Thursday, October 13, 2016

SEP Review: Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Hi all!

And here's another review!

Title: Heaven, Texas
Release date: 13th of October 2009
Series: Chicago Stars #2
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Contemporary
Published by: William Morrow
Pages: 384 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from for Kindle


Come heck or high water, Gracie Snow is determined to drag the legendary ex-jock Bobby Tom Denton back home to Heaven, Texas, to begin shooting his first motion picture. Despite his dazzling good looks and killer charm, Bobby Tom has reservations about being a movie star -- and no plans to cooperate with a prim and bossy Ohio wallflower whom he can't get off his mind or out of his life. Instead, the hell-raising playboy decides to make her over from plain Jane to Texas wildcat.

But nothing's more dangerous than a wildcat with an angel's heart in a town too small for a bad boy to hide. And all hell breaks loose when two unforgettable people discover love, laughter, passion -- and a match that can only be made in Heaven.


Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my IT girl author, who just writes romances almost exactly to my taste. The key words are humor, banter and lovable heroines. Generally, this story was classic SEP with all the good stuff and even a lot more, if only I didn't find the hero, Bobby Tom, incredibly frustrating. He seriously pushed my buttons and his charm didn't manage to cover the me-and-the-world attitude. What really made me see red, was the fact that despite the clear difference in value between Bobby Tom and Gracie, the latter being miles ahead of him, she was the one who was viewed as inferior and had to earn her place beside him.

Anyway, Gracie was awesome. She was an all in one expert, including nanny, car mechanic and saint. She was your typical SEP underdog heroine with endless potential. I really admired her, starting from her determination, finishing with her tolerance in keeping up with Bobby Tom. You have to be a real iron lady to not tell him where to shove it and just leave. Or maybe she was a masochist. The main thing is that SEP perfectly knows how to create sympathetic, distinct and sassy heroines. Gracie didn't take anything lying down, she was just as cunning as Bobby Tom, it just wasn't visible from the outside and right from the start. For example, I loved it when she played tough and disabled his car, it was an hilariously genius moment. The better we got to know her, and the more Bobby Tom annoyed her, the more snarky and sneaky she got, for example, having his admirer bring him ice cream and the whole ordeal after that. 

I adored Gracie and wanted to smack Bobby Tom on the head more times than once, but as a couple, they fell on the "like" side. They had their really horrendous moments, like him freaking out about her leaving, handling it really awfully and acting appallingly. But there were heaps of entertainingly noteworthy or plain sexy times as well. I apprechiate that they became friends first, then moved on to friends with benefits, then had a lot of angst and then finally admitted their feelings. Their dialogue was on fire, the conversations they had, kept me on my toes with humor and swoon and, overall, there was no lack of chemistry between this unlikely couple. 

The final grand gesture of love, a must in every SEP story, which I generally admit to being one of my guilty pleasures, was in theory thrilling, over the top and should make it clear to the reader how Bobby Tom felt about Gracie and what he is willing to sacrifice. To me, taking into consideration the context and the general belief with the other characters, that she was not worthy of him (luckily, not all were blind as bats regarding this), the huge demonstration on love just enforced this idea further. From the beginning, there was a football test Bobby Tom gave to all girls who wanted to marry him, and the one to answer all questions correctly, would receive the ultimate price: him. Alone this idea made me irritated, but how it was used to push Gracie onto "his level" and make her acceptable, set my teeth on edge. He was the one who should beg, crawl and consider himself blessed to have her, not her in landing him! But, oh well, booo hooo, poor little rich hunky guy whom everyone wants a piece of. Okey, he had his great moments as well, but oh, did I want to scream at him to deflate that ego just a bit!

I also have to mention the humor again and a small peek into making movies with Bobby Tom. The dialogue the script had, him practicing it with Gracie and anything to do with filming was comedy gold. I laughed out loud several times. As is custom with SEP books, the current story also had a secondary romance. These additional love stories are usually a hit or miss with me, and this was more on the miss side. It was intriguing, but felt quite a bit forced. All in all, it wasn't my favorite SEP story, but it was an entertaining book nonetheless.

3 stars!


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