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Irresistible Forces

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Danielle Steel's forty-seventh bestselling novel is very much about the tides of our times, changes and responsibilities in the workplace pull two people in different directions, sweeping them into new lives and changed worlds----.

Irresistible Forces

For fourteen years, Steve and Meredith Whitman have sustained a marriage of passion and friendship - despite the demands of two all-consuming careers.  Meredith, an investment banker, ...

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Danielle Steel's forty-seventh bestselling novel is very much about the tides of our times, changes and responsibilities in the workplace pull two people in different directions, sweeping them into new lives and changed worlds----.

Irresistible Forces

For fourteen years, Steve and Meredith Whitman have sustained a marriage of passion and friendship - despite the demands of two all-consuming careers.  Meredith, an investment banker, has achieved partnership in one of Wall Street's top firms.  Steve A gifted physician, chose an urban trauma ward over the big money he could have earned elsewhere.  The only thing missing in their lives is children.  Steve longs for them.  But Meredith keeps putting off motherhood, saying she isn't ready and doesn't have time.  Not yet.  Especially now that she has been offered an extraordinary opportunity, a chance to reach for the brass ring - in San Francisco, three thousand miles away.  Meredith is thrilled and surprised when Steve urges her to accept a top position at an exciting young high-tech company.  Traditionally, men's careers forces families to move to new cities, compelling their wives to abandon friends, home, and lives to follow.  But Steve is more than willing to uproot himself. Saying he'll join her as he can find a new job himself, they can begin their family at last.

Neither Steve nor Meredith had reckoned on the frustrations of a bi-coastal marriage, as Steve's job keeps him in New York for months longer than planned.  Weekends together, their lifeline, fall prey to their hectic schedules.  Alone in San Francisco, Meredith is spending long hours at the office with her boss, charismatic entrepreneur Callan Dow.  Steve working late shifts at the hospital, grabbing an occasional dinner with a new colleague, a doctor raising a daughter on her own.  Almost unnoticed, Steve and Meredith have begun living separate lives in increasingly separate worlds.  And despite the best of intentions, irresistible forces begin to tear their lives and hearts apart.

With unerring insight, Danielle Steel explores what happens when lives that fit together like delicately balanced puzzles are shifted, changed, and drift apart.  Only time can tell who and what they will become as life sweeps them onward and deposits them on new, sometimes frightening, and often exciting shores.  Who survives, is at the core of Irresistible Forces.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

There's good news for devoted Danielle Steel fans. After 46 bestselling novels, Steel has penned yet another stirring and passionate romance that is bound to top the charts. Irresistible Forces is a tale of love lost and love found, a touching and sometimes painful look at what can happen when marriage, love, and commitment cross paths with the responsibilities, sensibilities, and the hectic pace of modern-day life.

Nurturing a marriage can be difficult for any dual-income couple, but Steve and Meredith Whitman have it harder than most. As a highly skilled trauma physician, Steve often works long hours at the New York City trauma ward where he is next in line for the director's position. Though he loves his work, it is often physically and emotionally draining. Meredith's career as an investment banker with a prestigious local firm is just as demanding and frequently requires lots of travel time both in and out of the country. Consequently, the few hours Steve and Meredith manage to have together are exceedingly rare and highly precious to them both. Yet despite this strain, they have remained happily married for 14 years, still as much in love now as when they first met.

The only other hitch in their idyllic relationship is the desire to have children. Meredith insists she isn't ready and doubts she ever will be. And at the age of 37, her time to make such a decision is running out. Steve, on the other hand, longs for children. His hope of someday changing Meredith's mind makes him willing to pull up roots when Meredith is offered the job of a lifetime in San Francisco, working for the handsome CEO of the high-tech company she just helped go public. Steve thinks California will be a great place to raise a family and that the job change may make Meredith more amenable to the idea of children.

At first, the decision to move seems serendipitous when Steve is offered a director's position at a trauma center in San Francisco. But it will be several months before he can leave his old job, and Meredith must start her new one right away. They end up trying to balance a bicoastal marriage and neither of them is prepared for the strain this separation places on their relationship. And when Steve's new job offer falls through, things take a definite turn for the worse. Alone in San Francisco, Meredith spends more and more time with her charismatic boss, Cal, both in the office and at his home. Back in New York, Steve relies on the company of a new coworker -- a woman physician and single mother struggling to support her child -- to fill his empty hours. Before long, the irresistible forces of these separate lives begin to tear at the fabric of Steve and Meredith's marriage, creating an irreparable rent that leaves both of them exposed and vulnerable.

Once again, Steel weaves her magic, digging into the weft and warp of changing lives, intertwining the vagaries of the human heart, and exploring the shifting patterns that develop. Irresistible Forces is a novel for our time, a story that delves into the consequences of workplace changes and their affects on our lives. It's also classic Steel at her best, an intimate peek into the lives of people who are caught up in circumstance and swept away by fate as they struggle to stay afloat in the ebb and flow of everyday life.

—Beth Amos

Library Journal
In Steel's 47th novel, a happily married couple find themselves working on opposite coasts--and attracted to new colleagues. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440224860
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/31/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 303,187
  • Product dimensions: 6.84 (w) x 4.10 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 400 mil1ion copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsel1ers include Granny Dan, Bittersweet, Mirror Image, The Klone and I, The Long Road Home, The Ghost, Special Delivery, The Ranch, Silent Honor, Malice, Five Days in Paris, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the nonfiction story of her son Nick Traina's life and death.


When it comes to commanding bestseller lists, no writer can come close to Danielle Steel. Her work has been published in 47 countries, in 28 languages. She has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the author who has spent the most consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. She has not only published novels, but has written non-fiction, a book of poetry, and two series of children's books. Many of her books have been adapted for television movies, one of which (Jewels) was nominated for two Golden Globe awards. She has received the title of Chevalier of the distinguished Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government for her immense body of work. In short, to say that Steel is the single most popular living writer in the world is no overstatement.

Steel published her first novel, Going Home, when she was a mere 26 years old, and the book introduced readers to many of the themes that would dominate her novels for the next 30-odd years. It is an exploration of human relationships told dramatically, a story of the past's thrall on the present. Anyone familiar with Steel's work will recognize these themes as being close to her heart, as are familial issues, which are at the root of her many mega-sellers.

Although Steel has a reputation among critics as being a writer of fluffy, escapist fare, she never shies away from taking on dark subject matter, having addressed illnesses, incest, suicide, divorce, death, the Holocaust, and war in her work. Of course, even when she is handling unsavory topics, she does so entertainingly and with refinement. Her stories may often cross over into the realm of melodrama, but she never fails to spin a compelling yarn told with a skilled ear for dialogue and character, while consistently showing how one can overcome the greatest of tragedies. Ever prolific, she usually produces several books per year, often juggling multiple projects at the same time.

With all of the time and effort Steel puts into her work (she claims to sometimes spend as much as 20 hours a day at her keyboard), it is amazing that she still has time for a personal life. However, as one might assume from her work, family is still incredibly important to her, and she maintains a fairly private personal life. Fortunately for her millions of fans, she continues to devote more than a small piece of that life to them.

Good To Know

Along with her famed adult novels, Steel has also written two series of books for kids with the purpose of helping them through difficult situations, such as dealing with a new stepfather and coping with the death of a grandparent.

When Steel isn't working on her latest bestseller or spending time with her beloved family, she is devoting her time to one of several philanthropic projects to benefit the mentally ill, the homeless, and abused children.

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    1. Hometown:
      San Francisco, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 14, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Educated in France. Also attended Parsons School of Design, 1963, and New York University, 1963-67
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

It was a brilliantly sunny day in New York, and the temperature  had soared over the hundred mark long before noon. You could have fried an egg  on the sidewalk. Kids were screaming, people were sitting on stoops and in  doorways, and leaning against walls beneath tattered awnings. Both hydrants on  the corner of 125th Street and Second Avenue had been opened, and water was  cascading from them, as squealing children ran through it. There was an  ankle-deep river running through the gutter. At four in the afternoon, it  seemed as though half the neighborhood was standing around in the heat, talking  and watching the kids.

And suddenly, at four ten, shots rang out in the noise of the talk and laughter  and the sound of rushing water. They weren't an unfamiliar sound in that part  of town, and everyone stopped as they heard them. People seemed to pause  motionless for a moment, waiting for what would come next. They pulled back  into doorways, shrank against walls, and two mothers ran forward into the  geyser of water from one of the hydrants and grabbed their children. But before  they could regain the safety of the doorway, another burst of shots rang out,  this time louder and closer, and three young men ran into the midst of the  crowdstanding near the hydrant. They knocked over kids as they ran, and hit a young woman so hard she fell sprawling in the water, and suddenly there were screams as two cops appeared, running around the corner, in hot pursuit of the young men, guns drawn, bullets flying into the crowd.

It all happened so fast, no one had time to clear a path for them, or to warn  each other, and in the distance there were already sirens. And over the distant  wail of police cars approaching the scene, there was another round of gunshots,  and this time one of the young men fell to the ground, bleeding from his shoulder, at the same time one of his companions wheeled and shot a police  officer cleanly through the head, and suddenly a little girl screamed and fell  to the ground in the fierce spray from the hydrant, and everyone nearby was  shouting and running in all directions, as her mother ran to her from the  doorway where she'd been watching in horror, as the child fell.

And an instant later, the chase was over. Two of the young men were lying  facedown on the ground being handcuffed by a flock of policemen, an officer lay  dead, and the third suspect was being tended to by paramedics. But only a few  feet away, a child lay dying from the bullet that had hit her. It had passed

cleanly through her chest, and she was bleeding profusely, as her mother knelt  next to her, soaked by the continuing spray from the fire hydrant, and sobbing  hysterically as she held her unconscious child in her arms, and the paramedics  wrested the five-year-old girl from her. Within less than a minute, she was in an ambulance, and they pulled her mother in with her, still crying and dazed. It  was a scene all of them had seen dozens of times before, if not hundreds, but  one that only meant something when you knew the people at the core of the  drama, the perpetrators, or the victims. The ones who got arrested, or those

who got injured or killed.

There was a vast tangle of cars at the corner of 125th, as the ambulance tried  to disengage from them, with siren screaming and lights flashing. And people

stood on the street looking stunned by what had happened. A second ambulance

took the injured suspect from the scene, and blue and white cars seemed to come  from everywhere as they heard on the radio that an officer was down. People in  the neighborhood knew what it would mean for them once word got out that he had  been killed. Tempers would flare, and smoldering resentments would burst into  flame. Worse yet, in the deadly heat, anything could happen. This was Harlem,  it was August, life was tough, and a cop had been murdered.

And in the ambulance, as it sped downtown, Henrietta Washington clung to her

child's hand, and watched in silent terror as the paramedics fought for her  life. But for the moment, it didn't look like they were winning. The little  girl was gray and still and her blood was everywhere, the floor, the sheets,

her arms, the gurney, her mother's face and dress and hands. It looked like a  slaughter. And for what? She was another casualty in the endless war between the cops and the bad guys, gang members, drug dealers, and narcs. She was a pawn in a game she knew nothing about, a tiny sacrifice among warriors whose goal was to destroy each other. Dinella Washington meant nothing to them, only to her friends and neighbors, her sisters, and her mother. She was the oldest of four children her mother had had between sixteen and twenty, but no matter how poor they were, nor how tough life was for them, or the neighborhood in which they fought to survive, her mother loved her.

"Is she gonna die?" Henrietta asked in a strangled voice, her huge eyes  looking into those of a paramedic, and he didn't answer. He didn't know.

"We're doing what we can, ma'am." Henrietta Washington was twenty-one years  old. She was a stereotype, a number, a statistic, but she was so much more than  that. She was a woman, a girl, a mother. She wanted more than this for her  kids. She wanted a job, wanted to work, wanted to be married to a good man one  day, who loved and took care of her and her children. But she had never met a  man like that. Her kids were all she had for the moment, and she had nothing to  give them but her love.

She had a boyfriend who took her to dinner once in a while, with three kids of  his own to support. He hadn't been able to find a job in six months, and drank  too much when he took her out. There were no easy solutions for either of them,  just welfare, an odd job from time to time, and a hand-to-mouth existence.  Neither of them had finished high school, and they lived in a war zone. And the life they led, and where they lived it, was a death sentence for their children.

The ambulance screeched to a stop outside the hospital, and the paramedics  raced out with Dinella on the gurney. She had an IV in her arm, an oxygen mask  over her face, and all Henrietta knew was that she was still breathing, but  barely. She ran into the emergency room after her, in her bloodstained dress,  and she couldn't even get near her little girl. A dozen nurses and residents

had closed around the child and were running down the hall with her to the  trauma unit, as Henrietta followed, wanting to ask someone what was happening,  what they were going to do. She wanted to know if Dinella would be all right. A  thousand questions raced through her head as someone stuck a clipboard and pen  in front of her face.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2003

    A Wonderful Love Story!!!!

    This is a story as only Ms. Steel could tell a story. From the very first pages you are captivated with the lives of Steve and Meredith. Theirs is a career-oriented marriage. The story takes the reader into two very exciting and fast-paced careers. This is a story that will touch your heart as you go through the lives of Meredith and Steve. The book is a page turner that is almost impossible to put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2013

    despised Meredith felt that she never loved Steve from the start

    despised Meredith felt that she never loved Steve from the start, found myself mostly angry with the storyline -_-

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  • Posted July 31, 2011


    I found this book to be repetative and predictable. I also really disliked the Meredith character. Not one of Steel's best

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    Page Turner

    My 1st ebook. I was actually reading this book from the Library at the time I received the Nook as a gift. I thought I might as well get started. Love the Nook and the book was terrrific.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2006

    Incredibly sad

    I have to say, in this book, Danielle really got to the heart of how people end up cheating on each other. By the end of the book I was incredibly saddened and angry as to what happened between the two main characters. Beware, the book will leave you angry at the woman, especially if you're in a very loving relationship yourself in real life. This book left me very emotionally sad after I finished it because it really showed me how it could happen to me and my boyfriend. So if you're a person who cheats a lot, or know a person who cheats a lot, I'd reccomend this book just so you or he/she can see how painful cheating can be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2007


    I found this book very frusterating to read. I like Danielle Steel because she usually writes about how people fall in love, not fall out of it. It makes me sad reading this book, being newly married. It makes me realize that marriage can still fail even after 15 years, and people do cheat on their spouse even if they are madley in love with them. I wouldn't recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2003



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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2003

    Not so great.

    THe story was interesting but it was a little slow. Not one of her best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2003

    Never Put Down!

    This book was intriguing from the beginning, and it was great story that sparked actual emotion as you read. I was angry after I was done reading because the plot and characters are so well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2002


    ahhh i LOVED this book, i still read it over and over again and i finshed the book a year ago, i cant wait to get more danielle steel books, i loved this 1. i would definately recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2001


    I fall into the context of all of her characters, I wish I could produce the movies for Lifetime! Felt as if I knew them all! Makes you wonder, how you think life can be so right, with that one person, until you move to a new state and take on a challenging job and fall for your boss! Makes one wonder, doesn't it?? What really is out there for us?? Are we really with our soulmate? Wish it could have gone on more, wasn't thrilled with how it ended....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2001

    Great Read!!

    I love Danielle Steele's books. This one was great. I could not stop reading it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2001

    Irresistible Forces

    The best yet. If you've never been in the situation of a bi-coastal marriage you will feel like you have after you have read this. It's amazing it's like you feel what the characters felt, at least I did. If you haven't read this yet you have to!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2001

    Irresistible Forces

    It was the best book of hers I've read so far. She just keeps you coming back for more. If you haven't read this go get it you won't be sorry!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2001


    this book is definitely entertaining but there is also some repetiviness to this storyline and lots of foreshadowing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2001

    Resist the Force

    I can't believe how repetitive this book was. It's plain to the reader that Steel has creative ways of re-writing the same passage. What she did in 370 pages, anyone else could do in fewer than 70. Very disappointed, from an avid Steel reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2001

    Great Book

    I really enjoyed reading this book. This is my first Danielle Steel book to read and I am glad that I read it. The plot was very good, but the only problem was that the end was very rushed. Before I knew it, the book was over and it really let me down. But, I will definately read more of her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    Not the best yet

    I love Danille Steel books, and when I saw this one in the book store I just had to buy it. I was highly dissapointed in this book, it was so predictable. Although I love Danielle Steel this book was not one of her better books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2000

    WONDERFUL BOOK!!!!!!!!!!

    I loved it...Merrie and Steve are just like so many couples today...Even if you are married to someone for many years it still may not be the right person.. This book brought tears to my eyes when they both realized that something special was not there anymore....This is a must read book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2000

    Pretty Predictable...

    I love Danielle Steel's novels, but this book was'nt one of her best. Once you get to the end it's exactly what you thought would happen and kind of a let down.

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