Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Susan Elizabeth Phillips - This Heart of Mine

Molly Somerville loves her career as the creator of the Daphne the Bunny children's book series, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. She has a reputation for trouble that started even before she gave away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance. Then there's her long-term crush on the quarterback for the Chicago Stars football team her sister owns—that awful, gorgeous Kevin Tucker, a man who can't even remember Molly's name!
One night Kevin barges into Molly's not-quite-perfect life and turns it upside down. Unfortunately, the Ferrari-driving riving, poodle-hating jock isn't as shallow as she wishes he were, and she soon finds herself at a place called Wind Lake. Surrounded by paintbox cottages, including a charming old bed-and-breakfast, Molly and Kevin battle their attraction and each other as they face one of life's most important lessons. Sometimes love hurts, sometimes it makes you mad as hell, and sometimes—if you're lucky—it can heal in a most unexpected way.

Comment: As those who come here have noticed, I like to read series one book a month. One of the series I'm currently going  through is Chicago Stars by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I'm having a great time with the books and this month I picked This Heart of Mine.

This is the story of Molly Somerville, she's the younger sister of Phoebe, the heroine from book #1, and she's had a crush on Kevin Tucker, a character we met in book #3. 
Molly is a children's books writer and she finds inspiration in many things but sometimes she seems to act a little crazy when it comes to her personal life. Molly has done things when she gets antsy and what she does isn't always easy to understand. Now that her work is threatened she needs to relax but when she goes to her sister's cabin Kevin Tucker is already there! 
Of course Kevin, who plays for Phoebe's team, needs some time too before next season starts. But he didn't count on old times catching up to him, and even people from his past. But after getting an heritage he didn't want, could his life change for the better? Even with Molly and her craziness in the way too?

I liked this story. I think the author has a natural way with words and with creating scenes and it was so easy to keep following the plot and what the characters were doing. The words seem to flow and I confess I had a hard time putting the book down.
This story focuses on Molly and Kevin and their separate lives' issues until they meet properly and start dealing with each other. As always, it was good to see each of their personal stories develop slowly and getting more strength the more they interacted.
It was also interesting to see the secondary love story about an important character for the main plot I think was really cleverly put together.

The romance between Molly and Kevin has the main focus here obviously. I liked how the author starts the romance slowly even if with a sort of unlikely situation. But we, the reader, have time to get to know the protagonists, to know why and how they act they way they do and why their start is slow to develop. But personally I prefer that way, after all I want to see their relationship develop, get better, touch the important issues, becoming necessary. The author manages this very well, I think.

Molly is a young woman who has her life tidy but she misses something and that leads her to act impulsively often, like when she gave her inheritance away. Still, I liked her personality and her behavior although some actions of hers weren't as commendable and a bit stupid I'd say. I mean, people in a certain state of mind can do things they regret or they realize are stupid but the way Molly acted towards Kevin at first seems really something bad and despite understanding it was only for plot's purposes, I still have my doubts about it.
However, by the end I was totally rooting for Molly and her happiness and her need to express her feelings. There's always a part of me that dismisses the easiness some characters find in solving things but I guess that's part of the fantasy side of romances.

Kevin was very interesting and by having the protagonism, he seemed different from the book where we met him. I liked he learned a lot, he grew up a lot and that he wasn't as impulsive and distracted as he seemed. It was really fascinating seeing in an environment he didn't control but he always acted responsible and dedicated nevertheless. He is a forgiving person and realistically speaking in RL he might not have but it was very special how he forgave and gave a chance to those who deserved and to his happiness with Molly.

Some things, little details stop this from being perfect, but I had such a great time, I liked reading about the setting, the characters a lot. I'm convinced the author is very talented and despite not being on board with one idea or another, I think she does a great job in creating the characters, in giving them life and in making things seem positive and wonderful. I'm really looking for the next book.

This story ended up with a HEA I really liked, I especially loved the details in this book, about the children's book writing, about the camp business, about friendship and family love. This is a highly entertaining read and I do recommend it.
Grade: 8/10


  1. One of the things I love about SEP is how she turns things around by the end of the book. Characters or actions I may find offensive toward the beginning of her stories, somehow are okay by the end. She's a master at achieving that. This is a favorite SEP book and I have the print version on my shelves along with a few of her other books. :)

    1. I understand that. Her books make me feel happy with the world when I finish it. It's a good author to get lost in and for me that's one of the highest compliments. :)