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book coverSybil’s review of Rogue by Danielle Steel
Fiction hardcover release from Delacourt Press 24 Jun 08

Rogue is not a romance novel but one has to give kudos to whoever it was that made that poll because no way would it or this book have gotten as much attention from the romance blogland without pulling our strings and watching us get puffy. The joke is Danielle Steel is a ‘guilty pleasure’ read or a ‘beach read’ or whatever stupid sayings they dust off every June. I have loved me some trashy fiction and more smutty reads than I can remember, sadly this isn’t even that. I would say it was something close to Reality TV only it isn’t that deep.

Blake Williams is a charming, handsome, playboy who retired at 35. Now at 46, he test drives young women and travels. He has three children (well, three he fathered, too many others to count that he dates) by his ex-wife Maxine. She got tired of being his mommy too and divorced him, but she didn’t take him for all she deserved could have, so they are teh BFF’s.

Maxine has always been the adult. She is a psychiatrist and “…one of the foremost experts in trauma in both children and adolescents”. This ‘expert’ is able to watch her ex (who people still call her ‘husband’) blow in and out of their kids’ lives, knows they can’t count on him for crap (but hopes he will come through and not break their heart this time), and lets him take her 13 year old daughter, 12 and 6 year old sons – alone or with bimbo-of-the-week – out of the country. And is so smart she ‘falls in love’ with a man, who is such an adult he spends all his time trying to get her to send her children away to boarding school. So he can have her all to himself. WHAAAAT??

That is pretty much the sum of the book. No matter how often the reader is told how smart, loving, educated or wonderful these characters are we never see it. Maxine agrees to marry a man who has to try not to hate her kids. And the most interesting characters in the book are the bimbos.

The grade should be lower but I read it without force being needed. OH! And I like the cover…. so sad cuz I use to like Danielle Steel once upon a time.

glittersyb-by-mlleelizabeth.jpgGrade: D –

Being married to Blake had been an amazing adventure for Maxine. Brilliant, charismatic, and wholly unpredictable, Blake Williams made millions and grabbed headlines as a dot-com entrepreneur. His only shortcoming was as a husband—first his work and then his never-ending quest for fun kept him constantly on the move, far away from Maxine and his family. For five years Blake and Maxine have worked out an odd but amicable divorce, with friendly though infrequent visits, a yacht he lends her every summer, and three children they both adore. Blake enjoys his globe-trotting lifestyle—dating a succession of beautiful, famous, and very young women—while Maxine raises their kids in Manhattan and pursues her passion, working as a psychiatrist, a world-renowned expert on childhood trauma and adolescent suicide. Then everything changes….

For Maxine it starts when she falls in love with Dr. Charles West, a man who is everything Blake is not—mature, grounded, and present. For Blake it begins when a devastating earthquake strikes near one of his palatial foreign homes and he sees hundreds of orphaned children in need of shelter. Now Blake wants Maxine in his life again—as a partner in a humanitarian project that could change countless lives. For Maxine the choice is clear. But Blake’s sudden transformation—from carefree playboy to compassionate, responsible grown-up—raises questions she’s never managed to answer . . . and some she’s afraid to ask. After all, Maxine is on the cusp of a new life, about to marry Charles, and almost certain that Blake Williams, aka the Rogue, is a man capable of doing anything—except change….

An unforgettable story of two people pursuing happiness from opposite directions, Rogue is a journey of choices and the amazing opportunities that come together—just when life seems to have been successfully rearranged at last.