What SEP did for love

In addition to reading a few brand-new titles recently, I also grabbed the hardback What I Did For Love, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, from the library. It’s an enjoyable read, with that quality that Phillips has to make you laugh and also make your heart hurt, but I wasn’t as enthralled by it as I was by Hot Shot or Glitter Baby (which is referenced in this book) or Ain’t She Sweet.

It was a great way to pass the time, but sort of frothy and very much like anyone’s standard contemporary. Georgie York is a has-been child actress who is still trying to shake off a nasty divorce — and the fact that her ex is now with a global humanitarian ala Angelina Jolie. When her old sitcom co-star, Bram, winds up hijacking her scheme to fake a relationship and gain them both good PR, wackiness (and romance!) ensues. And I think that’s probably what set me up from the beginning as feeling like Phillips wasn’t up to her usual world-building and ability to immerse the reader in a perfectly unique setting. It was like ‘add a dash of Brangelina-Jennifer Aniston angst, toss in the co-star that she has unresolved issues with, fluff with banter, and simmer.’

I would still pick up a Phillips book on impulse before someone else, but I guess I’ve just come to expect more from her! Georgie’s journey to finding who she wants to be had several instances of whiplash. Bram’s whole bad boy-but-not-really thing is something that’s been done many times. And I have to say, including the characters from Glitter Baby and Natural Born Charmer just felt a little weird and forced to me…since Phillips made sure to note that Georgie’s galpals didn’t live near her and were flying in to be included in the story. If you have to bring in characters from your other books just to give your lead a support system, that just underlines the fact that she probably can’t stand on her own!

Good read, but not a memorable read for me.

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