sophie Kinsella-type book to be more predictable than they are... apparently, they can -- Kinsella writes them under her real name! Pleasant enough, I suppose, when it is not entirely annoying.read more
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Superb.I was never one of those who didn't like Blue in the book - she always reminded me a bit of Gracie Snow from Heaven, Texas. Great on paper or in audio.read more
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I'm not into slapstick or silly stupid humor. That's why when I read the opening scene I felt a momentary urge to hurl this book (OK, it was a library book, so I wouldn't actually hurl it). Blue Bailey is walking down the road in a beaver costume when Dean Robillard drives by and stops to help her. Reminded me of one of those comedy skits from the old Carol Burnett Show. Turns out this book was not as light as I first thought. It is a romantic comedy but with an underlying edge of dark.Dean and Blue both have serious abandonment and trust issues. And for good reasons. Dean is a sports superstar as the quarterback of the Chicago Stars. His father was a huge rock star (think Bruce Springsteen or someone like him) who didn't know how to be a father and pretty much ignored him. His mother was a drugged out groupie who didn't know how to be a mother but gives him up to be raised by someone who is responsible and grows to love him. He is still seriously angry at both of his parents. His mother has gone straight and is trying to get back into his life but he wants nothing to do with her. Blue's mother was an activist who is out to save the world one cause at a time but really should not have been a mother because she sucked at it. Blue took second place in her mother's life while she was passed from foster home to foster home. Recalling those memories made some heartwrenching scenes. She eventually learned not to become attached to anyone because she would eventually lose them.Phillips' signature of great dialog and sexy banter was in full swing here. I loved how good Dean and Blue were together and how they had to work through their issues and grow as people before their happy ending is possible. As usual her characters are very well drawn and unique. This is a story about families and forgiveness and trust as well as a great love story. However, I thought Dean should have groveled a bit more at the end when he ... well, I won't spoil it. I liked Match Me If You Can a little more than NBC but it was still very enjoyable. (Grade: A-)read more
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I could not put this book down. I started it Saturday morning and finished it late Saturday night.read more
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Natural Born Charmer is actually a pretty decent book, but...how shall i put it?...its eyes are bigger than its stomach. It's this light, frothy, contemporary romance between a quirky itinerant painter, Blue, and an all-star football player, Dean, with maybe a dozen sub-plots. There's Dean's relationship with his mother, Dean's relationship with his father, the relationship between Dean's mother and father, Dean and his half-sister, the half-sister and Dean's parents (individually and as a pair), Blue and the crotchety old lady who runs the town, Blue and her mother.

Some of these sub-plots are pretty heavy; when Dean was very young, for example, his mother was a drug addict who did a pretty poor job of raising him. Now she's clean and wants to make up for her poor parenting. Phillips makes an effort to keep the light, funny tone, the witty repartee, and wrap everyone's story up at the end with a neat little bow...as a result, there's no way she can give each of her sub-plots the treatment it deserves. All the subplots, and the main romance as well, suffer from being squeezed into Phillips' allotted word count.

