What I Did for Love

( 168 )

Overview

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 ...

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What I Did for Love

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Overview

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.

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  • What I Did for Love
    What I Did for Love  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Phillips (It Had to Be You) makes old Hollywood gossip new again in this over-the-top, hot-under-the-sheets rom-com. Sitcom Skip and Scooter co-stars Georgie York, who like her character exudes spunky charm, and Bram Shepard, whose upbringing couldn't be more different from the nice boy he plays, hate each other even before Bram's offscreen sexual escapades lead to the sitcom's cancellation. Flash forward eight years: his career has cratered, and her biggest accomplishment has been briefly marrying hunky star Lance Marks, who abandons her for sex-goddess-turned-international-do-gooder Jade Gentry. So when Bram and Georgie wake up from a Vegas bender and find themselves married to each other, they make the most of it: Georgie aims to undo the damage Lance has done to her heart and her public image, while Bram is gunning for a second chance at life, love and stardom. It's a blast to watch the hate-each-other-yet-made-for-each-other couple as they duck paparazzi or spar before falling into bed. In this massively entertaining romp, redemption is always possible, and even a fake Hollywood couple trapped in a pretend marriage might find true love. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Georgie York and Bramwell Shepard have a long history. They were costars for eight years on an extremely popular teen sitcom, Skip and Scooter. Georgie played Scooter, a spunky orphan needing lots of looking after by Bram's boy-next-door character, Skip. But Bram's real-life bad-boy escapades caused the show to be canceled. Eight years later, the only thing they share is mutual dislike. Yet one drug-spiked drink in Vegas and one valid marriage certificate later, Georgie and Bram find themselves hitched, with their own reasons for wanting to make the sham seem real. Georgie is tired of being tabloid fodder thanks to a bad divorce, and Bram needs Georgie's sterling reputation to reignite his career. But will their acting become real in time? Phillips (Glitter Baby) is one of the few authors who can make the impossible seem plausible. Her characters are a combination of wise, innocent, vulnerable, strong, sassy, and sweet, with snappy dialog and personal growth. This quintessentially Phillips book is one all public libraries should want. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/08.]
—Stacey Hayman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061719844
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/27/2009
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 1,452,225
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Susan Elizabeth Phillips soared onto the New York Times bestseller list with Dream a Little Dream. She's the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a hiker, gardener, reader, wife, and mother of two grown sons.

Biography

Susan Elizabeth Phillips believes if Jane Austen were writing today, novels like Pride and Prejudice would be sitting on the bookshelf alongside the love stories that she and her fellow romance novelists pen. "Oh, and one more thing," she said, wagging her finger at a Chicago Tribune reporter in 1999, "Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy should have kissed at the end of that story, and if I'd have written it, they would have -- and it would have been a good kiss, too."

Such sass is Phillips' calling card, and since her 1994 football romance It Had to Be You, she’s been stitching threads of humor into her romance novels.

"I'm not a particularly funny person in person. I can't tell jokes, but it just seems like it happened when I started to write," she told The Romance Reader in 1997. "It wasn't anything that was planned. I'm a very intuitive writer; I just sort of let the characters talk to me, and they started saying funny things, so I wrote them down."

A schoolteacher until her first son was born, Phillips began writing in the early 1980s with her best friend and neighbor. The two were both regular readers and decided to try their hand at a book of their own, plotting their story during nightly bike rides with their toddlers in tow. They got the name of a publisher at Dell who liked the book and published it under the pen name Justine Cole.

Her friend moved into a legal career, but Phillips continued writing and publishing, this time under her own name. She released what she calls her "big books," titles like Fancy Pants and Honey Moon featuring Hollywood starlets and jet-setting London socialites.

Her stories, she has said, moved outside of the mainstream after that. She gives her romantic characters emotional wounds and personal difficulties that often impede their inevitable happy endings. But without such obstacles, there would be no story.

"I've grown increasingly interested in writing about family dynamics and much less interested in sticking a psychopath with a gun in any of my books," she said in an interview with the web site iVillage. "Technically, I've simply learned how to capitalize on my own distinctive voice and how to be a better storyteller."

