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Heaven, Texas

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Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Published: April 1st 1995 by Avon

Format: Mass Market Paperback , 384 pages

Isbn: 9780380776849

Language: English


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Come heck or high water, Gracie Snow is determined to drag the legendary ex-jock Bobby Tom Denton back home to Heaven, Texas, to begin shooting his first motion picture. Despite his dazzling good looks and killer charm, Bobby Tom has reservations about being a movie star — and no plans to cooperate with a prim and bossy Ohio wallflower whom he can’t get off his mind or out Come heck or high water, Gracie Snow is determined to drag the legendary ex-jock Bobby Tom Denton back home to Heaven, Texas, to begin shooting his first motion picture. Despite his dazzling good looks and killer charm, Bobby Tom has reservations about being a movie star — and no plans to cooperate with a prim and bossy Ohio wallflower whom he can’t get off his mind or out of his life. Instead, the hell-raising playboy decides to make her over from plain Jane to Texas wildcat. But nothing’s more dangerous than a wildcat with an angel’s heart in a town too small for a bad boy to hide. And all hell breaks loose when two unforgettable people discover love, laughter, passion — and a match that can only be made in Heaven.

30 review for Heaven, Texas

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emmie

    I've been rereading SEP's books this past month and falling back in love with her novels, as well as catching up on some new ones which I enjoyed immensely. However, "Heaven, Texas" is NOT one of those books. The romance starts off distastefully with Bobby Tom Denton living the life of a rich, shallow, sexist NFL player who treats women like disposable 'sex' objects. Fine, usually this serves as a starting point for the 'hero' who will display inner worth and grow along the way. Instead, Bobby To I've been rereading SEP's books this past month and falling back in love with her novels, as well as catching up on some new ones which I enjoyed immensely. However, "Heaven, Texas" is NOT one of those books. The romance starts off distastefully with Bobby Tom Denton living the life of a rich, shallow, sexist NFL player who treats women like disposable 'sex' objects. Fine, usually this serves as a starting point for the 'hero' who will display inner worth and grow along the way. Instead, Bobby Tom's behavior and attitude not only refuse to improve but instead over the course of the novel plummet into the realm of HORRIFYING. As Gracie's trying to leave Bobby Tom and restore her means of self-respect, Bobby Tom breaks out of jail after a night spent assaulting his friends and being a mean drunk "sonovabitch", chases her down in a stolen squad car, and as she's running from him in terror -- a tiny 5'4'' woman against a tall, heavily muscled professional football player -- he's yelling at her to stop and ends up tackling her on the side of the road. Following this, as he's physically dominating her, she's begging him and crying for him to "Stop!" only to be rescued by the cops who arrest Bobby Tom. Upon seeing Bobby Tom resisting arrest, which results in his getting roughly handled by the arresting officer, Gracie leaps on the cop's back and starts screaming that he let Bobby Tom go free. This isn't a romance. It's a codependent horror story about a spoiled selfish man's devolving into an abusive, misogynist asshole and the woman who loves him despite how horribly he treats her and who cannot escape him. The reason Gracie called off their engagement in the first place was because he'd brutally rebuffed her efforts to help him and then he'd tried to force her to have sex with him, dominating her as she's once again yelling at him, "Stop!" and beating him until her hands are hurting. He apologizes, of course, never meaning for her to have hurt herself trying to get him to stop abusing her -- only for this behavior to be repeated in the climactic final scene without any sign of Bobby Tom or any aspect of the novel acknowledging this repetition establishes a pattern of abuse. There's no resolution, simply Gracie loving Bobby Tom despite his terrorizing her as he finally proclaims his love. And somehow this is supposed to be a happy ending? The ending is absolutely appalling as the Mayor and Bobby Tom's family arrive on the highway and the cop, who was in the process of arresting fugitive Bobby Tom, is castigated for upholding the law. Bobby Tom is released, he gets a few sharp words about getting into drunken brawl with a childhood friend, but any efforts to hold him to account for his horrifyingly abusive behavior is dismissed as everyone starts joking about how Gracie can't marry Bobby Tom until she passes the Football Test. What follows is Bobby Tom dumbing down the questions so Gracie is ~worthy~ of marrying this abusive piece of shit who just so happens to have won two Superbowls and is Heaven, Texas' favorite son. This novel is a throwback to the 'rape is romantic' tropes of the 70s and 80s. And I'm happy to say that SEP revisits this formula of handsome blonde charming Stars quarterback and spunky unattractively dressed woman with great personality in "Natural Born Charmer" -- only SEP finally gets it right with Dean Robillard and Blue Bailey. I'm deleting this book from my Kindle and I wish I could burn it from my memory. I've never been so disappointed by the ending of a romance novel before, as I watched what essentially amounted to a woman fleeing her ex in terror suddenly turn into her getting sucked back into his dysfunction and defending him from the only goddamn person in town who was holding him accountable for being a abusive asshole who's breaking laws right and left. The painful irony is that earlier in the novel, Bobby Tom becomes outraged at the suggestion that his mother's lover "raped" her. This book was in desperate need of a deus ex machina to swoop down from on high and rescue Gracie from Bobby Tom. Usually, at the end of these novels, there's this pleasant feeling as you close the book and you imagine the couple's happy future. Instead, I'm imagining how Bobby Tom's struggles to find meaning and direction in his life after having to quit the NFL due to an injury -- well, that'll no doubt be taken out on Gracie. Instead of watching a rough hero reform, this novel gives us a sexist guy who initially appears charming and misunderstood on the surface and shows his horrifying descent into abusing a woman who loves him, who actually has enough self-respect to try to leave her abuser, only for him to chase her down and tackle her and refuse to let her leave him. This is a horror story that attempts to romanticize the "hero"s misogyny and violence against the heroine. Gracie's terror in the final scene and how it suddenly evaporates into sympathy for her abuser's pain, leading to their getting back together and getting married -- it makes me shudder at how it glorifies the sexism and violence. I realize I'm rambling and repeating myself at this point. This isn't a cool and collected review. I'm genuinely horrified by how Bobby Tom's descent into villainy is brushed aside by everyone in town and by Gracie herself -- that final scene between Bobby Tom and Gracie is what I'd expect from a villain in a romance novel right before the hero swoops in and beats the shit out of him, rescuing the heroine, professing his love, they all live happily ever after, yadda yadda yadda. Yet there is no one to stop Bobby Tom, not even the police can stop this superstar football God born and raised in Heaven, Texas. More like Hell, Texas. Poor Gracie. There's no escaping Hell no matter how fast she runs.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    5 STARS [image error] What a shocker! I have no idea how she did it, but Susan Elizabeth Phillips managed the impossible. I went into this one with a bad attitude. Yes.. I had absolutely no interest in a character named Bobby Tom anything. And even the heroine left me feeling completely B O R E D...*yawn* But somehow I ended up absolutely LOVING this book!!! “There’s no accounting for the mysteries of the human heart” [image error] Bobby Tom Denton was in the height of his career as the 5 STARS [image error] What a shocker! I have no idea how she did it, but Susan Elizabeth Phillips managed the impossible. I went into this one with a bad attitude. Yes.. I had absolutely no interest in a character named Bobby Tom anything. And even the heroine left me feeling completely B O R E D...*yawn* But somehow I ended up absolutely LOVING this book!!! “There’s no accounting for the mysteries of the human heart” [image error] Bobby Tom Denton was in the height of his career as the all-star wide receiver for the Chicago Stars football team. When a bad hit blew out his knee and ended his career at the age of 33, he was at a loss with what to do with the rest of his life. [image error] After two Super Bowl wins behind him, he had all the money he could ever want, and gorgeous women were lining up in droves to take the quiz… to be Mrs. Bobby Tom Denton. Even his hometown of Telarosa, Texas was pulling out all the stops to make him a living legend. So why was he feeling so lost? [image error] With nothing better to do, Bobby Tom signed a movie deal. But when the time came to get it started, he couldn’t find the guts to return to his hometown for the filming. So he decided to just ignore it. He'd get there eventually... when he was ready. Maybe. “I happen to be immature, undisciplined, and self-centered, pretty much a little boy in a man's body, although I'd appreciate it if you didn't quote me on that.” [image error] Enter Gracie Snow. A thirty year old virgin from Nowhere, Ohio, who grew up practically living in the nursing home her parents worked for. Now working as a production assistant for the up and coming movie company, Gracie’s make-it-or-break-it moment rides on her successfully delivering Bobby Tom to movie set, ASAP. So, in her rumply, oversized navy, J C Penny suit, Gracie shows up at Bobby Tom’s Chicago home to escort him back to Telarosa, Texas. [image error] But of course, he isn’t the least bit interested in going with her. He’s got a big party going on… and oh, did I mention that the stripper is late… ”Stella said you were hot, but I told her I wanted a blonde.” He regarded her doubtfully. “Bobby Tom likes blondes. Are you blonde under that wig?” [image error] ”Has it occurred to anybody at Windmill Studios that sending you after me was pretty much like sending a lamb to the slaughter?” So, honestly… I started out thinking… what desirable qualities does this Bobby Tom even have? What’s with the hero worship? He’s a redneck peacock for God-sakes! And Gracie was about the equivalent to a worn-out doormat with stars in her eyes. And he wanted nothing to do with her. So how in the hell did these two get together? He was Bobby Tom Denton, for chrissake. He might be retired, but that didn’t mean he’d sunk so low he had to get it on with a charity case like Gracie Snow. [image error] All I can say is… a little maybelline, a new hair cut, a tight pair of blue jeans and a lot of spunk is all the magic she needed. She'd already gotten under his skin, and a little ice cream on that cake pretty much sealed the deal. It was such a cute, romantic and hilariously funny story of unlikely love!!! And it kept me glued to the pages until the bitter end! And I loved every stinkin’ second of it!!! [image error] ”Gracie Snow, you’re turning into a trashy woman right before my eyes.” [image error] “He settled his hat back into position. She was a rookie in her first big game, and he’d never let her see how close she’d come to unseating a champion” [image error] ”Those women don’t know how lucky they are,” she muttered. “What women are you talking about?” “All of them who were fortunate enough to fail your football quiz.” He chuckled, lit up a cigar. I won’t say too much more. It’s better discovered as it all unfolds!. And the ending was just epic! A real "Hollywood” moment... a stolen police car, a highway chase, and an earth shattering revelation! [image error] He’d been playing hide and seek with the truth too long, and he knew the moment of reckoning had finally come. If he wanted to keep facing himself in the mirror every morning, he had to set aside his misgivings about mercy fucking and do what needed to be done. [image error] I love this writer. I don’t know how she does it… but she just does. ;) Now, go read this book! [image error]

