on May 26, 2008
I only recently discovered Susan Elizabeth Phillips, but have read 5 of her books already, with Lady Be Good being my fifth read. Let me say that the first 4 books I read by SEP (It Had to Be You; This Heart of Mine; Dream a Little Dream and Natural Born Charmer) were fabulous. I laughed, I cried, I loved both the main characters and the secondary characters and I know I will read those books again.
Lady Be Good is another matter altogether. I found the storyline weak and the main female character beyond annoying. She, actually, was pathetic and ridiculous. A self-righteous, know-it-all with, in my view, no redeeming qualities. Without giving the story away, for a supposedly smart woman, she was actually quite stupid and infantile. If Lady E had not been so disagreeable, I would have almost felt sorry for her, but she was the type of person who you just want to tatoo a big "L" on their forehead so others would know right off the bat that the person was a loser.
I did manage to finish the book, but it didn't leave me feeling good. I will, however, read more SEP because one bad book out of five is a good track record.
on July 9, 2002
I've only read one other book by Susan Phillips (Heaven, Texas) and that was enough to keep me going back for more. I can definitely already begin to recognize certain trademarks in her work: athlete heros, heroines who are eccentric in one way or another, and great secondary characters. This novel was no exception, although I enjoyed Heaven, Texas more. Phillips does a great job of characterization, always creating characters who do not fit the stereotyped profile of romance novel heroes/heroines. Kenny is sexy in his own lazy, laid-back type of way and the secondary character, Dex, is sexy in his own computer-geek way. Somehow she makes all of this work. I especially enjoy the way Phillips gives readers insight into the thoughts of the characters. She handles this part subtlely by giving us insight into how the characters, especially the heroes, gradually come to realize they're in love with the heroines. Gradually is the key word that makes this so specially. I really hate it when a writer expects readers to believe that the main characters mentally acknowledge their attachment to each other within days of their first encounter. In Phillips' novels, the love a hero feels for the heroine sneaks up on him unawares and readers are privy to that process.
This novel was funny & sexy and I'd recommend it.
on December 14, 2001
Although I generally enjoy Phillips and her First Lady book is a favorite, this book has to be one of the worst contemporary romances I have ever read. The originating event that leads the heroine to our hero has to be one of the weakest plot devices ever used in a contemporary romance. In fact, it is just stupid, to say nothing of unbelievable. The author asks us to believe that in the 1990s there is an attractive 30 year old virgin who is headmistress of an exclusive girls's school in England who is being blackmailed by an obnoxious nobleman (on whose estate this long-lived school is located) into marrying him to provide him with a desperately-longed for male heir because he has picked her out as the ONLY possible wife for himself. If she does not marry her virgin self to him he will have the school torn down. So she decides that she must publicly prove herself to be a less than a virgin so that the evil nobleman will no longer want her and therefore give up his treacherous designs on the school's land. Give me a break. I am willing to suspend credulity, but only so far. This plot device would work in a Regency romance, but not in a modern romance. Also -- how many 30 year olds are headmistresses (to say nothing of virgins)? And what kind of idiots are the school's board of trustees to have operated a school on land without any contract whatsoever? And if she publicly humiliates the nobleman by proving that she, his publicly affianced, is (not a virgin) -- won't there be retribution anyway? Anyway, she decides to go to Texas to lose her virginity (...). Her best friend arranges for the hero(of course, a gorgeous Texas jock) to be her escort. Although he is the world's best golfer, she has never seen his picture or even heard his name. Okaaay. By the time they get to his condo from the airport he has convinced her that he is a male prostitute and for a fee will be happy to deflower her. (Either she is too stupid and gullible to be a school headmistress or the author thinks we readers are stupid and gullible enough to buy this tripe.) And it gets worse, because every time she does something publicly to prove she is less than pristine (because she knows the evil nobleman has sent a spy to Texas to check up on her) the reports the nobleman gets are less than accurate, because it turns out our hero is the spy and does not want to publicly brand her as tawdry! How the hero and the evil nobleman have a connection is just unbelievable. Then there is a truly annoying subplot with the hero's sister being forced to marry her father's business partner, (another Regency device) who of course turns out to love her and be a pistol in bed (but she must be shown her place and spanked before the sex occurs). Yeeech. I could have lived without that scene in my life. The hero's problem revolves around his work life and the climax of the book turns out to be a golf game described in excruciating detail. This book would have possibly worked as a Regency romance and should have been set there. The author uses a very similar scenario in the far superior, Heaven, Texas (virgin meets hot Texas jock). I gave it two stars because the love scenes between the main characters are well written and the writing is engaging enough where I did not throw the book across the room in disgust at the idiotic plot and subplots.
