AAR’s reviewed Susan Elizabeth Phillips sixteen times–we’ve given her ten DIKs. The lowest grade she’s gotten here is a single C. (That book, Dance Away with Me, also got a B here.) Given that she’s been writing since 1983–her first book, The Copeland Bride, was published under the name Justine Cole. Most romance readers first discovered her in 1991 when she wrote Hot Shot, a remarkably prophetic book about the the rise of the personal computer. Wikipedia credits her with inventing the sports romance and her Chicago Stars series is one of the best selling romance series of its era. Other than The Copeland Bride, we’ve reviewed all but two of her books: Heroes Are My Weakness and Fancy Pants.
When I first started reading romance, Phillips was one of the first authors I glommed. I love stories with secondary romances and she does them beautifully–Jack and April, Lilly and Liam, Torie and Dexter, to name just a few. The Chicago Stars series is still, with Rachel Gibson’s Chinooks, one of my favorite two sport romance series of all time.
Many readers find Phillips’ work problematic. Endless ink has been spilled about consent in This Heart of Mine and in Nobody’s Baby But Mine. (It’s interesting that in both cases the aggressor is the heroine.) The hero in Kiss an Angel is not for the faint of heart and the actions of Way, the secondary romance lead in Heaven, Texas are decidedly iffy.
What do you think? Do you love SEP? Did you once but no longer do? And whatever you think, tell us why!