adult · book · review · romance · sports

It Had to Be You (Chicago Stars, #1) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Hello readers,

Today I’m going to talk about about a book I read last year and like it so much that I want to read it again – I’m talking about the It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. If I had to be honest, I don’t think there is a book from SEP that I don’t love, but this one is really really good!

Can you believe that it was first published in 1994, marking this year its 26 anniversary! And why nobody talks about this masterpiece!?

‘What if a woman who knows nothing about sports inherits a professional football team? The Windy City definitely isn’t ready for Phoebe Somerville, the outrageous York knockout who’s taking over their home town team. And Phoebe is definitely not prepared for the Stars’ head coach Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. This is the book that began it all. The Chicago Stars are about to take the field… and they’re not the only ones playing for keeps’.

This book is romantic, funny but also emotional – the perfect recipe for a someone that loves romance. Sometimes I wanted to cry but then I wanted to laugh, and that’s how good this book is. The ending is absolutely brilliant.

The book starts with Phoebe showing at her father’s funeral, the Chicago Stars team owner, with her dog and a male friend (a beautiful but gay male friend). Her dog kind of makes a big mess and Phoebe physique makes all the team think that she’s a bimbo!

But she’s so underestimated! Then she inherits her father’s futebol team. Unfortunately, this ‘gift’ wasn’t given out of kindness. Her father always saw her as a failure and the opportunity to run the team is, in the end, just a test – if the team don’t win the championship, she loses the inheritance.

The disagreements between Phoebe and her father are more than what was showed in the beginning, because when she was younger, Phoebe was raped in a party and her father never believed her. In fact, in the end of the book we discover who raped her and I have to say that I was expecting it but at the same time it was a surprise and the scene were she’s confronted is very strong.

I loved Phoebe’s character and the way she never slut-shames any of her stepmothers (she had a few), at one point she even says that they are strong women because they were survivors who did the best they could with their lives.

Her locked room speech was really good! Oh and her relationship with the players and specially with Ron was so cute!

At one point of the book, Phoebe found out about Dan and Sharon (his ex-wife) when they are playing a rape scene! When she drops by unexpectedly, Dan mistakes her for his ex-wife and drags Phoebe off into the woods while saying threatening things. Phoebe, who was a rape victim, freaks out, and Dan doesn’t realize anything is wrong until she starts screaming.

I didn’t like his excuse (it was dark, really?).

Phoebe never blamed Sharon, she blamed Dan! How unbelievable is a book with 26 years old where someone blames the cheater instead of the cheatee! yeah, pretty good!

Do you see why I love Phoebe?! She’s clever and even through she was raped, suffered blow after blow to her self-esteem, she learned how to take advantage of the male specie, and how to beat bullies.

Molly, Phoebe’s younger sister, is also a relatable character and their relationship was so good to read! I understand the point of view of each sister and I was so sorry that these sisters didn’t stay together from the beginning. But they overcome their differences and it’s really nice to know that in the end they have the relationship they deserve.

Dan is strange. I liked the character and then on some chapters, I didn’t like very much. He’s the cocky coach of the Chicago Stars. Dan never showed faith in Phoebe and 80% of the book, he misunderstands Phoebe actions. The chemistry between them was amazing and it was what saved their relationship in the book.

I really hope you give a chance to this book, I’m sure you will love it! The good news is that if you liked Molly’s character (Phoebe sister), you’ll love to know there’s a book about her in this series!

In my opinion, this book deserves 5 stars.


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