This Heart of Mine (Chicago Stars Series #5)

This Heart of Mine (Chicago Stars Series #5)

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Molly Somerville knows she has a reputation for trouble. She did give away her fifteen million dollar inheritance, but, hey, nobody's perfect. yes, Molly's happy about almost everything...except her long term crush on the daredevil quarterback for the Chicago Stars, that awful, gorgeous Kevin Tucker...a man who can't even remember her name!

One night Molly's penchant for running into trouble runs her right into Kevin himself, turning her world upside down. Heartbreak follows, and just when she's certain things can't get worse, Kevin forces his way back into her life. She and Kevin battle their attraction while trying to cope with an aging, sexpot actress and a pair of teenage newlyweds.

Their careers and lives are in crisis...yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Sometimes falling in love hurts, sometimes it makes you mad as hell, and sometimes...if you're very can heal in a most special and unexpected way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780694524938
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/06/2001
Series: Chicago Stars Series , #5
Edition description: Abridged
Product dimensions: 4.34(w) x 7.07(h) x 1.23(d)

About the Author

Susan Elizabeth Phillips soared onto the New York Times bestseller list with Dream a Little Dream. She’s the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a hiker, gardener, reader, wife, and mother of two grown sons.

Jennifer Van Dyck has starred on and off Broadway, in such films as The Contender and Bullets Over Broadway, and on television in Law & Order and Spin City.


Chicago, Illinois

Place of Birth:

Cincinnati, Ohio


B.F.A., Ohio University

Read an Excerpt

Daphne the Bunny was admiring her sparkly violet nail polish when Benny the Badger zoomed past on his red mountain bike and knocked her off her paws.

"Oh, you pesky badger!" she exclaimed. "Somebody needs to squeeze the air out of your tires."

     -- from Daphne Takes a Tumble

Chapter One

The day Kevin Tucker nearly killed her, Molly Somerville swore off unrequited love forever.

She was dodging the icy places in the Chicago Stars headquarters parking lot when Kevin came roaring out of nowhere in his brand new one hundred and forty thousand dollar fire-engine red Ferrari 355 Spider. With tires shrieking and engine snarling, the low-slung car sprang around the corner, spewing slush. As the rear end flew toward her, she flung herself backward, hit the bumper of her brother-in-law's Lexus, lost her footing, and fell in a cloud of angry exhaust.

Kevin Tucker didn't even slow.

Molly gazed at the fading taillights, gritted her teeth, and picked herself up. Dirty snow and muck clung to one leg of her excruciatingly expensive Comme des Garçon pants, her Prada tote was a mess, and her Italian boots had a scratch. "Oh, you pesky quarterback," she muttered under her breath. "Somebody needs to castrate you."

He hadn't even seen her, let alone noticed that he'd nearly killed her! Of course, that was nothing new. Kevin Tucker had spent his entire career with the Chicago Stars football team not noticing her.

Daphne dusted off her fluffy white cottontail, rubbed the dirt from her shimmery blue pumps, and decided to buy herself the fastest pair of rollerblades in the whole world. So fast she could catch up with Benny and his mountain bike…

Molly spent a few moments contemplating chasing Kevin in the chartreuse Volkswagen Beetle she'd bought used after she'd sold her Mercedes sports coupe, but even her fertile imagination couldn't conjure up a satisfactory conclusion to that scene. As she headed toward the front entrance of Stars headquarters, she shook her head in self-disgust. The man was reckless, shallow, and he only cared about football. Enough was enough. She was finished with unrequited love.

Not that it was really love. Instead, she had a pathetic crush on the jerk, which might be excusable if she were sixteen, but was ludicrous for a twenty-seven year old woman with a near genius I.Q.

Some genius.

A blast of warm air hit her as she entered the lobby through a set of glass doors emblazoned with the team logo consisting of three interlocking gold stars in a sky blue oval. She no longer spent much time at the Chicago Stars headquarters as she'd done when she was still in high school. Even then, she'd felt like a stranger. As a dyed-in-the-wool romantic, she preferred ready a really good novel or losing herself in a museum to contact sports. Of course she was a dedicated Stars fan, but her loyalty was more a product of family background than natural inclination. Sweat, blood, and the violent clashing of shoulder pads were as foreign to her nature as…well…Kevin Tucker.

