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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Susan Elizabeth Phillips proves that not only can opposites attract, they can spark great flames of passion. In This Heart of Mine, Phillips pits the heart of a professional football jock against that of a free-spirited writer of children's books. The result is an electrified battle of wits and wiles that is, at turns, both affecting and amusing. These two star-crossed lovebirds couldn't have less in common, and their initial coming together is marked by conflict, rancor, and even tragedy. Yet over the long haul, they discover that love can not only bloom in these seemingly infertile soils, it can thrive.
Molly Somerville has long had a secret crush on the Chicago Stars' key player, quarterback Kevin Tucker. Kevin's career is hard for Molly to escape, given that Molly's older sister, Phoebe, is the owner of the team. Consequently, Molly also knows about Kevin's penchant for dating gorgeous bimbos and his puzzling need to partake of risky, life-endangering hobbies, a trait that drives Phoebe crazy. Molly, however, can relate to this part of Kevin, as she has shown a tendency toward some pretty reckless behavior herself.
When fate places Molly and Kevin alone together for a weekend in Phoebe's isolated cabin, sparks fly and passions flare when both refuse to leave. In the end, Molly makes her most reckless decision yet by climbing into bed while Kevin is sleeping and seducing him before he knows what's happened. When she ends up pregnant, Kevin insists on marrying her for propriety's sake. And when Molly then has a miscarriage, it leaves both of them wounded and wary. Forced to spend their summer at the beleaguered and rundown wilderness resort that Kevin has inherited from a relative, the twosome spruce the place up and get it to turn a profit. In the process they discover the healing power of love, but not before learning some hard truths about themselves, their pasts, and their feelings for each other.
Phillips includes several intriguing subplots in This Heart of Mine and tackles some issues that are emotionally and ethically touchy. Although she wisely avoids offering easy solutions and neatly tied packages, she does provide plenty of resolution. And despite all the pathos, there's plenty of humor to be found. In fact, in the end, shared laughter proves to be every bit as powerful as shared love.
Contributing editor Beth Amos is the author of three novels, including Cold White Fury and Second Sight.