walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Natural Born Charmer_, Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Or SEP, in the lingo.

SEP's books have a very well-defined form. Characters in crisis (career change, relationship ending, etc.) who are also in the process of relocating encounter someone else going through same. The characters all have huge trust/abandonment/attachment issues BUT also have a substantial circle of long-time friends and/or family which they may or may not be temporarily cut off from. Someone's going to be artistic. There will be secondary characters going through similar, often related (like, parent of) the primaries and therefore to some degree responsible for the neglect or whatever that led to the issues. Someone will be an excellent cook (usually, but not always, the artistic one). Someone will have a huge pile of money and/or be a massive celebrity. Etc.

In this particular entry, Dean is a football player (so this is part of the Stars series), a quarterback who has taken a pretty bad hit and is dealing with shoulder problems. His mother was a groupie. His father is a rock star. His half-sister's mother has recently died in a bizarre accident. He picks our heroine up in a beaver costume (minus the head) as he's driving around the country. She (Blue) accompanies him to his farm in Tennessee where they accrete members of his biological family (all mentioned already in this review), act very snarkily to each other and everyone else, and save the town. Sort of.

There's usually a small town. It's usually populated by an assortment of Characters. It usually needs to be Saved. This time, it's Garrison, owned by a curmudgeonly old lady, also in need of redemption.

It's all here, complete with SEP (TM) emotional roller-coaster as the various parties confront their long-standing emotional issues and make a supreme effort to progress to being better adjusted easier to live with (but still interesting) people.

I tried to get this from the local library. Repeatedly. Somehow, it was always checked out. I eventually picked it up via TitleTrader. I still need to get _Match Me If You Can_, its immediate predecessor in the Stars series.

_The Poisonwood Bible_ is the next book group selection. Fortunately, N. was back from Stockholm and present at the discussion tonight and, as expected, she shared my reservations about _Sky Burial_, so I mostly stayed out of trouble (altho we may have ruined the book for its fans). Next kindle selection is the latest Queen Betsy by MaryJanice Davidson. But right now, I'm going to go read Calculated Risk, because all kinds of things apparently happened today.
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