SERIES:Latest installment (#7) in the Chicago Stars series.
REASON FOR READING: I have loved this series, especially the last book, Match Me If You Can.
Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a 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. As for the beaver suit she's wearing . . . Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curve balls? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out of it.
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.
Natural Born Charmer . . . for anyone who's ever thought about leaving their old life in the dust.
THOUGHTS / OPINION:
I'm not into slapstick or silly stupid humor. That's why when I read the opening scene I felt a momentary urge to hurl this book (OK, it was a library book, so I wouldn't actually hurl it). Blue Bailey is walking down the road in a beaver costume when Dean Robillard drives by and stops to help her. Reminded me of one of those comedy skits from the old Carol Burnett Show. Turns out this book was not as light as I first thought. It is a romantic comedy but with an underlying edge of dark.
Dean and Blue both have serious abandonment and trust issues. And for good reasons. Dean is a sports superstar as the quarterback of the Chicago Stars. His father was a huge rock star (think Bruce Springsteen or someone like him) who didn't know how to be a father and pretty much ignored him. His mother was a drugged out groupie who didn't know how to be a mother but gives him up to be raised by someone who is responsible and grows to love him. He is still seriously angry at both of his parents. His mother has gone straight and is trying to get back into his life but he wants nothing to do with her. Blue's mother was an activist who is out to save the world one cause at a time but really should not have been a mother because she sucked at it. Blue took second place in her mother's life while she was passed from foster home to foster home. Recalling those memories made some heartwrenching scenes. She eventually learned not to become attached to anyone because she would eventually lose them.
Phillips' signature of great dialog and sexy banter was in full swing here. I loved how good Dean and Blue were together and how they had to work through their issues and grow as people before their happy ending is possible. As usual her characters are very well drawn and unique. This is a story about families and forgiveness and trust as well as a great love story. However, I thought Dean should have groveled a bit more at the end when he ... well, I won't spoil it. I liked Match Me If You Can a little more than NBC but it was still very enjoyable.