Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world: a bona-fide sports superstar and the pride of the NFL with a profitable side career as a buff billboard model for End Zone underwear. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a cross-country trip to figure out what's gone wrong. When he hits a lonely stretch of Colorado highway, he spies something that will shake up his gilded life in ways he can't imagine. A young woman . . . dressed in a beaver suit.
Blue Bailey is on a mission to murder her ex. Or at least inflict serious damage. As for the beaver suit she's wearing . . . Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curveballs? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out of it.
Blue's career as a portrait painter is the perfect job for someone who refuses to stay in one place for very long. She needs a ride, and America's most famous football player has an imposing set of wheels. Now, all she has to do is keep him entertained, off guard, and fully clothed before he figures out exactly how desperate she is.
But Dean isn't the brainless jock she imagines, and Blue—despite her petite stature—is just about the toughest woman Dean has ever met. They're soon heading for his summer home where their already complicated lives and inconvenient attraction to each other will become entangled with a charismatic but aging rock star; a beautiful fifty-two-year-old woman trying to make peace with her rock and roll past; an eleven-year-old who desperately needs a family; and a bitter old woman who hates them all.
As the summer progresses, the wandering portrait artist and the charming football star play a high-stakes game, fighting themselves and each other for a chance to have it all.
Natural Born Charmer is for everyone who's ever thought about leaving their old life in the dust and never looking back. New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips takes us home again . . . and shows us where love truly lives
In this latest installment in Phillips's romance series starring the Chicago Stars football players (This Heart of Mine; Nobody's Baby but Mine), the bestselling novelist delivers a love story wrought with delicious sexual tension and charged banter. When debonair starting quarterback Dean Robillard, on a soul-searching road trip after a serious shoulder injury, happens across Blue Bailey, walking alongside the road wearing a beaver costume, he stops to help her. Blue is far from a Barbie-esque football groupie, but broke and stranded, she needs both a ride and a job, and the football all-star (driving a sexy Aston Martin) poses an interesting opportunity. As the two travel from Colorado to Dean's new farmhouse in east Tennessee, Blue resists his advances, and both athlete and vagabond struggle with deeply rooted trust and familial issues that are soon exacerbated by the unexpected presence of Dean's mother at the farm. While the verbal sparring in this textbook case of opposites attracting feels stagy at first, the rough edges come together in an alluring way.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book is sneaky.
I never expected to like this book. Early reviews were not raving. They were quietly positive. The feel was that people liked the book because they Love the author. So I read it once. Then strangely I saw this on audiobook at the library and checked it out. I'd forgotten I'd read it. I didn't read this book with "southern flare" initially. The audiobook did. It bothered me. So I searched my bookshelves, dusted this book off, and re-read it.
And something amazing happened. I laughed. And laughed. And snickered. I rooted for the characters even though I knew how it was gonna end and that it was like every story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and boy gets girl.
But the words! The words were magical. They made me wonder about the author. Is she clever in real life? Do her and her husband banter like the characters do in real life? Could she have possibly met her husband walking down the side of a dusty road wearing nothing but a head-less beaver costume? Which was a weird question. I get that. But I wondered it anyway.
My point is that this story came alive to me. Love is messy and fun and exciting. It's funny and difficult and bizarre. It's different for everyone and for very one is a different story. But I started forgetting this story wasn't real. The characters are complex and smart, witty and deep at the same time. They hide their hearts behind banter that's believable, sometimes shallow, but endearingly realistic at the same time.
I've come back to this story again and again. I no longer need to dust the book off when I reach for a good story off the shelf. It's always ready and waiting to entertain.
Try it sometime.
Have read many of SEP's books. Almost all are fantastic but I particularly loved this one. Where can I get a gypsy wagon?
Natural Born Charmer
Another great read!!! Love how characters pop up from book to book!