I had one other problem with the book, which probably won't bother anyone else. We know Blue is a painter but it's not until the end that we find out how Blue paints. She gets the opportunity to let her creativity run wild and, apparently, she produces a lot of sentimental schlock. I'm sure plenty of people will be thinking, "Yes, march to the beat of your own drummer, Blue! Modern art is stupid, Blue!"...but not me. Finding out that she made silly paintings depressed me, so the book ended on a sour note for me. .read more
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Another excellent book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Main Character Dean from "Match me if you can" has matured and lost his sense of humor from when we last saw him. Blue is a free spirit that complements Deans new attitude.read more
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I have never been a big fan of romance novels per say. I generally like my romance novels to be laced with a mystery or have a bit of an edge to them. This book however was recommended to me by the librarian on duty based on my other selections. I ended up liking it quite a bit. The story opens on a totally bizarre note. I found myself wonder what in the heck was going on. I stuck with it and things became clear rather quickly. Stick with it, it gets better.Susan Elizabeth Phillips manages to weave some complex layers into this novel. I haven't read any of her other books, so I am not sure if it is exclusive to this book or if she always writes this way. I love her insights on the complexities of family relationships. It was a joy to read and I feel that she was able to give the reader good insight into the characters motivations. Blue is the leading lady in this novel. She is always on the move, afraid to settle down. When she meets Dean, a QB out of Chicago, she ends up traveling to his cottage with him for lack of anywhere else to go. The two characters spar comically throughout the novel which helps make the novel light and entertaining.Will Blue be able to open herself to a relationship? Will Dean be able to open himself to his family? Find out in this Natural Born Charmer of a book!read more
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This is the 6th (if I'm counting correctly) book in the series featuring the Chicago Stars football team.How can you resist a book that starts with a headless beaver walking down the side of the road?Said beaver is Blue Bailey, who's been abandoned after doing a roadside advertising gig. She's picked up by Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard, and they immediately start to irritate each other. And yet somehow, she ends up accompanying him on the drive to his farm in Tennessee.Natural Born Charmer could just stick with that much story and be cute and clever and fun. But it goes much further than that. Both Blue and Dean have abandonment issues in their pasts--both had neglectful parents, to say the least, and the reason Blue took a job as a beaver is that the boyfriend she went to Colorado to be with left her for someone else, and she's broke because her mother emptied Blue's bank account to fund a rescue.We meet Dean's parents as well as his young half-sister, and the romantic comedy part of the story becomes the framework for a much deeper tale of families, love, neglect, abandonment, and forgiveness. The characters are all very vivid and larger than life, all complex and neither good nor bad. All of them are struggling with various issues.Parts of Natural Born Charmer were hard to read because they hit a little close to home, and parts made me angry (like Dean's solution to Blue's inability to trust him), but they all fit the story and the characters, and I finished it feeling emotionally exhausted and satisfied, which is for me the perfect result.read more
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Just ignore the cover. The main character is first seen in a beaver suit for crying out loud and believes clothes should be more for comfort than style and I loved her. While she did compromise for him, she remains quite true to herself throughout and in fact he brings out the best in her, like she does with him. The two of them don't have it easy because they both have trust issues but they do create an interesting relationship and friendship.Would recommend it in a heartbeat. There are some very predictable parts but overall it was a great fun read.read more
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SEP never disappoints, a funny and poignant read. Not only is there great chemistry between the hero and heroine, the secondary romance is a charmer too.read more
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A fluffy feel good romance between a football star and an aspiring artist. It's a beach read and I loved it!read more
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As much as I love the author , this story didn't really come up trumps or me. There was to much indecision from both Blue and Boo as to how their friendship was going, but I liked the sub characters, better, Boo's divorced parents, Jack and April, had a little thing going on their own. read more
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A Greek-god handsome NFL superstar, a feisty girl in a Beaver costume, an aging rock star and a former groupie - all find love and trust in a small Tennessee town. Throw in an eleven year-old who just lost her mother and you've got a warm and fuzzy story that will leave you warm and happy at its end. A real charmer. Whenever you're feeling down and out, Phillips picks you right up.read more