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

    4-4 ½ stars – Contemporary Romance I liked SEP’s witty writing, laugh-out-loud humor, and steamy love scenes, but the hero’s crappy treatment of the heroine made me spitting nails mad at times. I just kept thinking, “why does she put up with his sh*t”?!?! Retired football legend Bobby Tom Denton might be a sexy as sin, insatiably flirtatious, happy-go-lucky, infectiously funny, womanizing, hellraising, aw shucks ma’am cowboy with killer bedroom skills and a sh*t-eating grin, but he’s also an ego 4-4 ½ stars – Contemporary Romance I liked SEP’s witty writing, laugh-out-loud humor, and steamy love scenes, but the hero’s crappy treatment of the heroine made me spitting nails mad at times. I just kept thinking, “why does she put up with his sh*t”?!?! Retired football legend Bobby Tom Denton might be a sexy as sin, insatiably flirtatious, happy-go-lucky, infectiously funny, womanizing, hellraising, aw shucks ma’am cowboy with killer bedroom skills and a sh*t-eating grin, but he’s also an egotistical, immature, cocky, and sometimes mean jerk who treats Gracie like a pity friend, mercy f*ck who should be kissing his royal purple cowboy boots, for almost the entire book. Gracie Snow is a prim, quirky, sexually frustrated, 30-year-old virgin, Ohio wallflower who’s insecure about her supposedly Plain Jane looks, but she’s also funny, smart, strong-willed, giving, sweet, feisty, selfless, loving, spirited, and kind. And she deserves a whole lot more than someone who acts like they’re doing some huge, inconvenient cosmic favor by just spending time with her. I actually found myself thinking that Gracie might be better off just driving into the sunset, without Mr. Bobby Tom Denton, and I was a little disappointed with the ending because I wanted about two more chapters and an epilogue of some serious groveling on his part. I really liked the secondary romance between Bobby Tom’s widowed mom Suzy and the former local bad boy turned wealthy, powerful corporate executive, Wayland Sawyer. In fact, I thought their intriguing relationship almost stole the spotlight from main couple, Bobby and Gracie. Overall, I really enjoyed this fun, sexy contemporary romance, but I would have liked it even more and given it full 5 stars had the playboy charmer been taken down a peg or ten and done a little added soul searching and a whole lot more begging!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christina ~ Brunette Reader

    After having read and really liked a couple of the more recent books in the Chicago series, I backpedalled to this vintage title (1995) and was just as much pleasantly surprised. What I've come to recognise as SEP's trademarks by now were all already there, from the engaging and smooth prose to the scrumptious dialogues, taking romantic comedy and, in this case, the "opposites attract" trope to a higher level. Yes, she needed to become a little less accommodating and yes, he often tended to be a After having read and really liked a couple of the more recent books in the Chicago series, I backpedalled to this vintage title (1995) and was just as much pleasantly surprised. What I've come to recognise as SEP's trademarks by now were all already there, from the engaging and smooth prose to the scrumptious dialogues, taking romantic comedy and, in this case, the "opposites attract" trope to a higher level. Yes, she needed to become a little less accommodating and yes, he often tended to be a little too smug for his own good, but plain Gracie Snow and NFL golden boy Bobby Tom's love story was so deliciously fun, sexy and sweet and the perfectly ticking sense of humour brought the small town cast and all its antics to life so vividly as to make this book an older gem that hasn't age a day, to savour from start to finish. Buddy-read with Jill :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    ♥Sharon♥

    Rolling with this series. Looking forward to finally finding out why my good friend Karen has this in her review. Hmmmmm Rolling with this series. Looking forward to finally finding out why my good friend Karen has this in her review. Hmmmmm

