Twiggy's Reviews > Natural Born Charmer

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
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I am now officially addicted!

I discovered sep about 2 weeks ago as a result of reading her br the copeland bride.

Her modern contemporaries based on characters connected with the Chicago Stars are just wonderful.

This was another great book in the series.

Both the hero Dean and the heroine Blue have been badly damaged by fairly dreadful parents. In Dean's case, his father is a major rock star ( think druggy/ alcho/ self obsessed as big as spingsteen) and his mother was a drug/alcohol addicted groupie, which meant he had a lousy childhood, being brought up in boarding schools with his father's lawyer being the most consistent influence in his life. His father does not acknowledge him and dean's parentage is a secret he wants no one to know. Dean is the quarterback for the Stars but is also gorgeous and has numerous commercial deals.

Blue's mother is a hippy activist, twice nominated for the Nobel peace prize. Unfortunately she is one of those people who spend so much of her time devoted to other causes that she neglects and emotionally abuses her own daughter. Blue is moved from place to place throughout her teenage years and as a result has attachment issues which mean that she does not believe that any one will love her or that she can or should stay anywhere long enough to pick up roots. She also deliberately dresses poorly so as to make herself look bad and disguise her cute looks.

The story starts with Dean being injured and deciding to drive to the farm house he is restoring in tennessee. He meets up with Blue on the road in fairly ridiculous circumstances, whilst she is dressed in a beaver costume. He agrees to give her a ride as he is lonesome for company and he soon learns that she is broke since her mother cleared her savings in order to pay a ransom in south america, without informing her, and leaving he with under 20 dollars to her name.

Dean and Blue have great chemistry from the outset but the initial key is that Blue resists Dean's seductive charms and the banter between the two of them is sharp and witty.

When they arrive at the home they discover that Dean's mother, April is there and has been acting as his housekeeper / renovator in an attempt to make things up to him and to try and effect a reconciliation.

Soon after this, Dean's half sister Riley turns up, after having run away following her mum' s death. Riley and Dean's father Jack Patriot ( again think springsteen) then arrives and there are bitter family tensions, given that Jack ignored Dean throughout his child hold save for child maintenance payments and has also been a pretty lousy father to Riley from the get go.

Relationships develop, Jack and April's past is eventually forgiven with the prospect of a more positive and permanent future, Riley blossoms under the care of April, Blue and old Nita (magnificently funny old witch of a character who owns the local town).

Jack starts to grow up and understand how to fulfil his obligations to his kids.

Dean and blue's relationship is wonderful and sensitively portrays the pitfalls for emotionally damaged people.

They have a lovely happily ever after ending but there is no doubt that it is the wider family story that makes this book as well as the romance between Dean and Blue.

Can't wait to read the next book!
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