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What I Did For Love    by Susan Elizabeth Phillips order for
What I Did For Love
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Georgie York and Bram Shepard lit up the small screen as America's sweetest teenage couple in the wildly popular sit-com Skip and Scooter. Eight years later the glittering bubble of stardom bursts due to Shepard's off screen excesses and sexual shenanigans. Georgie manages to land the odd movie role and eventually walks back into the limelight on the arm of her hunky action star husband, Lance Marks - until he dumps her to wed up-and-coming starlet and do-gooder Jade Gentry. Hurt and despondent over her personal as well as public humiliation, Georgie heads for a wild weekend in Vegas where, after a drinking binge, she wakes up in bed with former co-star and dreamboat-from-hell, Bramwell Shepard. Georgie believes her situation couldn't get any worse, until she discovers a notarized marriage certificate that somebody tossed onto the bureau.

Bram is even more horrified when he finds himself legally shackled to his perky and despicable co-star. Bram wants nothing more than a quiet annulment and the opportunity to slink back into obscurity. But Georgie isn't about to look a possible gift horse in the mouth, even if it means spending a few weeks, or perhaps months with a man she absolutely detests. Sure that the news of their marriage would resurrect both their failing careers, she eventually convinces Bram to play along. Now it's up to America's former sweethearts to give the performance of their lives to convince the world - and maybe even themselves - that they really are the soulmates they'd played so convincingly in that long-ago sit-com.

Phillips takes a much-clichéd premise and, with her usual flair, injects new life into it. What I Did For Love is a story brimming with great characterizations, humorous situations, and smart and cheeky dialogue. Best of all, Phillips creates another charming, irresistible and hot romance between leads Georgie and Bram. Initially both come across as tarnished, and in Bram's case, very jaded, stars. Their priorities are all about resurrecting their floundering careers and looking good for the slavering paparazzi even if they have to spread the odd lie or two. But in Phillips' skilled hands, readers soon see a whole other side of Georgie and Bram. She digs deep into their back stories and directs both along a new path that re-examines their relationship, both past and present. They experience considerable character growth along the way.

Sure, some of the situations Georgie and Bram find themselves in are way over the top - and clearly Phillips' way of poking fun at the light, as well as the darker side, of all that is Tinsel Town. But it works overall. So do yourself a favour and spend a few hours with Georgie and Bram as you discover exactly what they did for love - you won't be disappointed.

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