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~It Had to be You~

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

      Heroine: voluptuous

      Phoebe Somerville had them all fooled. The blonde bombshell, va-va-voom vixen shielded a hurt innocence and sharp intelligence within.  As an overweight, graceless child unloved and unwanted by her father, she had it out with him and ran off from home to lead a life of which he couldn't approve.  In turn, the old man stuck it to her in his will by forcing her to inherit his football team (and her teenaged half-sister) for a few short months, to prove that she could really make something of herself.  A mixed blessing at best, since Phoebe loves her little sister, but can't stand football. And she can't stand the team's hunky coach, either!

      Stars Coach Dan Calebow is hard, driven, and cold.  How could he be anything but, with a nickname like "Ice"?  Though dedicated to his sport, he was more inclined to living fast and loose when it came to women.  Dan used to love them hot and wild but a bad marriage and empty, brief physical encounters have left him craving a baby-loving kinda gal who can warm his frozen heart.  But right now his top priority is getting hoochie-mama-turned-temporary-team-owner Phoebe's luscious backside outta the big boss's chair so he can get his team, and his life, back on track.

      Can these two damaged souls discover how much they truly have in common with each other before it's too late?

      What worked for me:

       I must say this is the first time I've ever seen football mixed with romance in a story.  That certainly made it unique and did allow for several funny quips from the heroine.

      I also liked underlying theme of healing and bonding, especially where the two sisters were concerned.  (Molly has her own story covered in "This Heart of Mine", for those folks who enjoy family series.)

     Size-wise Phoebe was built a bit curvier than is currently en vogue, a la Jayne Mansfield.  (Actually the descriptions in the book had me picturing the hero and heroine as Tom Berenger and Jennifer Tilly.)

What didn't work for me:    

      I've always been a bit uncomfortable with rape scenarios in my romance novels, though in this case the heroine is trying to recover from an assault that occurred years earlier.  

       I felt that the contrived conflicts made the characters seem juvenile.


      A solid read, especially if you like truly despicable villains and prefer your hero and heroine to be firmly at odds with each other.  A few good comic as well as dramatic moments shine in this story, but it may not be humorous enough for some readers nor suspense-filled enough for others.

Warning: This book has some steamy sex scenes and coarse language in its pages.

If you liked "It Had to be You" you might also enjoy: "Love at Large", "Simply Sinful", "Some Girls Do", "The Independent Bride", "This Heart of Mine", "Getting Lucky", "Born to be Wild", "Blushing Pink", "The Bridesmaid's Reward", "Plum Girl", "Lola Carlyle Reveals All", "Runaway Bay""Fast Women", "Welcome to Temptation", "Faking It", "His Seductive Revenge", "Dear Cupid""Looking for Laura""Too Much Temptation", "Say You're Mine", "Carried Away", or "Walking After Midnight".

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