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This is SEP doing all the things she does best, key among them making me believe that her fully-realized and unique characters really do belong together.I don't care for sports, celebrity, or show business, but these are all mainstays of SEP's books and over time I've actually come to look forward to the way she uses them. As a bag of tricks, they give her a lot of room to play with character issues like confidence, self-image, strength, identity both as an individual and part of a team, and the maturing of a personal ethic.SEP's characters are always perfectly motivated. That's plenty tough to pull off, and doing it over and over again has really got to tax a writer's creativity, but once again I closed the book and thought yeah, everyone behaved exactly as I would expect them to given the lives they led up to the opening of the story.And yet there are surprises on every page, and there's the genius. SEP (like Elizabeth George, in a very different genre) has a perfect "ear" for human motivation, but she is especially generous in letting her characters surprise the reader. We all might know that in the successful rock star beats a heart damaged by early rejection. What that person does when challenged, however, is SEP's territory - and since this *is* a romance they always rise above - but in ways that are not obvious to a person trying to work out how the story will play out.read more
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This was a fun read.Phillips has a snappy, cheerful writing style that flowed into her story, even when it was covering less than cheerful moments.Both the hero and heroine were immediately interesting people - Blue with her odd name and her beaver costume, and Dean who is so initially amused by her. Their dialogue is immediately snappy, yet each seems to have an instinctive understanding of the other. The story soon shows that they both have more problems understanding themselves.While Dean and Blue are the stars of the book, Phillips makes all the background characters fun and interesting as well. I did feel that this was occasionally to Blue and Dean's disadvantage as some time that could have been used getting to know them better was sacrificed for the sake of the secondary characters.Since those secondary characters made a sparkling cast I didn't really mind. Each one of them made an impression and it was nice to see them grow towards their own happy endings as Dean and Blue worked on theirs.By biggest complaint was that I sometimes got a tell-not-show feeling from the text - not in regards to the plot, but in terms of the progression of Dean and Blue's realtionship. I felt I knew what was developing between them more because the text told me, than because I could see it for myself. But at the same time, I bought into it completely, and was very happy to see them happy together.I can't really explain it, I think there was just a slight feeling of something not having been done quite as well as it could have been. But that didn't stop me liking the book and I'll happily read more of Susan Elizabeth Phillips.Nita Garrison was a wonderful character, and quite delightfully real. On first meeting she's a nasty old lady, but as time progresses we see what's hidden underneath, and that she keeps underneath instead of miraculously opening up and becoming sunshine and light as might have been done with her. Yet it is easy to believe it when Blue reveals that she's been anonomously helping the needy in the community for years.So while I haven't given this a really high grade, mostly due to that elusive "something missing" feeling I'm left with, I really enjoyed the book. I read past my bedtime last night and had to make a conscious decision to stop instead of just keeping going until I was finished and paying for it in the morning.I like SEP and I'm sure I'll be reading more of her work, although probably from the library at this point.read more
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I love the quirky characters that the author creates throughout all her books. As a lover of architecture, I saw the farm house as it's own character and fell in love with the gypsy caravan wagon.read more
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I have this thing about romance books -- a thing I look for that pretty much decides how much I'm going to like the book as I read it. That thing is what they called the "meet cute" in old movies, i.e. how the two main romantic couple meets. If that first meeting doesn't touch me somehow -- be it, make me laugh, make me interested, send chills down my spine, whatever -- then I pretty much give up on the book going from that point forward.This book SO did not mess up the "meet cute." My GOD did it not mess it up. Blue's (the main female character) first words to Dean after he's inquired whether he could be of some help to her? "Do you have a gun?" And when he says he doesn't, Blue's response, "Then I have no use for you." Perfect. And from Dean's point of view, he sees her walking down the road in a beaver costume....well, most of one anyway. How could it get any better than that? (And of course, I'm paraphrasing the quotes there...I don't remember the exact words used.)I love these characters, and not just the main ones, either. Every one of the characters that show up in this book are fantastically crafted and flawed and perfect. I can tell you, I am now a Susan Elizabeth Phillips fan. I don't think I've had this much fun with a book since I read "Agnes and the Hitman" by Jennifer Crusie. And by the way, Dean's father? Totally Keith Richards in my head.read more
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I enjoyed this audiobook - some of the lines made me laugh and cringe, but overall I thought it was a fun chic lit story - sexy love scenes and some language.read more
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fabulous series. This book captured my attention from the very beginning. loved the secondary characters and I kept laughing out loud at the lines.
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Love this book. Great characters and quick dialogue. Wonderful!
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romance with a touch of comedy...amazing
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Natural Born Charmer is a delightful contemporary fictional story, filled with funny situations and witty dialog. The characters in this book will win your heart, stir your emotions, and make you laugh.

Thirty-year-old Blue Bailey learned from a very young age that people could not be trusted. Everyone she had ever loved left her. She decided that it would be easier to feel the heartache of loneliness, than to suffer the stinging pain of betrayal and rejection. So Blue Bailey hid herself behind a smart mouth, oversized tee shirts, combat boots and a badass attitude.

Pro-football player Dean Robillard smiled when he spotted a woman dressed in a beaver suit stomping alongside the highway blazing with anger. Intrigued, he pulled his car over. He had no idea that his life was about to change forever.  Blue Bailey on the other hand had no idea that she was about to let in a self-centered selfish man who would crack her inner fortress, and break her heart.

Blue Bailey marched along the Tennessee highway, furious and fit to be tied. Her bank account had been ransacked, her car rendered useless, and if she didn’t get out of her beaver suit soon she was going to drop from heat exhaustion. So when Pro-football star Dean Robillard stopped to offer her a ride, she took it.

Dean was used to women falling all over him. So when Blue Bailey refused his charms, he was stunned.  Who was this girl? She certainly wasn’t a beauty queen dressed in men’s clothing and combat boots. She should feel lucky that he even acknowledged her presence at all. But the more time Dean spent with Blue, the more he discovered that her thick sarcastic exterior was just a cover for the insecure beautiful girl who lived beneath it.

Blue couldn’t understand why she even cared about Dean. He was a conceited jerk, and treated his mother as if she were dead. Blue got it though, he had been abandoned, but so had she. Maybe her mother wasn’t a druggie like Dean’s, but at least his mother was trying to be there now for him. That was more than she could say about hers. Blue had to get away from Dean Robillard. She was playing with fire and her heart was about to be broken. So Blue took a job painting a portrait for a mean-spirited hateful woman, who would end up befriending her.

Natural Born Charmer is a well written, funny and emotional read, crafted with several subplots. Susan Elizabeth Phillips does a fabulous job developing her secondary characters. She depicts for the reader the overwhelming guilt that hits a parent when they realize, that their self-indulgent lifestyle has left permanent scars upon their children. Each character in Natural Born Charmer pulled my heartstrings, except Dean Robillard. He never won me over.  I loved the character of Blue Bailey though; she’s sassy, smart and funny and has a beautiful loving heart.

The common thread in Natural Born Charmer is about relationships, the pain of them, and the joy of them and how some relationships are just worth fighting for, no matter what. I loved this book, it moved me emotionally, and made me laugh. It’s unrealistic, but it’s so enjoyable that it really didn’t matter. I read the book in one day.

I highly recommend Natural Born Charmer. Be prepared to laugh and ride a roller coaster of emotions. Smart mouth, badass Blue Bailey is going to win you over. I guarantee it.
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an amazing work of art! from beginning too the end I was laughing and touched. the characters feel like actual breathing in the flesh human. I would love to know. thank you for writing this amazing love story. The type of love story that last thru the ages.. a must read for those in search of an amazing funny, sweet and happily ever after
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Considering the fact that I've never attempted to hide my love of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and her stories, it should come as no surprise that I was in the bookstore the day Natural Born Charmer was released. It takes a special author to convince me to shell out my hard-earned money for a hardback book, but SEP is always worth it.Natural Born Charmer is a continuation of Phillips' Chicago Stars series, which center around a fictional NFL team (AFC division, for those of you who might be curious) and the people involved with it. This is the story of Dean Robillard, the quaterback of the Stars, who was introduced in Phillips' previous novel Match Me If You Can as a young, arrogant, too-good-looking rookie. This book picks up with Dean now in his early 30s. Some of the youth is gone, a lot of the arrogance is gone, but the looks are definitely still there.Blue Bailey is our hapless heroine. And when I say hapless, I mean it literally--the first time Dean sees her she's trudging down the side of a country road in Colorado wearing nothing but a beaver suit. Yes, you read that right. A beaver suit.The two end up going on a cross-country road trip to Tennessee together (Dean wanted company, and Blue had no money and no place to stay), where Dean's recently bought a farm. Once they get there, though, Dean discovers that his estranged, ex-groupie/drug addict mother has been mascarading as his housekeeper. Blue, coming from a pretty dysfunctional family herself, tries to help mother and son to reconcile, but Dean's just a little too bitter. Things only get worse when his 11-year-old half sister Riley finds him, causing their father (famous rock singer Jack Patriot) to come after her (Riley's mother had just died). Throw in a crotchety old woman who literally owns the tiny Tennessee town, and SEP has once again provided