Thursday, March 17, 2011

March's Book Hungry is a CHARMER

This month, Book Hungry's very own Kelly Breakey had the choice of selection.  Are you ready for her pick, folks? 

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

Here it is...



NATURAL BORN CHARMER by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Summary (as stolen from Amazon):
After her ex-boyfriend Monty insists that she is the only person he ever loved, Blue Bailey packs up everything she has (which isn't much) and moves from Seattle to Colorado to be with him. But once Blue arrives, she discovers Monty has found love again with a younger, blonder new girlfriend. With few job options and practically no money, Blue thought she might be stuck in Colorado for a long time, until Dean Robillard drives through on his way to Tennessee. The last person Blue wants to ask for a favor is a way-too-gorgeous-for-his-own-good stranger who annoys her to no end. And who turns out to be the quarterback for the Chicago Stars. But Dean is Blue's only ticket out, even if it means she is stuck with him all the way to Tennessee. RITA Award-winner Phillips creates yet another classic romance in her loosely connected Chicago Stars series with this splendidly satisfying tale of love, family, and redemption. Generously seasoned with plenty of tart humor and snappy dialogue, and graced with a delightfully amusing pair of protagonists trying desperately not to fall in love, Natural Born Charmer is simply irresistible.

My Take (as stolen from me):
An effortless read, I had NATURAL BORN CHARMER done in two sittings (could've been one but I started it fairly late at night).  While there were some things I disliked about the writing (excessive 'branding' as I call it...which is when the author relies heavily on pointing out specific brand names in lieu of actually describing things.  There were moments while reading this where I wondered if SEP got some kind of commission from Gucci or Pierre Cardin or any of the other hordes of designer names being shot at me like high-fashion missiles) and at times, the plot (some one dimensional side characters, a few occurrences of info dumping, and a side plot that I would've liked to hear more about or even meet the character), this book has a several things going for it.
  1. the DIALOGUE...especially between Blue and Dean was quick-witted and very entertaining.  The droll sense of humor that both characters displayed from the first page hooked me right off.  Example:  "Those are gay boots"  and "Pee Circles?" to only name a couple.  I dare you not to smirk at that.  No, no.  I triple-dog-dare you.
  2. Okay, I'm just going to say it.  Dean is hot.  I mean, super, mega gorgeous.  Simply put, he's the stuff of fantasies...well, all except for the Speed Racer incident, but I digress.
  3. And Blue...well, Blue isn't the prettiest daisy in the garden, but she's no ugly duckling either.  And being kind of average in the looks department just makes her more likable (in my opinion, anyhow).
  4. Interesting side-characters.  Besides Blue and Dean, there's April (Dean's mother), Jack (aging rocker and Dean's absentee father), Riley (Jack's daughter and Dean's half-sister), and of course, there's one very mean old lady who pretends to like no one, but is really a big softy (aren't they all?)
  5. the DIALOGUE.  Yeah, I said this already, but is needs to be repeated (not just because I needed to have five things in my list...although that, too).  Blue and Dean's verbal sparring kept me riveted throughout.  And, when things began to lag in places, I simply skimmed on ahead to the next set of dialogue, because I knew that it would be fresh, witty, and laughter-inducing.
How about you, minions?  Have you read NATURAL BORN CHARMER?  What did you think?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments, and when you're done here, hop on over to my fellow Bookinista's blogs (see upper-right sidebar) to get their takes on this month's pick.  Until next month, folks, when Abby Mumford has chosen THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson.