Series: Chicago Stars
Published by William Morrow on August 23, 2016
Source: the publisher
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A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel—a long-awaited new entry in the beloved, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author’s fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.
Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.
Which is why a good detective needs to think on her feet. “The fact is...I’m your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just...mildly unhinged.”
Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding Piper find her very dead husband.
And then there’s Cooper Graham himself, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants is a feisty detective hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.
From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I finished this book about a week ago and I can’t stop thinking about it. Now that I have finally been introduced to Susan Elizabeth Phillips and the Chicago Stars Series, I need more now. I’m desperate to go back and start this series from the beginning. Why did I wait so long to read her stuff?
Detective Piper Dove is investigating former Chicago Stars quarterback Cooper Graham when he notices her and calls her out. With her cover blown early in her investigation and Cooper annoyed with her, Piper assumes that her career is over. But Cooper ends up hiring her to work for him: she is to investigate the employees at his new nightclub because he thinks one of them may be stealing from the business. While she works, she recognizes Cooper’s need for a bodyguard and even though he refuses, she takes it upon herself to do her best to protect him.
Everything is shenanigans.
I was so, so surprised by this book, and I mean that in the best of ways. Having never read anything by this author before, I sort-of expected just a romance. And there is romance in here. But this is really so much more than that. First of all, this book is funny. The entire way through. I smiled and chuckled and smiled some more, which kept me turning the pages. My grin was goofy at the ending (which I LOVED) and then I was sad that the book was over. (Which is why I’m craving more of this series like it is the best kind of chocolate ice cream.)
Piper as a character is awesome. She is feisty and impulsive and unsure of herself in some ways. But I love that in other ways, she knows exactly what she wants. She is also funny and delivers loads of snark. She and Cooper butt heads often and their banter is so funny. They have a believable chemistry that is built on both of them trying so hard not to be attracted to and care about the other one.
Cooper is a great opposite to Piper. He’s sure of himself, but not overly cocky. He is an athlete but more than sports, he loves his rooftop urban garden where he grows vegetables. He’s almost as funny as Piper and he tosses sarcastic comments and snark right back to her.
They’re so great.
This book also has some side stories that I loved. Piper makes two new friends during the course of the story that steal my heart: Jada and Faiza. These young women each have their own relationships with Piper that are rich and developed; their plots give just enough weight to the book without making it heavy while also helping Piper develop as a character and as an investigator. These side stories also help progress the relationship between Piper and Cooper because he is, of course, involved and the two have to work together (shenanigans!) with things which means more laughs and, later, some swoons for us. I love the secondary characters, the majority of whom are friends of Piper and Cooper. I assume I would recognize at least some of them if I had read the previous books, but they are all new to me since I am new to the series.
**Here’s the thing: I am just fine after reading this one book. It reads well as a standalone. I do not have to pick up any of the other books or do any research to understand a single thing in here. BUT! the way this author’s long-time fans say that this one is “classic Susan Elizabeth Phillips” ensures that this is just the first one of her books that I will read. I had way too much fun reading this story to stop now.
I recommend First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips for everybody, doggone it. Walk, skip, run to the bookstore and get this one now.