on August 19, 2001
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is known for her combination of humor and romance, and this book doesn't disappoint. I laughed so hard that I cried during the first 100 pages. This is the story of Lady Emma Wells-Finch, the very proper headmistress of a girl's school in England. She is visiting Texas to do some research on a book, and decides that this is the perfect opportunity to ruin her spotless reputation (something that is necessary to save the school for reasons that are rather implausible). Her friend Francesa Beaudine has persuaded Kenny Travers, a star golf pro currently banned from the PGA tour, to act as her chauffer and guide. Kenny is drop dead gorgeous (think Pierce Bronson) and has a quirky sense of humor. He plays on the fact that Emma has no idea who is and actually persuades her that his escort services are comprehensive - for a fee. Emma seizes the opportunity to play the bad girl and hires him for the night. Up until this point, the book is absolutely hilarious. While it remains funny (Kenny's sister is particularly amusing), it then takes a more serious turn as Emma travels to Kenny's home and helps him struggle with the ghosts from his past. This is where I had a little trouble with the narrative. Kenny is supposedly a decent, hardworking man who encourages everyone that he is an obnoxious oaf. Huh? Believe it or not, Phillips almost makes it work. In any event it provides the background for a very sweet romance between Kenny and Emma. This isn't SEP's best, but it's still a very enjoyable read. P.S. It'll be interesting to see what she comes up with for Teddy Beaudine.
on June 21, 2001
I'm telling you right now, if you have things to do, don't pick up this book, because you'll never be able to put it back down, just like me. Good thing I'm on summer break right now so it doesn't matter how late I stay up. This book is so cute and funny and I have always loved the books written by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
In this book, bad boy Kenny Travler meets up with a conservative English lady, Lady Emma, and together they embark on an incredible journey. Kenny is a pro-golfer and is at the top of his game, except...he has been suspended by the commissioner from the PGA tour, and Emma is the headmistress of a private school and has a slate too clean that will get her in trouble. So, she has to ruin her reputation to get herself out of the grasp of a duke who wants to marry her so she can save her precious school! But nothing ever comes easy, since Kenny ends up being her escort, and just ends up trying to keep her from killing herself and trying to keep a squeaky clean rep at the same time! Their adventures are truly wonderful, and I know if you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it back down either!
on September 15, 2000
Well, I have been considering reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips for a while now ever since _First Lady_ came out and my bookstore had a huge display set up for it. I walked past it a dozen times, each time thinking "I wonder if she's good". Well, this summer, I finally got a chance to find out, boy is she ever! Susan's words come alive on the page, and her stories are so enveloping that you won't want to do anything but read. I became extremly involved in the lives of Kenny and Emma. Their story was fresh and truly one of my favorite contemporary stories. This book made me look at golf in a diferent way. First, I've got to tell that my family is all about golf. We live and breathe it here. So, when I saw that Kenny was a golfer, I was a little wary. But, I now see golf in a diferent light, and maybe even (gasp!) like it just a little bit. For those of you out there who want to learn a little bit about the PGA tour while enjoying yourself, pick up this book! You will learn little facts without even knowing it. Kenny was a dear character. At first, you'll think he's a lazy slug, but you will soon find out that that is just a cover to what he's really like. Emma was one of those females that you hope you'll be like one day. She's kind, caring, passionate and not perfect... my favorite combo. And SEP's writing. Gosh, what can I say? She's fabulous... absolutely fabulous. _Lady Be Good_ is one of the best books I've ever read. But don't just take my word for it; pick up a copy and see for yourself!
