December 14, 2015

Review | This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Review | This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsThis Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Series: Chicago Stars #5
Publisher: Avon, February 2002
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
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This Heart of Mine..

Molly Somerville knows she has a reputation for trouble. She did give away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance, but, hey, nobody's perfect. Still, if anyone has an almost perfect life, it's Molly. While her Daphne the Bunny children's books could be selling better, she loves her cramped loft, her French poodle, and her career creating the fictional animals who live in Nightingale Woods. She even loves her sister, Phoebe.

True, it was a little tough growing up in her shadow. Phoebe is beautiful, blissfully married, and the owner of the most successful professional football team in America. But who other than your sister knows you're about to do something drastic every time you change your hair? Yes, Molly's happy about almost everything ... except her long-term crush on the daredevil quarterback for the Chicago Stars, that awful, gorgeous Kevin Tucker, a man who can't even remember her name!

One night Molly's penchant for running into trouble runs right into Kevin himself, turning her world upside down. Heartbreak follows, and just when she's certain things can't get worse, Kevin forces his way back into her life. If only the overpaid, Ferrari-driving, poodle-hating jock was as shallow as she wants him to be, she could get on with her almost perfect life. But Kevin's hidden depths and iron will propel Molly out of her comfortable existence into an unforgettable summer at a place called Wind Lake. Surrounded by paintbox cottages and a charming old bed-and-breakfast, she and Kevin battle their attraction while trying to cope with an aging sexpot actress, a cranky world-famous artist, and a pair of teenage newlyweds.

Their careers and lives are in crisis ... yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Before the summer is over, will they be able to learn one of life's most important lessons? Sometimes falling in love hurts, sometimes it makes you mad as hell, and sometimes if you're very lucky it can heal in the most special and unexpected way.

True, it was a little tough growing up in her shadow. Phoebe is beautiful, blissfully married, and the owner of the most successful professional football team in America. But who other than your sister knows you’re about to do something drastic every time you change your hair? Yes, Molly’s happy about almost everything … except her long-term crush on the daredevil quarterback for the Chicago Stars, that awful, gorgeous Kevin Tucker, a man who can’t even remember her name!

One night Molly’s penchant for running into trouble runs right into Kevin himself, turning her world upside down. Heartbreak follows, and just when she’s certain things can’t get worse, Kevin forces his way back into her life. If only the overpaid, Ferrari-driving, poodle-hating jock was as shallow as she wants him to be, she could get on with her almost perfect life. But Kevin’s hidden depths and iron will propel Molly out of her comfortable existence into an unforgettable summer at a place called Wind Lake. Surrounded by paintbox cottages and a charming old bed-and-breakfast, she and Kevin battle their attraction while trying to cope with an aging sexpot actress, a cranky world-famous artist, and a pair of teenage newlyweds.

Their careers and lives are in crisis … yet they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Before the summer is over, will they be able to learn one of life’s most important lessons? Sometimes falling in love hurts, sometimes it makes you mad as hell, and sometimes if you’re very lucky it can heal in the most special and unexpected way.

 
I read This Heart of Mine back in 2013, but the urge to reread grabbed me a few days ago. I had loved Molly’s story then, but a few of the plot’s details had slipped my mind – all I remembered was the magic of the campground, the powerful romance, and the little bit of silliness that’s a SEP trademark. 
 
Molly has always been the good girl. Whether or not she actually needed to be, she felt the urge to be the one to not cause any trouble, to blend into the background with her book whenever the personal family drama raged. This is something I can completely understand; however, her uncontrollable tendency to act out was harder to connect with. As a kid, a teenager, and a young woman, okay. The decision she makes to crawl into bed with an asleep Kevin, a man she barely knows but loves from afar, was just an awkward moment for me. 
 
Aside from that odd lapse in judgement, I loved Molly and Kevin. They bring out the best in each other, even when they’re arguing or sorting out their own differences. This Heart of Mine showcases believing the best in people, second chances, and the possibility of happy endings. 
 
The focus on family in This Heart was a huge point in its favor. Both Molly and Kevin are forced to deal with their personal family issues. The positive focus on the power of family is something I’d love to see in more romances. 
 
I’m glad I reread This Heart – it reminded me of why I fell in love with Phillips’ work in the first place. This book is a must read for every romance fan.
 
4 Stars

Posted December 14, 2015 by Ellen in reviews / 0 Comments
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