  6. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Monroe

    “You have an unusual house. Have you lived here long?" "A couple of years. I don't much like it myself, but the architect is real proud of it. She calls it urban Stone Age with a Japanese Tahitian influence. I sort of just call it ugly.” Imma let you in on a little secret. This is the novel I read after Fifty Shades of Grey to purge myself of that monstrosity of a romance/erotica. In many aspects, their plots are similar: virgin, old-fashioned heroines; billionaire, good-looking male leads an “You have an unusual house. Have you lived here long?" "A couple of years. I don't much like it myself, but the architect is real proud of it. She calls it urban Stone Age with a Japanese Tahitian influence. I sort of just call it ugly.” Imma let you in on a little secret. This is the novel I read after Fifty Shades of Grey to purge myself of that monstrosity of a romance/erotica. In many aspects, their plots are similar: virgin, old-fashioned heroines; billionaire, good-looking male leads and non-committal sex (at least at first). But like Obsidian and Twilight, one of these things is better than the other and it sure as hell ain't the one that tries to pass off Tess of the D'Urbervilles as an analogy for their epic love story. So without further ado, why Heaven, Texas deserves to be better-known than Fifty Shades of Gray. Reason #1: Gracie is homely and doesn't give a fuck "She was of medium height, neither shirt enough to be cute, nor tall enough to be willowy. Although she was flat chested, she was the next closet thing. Her eyes were neither a warm brown nor a sparkling blue, but a nondescript gray. Her mouth was too wide, her chin too stubborn... She concentrated on being grateful for the more important gifts God had given her: intelligence, a quirky sense of humor, and an insatiable interest in all aspects of the human condition." Gracie has other shit to focus on. She runs a nursing home and concentrates on doing her damn job as a production assistant. Although she thinks herself unworthy of Bobby Tom's attention initially, she changes and finds self-worth on her own terms. It's okay to be insecure. It's not okay to be so self-deprecating that you talk down every single one of your qualities until a man comes along to restore your self-worth. Reason #2: She's not a blind doormat. "This fierce love she felt for him wouldn't keep her from seeing him clearly, the good and the bad, his monstrous ego and too soft heart, his keen intelligence and deadly manipulative charm. Her love wouldn't let her compromise her principles either." She fights Bobby Tom over and over, from hauling his ass to the movie set at the start to refusing his money because she doesn't want to take anything from him. Everyone takes something from Bobby Tom, be it a loan or a promise to show up at someone's birthday party. She can't give him anything that he doesn't already have, so she's settling for taking nothing. Reason #3: Bobby Tom is not an abusive asshat. This is a very important reason. Gracie gets drunk at one point and throws herself at him, lacy lingerie and all. Bobby Tom, yet un-reformed womanizing ass, coaxes her back into her clothes. Later, when she's sober, they work out out an agreement allowing them to bang their brains out consensually. The one and only time he attempts to shut Gracie up with his dick, this happens: "Her hands were throbbing with pain. She took one last swing at him and settled back on her heels. Her chest heaved as she clutched her blouse closed. His physical aggression hadn't been about sex, it had been about power, and at the moment she hated him for it. [...] He pressed something cold between her hands, ice cubes wrapped in a dishtowel. ... "I never did anything like that to a woman in my life. Gracie, I'm sorry. I'd do anything in the world to take back what happened." He fucking apologizes. It'd been a dick move and he knows. Christian Gray would rather hang himself with his steel-gray tie than admit he did something. On account of how he likes to be in control and all. His go-to move is shutting Ana up with sex. Skip Fifty Shades and read Heaven, Texas. All the gooey, fuzzy sensation of devouring a romance with none of the rape-culture crap. Am I right, Ellen?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ingie

    Written January 26, 2014 5 Huge Stars - stunning romantic and hilarouis fun - I loved every single page - a true joy to read - simply amazing good!! Our dear hero Bobby Tom Denton: “I happen to be immature, undisciplined, and self-centered, pretty much a little boy in a man's body, although I'd appreciate it if you didn't quote me on that.” ...bull's-eye, but what a fun and irresistible Texas guy! Heaven, Texas is adorable cute, funny and incredibly well written. I think anyone who, like me, loves a c Written January 26, 2014 5 Huge Stars - stunning romantic and hilarouis fun - I loved every single page - a true joy to read - simply amazing good!! Our dear hero Bobby Tom Denton: “I happen to be immature, undisciplined, and self-centered, pretty much a little boy in a man's body, although I'd appreciate it if you didn't quote me on that.” ...bull's-eye, but what a fun and irresistible Texas guy! Heaven, Texas is adorable cute, funny and incredibly well written. I think anyone who, like me, loves a charming wallflower heroine and a priceless charmer, but sometimes so narrow-minded, football hero will enjoy, giggle with and remember this story for a long, long time. Sometimes are these old goodies still the very best.. Right? This quite old romance was written nearly twenty years ago, but is this novel still up to scratch? ~ The answer is YES, still in top condition. It was just such a heavenly sweet and charming story with some good nostalgic 1994 feeling in it. Simply a new favorite for this lady. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ It's all about the wonderful, inexperienced but so resolute Gracie Snow who got a new job as an assistant for a small film company. Her first assignment is to bring the former football star and to be movie star, Bobby Tom Denton, from Chicago to the recording site in his small hometown in Texas. But Bobby Tom is a stubborn man. He is the hero who sometimes have difficulty seeing beyond his halo. Here, try the scantily-clad girl, with a bad permed hair, which in no way matches the women he likes (busty, well-trained, long, slender blondes..) to complicate his life. But sweet Gracie Snow is a very stubborn woman - It will be a match out of the ordinary ~ The American dream guy is challenged by rather unique homely homegrown girl from from Ohio. “You're supposed to be my assistant, not a baby-sitter! “One and the same.” ‘He settled his hat back into position. She was a rookie in her first big game, and he’d never let her see how close she’d come to unseating a champion’ There is plenty to say, both about the plot, all the characters and my own feelings, but I'll settle for a few brief comments: # You must have a twinkle in the eye to not get angry at this sometimes so narrow-minded hero. But in the end, you can not resist him .... He is The Charm-Boy! # Our heroine is a superb female role model and I wish there were more heroines like her. The absolutely cutest kind. # Tom's mother is a widow and her, Suzy's, love-adventure is just as exciting as the main characters. Yummy good! # This is a true feel good story or a so-called "rom-com" - read and enjoy!! Amusing, smart, well-written, charming, steamy, amazing, memorable, entertaining, romantic, heartwarming, sexy, cute, tender, dramatic, exciting... yes, you probably understand that I loved it. I LIKE - I still giggles ~~~~~~~~~~ I read an fantastic novel Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and my good friend Kathleen gave me the excellent advice to pick up Heaven, Texas next time I needed a sweet and strong Daisy like heroine again. ~ Thank you, Kathleen! You know what I might like. ...and thanks to her I found this lovely 10 year after epilouge. Read it at: http://susanelizabethphillips.com/epi... A tempting teaser: (view spoiler)[ ‘The children hugged their parents and set off with their grandfather. Bobby Tom watched them go and turned to his wife. “What kind of mother abandons two innocent children to grandparents who are going to stuff them with junk food and keep them up past their bedtime?” “A mother who wants some uninhibited sex with her husband.” (hide spoiler)]

