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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

First Star I See Tonight: A Chicago Stars Novel

1. Piper Dove is not your typical romantic heroine. She seems to sidestep any serious relationships in favor of her work: “She wasn’t a babe. And she hadn’t come close to falling in love…maybe because any relationship she’d been in had eventually made her feel…almost empty, as if a hole she didn’t understand had opened inside her. Right now, her aversion to relationships was a benefit.” How might a romance complicate Piper’s life?

2. After first meeting former Chicago Stars quarterback-turned-businessman Cooper Graham, what is it about his demeanor that Piper finds so off-putting? What was your first impression of Cooper? How did that change over the course of the novel?

3. Piper’s father, Duke Dove, had warned her “once you step over the line, you can never step back.” This is useful advice for a detective who wants to follow the letter of the law. How does Piper adhere to this advice? How does she ignore it? 

4. Do you agree or disagree with Duke’s decision to keep his only daughter out of the family business? Why or why not?

5. Piper explains to Cooper that “in general --- and there are exceptions --- I like women more than men. They’re more interesting. More complicated, and they’re loyal. One of my biggest regrets is my lack of sexual attraction to members of my own sex.” Why do you think Piper feel this way? Why would she confess this to Cooper?

6. Cooper was equal parts compelled and repelled by Piper at first. But he had to admit he was intrigued by the “way she carried herself, the way she charged after what she wanted. She was a woman who attacked life instead of waiting for it to unfold around her.” Why would this type of woman appeal to someone like Cooper?

7. Piper goes above and beyond to help young Faiza, including rallying Cooper to aid in her plan to get Faiza to Canada. What would you have done in that situation?

8. When Cooper and Piper finally give in to temptation at the lighthouse B & B, their night of passion turns into a rom-com gone horribly awry. Were you surprised by how their “romantic night” unfolded? 

9. Both Piper and Cooper lost parents at a young age. How does this inform the adults they’ve become? Do you think Duke’s treatment of young Piper is the reason she shuns relationships?

10. For someone who mostly avoids relationships, Piper is a true friend. How does she go out of her way to help those around her? Is this something she has in common with Cooper? 

11. Were you surprised to discover who was behind the plot against Cooper and his club?

12. Why do you think Piper panicked when she realized she loved Cooper? Do you think she was self-sabotaging, or was she right to be wary of a relationship with a “player” like Cooper? Was Cooper justified in calling her a “quitter”? 

13. What did you think of the story’s resolution? Would you like to see another novel about Cooper and Piper in the future?

First Star I See Tonight: A Chicago Stars Novel
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips