On August 14, we celebrated author Danielle Steel’s 74th birthday. While Steel is known for her romance writing, her content is so much more than that. In a CBS morning show interview in 2012, Steel actually denied being a romance novelist. Part of her argument is that if you strip away the romantic plot of many of her novels, there is still so much of the story left underneath.
Not only this, but she also writes books in the mystery and suspense genre and books about friendly and familial love. Steel seems to be able to do it all. But for those new to Danielle Steel’s universe, we have compiled a list of her top five novels to get you started.
Whether you are in the mood for a love story to honor Romance Awareness month or you’re looking for something thrilling to begin the spooky season a bit early, we can guarantee there will be a Danielle Steel novel for you.
According to Goodreads, Steel’s 2009 novel, Safe Harbor is at the top of the author’s recommended list. A divorced Matt Bowles is down on his luck when he runs into a young Pip Mackenzie on the beach. The girl has a spooky resemblance to his own daughter, who he recently lost custody of during the divorce. Through a slow-growing friendship, Matt offers to teach Pip to draw, and in turn meets her mother, Ophelie, who has just become a widower. The two bring back joy and hope to the other’s life and begin to see a future together past their current hardships.
Even in the face of truth, sometimes things are better kept a secret. Grace Adams was just seventeen when she was attacked after attending her mother’s funeral. When an investigation ensues, Grace shocks everyone by keeping silent. If she releases one truth, who knows which horrors from her past will come back to haunt her? As she grows up, Grace begins to reach out to people who resonate with her pain all too well. When she finally meets a man who appears to be the man of her dreams, is it all real, or is it all just a facade? Follow Grace’s story from start to finish in Malice.
Kaleidoscope follows the story of three daughters who were separated upon their parents’ tragic death. Over the years, each of them has lead a different life, but only one remembers where she came from. When the man who was meant to be in charge of the girls is on his death bed, his regret for not keeping the girls together weighs too heavy on his conscience, and he hires a private investigator to track each of the daughters down. From New York to Paris to Appalachia, take a ride on this journey as the three daughters discover one final secret about their family.
If you love historical fiction, Zoya is the Steel book for you. Set during the Russian Revolution and the start of WWI, Zoya is the cousin of Tsar and therefore needs to escape in order to save her life as the Russian monarchy comes crumbling down. She escapes to Paris, where she begins a new life as a dancer for the Ballet Russe. She then meets an American soldier years later who whisks her away to New York just as the Great Depression hits the States. Join Zoya as she sees her way through the ups and downs of her life and stay until the end to find out if she succeeds at a life that is far from her tragic past.
Summer’s End is a fan-favorite amongst Steel’s most ardent readers. Although not one of her most popular novels, this book is a fantastic example of precisely why Steel’s novels are so popular. Deanna seems to have it all: the social status, the foreign man of her dreams, and a peaceful marriage that has her set up for life by the time she is eighteen. However, what’s missing is the actual romance bit. Years later when her husband a daughter leave on vacation, Deanna meets a man who shows her all of her wildest dreams can come true. The only thing standing in the way is that summertime will come to end and so must her romance. Will she go back to a life and a marriage she despises, or will she risk it all to have a second change at a full and wonderful life?
Need more romance in your life? Celebrate Romance Awareness Month with our Romance, Writing, and Relationships features on Jane Austen and Margaret Mitchell. And watch out for this week’s installment where we follow the life of Nicholas Sparks.
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