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Topic: Opinions on Danielle Steele as a writer

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Subject: Opinions on Danielle Steele as a writer
Date Posted: 12/12/2009 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I am fairly new to romance and I have to admit that I had a hard time picking up my first Nora Roberts book.  I think it is because she is kind of the queen of surupy romances and that seemed a little type-cast to me.  Little did I know that she writes great books often with a lot of suspense in them.  She is now one of my favorite romance writers.  Then we come to Danielle Steele and I have the same problem I had originally with Nora Roberts.  Is she a good read?  Does she develop characters well.  Is there something besides a surupy romance in her books?

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
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I have never read any of her novels and have never seen them recommended here. I'm kind of afraid or her novels lol - I'm also afraid of Fern Michaels and Debbie Macomber for the same reason you mention above. I'm interested in what others have to say.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 2,164
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I've only read one or two of her books a loooong time ago and don't remember enjoying them that much.  I've never seen her recommended on any romance forums I've been on.  IIRC, she's not considered romance.  I think she's considered plain old fiction.  Her books certainly don't appeal to me at least. 

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I've never read her and wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole.   I just have a prejudice against her.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 1,004
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I've read a lot of Danielle Steele.  Mainly one summer when I didn't have much else available.  I didn't keep any of them.  They are more fiction than romance.  You can't count on a happy ending.  Lots of death and tragedy and betrayal.  Sometimes the H or h grows old and dies.  She tells the story in a detached superficial way, sort of like a reporter.  Some sex but not anything really interesting.  Haven't touched her books since that summer.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 2,463
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I read one of her books a loooong time ago and didn't like it, haven't picked one up since.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Never read her and never plan to.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Regarding Fern Michaels - I enjoy her books.  Her sisterhood series is just good plain fun with a little romance thrown in to boot.  The other books of hers I have read were not what I would call "syrupy".  They are mostly books about people, with series following family members through several books.  Some of her books push the realm of credibility somewhat, but then so do most romance books, especially the historical romances.  I like books where the people are well rounded and credible and I find most of Fern Michaels to be that way.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I consider Danielle Steele a fiction writer, not a romance writer. I read one of her very first books many years ago but wasn't interested in trying any others.

I read a couple of Fern Michaels category romances many, many years ago (Silhouette Romances) and thought her writing was good but I never followed up with subsequent books she wrote.

Some authors have been and will always be auto-buys for me; for other authors I choose books mainly by their plot so even if I've enjoyed Author-X in the past if one of their books doesn't have a plot I like I usually won't buy the book, that has been the case with Michaels.

I don't consider Roberts' books to be syrupy, though some readers who aren't into romances can think of romance books in that way. Many of them deal with serious issues but I like the HEA that is expected in a romance, as opposed to women's fiction or straight fiction where the serious issue(s) will lead to a less than HEA ending - though probably a more realistic one.

I work with a woman who reads Danielle Steels exclusively, can't get her interested in any other author no matter how many books I share with her. Some people just won't enjoy "romances" - or else they just haven't found the author that will convert them.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,175
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I have to agree with what has been said, I read her a long time ago, but I also have to say I read mostly historicals.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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I've read a few of Danielle Steel's books. The Ranch was probably one of the few that i really liked. After awhile her stories seem to repeat themselves.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I burned out on her over 10 years ago though I did pick up The Ranch and would hav eliked it except for the ending for one person - she made a decision I didn't want her making! I read Thurston House back in high school and liked it but it was sad. many of hers seem to be either sad (kaleidoscope) or the first half covers maybe a 1-2 yr time frame then zip 2 more generations go by the last half. Family Album is one I stil remember and it had sadness too. I dont' think they're really 'romance' but more like women's fiction maybe with some romance in the book.

Subject: Danielle Steel
Date Posted: 12/12/2009 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 1,138
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I used to read her as a teen. All of her books sound the same. You can skim the whole book & not feel you missed anything.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've never been tempted to read her. Probably because my mother was a Danielle Steele fanatic.  Not that I don't like my mom or anything. 

The main reason is that I don't care for romance books that span several years or generations.  I read romance for the HEA. And I don't want to go through  long seperations, marriages to other people and major family tragedies to get to the HEA.  It's one reason I don't read Bertrice Small anymore. It's just not enjoyable to me to read about the Hero/Heroine being apart for most of the book and having sex with other people before they finally get together forever.  Of course having never read a Danielle Steele book I can't say that that's how she writes them. It's just the impression I've got from the synopsis' I've read and the books of hers that they've made into TV movies.

But only you'll be able to tell if you'll like her or not. Peoples tastes vary so much.  I'm not a huge Nora Roberts fan either. I read one here and there.  I would never buy one of her books new.  But I get them on audio from teh library sometimes.  I like the suspense aspect she puts in her books.  I just find it hard to believe that one woman can crank out so many books a year.  Makes me wonder if she has some ghost writers.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 11:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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Danielle Steele is one of the authors I've tried to read several times but could never get into her books.  They simply don't keep my interest.

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 5:44 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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IIRC (it's been YEARS, but I read her stuff when I was around 14) her books are mostly melodrama, with a little romance thrown in. There is usually a very young and innocent heroine, and a "daddy-type" older man. The evil folks are over the top.

I wouldn't think many of her books translate well into modern ideals. I'd take a pass if it were me, unless you just like old skool soap opera type plots.

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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It's been a really long time since I've read her, but as I recall, there just wasn't that much character developement.  The plots were interesting enough, but the characters seemed like cardboard cutout people.

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I can only remember one scene from a Danielle Steele book (and this may be why I've never picked her up again)--the heroine's husband/lover dies and she spends the night with his body in a funeral home. I remember her holding his hand. I don't want tragedy, tragedy, tragedy in my romances.

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 4,591
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Just to add to what several people have already stated, I was a huge DS fan as a teenager. I just got to a point where I couldn't take her anymore. Her books are almost identical in plot, and I got sick to death of her killing off main characters in every single novel. Haven't picked one up since the '90s.