So it appears I’m about to put forth some unpopular opinions, but it was bound to happen eventually. Mrs. J, feel free to break up from our Romance Twin pact if you need, because I’m about to rant. I tried a Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I tried the one that here and elsewhere on the internet is regularly called her best. And OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS CRAP?!
Natural Born Charmer is the story of Blue, a down on her luck (due to circumstances she couldn’t control) free spirited artist, and Dean, quarterback for the fictional Chicago Stars. Dean picks up Blue from the side of the road as she walking back to return a costume she wore in order to make a couple of bucks. Dean ends up offering to drive Blue to her next destination, as it’s on his way to the new farm he purchased in Tennessee. Things don’t work out and Blue ends up joining Dean at his new farm. And from there “shit” hits the fan. “Shit” here meaning: every single random-arse extreme crazy plot device you could ever imagine.
Let’s see: there’s a do-gooder saving the world mother who stole her daughter’s money to rescue kids in Colombia, recovering drug addict, former groupie mother pretending to be the new housekeeper at the farm, running the renovations, secret rock star father, secret half sibling, and acknowledged child of rock star father, tiny town full of hillbillies, rich mean witch who runs the town, but really has a heart of gold, adorable random fluffy dog for zero reason, oh and all of these characters coming together and working it all out through some feel good dance parties. ARGH.
I can’t. I just can’t, and you can’t make me. This book took the ridiculous, and amped it all up to eleven. My least favorite plot was Dean’s parents getting back together after 30 years apart when she used to be his groupie muse, that he dumped when he knocked her up. Ew. It was gross, but yeah, totes romantic that he has a complete magical family again after being raised by boarding schools and drug addict.
And yes, I know I haven’t even discussed the actual love story yet, the point of the novel. Blue annoyed me, Dean was “perfect”, and overall meh. I just couldn’t care because of all the other shit going down 24/7. Oh, I liked his car. There’s my positive point.
So anywho, I have tried, and now I know, FOR SURE, SEP is not for me. If you like beyond ludicrous (and this is coming from a woman who reads ⅔’s of the year romance, I am very good at suspending my disbelief) stories that make zero sense in the world read this one. Otherwise, I have plenty of other romances I can recommend that don’t make me want to throw my phone across the room in annoyance.