on November 9, 1999
I read the bookk and at times found it confusing, but for the most part entertainig. The characters were beleviable, and their situations entertaining. If you want to read a book that goes straight to your heart, read Stolen Moments by Barbara Jeanne Fisher. . .It is a beautiful story of unrequited love. . .for certain the love story of the nineties. I intended to give the book a quick read, but I got so caught up in the story that I couldn't put the book down. From the very beginning, I was fully caught up in the heart-wrenching account of Julie Hunter's battle with lupus and her growing love for Don Lipton. This love, in the face of Julie's impending death, makes for a story that covers the range of human emotions. The touches of humor are great, too, they add some nice contrast and lighten things a bit when emotions are running high. I've never read a book more deserving of being published. It has rare depth. Julie's story will remind your readers that life and love are precious and not to be taken for granted. It has had an impact on me, and for that I'm grateful. Stolen Moments is written with so much sensitivity that it made me want to cry. It is a spellbinder. What terrific writing. Barbara does have an exceptional gift! This book was edited by Lupus specialist Dr. Matt Morrow too, and has the latest information on that disease. ..A perfect gift for someone who started college late in life, fell in love too late in life, is living with any illness, or trying to understand a loved one who is. . .A Christmas gift to be cherished forever.
on June 1, 1999
The worst thing about SEP is that she has set such hight standards that even the slightest variation on her themes will get her in big trouble with her fans! Compared with the excellent "It had to be you" or "Nobody's baby but mine", this book doesn't quite make the grade. The hero isn't as smart or engaging as past heros (noone touches Cal or Dan), but the heroine is so much like Gracie Snow (Heaven, Texas) that it's scary. And while it's borderline believable that Bobby Tom (God, I really disliked that name) might really fall in love with a woman he consistently considered beneath him all through the novel (you can tell I didn't like this one, in fact, I'm considering reviewing it) anyway, the love story between Kenny and Emma somehow doesn't really come across. First of all, the remarks that he really is intelligent AND has history books at home don't convince me he has common interests with a British school teacher. But even allowing for the fact that love isn't a logical conclusion of common interests, I also didn't buy the fact that Kenny sort of "overlooks" the fact that Emma is basically too bossy for him because he thinks it's funny. Otherwise, the wacky secondary characters in SEP books are getting better and better!! Loved every single one of them and I'm also dying to have a book about Ted Beaudine!!!!
on April 27, 1999
In LADY BE GOOD, we meet Lady Emma Wells-Finch, a woman trying desperately to disillusion a wicked Duke intent on marrying her. She comes to America hoping to tarnish her "good girl" image. Her friend Francy recommends her friend Jake Traveler to show the sights of Texas. Jake Traveler, a champion golfer recently suspended from the sport by Francy's husband Dally, agrees to show Emma around only because Francy promises to see if she can convince her husband into ending his suspension. When Emma and Jake meet, their attraction is wickedly erotic. Unfortunately, they can barely stand each other's presence most of the time. But soon enough, the love-hate relationship evolves into a flaming romance.
Jake and Emma are two of the most stubborn people you'll ever meet. They are outrageously hilarious at times in their struggle to figure out what they want from one another. Jake's sister is delightful aswell as she tries to hopelessly avoid the man that wants her. It was great to see how Francy and Dally, the beloved main characters of FANCY PANTS, were doing. I loved their son Ted and was thrilled to know that their once "ugly duckling" tranformed into a gorgeous hunk. I would love to see a story based on him.
All in all, LADY BE GOOD is a wonderful story filled with misunderstandings, war between the sexes, humor, and most definitely passionate love. I recommend it. You'll enjoy it. Trust me!
on December 13, 1998
The acting Profeesional Golf Association (PGA) commissioner Dallie Beaudine indefinitely suspends Kenny Traveler for his latest scandal. Dallie warns the internationally renowned playboy that if he fails to clean up his act, he will not return to his favorite sport in time to play on the Seniors Tour. Dallie's spouse needs an escort for her visiting English friend, Lady Emma Wells-Finch. A reluctant Kenny agrees to do it in order to get on the good side of the commissioner.
Emma, the headmistress of a school for girls who has lived a very vice-free life, is being pressured to marry someone she does not love. Her perspective groom blackmails her with threatening to close down her beloved school. Emma needs a scandal to wreck her reputation and turn her into soiled goods. Kenny is perfect for the part except he wants to remain clean in order to regain his card. However, neither one anticipated love would intercede in their relationship.
LADY BE GOOD is a witty contemporary romance that has the trademark Susan Elizabeth Phillips' humorous relationships between the sexes running throughout the story. The lead characters are at their teasing best when they interact, leaving readers with a fabulous romantic romp. Like DREAM A LITTLE DREAM, this novel appears to be another bestseller by a great contemporary writer.