It Had to Be You

It Had to Be You - Susan Elizabeth Phillips Though this book feels a bit dated because of the descriptions of hair, clothing and electronics as well as some just plain silly expression-- like the use of the word "studmuffin" (which was just ridiculous even in a slightly humorous context.) it is an entertaining ride with Phoebe and Dan.

I was initially put off by the introduction to Phoebe because she is so over-the-top in the first scene, at her father's funeral. I didn't know if I was going to be able to handle a bimbo as a heroine, but of course, as the reader learns in the next chapter, Phoebe isn't really a bimbo, she just plays one on TV. She has a traumatic past (don't they all?) and so she puts up a wall between herself and the outside world by acting and dressing in an outrageously provocative manner. This works. I've seen it work not so well, but in Phillips hands Pheobe becomes likable and multidimensional.

I'm not a fan of sports, or books with sports, or romances surrounding sports, but I still liked this one. Dan is big and brawny and ever-so footbally, but I didn't mind. He is the coach of the Chicago Stars, a former quarterback and a man with a lot of charisma, but also one heck of a temper. His temper was entertaining-- what little I have watched of sports usually involved some irate coach throwing their headset on the ground and stomping on it.

Since this is the hate-to-love story, which normally irritates me because it takes too long for the characters to get over themselves and start to like each other. It doesn't take too long here and Phillips does a pretty good job of convincing us that Dan really has come around to Phoebe. Really it's just that Phillips has done a good job of making the reader like and understand Phoebe, more than that we understand Dan's shift in attitude. It seems unrealistic after a few chapters with Phoebe, who is all heart and plucky courage, with a soft and broken underside, that anyone could truly dislike her.

As I write this review I realize that I really connected with Phoebe. Dan did the trick, but Phoebe makes the book worth reading.