the reader with an excellent cast of characters.The thing I love about SEP's books is that they're funny and extremely well-written. They read fast, and it's hard to stop turning the page and put the book down. Her characters always feel real, like people you know in real life (or that might just be me, since I know lots of dysfunctional people). You also know you're going to get a great secondary romance. And, truth be told, odds are at least one of the characters is going to have some sort of mommy or daddy issues that need to be dealt with. Some people see that as a bad thing, but I see it as being realistic--it's pretty much impossible to find someone who doesn't have mommy or daddy issues.That being said, I'm afraid she's getting a little too predictable. Don't get me wrong, I loved the book. It was overall another great read by who I like to call the Queen of Romantic Comedy. But the thing is, you know you're going to get certain things when you read SEP. On one hand, it's comforting and it fulfills a definite need. On the other, it can be dangerous for an author to stay too close to the same "formula." Dean's character also reminded me a lot of Kevin from This Heart of Mine (which is my favorite book ever), and while that isn't necessarily a bad thing (if Kevin were real I would marry him), it isn't necessarily a good thing, either (the characters need to be distinctively different).The one area where she did deviate was with the sex--there was a lot less of it (although she did make a reference to some anal activity, which shocked me). Luckily, the tension was still there--and the tension's at least half the fun of reading a great romance. But I have to say that I was a little disappointed by the sex scenes; they weren't as long or as descriptive as usual, and a part of me felt like I missed out on something. And before any of you start to think that I'm one of those women who vicariously lives through romance novels and only reads them for the sex, I'm going to shut you up right now. Sex scenes aren't gratuitous in romance--or at least they shouldn't be. They help to move the plot forward, deepen the relationship between the characters, and let the reader see inside the character's psyche just a little bit more (because, let's face it, sex can make you a little vulnerable). So for her to not get quite as deep into the POV during those scenes, it left me feeling a little...out of sorts, wondering what had happened to SEP and where had her great love scenes gone.Despite that, though, I still really enjoyed this book. I love flawed characters who are genuinely good people. I love to laugh. I love to cry. I love to pick up a book and find myself putting it down to go to the bathroom two hours later wondering where the time went.Susan Elizabeth Phillips has never failed to deliver a great read, and I know that she'll continue to provide funny, touching romances.
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This is the final book in SEP's Chicago Stars series. I enjoyed this book and read it easily in a weekend. It wasn't my favorite of SEP's books, however. I'm not even really sure why. I liked Blue and Dean. They were funny and their story was plenty hot enough for me. I also liked the side characters. I especially loved Nita Garrison, the crotchety old woman who Blue befriends. I guess maybe for me the story was just a little bit too far fetched. Dean is an extremely good looking professional quarterback. His dad is a famous rock and roll artist. His mother is a groupie turned teetotaler. Blue's mother is a famous activist. Don't get me wrong, I like reading stories that take me out of my every day life into a dream world but only up to a point. Everybody was too rich, too good looking, and all of the reconciliations were too easy. It made the book a bit too predictable and kind of spoiled some of the fun. I still enjoyed it, however. I am a fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and her witty/sarcastic characters and in that regard, this book did not let me down.
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A return to form after a few disappointing novels, this has all the SEP trademark quirks - too gorgeous athlete with troubled childhood, quirky defensive heroine, small lost children, and a fluffy dogs. It has the older (but not too old!) couple reconciling and some snappy dialogue too. I really enjoyed it.
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Loved, loved, loved this book. The repartee is witty and the characters are charming and flawed and I loved going into their world.Dialogue is sassy and sharp and is sure to keep you on your toes. The heroine is not your glamourous beauty but she steals the heart of our hero and we want them to get it all together soooo much. I love the setting in Tennessee and the wanderlust of our heroine as she battles the fear of giving her love and accepting love after a lifetime of disappointments. We can all overcome and hope springs eternal when we read this charmer. Oh, and the hero is awesome in this book.
