It Had to Be You (Chicago Stars #1) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Series: Chicago Stars #1

Since this is one of my all time favorite books and since I have very short memory, I thought it should be a great idea to read it again and give it a pink fairytale review like it most definitely deservers.

Chicago Stars series start with Dan’s and Phoebe’s story.
Phoebe Summerville returns to Chicago for her father’s funeral, for the first time in sixteen years since she’d run away from home. Her father was the owner of a NFL team (Chicago Stars) and although he disinherited Phoebe many years ago, to everyone’s surprise he changed his will and left her, temporarily, the team to manage, but with a few conditions.
“For you to retain ownership of the team, the Stars have to win the AFC Championship this coming January, something that is highly unlikely. If they don’t win, you’ll get one hundred thousand dollars and the team reverts to Reed.”

There was a little problem with all that. First of all, she didn’t know anything about managing a NFL team and second and the most important, she didn’t like football.
“You don’t like football?” “No, I don’t.” She had spoken with too much intensity, and he was regarding her curiously. Quickly, she gave an indolent wave of her hand. “I’m more the uptown-gallery-dinner-at-Le Cirque-before-an-evening-of-experimental-theater type. I eat tofu, Mr. Hibbard.”

Dan Calebow is the Star’s head coach. Also, a retired famous quarterback, a sexist jock, with bad temper and “Pigskins-For-Brains”, as Phoebe calls him. He did have an amazing body and an Alabama drawl, that most of us would find irresistible.
“Calebow was a big, blond lion of a man who carried himself with the authority of someone who had no patience for self-doubt.”
“Even more than the champagne, he hated the idea of that blond bimbo with the drop-dead body owning his football team.”

Now, let me tell you why I loved this book so much.
First and foremost, I think Susan Elizabeth Phillips is maybe the only author who can captivate me with her stories, even if she uses third person POV. Usually I would be bored and tired of long descriptive paragraphs, but that’s not the case with her books.

Then, it’s the story itself, with amazing characters and an unpredictable plot.
Take Phoebe, for example. She acts like a brainless bimbo, looks like Marilyn Monroe, dresses like a tramp and she was also the mistress of a famous Spanish painter, much older than her. But that’s what she wants the world to see. She didn’t have an easy childhood (she was raped, but no one believed her, her father didn’t seem to love her at all and her mother had died long time ago. Plus, her cousin who was supposed to inherit the Stars, bullied her without any mercy and without any consequence). She’s one tough cookie, let me tell you that.
“I’m comfortable with contempt. It’s pity I can’t stand.”
“Poor Phoebe. When are you going to finish inventing yourself?” “When I get it right,” she said softly.”

Dan, on the hand, might appear as a big bad wolf, hot-headed jock, but he wants nothing more than a simple, loving wife and a house full of kids.

SEP does an amazing job making us see beneath the surface of each of her characters. I also think it’s a good lesson not to judge a book by its cover, meaning we should try to refrain for jumping to conclusions without knowing all the facts.
There’s one more thing I love about SEP and this book in particular (because I have a short memory and don’t remember the others). She makes it hot and steamy, even if it could be PG rated. I don’t think it’s an easy thing to do. I didn’t find it cheesy and I didn’t roll my eyes once at her was of telling me how hot is the sex between Dan and Phoebe.

This story has it all. It’s beautiful, but it’s sad. It makes you laugh, but you’ll also shed a few tears. For the second time now it kept me up all night, because I couldn’t put it down. I bet you’ll love Dan and Phoebe’s “volleying of insults”.
“Don’t you call me hot stuff!”
“Sorry.” He opened the door and slid inside. “Hot stuff, ma’am.”

“Honey lamb, there are a lot of things in this world I feel insecure about. Religion. Our national economic policy. What color socks to wear with a blue suit. But, I’ve got to tell you that my performance in that hotel room last night isn’t one of them.”

And since I’m way ahead with my reading challenge on Goodreads I think I will read again the other books for the Chicago Stars series.

Don’t miss out on this one. Trust me, it’s amazing!

my initial review:
I LOVED IT soooooooo much!
I was refreshing and funny and simply amazing! I couldn’t put it down until the very last page!