Sunday, February 01, 2009

What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I rarely buy hardcovers. If they're on the bargain table and cheaper than the paperback, I buy it. If it's a book on history and I can't wait to get it, I buy it. If it's by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, I buy it. I tried to wait for Match Me If You Can a few years back and almost couldn't do it. So, I've bought the last two of her books in hardcover, and almost wish I had waited. 

Former child star Georgie York has been dumped by her actor husband for a humanitarian actress. She and her detestable former co-star, Bram Shepard, end up running into each other in Vegas, and the inevitable happens--they run to an all-night chapel and end up married. Each of them have different reasons for wanting to stay in the marriage of appearances, but what will it turn into? 

Like all of Phillips books, the two main characters go through a transformation. They are not the same people they were at the beginning of the story. Georgie is fragile after her break-up, and the constant attention by the paps doesn't help matters. She's trying to figure out the next stage in her career and up against her stage-father who insists on running her career. Bram probably goes through the least transformation, as he gives the appearance of being dissolute at the beginning of the book, though the reader is quick to realize that Bram has grown a lot since his partying days on the set of their sitcom.  

There is also a secondary romance with Georgie's father, Paul. His story to me was more interesting, as he put his dreams on the back burner for the sake of his daughter. The relationship with his daughter also undergoes a radical transformation. 

The weakest part of the story was the setting. I'm not a Hollywood person--I find the E! network horrible, and I feel icky every time I find myself watching it. The inspiration for the story was also very obvious--the parallels between the Jennifer Aniston  and Jolie-Pitt affair slap the reader in the face. Are there differences? Sure, but Phillips makes the Jolie-Pitt characters in the book very flat. There's nothing at all to like about them, even though they're not really villains. 

The traditional Phillips hallmarks are present, but it's not my favorite venture by her. I'll return to her backlist. 


No comments: