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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Endearing Love Story...
Molly Somerville had previously lived the kind of life most only dream of. That is, until she decided to give her entire fifteen million dollar inheritance to charity. Now she's the struggling author of children's books featuring the characters Daphne the Bunny and Benny the Badger. It may be a little more than coincidence that Daphne and Benny are mirror images of...
Published on March 26 2004 by klpepsi

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3.0 out of 5 stars good....but the book is better
This is the first novel I listened to after reading the novel itself. I always believe that it's better to read a book than listen to it, coz u can imagine however u want them to sound, and then there's the abridge and unabridge part. I'll give it to Van Dyke, She did a wonderful job in reading the novel. She is a very good actress and knew how to potray every emotions...
Published on Jan. 27 2004 by Jem S.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Endearing Love Story..., March 26 2004
This review is from: This Heart Of Mine: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Molly Somerville had previously lived the kind of life most only dream of. That is, until she decided to give her entire fifteen million dollar inheritance to charity. Now she's the struggling author of children's books featuring the characters Daphne the Bunny and Benny the Badger. It may be a little more than coincidence that Daphne and Benny are mirror images of herself, and the object of her long-term infatuation.
Kevin Tucker is the famous quarterback for the Chicago Stars football team, owned by Molly's sister, Phoebe. Kevin is wild, gorgeous, infuriating and barely knows she's alive. But that's all about to change. Because Molly has a wild streak of her own, and when her and Kevin accidentally end up at the family vacation house together, her wild streak turns into an uncontrollable urge. Kevin is furious, and their lives irrevocably change.
Together they take a trip to Wind Lake, the drab campground of Kevin's childhood summers, which he recently inherited and can't wait to sell. What they find is a surprise - a bed and breakfast and a collection of beautiful, quaint cottages set in picturesque surroundings. Perhaps this is the place to put differences aside, heal old wounds, and grab onto a once in a lifetime love.
This is the fifth, and final installment in the Chicago Stars/Bonner Brothers series. For those of you who may not know, the order is: "It Had To Be You", "Heaven Texas", "Nobody's Baby But Mine", "Dream a Little Dream", and "This Heart of Mine". I confess I didn't read the series in order, and have yet to read, "Dream a Little Dream". However, this is a strong finish for an outstanding collection of books. I continue to be amazed at how SEP builds her complex characters, layer by layer, until they breathe with a life of their own. Molly and Kevin must each face the ghosts of their past, and struggle to accept their feelings for each other. The setting of Wind Lake was magical, and the humor SEP weaves in her stories so well, was present too. The baseball game has to be the funniest part of the book. And I love the Daphne and Benny story excerpts at the beginning of each chapter. Not only do I recommend this book, but the whole series (except "Dream a Little Dream" which I haven't read, so can't voice an opinion). In fact, three books of this series are some of my all-time favorite reads, with this being one of them. Enjoy!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars good....but the book is better, Jan. 27 2004
By 
Jem S. (BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
This is the first novel I listened to after reading the novel itself. I always believe that it's better to read a book than listen to it, coz u can imagine however u want them to sound, and then there's the abridge and unabridge part. I'll give it to Van Dyke, She did a wonderful job in reading the novel. She is a very good actress and knew how to potray every emotions displayed on each scene. My only disappointment, is the way they cut some of the scenes( a lot of scenes) that should be there. Of course it's an abridge reproduction. Just a warning to all those who read the novel and planning to buy the audio cassette, Lily's story is gone, but her reunion with her son is still there, and then there's no mention of Cal, no softball game, they also deleted the epilogue part where there's a big celebration in the gazebo with Bobby Tom, Cal, and Kenny, and a lot of more, they are all gone,as in nada.. and then, It's ok that they cut of the scence, but I dont like the way they cut it, and let the listeners assume some things that really didnt happen. All in all, I still encourage everybody to get the novel instead, just because the story is better off itself without any deletions or alterations. But as I said before, Jennifer Van Dyke is an excellent reader, and my opinion about of how the story came out has nothing to do with her talent.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I'm very disappointed with this book, Jan. 22 2004
By 
BajanReader (Barbados, West Indies) - See all my reviews
This review is from: This Heart Of Mine: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Firstly, let me say that I am a HUGE SEP fan. She has written books such as Nobody's Baby But Mine, Heaven Texas etc that have left a good lasting impression in my mind - the dialogue was wonderful, the relationships plausible, and the storyline believable... I cannot say the same for this book This Heart of Mine as it fell totally flat. I actually had to force myself to continue reading the book - something I've never had to do with a SEP novel before.
