Nobody's Baby But Mine / This Heart of Mine

Overview

Nobody's Baby But Mine

Genius physics professor Dr. Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby but doesn't want her child growing up, as she did, feeling like a super-intelligent freak. So Jane needs someone. . . well. . . stupid to father her child—someone like legendary Chicago Stars quarterback Cal Bonner. But this good-looking good ol' boy is a lot smarter than he lets on—and Cal's not about to be used and ...

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Overview

Nobody's Baby But Mine

Genius physics professor Dr. Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby but doesn't want her child growing up, as she did, feeling like a super-intelligent freak. So Jane needs someone. . . well. . . stupid to father her child—someone like legendary Chicago Stars quarterback Cal Bonner. But this good-looking good ol' boy is a lot smarter than he lets on—and Cal's not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy, baby-mad schemer.

This Heart of Mine

Molly Somerville's reputation for trouble started even before she gave away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance. And her long-term crush on Chicago Stars football hunk Kevin Tucker doesn't help matters—especially since the gorgeous, Ferrari-driving, poodle-hating jock can't even remember her name! But then, one night, Kevin barges into Molly's not-quite-perfect life and proceeds to turn it upside down.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060894702
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Series: Chicago Stars Series
  • Edition description: 2 Books in 1
  • Pages: 800
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Susan Elizabeth Phillips soared onto the New York Times bestseller list with Dream a Little Dream. She's the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a hiker, gardener, reader, wife, and mother of two grown sons.

Biography

Susan Elizabeth Phillips believes if Jane Austen were writing today, novels like Pride and Prejudice would be sitting on the bookshelf alongside the love stories that she and her fellow romance novelists pen. "Oh, and one more thing," she said, wagging her finger at a Chicago Tribune reporter in 1999, "Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy should have kissed at the end of that story, and if I'd have written it, they would have -- and it would have been a good kiss, too."

Such sass is Phillips' calling card, and since her 1994 football romance It Had to Be You, she’s been stitching threads of humor into her romance novels.

"I'm not a particularly funny person in person. I can't tell jokes, but it just seems like it happened when I started to write," she told The Romance Reader in 1997. "It wasn't anything that was planned. I'm a very intuitive writer; I just sort of let the characters talk to me, and they started saying funny things, so I wrote them down."

A schoolteacher until her first son was born, Phillips began writing in the early 1980s with her best friend and neighbor. The two were both regular readers and decided to try their hand at a book of their own, plotting their story during nightly bike rides with their toddlers in tow. They got the name of a publisher at Dell who liked the book and published it under the pen name Justine Cole.

Her friend moved into a legal career, but Phillips continued writing and publishing, this time under her own name. She released what she calls her "big books," titles like Fancy Pants and Honey Moon featuring Hollywood starlets and jet-setting London socialites.

Her stories, she has said, moved outside of the mainstream after that. She gives her romantic characters emotional wounds and personal difficulties that often impede their inevitable happy endings. But without such obstacles, there would be no story.

"I've grown increasingly interested in writing about family dynamics and much less interested in sticking a psychopath with a gun in any of my books," she said in an interview with the web site iVillage. "Technically, I've simply learned how to capitalize on my own distinctive voice and how to be a better storyteller."

The healing process that the characters go through is what makes the novels work. "Creative plotting adds sparkle, and entertaining, well-drawn secondary characters round out the novel, but it is the growing, healing relationship between the protagonists and how they finally form a family that touches the heartstrings and makes this contemporary romance an unforgettable read," the Library Journal wrote in a review of Phillips' 2000 book First Lady.

The dialogue, she has said, is also important. The exchanges in romance novels are satisfying to women who love to communicate, she told USA Today. "Women really like to talk. That's one of our processes. We talk to gather information. Women love the connection that comes from conversation," she said. "My husband says we broadcast. He thinks through things before he talks, but he says women just kind of broadcast until they zero in on what they want to say."

Phillips has also disputed the notion that romance novels are nothing more than books about "throbbing thighs." They aren't about sex, she told the Chicago Tribune in 1992, but are instead complicated fictions about women taking charge of their lives and being the stories' heroes.

"The woman always wins the man," she said, "and he always gets tamed in the end."

Good To Know

Phillips wanted to publish her first novel under the pseudonym Chastity Savage, but her best friend and co-author nixed the idea.

Though two of her books -- It Had to Be You and This Heart of Mine -- have football plots, Phillips doesn't consider herself much of a sports fan. "In my mind, if you don't have to wear mascara to do it, it doesn't count as recreation," she told Book Page.

Her family helps her keep the details straight. Husband Bill was her technical adviser on describing Dallie Beaudine's golf game in Fancy Pants, and son Zach's interest in knives, guns, and dead insects surfaced in Teddy, the son of the novel's leading lady. He also wrote and recorded a companion CD to her title This Heart of Mine, which is available from her web site.

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Read an Excerpt

Nobody's Baby But Mine and This Heart of Mine


By Susan Phillips

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright ©2006 Susan Phillips
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060894709

Chapter One

"Let me get this straight," Jodie Pulanski said. "You want to give Cal Bonner a woman for a birthday present."

The three offensive linemen, who were spending the November evening sitting in the back booth at Zebras, the DuPage County sports bar favored by the Chicago Stars football players, all nodded at once.

Junior Duncan gestured toward the waitress for another round. "He's going to be thirty-six, so we wanted to make this extra special."

"Bull," Jodie said. Everybody who knew anything about football knew that Cal Bonner, the Stars' brilliant quarter back, had been demanding, temperamental, and generally impossible to get along with ever since the season started. Bonner, popularly known as the "Bomber" because of his fondness for throwing explosive passes, was the top-ranked quarterback in the AFC and a legend.

