Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a cross-country trip to figure out what’s gone wrong. When he hits a lonely stretch of Colorado highway, he spies something that will shake up his gilded life in ways he can’t imagine. A young woman . . . dressed in a beaver suit.
Blue Bailey is on a mission. As for the beaver suit she’s wearing . . . Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curve balls? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out of it.
They’re soon heading for his summer home, where their already complicated lives and inconvenient attraction to each other will become entangled with a charismatic but aging rock star; a beautiful, fifty-two-year-old woman trying to make peace with her rock and roll past; an eleven-year-old who desperately needs a family; and a bitter old woman who hates them all.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips one of my favorite romance writers. Her stories are always layered and romantic and funny. She’s a definite go-to when I am in that kind of mood.
Natural Born Charmer is the seventh and final book in her Chicago Stars series about a professional football team. This book stars the charismatic Dean Robillard, the Stars star quarterback. He’s grown up a little bit since the preceeding book, Match Me if You Can. This time, he’s on a cross-country trip to his new farm in Tennessee when he stumbles upon a woman in a beaver suit walking down the highway and takes pity on her. Turns out Blue needs more than just a ride.
Despite her illusion of independence, Blue Bailey has nothing. So she tags along with Dean because she has friends near where he’s heading that she can stay with to get back on her feet, but those plans fall through. Dean is happy because he’s thinking the longer they’re stuck together, the better his chances are of getting lucky with the Beav. And Dean is a man used to getting what he wants. So, he’s a little disappointed that Blue isn’t just laying down at his feet, but she’s no dummy. She knows that the longer she can keep him interested, the farther she can get.
When they finally arrive at his new home, he’s shocked and peeved to find his estranged mother there. So, all the more reason to keep Blue around. He fakes an engagement to her to keep his mother and the people in town from becoming too friendly, uses her as a human shield.
I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of things going on in this novel. There are issues regarding absentee parents, runaway children, quirky small towns, the famous and the infamous. But none of it seemed forced and, despite all the many and varied tropes, it wasn’t predictable, except, you know, it is a love story, so you can kind of figure out where it’s going to lead. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. I was involuntarily smiling throughout.