Sunday, November 30, 2008

Series Sunday - The Chicago Stars

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a new to me author. Gasp! I know. How is it I am just now getting around to reading her books? Shame on me, but I am correcting that problem this month. I just finished It Had to Be You, the first book that starts the series off with a bang. The series revolves around the fictional football team, The Chicago Stars. The books are set in present day Chicago and are straight contemporaries.

Do these books have to be read in order? I am not really sure. The impression that I got was that the books stand alone but characters from previous books make appearances in future books. Ms. Phillip states that Natural Born Charmer will be the last book in The Chicago Stars series. She does plan to have surprise appearances of familiar characters in future books. It is just that those books will not revolve around football.

Series Reading Order:
1. It Had to Be You (Phoebe Sommerville and Dan Calebow)
2. Heaven, Texas (Bobby Tom Denton and Gracie Snow)
3. Nobody's Baby But Mine (Cal Bonner and Dr. Jane Darlington)
4. Dream a Little Dream* (Gabe Bonner and Rachel Stone)
5. This Heart of Mine (Molly Sommerville and Kevin Tucker)
6. Match Me if you Can (Annabelle Granger and Heath Champion)
7. Natural Born Charmer (Dean Robillard and Blue Bailey)

* Dream a Little Dream is not officially part of the Chicago Stars series, but continues the Bonner family story that began in the book Nobody's Baby But Mine. It also contains Ethan's story.

*Fun Fact*
Bobby Tom Denton from Heaven, Texas makes an appearance in Lady Be Good.


Lori said...

Just sayin' (I may get totally trounced by many a lady over here)... you do not need to read these in order. I didn't. Unless you are one of those who simply *has* to read in order, then each is pretty much a stand alone.

*sitting back and getting ready for the fireworks*

Anonymous said...

I have read most of a very similar series, but instead of "Chigago Stars" it was "Chicago Stars" ;) (You can tell me to frag off, I deserve it).

Seriously, SEP is the author I hate to love. Match Me If You Can was my favorite, followed by Dream a Little Dream. I haven;t read the most recent one yet but it;s on my TBR pile. I find all of these guys horrendous macho throwbacks. But I enjoyed the hell out of these books.

Liz said...

I love, love, love SEP -- and my absolute favorit is the olly Sommerville book, "This Heart of Mine." I have my daughter hooked, as well. I think you can easily read these alone. I think I read "Heart" first, in fact, and then picked up the others as I got around to them. Great escapism. And SEP lives about 15 miles from me -- no, we've certainly never met, but since she uses Chicago and suburban Chicago in her plots a lot, it makes it fun.

And I wanted to throw in a recommendation for a different romance, with some mystery thrown in, that I'm currently enjoying. It's The Silent Note, and involves a widower sinking into depression whose daughter discovers a secret locked in an old piano. The secret has been hidden for decades and, of course, is revealed in the book. SO enjoyable and satisfying, as the mystery is solved. Truly a woman's All-Time love story.

Jill D. said...

Lori, Actually, I am glad you spoke up. I wasn't really sure if you needed to read them in order. SEP didn't really address it at her website. I will read them in order though, because I am one of THOSE people, LOL!

Jessica, Don't I just feel like a tool! I guess that is what you get when trying to squeeze in a post when your supposed to be working.

I love how you describe the men as "macho throwbacks". That is a very apt description. The book sort of had an eighties feel to it even though it was written in 1994.

Hi Liz! Thanks for visiting my blog. It looks like I have many SEP books to look forward to, seeing how I have only read one so far.

Thanks for recommending The Silent Note. It sounds really good.

Tracy said...

I started reading Heaven, Texas and just couldn't get into it so I was thinking about skipping - I'm glad Lori said that too! :)

Leslie said...

I'm fairly new to SEP and just love her books. I think it's the dialogue that gets me. The back and forth banter of the hero/heroine. I've read Nobody's Baby But Mine and just finished Natural Born Charmer. Enjoyed both. And I'm one of THOSE people - lol- that needs to read series in order but like Lori said this one is fine out of order. The next one I'm planning to read is Dream a Little Dream. Need to read Gabe's story.

Jill D. said...

Tracy, Oh no! I have that one next on my list. I hope it doesn't give me too much trouble.

Leslie, There is nothing better than well written dialogue between characters. For me it can make or break a book. I have to say, I am really looking forward to the rest of the books in this series.

Mollie said...

I read the first two in the series then read Molly and Kevin's. I didn't realize till halfway through that I was reading it out of order. I HATE reading books in a series out of order. It took me a couple days to decide whether to continue with Molly & Kevin's story or go back and read the others first. I finally decided to finish it.

I have to say it is my least favorite SEP book thus far. I don't want to spoil anything but I thought Molly's behavior/what she did was horrendous. I really just wanted to smack her around.

I loved the rest of the SEP's I've read. I really liked Lady be Good.

Jill D. said...

Oooooh Mollie, sounds like there are quite a few different opinions on which books are favorites or not. Hmmmm, sounds like things could get interesting :)

I just got Heaven, Texas in the mail today. I will be starting it soon!

Liz said...

Jill -- HOpe you like it! and Mollie -- I think as long as you read "It Had to be You," before "Heart of Mine," you'll be good. I think those are the only two where it really matters.

And is "Heaven, Texas," the one about Gabe? I had a hard time with that one, but I was listening to it on tape, and got through it that way.

Rowena said...

I love this series, I seriously love this series...