Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Review: One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time by Danielle Steele

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've been sucked into the literary wows of Danielle Steel.  Her romantic novels have been stuff of legend; I've seen numerous made-for-tv-movies adapted from her books on Lifetime, but I never though I'd actually read one of her formulaic, over-the-top novels.  However, I've been sucked into her fantasy world, and I must admit I love the fluff.

Steel's 77th novel is a tale of three very different couples who learn to take life one day at a time.  Coco Barrington was born into a legendary Hollywood family.  Her mother Florence Flowers is a mega-bestselling author (I'm thinking Stell modeled this character after herself) who's just begun a secret romance with a man 24 years her junior. And, her sister Jane is one of Hollywood's top producers; she's lived with her partner, Liz, for almost 10 years, and the couple is expecting their first child.  After dropping out of law school and leaving LA  for the beach town of Bolinas, Coco was labeled the black sheep of the family.  Despite her booming dog walking business, both her sister and mother think Coco's just a flakey hippy who never sees a project through.  They don't think her career choice or the men she's dated have been worthy of the Barrington name.  Both are waiting for Coco to grow up and go back to law school, but in the meantime, neither have any problem taking advantage of Coco's yes man mentality.

On her way to work one morning, Coco receives a frantic call from Jane, demanding that she housesits and looks after her dog while she and Liz are on location in New York for the next four months.  Coco begrudgingly agrees.  But, after living in her big sister's luxurious house for just a few days, Coco discovers just how quickly her world can be turned upside down.  It seems Jane's house came complete with an unexpected houseguest:  Leslie Baxter, a dashing but down-to-earth British actor who's fleeing a psycho ex-girlfriend, meets Coco under sticky circumstances.  After gorging her toasted waffles in syrup, the two dogs trip her and the sweet liquid covers every inch of the kitchen, including Coco and Leslie.  Although their worlds couldn't be more different (he's a famous actor and she's a dog walker), their attraction is instantaneous.  Suddenly Coco sees things in a whole new light....Leslie isn't just a celebrity; he's a single dad to an adorable six-year-old girl.  Her mother isn't just a self-centered walking advertisement for great cosmetic surgery; she's a woman in love. And Jane isn't just an uptight workaholic; she's about to take the bravest plunge of all, parenthood.  As Coco contemplates a future with one of Hollywood's hottest starts, old wounds are healed, and new families are formed.  Though not all traditional, each are bonded by love.

On a slightly random note, each time I think of the hot British actor, Leslie Baxter, Jude Law comes to mind.  Although Law's only 38, I'm sure this Daddy to three has read bedtimes stories and sat through tea parties like his fictional counterpart.

Now That's One British Babe
I'd certainly recommend One Day at a Time to any gal who's never read a Danielle Steel novel; I've heard it's a nice way to ease into the melodramatic magic she creates.  I think she's discovered the foolproof ingredients to literary sucess-love, sex, and puppy dog tails.  And have no fear, her version of the Cinderella Story ends with a Happily Ever After too.

My Rating:  ****

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