01/21/2011 09:46 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Maria's Must-Read for the Month: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Call Me Irresistable

There is nothing quite like a good book to make time fly and let you escape the mundane trials and tribulations of daily life. I read lots of stuff, serious, nonfiction, you name it...but I have a hungry soft spot in my heart for a good romance novel. And Susan Elizabeth Phillips always delivers.

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would enjoy contemporary romances about sports stars and football players, I would have called you ridiculous and insane. Just goes to show what I know. I have now read all of Phillips' novels, and I wait with bated breath for each new one to arrive in stores. This month I was lucky. Very lucky. Someone who shall go unnamed loaned me an advance copy of Call Me Irresistible. I started it on a Friday night and finished it Saturday around noon. (Now, THAT is a real luxury.) The book is out as of January 18!

This one has a special place in my heart. The hero lives off the grid in a "net zero" house! He's got organic milk in his fridge! The heroine gripes about all the pesticides that go onto golf courses! But that alone is no reason to read a SEP (Susan Elizabeth Phillips) book. We read her because she is very, very funny. Her dialog is cracking and sharp. And the chemistry is always divine.

Okay, you don't read her because you want to be someone in her books, or because she captures reality in any way, shape, or form. You read her for pure, unadulterated escape. She captures flawed people and makes them funny and appealing, and she captures perfect people and makes them...funny and appealing. No one takes themselves too seriously in any of her books, and neither does she. But she's not cynical, either.

I often recommend Susan Elizabeth Phillips to women who are just starting to read romances. She is a "gateway drug" to the whole genre. But one fix a year is not enough, so we read other authors. Fortunately, there are lots of great romance authors out there. SEP is one of the best.

Try it. You'll like it!

Related Links:
Reading for Pleasure: My Top 5 Favorite Authors - Maria's Farm Country Kitchen
Walmart's Big, Healthy Move Bypasses Organics -
Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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