We first met Kevin Tucker in Nobody's Baby But Mine and I really liked him there. In this book SEP does not do him the justice he deserved... I'm not even sure I understand him at all. As for Molly, we met her in It Had To Be You (her sister's Phoebe's story) when she was a teenager and I can't say that I like her any better in this one. She does really stupid unjustifiable things and SEP tries to get the reader to understand it... come on... jumping into bed with Kevin, someone she didn't know and with one of his old condoms in hand - she went for one thing and one thing alone... and then when it all came crashing down on her she expected Kevin to understand and to empathise... Molly was too calculating and too deceitful for me to remotely care about her... and her jealousy of her sister (she wanted the same Great Love Story that Phoebe and Dan shared - maybe that's why she got fixated on a football star) was pathetic and immature. To top it all off there was no chemistry between Kevin and Molly and I don't think she deserved him. SEP couldn't even convince me that he really cared for her far less loved her.
*Sigh* All in all it was not an enjoyable read - it seemed forced and flat. I didn't like the main characters and the story was too hard to swallow. Take the advice from a true SEP fan - skip this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely awesome contemporary romance!, Jan. 20 2004
By 
V "readinganddreaming" (Tulsa, Ok, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: This Heart Of Mine: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
This Heart of Mine had it all when it comes to a great contemporary romance. The leads were well written and very likable, the story line did not have even one boring page, the secondary characters were really interesting, the romance was the primary emphasis throughout the book and the chemistry between the hero and heroine was sizzling. Add to that a most charming location, a very original story line, great humor throughout the book - yet a depth that kept this tale from being light hearted - and you have one of the best contemporary romances I have read in some time.
Kevin Tucker is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and plays for the Chicago Stars. Kevin is quite the celebrity and is very dedicated to his profession. Although Kevin is a bit of a womanizer and is known to date a lot of women that aspect makes up very little of the actual man Kevin is. He has been playing professionally for ten years for the Stars and plans to stay with the Chicago team even beyond his actual football career. He envisions coaching the team someday and remaining within the Stars corporate environment even beyond that. Football is his job and he makes sure his personal life does not cross with his professional life. Part of that isolation involves not becoming too close to the family that owns and manages the Stars. He is friends with the owners but never even considers a relationship with the owner's sister although he finds her attractive.
Molly Somerville is considered a spoiled heiress. Her sister owns the Chicago Stars football team and although Molly is very close to her sister and her family, she does not want or live a high profile life. In fact, the fifteen million Molly's father left to her now sits in a non-profit organization she created for a charity. Molly did not like the life of an heiress and her tendency to rely on her father's money rather than hard work for her living. So, she gave it away and now lives month to month as a fairly successful children's author. She loves her life and is actually quite mature in her life choices. She does not date men frivolously. When she finds herself sharing a vacation home, by mistake, with the famous quarterback of the Chicago Stars, she is quite startled by her overwhelming attraction to him. I can't say much more without giving away a portion of the story but this is the beginning of a somewhat reluctant relationship between Molly and Kevin. The book is quick to draw you in and has a most unusual beginning to the leads' improbable romance.
This was a book I did not want to put down. I loved the story - laughing again and again and then alternately feeling a tender sadness for Kevin and Molly - both with their experiences and vulnerabilities. This very entertaining story has quite a serious side but Phillips is very talented at blending the two aspects into an entrancing story. The sensual rating is about 4.0 out of 5.0 (see More About Me for rating guidelines). Two of the secondary characters, who are age 50 and 50 plus, add a very sexy flair with their relationship. This is a welcome surprise for the many romance readers out there that are members of the baby boomer generation.
I highly recommend This Heart of Mine. It was thrilling to find such a good book after a rather dry run in reading. This is my second Phillips book and I am eager to work through her backlist. It is a definite keeper.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great little modern day romance, March 13 2003
By 
janlouise (Ruston, LA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: This Heart Of Mine: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Molly Somerville, children's book author, has had a crush on football quarterback Kevin Tucker for years. Her sister being the owner of the Chicago Stars, Molly has had unlimited opportunity to be around at the right time to "feed the crush." Kevin doesn't even know she exist. Kevin is sent to the family vacation cabin to concentrate on getting ready for the season while Molly shows up to be alone and concentrate on writing. Alone she is not. He refuses to leave and she does too. Its a stand off. They decide they are adults and can handle sharing the cabin. But Molly's imagination and feelings get carried away. She sneaks into Kevin's bed while he's sleeping- dreaming of a recent girlfriend, only to take Molly into his arms. When waking up during their lovemaking, Molly is embarrassed and Kevin is furious. This throws them together under unexpected circumstances. It is a wonderful story. Though Kevin is a hunk- Molly is not the usual beauty, but more so the average built, but yet pretty in her own way, woman. Love has to find its way- while first impressions and intruding family members have to be set aside. It's a great story, a lot of fun. You'll find yourself laughing at parts. Enjoy it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A heartfelt romance, Oct. 4 2002
This review is from: This Heart of Mine (Hardcover)
Normally, novels that are simply classified as "romances" put me off. I bought the book originally, because I thought the cover was pretty and it was in a bargain bin. However, I really enjoyed it!
Molly has the reputation of leaping into "little acts of rebellion" when her life gets too predictable. However, this time she has leapt into bed with the star quarterback of her sister's football team, the Chicago Stars. Kevin has been a secret crush for years even though he possesses every quality Molly despises in men. They are thrown together under very unexpected circumstances and slowly begin to learn that first impressions aren't always correct.
I was really enthralled with this story. I happened to like the interjections of Daphne and Benny, characters from Molly's series of children's books. They were charming! I do agree that the love story was tied up a little too easily at the end. However, Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a good storyteller. Her writing is casual and easy to read. There were many interesting characters that kept the book moving along. This is my first SEP book and I think it's safe to say that it won't be the last!
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3.0 out of 5 stars "The Author and the Athlete", Sept. 30 2002
This review is from: This Heart Of Mine: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Heroine: average
She longed for him from afar--right under his very nose! Impetuous heiress-turned-authoress Molly Somerville has had a crush on leading quarterback Kevin Tucker for years, but despite her close ties to his team he's never taken notice of her.
Gorgeous Kevin Tucker has been too busy riding high on his fame as an NFL star, loving the limelight and the bevy international supermodels that come with it to pay heed to the brainy girl-next-door sister of his team's owner.
Thrown together under the worst of circumstances Kevin and Molly are left trying to make the best of a bad mess. What will it take to make the two of them breach each other's protective walls and discover the love hiding within them?
What worked for me:
 As far as snappy dialogue and cute images, there were some great gems to be found in the pages of this book.
Size-wise Molly was neither slender nor plump, but really quite athletic. Though she experienced some twinges over not having inherited her mother's showgirl body, she was glad for the healthy, whole body she did have.
I especially liked the fact that this story dealt not only with the issue of size but also with age, since there was a secondary romance featuring an older woman (who also happened to have some trouble accepting her body.)
What didn't work for me:    
 The initial getting-together of the rather immature heroine and hero felt more like a plot device from an historical novel, and seemed totally out of place in a contemporary setting.
Overall:
A solid read. There were some awkward plot issues, but they may be worth overlooking for the fine humor and the interesting secondary romance.
If you liked "This Heart of Mine" you might also enjoy: "It Had to be You", "Lola Carlyle Reveals All", "His Seductive Revenge", "Dear Cupid", "Looking for Laura", "Fast Women", or "Too Much Temptation".
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3.0 out of 5 stars A light, cute read in the shadow of its predecessors, July 15 2002
By 
Suzanne B. Kelly (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: This Heart Of Mine: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
SEP writes a fine, humorous, light romance, and so although I wait for the paperback release I treat it with some respect. For This Heart of Mine, I re-read Nobody's Baby But Mine and It Had To Be You to re-aquaint myself with Kevin and Molly. I had a great time with both books, re-affirming my long-ago decision to put these two books in my 'keeper box.'
So I had high, perhaps unrealistic expectations for "This Heart of Mine," following in the footsteps of two great SEP comedy-romances. I was pleased with Molly--being a quirky children's book author made perfect sense for her, and made for some great, humorous lines. I agree with other reviewers, though, that Kevin was a disappointment; so much time was spent describing his muscles, and so little time spent on his internal motivations, that she could have inserted a cut-out of a Calvin Klein underwear model to the same effect.
Molly's tragedy is handled sensitively, and she is allowed a generous amount of book time to recover, but Kevin's turn-around from his own personal upheaval seems to happen in the blink of an eye. We never know why he is suddenly plunged into life-threatening activities, only that he is happy he finally found someone to share them with. I never felt I understood him. Given SEP's great track record as far as describing her male characters' thoughts, desires, and motivations, I can only assume that she didn't know what to make of Kevin, either.
So while I would most heartily recommend Nobody's Baby But Mine, It Had to Be You, and even Heaven, Texas (although it was a little 'over the top' for me), This Heart of Mine is a borrower, not a keeper.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Stale Story, April 24 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: This Heart Of Mine: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
This is only the third SEP book that I have read and already I'm finding that she's basically writing the same story just with different titles. I have to agree with another reviewer about Molly and Kevin having no chemistry whatsoever. They fought and had sex, but there really was no understandable reason for them to have a "Great Love" as described in the book. It really seemed like Kevin settles for Molly as the pieces of his life fall into place. Another major problem I have with SEP's writing is that she always interjects another love story apart from the main love story. This irritates me, because I feel like I'm reading two books at once. This dual love story makes the reading of the book choppy and really lessens the main love story. I just think it's superfluous page-fillers. Moreover, it's always the same formula: the main love story has the reluctant male and the secondary love story has the reluctant female who is usually the mother of the reluctant male. For those looking for a better SEP book, try "Heaven Texas," if you can find it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first SEP book I read and still one of my favorites, March 29 2002
By 
DNP "waterlily525" (Framingham, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: This Heart Of Mine: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
I guess the title of my review states it. By the end, I liked it well enough to first reread it and subsequently read almost all of her other books. The characters were so human, it was easy to start feeling close to them.
For instance, those of you who do NOT have model-perfect figures, have you ever had to deal with body-image insecurity? (Lilly) Or have you ever thought of having a makeover but didn't do it because you knew it wouldn't "fix" what was "wrong" with your life? (Molly, at the vacation home) Or concentrated solely on your career or something else because doing that was easier than trying to sort out emotional issues? (Kevin)
By the way, for the reviewers who couldn't figure out why Molly started fantasizing she was someone else during the long-awaited love-scene with Kevin: The book actually explains it. If she was "Molly" she'd have to stop Kevin and put her clothes back on because "Molly" isn't self-destructive and she believes pursuing this relationship is going to end up with her being hurt. Pretending that she was a "slave girl" and he was a "sultan" was her way of allowing herself to enjoy what was happening, not a way of dissociating!
My other favorite SEP book is Kiss an Angel. I guess what both books have in common, even though the characters are very different, is how the main characters change and grow. By the end, you're just cheering for their "triumphs" and so sad to see the story end.
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This Heart Of Mine: A Novel
This Heart Of Mine: A Novel by Susan E Phillips (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 17 2002)
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