Jodie crossed her arms over the form-fitting white tank top that was part of her hostess uniform. It didn't occur to either her or any of the three men at the table to consider the moral dimensions of their discussion, let alone notions of political correctness. This was, after all, the NFL. "You think if you get him a woman, he'll ease up on all of you," she said.

Willie Jarrell gazed down into his beerthrough a pair of thickly-lashed dark brown eyes. "Sonovabitch been kickin' so much ass lately, nobody can stand being around him."

Junior shook his head. "Yesterday, he called Germaine Clark a debutante. Germaine!"

Jodie lifted one eyebrow, which was penciled several shades darker than her brassy blond hair. Germaine Clark was All-Pro and one of the meanest defensive tackles in the NFL. "From what I've seen, the Bomber already has more women than he knows what to do with."

Junior nodded. "Yeah, but, the thing of it is, he doesn't seem to be sleepin' with any of them?"

"What?"

"It's true." Chris Plummer, the Stars' left guard spoke up. "We just found it out. His girlfriends have been talking to some of the wives, and it seems Cal's not using them for anything more than window dressing."

Willie Jarrell spoke up. "Maybe if he waited until they were out of diapers, he could get turned on."

Junior chose to take his remark seriously. "Don't say things like that, Willie. You know Cal won't date 'em till they're twenty."

Cal Bonner might be getting older, but the females in his life weren't. No one could remember him dating anyone over the age of twenty-two.

"Far as anybody knows," Willie said, "the Bomber hasn't slept with anybody since he broke up with Kelly, and that was last February. It's not natural."

Kelly Berkley had been Cal's beautiful twenty-one-year old companion until she'd gotten tired of waiting for a wedding ring that wasn't ever going to come and run off with a twenty-three-year-old guitarist for a heavy metal band. Since then, Cal Bonner had been concentrating on winning football games, dating a new woman every week, and kicking his teammates' asses.

Jodie Pulanski was the Stars' favorite groupie, but although she hadn't yet turned twenty-three, none of the men suggested that she offer her own body as Cal Bonner's birthday present. It was a well-known fact he'd already rejected her at least a dozen times. That made the Bomber Public Enemy Number One on Jodie's personal hate list, even though she kept a collection of blue-and-gold Stars' jerseys in her bedroom closet, one jersey for every Stars player she'd slept with, and was always eager to add more.

"What we need is somebody who won't remind him of Kelly," Chris said.

"That means she needs to be real classy," Willie added. "And older. We think it would be good for the Bomber to try someone maybe twenty-five."

"Sort of dignified." Junior took a sip of beer. "One of those society types."

Jodie's wasn't known for her brains, but even she could see the problem with that one. "I don't think too many society types are going to volunteer to be a man's birthday present. Not even Cal Bonner's."

"Yeah, that's what we was thinking, too, so we might have to use a hooker."

"But a real classy one," Willie said hastily, since every one knew Cal didn't go for hookers.

Junior gazed glumly into his beer. "Problem is, we haven't been able to find one."

Jodie knew some hookers, but none of them were what she'd call classy. Neither were her friends. She ran with a group of hard-drinking, party-loving women, whose single goal in life was to sleep with as many professional athletes as they could. "What do you want from me?"

"We want you to use your connections and find somebody for him," Junior said. "His birthday's coming up in ten days, and we got to have a woman for him before then."

"What's in it for me?"

Since all three of their jerseys already hung in her closet, they knew they'd have to go out on a limb. Chris spoke cautiously. "You got a particular number you're interested in adding to your collection?"

"Other than number eighteen," Willie quickly interjected, eighteen being the Bomber's number.

Jodie thought about it. She'd rather screw over the Bomber than find him a woman. On the other hand, there was one particular number that she wanted real bad. "As a matter of fact, I do. If I find your birthday present, number twelve's mine."

The men groaned. "Shit, Jodie, Kevin Tucker's got too many women as it is."

"That's your problem."

Tucker was the Stars' backup quarterback. Young, aggressive, and sublimely talented, he had been hand-picked by the Stars to take over the starting position when age or injury prevented Cal from getting the job done. Although the two men were polite in public, both were fierce competitors, and they hated each other's guts, which made Kevin Tucker all the more desirable to Jodie.

The men grumbled, but eventually agreed that they'd make sure Tucker did his part if she found the right woman for Cal's birthday present.

Two new customers entered Zebras, and since Jodie was the bar's hostess, she got up to greet them. As she made her way to the door, she mentally sorted through her female acquaintances, trying to come up with one of them who would qualify, but she drew a blank. She had a lot of female friends, but not a single one of them was classy.

Continues...


Excerpted from Nobody's Baby But Mine and This Heart of Mine by Susan Phillips Copyright ©2006 by Susan Phillips. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Read!

    I really loved having the 2 stories in one book. I enjoyed both these stories. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one author I can never pass up to read. I'm glad I discovered her books. I love that she makes me laugh out loud and I find myself always with a smile on my face after I've read one of her books. I'm on a mission to read her entire collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006

    Stories to much alike!

    I love her as an author but this combo book had two stories that were almost the same stories just different people. I will still buy her books. She is an excellent author that can put funny, love, and a lot of humor all in one book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2006

    not like any other book

    This book was so enjoying. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. It was a book that made you smile and laugh.I would recommend reading this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted September 18, 2009

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    Posted April 11, 2010

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    Posted March 20, 2010

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    Posted February 21, 2010

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    Posted February 28, 2009

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    Posted December 8, 2009

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