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Topic: Susan Elizabeth Phillips heros

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Subject: Susan Elizabeth Phillips heros
Date Posted: 6/3/2008 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2007
Posts: 50
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From lots of recommendations from here, I've started to read SEP's books.  I actually really like them, but I have a bit of a problem.  I'm hoping someone can help me put things into perspective.  I've noticed that the heros are all sort of/kind of...mean in the beginning and kind of throughout the book, until the very end.  I've found that I have to read a more lighthearted read in between her books so I can get over it.  By the end of her books, most of them are redeemed, but it's hard for me to get through the first couple of pages because I cringe at the meanness of most of the heros.  I still have to read Heaven, Texas and It Had to Be You, and I'm feeling a little wary about it.+

I don't have any specific examples, though I just finished Kiss an Angel and he wasn't very nice to her at all.  I understand the heroine's aren't perfect and I actually like that about them.  But the hero's are just plain mean sometimes.  Please help!!  :)

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2006
Posts: 623
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I love her books, with the exception of the one set at a amusement park, and the one where she is an artist.  I really like those kind of heroes, actually, so call me twisted!  I love the cold, dark, dangerous guys, so that's one of the reasons I like her books.    Funny, isn't  it, how we're all different in our likes and dislikes.

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I tolerate them best in historicals, because I figure in reality, the sensitivity gene for males didn't actualy exist until somewhere in the (very) late 20th century:P  I figure anyone writing these sensitive male types prior to that period is either doing some wishful thinking, or they're writing about some random anomaly that the rest of the pack would target as a freak of nature and bring down before it could corrupt their alpha male gene pool:P

I'm less tolerant of these guys in contemporary romance.  They need to adapt or die out, IMO.  I think the temptation to smack Mr. Dark & Dangerous on the forehead with a frying pan is probably a little more than your average modern woman should be expected to overcome:P

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2007
Posts: 439
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No wonder! The H of Kiss an Angel is by far the worst. Try some of the Chicago Stars books. The first is Ain't she sweet? and the newest one is Natural Born Charmer. Personally they're my favorites. :D

Angie -
Date Posted: 6/3/2008 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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I love her heros. But I like alpha's. You'll like HT better, Bobby Tom is pretty nice. I think that the meanness fits their history and makes it more believable (especially Alex!)

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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Hmm...actually I think the first Chicago Stars book is It Had to Be You or maybe Nobody's Baby But Mine. Ain't She Sweet? is unrelated. I think it goes, It Had to Be You, Heaven Texas, Nobody's Baby But Mine, This Heart of Mine, Match Me If You Can, and Natural Born Charmer. Dream a Little Dream features the brother(s) of the hero in Nobody's Baby But Mine. I agree Alex is the most "cruel" but Kiss an Angel is still a favorite of mine. Then there's Fancy Pants and Lady Be Good which are good also, with the heroes golfers. I'd say read It Had to Be You and Heaven, Texas. You won't be disappointed! Bobby Tom is a bit mean to Gracie, but I think he makes up for it with the quiz! You'll see what I mean. And they both have funny moments. I'd say it depends on which ones you've read. SEP has definitely grown in her writing and I didn't care for Honey Moon or Just Imagine. I like Kiss an Angel because it's so unusual. Even though it's heartwrenching you really get involved in the story, or at least, I did. That and it was an early read for me.

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2007
Posts: 439
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Oh you're right Grace! I mixed that one up with It Had To Be You. xD Btw, i'm reading Natural Born Charmer (again) and the H is not mean at all. He is rather funny. ^^

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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It Had to Be You is my favorite by her and the hero is adorable.  Not that he doesn't do his share of hurtful things, but nothing malicious.

