Let me preface this by saying normally I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips or SEP as she is known by fans. When I recently paired by collection down to my favorite 400 books (from over 5,000) most of hers were included. She currently resides in the same bookshelf as Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, Erynn Mangum and all of the rest of my favorite Chick Lit authors.
Butttt.....how did you know there was going to be a but, you are so smart- this one...UGHHH! Every once in a while I’ll finish a book and ask myself What in the holy hell happened? Either the plot is contrived or the author just couldn’t close the deal. When I finished SEP's newest and latest, What I Did for Love, not only did I ask What the hell happened but also Hey, Ms. Phillips maybe it’s time for a vacation, hmmm? I hear the Bahama's are nice this time of year.
Strangely, this book has all of the trademark characteristics of a classic Phillips novel, a spunky, female main character with real issues and the classic, too handsome compelling male lead with strong supporting characters. Georgie York and Bramwell Sheppard were once childhood actors in America's favorite television sitcom. Eight years later, Georgie has been dumped by her too handsome husband for an international do-gooding, thin, beautiful actress and Bram’s career appears to have hit the skids. Sound familiar? Therefore to solve their respective issues, they fake marry each other.
A vast, huge set of supporting characters help to confuse the tale, including Bram's mouthy housekeeper(although my very favorite character in the entire book), Georgie's over-weight personal assistant, her pushy stage father, a suck-up agent, a cold studio head, and her ex-husband and his new wife, a cameo from April Robillard and Jack Patriot (Natural Born Charmer), and on and on. I think my keypad just sighed from exhaustion.
The chemistry is non-existent, the characters unlikeable, and the story contrived. Worse is the lack of witty, laugh out loud dialogue Phillips is known for, never before have I felt so ambivalent about two characters in my entire life.. The ending was rushed and felt as though it was added as an after-thought.
Ticks me off when I spend all that time anticipating a new book and it sucks!!!!