11 July 2009

Book Review: Rogue by Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel - RogueMaxine Williams loved being married to millionaire Blake, he was a great entrepreneur, brilliant and a great person. The problem was that he wasn't as good at being a husband as he was a businessman, so Maxine left with their 3 children in tow.

The pair are still friends, and the children get to see both their mum and dad as much as they want, although they don't want their parents ending up with anyone else! So problems arise when Maxine meets fellow doctor Charles, the kids aren't happy and they're even unhappier when Blake falls in love as well.

But when a tragedy strikes, Maxine and Blake are thrown together once more, and she begins to wonder if The Rogue himself has changed. How will things work out for the pair?

Danielle Steel is one of the most prolific authors of our time, with an amazing 76 books to her name (as of Jan. 2009). She's read worldwide, has had many books turned into TV films and is one of the world's most read authors. So I was intrigued when this book turned up on my doorstep as I had never read any of Steel's books before. I took them to be for the slightly older reader, a book that had a predictable ending and probably not something that is my cup of tea. Rogue was released in the UK in paperback in July 2009, and features a nice white, black and turquoise cover which looks nice and modern, and something I wouldn't mind picking up off of a shelf. I eagerly began Rogue, interested to see what my opinion of it would be.

Well, I finished it within a day because it was very easy reading, and I was right - the outcome was entirely predictable. HOWEVER that doesn't mean it wasn't an enjoyable read and the story along the way to the ending wasn't all that bad either! One thing that annoyed me a tad is nothing to do with the story itself at all - it is the rather large font used in the book, so it looks a lot longer than it really! I prefer a smaller text in my books so I found myself whizzing through Rogue in no time, and before I knew it, I was at the end. I don't know if that is deliberate of the publishers to make the book a bit thicker for connsumers but it did irritate me a tad, although I suppose it isn't that big a deal in the scheme of things.

The characters were all quite stereo-type American people. Blake is a self-made millionaire, womaniser, friendly and loveable guy who is still best friends with his ex-wife, a great dad to his children and charity donater too. Maxine is a successful doctor dealing with problem children (suicides etc), has a nanny who is her best friend, 3 lovely children, and a great relationship with her ex-husband. The only thing either is missing is a lovelife (see where we're going here?!) and this book is their quest for happiness. I liked Blake and Maxine very much, there's no reason NOT to like them to be honest! They're well written, well developed and considering the pace of the story, we do get to know them well enough to care about them. The 3 children aren't seen too much, but are typical of children of their age group, with Steel covering a couple of issues in here as well to bring them into frontline plot a tad more and to bring together Blake and Maxine for a moment as well of course!!

As I said, you can guess how this is all going to end within the first few pages, but I enjoyed the journey. The book explores different relationships, how circumstances can change over time and more importantly different kinds of love as well. The inclusion of a new male into an established family was well done and I absolutely loathed the character of Charles - if any man spoke to my children like that, he'd be out on his ear! It was a funny look at "step-families" in that respect because it did seem unlikely, but Steel doesn't rush this even though its pretty inevitable how its going to conclude with that relationship! We don't see as much of Blake's relationships, as Maxine is the main character of the book but what we do see is enough to draw conclusions from.

While this was a very pleasant and easy read, I won't be rushing out to pick up another Danielle Steel book! I really don't think that at 23 years old, I am Steel's main demographic and I imagine quite a few of my lovely library users would love this book, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. It was all a little predictable, fast and cliche for me to fully enjoy it, but there are people out there who love just that - after all, she wouldn't have sold 580 million copies of her books if people didn't like them, would she?! Rogue is a good way to spend a day by the pool perhaps, but don't go into it expecting too much as you'll be disappointed! A fair read, good enough but just not for me!

Thank you to the publishers CORGI for sending us a copy to review.

Rating: 3/5

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