★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Man-oh-man! I love this book. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. It is on m...moreTennessee Farm
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Man-oh-man! I love this book. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. It is on my “re-read-for-comfort” shelf, which I desperately needed now. My life is currently too crazy to sit and read, so I popped in my ear buds and tried the audiobook this time, narrated by the wonderful Anna Fields.
I have heard nothing but great things about this reader, so I don’t know why I waited so long to listen to a story she narrates. If a character speaks softly, she delivers the line softly. If they turn sarcastic, she complies. If they gasp, she gasps. Their voice breaks, so does hers. Astonishing as it sounds, not all readers do this! Some dialogue doesn’t have adjective queues; nevertheless, this talented raconteur intuitively knows how to delivery Ms. Phillips’ clever quips or tender moments in context. She definitely kicks this story up a notch. I highly recommend her as narrator.
As far as the storyline, what can I say? I love these characters in the seventh book of the Chicago Stars series and I adore their love story. Ms. Phillips sure knows how to set up a “meet cute,” and this one, taking place on a highway outside of Denver with Blue Bailey walking down a hot dusty road in a beaver costume – plus a killing rage – is perfect. When Dean Robillard, rich superstar quarterback, crosses her path, he is taken by surprise in one humorous situation after another on their road trip to Tennessee. Nevertheless, each scene carries a Real Life believability that lets us get drawn into the deepening depths of their relationship.
Ms. Phillips also knows how to write amazing secondary characters and these are some of her best. There is one scene between an aging rocker and his neglected, vulnerable young daughter that still has the ability to make my throat swell, my eyes tear.
This story can be read as a “standalone”; however, you would probably enjoy it better if you read this series in order. A younger Dean is deviously charming in Match Me If You Can; while in this one he is still deliciously witty, but confronted with those demons in life that make one run or stand and mature.
I am a re-reader. I even have a bookshelf at GR that I call my ‘re-read-for-comfort' shelf of books that have to be read more than twice to be placed...moreI am a re-reader. I even have a bookshelf at GR that I call my ‘re-read-for-comfort' shelf of books that have to be read more than twice to be placed there. And I mean comfort in many ways. Sometimes a new book, after crossing one of my romance “don’ts”, will actually leave me with a bitter aftertaste and I will reach for a book with characters I can depend on to give me what I want. I am definitely a mood reader, so some people might be surprised by what is on there. Even a few paranormal reads for this die-hard "historical romance with a HEA" reader. In truth, some have broken my “romance books don’ts”, but the authors have done it so well I have to read it again.
But Heiress for Hire doesn’t have any romance “don’ts” in it. It is just pure enjoyment. Oh, well, there is a kid in the story; however, that is not one of my “don’ts”. Our Hero, Danny Tucker, discovers he has an unknown-to-him eight-year old daughter by the name of Piper. Our Heroine, Amanda Delmar, has recently had her funds cut off by her father while she is stuck in Cuttersville, Ohio, visiting Boston - a friend from the first book in the series, A Date with the Other Side (which you don’t have to read to enjoy this book). Boston is now married to Danny’s ex-wife (who he is still friends with), Shelby.
Yes, Amanda is spoiled, but she was raised that way. Plus, she has a little dog named Baby, who she risks her outfit and skin for, so she can’t be all bad. She definitely grows up in this book; first, by Danny helping her find a job (at which she fails) and then by babysitting Piper, who she instantly connects with; all teaching her more than just the value of a dollar.
There are so many wonderful scenes, most with Piper and Danny, but enough with Danny alone. Danny thinks he’s a big, dull, boring farmer. Amanda thinks without her breast implants (which she recently had removed) and money, she has nothing with which to attract and hold a man. Some dialogue makes me laugh out loud. When Amanda tangles with Danny’s mom, it brings a smile to my lips; yet I empathize with Willie’s desire and frustration in wanting to get close to her grand-daughter. When Piper reveals her hair to Amanda, after they've play Barbie’s, it makes my throat close up no matter how many times I read it.
Yes, I definitely notice more details and character nuance each time I re-read this book. I also notice the writer’s style and enjoy it more. Sometimes I just gobbled down a book too fast and need to re-read it. Other times I need something I can re-read fast because I have other things on my mind and it’s light and breezy and doesn’t require much concentration. In other situations I want total escapism. I did this recently when I stayed at the hospital all day while a friend had an unpleasant procedure done and I didn’t want to cry.
This is a cute, light, fluffy story.
But, if you’re a lover of contemporary romance, it’s definitely worth at least one read by you.
My first exposure to SEP was Heaven, Texas and, therefore, it has a special place in my heart. This is not just another bad-boy football superstar wit...moreMy first exposure to SEP was Heaven, Texas and, therefore, it has a special place in my heart. This is not just another bad-boy football superstar with a diabolic gleam meets 30 year-old wallflower story. These characters had depth. (view spoiler)[I actually had to call my best friend - who doesn't read romance books, but loves football - and tell her about the scene where Gracie discovers Bobby Tom reviewing the video of his career-ending injury over and over again. I fell in love with him before that, but that just made me sob. (hide spoiler)]
Loved the road trip, Bobby Tom's menopausal mother and her secondary romance, the actress he works with on the movie, Gracie’s make-over followed by him wondering who the hell’s driving his convertible, the ice cream scene, Gracie's ideas for his old house, how you could see them falling in love as the pages turned, their real-sounding fights, LOL moments, and…well, everything. This one went directly onto my ‘re-read for comfort' bookshelf and sent me to the bookstore to pick up more of the Chicago Stars series.
Oh, and the end of Heaven, Texas is absolutely, positively worth waiting for. Actually, it is one of the best endings in many a romance book. Don’t click the following spoiler if you haven’t already read the book. (view spoiler)[SEP has an ability to make me laugh and cry at the same time, and she perfected it in Heaven, Texas. At the end, Gracie is down on the rough ground with Bobby Tom. They’re on the side of the road after he’s broken out of jail to chase after her, everybody follows along and she’s protecting him so it's really a comedy of errors-tear jerker. Question: If that happens, does it count as a groveling scene? (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I’ve given 5 stars to most all of SEP’s books. More than one of her books has landed on that shelf entitled "If you could only keep one." This is my f...moreI’ve given 5 stars to most all of SEP’s books. More than one of her books has landed on that shelf entitled "If you could only keep one." This is my first disappointment and it was a big one.
Forget all the Brad/Ang/Jen Hollywood stuff that I could have lived without. Lord knows the Eddie/Liz/Debbie thing was much worse as there were babies involved and Taylor was tragically, really grieving for Mike Todd. (BTW Debbie was baby-sitting Liz’s kids while Liz was being "consoled" by Eddie; how’s that for a pair of stones?)
Obviously, I’ve pick up a rare Hollywood rag and an occasional biography. And I won’t mention that any current tinsel-town drama is definately not why I pick up a SEP hardcover book. Why I clutch it to my bosom with glee, assured - despite the cost - that I'm in for a superior read.
Yup, forget all that.
Let’s concentration on what’s important: How Bram treats Georgie.(view spoiler)[WIDFL’s hero, Bram, initiates the heroine, Georgie, to sex. The awful deflowering scene aftermath is just too, too cruel. I thought I was going to be physically ill. (hide spoiler)] I was so upset by this that I actually set the book down for more than a week before I could bring myself to pick it back up again. I only did so b/c I knew - just knew - how great SEP was at the groveling scene that would surly come from one or both parties. If anyone could get me past my upset, it would be her. But what did I get? (view spoiler)[Repeated attempts by Georgie to have both of them acknowledge their love and Bram continuing to reject her. Repeatedly. Or did I repeat that already? (hide spoiler)] Yuk!
So, what did I do to get over it? Why, I re-read several of SEP's other books. Pick one, any one, but not this one. IMHO.
P. S. The only reason I gave this book 2 stars was because of the interesting secondary characters.
P.P.S. I’m envious of all the people who gave this book 4 & 5 stars. I know how they feel after a good SEP read. *sigh*
Revised March 31, 2011["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)