I just finished Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
Seriously...I can't say enough about this book. I loved the town. I LOVED the farm. I want to MOVE there. Holy crap, between April's spectacular renovations and the hilarity that goes on in that town? NOT TO MENTION the hilarity between Dean and Blue? OH my god I am in such withdrawal.
I have to send out a huge THANK YOU to JJ and Tonya, because they made me read this book. And JJ is also a thousand percent correct in her assessment that this would make a fantastic screenplay. I see this as a weekly TV series. This town...these characters...they are just too good not to take to another level. I can't get enough of them.
I have to admit though...I was reeling when Dean's friends showed up out of nowhere and he blew off Blue. WTF?!? Don't get me wrong - I understood him being blind-sided and not quite knowing what to do or say. But when Blue went to the STORE FOR THAT BITCH, COURTNEY?!? OH my god, I was so mad at her for doing that. My ass would have walked out then and there. I won't blame Dean, because I'm not sure he even know that happened, but still. He left with them and apparently accepted Courtney as one of his many girlfriends for the day. More WTF?!? THAT was stepping WAY out of line. I wished we'd have heard that he pulled her aside and set her straight (like he did with that bimbo at the end, thank god.) I was literally shaking in my bed when I read that whole section. I couldn't put it down because I could not even begin to think about sleeping after that.
Relationships I loved:
When Dean finally gave in and let himself become Riley's brother. I was aching for this to happen. Hell, I'd love a book about their relationship in the years to come.
Jack and Blue? Priceless. She was terrified of him and I could relate to that in a zillion ways. My Jack Patriot is John Taylor from Duran Duran. (I can hear you giggling across the country, Staci!) When I first met him (yes, I said "first". Groupie, much?), I figured I'd never get the chance to speak to him again (and had some serious beer guts working). So I tapped him on the back to get his attention...and when he turned around, all I could manage was "Great show!" GREAT SHOW?! Reminds me of Baby in Dirty Dancing. "I carried a watermelon?!" This was followed by a horrifically embarrassing interview at a Duran Duran gallery exhibit where I told the camera I couldn't believe the suit he wore in the Save a Prayer video was so..."orange"...knowing the video was for him. Yes. You read that right. Fifty million times I've watched Save a Prayer, and that's all I can get out of my mouth?!? Orange?! OK - digression over. Moving on...
Riley and Nita - OMG Nita made my heart bleed a few times. And even though her compliments were half-assed and backhanded, I knew she meant well and was just as insecure as everyone else. And I have to tell you, I'm a little upset that Jack left with April and Riley. Poor Nita! New housekeeper or not, she and Riley were great little friends. I hope Riley visits every summer and Skypes with Nita.
Speaking of Nita...one person who instantly came to my mind to play her: Dale Raoul who plays Maxine Fortenberry on True Blood. I know she's much younger than the character, but I can't help it. She plays such a tremendous southern, small-town BEOTCH on True Blood; I saw her immediately when Nita showed up in the diner and sat down with Blue and Riley. Perhaps we can un-gnarl her knuckles just a wee bit? :)
More casting tomorrow. I'm going to be thinking about this in my sleep.
OMIGOSH!! I'm so glad you loved this book! I couldn't believe how SEP managed to make me care about each and every relationship she introduced. So many layers to this story.........and these characters. I mean seriously, how on earth could she make me LOVE and feel sorry for Nita?
I laughed sooooooo hard. I BAWLED sooooooo hard. It def is an Advil book. My WORD my sinus' were throbbing the day after I finished this book.
This book grabbed me right from page 1. The whole "beav" story line was hilarious. Blue calling Dean "gay". Dean playing along. OMGosh. I was snorting myself silly.
HAHA!! JJ and Tonya forced this on me too and I'm so glad they did! I loved the whole damn thing. Totally agree with Dale Raoul for Nita. She would absolutely nail it!
I'm so glad you loved it! I was a little nervous recommending it to everyone. You never know how that's going to go. That book grabs you from page one and never lets go. I adore Dean and Blue and all the characters. It's just great. So many scenes broke my heart. Definitely a couple of the scenes with April and Dean and a couple with him and Jack. Ugh...and the dancing. Sigh....I loved how April just wanted to build a home for Dean even if he never knew it came from her. I'm with you Carol though on that whole scene with Dean and his friends. BARF BARF BARF!! I wanted to die! SEP humor in this book was spot on. LOVED it. If you're not hooked from the opening scene in this book then there is something wrong with you. There are so many good quotes in this book but I think the one that sums it up the best is:
“Life sure is easier when you're rich."
"And a natural born charmer. Don't forget that part."
"How could I?" she retorted. "It's the only thing we have in common.”
PS LMAO with the John Taylor reference. It was hilarious how Blue absolutely could not even speak around Jack. And Dean was all like "You traitor! Seriously not you too, please." That was so funny.
You know what might make an AWESOME book? A book with a grown-up Riley as the heroine. Then we could see how the relationship developed, get some insight into Blue and Dean and their crazy beautiful children and see how big brother Dean reacts to Riley falling in love. Sigh....that would be the best.
THIS! This was such a great addition to the book. Blue was just always so cool and always had the perfect thing to say to everyone BUT she was a total fool around Jack. So funny!
I'm such a dolt. I seriously thought JJ was punking me or something. I was like, "headless beaver? WTF? It took me a couple "iphone pages" of text to figure that out.
It really was an awesome book. Thanks, Ladies! Dean and Blue were just so perfect together. I love that she always stayed true to herself. I read so many books where drop-dead gorgeous women who are being followed around by every man in the universe are all like, "He likes me? I can't believe it. Why would he like me?" Frack off! Blue was not gorgeous in an obvious way but she never put herself down and I LOVED that.
YES!! I loved when she told Dean that she knew she wasn't beautiful and that was OK because she had so much character that adding beauty would just be greedy. LOL.
This was my hint to Donna that "yes you read it remember the headless beaver". If that doesn't jog your memory I don't know what will. :0)
Wow I missed a ton of comments while I was on vacation. You guys rock for continuing the conversation!! I NEED more Dean and Blue! Think she'd write a sequel if we asked her nicely?? :)
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