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a unique way of combining romance with laugh out loud humor and then mixing in unusual characters to create an engaging rom com story. Heaven, Texas has her distinctive funny, sexy style written all over it. This is the second book in the Chicago Stars series but can be read as a standalone. While I didn’t like this book as much as It Had to Be You, I still found it to be quite enjoyable. The story surrounds Bobby Tom Denton, a good ole southern boy. He’s a ladies man Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a unique way of combining romance with laugh out loud humor and then mixing in unusual characters to create an engaging rom com story. Heaven, Texas has her distinctive funny, sexy style written all over it. This is the second book in the Chicago Stars series but can be read as a standalone. While I didn’t like this book as much as It Had to Be You, I still found it to be quite enjoyable. The story surrounds Bobby Tom Denton, a good ole southern boy. He’s a ladies man who prefers leggy blondes with huge boobs and lots of makeup. Bobby Tom is sexy, irresistibly charming, generous to a fault, affable, but very stubborn. “I happen to be immature, undisciplined, and self-centered, pretty much a little boy in a man's body, although I'd appreciate it if you didn't quote me on that.” He’s a 33 year-old two-time Super Bowl champion who is struggling with an identity crisis after a career-ending injury. Bobby Tom is due to begin filming his first movie in his small hometown in Texas. Gracie Snow is a production assistant for the film and she has been tasked with escorting Bobby Tom from Chicago to the movie set on time. At 30 years old she never thought she’d still be a virgin. Gracie is a Plain Jane and one huge walking fashion disaster – from her bad haircut to her ill-fitted matronly clothes. Gracie has led a sheltered life. She’s sweet, altruistic, curious, witty, giving, and very bossy. Gracie and Bobby Tom get off to a rocky start but they get to know each other better when they set off on a road trip to Heaven, TX. They finally arrive at his hometown where he receives a hero’s welcome. “The cowboys named it Heaven because it had the best whorehouses between San Antone and Austin.” It becomes clear that everyone wants something from Bobby Tom: money, an autograph, time, a favor, sex. The town seems to be filled with selfish people who think he owes them for his success. It irritated me the way Bobby Tom let everyone walk all over him. Women are lined up around the block day and night to get some of that Bobby Tom lovin’ so in an effort to fend off their advances he and Gracie concoct a story about them being engaged. Since nobody would believe he could fall for someone as homely as Gracie he arranges for her to have a complete makeover. Although the lines between fantasy and reality are in danger of being crossed, Gracie enters the scheme with open eyes and a vow to take nothing from Bobby Tom. Her sense of honor wouldn’t allow her to take anything from him the way everybody else did. She would give herself to him out of the fullness of her heart, not with the hope of receiving anything in return. And when it was over, this man who had been kissed by the gods would at least be able to remember that Gracie Snow was the one person in his life who had never taken anything from him. I love how independent and feisty Gracie is. She puts Bobby Tom in his place when nobody else will. Even though she’s led a sheltered life, she’s not afraid to try new things. She’s willing to risk her heart for momentary happiness and wonderful memories. She often refers to herself as homely and acknowledges her fashion faux pas but I never thought of her as being ugly. Her humor, her selflessness, and her many acts of kindness make her appealing. The makeover merely brings out the pretty girl who was always lurking there but who was never taught how to flourish. Bobby Tom and Gracie make a fun pair and I love their verbal sparring as well as their easy joking. There are a couple moments that manage to be simultaneously hilarious and sexy. I’ll never look at Neapolitan ice cream the same way again. “Sweetheart, I don’t think there’s going to be any pain, if that’s what you’re worried about. Now I’m no gynecologist, but you’re thirty years old, and whatever barrier might have been there when you were a youngster has got to have evaporated from old age by now.” However, I wish there was more sexual tension between the two. Maybe it’s the repeated reminders that Gracie doesn’t look like Bobby Tom’s type (she doesn’t have big breasts and she’s not gorgeous) but they seem more like friends with benefits than real lovers. Bobby Tom likes her but he never tries to make her feel desirable. He likes having sex with her but it seems more about scratching an itch than feeling attracted to her. In fact, he tells himself that she’s a charity case but acknowledges he enjoys her company more than anyone else. It makes him seem shallow in my eyes for most of the book and I wanted to shake Gracie for selling herself short. There’s an interesting little side plot involving the economic stability of the town and Bobby Tom’s mother who is a grieving widow. Many zany characters are introduced as old relationships are tested and new friendships are forged. The unforgettable all-hell-breaks-loose ending is not to be missed! It alone is makes the book worth reading. The story concludes without an epilogue, however, leaving an air of uncertainty. What are Bobby Tom’s plans for the future? Will he continue acting or go into philanthropic work? What will Gracie’s role be? Where will they live? Has Bobby Tom come to terms with prematurely ending his football career? Luckily Susan Elizabeth Phillips has now posted an Epilogue on her website!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Writerlibrarian

    A very average Phillips, with some recycled plot points from other books (or maybe it's the other way around since I haven't read them in order of publishing dates). The good old southern boy character is getting a bit stale. The strip-tease in front of friends the first time the heroine meets the hero is also somewhat icky by now. I really didn't like the lead male character, Bobby Tom, just the name made me just want to run the other way, the character is a boy-men, a very cliché Peter Pan typ A very average Phillips, with some recycled plot points from other books (or maybe it's the other way around since I haven't read them in order of publishing dates). The good old southern boy character is getting a bit stale. The strip-tease in front of friends the first time the heroine meets the hero is also somewhat icky by now. I really didn't like the lead male character, Bobby Tom, just the name made me just want to run the other way, the character is a boy-men, a very cliché Peter Pan type of hero. Gracie Snow the lead female character is just... well... paper thin.. not physically, although it's not said, but intellectually, emotionally. The two lead characters kind deserve each other. Why did I keep reading you might ask? Well, because even if her lead characters were very average, Phillips managed to created two very interesting characters in the male's lead mother, Suzy, a 52 years old widow and Waylan Sawyer the town's bad boy, turned philanthropic wealthy man. I wished that the book would have been focused on them. Suzy's still grieving her husband's death after all these years and Waylan has come back and found out he's still very much in love with the girl he couldn't even think of approaching all those years ago. Their story I would have wanted to have more of but it plays second fiddle to the young couples shenanigans. Too bad, there aren't that many well written older woman/man romance out there.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ⓐlleskelle - teamSøren♗ ⊲I like big b00ks⊳

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3.5 STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ As SEP recently revealed the cover of her upcoming 8th Chicago Star series’ novel, I was chatting with friends and realized although I enjoyed the series so far, I still hadn’t read book 2 and 6. I decided then to not leave book 2 unread —or let’s say I felt motivated by threatening OCD friends, and that’s how I’ve found myself spending my Tuesday in the charming company of Bobby Tom Denton, in Heaven Texas. Said no one ever. The man had charming only his name… Strike tha ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3.5 STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ As SEP recently revealed the cover of her upcoming 8th Chicago Star series’ novel, I was chatting with friends and realized although I enjoyed the series so far, I still hadn’t read book 2 and 6. I decided then to not leave book 2 unread —or let’s say I felt motivated by threatening OCD friends, and that’s how I’ve found myself spending my Tuesday in the charming company of Bobby Tom Denton, in Heaven Texas. Said no one ever. The man had charming only his name… Strike that. His name was all but charming. I mean, Bobby Tom. I couldn’t read the hero’s name without chuckling. But leave it to SEP to make me fall under the charm of an improbable duo. Bobby Tom Denton and Gracie Snow are 2 different people that everything opposed. He’s rich, she’s poor, he’s famous, she’s homely, he’s exuberant, she’s reserved, he’s cocky, she’s no nonsense, he’s overtly sexual… She is a virgin. Yes. A 30 years old virgin sent to babysit a cocky retired football player reconverted movie star. I liked the idea a lot, I know it does sound cliché, but for what it’s worth, I think if someone could pull this up it definitely was SEP. With promises of banter, teasing, and awkward situations, I let myself wander in Heaven, Texas… And despite Bobby Tom existence, I truly enjoyed myself there. Let it be absolutely clear : the hero of this story is a chauvinistic asshole doubled as a misogynistic prick! Oh yes. The heroine, despite her naivety and out of this world gullibility, was endearing and charming. She was an interesting mix of clueless and feisty woman, and I enjoyed watching her emancipate as the story evolved. Overall a nice story, not sure about the romance part though. For all I could witness, it was mostly one-sided gullible woman’s crush more than an actual relationship with shared feelings. I had troubles coming along with the hero’s douchebaggery, even if he did redeem himself in the end, there were too many occurrences of his conceited male stupidity for me to enjoy the book entirely. But Susan Elizabeth Phillips sure does how to tell a story, and despite my qualms regarding the nature of the hero, I enjoyed the verbal joust, cheered for the heroine to get her act on, and even hoped for Bobby Tom’s soul. He could be charming in a way… I guess? These books can be read out of order, no problem! And if you aren’t acquainted yet with the absolute reading pleasure that is Susan Elizabeth Phillips, her Chicago Star series is the perfect way to get started! More reviews and book talk at : You can find me here too ☞

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    REREAD AGAIN LOVED IT AGAIN :) ITS LIKE MY 10TH TIME :D AND ILL PROBABLY READ AGAIN BEFORE THE YEAR IS OUT :) REREAD LOVED IT AGAIN :) BE STILL MY BEATING HEART!! THAT WAS FUCKING I had a blast listening to this book!! That must sound so freaking lame to some people but I swear the best way to describe this book is FUN!! The authors sense of humor and sarcasm and writing style are so freaking engaging and I couldn't stop listening to it! I love her!! The character were awesome the storyline su REREAD AGAIN LOVED IT AGAIN :) ITS LIKE MY 10TH TIME :D AND ILL PROBABLY READ AGAIN BEFORE THE YEAR IS OUT :) REREAD LOVED IT AGAIN :) BE STILL MY BEATING HEART!! THAT WAS FUCKING I had a blast listening to this book!! That must sound so freaking lame to some people but I swear the best way to describe this book is FUN!! The authors sense of humor and sarcasm and writing style are so freaking engaging and I couldn't stop listening to it! I love her!! The character were awesome the storyline super cute and the dialogue!! OMG THE DIALOGUE!! I have laughed thru out the whole book, all the characters are a trip! All you guys need to know is Bobby Tom Denton.. No scratch that!! And THIS BOOK JUST MADE ME HAPPY!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nisha

    1st Read: April 25, 2010 Bobby Tom is egotistical, selfish, privileged, conceited, and insensitive - not exactly what you look for in a hero. But raised with southern values, he's also charming, sweet, charitable and seems like an overall nice guy, but when fashion disaster, average-looks Gracie Snow enters his life, things get a little screwy for both of them. Needless to say, I loved it. I loved every part of this gut-wrenching, humorous, yet emotional SM relationship between the H/h. They make 1st Read: April 25, 2010 Bobby Tom is egotistical, selfish, privileged, conceited, and insensitive - not exactly what you look for in a hero. But raised with southern values, he's also charming, sweet, charitable and seems like an overall nice guy, but when fashion disaster, average-looks Gracie Snow enters his life, things get a little screwy for both of them. Needless to say, I loved it. I loved every part of this gut-wrenching, humorous, yet emotional SM relationship between the H/h. They make a very interesting unlikely couple. Bobby Tom is really a child in a very hot man's body. He has his life on the platter and is actually quite giving - without actually involving himself. He even has a football quiz to find the perfect woman to marry (It's more of an ego rush for him, really). It's just that, B.T. never does what he doesn't like and after being forced into retirement with a knee injury, things don't really go his way. One of those things is Gracie. She's an average looking 30-year-old virgin who has been raised in a Old Age home, that she has never really lived life. She is easy to relate to and is both hilarious and unpredictable, but she has some serious self-esteem issues. It kinda drives their relationship and the climax. B.T. does some really stupid things and thinks some really stupid things. Sometime, I just want to smack the boy/man, but I realized that he can't help it. He's just very slow in the emotional sense. But Gracie, on the other hand, is the absolute opposite. She loves B.T. thinking that there is no way that he could or should love her. As all SEP books, there is a secondary romance for B.T.'s mom with the town villain, Way Sawyer. It's really sweet and painful for both of them - but their love scene is very sensual. They seem to personify a very tragic love story - but they get their HEA. I loved how this book took place in Texas, and they even got to go to Austin (UT Longhorns!) and San Antonio (uh...the Alamo!?!) But most of the time, they were in the small town of Heaven and the set of a movie, kinda. The story was great, both the characters were well fleshed out and were exceedingly entertaining. Then in the end, they finally grew up. SEP is great at writing humor along with the sex, drama and romance, so I just think that she's amazing. *Spoiler alert: My favorite part was the 5 questioned stupid-easy football quiz that Gracie had to pass at the end. 2nd Read: April 18, 2012 Still LOVED it. It's funny how I read this book again, 2 years later. Highly recommend :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anuradha

    Alright you guys, I'm kind of busy right now to read the good stuff, so it's fluff all the way. Well, mostly because reviewing a classic, or some literary fiction requires time for me to do it justice, and it's a lot easier to review fluff. As I've mentioned previously, I read romance for exactly two reasons; a) I've always wanted to find one that I find realistic enough; and b) because ones that fail hard are fun to review. Now, I read some really atrocious romance novels last year, true, but a Alright you guys, I'm kind of busy right now to read the good stuff, so it's fluff all the way. Well, mostly because reviewing a classic, or some literary fiction requires time for me to do it justice, and it's a lot easier to review fluff. As I've mentioned previously, I read romance for exactly two reasons; a) I've always wanted to find one that I find realistic enough; and b) because ones that fail hard are fun to review. Now, I read some really atrocious romance novels last year, true, but also some very, very good ones. Like anything by Julie James. Or Sally Thorne's debut, The Hating Game, that knocked my socks off. And then some. As a result, my expectations from fluff were greatly increased, and seeing as how I'd heard so, so much about this series, I went in with high hopes. And how they were dashed, my hopes! How! To an extent, though, this may very well have been a case of "it's not you, it's me". I have been going to Blossom, which is my favourite bookstore in the whole wide world, for about thirteen years now. I go once every few months, whenever I'm home. In these thirteen years, however, never once have I set foot in its rather vast romance section. This time, however, I went with my best friend, who's rather fond of this particular genre. And in the quest of finding her a book that I would actually like, I found, nestled between a raunchy (I'm judging the book by the cover here) historical romance and a Penthouse collection, this book, which of course, I picked because of my aforementioned high hopes. This book wasn't bad, definitely, and had I not been spoilt by some of the good stuff I read last year, I may have ranked this higher. I have to agree that despite her penchant for excruciating descriptions and info dump in some cases, Ms. Phillips is a rather good writer. Very good in fact, were it not for my, er, issues. Gracie Snow is a likable character, sure, and Bobby Tom is not the biggest douchebag. Everything, however, was overdone. It pisses me off when a writer goes out of her (or his, as the case may be) way to highlight a stereotype. Like take Bobby Tom's overt Texan-ness, for instance. If I were to come across a man wearing a stetson and cowboy boots with his bathrobe, I would've laughed until I peed myself or threw up, whichever would've happened first. Gracie, however, found all sorts of wetness and hotness spreading and coursing through her as she saw this...spectacle. And of course, because his "football" player-ness and womanising had to be overdone, he spends all his time with a harem full of large-breasted, curvy, gorgeous women. Blondes, of course. I cringed quite a bit at this. What put me off the most was his "football quiz". That was a prime instance of humour gone bad, way bad. He however did possess a full-sized aortic pump (for the most part), and even though he did douche out at various points, he apologised for it. And meant it. Not that that makes douching around okay, but realising you made a mistake is always the first step. Similarly, with the "homely" and "dowdy" Gracie Snow, her terrible clothes and unattractiveness are emphasised more than it should be. But because her intelligence and strength of character are also equally emphasised, I was able to let that go. Well, mostly. I'm kind of a nit-picker. I also liked that she indulged in sexy lingerie. It gave her character this whole "I'm a vixen underneath it all" attitude, which was very appealing. But because balance had to be restored in the universe, she had to be a virgin. Besides, the whole (view spoiler)[run away from the cops to save my love life (hide spoiler)] shebang at the end drove me up a fucking wall. Too corny man. Too fucking corny. And now, for the main reason I didn't like the book. Muscles. I don't particularly have a problem with muscles; I do have a problem with extremely muscular men. I prefer the lanky basketball types or the lithe football (I mean, soccer, much as I hate calling it that) types to the built-like-an-ox NFL types. I prefer grace and intelligence over brute strength and general gorilla behaviour. Unfortunately, Bobby Tom belonged to the latter category. I mean, seeing as how this is a series about a football team, this isn't really the book's fault. This is all on me, I agree. But nevertheless, because I'd been gifted with glorious heroes like Cal Morrisey in Jennifer Cruise's Bet Me and any of the drop-dead gorgeous, yet smart, intelligent, empathetic and generous heroes in any of Julie James's romances. I'm sorry, but I have expectations now. And Bobby Tom couldn't hold a candle to any of these men. So yeah, this was a highly disappointing read. I do have expectations from this writer though, so I'm probably going to read another one of her books. Not for a while though. Not for quite a while.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lučka

