Book Review: What I Did For Love
Publisher: William Morrow, 2009
Format: Audiobook, Read by Julia Gibson
My Rating: B
Back in the 90s I read a lot of Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s romantic stories. I liked them because the characters were so real and the dialogue was always so sharp. The plots seemed to be based on something reported about in People Magazine. I remember them as a fun way to spend lazy afternoon.
I’ve lost track of Ms. Phillip’s writing over the year. I thought perhaps she had retired from writing. And then I saw this audiobook at the library and decided to reconnect. Here’s the summary from the publisher:
How did this happen? Georgie York, once the costar of America’s favorite television sitcom, has been publicly abandoned by her famous husband, her film career has tanked, her father is driving her crazy, and her public image as a spunky heroine is taking a serious beating.
What should a down-on-her-luck actress do? Not go to Vegas . . . not run into her detestable former costar, dreamboat-from-hell Bramwell Shepard . . . and not get caught up in an ugly incident that leads to a calamitous elopement. Before she knows it, Georgie has a fake marriage, a fake husband, and maybe (or not) a fake sex life.
It’s a paparazzi free-for-all, and Georgie’s nonsupporting cast doesn’t help. There’s Bram’s punk-nightmare housekeeper, Georgie’s own pushy parent, a suck-up agent, an icy studio head with a private agenda, and her ex-husband’s new wife, who can’t get enough of doing good deeds and saving the world—the bitch. As for Georgie’s leading man, Bram’s giving the performance of his life, but he’s never cared about anyone except himself, and it’s not exactly clear why.
Two enemies find themselves working without a script in a town where the spotlight shines bright . . . and where the strongest emotions can wear startling disguises.
I was into the second chapter and I started thinking about Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie. There were too many similarities. It’s, of course, not the exact same story, but plucky Georgie was abandoned by her famous and handsome actor husband. He ran off with another actress who has made an additional career of good works around the world.
The author has always created the most amazing men who come in to rescue the lead female character. In this case, it’s Bram Shepard. He’s the perenniel handsome bad-boy. Georgie and Bram have hated each other for years. The reader knows that can change and looks forward to watching it happen. The sarcastic dialogue between these two was spectacular.
The story was enhanced by the supporting cast. The author created a housekeeper, a personal assistant, and a studio-head that I grew to know and love.
I listened to the story on audiobook. This was not a good idea for me. Sex seems to be at the heart of the story. I know that’s a part of a good romance novel, but I don’t need to hear all the details in my ear. It’s much easier to flip the pages durng these scenes in a paper book. It’s much harder to flip forward on an audio. That is my only complaint about the book. Otherwise, a great happy-ever-after-story.