The Heiress and the Convict – “Passion’s Promise” by Danielle Steel
As if this month-long project could even consider being complete without at least one appearance by Ms. Steel. Come on, she’s an institution – and it’s not hard to see why. Years ago, I read “The Promise” at my Mom’s urging and remember thinking it was a completely bizarre book that was weirdly engrossing.
“Passion’s Promise” fits that description, too. Not a traditional trashy romance novel, it’s more complicated than that. Take “Gossip Girl,” and blend it with any number of good girl meets bad boy plots, and you’re getting close.
Beautiful Heiress Kezia St. Martin doesn’t just lead a double life – she leads a triple life. There’s Kezia St. Martin, party-going dazzler famous world-wide and no stranger to the tabloids, accompanied by a probably-gay sorta-boyfriend. In a twist, she also goes by the byline “Martin Hallam” and writes a wildly successful column about the goings-on in her social circles. The third life is the one she likes the most – as legit writer K.S. Miller, who pens intelligent articles about poverty and such and dates an artist in SoHo.
You see, Kezia is more than just a pretty face. She yearns for more. When she meets Lucas Johns, a former convict who’s now a leading voice for prison reform, she finds herself falling in love with him, torn between all the worlds she’s become so good at juggling. Is Lucas too dangerous for her, or is their life together going to work?
It’s all salacious and cliche-ridden. Drunk society women stumble through the streets and throw themselves off buildings in furs. The rich are shallow and the poor/middle-class are worthwhile people. The rough-and-tumble dudes are the heroes, and the woman at the center of it all is so remarkable everyone around her falls at her feet.
Despite all that, it’s a really good read. Danielle Steel has acquired her household name for a reason. If this is the kind of book you’re looking for, you can’t do better than “Passion’s Promise.” Ms. Steel writes with bold strokes and makes no apologies for anything – silly twists, moments of ridiculous dialogue, and a slightly “wtf” ending.
Danielle Steel is made of win. The End.