    3.5* *Review contains spoilers!* This book is so silly. Absolutely effin ridiculous. I didn't like the characters or the plot much, TBH. It had all the elements I try to avoid in a book and yet I found this book highly entertaining. I definitely enjoyed it more than the #1. I didn't take this book seriously and because it was so fascinating and amusing in a bizzare way, I'm going with 4*. Rolling with the chick-lit shit. This book is Not safe, IMO. (view spoiler)[The H was making out with women aft 3.5* *Review contains spoilers!* This book is so silly. Absolutely effin ridiculous. I didn't like the characters or the plot much, TBH. It had all the elements I try to avoid in a book and yet I found this book highly entertaining. I definitely enjoyed it more than the #1. I didn't take this book seriously and because it was so fascinating and amusing in a bizzare way, I'm going with 4*. Rolling with the chick-lit shit. This book is Not safe, IMO. (view spoiler)[The H was making out with women after he met the h and after they've already had sex. (hide spoiler)] 1. Let's start with the heroine Gracie. She's weird, naive, insecure and a virgin. 30-year-old-virgin. This book is from 90's so I let it pass along with the silly fashion sense. But, but...seriously!? 30!? Okay, okay. She falls in love with the H immediately. Her behavioural change from TSTL/doormat to fierce/independent is mind-boggling. She's completely unpredictable. I almost laughed to tears at some of her antics. There were times when I really liked her or felt bad for her. 2. The hero, Bobby Tom. *eye roll* Chauvinistic, egoistical, womanizing man child. NOT an alpha. The way he belittled, embarrased or bullied the h bc he was petulant put him on my shit list. Bullies tickle my fancy. But in this case it didn't work for me. Sometimes he showed his sweet, honest side and I chuckled at his silliness. So he wasn't all bad. Their banter was really witty and they had some steamy love scenes. In a weird way they actually had good chemistry. 3. There's a reason why I'm (currently) avoiding cheating, OW/OM drama and love triangles. It takes away that fuzzy feeling when the H realizies he loves the h. The book went downhill @90%. I can't even tell you how bizzare it was. (view spoiler)[Gracie expresses her love to Bobby Tom and he doesn't reciprocate, which leads to her dumping him. What does he do!? He makes out with OW in front of everyone. Then, in a matter of minutes he realizes he really loves her, publicly proposes to her and when she rejects him, he acts like an ass and humiliates her. (hide spoiler)] . Ludicrousy goes till the very end and I laughed like crazy. What the fuck was that? Bwahaha. Crazy people, crazy. Overall, I really enjoyed this book despite mixed feelings and weird scenario. I'm going to entertain my friends by reading more of SEP books in the future. I find all that heavily detailed furniture description, 90's fashion tips, witty humor and out of norm characters' antics fascinating.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    AUDIBLE edition. Fantastic. Loved it. Bobby Tom - came across as a bit of a country hick at times but I think that was just his "hometown boy" act!! Gracie knew just about as much about American Football as I do!! Great secondary characters ... and an older couple also. Love it. AUDIBLE edition. Fantastic. Loved it. Bobby Tom - came across as a bit of a country hick at times but I think that was just his "hometown boy" act!! Gracie knew just about as much about American Football as I do!! Great secondary characters ... and an older couple also. Love it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    NEW epilogue! SEP has posted an epilogue on her website, free. It's set ten years in the future. Sweet! Book 2 of the Chicago Stars series. Romantic, witty, funny, angsty... characterization, humor, passion...and set in a small town called Heaven, Texas. Quibbles: over-dramatic, and sometimes the setting didn't feel vivid. The story is sometimes quietly funny, but not in a stupid or slap-stick way. I chuckled numerous times. When I wasn't smiling, I was reading with my jaw on the floor, shocked, w NEW epilogue! SEP has posted an epilogue on her website, free. It's set ten years in the future. Sweet! Book 2 of the Chicago Stars series. Romantic, witty, funny, angsty... characterization, humor, passion...and set in a small town called Heaven, Texas. Quibbles: over-dramatic, and sometimes the setting didn't feel vivid. The story is sometimes quietly funny, but not in a stupid or slap-stick way. I chuckled numerous times. When I wasn't smiling, I was reading with my jaw on the floor, shocked, when Bobby Tom got really mean. I was completely engrossed in the drama. But on a second read, it felt overdone. PLOT: Gracie Snow, almost 30 years old and yet an "old maid" from a small town, becomes football pro Bobby Tom Denton's general factotum, helping him play a role in his first Hollywood film and also organizing a golf tournament for charity in his home town, Heaven (aka Telarosa) Texas. Bobby Tom is trying to figure out what to do with his life, because a bad knee injury has brought an abrupt end to his football career. So he accepts the lead role in a movie. He is bitter and scared, but trying to disguise it behind his legendary charm. Gracie knows him better than he knows himself; she cuts through his BS until he starts to remember the simple pleasures and key values of life. Gracie reminds me a lot of Daisy, in the wonderful circus romance, Kiss an Angel. RELATIONSHIP / ROMANCE: Gracie Snow is an ugly duckling who eventually undergoes a makeover, becoming instantly sassy looking and sexy, but not outstandingly beautiful. She lovingly nurtures the elderly, fights for the underdog, and befriends the lonely. Bobby Tom Denton is full of pride, arrogance, and the kind of ego that comes with a Superbowl ring. However, gradually SEP reveals his underlying heart of gold. He eventually falls head over heels for Gracie, but it takes a while for him to realize this, because she is not a sex bomb, not a "Grade A prime cut" as he chauvinistically thinks. Her warm heart, honesty, and strong, stubborn personality win him over, slowly. Along the way, the sexual tension slowly builds, with lots of laughs and a few serious scenes along the way. It ends with a grovel scene. The best grovel scene ever, because Bobby Tom has completely fumbled the ball. WEAK SPOTS: Drama, the drama! Why does Gracie need to be a virgin? At her age? Also, it ends abruptly. I wanted an epilogue after the grovel scene. Nope. But. Wait! NEW epilogue! SEP has posted an epilogue on her website, free. It's set ten years in the future. Sweet! I also recommend book 3 in the series. I loved the blend of humor, wit, romance, and angst. In Nobody's Baby But Mine, we briefly go back to Heaven, Texas.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sophie ♥

