First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips Release Date: August 23, 2016 Publisher: William Morrow Book #8 in the Chicago Stars series Number of pages: 389 Kindle Source: MCL Contemporary Romance/Sports M/F Rating: NC-17 Read 11/16/17 to 11/18/17
This is the book that started it all for me. Back in January this book was on multiple lists of author’s favorite books of 2016. Of course that really piqued my interest, but there’s no way I can read the 8th book in a series without reading the first seven. So I jumped right into It Had to Be You, published 23 years before I read it. I was instantly sucked into the world of the Chicago Stars and those around them.
I went into this one thinking it would be my favorite of the series. Perhaps I put too much pressure on the book by having that mindset, but it wasn’t my favorite. Not that it isn’t great, because it is. It’s just super hard to beat Natural Born Charmer.
Although SEP has done a great job throughout this series to make things seem timely without them turning dated when I read them decades after publication. Of course, throughout my reading the time has been slowly creeping up to current times. And here we are, more than 10 years since the previous book in this series, and the author really decided to delve into the way our society is running today. My hope is that if you read this book in another 10 years it will, for the first time in SEP’s career, feel dated.
Let me explain. There is a lot of tidbits sprinkled throughout this story about sexism, rape culture, religious persecution, human rights, harassment, etc. Don’t worry. It’s not shoved down your throat in an unnatural way. It ties into the story seamlessly while getting the point across about so many issues that women, and society as a whole, are dealing with right now. In fact, they always have. But these issues have been brought to the forefront now more than ever before.
As for the story. I love the relationship between Cooper and Piper. Yet I can’t help but compare them to Cooper’s friend and agent, Heath, and his wife, Annabelle. That’s not a bad thing. I love Heath and Annabelle. They just seem a bit TOO much like them. Piper is such a strong woman but has a low self-esteem when it comes to her feminine side. Cooper started out from nothing and worked his booty off to be the best. He’s come so far in life that he’s forgotten what it’s like to not get what he wants when he wants. Nobody goes against Coop’s wants and it’s made him a bit removed from the real world and those around him. That’s where Piper is perfect for him since she’s not afraid to put him in his place.
Overall I really loved this book and can see why so many listed it among their favorite contemporary romance books of 2016. I’m sad this series seems to be over, but with Susan Elizabeth Phillips you really never know…we’ll see what happens in 10 years. Now is the perfect time to take the opportunity to read some of this author’s other books.