What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips fulfilled the “Book with the Word Love in the Title” category of the PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge. As a romance author and reader, I had so many choices for this one. I wish I’d chosen better.
Okay, that was mean. I usually love SEP’s books and read them in a day or two. She’s always one of my go-to authors for a light, funny, great novel. What I Did for Love is not one of her best.
The premise threw me off. The book is set in Hollywood, all the drama and tabloids. SEP highlights all the fake behavior, schmoozing, and cut-throat antics. Not my favorite topics but she does it well without overstating for making the reader feel stupid. Her world-building is amazing and the reader never questions the universe. But the story was an “enemies to lovers” tale and I just couldn’t swallow some of it.
A few things took the story from a five star to four. One was the hero. The others were deep point of view and missed cues.
The hero, Bramwell Shepard, never clicked with me. Perhaps because the book focused on the heroine Georgie York’s point of view. She described, at length, the antics Bram got up to on the set of the sitcom they were in together. Throughout the book, we discover tiny ways that negate Georgie’s dated perspective on the man. But I never believed she thought he was a good guy. I didn’t feel it. He lied to her over the entire book. I hate that. A LOT. If someone can’t be honest, then how can you ever trust them? Trust was never established. Without trust, there is no love.
Second, Georgie’s ambition. More spoilers here. At first, Georgie wants the choice role in the new and predicted blockbuster movie Bram is producing. She bends over backward to prep. Then she walks away. I’d be okay with that if we had some very deep point of view on her decision. The author held back and let us find out when Bram did. I would rather have heard Georgie’s epiphany that she wanted her life to go in another direction. I needed her feels, her voice, her everything.
Last, there were a few missed conflict cues. I guess I have a problem with not enough conflict in books. I think it comes from my eclectic background. If you’ve read the blog, you can see my taste in reading varies widely. Urban fantasy tops my favorite books along with horror. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files have ruined me for conflict in any other book. Harry always gets in the best messes.
Though I liked the book, I didn’t love it.
I give What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips Four Movie Scripts.