    Rate: 5 solid stars “I know how you felt about each other, Mom. I saw it every day. Maybe that's why I've never had much interest in getting married myself. Because I've always wanted the same thing.” Gracie danced past in his peripheral vision, and at that exact moment, the fact that he could have the same thing his parents had had all those years hit him so hard he nearly stumbled.Jesus. As he held his mother in his arms and felt his father's presence, he knew that same intimacy was right here w Rate: 5 solid stars “I know how you felt about each other, Mom. I saw it every day. Maybe that's why I've never had much interest in getting married myself. Because I've always wanted the same thing.” Gracie danced past in his peripheral vision, and at that exact moment, the fact that he could have the same thing his parents had had all those years hit him so hard he nearly stumbled.Jesus. As he held his mother in his arms and felt his father's presence, he knew that same intimacy was right here waiting for him on the other side of the dance floor. He loved her. The knowledge almost knocked him to his knees. He loved his Gracie Snow—funny clothes, bossy manner, and all. She was his entertainment, his conscience, the mirror into his soul. She was his resting place. Why hadn't he understood this weeks ago? Oh man. Another winner from SEP. I LOVED Gracie and Bobby Tom's story. She, the down-to-earth plain miss and he, the superbowl superhero. Even better the secondary story between Suzy and Way was the little cherry on top of the cake and added just that much more depth to the plot. This book was the perfect concoction of wit and emotion, and I even found myself tearing up at towards the end! For those of you who haven't read Susan Elizabeth Phillips enjoy chick lit or contemporary romance I would definitely recommend you pick up one of these books by her: Match Me If You Can Ain't She Sweet Dream a Little Dream Natural Born Charmer Call Me Irresistible and Heaven, Texas (I just thought I might share some of my SEP faves with you)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    After my umpteenth re-read I still can't find the words to explain just how much I love this book! The story of Gracie Snow and Bobby Tom Denton continues to be a desert island book for me, despite reading it for the first time in college. And my mom's copy, no less. SEP hasn't let me down yet. After my umpteenth re-read I still can't find the words to explain just how much I love this book! The story of Gracie Snow and Bobby Tom Denton continues to be a desert island book for me, despite reading it for the first time in college. And my mom's copy, no less. SEP hasn't let me down yet.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    My first exposure to SEP was Heaven, Texas and, therefore, it has a special place in my heart. This is not just another bad-boy football superstar with a diabolic gleam meets 30 year-old wallflower story. These characters had depth. (view spoiler)[I actually had to call my best friend - who doesn't read romance books, but loves football - and tell her about the scene where Gracie discovers Bobby Tom reviewing the video of his career-ending injury over and over again. I fell in love with him befo My first exposure to SEP was Heaven, Texas and, therefore, it has a special place in my heart. This is not just another bad-boy football superstar with a diabolic gleam meets 30 year-old wallflower story. These characters had depth. (view spoiler)[I actually had to call my best friend - who doesn't read romance books, but loves football - and tell her about the scene where Gracie discovers Bobby Tom reviewing the video of his career-ending injury over and over again. I fell in love with him before that, but that just made me sob. (hide spoiler)] Loved the road trip, Bobby Tom's menopausal mother and her secondary romance, the actress he works with on the movie, Gracie’s make-over followed by him wondering who the hell’s driving his convertible, the ice cream scene, Gracie's ideas for his old house, how you could see them falling in love as the pages turned, their real-sounding fights, LOL moments, and…well, everything. This one went directly onto my ‘re-read for comfort' bookshelf and sent me to the bookstore to pick up more of the Chicago Stars series. Oh, and the end of Heaven, Texas is absolutely, positively worth waiting for. Actually, it is one of the best endings in many a romance book. Don’t click the following spoiler if you haven’t already read the book. (view spoiler)[SEP has an ability to make me laugh and cry at the same time, and she perfected it in Heaven, Texas. At the end, Gracie is down on the rough ground with Bobby Tom. They’re on the side of the road after he’s broken out of jail to chase after her, everybody follows along and she’s protecting him so it's really a comedy of errors-tear jerker. Question: If that happens, does it count as a groveling scene? (hide spoiler)]

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)

    Gracie Snow is a completely innocent, stubborn, but curious 30 year old seeking adventure. Luckily her new job working for a Hollywood studio should provide all the excitement she hopes for. Her first assignment is to collect Bobby Tom Denton, a former American football player, and bring him to the film set so they can start filming his first film. Simple? Not really, but Gracie risks life, limb and her heart to get him there. I love this book, it always comes to mind when I need something s Gracie Snow is a completely innocent, stubborn, but curious 30 year old seeking adventure. Luckily her new job working for a Hollywood studio should provide all the excitement she hopes for. Her first assignment is to collect Bobby Tom Denton, a former American football player, and bring him to the film set so they can start filming his first film. Simple? Not really, but Gracie risks life, limb and her heart to get him there. I love this book, it always comes to mind when I need something sweet and funny to relax with. It is particularly effective when used in tangent with a glass of wine and a bubble bath! The charming characters, romance and humour never let me down. What always has me coming back for more is the main characters; Gracie Snow and Bobby Tom Denton. You could feel Bobby Tom's charisma and personality pouring out of the book and reeling you in, not that he was perfect, he has an ego a mile wide, but you love him anyways. And Gracie was so funny and sweet; I couldn't help but like her. Some of the situations that Gracie finds herself in are hilarious, I couldn't wait to see what she would do next. This book also has secondary romance between an older couple, which was a nice addition, it didn't get lots of page time but it was still an enjoyable part of the book. If you haven't tried this book, I highly recommend you pick it up, it is perfect for either snuggling up to in the winter and tanning with in the summer!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anzu The Great Destroyer

    I have a message for Bobby Tom: I hate your guts and I’m glad you got trashed at the end of the book!!!! God, I despised this guy… I just wanted to hit him in his big fat head almost all the time. And Gracie being such an idiot o.O deathstare for all of you!! Buuuuuut, overall it was a great book. I really enjoyed it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paige Bookdragon

    Probably my least favorite Chicago Stars book when it comes to the hero. Bobby Tom reminds meof that annoying NA hero that I hate. The ending saved the book though because nothing beats a groveling hero who is sorry for all his jerk moves that he has done to the heroine.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aisling Zena

    Re-read 25/01/2016 It seems I'm upping my rating of every SEP book I re-read!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amber’s reading

    The list of reasons I love this book is a mile long; great writing, well developed hilarious characters, strong heroine, hero that may appear to be a manwhore, but is actually a really good guy, fake relationship trope, small town setting, sports romance, etc. I could continue listing another million reasons. But the most important is just how the book made me feel happy. I was happy reading every bit of it. Nothing was too over the top, nothing annoyed me. I’m obviously over 20 years late to th The list of reasons I love this book is a mile long; great writing, well developed hilarious characters, strong heroine, hero that may appear to be a manwhore, but is actually a really good guy, fake relationship trope, small town setting, sports romance, etc. I could continue listing another million reasons. But the most important is just how the book made me feel happy. I was happy reading every bit of it. Nothing was too over the top, nothing annoyed me. I’m obviously over 20 years late to the Susan Elizabeth Phillips party, but better late than never. The story was still very relevant, there just weren’t any references to Facebook or twitter and that was a relief. Highly recommend this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Juliana Philippa