The healing process that the characters go through is what makes the novels work. "Creative plotting adds sparkle, and entertaining, well-drawn secondary characters round out the novel, but it is the growing, healing relationship between the protagonists and how they finally form a family that touches the heartstrings and makes this contemporary romance an unforgettable read," the Library Journal wrote in a review of Phillips' 2000 book First Lady.

The dialogue, she has said, is also important. The exchanges in romance novels are satisfying to women who love to communicate, she told USA Today. "Women really like to talk. That's one of our processes. We talk to gather information. Women love the connection that comes from conversation," she said. "My husband says we broadcast. He thinks through things before he talks, but he says women just kind of broadcast until they zero in on what they want to say."

Phillips has also disputed the notion that romance novels are nothing more than books about "throbbing thighs." They aren't about sex, she told the Chicago Tribune in 1992, but are instead complicated fictions about women taking charge of their lives and being the stories' heroes.

"The woman always wins the man," she said, "and he always gets tamed in the end."

Good To Know

Phillips wanted to publish her first novel under the pseudonym Chastity Savage, but her best friend and co-author nixed the idea.

Though two of her books -- It Had to Be You and This Heart of Mine -- have football plots, Phillips doesn't consider herself much of a sports fan. "In my mind, if you don't have to wear mascara to do it, it doesn't count as recreation," she told Book Page.

Her family helps her keep the details straight. Husband Bill was her technical adviser on describing Dallie Beaudine's golf game in Fancy Pants, and son Zach's interest in knives, guns, and dead insects surfaced in Teddy, the son of the novel's leading lady. He also wrote and recorded a companion CD to her title This Heart of Mine, which is available from her web site.

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Read an Excerpt


What I Did for Love

A Novel


By Susan Elizabeth Phillips
William Morrow
Copyright © 2009

Susan Elizabeth Phillips
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-06-135150-1



Chapter One The jackals swarmed her as she stepped out into the late April afternoon. When Georgie had ducked into the perfume shop on Beverly Boulevard, only three of them had been stalking her, but now there were fifteen-twenty-maybe more-a howling, feral pack loose in L.A., cameras unsheathed, ready to rip the last bit of flesh from her bones.

Their strobes blinded her. She told herself she could handle whatever they threw at her. Hadn't she been doing exactly that for the past year? They began to shout their rude questions-too many questions, too fast, too loud, words running together until nothing made sense. One of them shoved something in her hands-a tabloid-and screamed into her ear. "This just hit the stands, Georgie. What do you have to say?"

Georgie automatically glanced down, and there on the front page of Flash was a sonogram of a baby. Lance and Jade's baby. The baby that should have been hers.

All the blood rushed from her head. The strobes fired, the cameras snapped, and the back of her hand flew to her mouth. After so many months of holding it together, she lost her way, and her eyes flooded with tears.

The cameras caught everything-the hand at her mouth, the tears in her eyes. She'd finally given the jackals what they'd spent the past year preying to capture-photographs of funny, thirty-one-year-old Georgie York with her life shattered around her.

She dropped the tabloid and turned to flee, but they'd trapped her. She tried to back up, but they were behind her, in front of her, surrounding her with their hot strobes and heartless shouts. Their smell clogged her nostrils-sweat, cigarettes, acrid cologne. Someone stepped on her foot. An elbow caught her in the side. They pressed closer, stealing her air, suffocating her....

Bramwell Shepard watched the nasty scene unfold from the restaurant steps next door. He'd just emerged from lunch when the commotion broke out, and he paused at the top of the steps to take it in. He hadn't seen Georgie York in a couple of years, and then it had only been a glimpse. Now, as he watched the paparazzi attack, the old, bitter feelings returned.

His higher position on the steps gave him a vantage point to observe the chaos. Some of the paps held their cameras over their heads; others shoved their lenses in her face. She'd been dealing with the press since she was a kid, but nothing could have prepared her for the pandemonium of this past year. Too bad there were no heroes waiting around to rescue her.

