Natural Born Charmer is a book that I ended up reading based on reviews I saw here at the Cannonball (Malin? Mrs. Julien? Emmalita? ???). I don’t remember exactly what about the review caught my eye, but I added it to my to-read list and requested it from the library. The story hangs around Dean Robillard, quarterback of the fictitious Chicago Stars (this is the 7th book in a series tied around this organization). He’s on his way to his new property in Tennessee (where his mother is secretly acting as his house manager/remodeling G.M.) when he runs across Blue Bailey walking along the side of the road in half a beaver costume. He ends up giving Blue a ride once he discovers she’s got nowhere else to go. But she isn’t the only unexpected house guest that arrives at Dean’s new (old) farmhouse.
I don’t know how I feel about this one. The various characters were often tough to care about initially, but they grew on me as I read. I think my initial problem is that since so much of Blue and Dean’s banter is based around sarcasm and false identities keeping track of who they really were became slightly difficult. The plot was a straight forward romance plot of two seemingly opposite people end up stuck together for a limited amount of time. But the resolution of that plot went differently than the standard trope and instalove that has permeated other romance novels I’ve read lately. Instead of deciding to tie the knot at the end of two months they decide to spend some time apart proving that their feelings are true and they are trustworthy stewards of each other’s emotions. The details of the story were often outlandish, but were woven together in a manner that didn’t feel ludicrous. We are talking about an artist, a quarterback, a recovered junkie/groupie, an aging rock idol, a town hard ass, and a runaway eleven year old. But, it all comes together in a way that works, even if it’s very predictable.
I’ve decided that 3 stars is the rating, a 3.5 if I’m feeling generous.