What I Did for Love

What I Did for Love

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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“Writing with both sharp wit and terrific emotional warmth, Phillips delivers another of her supremely satisfying contemporary romances.”

Chicago Tribune


Perennial New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips is easily one of the most beloved authors of women’s fiction in America—and with her wonderfully witty What I Did for Love, she works her magic once again. Turning her satirical eye on Hollywood and the messy love triangles of its major superstars (think Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie), the incomparable Susan delivers a treasure of a romantic comedy that the Detroit Free Press calls “a laugh-out-loud tale,” and Publishers Weekly calls a “massively entertaining romp.” Read What I Did for Love and discover why Susan Elizabeth Phillips has won more Favorite Book of the Year Awards from the Romance Writers of America than any other author, including Nora Roberts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061351518
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/29/2009
Series: Wynette, Texas Series , #5
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 273,881
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

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.


Chicago, Illinois

Place of Birth:

Cincinnati, Ohio


B.F.A., Ohio University

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.


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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What I Did for Love 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 183 reviews.
babolu More than 1 year ago
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.
ANNEA More than 1 year ago
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.
rbeavers More than 1 year ago
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.

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.
Amarillis More than 1 year ago
Not one I'd recommend.
pattylee More than 1 year ago
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.
LMFranklin More than 1 year ago
Susan Elizabeth Phillips mightily disappoints with this grossly contrived, wholly un-romantic "rom com." Her major characters are deeply unlikable, displaying none of the irrepressible charm she normally imbues. Their "love-hate" relationship is so strongly tilted toward the latter that the first 150 pages read almost like satire. Simple plot points - why they despise each other so fervently, exactly how they end up eloping - are either under-explained or over-dramatic to the point of hilarity. The heavy-handed allusions to real-life celebs (Brangelina takes a few hits) overshadow a good chunk of the story, a focus which unfortunately prevents the two main characters from developing any convincing inner presence of their own. Most bizarre is the wild disappearance of Phillips¿ former ability to capture the rhythm and tone of genuine, funny conversation between two people who share sexual tension. Her dogged determination to force snappy banter out of the snarling mouths of her protagonists leads her into genuinely painful pages of cringe-inducing dialogue with very little humanizing exposition thrown in.

