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. - Publishers' WeeklyI’d love to write something more individualised but due to a series of unfortunate events (well, just one but it was significant) I’ve been unable to write reviews for the better part of a month and though I’m posting them approximately in the order of when I read them, they haven’t been written contemporaneously and I can’t remember a lot of individual detail. Suffice it to say that I very much enjoyed reading Natural Born Charmer, another in the Chicago Star series.
Like the rest of the series, it possesses all the trademarks of Phillips at her best. Her characters are individualised, interesting and complex; the romance element is strong but integrated seamlessly into the plot; and the plot serves as more than an avenue for first obstacles and then love. The secondary characters and plots are well developed, the dialogue is natural, and there are deft touches of humour. -Alex