New York Times bestselling romance novelist Susan Elizabeth Phillips makes a dazzling return to the rough-and-tumble world of the Chicago Stars in her newest novel, First Star I See Tonight, out Aug. 23 from William Morrow. As fans of SEP know, her novels are packed with swoon-worthy love interests, hilariously relatable heroines, and enough sparks to light a bonfire. In celebration of the forthcoming release of the new Phillips novel, Bustle is proud to present an exclusive audiobook excerpt of First Star I See Tonight, which you can listen to below.
The novel begins with a down-on-her-luck heroine: Piper Dove has inherited her father's detective agency, but she isn't quite bringing in the cases (or the cash). She desperately needs to ace her current gig: tailing former Chicago Stars QB Cooper Graham, the owner of Chicago's hottest new nightclub, Spiral.
Unfortunately, Cooper spies the spy and puts a stop to her professional snooping. Instead, he hires her to investigate for him, outfitting her as a decoy hostess so she can scope out his club and determine which of his employees has been two-timing him. Piper soon discovers that Cooper's financial livelihood could be at stake — and even worse, he could be in serious danger. But how is she supposed to keep him safe when he won't admit he's in trouble? And how can she do her job when she's falling for the man who hired her? Piper and Cooper will both have to shed their tough skins and learn to be vulnerable in order to save the club... and save each other.
First Star I See Tonight, the eighth Chicago Stars novel, is a welcome treat for longtime fans of the series and its kooky cast of characters. You can definitely except a few cameo appearances from couples of the past (Because, of course, Heath and Annabel Champion from Match Me If You Can can never resist the opportunity to step in and help two people fall in love.)
In the excerpt below, narrated by Nicole Poole, Cooper unexpectedly drops in on Piper and her eclectic but loyal group of friends and confronts her about her surveillance. Even this early in the novel, the searing tension between Cooper and Piper is palpable — listen below:
Beginning on August 1, Bustle will host Romance Novel Month, a celebration and examination of the romance novel genre. But don't worry, romance readers: the coverage won't end in August. We're proud to support romance novels, and we will continue to do so all year long.