"Aunt Molly!"

"We've been waiting for you!"

"You'll never ever guess what happened!"

She smiled as her beautiful eleven-year-old nieces came flying into the lobby, blond hair streaming behind them.

Tess and Julie looked like miniature versions of their mother, Molly's older sister Phoebe. The girls were identical twins, but Tess was enveloped in jeans and a baggy Stars sweatshirt, while Julie wore black capris and a pink sweater.

The twins screeched to a stop. Whatever they'd been about to tell Molly vanished as they stared at her hair.

"Oh my god, it's red."

"Really red!"

"That's so cool! Why didn't you tell us?"

"It was sort of an impulse," Molly replied.

"I'm gonna dye my hair just like it!" Julie announced.

"Not your best idea," Molly said quickly. "Now what were you going to tell me?"

"Dad is like so mad," Tess declared, eyes wide.

Julie's eyes grew even larger. "Him and Uncle Ron have been fighting with Kevin again."

Molly's ears perked up, even though she'd turned her back forever on unrequited love.

"What did he do? Other than nearly run me over."

"He did?"

"Never mind. Tell me."

Julie took a gulp of air. "He went skydiving in Denver the day before the Broncos game."

"Oh, boy…" Molly's heart sank.

"Dad just found out about it, and he fined him ten thousand dollars!"

"Wow." As far as Molly knew, this was the first time Kevin had ever been fined for his recklessness.

"Dad yells all the time, but I never heard him yell at Kevin until today," Tess reported. "And Kevin yelled back. He said he knew what he was doing and he wasn't hurt and Dad should stay out of his private business."

Molly winced. "I'll bet your dad didn't like that."

"He really yelled then," Julie said. "Uncle Ron tried to calm them down, but Coach came in, and then he started yelling, too."

They were interrupted by the pounding of sneakers as her five year old nephew Andrew came flying around the corner, much like Kevin's Ferrari. "Aunt Molly! Guess what?" He hurled himself against her knees. "Everybody yelled and my ears hurt."

Since Andrew was blessed not only with his father's good looks, but also Dan Calebow's booming voice, Molly sincerely doubted that. Still, she stroked his head. "I'm sorry."

He looked up at her with stricken eyes. "And Kevin was soooo mad at Daddy and Uncle Ron and Coach that he said the eff word."

"He shouldn't have done that."


"Oh, dear." Molly resisted a smile. Spending so much time inside the headquarters of a National Football League team office made it inevitable that the Calebow children heard more than their share of obscenities, but the family rules were clear. Inappropriate language in the Calebow household meant heavy fines, although not as heavy as Kevin's ten thousand dollars.

She couldn't understand it. One of the things she most hated about her crush'her ex-crush'on Kevin was the fact that her crush was on Kevin, the most shallow man on earth. Football was all that mattered to him. Football and an endless parade of blank-faced international models. Where did he find them?

"Hi, Aunt Molly."

Unlike her siblings, eight year old Hannah walked toward Molly instead of running. Although Molly loved all four children equally, her heart held a special place for this vulnerable middle child who didn't share either her siblings athletic prowess nor their bottomless self-confidence. Instead, she was a dreamy romantic, a too-sensitive, overly imaginative bookworm with a talent for drawing just like her aunt.

"I like your hair."

"Thank you."

Hannah took a nibble from her bottom lip. "Did they tell you about the fight Kevin and Dad had?"

She looked upset, and Molly had a pretty good idea why. Kevin showed up at the Calebow house from time to time, and, like her foolish aunt, the eight-year-old had a crush on him. But unlike Molly, Hannah's love was pure.

