💥💥💥💥/5 Fun fact: Susan Elizabeth Philips is one of THE authors that got me into romance. Ten years ago, I read Simply Irresistible and I think I ran straight to the library to stock up on every single book in her catalog (most weren’t even on kindle yet!). I was beyond excited to see she had a new book coming out.
When Stars Collide returns us to the world of the Chicago Stars. Part rom-com, part thriller, the 9th book in the series (holy cow, 9!), throws together Opera Diva, Olivia Stone, and Stars backup QB, Thad Bowman on a tour promoting luxury watches. Olivia is dealing with a lot – her ex-fiance seems to be stalking her from the grave, and she’s lost her voice. As she and Thad are thrown together as they travel across the country, Olivia is determined not to cave to their chemistry and fall into her old relationship trap of minimizing her career for the sake of her partner. And Thad is determined to keep her safe and to help her find her voice.
This book was a really slow start. Firstly, I did take some issue with the premise of a promotional tour for watches. It was a little far-fetched to me that these (fairly minor) celebrities would be traveling to places like Pheonix to do press for timepieces, no matter how luxurious. The relationship between Olivia and Thad was initially set up as an enemies to lovers – Olivia under the mistaken impression he had once assaulted her friend. But this was quickly resolved, and felt fairly unnecessary as it really did nothing to set up the tension between them.
On the other hand, I did think Philips did a great job with the Opera details. A modern Opera star is unique! It was super fun to revisit with some of the old Chicago Stars characters. This book was filled with classic SEP details, complete with the overprotective hero and quirky, hot mess heroine. Was this my favorite Susan Elizabeth Philips book? Nah, not even close. But it’s a great comfort read if you’re feeling nostalgic
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.