Ok, that's a bit tricky: These books propably use the assumption that the wire is a perfect conductor. What follows is that any difference in the electric potential $\Phi$ allong the potential will create a field (as you said). BUT, and here is the clue: Since it is a perfect conductor, and electrons have little mass compared to the force that the electric field generates, these books (and pretty mutch everyone) makes the assumption that the electrons are being distributed along the conductor in a way that there is no electric Field anymore.
Any electric Field would create movement of electrons, until they are distributed in a way that the electric field vanishes. This process may take a finite time, and - here is the assumption - one assumes that this time can be neglected, because it is small compared to every other thing one wants to calculate.
Result: There is no electric field in the conductor, but only in the resistance, and hence electrons don't lose potential when they are travelling in the conductor. Note that the part of the conductor before the resistance now has another potential than the part of the conductor after the resistance, and if you would connect this parts, then the different charge densities in this wires would create a field along the connection.