Chicago Stars Series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Summaries on Goodreads
This was probably one of the best series I’ve read in a while. They were all funny, completely relatable (to some degree), sexy, and highly entertaining. I did think that the best book out of this series was the first one. I loved Phoebe and Dan’s story the best. It’s not surprising to hear that their love story was world famous as I read the rest of the books.
I also found the books to be more realistic and I’m mostly referring to the time table. There are some books out there (most of them, actually) that have the main characters fall in love after knowing each other within a few days (i.e. Scanguards Vampire series); however, in this series, the characters fall in love after months of knowing each other. It instantly made things more legit.
Like stated above, I found the first book to be the most heart-wrenching and full of romance. My least favorite book was the one with Jane and Cal – I believe this is book three. I didn’t find this one as great as the others mainly because I didn’t like Jane. I found her sneaky and didn’t enjoy her personality at all. Yes she was smart but she did a really stupid thing. Not only was it stupid but it was also incredibly inconsiderate. She never once considered Cal’s feeling when she went about in doing so but got offended when it was she herself who put her in that kind of situation. Doing something terrible is one thing yet getting offended and not owning up to what she had done was another. That being said, I did grow fond of the couple later on in the book.
So the one thing that probably irked me in this series is that I feel that half of the female main characters did something sneaky and the guy would get strung along and end up falling in love with these females. The exceptions were Phoebe which is probably why I liked that book so much, Rachel and Gracie. I liked Gracie and Bobby but the only thing was I didn’t like how quickly it took for Gracie to forgive him despite the way how he treated her. I was hoping for more groveling. Rachel’s story was okay but certainly not a favorite. However, all the other females did something sneaky – Jane pretended to be someone else to get pregnant; Annabelle used her married and pregnant friend to pass her off as single so she can showcase her to a potential client; and Molly (I can’t believe she did this) basically raped her future husband and got herself pregnant in the process. I just felt as if the author, Susan, were making out females to be these devious creatures and males the victims.
Another thing I wanted to point out is that these books were written 10-20 years ago so the stigma between females and males were incredibly different back then. And these books certainly portrayed that. It's not to say that females were treated unequally but that the males in these books often had a prominent male dominance belief. Until they fall in love with the females and essentially become putty. I just wanted to point this out because I read a few of the reviews on Goodreads and quite a lot were complaining about the equality of men and women but the author did a good job portraying what was legit 10-20 years ago especially in the Midwest and South.
Overall, I did highly enjoy this series. I tried looking for book 7 but my public library only has digital copies which do not work for some odd reason. Maybe I’ll look again in the future.