Thursday, February 08, 2007

Book Review: Natural Born Charmer

I really like Susan Elizabeth Phillips's books. She's probably the best romantic comedy writer, and I appreciate that her books are always sprinkled with a healthy dose of comedy. Funny is fun, and it keeps things from getting too heavy and serious. But for the love of God, is it so much to ask that she write a book where at least one of the people in the romantic couple have a normal family life?

I understand that she likes to write about families, and things are more interesting when there is conflict and drama, but honestly it's getting a little old! (Although, now that I think about it, I can't remember anything too dysfunctional about the characters' families in Nobody's Baby But Mine. But still, there were some issues.)

But don't pay too much attention to my ranting. Like I said, conflict is more interesting. The characters in this book are Dean Robilliard (sp?), who is a professional football playing quarterback from SEP's earlier book, Match Me If You Can, and Blue Bailey, who's new. Both of them have screwed-up family lives which play prominently in the plot of the book. But I can overlook the predictable SEP family drama here because I really enjoyed Dean's eleven year-old half-sister. SEP does a great job of writing kids, I think. I wasn't crazy about Dean when he was in Match Me If You Can, mainly because I pictured him with bleached blonde hair and diamond earrings which is just tacky on a man, but SEP toned him down here so it was good. She also managed to make Blue appealing to me, despite the fact that my least favorite physical descriptions of romance novel heroines pretty much encapsulated Blue completely. (In case you're wondering it's short, shapeless women with short black hair.)

One of my absolute favorite things about SEP is that she writes romance novels. Not romantic suspense. Not romantic thrillers. Not romantic mystery. No sub-genres, which I like. And she does it without being boring. This book is about people going about their (questionably) normal lives and falling in love. It was a fun read.

Lindsey's Grade: B+

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