Genre: Contemporary Romance
A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel.
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.
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.
I’ve been a fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books for YEARS. The Chicago Stars was my first intro in to sports romances and will forever be the Holy Grail series by which I judge all other sports romances. This is a BIG DEAL as sports romances to me are the equivalent of my happy place!
This story was exactly as I was expecting it to be… in the beginning at least. Piper was stubborn, feisty and loyal with a kind streak that easily won me over. Cooper Graham was also what I expected – arrogant, stubborn, reluctantly nice and a tad bit rude. Their meet cute was a delight to read as Piper’s ability to spin a preposterous lie had me laughing out loud. Who would openly admit to being a stalker as a way to GET OUT of a situation??
Besides for the start and meet cute though, things started to go downhill for me. All of the features were there but the overall reading experience was just a bit lacking. This is my fav sports romance series though, so bear that in mind. The expectations were HIGH.
Piper’s character development kept me interested and invested throughout the story as she grew in confidence and skill but I found that Cooper’s appeal waned very quickly. Near the middle to end of the book he didn’t come across as charmingly arrogant but rather, obnoxiously arrogant. This didn’t seem to change much toward the end of the book. The only redeeming traits he showed were during the epilogue which was set months later… this doesn’t count as ‘development’ in my opinion as we’re not privy to it as readers. I wasn’t interested in a HEA perfect future that was displayed. I would rather have read than simply been told about his change.
Overall, this book was a bit lacking for me on the chemistry and development front. The connections to other Chicago Stars characters was minimal and besides for the saving grace that was Piper as an MC, I wasn’t happy with this read. It’s a sad two stars from me!