A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel - a long-awaited new entry in the beloved award-winning, New York Times best-selling author's fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.
Piper Dove is a woman with a dream - to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham's spotted her, and he's not happy.
Which is why a good detective needs to think on her feet. "The fact is...I'm your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just...mildly unhinged."
Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead he's hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop's life might be in danger, and Piper's determined to protect him whether he wants it or not. (Hint: not!) If only she weren't also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding Piper find her very dead husband.
And then there's Cooper Graham himself, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants - even if what he wants is a feisty detective hell-bent on proving she's as tough as he is.
From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can't stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.
©2016 Susan Elizabeth Phillips (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
Yes. The story has great pace, and lots of twists and turns with supporting characters. I was genuinely sad when it came to an end.
It's funny and feels very modern. SEP plays with the usual romance cliches without falling into them, and keeps the action moving throughout. The heroine feels like someone you'd want to know - and the hero is appealing without being totally (he's still a millionaire sportsman) unrealistic. Its nice that other characters from previous books are referenced, but you can read and enjoy without having read them.
I listened to this all in one day. Had it on in the house, and couldn't bear to set it aside, so took it with me as I went shopping, to lunch and then home again. Finally finished it in a bath with a glass of wine. Perfect.
"Good story - ok narration"
With the inevitable comparison to Anna Field's narrations of SEP's books, Nicole Poole was always going to have a tough time measuring up. She did an ok job overall but her narration at times sounded robotic and uninterested. Her dialogue was passable but lacked the inherent sparkle of SEP's characters that Anna Fields was so effortlessly able to mirror.
It's interesting that for each new book after the loss of Anna Fields/Kate Fleming, the publisher has gone with a different narrator... For me, I can't help thinking (and have done for a while) that Amanda Ronconi would be a good fit for SEP...
As for the story, I enjoyed it. I will probably go back and read the print version at some point rather than re-listen to the audio. (I've re-listened to the audio versions of Anna Fields SEP narrations numerous times!)
"Different from other SEP books"
Yes, but I normally like to listen to books more then once
Not sure, for SEP books I am used to other narrators. Name are no pronounced in the same way etc
I was really bothered by the remark made by Phoebe about other quarterbacks wives. It is said that Bobby Denton married a British school mistress, but that is not correct. It is actually a mix-up of two books, Lady Be Good and Heaven, Texas.
"Very disappointed with this story."
If SEP was going to have cameo's of previous characters in the series, they need to have been tied in better and more complex, like in previous books, and not just mentioned in passing as they have been in this book.
The least interesting aspect of this story is that it's boring, i just about went to sleep listening to it.
This narrator has obviously not listened to any previous books in the series as she can't even get the pronunciations correct. Nicole Poole's narration was not very good, but then it would be hard to match Anna Fields vocal performance of a SEP Book.
This book needs a stronger story line and the story needs to be fleshed out and made more complex. Like the previous stories in this series.
Whilst I'm A big SEP fan, have been waiting for this book to be published. Also a big fan of her Chicago Star's Books, I am very disappointed with this story, I found the story to be pretty ordinary, with no serious plot or story like previous books in the series, Sorry but I will be returning this book.
Maybe this is unfair, due to the fact that I adore the incomparable Ms. Anna Fields and she is terribly missed, BUT I'm thinking that if a new narrator is set to read a book in a series (already on audio), maybe said narrator should do her homework. Something as simple as a last name mispronunciation should not irritate the listener. HOWEVER, when the last name is Calebow, and this is a major player within the entire series, it should not be pronounced "Cal-i-bow" (short i, short o). That's just ridiculous.
Silly, I know. But it distracted from the story every single time she said it.
Even without the Anna Fields comparison, the narration was bland and uninspired. I would go out of my way to not purchase another book narrated by this narrator. I love SEP's books, particularly the Chicago Stars books, but this one fell short. There was no chemistry between Piper and Coop, it felt forced and robotic. There was token mentions of previous characters that added nothing to the story. I was particularly disappointed in the scene where Piper is remembering the marriages of other Stars and refers to Bobby Tom Denton's wife as a "Former headmistress of a British boarding school".... What???? That is not a Piper mistake, or a Phoebe mistake, that is an SEP mistake and frankly unforgivable. I usually listen to the Stars books several times a year, but this one is going on the shelf.
"Big Stars fan until this book"
Let me begin by agreeing with the other reviewers who were distracted by the mispronunciation of Phoebe's last name. If it's pronounced KALE-Bo for seven prior audiobooks then it shouldn't change to Cal-uh-BAU in Book 8!!!! Even if it was meant to be Cal-uh-BAU all along, it's too late now. Us passionate Stars fans require consistency. A professional narrator should do her due diligence to review the prior books AND consult with the author. Other than that the narration was just OK.
As for the story itself I felt as if SEP didn't even write this book. I found the characters unlikeable, most of the snark was missing, the brief and unremarkable appearances of favorite past characters wasn't even worth writing, it had almost nothing to do with football, and since when has Gracie Snow Denton been headmistress of an English boarding school. That's a different character in a different series. Big faux-pas. Cue the ghost writer. While I frequently re-listen to the first seven Stars books, this won't be a book I listen to again. So disappointing.
"Lifelong fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips. "
loved the story. I love anything she writes.
I miss Anna Fields as the narrator! She was perfect for Susan's books.
WHY didn't someone tell the narrator how to pronounce "Calebow"! Didn't any of the editors listen to "It Had To Be You"!??? ( The book that introduced us to Phoebe Somerville Calebow and her story).
Someone really dropped the ball on that.
I have listen to all SEP books multiple times. Although they tend to follow the same formula, they are always funny and entertaining. I would highly recommend any other other books wholeheartedly. However this book was atrocious. The plot was inane, the characters one dimensional and the dialogue bland and humorless. Add a narrator who could not add a nuance to any of the dialogue. I finished the book out of habit but would not recommend it.
"Made me so mad."
The first 63% of this is pure enjoyment. If I were to base my rating on the first of this story it would be five stars.
If I were to base my rating on the narration by Nicole Poole it would be four stars. (She mispronounces some names later in the narration, which drove me nuts.)
Alas...because of the final third of the story I'm not basing my rating on either of those two factors, though I will admit the only reason this is getting any stars from me at all is because of those two things.
You see, this was going extremely well, it was well written, the characters full of snarky banter, and UST that's off the charts hot, and then...
It devolved. Piper suddenly became a wishy-washy character who ran away from her problems and stuck her head in the sand willing the world the go away. Which is NOT the character I loved from the start of this novel.
Add the miscommunication, unnecessary angst, and an epilogue which made me want to set something on fire...and I'm done. I'm infuriated.
Here's my problem, right? I despise miscommunication and unnecessary angst so much that it literally drains enjoyment from a story for me. So, probably 95% of people will read this and be all, "This is great! What angst is building here! These are fantastic plot twists!" and I'm all, "This is stupid and completely unnecessary."
So, I guess what I'm saying is you have to decide...are you part of the 95%...or the 5%?
"Buy the book, skip the audio"
I loved every minute of this book, but I couldn't stand the narration for more than an hour. The pacing was all wrong, like it was spliced together awkwardly. There was no break between scenes, no clear idea of who was speaking and when.
Susan, this narrator didn't do your excellent writing justice. Not even a little. The story was one of your best. The audio book wasn't even meh.
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