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 of 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.
Comment: This is most recent installment in the Chicago Stars series by author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, years after the last book had been published. Since I've recently read the books by the author in this and another series she wrote, I still feel relatively familiarized with her style and narrative so I was eager to have one more story set in the world I came to enjoy a lot while reading the series.
In this book we meet Piper Dove, a very determined and confident woman who wants to be successful at her brand new detective agency, something she inherited from her father but recently organized her own way. The problem is that her first case investigating former athlete Cooper Graham, a man everyone knows in Chicago due to his years playing in the Chicago Stars football team, goes wrong because he soon realizes what she's doing and she's uncovered.
Cooper just wants to make his night club Spiral a hit so more could follow. Yes, the night club scene can get a bit boring but he's in it to make it a personal success even if he also tries to get his hands in another deal. Piper is annoying at first but the more time they spend together, the crazy things get and even his feelings start being out of his control...
I know this is not the best novel ever written but to be honest, it was amazing for me for two very basic reasons: even among all the crazy and unrealistic situations, I had a fun time reading and immersing myself in the characters' adventures and I like the author's writing style.
The author's books can be filled with crazy situations, an almost feel her characters are larger than life, they are described as ordinary in their feelings, emotions and reactions but the reality is we can struggle to imagine them as common people in the street. This can be difficult for the reader to relate to the characters but the story is so well thought and imaginative and structured that, in my personal opinion, I can put all that aside and simply enjoy a simple novel which happens to include crazy scenes.
Perhaps what makes it work here and not in other series is that this author does know how to do it well.
I liked Piper a lot. She is very different from me in terms of personality and obviously it's always easier to connect if we have common trait with the characters but here I could see Piper's vulnerability so although she is so different, I was rooting for her and I wanted her to be as special as she seemed to be.
Coop was great too, he's a good hero, not over the top in any aspect and despite being a great person, a great hero, a great man, he doesn't use his advantages to be superior so i liked his character too.
The romance was very cute, I really liked the HEA and how sweet it is. I've finished the book on Monday I'm still thinking about the epilogue, super sweet but not in a silly way.
The type of plot isn't complicated, this is a contemporary romance without all those tricks to make it more intense or dramatic. I liked how we got layers to go through so we could get to message, especially when it comes to Coop's dreams, Piper's need to be her own person, to prove herself...things they can certainly talk about so we know but in some scenes we can learn more than just seeing their dialogue. I also liked how the secondary characters were well inserted into the plot, never in an over the top manner (except for when it's an obvious tactic for some reason) and although we have several different characters and many have a voice they don't take over, they don't get the spotlight from Piper and Cooper. I really liked how "populated" the story was but never overcrowded.
All in all, I loved it, I will re-read my favorite scenes many times for sure and I just wanted to say that it might not be the best thing ever but it truly worked out for me now and just the smile I know I have because of it is enough to have made it a successful story for me.