Always a Booklover

The magic of books just enchants me. I love reading, what more can I say?

It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Philips (Chicago Stars #1)

First Published: 1 August 1994
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 376
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Finished Date: 7 January 2012

Blurb from Goodreads

The Windy City isn't quite ready for Phoebe Somerville -- the outrageous, curvaceous New York knockout who has just inherited the Chicago Stars football team. And Phoebe is definitely not prepared for the Stars' head coach Dan Celebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. Celebow is everything Phoebe abhors. And the sexy new boss is everything Dan despises -- a meddling bimbo who doesn't know a pigskin from a pitcher's mound.

So why is he drawn to the shameless sexpot like a heat-seeking missile? And why does the coach's good ol' boy charm leave cosmopolitan Phoebe feeling awkward, tongue-tied....and ready to fight?

The sexy, heartwarming, and hilarious "prequel" to Susan Elizabeth Phillip's This Heart of Mine -- her sensational bestsellng blockbuster -- It Had To Be You is an enchanting story of two stubborn people who believe in playing for keeps.

My Rating


My Review

This was a very good read. I loved the characters in the book, and their love truly touched me. I devoured the book, and finished it within a few hours. I simply could not stop reading. The action that was unfolding on the pages of the book was really captivating and everything just fell so nicely in place. I’m trying to say, there wasn’t too much of anything or too little. At the risk of sounding like Goldilocks, everything was just right. I especially loved the romance, and honestly, the first love scene that Phoebe and Dan had was so so sweet, at least on Phoebe’s side.

So, I thought I start by talking a bit about the characters. Phoebe is at first glance, a bimbo. Because of the clothes she wears, the way she carries herself, people think she doesn’t have a brain. But let me tell you, there’s a very very devious brain lurking behind those clothes. She dresses that way as a form of self-protection. Protecting herself from what, I leave that to you to find out. She’s very headstrong and she wants her own way. And she’ll do a lot to achieve it.

As for Dan, I really don’t know how to describe him. Shall I say he’s someone who’s never really talking? My impression of him is that he’s always speaking with a loud voice, aka shouting. Or maybe that’s only towards Phoebe, because he simply has no idea how to handle her.

Ok, I’ve realised my reviews are so so so long, it gets boring. Then again, I was never really much of an interesting person. So I’m gonna attempt to write a short review. Next few reviews, I am going to keep it within 500 words. Excluding the summary. I’ll try!

The love they shared was so touching and even in later books, when they are mentioned, every time they look at each other, their looks are so filled with tenderness, its really humbling. That is true love. I believe it with all my heart. They went through so many ups and downs, so many pushing each other away, trying to hide their feelings. But at last, they could deny it no longer and gave in to it.

I really enjoyed the book. Though I read it for a challenge at first, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the characters inside the book. I love the witty dialogues between Dan and Phoebe. It makes me laugh every time. The supporting characters were really funny and the plot was really coherent and well planned out. The football games were nail-biting and the climax at the end? One word. Amazing. Even though I knew everything would turn out right in the end, I was still so nervous about how everything was going to turn out. And right at the end, there was still a little surprise that I didn’t see coming.

I loved the epilogue. It just tells me how sweet their life was. And through it all, true love really lasts a lifetime. Sure, the epilogue’s only 3 years later. But still, it’s so nice to see that they already have a whole family. And one thing I love is how the Stars don’t win every single game. They fought hard and eventually succeeded. And the way Phoebe tries to get them all settled and relaxed? Super funny. I burst out in laughter time after time at her behaviour. One of my favorite moments in the book is when she negotiated the deal with some annoying guy. Single-handedly, she did what no one else before her could achieve. With a lot of wit, courage and yes, flirtation, she actually succeeded. I really wanted to cheer for her just imagining the flabbergasted look on that guy’s face. And Dan, he must have been so proud of her.

Basically what I’m trying to say here is that Phoebe isn’t meant to be underestimated. Sure, she may not look like much, but she has one of the sharpest brains ever. And she totally knows how to use a situation to her benefit.

Yes, I should continue talking a little more about the romance right? Now let’s see, at first it was just lust. But behind that, they always cared each other. No matter how many times Dan screamed at her and got so frustrated with her because he thought she was irresponsible, I just know he loved her deep down. Omg, I just remembered. I totally love the jealousy in the book. It’s the most obvious sign a man is falling hard for a girl. And his jealousy wasn’t something small. I absolutely loved it every time he got jealous she was with another man.

That being said, I realised that the characters just suddenly realise they’re in love with the other character. Never being in love myself before, I have no idea how it happens. However, I do feel it’s a little abrupt. It’s like suddenly, Oh my gosh, I love him! In the middle of nothing at all, that thought can just suddenly come. I don’t doubt their love, but they way they realise it makes me kind of skeptical.

It Had To Be You was an excellent read, I loved every moment of it. I simply could not put the book down. The plot was amazing, the characters even more so. The pace was great, not too fast and not too slow. I can’t really describe why I love the book. It just speaks to me and touches my heart! I never once found the book boring or slow. I loved every moment of it. It was a great read to be sure, and one I’ll definitely recommend. Susan Elizabeth Philips is one awesome writer. I’ve read 7 of her books, and I love them all. They all suck me in and make it impossible for me to ever put the book down.

And on a side note, I finally understand the meaning behind the cover. I believe its because Phoebe wears really skimpy clothes and really revealing ones. Yeah, I think that’s it! :P


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