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The Heartbreaker    by Carly Phillips order for
by Carly Phillips
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2003)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When readers were first introduced to the Chandler brothers (Chase, Rick and Roman), each of them was diligently trying to avoid the matchmaking machinations of their mother Raina. When faking an illness proves successful in inducing her two youngest sons to find wives and begin producing grandchildren, Raina is certain that convincing her eldest to follow suit won't be too difficult. Chase on the other hand, has his own ideas. With Rick and Roman settled and happy, and apprised of the fact that his mother fibbed about her health problem, he's ready to leave Yorkshire Falls and pursue bigger dreams. Those dreams take reporter Chase to Washington and hot on the trail of the biggest scoop of his career. All he has to do is keep the woman at the center of a potentially explosive scandal safe.

Sloane Carlisle is the daughter of a powerful senator. Her own life has taken a sudden and unexpected transition -- she discovers she isn't who she thinks she is. Shaken to the core, she steps out of her usual cool and controlled mode, goes to a downtown bar and locks eyes with a handsome stranger. Their immediate attraction leads to an incendiary one-night stand. When Sloan and Chase run into each other again in Yorkshire Falls, they are stunned. Sloan hadn't expected to see her unforgettable lover again. And Chase had no idea that the woman he agreed to guard was the very same one, with whom he spent the most passionate night of his life.

Determined to find out the identity of her real father, Sloane allows Chase to tag along in her search. When an explosion almost kills her, he's even more determined to keep her safe. While following leads, Sloane meets Chase's family and friends, including a few of Yorkshire Falls' resident eccentrics. And of course, Sloane meets Raina, who's quick to identify that look in her eldest son's eye as he protectively escorts Sloane around town. Naturally she's ecstatic that Chase has finally found 'the woman of his dreams'. Will marriage-shy Chase succumb to true love and commitment the way his brothers did? And will Sloane overcome her own insecurities and let Chase be her hero for the next fifty to sixty years?

As in the previous two stories, Ms. Phillips tends to rely too much on coincidences to propel this one forward. But given the plot's overall lighthearted nature and focus on the romance between Chase and Sloan, this is a minor quibble. The Heartbreaker is the last book in Carly Phillips Chandler Brothers trilogy and readers who enjoyed The Bachelor and The Playboy will certainly enjoy this one.
Note: The Heartbreaker will be released in August 2003.

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