The author of about 80 novels since 1973.

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First Sight (2014)

Timmie O'Neill is an incredibly successful fashion designer who has, after many years of dedication and hard work, built a name for herself within the world of fashion. Her business empire is her life and she is used to travelling all over the world, from New York to Milan to Paris, spending every minute focused on her job. This means she doesn't have time for romance in her life, but Timmie is fine with that. She has managed to leave her horrible past behind her and won't give up what she has achieved for just any man. Until she meets a handsome Frenchman named Jean Charles, who suddenly makes her rethink her life decisions. But is Timmie really ready to trust someone with her heart? I had pretty high expectations when I started reading this novel, mainly because it was my first Danielle Steel book, an author I had heard so many positive things about. Maybe my expectations were a bit too high, because unfortunately the book didn't quite manage to live up to them. It took time to warm to the main character, Timmie. She's a strong and independent woman who has had to deal with quite a lot in her life. I admire those qualities in any person, but I personally got the feeling Timmie was almost a bit too perfect. The story was quite slow-paced, especially the first 100 pages or so, and contains a lot of descriptions and repetition and not that much dialogue. I also would have liked it if more attention had been given to some of the secondary characters such as Jade, Timmie's assistant, instead of only focusing on Timmie's narrative. Overall, At First Sight is an enjoyable and trustworthy 'classic' romance read but just didn't meet my high hopes. (JoH)

Family Ties (2010)

Annie, 26, has everything she could ever dream of, including the perfect boyfriend Seth. Fresh out of architecture school, she's working for a great firm and is up for a promotion. But then Annie's older sister Jane and her husband are killed in an accident, and she becomes guardian of her two nieces and nephew. All of a sudden Annie must learn to take responsibility not only for herself but the children as well. Goodbye single life and hello motherhood. The book tracks through 16 years of their lives, showing that no matter what happens when it comes to the crunch nothing can break those ties that hold families together. This may be a plot we've seen in books and movies before, but Danielle Steel fans won't be disappointed. And lovers of chick lit who haven't tried her before may find this will get you hooked. (PP)

Big Girl (2010)

Big boned Victoria looks nothing like the rest of her family, instead she's told she bears a resemblance to dumpy Queen Victoria. When she is seven along comes baby sister Gracie who becomes the apple of her parents' eyes. As Victoria has always had a sweet tooth and eats to deal with her parents' disapproval, she soon feels even more uncomfortable in her skin. And having a younger sister who's a gorgeous GAP model and growing up in body-conscious LA makes life even more difficult. So Victoria decides it's time to pack her bags and after college in Chicago she moves to New York to become a high school teacher. But life for Victoria isn't about to get any easier as she goes through a series of odd relationships, from guys who end up being gay to cheating scoundrels. This tale about an outsider focuses on sisters and self-esteem, food and family conflict, and the good, bad and ugly side of romance. It's one of those novels where you will swing between laughter and tears. (PP)

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