Georgie York is having a very bad day. Heck, she’s been having a string of bad days. You see, Georgie is a beloved child star, famous for her sweet nature, and her classic series, Skip and Scooter. She seems to have everything she’d ever want: a successful career, a handsome husband, and many good friends. But her handsome husband, Lance, has very publicly left her for a Hollywood’s latest do-gooder, gorgeous actress, Jade Gentry. (Does this story sound familiar to you? I couldn’t help thinking of the Brad-Angelina-Jennifer triangle). One day, Georgie is accosted by the press who are anxious to tell her that Jade is pregnant. Georgie is devastated and can’t hide her reaction. Watching from the sidelines is her dissipated co-star from Skip and Scooter days, Bramwell Shepard. Bram has a terrible image in Hollywood, and has a distinct lack of jobs to prove it. You see, he ruined his career by his diva behavior on the set of Skip and Scooter. He was occasionally drunk, often belligerent, and generally difficult to deal with. And in the end, the show was cancelled because of his bad behavior.
Georgie flees the scene to her friend Trevor’s house. There, she begs Trevor to consider marrying her for a year — just to help her get her credibility back. The bad news for her is that Trevor is gay, and has absolutely no intention of honoring that request. Unfortunately for Georgie, Trevor is also friends with Bram, who overhears the conversation and can’t resist poking fun at Georgie. Georgie flees the scene and ends up deciding to go with a few friends to Las Vegas for the weekend. As coincidence (as far as Georgie knows) would have it, Bram is in Vegas too. Unsurprisingly, they clash, but end up at the same party, and end up drinking too much. When they wake up in the morning, they are mutually dismayed to find that they have gotten married. Georgie realizes pretty much right off the bat that this could work to her advantage if she can convince Bram to stay married to her. Bram, who is trying desperately to get a movie off the ground, realizes that Georgie’s contacts can help him. Plus, she offers him $50,000 to stay married to her. Bram decides to take her up on her offer. Will they be able to overcome their long-standing feud and fall in love?
Generally Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a sure thing for me. Her books feature wonderfully dimensional characters that have a lot of heart. She’s also very talented at bringing the funny. Not bust a gut funny, but she’s incredibly adept at putting her characters in interesting and challenging situations, while never forcing them to lose their softer side. Unfortunately, this book seemed to be missing the funny. I found both Georgie and Bram to be selfish, single-minded people who were really only out or themselves. They both played some petty tricks on each other, and were generally pretty nasty to each other. When the author finally had them begin to soften, the damage was already done in my mind. The characters had both exposed a nastier, petty side that made them very difficult for me to like, let alone root for.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips remains an auto-buy for me, but for readers who’ve never enjoyed her work before, I’d recommend you start with It Had to Be You, or another of her older books and give this book a pass.