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This was actually a very good book.The storyline was fairly typical for a romance novel.The characters were all very well developed with surprising twists.I am not a romance reader but I am glad I read this one!
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This is the best SEP I've read...so far, at least. I loved it (4.5 stars) and I'm still thinking about giving it five stars. The only thing I didn't love was the Thomas Kinkade vibe I was getting from the descriptions of Blue's painting-style.
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Listened to the audiobook during my commute. Not quite as good as some of her other books but I still laughed out loud at more than one point. It kept the lighthearted attitude with witty personalities.
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I wasn't sure it was possible for a Sophie Kinsella-type book to be more predictable than they are... apparently, they can -- Kinsella writes them under her real name! Pleasant enough, I suppose, when it is not entirely annoying.
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Superb.I was never one of those who didn't like Blue in the book - she always reminded me a bit of Gracie Snow from Heaven, Texas. Great on paper or in audio.
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I'm not into slapstick or silly stupid humor. That's why when I read the opening scene I felt a momentary urge to hurl this book (OK, it was a library book, so I wouldn't actually hurl it). Blue Bailey is walking down the road in a beaver costume when Dean Robillard drives by and stops to help her. Reminded me of one of those comedy skits from the old Carol Burnett Show. Turns out this book was not as light as I first thought. It is a romantic comedy but with an underlying edge of dark.Dean and Blue both have serious abandonment and trust issues. And for good reasons. Dean is a sports superstar as the quarterback of the Chicago Stars. His father was a huge rock star (think Bruce Springsteen or someone like him) who didn't know how to be a father and pretty much ignored him. His mother was a drugged out groupie who didn't know how to be a mother but gives him up to be raised by someone who is responsible and grows to love him. He is still seriously angry at both of his parents. His mother has gone straight and is trying to get back into his life but he wants nothing to do with her. Blue's mother was an activist who is out to save the world one cause at a time but really should not have been a mother because she sucked at it. Blue took second place in her mother's life while she was passed from foster home to foster home. Recalling those memories made some heartwrenching scenes. She eventually learned not to become attached to anyone because she would eventually lose them.Phillips' signature of great dialog and sexy banter was in full swing here. I loved how good Dean and Blue were together and how they had to work through their issues and grow as people before their happy ending is possible. As usual her characters are very well drawn and unique. This is a story about families and forgiveness and trust as well as a great love story. However, I thought Dean should have groveled a bit more at the end when he ... well, I won't spoil it. I liked Match Me If You Can a little more than NBC but it was still very enjoyable. (Grade: A-)
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I could not put this book down. I started it Saturday morning and finished it late Saturday night.
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Natural Born Charmer is actually a pretty decent book, but...how shall i put it?...its eyes are bigger than its stomach. It's this light, frothy, contemporary romance between a quirky itinerant painter, Blue, and an all-star football player, Dean, with maybe a dozen sub-plots. There's Dean's relationship with his mother, Dean's relationship with his father, the relationship between Dean's mother and father, Dean and his half-sister, the half-sister and Dean's parents (individually and as a pair), Blue and the crotchety old lady who runs the town, Blue and her mother.

Some of these sub-plots are pretty heavy; when Dean was very young, for example, his mother was a drug addict who did a pretty poor job of raising him. Now she's clean and wants to make up for her poor parenting. Phillips makes an effort to keep the light, funny tone, the witty repartee, and wrap everyone's story up at the end with a neat little bow...as a result, there's no way she can give each of her sub-plots the treatment it deserves. All the subplots, and the main romance as well, suffer from being squeezed into Phillips' allotted word count.

I had one other problem with the book, which probably won't bother anyone else. We know Blue is a painter but it's not until the end that we find out how Blue paints. She gets the opportunity to let her creativity run wild and, apparently, she produces a lot of sentimental schlock. I'm sure plenty of people will be thinking, "Yes, march to the beat of your own drummer, Blue! Modern art is stupid, Blue!"...but not me. Finding out that she made silly paintings depressed me, so the book ended on a sour note for me. .
