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It Had to Be You (Chicago Stars #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  41,708 Ratings  ·  1,347 Reviews
What if a woman who knows nothing about sports inherits a professional football team? The Windy City definitely isn't ready for Phoebe Somerville, the outrageous York knockout who’s taking over their home town team. And Phoebe is definitely not prepared for the Stars' head coach Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. This is the book that began it all ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 376 pages
Published 1994
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Mar 06, 2015 Mo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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.

Dan is alpha, opinionated, chauvanistic, th
Amy (Foxy)
***4.5 NOW stars***

You’re my only failure. My only failure, Phoebe.


Perfect book for getting in the spirit of the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII (2/2/2014).

Phoebe is a sexy underestimated daughter of a football owner (Chicago Stars). When her father sudden dies she inherits his team. Unfortunately, her father’s “gift” wasn’t given out of kindness. Her father had always seen her as a failure and this opportunity to run the team was a test. She must win the championship or she will lose any inheritance
May 26, 2015 ♥Sharon♥ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
I don't care that this book was first published 20 years ago. Actually I think that is why I thought it was FANFREAKINGTASTIC! Seriously, ladies you will absolutely love Dan Calebow. I sure did.

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I hope to get back to do a complete review because this book deserves one. RL is just a bit hectic at the moment.

This one is going on my favorites shelf and I will recommend it to everyone too! It was sexy, sweet and funny.

And Pooh....

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Lady Heather


What an amazing read, and although I don't often read sports-romance books (especially football..hey I'm Canadian if anything, I'd read a romance with hockey..Eh?..LOL) this was really good!

This happened a lot while reading this story

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I really, really, really liked Dan. I loved his complexity, strength, loyalty, gentleness, and his own desire for a HEA.
He is not what I'm used to in a 'hero', but he was written beautifully! He just seemed SO real, with many layers.
I was wonderful to read h
Oct 20, 2010 valee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just have no words to describe how much I loved this book. It was amazing! Maybe I was just in the right mood for this kind of read or maybe it really is a terrific read. I just know that apart from LK's Travises series, I had never, ever enjoyed a contemporary romance as much as I did this one and the Travises. And yes, it was that good for me. Well maybe not that good, lol, but definitely the closest I will ever find.

I loved Phoebe! She was an amazing heroine. Everything about her was so app
Mar 10, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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What can I say? Another 5 star book? Most definitely!!! I’m starting to think Susan Elizabeth Phillips cannot write a bad book… either that or she has most definitely found the key to my heart. These books exemplify the delicate balance of intense emotion, witty dialogue and comic relief. I have nothing but high praise and giddy admiration for this author and her fabulous books.

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Phoebe Sommerville was a thirty-three year old outrageous Manhattan socialite, who was the notorious mistress

4 Stars! What started out as a book I thought I wasn't going to be too fond of, turned into a story I loved!

I read this entire series out of order. I started with Nobody's Baby But Mine, which was good, then Dream a Little Dream, which was excellent and my favorite in the series. Then it was on to Heaven, Texas, very good and funny, and now back to book one. So unlike me to do this, but hey, what can I say. Anyhoo, in those books you always hear about Phoebe and Dan Calebow, the owners of the St
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my friends Karen, Mo and Sharon for clogging my feed with updates of binge reading books by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Because of them I just may have found a new favorite author. I definitely discovered a delightful sports romance to add to my favorites bookshelf.

It Had to Be You is old-school romance at its finest and I’m not talking about the fact that it was written over 20 years ago. In fact, if it weren’t for some dated references (cassette tapes, VCR, a Wa
Written April 17, 2014

4 1/2 Stars - Jeez, Ms. Phillips has the talent to write wonderful charming romances.

After reading two amazing books by Susan Elizabeth Phillips was it time for the third. It Had to Be You recommended by my friend and fellow citizen Susanne (5 stars). The very best book by this author, according to her.

It Had to Be You is a 20 years old romance from 1994. ~ Already with ratings from more than 27.800 readers on goodreads is this SEP's most popular book here. ~ Further
To be honest, I have always been a huge fan of historical romance since it takes me to a time that is so completely different from the current times. However, after reading this little gem of a romance novel, I started to gain interest in the world of contemporary romance. “It Had To Be You” was the first romance novel I have read from author Susan Elizabeth Phillips and after I had read this book, I am definitely looking forward to reading more of her wonderful books! “It Had To Be You” is full ...more
Jane Stewart
It was so fun to be in this book. I laughed a lot. I was tempted to quit work and just read for the day.

Phoebe’s mother died early and her father didn’t love her. He kept her away in boarding schools and camps. She was raped, but her father didn’t believe her. She creates a false front, looking and acting like a Marilyn Monroe-Mae West-blond-bombshell-bimbo. She’s afraid of sex, but she talks as if she has many lovers. She appears silly and not smart, but underneath she is very smart. Because o
Jun 10, 2009 Eastofoz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chick-lit with a side order of romance fans
Shelves: contemporary
I can’t say I really liked this book because it’s too chick-litty for me and I really dislike chick-lit so maybe for the chick-lit reader this is a good book.

