Picks and Pans Review: Special Delivery

UPDATED 09/29/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/29/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Danielle Steel

At 59, Beverly Hills boutique owner Jack Watson is handsome, charming and fabulously rich—not to mention "a fun guy, terrific in bed and an incurable playboy." Onetime actress Amanda Kingston is a recent widow who, at 50, is "amazingly beautiful and still very much a movie star." Kingston thinks Watson is a lech. He calls her the Ice Queen. It doesn't take a genius to figure out where this story is headed. Unfortunately, Steel has been down this road before, and it shows. Her dialogue drips with clichés, the plot is thin even by Steel standards, and the author squanders any admiration she might have earned for making her characters middle-aged by repeatedly reminding the reader of how young they look.

Too bad, then, that her publisher chose Special Delivery, Steel's 40th novel, to launch the new Danielle Steel Reading Group, a marketing campaign to help readers start their own book discussion clubs—and, not coincidentally, sell more books. Steel's loyal legions may sign on anyway, but this book won't deliver any new converts. (Delacorte, $16.95)

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