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Genre: Love stories

The Barnes Noble Review

Susan Elizabeth Phillips proves that not only can opposites attract, they can spark great flames of passion. In This Heart of Mine, Phillips pits the heart of a professional football jock against that of a free-spirited writer of children's books. The result is an electrified battle of wits and wiles that is, at turns, both affecting and amusing. These two star-crossed lovebirds couldn't have less in common, and their initial coming together is marked by conflict, rancor, and even tragedy. Yet over the long haul, they discover that love can not only bloom in these seemingly infertile soils, it can thrive.

Molly Somerville has long had a secret crush on the Chicago Stars' key player, quarterback Kevin Tucker. Kevin's career is hard for Molly to escape, given that Molly's older sister, Phoebe, is the owner of the team. Consequently, Molly also knows about Kevin's penchant for dating gorgeous bimbos and his puzzling need to partake of risky, life-endangering hobbies, a trait that drives Phoebe crazy. Molly, however, can relate to this part of Kevin, as she has shown a tendency toward some pretty reckless behavior herself.

When fate places Molly and Kevin alone together for a weekend in Phoebe's isolated cabin, sparks fly and passions flare when both refuse to leave. In the end, Molly makes her most reckless decision yet by climbing into bed while Kevin is sleeping and seducing him before he knows what's happened. When she ends up pregnant, Kevin insists on marrying her for propriety's sake. And when Molly then has a miscarriage, it leaves both of them wounded and wary. Forced to spend their summer at the beleaguered and rundown wilderness resort that Kevin has inherited from a relative, the twosome spruce the place up and get it to turn a profit. In the process they discover the healing power of love, but not before learning some hard truths about themselves, their pasts, and their feelings for each other.

Phillips includes several intriguing subplots in This Heart of Mine and tackles some issues that are emotionally and ethically touchy. Although she wisely avoids offering easy solutions and neatly tied packages, she does provide plenty of resolution. And despite all the pathos, there's plenty of humor to be found. In fact, in the end, shared laughter proves to be every bit as powerful as shared love.

Beth Amos

Genre: Love stories

Rita Awards

"Outrageous, heartwarming, wonderfully sensual… I loved it!" – Jayne Ann Krentz

The windy city isn't quite ready for Phoebe Somerville-the trendy, outrageous and 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 Celbow – an Alabama-born former gridiron legend and blond barbarian.

Calebow is everything Phoebe abhors – a sexist, jock tacskmaster with a one-track mind. The beautiful new boss is everything Dan despises – a meddling bimbo whos doesn't know pigskin from a pitcher's mound, So why is he drawn to the shameless sexpot like a heat-seeking missile? And why does Dan's good ol'boy charm leave cosmpolitan Pheobe feeling awkward, tongue-tied and frightened to death?

Genre: Love stories

A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel – a long-awaited new entry in the beloved award-winning, New York Times best-selling author's fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.

Piper Dove is a woman with a dream – to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham's spotted her, and he's not happy.

Which is why a good detective needs to think on her feet. "The fact is…I'm your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just…mildly unhinged."

Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead he's hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop's life might be in danger, and Piper's determined to protect him whether he wants it or not. (Hint: not!) If only she weren't also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants of fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding Piper find her very dead husband.

And then there's Cooper Graham himself, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants – even if what he wants is a feisty detective hell bent on proving she's as tough as he is.

From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can't stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.

Genre: Love stories

Meet the mysteriously sinister man named…Panda.

He had too long black hair that curled past his collar, cold blue eyes set above high cheekbones, and sadistic lips. After so many years of Secret Service protection, Lucy had grown used to taking her safety for granted, but she didn't feel safe now, and the fact that she dimly recognized the biker as a guest at last night's rehearsal dinner-one of Ted's odd assortment of friends-didn't exactly reassure her. Even semi-cleaned up in a dark suit that didn't fit well, a rumpled white shirt open at the collar, and motorcycle boots that appeared to have received nothing more than a dusting, he didn't look like anybody she wanted to meet in an alley. Exactly where she happened to be…

Genre: Love stories

How did this happen? Georgie York, once the costar of America's favorite television sitcom, has been publicly abandoned by her famous husband, her film career has tanked, her father is driving her crazy, and her public image as a spunky heroine is taking a serious beating.

What should a down-on-her-luck actress do? Not go to Vegas… not run into her detestable former costar, dreamboat-from-hell Bramwell Shepard… and not get caught up in an ugly incident that leads to a calamitous elopement. Before she knows it, Georgie has a fake marriage, a fake husband, and maybe (or not) a fake sex life.

It's a paparazzi free-for-all, and Georgie's nonsupporting cast doesn't help. There's Bram's punk-nightmare housekeeper, Georgie's own pushy parent, a suck-up agent, an icy studio head with a private agenda, and her ex-husband's new wife, who can't get enough of doing good deeds and saving the world – the bitch. As for Georgie's leading man, Bram's giving the performance of his life, but he's never cared about anyone except himself, and it's not exactly clear why.

Two enemies find themselves working without a script in a town where the spotlight shines bright… and where the strongest emotions can wear startling disguises.

Genre: Love stories

"Gone With the Wind the way it should have been." – Jill Barnett

In the ashes of war, they were bitter enemies, bound by fate, fortune, and sweet desire. Spirited, schooled to trust no one, Kit Weston came to New York with a pistol in her pocket and murder in her heart, sworn to kill her mysterious guardian, her Yankee stepbrother and reclaim the South Carolina plantation that was her heritage, her home. But Baron Cain inspired far more than vengeful fury. Darkly handsome, undaunted by danger, he awakened in the wild girl a worman's ardor. Kit would shed her boy's disguise to dazzle society with her bold beauty.she would tantalize Baron even as she schemed to destroy him. Torn between burning desire and an impassioned dream of the South reborn, she would be forced to choose: to fulfill love's longing or risk everything.

Genre: Love stories

Annabelle is tired of being the lone failure in a family of overachievers. She's endured dead-end jobs and a broken engagement. Even her hair's a mess! But that's going to change now that she's taken over her late grandmother's matchmaking business. All Annabelle has to do is land the Windy City's hottest bachelor as her client, and she'll be the most sought-after matchmaker in town. Nothing is going to stand in her way – not the drunk lying comatose under her car, not her family's disapproval, and certainly not the lingering effects of a broken heart.

With his money green eyes and calculated charm, Heath Champion is the best sports agent in the country. He's wealthy, driven, and gorgeous, so why does he need a matchmaker, especially a red-haired screw-up like Annabelle Granger? True, she's entertaining, and she does have a certain quirky appeal. But Heath is searching for the ultimate symbol of his success – the perfect wife. And to make an extraordinary match, he needs an extraordinary matchmaker, right?

Thin, rich, utterly fabulous Portia Powers has spent her career making matches for everyone but herself. Her take-no-prisoners attitude has built Power Matches into the top matchmaking agency in Chicago. So what if she has more enemies than friends and she's one breath away from a nervous breakdown? Neither an upstart like Annabelle Granger nor Heath Champion's menacing, but oddly intriguing, bodyguard, will keep her from getting what she wants – a Power Match for Heath… the city's very own Jerry Maguire.

Soon everyone in Chicago has a stake in the outcome, right down to Annabelle's overprotective book club. When the matchmaker promises she'll do anything to keep her star client happy… does she mean anything? If Annabelle isn't careful, she just might find herself going heart-to-heart with the toughest negotiator in town – a man who's beginning to ask himself: Exactly how perfect does perfect have to be?

Genre: Love stories

Rita Awards

The Plan

Genius physics professor Dr, Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby. But finding a father won't be easy. Jane's super-intelligence made her feel like a freak when she was growing up, and she's determined to spare her own child that suffering. Which means she must find someone very special to father her child. Someone… well.. stupid.

The Target

Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars' legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving. Dr. Jane learns too late that this good ol'boy is a lot smarter than he lets on – and he's not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy baby-mad schemer.