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Another excellent book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Main Character Dean from "Match me if you can" has matured and lost his sense of humor from when we last saw him. Blue is a free spirit that complements Deans new attitude.
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I have never been a big fan of romance novels per say. I generally like my romance novels to be laced with a mystery or have a bit of an edge to them. This book however was recommended to me by the librarian on duty based on my other selections. I ended up liking it quite a bit. The story opens on a totally bizarre note. I found myself wonder what in the heck was going on. I stuck with it and things became clear rather quickly. Stick with it, it gets better.Susan Elizabeth Phillips manages to weave some complex layers into this novel. I haven't read any of her other books, so I am not sure if it is exclusive to this book or if she always writes this way. I love her insights on the complexities of family relationships. It was a joy to read and I feel that she was able to give the reader good insight into the characters motivations. Blue is the leading lady in this novel. She is always on the move, afraid to settle down. When she meets Dean, a QB out of Chicago, she ends up traveling to his cottage with him for lack of anywhere else to go. The two characters spar comically throughout the novel which helps make the novel light and entertaining.Will Blue be able to open herself to a relationship? Will Dean be able to open himself to his family? Find out in this Natural Born Charmer of a book!
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This is the 6th (if I'm counting correctly) book in the series featuring the Chicago Stars football team.How can you resist a book that starts with a headless beaver walking down the side of the road?Said beaver is Blue Bailey, who's been abandoned after doing a roadside advertising gig. She's picked up by Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard, and they immediately start to irritate each other. And yet somehow, she ends up accompanying him on the drive to his farm in Tennessee.Natural Born Charmer could just stick with that much story and be cute and clever and fun. But it goes much further than that. Both Blue and Dean have abandonment issues in their pasts--both had neglectful parents, to say the least, and the reason Blue took a job as a beaver is that the boyfriend she went to Colorado to be with left her for someone else, and she's broke because her mother emptied Blue's bank account to fund a rescue.We meet Dean's parents as well as his young half-sister, and the romantic comedy part of the story becomes the framework for a much deeper tale of families, love, neglect, abandonment, and forgiveness. The characters are all very vivid and larger than life, all complex and neither good nor bad. All of them are struggling with various issues.Parts of Natural Born Charmer were hard to read because they hit a little close to home, and parts made me angry (like Dean's solution to Blue's inability to trust him), but they all fit the story and the characters, and I finished it feeling emotionally exhausted and satisfied, which is for me the perfect result.
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Just ignore the cover. The main character is first seen in a beaver suit for crying out loud and believes clothes should be more for comfort than style and I loved her. While she did compromise for him, she remains quite true to herself throughout and in fact he brings out the best in her, like she does with him. The two of them don't have it easy because they both have trust issues but they do create an interesting relationship and friendship.Would recommend it in a heartbeat. There are some very predictable parts but overall it was a great fun read.
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SEP never disappoints, a funny and poignant read. Not only is there great chemistry between the hero and heroine, the secondary romance is a charmer too.
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A fluffy feel good romance between a football star and an aspiring artist. It's a beach read and I loved it!
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As much as I love the author , this story didn't really come up trumps or me. There was to much indecision from both Blue and Boo as to how their friendship was going, but I liked the sub characters, better, Boo's divorced parents, Jack and April, had a little thing going on their own. 
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A Greek-god handsome NFL superstar, a feisty girl in a Beaver costume, an aging rock star and a former groupie - all find love and trust in a small Tennessee town. Throw in an eleven year-old who just lost her mother and you've got a warm and fuzzy story that will leave you warm and happy at its end. A real charmer. Whenever you're feeling down and out, Phillips picks you right up.
