Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Georgie York and Bram Shepard's book

What I Did for Love 

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Narrated by Julia Gibson

Book Blurb:
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.

Right off the bat let me tell you that I loved What I Did for Love. I borrowed the audiobook from my library so that I could have a good book to listen to while walking. I fell in love with the story so quickly that I ended up listening to the entire book in two days. I kept sneaking away looking for ways to be alone so that I could plug in the earphones and listen. What I Did for Love is the fourth book in the "Wynette, Texas" series but you can 100% read as a stand alone. In fact, I am surprised that it was part of series. It didn't feel like a series as I was reading. I didn't feel I was losing out on any connecting characters at all. There is nothing about Texas in this story.  

What I Did for Love was my first Susan Elizabeth Phillips book and it will certainly not be my last. In fact, I am checking online directly following my review writing to see if the library have more audiobooks available to check out. 

I am not sure how Susan Elizabeth Phillips did it but she had me falling for a very unlikable "hero", Bram. When I first started listening to the audiobook, I was thinking to myself that this guy is a real jerk. There was nothing I liked about him. Thankfully little tidbits about Bram came to light and by the end of the book, I was in love with him. I'd like to add that it was a nice slow anticipated build up. There was not one moment where BAM! I completely changed my mind about him. 

Georgie was adorable and probably a rarity in the real Hollywood world. She was a childhood star who had a protective father that looked after her earnings responsibly and thankfully Georgie didn't end up a waste case like so many other young Hollywood child stars do. She had a good head on her shoulders. It was very interesting that Georgie and Bram were teen stars together on the same TV show but they really disliked each other. There was a lot of growing up and maturity required by both of them. 

Stories that have the "Hate to Love" plots are hard to pull off and I found What I Did for Love was practically flawless in the storyline. I was completely engaged and I could envision a lot of real life parallels between the fictional Georgie and Bram to quite a few popular Hollywood couples. The paparazzi were relentless and it would be truly exhausting to live that lifestyle. 

The secondary cast of characters really added to the story. Different personalities all around. As there were so many varying personality traits, it made easy listening to the narrator, Julia Gibson. She gave each character a distinct sound and I was not confused with who was to be speaking at any given moment. She did an especially great job of the cook/housekeeper, Chaz. 

Teasers: fake marriage, father/daughter relationship, steamy lingerie shopping scene, SARS house prison


Margaret said...

So happy you enjoyed it! Give 'Ain't She Sweet' a try if you can find it. It's a stand alone. Then you need to read the Chicago Stars books.

Di said...

I've read all SEP's books - read her Chicago Stars books (in order is best so start with "It Had To Be You"

Unknown said...

Just starting It Had to Be You!