    Heaven, Texas was absolutely wonderful! It's my first book by Phillips and although I got it from the library, I'm definitely putting it on my "To Buy" list, since I know I will want to reread this book several times. So cute and very funny; the interactions between the hero and heroine were priceless and the supporting characters were interesting and added to the story. When I was preparing to venture into contemporary romance and did "research" (lol) on Rachel Gibson's books, See Jane Score see Heaven, Texas was absolutely wonderful! It's my first book by Phillips and although I got it from the library, I'm definitely putting it on my "To Buy" list, since I know I will want to reread this book several times. So cute and very funny; the interactions between the hero and heroine were priceless and the supporting characters were interesting and added to the story. When I was preparing to venture into contemporary romance and did "research" (lol) on Rachel Gibson's books, See Jane Score seemed to be the hit/masterpiece that everyone raved over (and understandably!!). Likewise, Heaven, Texas was pretty universally lauded in the reviews I read on Amazon, so I thought it would be a good one to start with—and I was not mistaken: completely fabulous! Plus, it definitely tapped into the little spot I have in my heart for Texas after living in San Antonio for a few years when I was younger. Great romance; definitely recommend. Gracie was a wonderful heroine and I loved that there was no game-playing on her part; she was always so honest, thoughtful, forthright, sweet, but also intelligent, bold, stubborn, sassy, and when she commits herself to something ... get out of her way, because she's determined! People were always wanting a part of Bobby Tom (the hero) or wanting some favor/monetary gift from him, and I really liked that Phillips made it such a pointed and emphasized aspect of Gracie's character that she wasn't like that and consciously wanted to be different from all of them—wanted to be the one who finally just gave to him (her friendship, love, affection, etc.), instead of taking from him. It took me awhile to get used to Bobby Tom's name, but after about the first chapter it seemed perfect for him. His character was utterly enjoyable—Phillips writes him as SO much more than just a football-player-jock; he's intelligent, witty, amusing, really very giving and kind, and of course 110% charming. Gracie is able to see past the charming-always-grinning persona that he presents so often and pretty much right off the bat, she knows he's much smarter and complicated than most people give him credit for—or than he wants people to realize.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jane Stewart

    Witty and wonderful romantic story. Many funny scenes. I also enjoyed a secondary romance happening for Bobby's widowed mother Suzy. She was in her 50's and it was a nice change to see romance for someone that age. The epilogue was cut from the book, but you can read it on the author’s web site. It’s nice. AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR: Anna Fields did a great job with male and female voices. DATA: Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 371 pages. Swearing language: strong including religious swear words, bu Witty and wonderful romantic story. Many funny scenes. I also enjoyed a secondary romance happening for Bobby's widowed mother Suzy. She was in her 50's and it was a nice change to see romance for someone that age. The epilogue was cut from the book, but you can read it on the author’s web site. It’s nice. AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR: Anna Fields did a great job with male and female voices. DATA: Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 371 pages. Swearing language: strong including religious swear words, but not often used. Sexual language: moderate with the f-word used once. Number of sex scenes: about 8, some were briefly referred to. Setting: 1990's mostly Telarosa, Texas. Copyright: 1995. Genre: humorous contemporary romance. OTHER BOOKS: For a list of my reviews of other Susan Elizabeth Phillips books, see my 5 star review of “It Had To Be You.”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Leighton

    4 1/2 stars Don't miss out on the epilogue! 4 1/2 stars Don't miss out on the epilogue!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    Well that was a disappointment. I kinda liked Bobby Tom in the first book, though we don't actually see him much. It turns out, he doesn't improve with acquaintance. He's arrogant and entitled and stubborn and immature. Yeah, there's some charm and a sense of honor buried under there somewhere, but those aspects get overwhelmed by his innate selfishness too often to actually count. I really liked Gracie, though, and that let me plow through his stupidity. SEP excels at the interactions between he Well that was a disappointment. I kinda liked Bobby Tom in the first book, though we don't actually see him much. It turns out, he doesn't improve with acquaintance. He's arrogant and entitled and stubborn and immature. Yeah, there's some charm and a sense of honor buried under there somewhere, but those aspects get overwhelmed by his innate selfishness too often to actually count. I really liked Gracie, though, and that let me plow through his stupidity. SEP excels at the interactions between her characters and that does a lot to ameliorate the worst aspects of a leading man I don't care for. You could see from the start that she'd be the making of him and that she'd do it with kindness and an unfeigned love that gave rather than took—something completely unfamiliar with Bobby Tom as pretty much all his other relationships are the opposite (all about what he can do for others). And I particularly liked her interactions with the other women around BT. The secondary characters weren't as strong in this one as in others. I did like BT's co-star (Michelle? Nicole?) and her solid marriage. A woman he had to make out and simulate sex with and yet who was completely devoted to her marriage and baby. Her friendship with Gracie was a highlight and fun contrast with the designing women otherwise cluttering up the place. Less fun was the secondary romance with BT's mom. It started creepy and I never really got over that. Anyway, I liked the book well-enough, but only three-stars worth. The ending had BT do too much damage on his way to growing up and I hated the continued hits on Gracie. Way to mess up the grand gesture, BT... A note about the series: You really can read this one independently of It Had to Be You, but I don't know why you'd want to. It's a better book and way more fun. A note about Steamy: There are a couple explicit sex scenes, but an extra for BT's mom and a lot of added foreplay as well. Still the middle of my steam tolerance, but edging toward the high side. I really liked BT's care for Gracie's initial virgin status, but that's offset entirely by the creepy bit we see with his mom's new "beau".

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yodamom

    Bobby Tom is a broken ex football player. His knee was damaged during a game that ended his life time love of playing football. He is also the player known to woman around the globe, a lier, and an egomaniac. But Bobby Tom is not a bad guy he loves people and helping people is his #1 goal, unfortunately everyone takes. Gracie Snow is a small town 30 year old virgin who has lived a very sheltered life working in a retirement home. When she get an offer for job with a movie production company she j Bobby Tom is a broken ex football player. His knee was damaged during a game that ended his life time love of playing football. He is also the player known to woman around the globe, a lier, and an egomaniac. But Bobby Tom is not a bad guy he loves people and helping people is his #1 goal, unfortunately everyone takes. Gracie Snow is a small town 30 year old virgin who has lived a very sheltered life working in a retirement home. When she get an offer for job with a movie production company she jumps on the chance to change things up and hopefully loose that V-card. I wish she would have stopped degrading her looks, that was the one thing I didn't care for. Yes, it sounds cliche' I know, but it wasn't Gracie is a force that slowly comes out to shine and cement her place in the world. She demands to stand on her own, and does no waver. She is kind, generous and the thorn in Bobby Toms side. He is the typical jock we have all seen on TV, but not behind the facade. He acts like a bully when he doesn't get his way, By does he screw up. What I'm trying to tell you that even if there is the predictable HEA the path is not straight it is jagged. This was a very slow played out romance with great side characters

  30. 5 out of 5

    Irene Sim

    I hated the Hero. He is a pompous peacock, full of himself and he kept thinking of the heroine as a "pitty fuck" till the very end. Maybe I wouldn't feel so strong about him if it wasn't for the fact that I can't really stand this kind of men in real life.

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