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It Had to Be You

(Chicago Stars #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  58,256 ratings  ·  2,259 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 March 5th 2002 by Avon (first published 1994)
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Paquita SanMartín No es necesario, son historias independientes, aunque hay personajes interrelacionados. Yo empecé por la novela 2ª de la serie y voy por la 5ª.
No es necesario, son historias independientes, aunque hay personajes interrelacionados. Yo empecé por la novela 2ª de la serie y voy por la 5ª.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  58,256 ratings  ·  2,259 reviews

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Start your review of It Had to Be You (Chicago Stars, #1)
One word: BLISS!


Enjoyment:: 4.5/5
Writing style: 5/5
Storyline: 5/5
Hero: 4/5
Heroine: 5/5
Secondary characters: 5/5
Hotness/chemistry: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Angst: 3/5
Darkness level: 2/5
Humor: 4/5
Depth of the book: 5/5
POV: multiple, 3rd person
Triggers: (view spoiler)
Books with a similar theme: Hard to say. Just like KA, this author is in a league of her own.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-ever

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 Blogs
***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
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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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Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Phoebe Summerville is like a cross between Elle Woods and Peg Bundy - she's rich, she's tacky, everyone writes her off as a dumb bimbo. However, she's quite a bit more clever and complicated than anyone gives her credit for, including her father, who disliked her so much that he decided to screw with her from beyond the grave: instead of being disinherited as per his original plan, he's giving her his football team, the Chicago Stars, fo
Lady Heather
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: contemporary romance, domineering alpha males & broken women trying to find their HEA


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 rea
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cont-romance
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
Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️

My first by SEP and I loved it. The book was written 25 years ago and it is a traditional contemporary romance of enemies to lovers troupe. Even though it was written a long time ago, I loved being taken back to 1994. As I’m in my 50’s, I remembered so many references and loved being brought back in time.

Phoebe Summerville is the new owner of the Chicago Stars football team. It was left to her by her deceased estranged father. She plays the part of a blonde bimbo but she is anything but that. Sh
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cannot go wrong with this book ...

This was a re-re-re-re-read!! LOL. I must read it nearly every fecking year. I LOVE IT. I love Dan. I love Phoebe. I LOVE SEP!!

Thought I was updating on the kindle version but I seem to have been updating on the paperback one. Sorry about that. There will be two ratings on here then. Both 5 stars and I am sure the next time I read it, it will still be FIVE stars.

Absolutely fantastic read!!!

In fact, i might say, the best I ve read this year (and the book was first published almost over 20 years ago *facepalm* so, in my eyes, the words "it 's never too late" and "never say never" have a whole new meaning...) considering the genre.

This book can't be presented through out the re-telling of the storyline, cause that would be impossible to do without spilling it all and spoiling, I m gonna stick to the old folks' saying: "less is more" 😉

But to appease
Not only does he have sex with his ex after meeting the heroine we are given a full gag worthy account.

On top of that he keeps dating a “marriage material” respectable woman while fucking the “not so marriage material” heroine.

Of course he doesn’t do it intentionally but that doesn’t make him any less disrespectful, or less cheating.

You either respect someone or you don’t.

My vote is he doesn’t.

Sorry mou.
Jane Stewart
It was so fun to be in this book.

I’ve read the paperback three times and recently listened to the audiobook. I laughed a lot the first time I read it. I didn’t laugh as much in subsequent reads because I knew what to expect, but I still loved it.

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-bimb
Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)
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
Oldie but a goodie!

I love underdogs in sports and in life.
Learned a lot about football.
Realized that Susan E. Phillips is a flawlessly amazing author.
She writes all characters with layers and depth that makes them more real and reading her stories is a joy.
Romance book that aged well.

I love heroine like this. Someone everybody underestimates and labels as a certain type.
Reminds me of Pretty Face So if you like that you will love this or vice versa.

Comfort read!!!
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

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
4 Stars (Originally Read 5/15/2014)

3 Stars (Re-Read 5/15/2014)

I'm not going to write my typical review with my (type-A personality 😜) formatting because I didn't write my review right when I finished it. I also listened to two audiobooks while (and after finishing) this book, so I don't feel like I would be a super reliable source since I might get the stories mixed up.

