Susan Elizabeth Phillips, but I've never been disappointed by her books. Her latest, First Star I See Tonight, was another welcome treat.
A sassy private detective, Piper Dove, and a sexy, arrogant former star quarterback, Cooper Graham, are the very definition of opposites attract. Piper is funny, independent, and loyal. Cooper is like the big man on campus. Now the owner of a hot nightclub, Cooper wants to conquer the world. Everyone in Chicago loves Cooper, at least that's what he believes. Men want to be him, and women want to be with him. Piper, however, is in the minority when it comes to infatuation for Cooper. She's a bit repulsed by him. All Piper wants to do is finish the job she was hired to do.
Hired to follow Cooper by a very wealthy client, Piper gets just a little too close to her new shadow. It doesn't take long for Cooper to figure out that Piper is following him. When confronted by Cooper, rather than selling out her client Piper tells a rather wild story. She tells Cooper she's his stalker. Yes, instead of telling the truth, Piper tells an outrageous story. I had to laugh at that. But it also made me mad. Why tell such a stupid tale, when the truth would solve everything? Piper would rather throw away her career, than sell out a client. Eventually, Cooper learns that Piper is a private detective. He wants her for his team. It's her deep sense of integrity that attracts Cooper to Piper.
Reluctantly, Piper works for Cooper. A client like him could save her floundering business. And...he could light a fire to her non-existent romantic life. Both of them waste so much energy fighting with each other, they don't realize what they need is staring them right in the face. Piper needs Cooper and Cooper needs Piper. All the banter between them is just their form of foreplay! Yes, there are some hot moments between Cooper and Piper. When they finally let their guard down, their vulnerabilities are exposed. Cooper is more than the arrogant jock. Piper is more than a snarky know-it-all. There's a softness and sensitivity to them both. This is the eighth book in the series, but you'd never know it. There are a lot of quirky characters in this book, including Piper's wackadoo neighbors. But the romance between Piper and Cooper is at the heart of the book. Their road to love is funny, smart, and endearing.
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (HarperCollins) as part of a blog tour with TLC Book Tours.