I didn’t like the the hero or the heroine. The hero said too many mean and downright cruel things to the heroine that I don’t think could be taken back let alone forgiven. He also flew off the handle like some psycho for no reason. The heroine had too many issues and her whole switch in persona at the end was just too unbelievable.

There i
It was brilliant. I'm speechless and will not even try to write a review. It was terrible, and definitely not a feel good-cookie but so great. I cried and I laughed and the ending was so sweet, so right. This book was not what I expected but so much better. My heart broke for Phoebe in the beginning of the book and to follow her growth and healing process was amazing. It was so believable, so touching.

Updated 14/4/13

It was just as great the second time around. Even though I remembered almost ev
Isn’t it nice when a book you read could not just make you laugh at some lines, but can make you smile almost all throughout the book (exemption are the pages where either or both major protagonists are in distress of course) and just as you are about to close it? But then, it just hits you that it’s over and then you’re wistfully happy?

It Had To Be You just has to be that book.

Phoebe Somerville, blonde hottie, has just inherited a football team. And she doesn’t even know the its in football. I
Wow! I almost didn’t read this series but I’m sure glad that I gave it a chance. From beginning to end I could not put this book down. The funeral scene was absolutely hilarious and sucked me right in. Some of the scenes were so HOT that I had to read it over and over again, especially the kinky kiddy scene. I was so engrossed in the story that by the last scene, where Dan was looking back at his life, I had decided the Susan Elizabeth Phillips is another one of my favorite authors (even though ...more
Marisa Sauco
Jun 09, 2015 Marisa Sauco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¡PRECIOSA! ¡Me encantó, me encantó, me encantó! Voy a intentar explicar con palabras lo mucho que me gustó. Esta, es una historia de amor DELICIOSA de dos personas… diferentes, que persiguen un sueño en común, y que lo encuentran donde menos lo esperan.
Dan y Phoebe son los protagonistas principales, y aunque me enamoré de Dan, debo decir que Phoebe es quien acaparó mi atención y me deslumbró. Es una mujer con una gran personalidad y un corazón enorme, que transforma sus debilidades en fortalez
Sep 05, 2015 Alexis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of fluffy romances who also like sports movies
Recommended to Alexis by: Erin
Shelves: romance, my-reviews
Phoebe Somerville inherits the football team that her father owned, but only temporarily. After being disinherited (basically because her father was a complete ass), he bequeaths her the team in order to make a woman out of her. But there's a big catch, and it takes Phoebe a while to rise to the occasion. Eventually, she starts to get involved with the team, and it becomes less about proving to her dead dad that she can do it and more about proving it to herself. But let's not forget about Dan C ...more
Aisling Zena
Jan 24, 2016 Aisling Zena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read 24/01/2016
Bark's Book Nonsense
Dec 08, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This is the one about the gorgeous and outrageous heroine who inherits a football team from her less than loving deceased dad & butts heads & falls in love with the teams bullheaded jock Head Coach. I hate football (and most sports) so I had doubts about liking this book. Well, the first chapter had me in stitches and the snappy pace continued throughout the book. When I began my first thought was "Oh, no, the heroine is a major bimbo" but I soon learned she was so much more than she app ...more
*I am not a fan of the cleavage cover mine had a city view.
This was my first read of this authors work and I listened on audio. The narration was fantastic the reader keep me glued to my ear phones. The story was bittersweet, heartbreaking, sweet, wonderful and very romantic.
I thought the chase was well timed out, there was enough time and strife for me to become invested with these characters. Ms. Phillips did a fabulous job of developing the side characters even, they all became important and
This was a pretty nice romance :D

I wanted something easy and fast to read, and I found this series, so I thought I'd give it a try.
Well, it really was a cute book! And the writing style was something pretty new to me (not really new, but different). I don't know if I liked it, but it's something else, and I appreciate it.
The characters are really nice and I like their chemistry. The story is predictable, but it didn't bother me. And it wasn't a long, boring read! That happens way too often
⊱ Irena ⊰

For me this book consists of five star material combined with infuriating characters that made me so angry I didn't enjoy parts of the book at all.

