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Natural Born Charmer Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, February 6, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this latest installment in Phillips's romance series starring the Chicago Stars football players (This Heart of Mine; Nobody's Baby but Mine), the bestselling novelist delivers a love story wrought with delicious sexual tension and charged banter. When debonair starting quarterback Dean Robillard, on a soul-searching road trip after a serious shoulder injury, happens across Blue Bailey, walking alongside the road wearing a beaver costume, he stops to help her. Blue is far from a Barbie-esque football groupie, but broke and stranded, she needs both a ride and a job, and the football all-star (driving a sexy Aston Martin) poses an interesting opportunity. As the two travel from Colorado to Dean's new farmhouse in east Tennessee, Blue resists his advances, and both athlete and vagabond struggle with deeply rooted trust and familial issues that are soon exacerbated by the unexpected presence of Dean's mother at the farm. While the verbal sparring in this textbook case of opposites attracting feels stagy at first, the rough edges come together in an alluring way. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

After her ex-boyfriend Monty insists that she is the only person he ever loved, Blue Bailey packs up everything she has (which isn't much) and moves from Seattle to Colorado to be with him. But once Blue arrives, she discovers Monty has found love again with a younger, blonder new girlfriend. With few job options and practically no money, Blue thought she might be stuck in Colorado for a long time, until Dean Robillard drives through on his way to Tennessee. The last person Blue wants to ask for a favor is a way-too-gorgeous-for-his-own-good stranger who annoys her to no end. And who turns out to be the quarterback for the Chicago Stars. But Dean is Blue's only ticket out, even if it means she is stuck with him all the way to Tennessee. RITA Award-winner Phillips creates yet another classic romance in her loosely connected Chicago Stars series with this splendidly satisfying tale of love, family, and redemption. Generously seasoned with plenty of tart humor and snappy dialogue, and graced with a delightfully amusing pair of protagonists trying desperately not to fall in love, Natural Born Charmer is simply irresistible. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (February 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060734574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060734572
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jane Litte VINE VOICE on February 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I liked smart mouthed heroines and I understood Blue's motivations. She understood herself well enough to know that falling for Dean Roubillard would be disastrous. She uses everything that she can think of to ward him off, to turn away his natural born charm. Her best weapon is her brain and her mouth.

Yet, for all her knowing, like many romance heroines, she fails to see that her being a challenge is the best way to attract him. Dean knows women and he is pretty sure that Blue is attracted to him, after all he's rich, famous and gorgeous. That's enough to make any girl's heart rate rise. On the other hand, he's a little disconcerted that she doesn't fall easily into his hands. As a super competitive person, Dean becomes challenged. Soon everything between Dean and Blue becomes a contest. Who can give the most witty retort. Who can confuse the other the most. Who can be the most frustrating.

The story would have been good just watching Blue and Dean spar, but this more than a love story, its a story about families and their capacity to love, betray, hurt and forgive. It's about second chances and who deserves them. What you have to do in order to deserve them? Does a mother who spent her time high and floating from one man to another in search of a better hit deserve forgiveness and a chance at a relationship with her son. Does a father who wanted nothing to do with his son except when the son becomes famous deserve the same? The problem that this book has is that because of the mostly lighthearted overtones, the chance to explore the deeper themes of love and betrayal is missed. Those parts are glossed over.
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Format: Hardcover
SEP has done it again. In Blue Bailey, she's created another terrific female character you'll never forget and hate to let go, like Phoebe and Sugar Beth and Isobel. Someone touched on the darker themes in this book and SEP doesn't shy away from these: abandonment, drug abuse, etc. But as an author, SEP always writes with a non-judgmental approach to her characters and through her talent, she peels away layers until she finds that one true note that explains her characters' motivation. And suddenly you understand. SEP writes comedy with human drama mixed in and although she touches on these darker themes, she doesn't allow them to steal the story. It takes a deft touch to handle these themes the way she does because the stories could so easily become humorless. As usual, there's the great dialogue, the funny one-liners, the peerless descriptions that make SEP one of a kind, and the love for her flawed characters that sparkles on every page. I wish we could clone Susan, or just compel her to write faster.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this from Amazon on Wednesday, it got here yesterday and I read it in one sitting last night.

I'm a ginormous SEP fangirl. I've loved all her books but one. I think she's got an amazing gift with creating flawed characters that just appeal to me on so many levels.

So I'm not surprised to say I thought NCB was a fabulous book. I absolutely loved Blue. I thought as a heroine she was wonderfully messed up but filled with heart and fight and strength. I wasn't baffled by her behavior at all, I really connected with her.

I loved the secondary characters - April, Jack, Riley and Nita. As usual, SEP takes characters you would find unredeemable in the hands of other authors and makes you root for them.

And I liked Dean a lot. In fact, I loved him for 98% of the book. However, here's the quibble that took it from 5 stars to 4 1/2 for me - he was a total d*ck at the end of the book. I won't say what he did and give spoilers but I didn't think he suffered enough for it and I don't think he redeemed himself enough.

Otherwise, I was cheering for them to end up together, I loved their chemistry. This was a very sexy book and it had loads of great tension and eroticicism in it.

Lots of funny moments and bright, vivid characters, including the town and Dean's house. This is one I'll definitely read again.
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Format: Hardcover
I'd like to preface this review by saying that SEP used to be one of my favorite authors. I loved Kiss an Angel, IHTBY, Heaven, Texas, Dream a Little Dream, Nobody's Baby But Mine, and Lady Be Good, but it seems that ever since she went mainstream with hardcovers, that her books have become predictable and formulaic and NBC is no exception. Beautiful and brilliant but troubled jock with too much money falls in love with a quirky, poor woman who also has family issues. For some reason, her earlier Chicago Stars books had some elements of realism, but I feel like she's lost her touch in writing relatable characters and plausible story lines. The plot was too far fetched and didn't focus enough on the two main characters. The book lacks the steam that once made SEP famous. I think the book is less of a romance and more of a mainstream family story since the subplots really took over the book.

While it had some great lines and some great scenes, it's not worth the money.
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