Susan’s back with the Chicago Stars, the fictional NFL team she likes to write about. This time, Olivia, a famous soprano who performs arias all over the world, is thrown together with Tad Owns, a member of the Stars, to embark on an international tour to sell $3,000 watches.
Much is made of Olivia’s penchant for overpacking, her prim and proper appearance, and her loathing of Tad. (Which is mentioned in the beginning, because apparently a “friend” said that Tad attacked her, but evidently made it up to piss off her boyfriend, so the whole thing gets dropped by page 50.) And much is made of what a cool guy Tad is, what a great coach he is even though he’s a player and not on the coaching staff, and how all his teammates love him even though he’s not the star player.
It’s a classic enemies to lovers trope, which I generally like, but Olivia was such a priss and Tad was just such a tool that I couldn’t really get behind it. And then I went back and looked at some of my older reviews of SEP, and I realized this is how she often writes characters. The women are a bit prissy, a bit prim, a bit buttoned up and, well, tight-assed, and the men are super duper extra alpha males with a side of d-bag thrown in. And look, I think every girl has liked and/or been involved with a dude like that in her life, and I think we’re all grown up enough now to admit that it was a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea. And so that’s not really the romantic hero I’m looking for.