I don't remember the last time I liked a heroine and hated a hero this much.
Every single thing Phoebe does has meaning. Even when she makes a mistake, when she acts the way I thought was dumb, when she is too forgiving, even then I was on her side. I didn't expect this much darkness in this book. I went into it thinking it's light and funny. It's n
Kyoko SWords
Reseña completa:
Un 3,5 porque aunque tiene muchos tópicos típicos, la disfruté más de lo que pensé.
Lo que me gustó de esta novela es que a pesar que es pura romántica (con algo de erótica) y que está completamente fuera de mi rango de géneros preferidos, la comedia dentro de la obra se podía percibir desde el primer momento en que empezó. Es bueno que lo aclaren porque sabes que la intención de la autora NO es cambiar vidas, si no ENTRETENER (error en el
Jan 14, 2014 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2014
**** 4.5 Touchdown STARS ****


“You woman are really something”. He sneered.
“When are you going to figure out God might have made two sexes for a reason. You can’t have it both ways. Either a man’s a man, or he’s not. You can’t take somebody whose nature is to be a warrior and then expect him – at your command- to curl up on the couch, spill his guts, and, in general, start acting like a pussy”.

It had to be you is the first book in the Chicago Stars series. Phoebe Somerville is a brainy blonde
3.5 stars

This is a decent enough read. I was worried at first and didn't know if I would make it very far. The heroine was totally in bimbo mode with a fluffy white poodle (I don't do bimbos and poodles). However, we are later educated that her sexy attire is just armour against men (oh yeah, that keeps'em away) and that she's really the stuff brain surgeons are made of.

The hero is an ex ballplayer that had moved on to coaching. He was all about the hostile and angry. (I totally do hostile and
4.5 stars. I listened to this book. Excellent narration. Top of the trees! Hats off to Anna Fields.

A buddy read with Ingela. My first buddy read experience. I'm so glad Ingela reminded me about this book. It was the only book in the Chicago stars series I had not read. Duh! The sequel, Heaven, Texas, with Bobby Tom and Daisy, is still my favorite in this series, but I also loved Natural Born Charmer with Blue and Dean, and Match Me If You Can with Annabel and Heath. Laughed out loud at the hila
Teresa Medeiros
Jan 12, 2012 Teresa Medeiros rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never met a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book I didn't love. Of her earlier books, FANCY PANTS, HOT SHOT and HONEY MOON are my favorites but of her later, slightly lighter books, this introduction to the football team the Chicago Stars most definitely qualifies as a classic. The minute Phoebe Summerville shows up at her father's funeral with a French poodle and a Hungarian lover, we know that Chicago Stars coach Dan Calebow doesn't stand a chance of resisting the brainy beauty. Susan writes som ...more
Mar 08, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All of a sudden this book keep popping in my feed last week and I realized although I had read some of SEP's book, I never actually read this Book 1 of Chicago Stars before. Those were the time when I read anything that's available in the library as standalone. Even though this book is 20 years old, it doesn't feel dated at all.

Dan Calebow is such a Neanderthal, overbearing, sexist redneck. I don't even know why I end up liking such a character. He is no Prince Charming and all he think about i
Jan 17, 2009 L8blmr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll have to admit that I am probably one of the last romance readers to climb aboard Ms. Phillips' bandwagon, but now that I'm here, I don't plan to leave anytime soon. I had read so many raves about the Chicago Stars series that I eagerly began reading this first installment, imagining that I would fall in love on page 1. I didn't. At first, I felt the male lead had potential, but I wasn't fond at all of the female lead, her sister, or even what I knew of the plot at that point. It wasn't long ...more
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SEP lovers Buddyread April 11-13, 2014 58 82 Aug 15, 2015 02:24AM  
Let's Talk Love S...: It Had to Be You - Buddy Read 12 16 May 16, 2015 06:07AM  
Malaysian Reads: Alpha Male 11 176 Apr 26, 2015 10:30PM  
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The Huffington Post says the books of Susan Elizabeth Phillips provide a “gateway drug to the whole [romance] genre,” which she assumes is a good thing. Bookpage magazine calls her “the crown jewel of romantic comedy writers,” which is definitely a good thing. Since she wrote her first novel on a typewriter in her kitchen, her books have been published in over 30 languages
More about Susan Elizabeth Phillips...

Other Books in the Series

Chicago Stars (8 books)
  • Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars, #2)
  • Nobody's Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3)
  • Dream a Little Dream (Chicago Stars, #4)
  • This Heart of Mine (Chicago Stars, #5)
  • Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6)
  • Natural Born Charmer (Chicago Stars, #7)
  • First Star I See Tonight (Chicago Stars, #8)

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“I guess we're oil and water. (Phoebe)

I'd say we're more like gasoline and a blowtorch. (Dan)”
“The door closed behind her (Phoebe), and the two men regarded each other for a moment. Viktor spoke first. "I must have your promise, Coach, that you won't hurt her." Dan: "I won't." Viktor: "You spoke a little too quickly for my taste. I don't quite believe you." Dan: "I'm a man of my word, and I promise I won't hurt her." He flexed his hands. "When I murder her, I'll do it real quick so she won't feel a thing." Viktor sighed. "That's exactly what I was afraid of.” 115 likes
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