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This is SEP doing all the things she does best, key among them making me believe that her fully-realized and unique characters really do belong together.I don't care for sports, celebrity, or show business, but these are all mainstays of SEP's books and over time I've actually come to look forward to the way she uses them. As a bag of tricks, they give her a lot of room to play with character issues like confidence, self-image, strength, identity both as an individual and part of a team, and the maturing of a personal ethic.SEP's characters are always perfectly motivated. That's plenty tough to pull off, and doing it over and over again has really got to tax a writer's creativity, but once again I closed the book and thought yeah, everyone behaved exactly as I would expect them to given the lives they led up to the opening of the story.And yet there are surprises on every page, and there's the genius. SEP (like Elizabeth George, in a very different genre) has a perfect "ear" for human motivation, but she is especially generous in letting her characters surprise the reader. We all might know that in the successful rock star beats a heart damaged by early rejection. What that person does when challenged, however, is SEP's territory - and since this *is* a romance they always rise above - but in ways that are not obvious to a person trying to work out how the story will play out.
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This was a fun read.Phillips has a snappy, cheerful writing style that flowed into her story, even when it was covering less than cheerful moments.Both the hero and heroine were immediately interesting people - Blue with her odd name and her beaver costume, and Dean who is so initially amused by her. Their dialogue is immediately snappy, yet each seems to have an instinctive understanding of the other. The story soon shows that they both have more problems understanding themselves.While Dean and Blue are the stars of the book, Phillips makes all the background characters fun and interesting as well. I did feel that this was occasionally to Blue and Dean's disadvantage as some time that could have been used getting to know them better was sacrificed for the sake of the secondary characters.Since those secondary characters made a sparkling cast I didn't really mind. Each one of them made an impression and it was nice to see them grow towards their own happy endings as Dean and Blue worked on theirs.By biggest complaint was that I sometimes got a tell-not-show feeling from the text - not in regards to the plot, but in terms of the progression of Dean and Blue's realtionship. I felt I knew what was developing between them more because the text told me, than because I could see it for myself. But at the same time, I bought into it completely, and was very happy to see them happy together.I can't really explain it, I think there was just a slight feeling of something not having been done quite as well as it could have been. But that didn't stop me liking the book and I'll happily read more of Susan Elizabeth Phillips.Nita Garrison was a wonderful character, and quite delightfully real. On first meeting she's a nasty old lady, but as time progresses we see what's hidden underneath, and that she keeps underneath instead of miraculously opening up and becoming sunshine and light as might have been done with her. Yet it is easy to believe it when Blue reveals that she's been anonomously helping the needy in the community for years.So while I haven't given this a really high grade, mostly due to that elusive "something missing" feeling I'm left with, I really enjoyed the book. I read past my bedtime last night and had to make a conscious decision to stop instead of just keeping going until I was finished and paying for it in the morning.I like SEP and I'm sure I'll be reading more of her work, although probably from the library at this point.
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I love the quirky characters that the author creates throughout all her books. As a lover of architecture, I saw the farm house as it's own character and fell in love with the gypsy caravan wagon.
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I have this thing about romance books -- a thing I look for that pretty much decides how much I'm going to like the book as I read it. That thing is what they called the "meet cute" in old movies, i.e. how the two main romantic couple meets. If that first meeting doesn't touch me somehow -- be it, make me laugh, make me interested, send chills down my spine, whatever -- then I pretty much give up on the book going from that point forward.This book SO did not mess up the "meet cute." My GOD did it not mess it up. Blue's (the main female character) first words to Dean after he's inquired whether he could be of some help to her? "Do you have a gun?" And when he says he doesn't, Blue's response, "Then I have no use for you." Perfect. And from Dean's point of view, he sees her walking down the road in a beaver costume....well, most of one anyway. How could it get any better than that? (And of course, I'm paraphrasing the quotes there...I don't remember the exact words used.)I love these characters, and not just the main ones, either. Every one of the characters that show up in this book are fantastically crafted and flawed and perfect. I can tell you, I am now a Susan Elizabeth Phillips fan. I don't think I've had this much fun with a book since I read "Agnes and the Hitman" by Jennifer Crusie. And by the way, Dean's father? Totally Keith Richards in my head.
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I enjoyed this audiobook - some of the lines made me laugh and cringe, but overall I thought it was a fun chic lit story - sexy love scenes and some language.
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