Even her minor characters don¿t get it right ¿ the "secondary" love stories incessantly highlight the sheer implausibility of every single relationship in the book, offering up aggressive melodrama instead of characters with whom one can identify. I want my old SEP back ¿ Gracie Snow and Bobby Tom Denton, the Professor and Cal Bonner, even Daisy and Markov. These loveless and love-sickened new characters read like the desperate struggles of a writer who appears to have lost her way through the corridors of the human heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really struggled whether to give this two or three stars. Very readable, and I read the whole thing through in one sitting, but I absolutely loathed the heroine by the end of it. The would-be hero was better, but starting with the big confess-his-fake-love beach scene toward the end, his character became far too contrived and forced. It's unfortunate, because it's obvious the author can write well, and I would normally enjoy this type of book.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once upon a time SEP was one of the best light romance authors out there. And then her plots began to be 'borrowed' from the headlines and her characters repetitive. And so 'What I Did for Love' was born. Jennifer Aniston should sue.
kylenapoli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable fantasy on the themes of 'bad boy who turns out to be a pretty good guy' and 'finding real love where you least expect it.' Engaging and nicely dishy about life in Hollywood, but skip the epilogue unless you want an overdose of saccharine. Overall, the experience is how I imagine reading an R-rated Sarah Dessen would be if you also lowered your threshold for believability. (That's not a complaint.)
marikolee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was surprisingly good. The main character, Georgie York, is a child actress whose marriage recently fell apart in a Brad Pitt meets Angelina Jolie type of way. It was interesting to see the characters develop. Georgie becomes more independent from her father, gets over her marriage to Lance and discovers her latent interest in filmmaking. As the back cover suggests marries her former worst enemy/childhood co-star, who turns out to not be so bad after all.
shadiphoenix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
okay, call me sappy, but I actually really liked this story. Of course I seem to like all of Susan Elizabeth Phillip's stories, so this should come as no surprise. Now I'm actually going to have to go back and read 'Glitter Baby' and refresh my memory of 'Natural Born Charmer. Yes the end was sappy, but Phillip created two real characters; people you'd see in a movie or on TV; the kind of people you root for and cry over, get angry at and then return safely to the world of reality. And that works for me.
punxsygal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
They grew up together on America¿s favorite television sitcom. Georgie York was young, naïve, and overprotected. Bramwell Shepard was a callous youth, whose trouble making brought down the show. All grown up now, Georgie¿s famous actor husband has left her for another woman. And if things couldn¿t get worse, Georgie and Bram find themselves waking up in a Las Vegas hotel room with a marriage license with their names on it and no memory of how they got there. In this fairly predictable, but thoroughly enjoyable, story, Georgie and Bram struggle to keep up appearances and launch serious careers under the scrutiny of the public and the paparazzi.
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love SEP and I've read every single book she's ever written and she's on my autobuy list. All that being said, I was disappointed with this piece of froth. Two child actors who everyone loved but who hated each other, are now in their early 30's and both their lives are falling apart, for different reasons. A totally implausible plot twist gets them married (the old ecstacy in the wine trick) and then they go on a tabloid ride till they manage to fall in love for real. I didn't believe either of them really and while I wanted to like them, I just couldn't get into them enough. I liked Georgie York, the vulnerable commediene more, but she's not one of my favorite heroines. I didn't believe Bram's insight in the beach, or that he would have lied to her in that way earlier. It just didn't ring emotionally true for me. This is a really easy read, I read it in one day, but it's also, sadly, easily forgettable too.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Georgie York's very public divorce has left her humiliated and hounded by the gutter press. During a drunken evening in Las Vegas, she accidentally marries her old nemesis, former costar and bad boy Bram. To keep the press off their backs, they agree to stay married for a year, pretending it's a love match. But the situation is more complex than it looks, and Bram can't be trusted. Or can he?There are no villains here, only a lot of damaged people, most of whom find some kind of peace--and even love.
mabrown2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I've ready by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Georgie York is a former child star trying to make it in Hollywood as a serious actress, but no one (including her manager father) is willing to give her a chance. Not helping is the paparazzi who are obsessed with her and her ex-husband's new relationship and follow Georgie everywhere she goes hoping to catch some sort of emotional outburst. To make matters worse, her former co-star, Bram, catches her in one of her lowest moments and does little to make her feel better. Naturally, they both somehow end up in Vegas and wake up one morning to find they got married the night before. Instead of flipping out, they decide to take advantage of the opportunity, thinking all of the press will bring them into the public eye enough to advance their careers. The plot is a bit clichéd (Drunken wedding in Vegas?) and the characters were difficult to like at first, but by the end I found I had gotten pretty invested in their story. One thing I liked about this book was the strong character development. Everyone had their flaws and everyone had a bit of changing and growing up to do. And it all happened in believable ways. I also liked the familiar backdrop of Hollywood and the hungry paparazzi. The story itself seemed to mirror the kind of things we see in the gossip mags. This book has turned me on to Susan Elizabeth Phillips and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
hammockqueen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
georgia gets involved in a fake marriage with her former co-star. They were teen stars for 3 years in a popular tv show. Does the fake marriage work?
phyllisd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes romantic comedies with dialog heavy in sarcasm that is just brilliant. "What I Did for Love" is a story about people learning to be real in a fake town. Ripped from the headlines, the plot reads like an article from People magazine. The main characters are flawed and human; the supporting characters are equally three-dimensional. This was an extremely entertaining read that I could not put down.
stonelaura on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What I Did for Love is predictable Phillips, which is a compliment. In this latest rendition of her contemporary romances we meet America¿s sweetheart, TV sitcom star Georgie York, just after her famous husband has left her for an Angelina Jolie-like Hollywood save-the-world stunner. The last person she wants to see as she¿s recovering from her loss is her former sit-com co-star and ne¿er-do-well Bram Shepard. Things went all wrong when they worked together ¿ from Georgie¿s rejected infatuation to Bram¿s out-of-control bad-boy behavior, so the worst thing that could happen would be a reunion both on screen and off. Imagine their mutual amazement when they wake up in Vegas to find they¿ve imbibed drug-laced drinks and gotten married overnight! Now they agree the best thing for both of their sagging careers would be to pretend to the public that they¿ve reunited as the star-crossed lovers America dreamed they would be. Of course, life away from the cameras is hell, until they each realize they¿ve changed in ways that are extremely attractive. Always a talent with snappy dialog and provocative, but tasteful, situations, Phillips absolutely does not disappoint with this entertaining and fun story.
thebookbabe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not the best Phillips has done, took me a while to warm up to the H/H but it was worth the journey. Working with unlikeable people and making the reader feel they are worthwhile is one of this author's strong points. They aren't necessarily redeemed, the reader just comes to realize why they are the way they are, what their strong points are, and how we love and accept people for who they are, not what they are. Now it's going to be a very long wait til her next book comes out.
phyllis2779 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent romance -- great characters, interesting plot, lovely ending. What more could I ask?
lrobe190 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When actress Georgie York's film career hits rock bottom along with her marriage, the paparazzi has a field day with her misfortune, which is only complicated by the reappearance of her sexy, unscrupulous former costar, Bramwell Shepard.SEP is one of my favorite authors, but this book wasn't as much fun as many of hers are. One of the reasons I like her so much is the fact that her stories have so much humor but this title was more serious. It was entertaining and a quick read, but not one of my favorites.
trekchick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Almost as good as Honey Moon, but much less heartbreak and no (reader) tears. Georgie is an instantly likeable character, clinging to her pride and good reputation after her Hollywood fairytale marriage ends. Her third flop movie is about to hit theaters and the tabloids have a teary-eyed picture of her reaction to seeing her ex-husband's new wife's sonogram. With no hope for a happy ending, she turns an accidental blunder into a crazy plan to stop the country's pitty party on her behalf. She never imagined she would fall in love. Thoroughly enjoyable.
montano on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Phillips' other novels are a pleasure to read, filled with compelling, interesting characters and genuine chemistry. Georgie York and Bram Shepherd are initially so unlikable that I had a hard time sticking w/the story. Georgie is whiny, shrill and self-pitying. We get so few glimpses of what Bram is thinking throughout the story that it makes it nearly impossible to sympathize or understand why he's the hero. The plot is interesting and the thinly veiled Aniston-Pitt-Jolie device is a guilty pleasure. But overall, not Phillips' best work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I almost passed on this book after reading the reviews. I'm glad I took a chance!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago