Valyruh’s #CBR5 Review #98: The Kiss by Danielle Steele

I’m sort of embarrassed to review this, but this was the only thing available to read on the recent long bus trip I took, and I am so close to my double Cannonball as the holidays descend,  so I bit the bullet—and got a bad case of tummy ache as a result. Who reads this stuff, anyway!?

In a nutshell, the emotionally-abused wife of a super-wealthy prick of a cold-blooded European banker has isolated herself by obsessively caring for her sickly son, and her only phone friend is the married but lonely American billionaire whose wife couldn’t be more of a stereotype—fun-loving, party-going, bed-hopping and bored with her politician husband. The phone friendship goes on for years behind their spouses’ backs and love quietly blooms across the transatlantic cables. When the two super-rich lonely hearts get a chance to spend a few secret —but “innocent”– days together doing art stuff in Paris, mad love ensues—only to be cut short when a horrible car accident mangles the two of them, leaving him broken in body and her damaged beyond repair and in a coma. Lo and behold, love conquers all—he calls her back from death during her trip down the “tunnel of light,” and recovers enough to lie next to her hospital bed and hold her hand and keep her tethered to life through their love for each other.

Next chapter, she goes home to her hateful husband to care for her slowly dying son, he divorces his wife but keeps her as a friend and confidante, and we have to plow through interminable debates with himself, his therapist, etc. about whether he can sustain an erection long enough for him to consider himself a man (!) and fight for his true love. He also doesn’t know if he’ll ever walk again, and how could he burden her with that, anyway? Well, the legs and the erection, not necessarily in that order — need I say more? In truth, any one of us could have written the ending to this bad soap opera—no mystery there. In fact, I would say that the real mystery is how Ms. Steele continues to find an audience for this stuff. I couldn’t even wring out a single tear over this, and I tried, believe me.

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