This Heart of Mine. Copyright © by Susan Phillips. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

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This Heart of Mine 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 163 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book got really good about halfway through. Once Molly and Kevin began spending time together out at his family's campground, it started getting really interesting. I liked the relationship that grew between the two of them and I really liked the other characters as well. The ending was good...which is so important! I may recommend this book, although it's not one of my favorites.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed THIS HEART OF MINE, it was just a wonderful book. I liked finding out finding out what happened to Kevin and Molly after hearing about them in earlier books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed this book. This is not your typical romance. The characters are not stereotypes as expected and nothing can be predicted. This is a first SEP book I have read, so now I look forward to the rest of her stories. If you want to laugh and feel all warm and fuzzy inside, pick up this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first SEP book and I can't wait to read the rest of her books. I loved the characters and couldn't wait to get to the end of the book. This book will make you laugh and cry. Keep writing Ms. Phillips!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has it all; romance, fun, and tears. I fell in love with not only Kevin and Molly but both their families. All the characters were memorable. The romances were fun and sexy. A great book! My first book by this author but not my last. You never want to put it down or for it to end. I'm looking up her other books now!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my 1st S.E.P. book, but I have to say, if all her books are as great as this one, she is on my auto-buy list from now on! Loved this book! The characters were funny, and so real! Great job Susan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kevin is the star QB of the Chicago Stars. Molly is the sister of the owner. They are vaguely acquainted at the outset of the novel, but that rapidly changes. The novel is full of the dialogue and plot twists that SEP's books usually have, but somehow, this book didn't grab me. There was no explanation for Kevin's recent erratic behavior or for Molly's periodic outbursts of odd behavior. Ultimately, they just seem like strained mechanisms that force the plot along without any place within the story. I kept waiting for the book to become as interesting as SEP's early books, but it never happened. Not a bad book, but not the best of SEP's work. I'd wait for it in paperback or check it out at the local library.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In her late twenties, Molly Somerville, children¿s author of Daphne the Bunny, chides her self for her teen-like crush on football player Kevin Tucker. Molly¿s sister and brother-in-law own the National Football League¿s Chicago Stars where Kevin is the superstar quarterback. Kevin sleeps and dreams football, but his behavior has changed this year as he does daring stunts almost like he suffers a mid-life crisis.

One night by chance, Molly and Kevin end up together at her sister¿s vacation home. They share a wonderful night of lovemaking, but the morning light brings acrimonious feelings. When Molly informs Kevin that she is pregnant, they reluctantly marry. That ends when she miscarries. However, Kevin knows he loves Molly and will do what it takes, including a Hail Mary as time runs out, to gain her love.

THIS HEART OF MINE is an entertaining fun to read contemporary romance. The story line will blitz the reader due to the cast. The lead characters are an enjoyable duet and the snippets from Bunny add to the understanding of Molly. The support cast also provides the readers an opportunity to further understand the essences of Molly and Kevin. Award winning Susan Elizabeth Phillips scores a touchdown with her hardcover debut novel.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous 3 months ago
Enjoyed reading this book. It touched my heart. Learned about love, with a lot of humor.
khloris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Susan broke my heart on this one. Very poignant scene regarding a pregnancy. Sweet, sexy, funny, entertaining, satisfying love story. A keeper.
irmgard06 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites by this author. You have to just feel for the characters of Molly and Kevin. Each of these characters were introduced in other Phillips books, and I could not wait for their story. The way that these two came together was beautiful.Molly had always liked Kevin, but he didn't know she existed, until they stayed at a cottege together. The result was a child. The two were forced to get married, but soon after Molly lost the baby. After that tragedy Molly went into a depression that only Kevin could bring her out of . Along the way they fell in love. This book can make you laugh and cry, which is great.
Jaitai16 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my first SEP book and my first romance novel. I read it for the first time when I was in highschool and have reread it multiple times. I loved Molly and Kevin and the complexity of all the relationships in this book. I would recommend This Heart of Mine to anyone who wants to smile after they read the last words. Buy everything Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes!
risadabomb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a good read, not as good as some of the author's other books.
mschweer432 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Susan Elizabeth Phillips knocks another one out of the park. This book was moving, hilarious, and tons of fun. I didn't want to put it down. Molly was just a teenager in It Had To Be You, but now she's all grown up. She has a tendency towards the impulsive when life gets a little boring and it really gets her into trouble with Kevin Tucker, the Chicago Stars Quarterback. The bulk of this story unfolds at Wind Lake, a campground owned by Kevin Tucker. One of my favorite scenes in the book took place at the campground. It was the softball game that broke out in the commons. It's hilarious and I loved it. I would highly recommend this book!!
superblondgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cute, fun, romantic. There were some moments when I found myself annoyed with the characters' actions, but I think that was more because they were very different from me. Overall they were likable and funny, and the book was a quick, entertaining read.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My god, this woman's good. So far, SEP hasn't missed. I do believe I have most of her books in my TBR pile at this point, but I've no urge to read them all right this minute--books this good need to be spread out over time and savored. It's not surprising that SEP & Jenny Crusie are friends--very similar style. Fabulous heroine--a 'good girl' who has a history of periodically 'pulling a fire alarm'--once, literally. And the hero is the only one who sees who she really is. Wonderfully dense love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
This Heart of Mine is book #5 in the Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This book was a gift from my dear friend, Kelly, and I am so thankful she gave it to me. I have read one other book by this author and I fell in love with it. Is it possible, now, to love SEP even more? This book had me laughing out loud and within a few minutes, breaking my heart. The characters were loveable, the story wonderful and silly and engaging. It was unputdownable. I have decided that SEP’s writing is magical. I was entranced from the first page. Molly Somerville is the younger sister of Phoebe Calebow. She’s now twenty seven years old and is the author of the adorable children’s book series Daphne the Bunny featuring Daphne and her best friend, Benny the Badger. Molly loves her sister and Phoebe’s husband, Dan and their four children with all her heart. She has always tried to be the best she can be for them since she owes them so much. But Molly has also been known for some little slips of crazy now and then. She’s been feeling restless lately so she decides a few days away will be good for her. She needs the time to concentrate on her next book. So she packs up her adorable little poodle, Roo, and takes off for the family vacation home in the woods. Little did she realize that she would have a visitor while she was there. The object of a crush she couldn’t seem to shake, the Quarterback of the Chicago Stars football team her sister owns, the oh so delectable Kevin Tucker. Kevin Tucker has pushed his bosses as far as he dares. He’s been participating in some daredevil stunts lately, things that could injure him, ruin his future with the team. As a last resort he is sent to spend a few days at the Calebow’s vacation home for some time to rest and think. Little did he realize that the house already had a visitor. Kevin and Molly’s few days together at the cabin start them on a journey neither of them could have ever expected. It started at the cabin, continued in Chicago, and then led them to a place that was a piece of Kevin’s history, the Windlake Campground. While Kevin’s purpose for the visit to Windlake was merely to get rid of it, Molly was immediately drawn to the adorable cottages and the bed and breakfast. She felt a peace and a purpose she hadn’t been able to find in a long time. “There was something magical about the campground. Possibilities seemed to shimmer in the air. It felt almost enchanted.” In their time at Windlake, Kevin and Molly got to know each other. And what they learned surprised them both. Feelings began to grow and change. But Kevin is still determined that he needs to get rid of the campground. That football is the only future he can concentrate on right now. That nothing is more important than his football career. You can’t help but to fall in love with Molly and Kevin. Molly was crazy and impulsive and sweet and heartbreaking. She made me laugh out loud with her crazy antics and she kept Kevin on his toes. Kevin was sexy and bossy and stubborn and swoony. I would go from loving him to wanting to smack him. You will also meet another very important character in this book, Lilly who plays an important part in Kevin and Molly’s lives. I don’t want to tell you what her connection is. Only that there is also a whole little side story going on with her and a famous artist, Liam Jenner. After reading the two books of SEP’s books that I have read, I have put her r
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think Molly's my favorite phillips heoine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books by this writer besides it had to be you . I went though something almost like what phoebe went though i love those 2books the best ,let me say that again i love all her books :):):)
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