The Windy City isn't quite ready for Phoebe Somerville—the outrageous, curvaceous New York knockout who has just inherited the Chicago Stars football team. And Phoebe is definitely not ready for the Stars' head coach, former gridiron legend Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. Calebow is everything Phoebe abhors. And the sexy new boss is everything Dan despises—a meddling bimbo who doesn't know a pigskin from a pitcher's mound.
So why is Dan drawn to the shameless sexpot like a heat-seeking missile? And why does the coach's good ol' boy charm leave cosmopolitan Phoebe feeling awkward, tongue-tied...and ready to fight?
The sexy, heartwarming, and hilarious "prequel" to This Heart of Mine—Susan Elizabeth Phillips's New York Times bestselling blockbuster—It Had To Be You is an enchanting story of two stubborn people who believe in playing for keeps.
Topics: Chicago, Steamy, Sports, American Football, and Opposites Attract
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Rating 3.5 Wine Glasses
It Had to Be You is the first in the Chicago Stars book and a pretty good beginning to the series. I am a recent fangirl of SEP and love her writing. She always manages to balance fun with serious and tackle some pretty hefty issues in her stories. In this story, I liked Pheobe from the beginning because you saw that much of her outward actions were driven by a horrid past and some insecurities. That being said, it took me awhile to warm up to Coach. I didn't think he was a bad guy but he didn't exactly scream leading man material to me. By the end, I did warm up to him and the whole Chicago Stars team.
I think if you like Sports Romances and Contemporary Romances that you will like this series. I have read them out of order so you don't necessarily have to start from the beginning.more
For me, this moment occurred while we meandered along the bookcases at Barnes and Nobles and saw It Had to Be You prominently displayed, cover-forward on a bookshelf. I had been asking him, "So, do you like to read books?" and he had replied, "Books? Yeah, books are cool." When he saw the novel, he stared at the cover which proudly displayed a close-up of a glorious rack in lavender lingerie, snickered, and said, "Maybe I should read this one, huh?"
I remember that as the exact moment I made up my mind that this guy was a "no." I guess, in retrospect, we may have been on that path from the beginning of the evening, but nonetheless that book and that boorish joke made up my mind. Perhaps if it would have been someone else, I would have laughed uproariously, or flung back some witty repartee, or made a sweet flirtatious remark, but, as I recall, all I remember feeling was disdain.
At any rate, I forgot about It Had To Be You (and the boor) until I saw it, proud rack and all, on one listopia list or another, and on the mass-market paperback rack at the library (this time with a quite generic skyline of Chicago on its cover) and decided to give it a shot despite the (gag) football plot.
I actually rather liked it. I haven't read a contemporary romance in a while and this one was pretty good. I'll be honest, Phoebe does come across as a bimbo throughout and Dan seems like an obnoxious jerk. Phoebe wears the most ridiculous clothes ever and she seems kind of dumb to me, but I did find her likable and kind of cute in her silly outfits. Phillips does a great job constructing Phoebe as a bimbo, and it's hard for me to change that perspective of her, even after she apparently "proves herself." I didn't like Dan at all- he just seems like an overall, overbearing ass, which probably fits with his role as "coach."
Overall, an entertaining read and recommended, but no fireworks for me.more