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
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!)
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.
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.
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.
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
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%?
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.
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.
Good Books Don't Promote Violence
I cannot express how disappointed I am that SEP appears to have joined the FSOG cult of female writers who promote sexual violence as romantic and erotic. This cult believes that all woman secretly want to be beaten, raped and abused rather than loved, respected and adored by the men in their lives.
In the beginning of First Star, PI Piper (early 30s) was presented as an expert on self-defense, was well as a strong and confident woman. Suddenly, doing a total personality change, Piper allowed retired football player Cooper to beat her in a fit of anger. Just as bizarrely, Cooper morphed into a sadistic asshole who needed to hurt Piper in order to feel manly and powerful. So not my idea of sexy or romantic!!!
In previous novels, SEP created a variety of fascinating, entertaining women who would never consent to being beaten, degraded and humiliated. Likewise, in previous books, her male characters have liked and admired their wives, girlfriends and female friends. I am disgusted by this glamorization of domestic abuse and sexual assault, particularly by a talented writer who should be ashamed of betraying her gender.
Great SEP book as usual. Reader not Anna fields but much closer than others UNTIL we get to Phoebe Calebow. Who in their right mind would turn that name into three syllables. ??? K long A, L short E, B long O. It hurt my ears and obviously the new girl hadn't bothered to listen to any of the other Chicago Stars books. Lazy. It's K long A, B long O. Two syllables. REP Anna. Still miss your talent.
The wait for this book was worth it; I was fascinated by the characters and listened to the entire story in one day. The choice of narrator could not have been better. Not since Anna Fields have I been so impressed by a reading. Thank you M's Phillips for another great story and your choice of narrator.
"Worth the wait"
Well this book does not disappoint, I have been waiting for it and loved it. 5 stars!!!
"Her best book yet!"
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.
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