Bram had spent eight miserable years rescuing Georgie from thorny situations, but his days of playing gallant Skip Scofield to Georgie's spunky Scooter Brown were long behind him. This time Scooter Brown could save her own ass-or, more likely, wait around for Daddy to do it.

The paparazzi hadn't spotted him. He wasn't on their radar screens these days, not that he wouldn't have been if they could ever catch him in the same frame with Georgie. Skip and Scooter had been one of the most successful sitcoms in television history. Eight years on the air, eight years off, but the public hadn't forgotten, especially when it came to America's favorite good girl, Scooter Brown, as played in real life by Georgie York.

A better man might have felt sorry for her current predicament, but he'd only worn the hero badge on-screen. His mouth twisted as he looked down at her. How's your spunky, can-do attitude working for you these days, Scooter?

Things suddenly took an uglier turn. Two of the paps got into a shoving match, and one of them bumped her hard. She lost her balance and started to fall, and as she fell her head came up, and that's when she spotted him. Through the madness, the wild jockeying and crazy shoving, through the clamor and chaos, she somehow spotted him standing there barely thirty feet away. Her face registered a jolt of shock, not from the fall-she'd somehow caught herself before both knees hit-but from the sight of him. Their eyes locked, the cameras pressed closer, and the plea for help written on her face made her look like a kid again. He stared at her-not moving-simply taking in those gumdrop-green eyes, still hopeful that one more present might be left for her beneath the Christmas tree. Then her eyes clouded, and he saw the exact moment when she realized he wasn't going to help her-that he was the same selfish bastard he'd always been.

What the hell did she expect? When had she ever been able to count on him for anything? Her funny girl's face twisted with contempt, and she turned her attention back to fighting off the cameras.

He belatedly realized he was missing a golden opportunity, and he started down the steps, but he'd waited too long. She'd already thrown the first punch. It wasn't a good punch, but it did the job, and a couple of the paps stepped in to form a wedge so she could get to her car. She flung herself inside and, moments later, peeled away from the curb. As she plunged erratically into the Friday-afternoon L.A. traffic, the paparazzi raced to their illegally parked black SUVs and took off after her.

If the restaurant's valet service hadn't chosen that moment to deliver his Audi, Bram would probably have dismissed the incident, but as he slid behind the wheel, his curiosity got the best of him. Where did a tabloid princess go to lick her wounds when she had no place left to hide?

The lunch he'd just sat through had been a bust, and he had nothing better to do with his time, so he decided to fall in behind the paparazzi cavalcade. Although he couldn't see her Prius, he could tell by the way the paps wove through the traffic that Georgie was driving erratically. She cut over toward Sunset. He flipped on the radio, flipped it back off, pondered his current situation. His mind began to toy with an intriguing scenario.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips Copyright © 2009 by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 168 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(74)

4 Star

(49)

3 Star

(27)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 168 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 2, 2009

    Unbelievably boring.

    I have read all of S. E. P.'s books and adored all but one of them. This book was so predictable and boring that i had to skim and skip pages, which I haven't done since I was 17. I f a book is that bad stop reading it. Only the fact that Ms. Phillips was the author kept me even turning pages. I am most sorry because she will no longer be one of the authors I can automatically buy and know that a great story is coming my way.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2009

    RIPPED FROM THE TABLOID HEADLINES

    Disappointing. I usually absolutely LOVE anything SEP writes but this felt like I was reading a story in People or getting a rehash of info on TMZ about Brad and Angelina. Since the story started out that way, even when it left the whole Brangelina concept behind and branched out into a more original story, I couldn't get past the feeling of having heard it all before.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Where's the humor?

    I usually love this author, mostly because her characters are interesting and funny. This book was disappointing - no humor.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    Not Up to Par

    I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips and always am anxious to get her new books. I must say, however, that this one was most disappointing. The characters and their situation never quite hit home with me. I could develop neither empathy nor sympathy for any character in the book except maybe the housekeeper. I found the Hollywood angle to be rather distracting as well.<BR/><BR/>On a more positive note, Mrs. Phillips included some bright and funny repartee as always. Although the plot development seemed rather ragged and forced at the beginning, it evened out and was eventually satisfactory.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great characters

    This was a great romance novel. I liked the Hollywood setting, the premise and the great characters. I make it a point to read Phillip's new books and I was not disappointed. It is similar to some of her others with the relationship of convenience, the high profile characters, the family dramas, and the gradual discovery of love. As with SEP's other novels, there are some back romances - in fact there are a few in this one. If you like witty dialogue in your romances, you will like this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic!!