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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That's funny - I guess it's a matter of perspective. I have all her books on audio and have listened to all of them at least 3 times. Maybe it's the narrator's delivery, or maybe just because I've heard it so many times, but Alex from Kiss An Angel is one of my favorite SEP heros of all. All things considered, I find he treats her very reasonably given the circumstances, in my opinion. I think he's trying first to discourage her from sticking around, showing her how hard life is, because he thinks she's so pampered and will give up. Then he can say he lived up to his end of the bargain with her father but she didn't. I think he isn't so much mean as unaffected. Even though they're legally married, he doesn't try to force himself on her - and he doesn't pamper her any at all either. She is just another circus employee to him, with no skills and no experience.

BEWARE SOME SPOILERS:

He really does believe she steals the money - after all, all signs point to her being the only one who could have, and no one else knew the kid whats-her-name was in the office. So, in his mind, since she stole the money she has to "pay" with hard work, just like any other circus employee would have to do. And I believe the hard work she does helps her grow up a lot. She accepts a challenge, as it were, and when she finds she can complete the task after all, she has new self-respect.

Plus - he's already made it clear to her that he does not want a child. Why, in romance novels, can the hero tell the heroine he doesn't want children but somehow the heroine expects it to be ok if she gets pregnant? OK that's another different rant, sorry, I've just seen it before. So SPOILER SPOILER DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW: when she tells him she is pregnant, I wasn't the least bit surprised he was shocked and angry. But he didn't strike her on purpose - he lost concentration.

Plus I think a lot of his "attitude" is because he IS affected by her, and he's trying to maintain some distance because he knows she'll be gone soon - the sooner the better in his mind. He knows if he tells her his "secret" about his real life, that will change how she feels about him which will make it harder for him to break up with her at the end of their "deal". At least, that's how I read it.

and maybe I'm just a slight bit affected by the first time they do their show together - I could listen to that scene over and over... I just don't find him to be mean at all.

I don't find any of her heroes to be cold/dark/dangerous either. Not even Gabe in Dream, really. Maybe cold at first, but not dangerous! I have seen some people say Cal in Nobody's Baby was mean to Jane - hello, she really played a major dirty trick on him!! She deserved much more than she got - especially since family is so important to him, how could she? But that's just me - we all see something different when we read books, I guess. Plus - it's fiction, and her books are pretty much upbeat and light and I think they should be seen in the fantasy/funny way they are written!

that's my 2 cents anyway. Inflation made it longer than it should be...

Angie -
Date Posted: 6/3/2008 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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Yeah, I've never really even considered them "mean" before. They are pretty tame compared to the books I've read lately. I guess I don't really care for really nice guys all that much. (Not that DH is mean, LOL, but I would hate it if we never fought. Okay, I'm twisted too.)

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2006
Posts: 623
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You know, you all are right that they aren't cold, dark and dangerous compared to a lot of others out there.  Maybe more just alpha.  But again, that's how I like 'em.   Angie, we're the Twisted Sisters!

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I agree with the first poster, I think KaA has a very Old Skool vibe to it. I don't think it's typical of Phillips though.

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2008
Posts: 68
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I loved It Had To Be You. I am thinking that I want to reread it.

I didn't care for Natural Born Charmer. I just couldn't like h/h. I was more interested in his Parents and little sister.

Go figure.

 

Grace

Currently reading Fairest of Them All by Teresa Medeiros.

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2005
Posts: 1,012
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I've read a lot of SEP's books and agree that some of her heroes can be pretty alpha, but for some reason that's never bothered me--maybe in the context, it didn't seem so bad, and they're redeemed by the end by how much they clearly love the heroine.

I actually am more easily bothered by a couple of her heroines--in Nobody's Baby But Mine, I ended up really enjoying the book, but I had a hard time believing that someone so brilliant could also be so dense, and I actually still haven't been able to bring  myself to finish This Heart of Mine.  Maybe I started it at the wrong time or something, but I could not stand Molly.

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I loved Ain't She Sweet.. it is my favorite by SEP so far.  He is kinda mean, but she had been REALLY bitchy.  It also had a lot of interesting minor characters tied to the main characters.  The hero/heroine were both super funny and some of their interactions were hysterical.