The Explosion

A brillant, lonely woman who dreams only of motherhood… A take no-prisoners tough guy who'll settle for nothing less than surrender… Can passion and physical attraction propel two strong-willed yet vulnerable people to a totally unexpected love?The Plan: Genius physics professor Dr, Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby. But finding a father won't be easy. Jane's super-intelligence made her feel like a freak when she was growing up, and she's determined to spare her own child that suffering. Which means she must find someone very special to father her child. Someone…well…stupid. The Target: Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars' legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving. Dr. Jane learns too late that this good ol'boy is a lot smarter than he lets on – and he's not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy baby-mad schemer. The Explosion. A brillant, lonely woman who dreams only of motherhood…A take no-prisoners tough guy who'll settle for nothing less than surrender…Can passion and physical attraction propel two strong-willed yet vulnerable people to a totally unexpected love?

Genre: Love stories

From San Francisco society to a sunbaked Greek island, come share a deeply romantic adventure, bursting with vitality-and discover the unforgettable woman called Hot Shot, a glorious heart-stopping love story with characters as bold as the invention that brings them together-and changes America forever.

Genre: Love stories

Rita Awards

Independent and desperate widow Rachel Stone, a single mother with a disreputable past, returns to her hometown of Salvation, North Carolina, only to discover Gabe Bonner, a bitter man who does not know how to love, but her spunk and spirit make her the perfect woman to melt his icy heart.

Genre: Love stories

"Refreshingly original, witty and touching." – LaVyrle Spencer

She was the most beautiful British bauble in Europe's jet-set playgrounds. Now she's broke, furious, and limping down a backwoods road in an ugly pink Southern Belle gown…

He was tall, lean and All-American gorgeous. He liked his brews cold and women loved to keep him warm. Why in hell is he stopping his car for this woebegone, surly Scarlett?

Meet Francesca Day and Dallie Beaudine, two incredible characters whose tangled love affair is one of the most ravishing, satisfying, irresistible novels you'll ever read. From the glamour and excitement of London and New York to the dust and down-home grit of Texas, come enjoy the adventure of a lifetime-a wonderfully involving story that's heart-wrenching, hilarious and hellcat passionate-and as full of surprises as life itself. You'll never forget Dallie and the sassy lady who needs a good swift kick in her…fancy pants.

Genre: Love stories

Isabel Favor is a life-style coach whose life is falling apart. Her accountant has run off with her money, her reputation is in tatters and her fiance has just dumped her for an older woman. Isabel needs to escape so she heads for Tuscany determined to find a little perspective – breathing room – and start over. Instead she ends up in a hotel room with Hollywood bad boy Lorenzo Gage. He makes his living killing people…on the screen at least. Ren's reputation is blacker than black. But when you're everyone's favourite villain, it goes with the territory. Isabel's always prided herself on her neatly ordered life. But look where being good has got her. Maybe it's time to live a little…?

Genre: Love stories

In high school Sugar Carey had reigned supreme. She alone had decided what or who was cool. Her spiral perm had been the perm against which all others were measured, and her opinion on which boys were acceptable to date the only one that counted. A beautiful, blonde – if not always benevolent – dictator, she had a reputation for being the wild child in her hometown, the girl most likely to set the world on fire, and leave a trail of destruction in her wake. When she left home she swore she'd never return. Only now, fifteen years and several husbands later, she's run out of money, luck and options… Only Sugar arrives back home to discover that everyone else is living her life. Her half sister is married to Sugar's high school sweetheart, the teacher she schemed to get fired is now a successful novelist and owns her old house. She also discovers that people have long memories – especially where Sugar is concerned…

Genre: Love stories

Fluer Savager stares out from the covers of the world's most glamorous magazines. Hollywood loves her, men adore her. So why does she leave it all behind?

The answer is buried in a French convent – in her childhood. Secrets lurk there – secrets she must unearth before someone else does. The question is, can she?

"Poignant and triumphant." (B-O-T Editorial Review Board)

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