As Diana Morrison laid the table for six at her elegant Central Park apartment, she had no warning of what was to come. Spending New Year's Eve together was a tradition for Diana, her husband Eric, and their best friends Pascale and John Donnally and Anne and Robert Smith, and as the friends sipped champagne, they talked of renting a villa together in the South of France the following summer. But life had other plans...
Just two weeks after New Year, tragedy strikes at the heart of their close circle as Robert suffers a sudden, tragic loss. Diana and Eric, Pascale and John, united in their love and shared grief, rally to his side and urge him to join them on the Riviera in August. But the ramshackle old mansion is far from the exquisite villa they had imagined, and Robert surprises them all by inviting a lovely, much-younger film actress with mile-long legs and a million-dollar smile. Diana and Pascale hate her on sight, but the men are dazzled, and amidst the crumbling furniture and glorious sunsets more surprises are in store. Old wounds are healed, new love discovered, and miracles unfold... all beneath the dazzling sun of St Tropez.
A long-planned vacation in St. Tropez goes wrong in any number of ways in this latest platinum-frosted amusement by Steel. Three pairs of friends in their 50s and 60s decide to spend a month together in the south of France, but before the trip, tragedy strikes two of the couples. Judge Robert Smith loses his beloved wife, Anne, and Diana Morrison discovers that her obstetrician husband, Eric, is having an affair with a much younger patient, though Diana's "minor cosmetic surgery... had knocked ten years off her age." John Donnally, an irascible investment banker, and his French wife, Pascale, a former ballerina, try to do what they can to keep everyone's spirits up. The friends eventually convene in St. Tropez, but the house that looked so perfect in the marketing photos is far from what they expected, and it takes Herculean effort by Pascale and the eccentric caretakers to get it up to snuff. Robert has a new love interest visit, though it is only seven months since his wife's death, and she, to the chagrin of the ladies, is an actress many years his junior. Will the friends' relationship survive these changes? The answer is a foregone conclusion, and the frills and froth of the packaging can't quite conceal the silliness of some of the goings-on, but Steel fans will lap this up.