    Wow--I was so needing a good novel to read. I've gone through several in the past few months that have come up short, so I was SO glad I came across this one. It's about an actress whose life gets turned upside down and the fallout from that. It's a fantastic read!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Fair story

    Not one I'd recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Welcome to my first Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel What I Did Fo

    Welcome to my first Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel What I Did For Love. I have heard about this author from other writers in their writing process. I thought I would check her out myself.
    Synopsis:
    The paporatize won’t leave Georgie alone. Her ex-husband Lance an action star did her no favors. He leaked a rumor that she did not want to have children and that was the reason he left. Georgie wants to move on with her life but feels stuck in a rut until she comes up with a plan. Create a fake marriage with a close friend that will take her out of the spotlight. Who will she marry? Why none other than Bram Shepherd her previous costar in Skip and Scooter. The show they basically grew up in. Will they truly be able to carry off this fake marriage? What will the future bring?
    My Thoughts:
    A writer I know fairly well highly recommends Susan Elizabeth Phillips. If you have read Save the Date then you know who it is. For me I was surprised by the negative tone of the story initially. There is no love lost between the characters of Georgie and Bram. The first part of the novel spends a good bit of time explaining this aspect of their relationship. As the novel progressed I started to enjoy it more. I am not usually a huge fan of the Hollywood setting. I love California don’t get me wrong. The Hollywood aspect with its partying and drugs just doesn’t appeal to me. That is why this novel surprised me by not going that route when I thought it would. The characters of Georgie and Bram are written well and evolve as the novel progresses.
    I don’t know if I will read another Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I think most readers will enjoy this novel although it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Jencey Gortney/Writer'sCorner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    Ivy

    Ran in

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    PETER

    Hey u wanna date gigi

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    First book I've read by this author and I want more!!

    Fell in love with the characters and couldn't put the book down!

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    loved it!

    not too predictable like other romance novels tend to be and actual depth and history behind each character made it much more interesting.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Easy read

    I was OK.. not her best.

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun read!

    I have read some other books by this author, and this is one of her better ones. The hero in the book was sometimes a bit TOO much bad boy, but overall I liked it very much!

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Ole' SEP

    I wasn't quite sure about this book at first but it got going and I liked it. I dragged a bit at the end but overall the story was good.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    Remarkable.

    I'm a huge Susan Elizabeth Phillips fan and I have been waiting forever for this book to arrive on paperback. I've read all of her books and if you've ever read one of them, you won't be disappointed with this one; this book definitely outweighs the rest! What I Did for Love was funny, smart, sassy, & definitely sexy. You laugh at the right moments, sympathize at the sad ones... Phillips sucks you in right from the beginning until the very end. This book makes you want to jump into the pages yourself and become part of Georgie and Bram's world. I stayed up until 5 in the morning trying to finish it. I was very sad when the book ended because I didn't want to leave the world I come to love. I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips and I love her for creating this book. It's definitely a book I will read over and over again. It's the best she's written by far. So do yourself a favor and read this book. It's a keeper.

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  • Posted October 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very, very good book!

    I have always enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillips books. They can both be funny and sad at the same time.
    Donna A.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read!!

    Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down!! It was wonderful! I think that they should make a movie out of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    She's done it again.

    Once you start a Susan Elizabeth Phillips' novel, it is hard to put it down. Her latest is no exception. She weaves a world rich with characters and subplots. It's a pleasure to get carried along for the ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    A Must Read

    I really loved this book. I just went on a cruise and this book was available to check out in the ships library so I thought I'd give it a try. I actually spent most of the day reading this book than looking at the glaciers. :) It really was a great book. The plot was cute and fun making it a good light read. It was tough to put down. I recommend this to anyone and everyone who loves romance novels.

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