Here's what I DO remember about this re-read:

I thought this was just okay.

It's super dated. While I don't have big issues wit
5 Throwback Stars

"Sometimes I think bimbo is just another word men made up so they could feel superior to women who are better at survival than they are.”

Many moons ago, as a freshman home from college, I discovered my mom’s collection of Susan Elizabeth Phillips books and I’ve never looked back. It had to be you was my very first SEP read and I’m so grateful I picked it up.

Originally, I gave this one a 4 star, but after my weekend reread I’m bumping it up to a 5. Yes, some of the references are
Maria ☾ ⋆
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, ebooks
If i want to speak about the books that can kill me with their Romance and breathtaking moments I'm going to put this book on top of my list. I loved the combination of sports and romance in this book, it was totally amazing and truned it so attractive that grab your attention until the end and take your breath away. I couldn't stop reading it and I enjoyed it so much.
the characters, romance, plot and everything was so good!! I really missed reading this type of books. Actually I prefer fantasy
"I disgraced MYSELF? Unless my memory’s faulty, you were the one who got evicted."

"I got ejected, not evicted. That was a football game, not a damn landlords’ convention."
Haha :)

I LOVE football, but I rarely read books about it for some reason. And it’s a weird thing to bother me, but I really don’t like it when there’s fake team names. Chicago Stars? Ugh, so fake. It puts me in the mindset of, Ugh, this makes everything feel so fake. I dunno. I’m weird.

Anyway, this book and I had
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ingie by: Susanne
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 her
I enjoyed it. Perhaps more so since I've been experiencing a dry spell of DNFs lately.

This book is contemporary-ish. It was published in '94 and definitely shows its age. I tend to enjoy the older books, but understand some want nothing to do with anything written last century. If you're one of those readers who is iffy about older romances, this probably isn't the book for you. Also there could potentially be triggers for sex abuse victims.

The beginning was odd. I can see any reader being turn
Paige  Bookdragon

I think the best reason why this book is awesome is that, other than the usual SEP factor, this book gives a giant fuck you to the "dumb blonde" mentality. I hate that phrase and I hate it when people uses that to their books but SEP created a character who is blonde, who is smart and who is kind.


Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Amber’s reading
Re-read (actually listen). I love this book so much! Susan Elizabeth Phillips is comfort for my soul. I think I actually like the audiobook even more! The narrator Anna Fields is so wonderful to listen to. I can’t recommend SEP enough. If you have a good sense of humor, love romance and women’s fiction, you will love her books.

Original Review :

4.5 stars. Great sports romance that gave me everything I love about romance novels and nothing I dislike.

It was extremely well written and I flew throu
Jacob Proffitt
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steamy, romance
A new-to-me author and a book written in 94. That's taking a chance. And I'm so glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though there are some elements that are going to divide based on audience experience and expectation, I think.

Phillips gives herself a hard hurdle from the start with Phoebe. She's a victim of rape who has since learned to manipulate sexual situations by turning all situations sexual with her in control. In other words, she maximizes her sexual broadcast to emphasize her desirabil
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
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars. A Good read.

I loved phoebe very much. She is one of my favorite heroines and I truly adore her.
Dan was a typical alpha hero with full of confidence. Oh!! An asshole too.

I liked Ronald also. He was a damn sidekick. His pairing with Phoebe gave some hilarious moments which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I also enjoyed the scenes with Pooh very much and She is so damn cute.

(view spoiler)
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
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SEP lovers Buddyread April 11-13, 2014 57 94 Aug 15, 2015 02:24AM  
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Susan Elizabeth Phillips is the creator of the sports romance, beginning with her 1989 bestseller, FANCY PANTS. An internationally acclaimed author, her books have been published in over 30 languages. She’s the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award, and a recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award.


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)

Articles featuring this book

Get in the mood with our list of the top 100 romances of all time. We narrowed the field by limiting our results to books aimed at a...
255 likes · 457 comments
“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.” 138 likes
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